It is 2021 and you might want to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes that can enhance your running experience. Before you dive into the brands that we all get presented with constantly, consider the company that’s highly focused on bringing sportswear and equipment to peak performance – Mizuno.
Picking out a pair of running shoes that will feel like the company made them just for you can be tough, and that’s why we decided to put together a list of Mizuno running shoes that you should consider investing in. The reason for that is that Mizuno offers so much when it comes to the quality of the shoes and their performance.
Before we move on to the list of recommendations, we’ve also put together a brief overview of the Mizuno brand, from its history to what you should be looking for when you are searching for running shoes. Hopefully, this article will serve as your guide into the world of Mizuno running shoes in 2021.
A Short History of the Mizuno Brand
Even though Mizuno was founded over a hundred years ago, back in 1906, their running shoes became prominent a lot later. To be more precise, Mizuno running shoes became popular during the ’80s.
They have only grown and improved since then and became the brand we all know today that offers top-notch quality running shoes for any occasion.
The main reason for their popularity in the ’80s is their “RunBird” line of shoes that was released in 1982 in the USA. The line featured some models that were so good that they are still considered classics in the running world. Some of those models include Air Genova ST and Racing Star 100, both in their own right pioneers for Mizuno running shoe technology.
Riding the wave of innovation from the last decade, it’s the 90’s when Mizuno really hits the mark in terms of improving their running shoes. They begin to incorporate and improve the wave plate system, which had proven itself to be massively successful. They got the design exactly how they wanted it, providing a combination of cushioning, responsiveness, and support that every runner needs.
Up To Today
In the current millennium, Mizuno keeps improving their technology and comes up with new ways to use what they already have and work with newly available sources to create shoes that will surpass their already great predecessors.
In the last 20 years, they came out with new and improved materials and systems for their shoes. The most important is the Cloudwave technology and Mizuno’s midsole cushioning foam – U4ic (pronounced euphoric). Both of these bring a whole new level when it comes to comfort and support in running shoes.
Alongside running shoes, Mizuno now produces all sorts of sportswear and equipment, all of it very high quality.
Things To Consider When Picking Running Shoes
As we mentioned before, finding a perfect pair of running shoes can be a real task that can take up time and energy. That’s why you should go into it knowing what you need from your shoes.
Depending on the type of running you prefer, there are differences in the type of shoe that will enhance your run. You should also listen to what your body has to say and pay attention to how different types of running shoes influence your daily run.
The Mizuno brand offers running shoes with plentiful cushioning that provide comfort and stability to the runner. If that’s what you are looking for, you should definitely look into what Mizuno has to offer.
The other important thing that you should consider when buying running shoes is their durability, and once again, Mizuno comes through with some outstandingly durable footwear that you can take out for a run on practically any surface.
There are many things to factor in when looking for a pair of running shoes, but the most important one is to know what you want to accomplish.
The choices differ greatly when you are looking for a shoe to use on a treadmill at your gym and when looking for a shoe that you can take to a forest trail or even completely off-road. So, decide what you need first, then dive into the wide roster of Mizuno running shoes that you can choose from.
Mizuno Models Worth Your Buck
Here, we’ve assembled a list of 12 Mizuno models that you should absolutely take a look at if you are looking to get a new pair of running shoes. They aren’t listed in any particular order, and for each model, we’ve included a quick rundown of its qualities and strong suits.
Using this list as a guideline, you’ll be able to find the Mizuno model that fits your style, and what your foot needs. There’s a wide array of both road and trail running shoes, so you can find whatever it is you’re looking for.
1. Wave Sky 3
The new and improved Wave Sky 2 running shoe model, the Wave Sky 3 is the update that this model needed to be the best it can. The biggest change to it is in the midsole, which now incorporated a mixture of the by now tried and tested U4icX foam and the newest technological addition to the Mizuno brand – the XPOP ultra-soft cushioning.
That combination provides a sensation that feels like you are walking (or running) on clouds. Overall comfort is what Wave Sky 3 provides, and they are suited for some long-distance runs as well, due to their inherent responsiveness.
2. Wave Ibuki 2 GTX
If trail running is more your thing, Mizuno has you covered as well, with the Wave Ibuki 2 GTX trail running shoe that’s built to withstand anything you can throw at it. Not only are they waterproof, but they also have an X10 carbon rubber outsole that provides terrific grip on essentially any terrain you could imagine.
The other advantage of the Wave Ibuki 2 GTX is that they absorb any shock that running a trail can present. The Wave technology allows the GTX to disperse the energy of your step evenly to provide a stable and comfortable ride even in harsh conditions.
3. Wave Ultima 11
The Wave Ultima 11 is an extremely light road-running shoe that every runner can appreciate. The use of U4ic foam for the midsole makes these shoes lighter than most running shoes out there and far more comfortable and responsive.
They also offer an X10 rubber outsole that’s meant to protect against the abrasive nature of the asphalt and provide ample traction.
They engineered this model with the runners’ comfort in mind, and they keep that comfort whether you run short or longer distances as a part of your training. Being this light, they are also suited for any training you could think of outside of running, so if you need a pair of running shoes to hit the treadmill at the gym, they are a valid option.
4. Wave Rider 23
The 23rd iteration of the Wave Rider model, this shoe is already well-established in the running world and serves as a prime example of what a neutral road running shoe should be. Most of the updates from the 22 model are found in the upper, which has been designed to look sleek and seamless now.
