Mizuno was founded in 1906 and has a history of more than 100 years. It is currently a sportswear company involving in all the mainstream sports except for the basketball. Although it is a professional sports big brand, Mizuno’s development in the field of running shoes never flatters. First of all, in this era of running shoes, Mizuno rightly advocates material shock absorption on a large scale. And it still robustly adheres to the mechanical damping road featuring WAVE tech.
Secondly, the era of running shoe is on the midsole technical war. However, Mizuno’s midsole material has not updated for several years. And it has fallen far behind competitors. Still, many Mizuno running shoes are powerful, just lack of styling. The color palettes and silhouettes are not so attractive.
In recent years, the retro style trend swept the sports world. Historically rich Mizuno slowed down with a lot of shots. And it was not until 2018 that the joint plan “Kazoku” began its retro design. From another point of view, Mizuno’s running shoes implement a “pure” concept, or it can be more or less stubborn. However, in terms of price, Mizuno has always been in good conscience.
Mizuno Running Shoe Technical Analysis
As a long-established sports brand, the technical accumulation of Mizuno running shoes is quite rich. However, compared with some other running shoe manufacturers, the update speed of Mizuno’s current technology has been left behind.
Wave Technology And Smoothride
Wave technology is a significant one for Mizuno. With the support of Wave in the midsole, the sheet follows the curve and weight of palm, spreading the shock efficiently, thereby adding the stability and reducing lateral movement. This is helpful for
Except for INFINITY WAVE, other WAVE sheets are sandwiched in the midsole of U4IC/U4ICX. The above figure can increase the 22% cushioning, improve the stability by 10% and improve the lateral offset by 27%. The current mainstream of WAVE in running shoes include PARALLEL WAVE, FAN SHAPED WAVE, DOUBLE FAN SHAPED WAVE, CLOUD WAVE, INFINITY WAVE. There are also some rare types of WAVE sheets such as CONCAVE WAVE, which applies mainly on some trail running shoes.
These different types of WAVE wave pieces have their own characteristics. The cushioning running shoes mainly use PARALLEL WAVE, INFINITY WAVE, and CLOUD WAVE. While the supporting running shoes mainly apply with FAN SHAPED WAVE and DOUBLE FAN SHAPE WAVE.
Although the preference of weaving uppers varies from person to person, and it has come real for a long time, it is implausible that weaving upper appeared on Mizuno shoes until 2018…
Mizuno does not intend to promote in a big scale, but just make a pair of running shoes out of the woven upper and the ordinary version.
U4IC/U4ICX Midsole Material
These two midsole materials are all EVA. They do have certain performance and weight advantages compared with the general EVA.
To be honest, for the sense of foot, weight does not reach a very ideal state. Still, magically, the sandwich combination of soft U4IC/U4ICX with strong WAVE develops great function and performance for robust cushion and power feedback.
2019 Mizuno Running Shoe Reviews
Most of the above-mentioned running shoe matrix maps come from the official website. And some of the data and content below are from the Mizuno flagship store and official website. In terms of functionality, the purchase of some low-end running shoes is not very meaningful, and the running shoes I list in the matrix are all high-end series. Many of Saucony’s high-end running shoes are very cost-effective. The Asians’ feet are also very friendly.
Some of these shoes are products of the previous generation (such as WAVE rider 20), and some are sequences that have been abandoned (such as Wave Sky’s predecessor, the Enigma series, and Wave shadow’s predecessor, the Sayonara series), I didn’t put these running shoes into the matrix. At the same time, some of Mizuno’s shoes are only for Japan, such as the running shoes Cruise and Ekiden, don’t exist in the matrix. These running shoes are all racing shoes, with thin and light characteristics.
Mizuno Wave Prophecy 8 Flagship Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • Best for walking, running, and cross-training • Very comfortable, lightweight, and supportive • No breaking in needed • Great-looking design • Quickly adapted to all running needs • Expensive • The grooves in the outsole quickly collect tiny rocks • Shoe shape a little bit narrow for some users.
