Mizuno joins the crowded U.S. shoe market with the launch of the Wave Exceed Tour 3 and the Wave Impulse. In 2017 the Japanese running shoe and sporting goods company boasted $1.76 billion dollars in revenue. Mizuno started making inroads in professional tennis in 2017 when players Phillipp Kohlschreiber, Marcos Baghdatis, and Ivo Karlovic were decked out head-to-toe in Mizuno apparel and shoes. Mizuno controls a healthy portion of the running shoe market, and they have brought their successful running tech to the tennis courts.
Comfort & Stability
The Wave Exceed Tour 3 is designed to go head to head with the top performing shoes in the sport. Billed as an all-in-one, encompassing power, speed, and stability, the Wave Exceed Tour 3 incorporates Mizuno’s Wave technology to help protect the ankle. The shoe has a D-Flex Groove located in the midfoot to help with changes of direction. Mizuno uses midsole material called PoWnCe to keep premium comfort, but in a lightweight package. The midsole provides good energy return and adequate comfort, but it should be said it’s not pillow soft. Let’s call it functional comfort because it’s more about getting you to the next ball than standing on clouds.
At first glance, The Wave Exceed Tour 3 looks a bit cumbersome and heavy, but the look is deceiving as the shoe is a nimble and lightweight 13.5 ounces (size 11 Men’s). A real standout for me was the shoes ability to turn quickly and change direction. Think about shoes like a race car for a second, some of them are fast on a straight away, and some are better for cornering and handling. The Wave Exceed Tour 3 is a shoe for cornering and handling.
The upper did a great job of securing my foot in the shoe. At first I laced them up too loosely resulting in my foot moving around and not being able to stay comfortable. When I re-laced them tighter, the shoes seemed to fit to my foot shape better and be more enjoyable to play in. I also liked the lack of extraneous bulk of this shoe allowing it to feel like a more supported running shoe rather than a big, bulky tennis shoe.
There is no 6-month outsole warranty on the Mizuno Wave Exceed Tour 3, but the toe box and upper are reinforced with what Mizuno calls 3D-Solid technology. The material has a lightweight body armor look to it (very science fiction) and does a good job resisting abrasions for toe drags or sudden stops.
All in all, Mizuno jumps into an ultra-competitive tennis shoe market with a bang and I expect to see more early adopters as we get further into 2019. Lightweight, stable, and tough, the Wave Exceed Tour 3 will soon be a favorite of competitive tennis players all over the US.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.