As for the remainder of the shoe, there hasn’t been much change, but the only reason for that is simply that the midsole has already been figured out, and there’s currently no way it could get any better at what it does.
The midsole, of course, features a mix of the U4ic and the U4icX foam to provide cushioning and support exactly where it’s needed.
5. Wave Inspire 16
Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 is yet another great road running shoe from their roster. Mizuno designed them specifically to help runners who overpronate, so if that’s the issue you have, consider getting the Wave Inspire 16 to help decrease the discomfort and chances of injury.
Not only are they good for overpronators when it comes to running, but also in other activities. They are superbly comfortable so theoretically, you could wear them for walks, gym sessions, and even to jobs that require a lot of walking or standing around in addition to just running.
There’s also a version with a knit upper that’s available if you prefer more breathability.
6. Wave Skyrise
If you want an explosive and responsive running shoe, don’t look further than the Wave Skyrise. Mizuno came out with this model to provide its users with a bounce in their step and comfort beyond measure.
The midsole expectedly uses the U4ic and U4icX foam to provide superb comfort, but the trick of Wave Skyrise is that it has the XPOP section in the heel of the shoe, responsible for absorbing the impact and bringing it back to you in the next step you make.
7. Wave Hayate 6
To get back to trail running for a moment, the problem with a lot of trail running shoes is that they tend to be a bit heavier than the average running shoe. The Wave Hayate 6 gets rid of those assumptions, as it’s a trail running shoe to its core, but is still amazingly lightweight and comfortable.
It goes without saying that Wave technology is employed with this model, but the biggest change and improvement from earlier models is in the upper of the shoe.
The mesh is both breathable and comfortable, while it still protects the foot from any dirt and debris that can end up in a shoe when you are a trail runner.
8. Wave Daichi 5 GTX
A different take on the trail running shoe, Wave Daichi 5 GTX is quite a bit heavier, but for a reason. It’s built to truly be an off-road shoe that can conquer any terrain, inline or rough paths. And it’s very comfortable to wear in addition to all that.
They also possess a rubber outsole that’s built to take on any surface you put the shoes on with enough traction to propel you in your run. The upper of Wave Daichi 5 GTX lets the foot breathe, but also protects it from any bruising or debris that might show up.
It’s also good to mention that they are waterproof, so you don’t have to hesitate to go out and run in any conditions.
9. Wave Prodigy 2
Back on the road, the Wave Prodigy 2 is Mizuno’s attempt to make a neutral running shoe that practically anyone could enjoy. The attempt was successful – the shoe is a good fit for just about anybody who has anything to do with running.
The Mizuno Wave allows the shoe’s midsole to keep a soft but still stable structure that can mean the world to the average runner.
They use the U4ic and U4icX foams to achieve ultimate comfort throughout the foot movement, as well as the Parallel Wave Technology in the shoe’s midsole that helps disperse the impact of your step. If you want a smooth ride, Wave Prodigy 2 is the way to go.
10. Wave Daichi 4
If you are looking for a shoe that you can take off-road at any time and on any terrain, the Mizuno Wave Daichi 4 blows the competition out of the water. Their outsole is made from a Michelin rubber compound that the company designed specifically to endure any track and provide traction while doing it.
The seemingly haphazardly placed lugs on the bottom of the shoe are designed to grip the ground beneath them and provide both protection to your foot and a smooth ride that’s not encumbered by the rough terrain.
AP+ is a lightweight foam that runs the entire length of the Wave Daichi 4. Its purpose is to cushion the landing impact generated during the foot-strike and provide an all-around smoother and more stable run.
11. Wave Prophecy 8
The newest addition to the well-established Prophecy line of road-running shoes, the Wave Prophecy 8 hits all the marks when it comes to being a good running shoe that can provide an aspect of stability to any runner out there.
They can also do wonders for under pronators, because of the slight curve to the midsole that guides the foot from the heel to toes when in a running motion.
The upper of the shoe is made of AIRmesh, a very light and breathable material. We have a light running shoe that provides both cushioning and support and promotes the natural movement of the foot. These are all aspects of a running shoe to be reckoned with.
All we can add is that they also look very interesting, which adds to the shoe’s vibe.
12. Wave Equate 4
The most versatile road-running shoe on this list, the Wave Equate 4 provides moderate arch support for overpronators. There’s also a comfortable and balanced midsole, a very light and properly ventilated upper – essentially all you could ask for. They put all of Mizuno’s technologies to use to create a unique running experience that can’t be forgotten soon.
It features the X10 rubber outsole that’s very versatile and is good for any surface or road you put it to, as well as, of course, a mix of U4ic and U4icx foams in the midsole that we’ve discussed at length in this list. A truly well-made shoe that you can wear every day, and still be surprised by how comfortable it is.
Whether you’re looking for a shoe that you can wear every day, either for your daily run, or something more casual, or a hardcore trail running shoe that you can take off-road and into the daring nature trails, Mizuno has the technology to support you.
With the combination of their signature Wave plates, U4ic foam, and X10 rubber soles, you are prepared for any challenge in front of you.
End the year with a blast with Mizuno running shoes that don’t leave a lot to be desired, both in the performance and looks department. The shoes don’t just offer a fantastic running experience – they also look stunning, and you can wear them in casual environments without hesitation.