The Wave Prophecy positioning has been separated from the general top-level category. An analogy is similar to the super-top concept in soccer shoes. The guiding price of Prophecy 5 and 6 is as high as 220 US dollars. When it comes to Prophecy 7, the guiding price is soaring to 240 US dollars. the mainstream shoe factory The price of many shoes is only slightly lower than Asics Metarun ($250).
Compared with the previous generation, the new predictions are basically consistent with the application of materials and technology. Although there is no surprise, it also shows that this pair is already a mature and reliable running shoe.
Full palm Infinity Wave cushioning plate + U4icX midsole material + detachable shock-absorbing insole for superior cushioning. The toe cap is still the AIRmesh mesh surface, adding a ribbed heat-bonding material. The leather lace holes on both sides combine with the mesh extending to the bottom to enhance the wrapping and visually more dynamic. The midsole attaches with a breathable system, and the X10 rubber has good wear resistance. In general, it is still a top shoe worth buying.
Compared to the previous point, there are almost no radical changes in Prophecy 8. But after all, this is combining all the most luxurious configurations of Mizuno. Of course, such a luxury configuration also cause the weight of the prophecy 8 to be heavier. If other top running shoes are suitable for entry-level runners, the Prophecy series is suitable for large-weight entry-level running shoes. If a person is not heavy enough, one may find it hard “stepping on”.
Considering the small evolution of Prophecy 8, people who are pursuing cost-effectiveness can pay more attention to the good price of Prophecy 7.
Mizuno Wave Creation 20 Top Cushioning Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Creation 20 Knit Top Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • Good cushioning to protect against underfoot issues • The inner sleeve is good to the skin. • No break-in period and is immediately comfortable. • All-day running sessions • The façade more appealing to the eyes. • The outsole gives traction capacity and steadiness.• On going half-a-size up with the Wave Creation 20 to get more space in the toe box
The Wave Creation series is Mizuno’s top cushioning running shoes. It can provide very good feedback during actual use, enhance cushioning performance, and reduce sports strain. Especially suitable for heavyweight people who weigh above 80kg.
Creation 19 is the new flagship model launched in 17 years. Compared with the previous generation, the design of the upper is more refined, and the heel is more comfortable. The upper is still the same DYNAMOTION FIT dynamic lamination system. The weaving of AIRmesh breathable fabric and the design of each leather skeleton are more elaborate.
The midsole is the U4icX technology midsole, with the classic INFINITY Wave raising in the heel position and the midsole thickness. The cushioning and stability are further enhanced. X10 wear-resistant outsole with rear foot SR touch shock-absorbing rubber has 80% higher wear resistance than normal rubber.
Wave Creation’s positioning is second only to the Prophecy. This series has reached the 19th generation and belonged to the very old-fashioned products. The most obvious difference compared to Prophecy is that Wave Creation’s Infinity Wave focuses only on the second half of the palm, while the lower midsole of the first half of the palm uses only U4ICX material.
Although it belongs to the senior level shoes, Wave Creation’s popularity is not as good as predicted. It is not better than Rider. Still, it is also suitable for big-weight runners like the prophecy series. Otherwise, there may be a situation of “stepping on” difficulty. So Prophecy and Creation are a bit similar in positioning. For those who can’t afford to predict, Wave Creation is also a good alternative.
Mizuno Waveknit S1 Top Cushioning Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Sky 2 Top Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • Nice responsive, excellent cushioning, well-constructed upper. • Perfect for long and short runs and walks. • Nice flexibility and very comfortable • Not having enough lugs. As a result, the right amount of traction needed on various surfaces is not provided.• The sock liner is a little heavy.
The midsole and outsole of these two pairs of shoes are exactly the same. The only difference is that the Waveknit S1 upper has a woven upper, while the wave sky 2 upper is more in line with Mizuno’s style.
