Mizuno joins the crowded US shoe market with the launch of the Wave Exceed Tour 3 and the Wave Impulse. Although the company started in the running shoe market, it has grown significantly and is making headway through the tennis market. Many professional tennis players choose to wear Mizuno shoes for their comfortable cushioning and premier stability. The Wave Impulse AC is one shoe created for fast, agile players that want cushioning but also want a snug fit and low-to-the-ground feel. I was excited to test this new shoe out and see how it performed on the court.
One of the first things you will notice about the Wave Impulse is its fit. The DynamotionFit makes the bootie construction in the upper and sockliner very tight around your foot almost like you are putting on soccer cleats. It will be very snug in the beginning making it difficult to put on your feet and needs about 6-8 hours break-in time. After I started using the shoe more, the fit became much more comfortable without wearing down too much of the cushioning. The Wrapper up Ap+ Wedge and ergonomic sockliner work well to always keep your feet secure. Since this shoe is narrower fitting, I would recommend players to go up half a size if they don’t like it super tight around their feet.
Responsiveness and Stability
Two of the best aspects of this shoe are stability and responsiveness. You can’t really find any other shoe that is better in these two aspects than the Wave Impulse. The higher sockline around the ankle and heel remind me of a traditional high-top basketball shoe. The great part is that you never need to worry about your ankle rolling or not having enough support when you move side to side. With that being said though, it feels slightly heavier than the Wave Exceed Tour 3 and may not be enjoyable for everyone. For me, the responsiveness is what really made this shoe enjoyable to playtest. You will get a low-to-the-ground feeling and seem like you are moving barefoot around the court. The Mizuno Wave technology is a big attribute in the midsole for absorbing shock and relieving pressure from my heel as I played. I never felt wrong footed or out of position on defense allowing me to easily transition from one shot to the next.
Durability is not the greatest, but it is pretty consistent. The outsole is made with X10 rubber allowing you to get plenty of grip and traction as you move around the court. After about a month of constant use though, the outsole starts to get smooth resulting in more sliding when you play. The forefoot also will start to wear down after a couple of weeks of use since there is not much protection. If you are looking to keep this shoe for a longer time period, I'd suggest wearing it for match days only just so you don't wear them out quickly.
The Wave Impulse is a great shoe to compete with lighter weight trends in the US tennis shoe market. The narrower fit and low-to-the-ground feel gives you unmatched responsiveness on court, while the higher sockline provides better stability for your ankles. Players looking for a shoe to get around the court fast and need a little extra stability should check out the Mizuno Wave Impulse.
About the Reviewer: Chris Virk-Brown currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.