Wave Sky 2 is the top cushioning running shoe which replaced the Enigma series. Same price of 150 dollars of Enigma. Technically, Wave Sky doesn’t have the full palm Wave configuration as Enigma. It uses CLOUD Wave instead of Enigma’s PARALLEL Wave. Moreover, the CLOUD Wave has one more slope than the Rider 20/21; it greatly enhances the feeling of the foot. Mizuno’s launch of Wave Sky is also to change the stiffness of the past. The new softness of Wave Sky brings great confidence to compete with Asics Nimbus, Brooks Glycerin and Nike Air Zoom Vomero.
The main upgrade of Wave Sky 2 compared to the previous generation is the addition of AeroHug technology to the upper, which increases the fitness of the upper.
The Waveknit S1 is one of two models of the Waveknit sequence released. Mizuno hopes to use the Waveknit upper to attract some runners while keeping original upper for those who like traditional tastes. Therefore, it features exactly an old wine into a new bottle, applying the Waveknit upper with outsole and midsole of Wave Sky into Waveknit S1.
The prices of Wave Sky 2 and Waveknit S1 are currently relatively resistant. So the first generation of Wave Sky is very cost-effective. If you like soft feet and pursue excellent cost performance, then Wave Sky series will be a good choice.
Mizuno Waveknit R2 Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • Lightweight build that was suitable for long running sessions. • Eye-catching design • The heel and forefoot cushioning is highly effective • The knitted upper is flexible and breathable. • The flexibility of the midsole unit • Half-a-size smaller and a bit tight.
Mizuno Wave Rider 22 Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • The colors and design were visually appealing. • The underfoot cushioning system is very comfortable. • The general durability of the components is dependable. • Outstanding grip capability of the outsole • Half-a-size or a full size smaller than the standard sizing expectations. • The overlays on the upper tended to press into the fabric
The midsole and outsole of the two pairs are exactly the same. The only difference is that the Waveknit R2 has a weaving upper, while the Wave Rider 22’s upper is more in line with Mizuno’s style.
As the longest life series of Mizuno, the Rider series has always been loved by many runners with its comfortable touch and excellent performance. Especially since the rider 20, after upgrading to the CLOUD Wave, the feeling of the outsole has improved even better. Compared with the previous generation, the upper is mainly changed from Triple Zone fabric to the engineering mesh. And the midsole is still the standard combo of U4IC U4ICX.
At present, the price of wave rider 21 is relatively moderate, but the more cost-effective one should be rider 20. In addition to the difference in the upper, rider 21 is almost a replica of rider 20. Hence, the purchase of rider 20 has become a very cost-effective option. Mizuno has launched the first generation of Rider as retroversion, named Mizuno Wave Rider 1 OG. Its aesthetics
Mizuno Wave Ultima 11 Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • excellent fit • the midsole for its padding and support is very comfortable. • AIRmesh upper was cool, comfortable, and skin-friendly • efficient on both short- and long-distance runs • The bigger sizes of the shoe were limited and difficult to find
Ultima is not as popular as the Rider. The Rider is on sale all over the world; while the Ultima mainly focuses in Europe and China. The wave type used by Ultima 10 marks with a CLOUD WAVE, just like the rider 21. From the appearance, the Rider 21 and Ultima 10 have the same CLOUD WAVE.
The Ultima series and the Rider series are almost indistinguishable from the configuration. However, since not so popular as the Rider, the Ultima’s promotional price will be lower than Rider’s. Thus, it can be rather cost-effective.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Top Support Running Shoes
Verdict: • The colors and design were visually appealing. • The underfoot cushioning system is very comfortable. • The general durability of the components is dependable. • Outstanding grip capability of the outsole • half-a-size or a full size smaller than the standard sizing expectations
Wave Horizon was also the new top support running shoes that Mizuno launched recently. It can be acting as the support version of Wave Sky. In order to strengthen the support, the WAVE used is different from the one for Wave Sky. The Wave Horizon positions as a comfortable running shoe with a comfortable touch. It is very similar to the positioning of Asics Gel-Kayano. The guide price is $160, more than the Wave Paradox’s $140, to become the new flagship running shoe.
The first generation of Wave Horizon uses a configuration of the outer CLOUD WAVE plus the inner DOUBLE FAN SHAPED WAVE, which satisfies comfort without losing support. In the second generation, the CLOUD WAVE is still used on the outside, while the inner DOUBLE FAN SHAPED WAVE changes its shape with the volume significantly enlarged. Also, the hollowing in the middle forms a more complicated mechanical cushioning.
Mizuno Wave Paradox 4/5 Top Support Running Shoes
Verdict: • The support system is very great. • The general durability of the components is dependable. • Outstanding grip capability of the outsole • It is rather hard and a bit heavier than others , as concession of support.
Before the Wave Horizon appeared, Wave Paradox has been in the highest positioned model in the Mizuno support series. From the perspective of the price, the positioning is still a bit confusing.
The Wave Paradox 5 is consistent with the previous generation on the midsole and the outsole: with the same DOUBLE FAN SHAPED WAVE+ upper U4IC+ lower U4ICX standard combo. The main difference is
Wave Paradox 5 is still on the market, but it has already achieved a fast discount speed. The previous generations of Wave Paradox also often have a low price during the promotion period, providing amazing charm. However, it should be noted that Wave Paradox focuses very much on support performance, which means the shoe touch can be rather hard and the weight is heavy. This pair may be more suitable for runners who need strong support.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 Support Running Shoes
Verdict: • Nice supportive feature. • comfortable after long distance run. • The general durability of the components is dependable. • the lightweight design. • not only good for running but also for gym activities and indoor training • Asian model, half size smaller than usual
Wave Inspire can represent
Inspire is Mizuno’s classic
The INSPIRE 14 still maintains the classic WAVE construction, with a small adjustment to the upper and midsole. The AIRmesh is more detailed, and the texture of the midsole and the outsole is slightly different. Both U4ic and U4ic X apply in the midsole to offer lighter feet and more comfort when running. The smooth rebound of the outsole SmoothRider creates a better ground touch, and the Intercool system offers a better experience with
Inspire is also a classic model of Mizuno, second only to Rider, Creation
Mizuno Wave Shadow 2 Lightweight Cushioning Running Shoes
Verdict: • upper unit offered a snug yet accommodating fit • the nice color schemes. • price of this product was deemed affordable. • suitably light for long-term use. • traction capacity of the outsole was dependable • half-a-size or a full size smaller than the standard sizing expectations
Wave Shadow may be a new stranger for runners. Wave Shadow is, in fact, the successor to the lightweight running shoe Wave Sayonara. After four generations of sale, Wave Sayonara finally says “sayonara”. The positioning has gone from lightweight into a similar configuration of Rider. Wave Shadow also inherits the sense of foot and positioning of Wave Sayonara’s third and fourth generations.
This Mizuno Wave Shadow 2 men’s running shoe has little change in appearance. The upper is made of large-eyed mesh material, combined with the DynamotionFIT dynamic fit system to provide a comfortable wrap. The combo U4ic and U4icX provide lightweight cushioning, and CuldWAVE further enhances the cushioning performance. The X10 wear-resistant rubber outsole with a forefoot zigzag pattern provides extra flexibility and wear resistance.
It is worth mentioning that the first generation and the second generation of Wave Shadow use CLOUD WAVE. The touch is more obvious, with its own lightweight positioning. This pair is more suitable for runners who have a certain running foundation, who don’t want the cumbersome running shoes but need a sufficient amount of cushioning function. Similar to its positioning, there are Saucony’s Breaktru and NewBalance’s Zante and so on.
Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2 Lightweight Support Running Shoes
Verdict: • suitably lightweight. • The toe box accommodated natural toe-splay. • The collar and heel of the upper secured the food well and prevented slipping • efficient for mid-distance running. • prevent feet from feeling tired or sore throughout the day. • forefoot section of the upper felt a bit narrow
Wave Catalyst has released before Wave Shadow and can be a support version of it. For support function, it equips with FAN SHAPE WAVE. In addition, the midsole of the Wave Shadow is in jagged shape, while the shape of the Wave Catalyst 2 is more irregular.
Compared to the previous generation, the main appearance difference is the upper, large-eyed mesh is on the outside of the upper, with bolder style. The U4ic midsole has also upgraded and covered with the entire palm. Other aspects are consistent with the previous generation, including the highly acclaimed FAN SHAPE sheet and the DynamotionFit system. The X10 outsole is non-slip and
Wave Catalyst’s first generation has won the “Runner’s World” best first show award. The lightweight support is also relatively rare in other running shoe segments. Moreover, the price is very cost-effective.
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 Lightweight Running Shoes
Verdict: • suitably lightweight and comfortable. • The underfoot cushioning system is very comfortable. • fitting snugly yet securely. • affordable price
In Japanese, Hitogami means the god, it sounds very domineering. The biggest feature of this pair of shoes is that it is lighter. Although there is no granule outsole for racing running shoes, the very light weight makes it a favorite of many marathon runners.
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 women’s lightweight running shoes is a new generation of Wave Hitogami. The upper is breathable mesh + artificial leather, with DYNAMOTION FIT dynamic fit system, which brings excellent fitness. The U4ic midsole material, 30% weight reduction; forefoot SMOOTH RIDE outsole curved groove design + Parallel Wave for damping cushion; X10 outsole non-slip wear-resistant. Overall design is very lightweight, official data indicates female size 8 weighs only 180g.
As for technology, Hitogami 4 is not much different from other Mizuno running shoes. However, the shoes are obviously lighter and thinner, so it works well for the runners who need speed.
Mizuno Wave Sonic lightweight Running Shoes
Verdict: • The excellent cushioning. • the reasonable price. • very durable. • Well ventilated • remarkable traction that they experienced when tackling unpredictable terrains • Modest and arch support
Wave Sonic is also the new running shoe series. The PARALLEL WAVE is rather rare on Mizuno shoes, and the 4MM drop the same. The midsole part joins with U4icX. However, don’t expect the extreme comfort from it. The lightweight structure will inevitably bring a rather hard foot touch. The outsole is not the bottom of the granulated, so it is not exactly for racing. Therefore it is more suitable as a daily training.
Wave Sonic positioning is not low but is very cost-effective. Compared to Hitogami, Wave Sonic has an advantage over both the purchase path and the price. If you don’t mind the tiny stiff feeling of the foot and want to get better running performance, it is highly recommended to buy these shoes.
Mizuno Wave Emperor 3 / Mizuno Wave Emperor Japan 3 Top Racing Shoes
Verdict: • The colors and design were visually appealing. • front edge design of the tongue, which enhances the flexibility of the front upper. • V-shaped heel design for better wrap. • Outstanding grip capability of the outsole. • U4IC midsole and G3 outsole for added flexibility and comfort • half-a-size or a full size smaller than the standard sizing expectations.
The name “皇速” have been famous for many runners. Wave Emperor 3 is Mizuno’s top racing shoes, as well as Wave Emperor Japan 3, Nissan’s Super 3. Compared to the ordinary one, this model is lighter and faster. Also, the requirements for runners are higher.
Now we see the third-generation. WAVE EMPEROR’s design is more simple and beautiful. The heel especially marks with the crown logo. The biggest change is the front edge design of the tongue, which enhances the flexibility of the front upper. More, eight lace holes on both sides make it easier to adjust the tightness. The shoe sides
The level is relatively high, suitable for the master runners of