In today's market, each running shoe manufacturers has a "top tier" model in the stability category, and the Wave Horizon is Mizuno's top offering in that category.
This new Horizon 4 is a vastly different shoe than last year's model, from toe to heel. Weighing in at over 12 ounces for men's, U.S. size 12, the Horizon was built to last more than a few miles.
The Mizuno Company was founded in 1906 by the brothers Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno, in Osaka, Japan. During the early years, the company manufactured baseball uniforms, baseball gloves, and shoes, helping to make baseball one of the most popular sports in Japan today.
Mizuno began making spiked track shoes in 1928, and interestingly, the familiar Mizuno logo used today is known as the "RunBird".
Today, Mizuno manufactures a wide variety of sporting equipment from Running to Rugby, and all Mizuno products are widely considered to be of the highest quality.
The generous rubber found in this outsole is made from high quality, and durable blown rubber material, which runs the full length of the shoe in four discrete sections. These sections are separated by flex grooves, which extend up into the midsole.
The simplicity and straight forward design of the outsole stands in sharp contrast to the rather complicated construction of the midsole.
Rather than a plastic Waveplate, there is a combination of three different foams types, U4ic, U4ic-X, and the new XPOP, a PU (Polyurethane) foam.
Each of these three foam materials is sized, shaped, and positioned, with the XPOP being encapsulated by the surrounding U4ic foam to provide stability, cushioning and a suitable ride for the occupant.
This type of engineering is being called "Geometric Stability".
The Mizuno upper is constructed of a double Jacquard engineered mesh, with printed and adhesive mounted overlays, along with some well-placed stitching at the heel and around the row of lace eyelets.
There is an internal toe box stiffener, assuring the runner plenty of toe space.
The tongue is secured to an internal bootie, keeping it from sliding to the side and eliminating the need for a lace-loop.
The front edge of the tongue is neatly sewn to the upper, for no chance of chafing, an area of most shoes that is overlooked.
Although thin and extra-long, the laces did stay tied during my runs, with a simple knot. The collar is medium-plush but firm, providing comfort without chafing.
The generous sock liner adds to the overall cushioning of this model, and it is removable. In addition, there is a large and effective reflector on the rear of the shoe, easily visible for 1/4 mile away.
Performance on the road
It would not be fair to the Horizon to say that this shoe is not fun. However, the Mizuno Horizon 4 did not, on any of my runs, prompt me to pick up the pace simply because it felt good.
Running, for me, should be an enjoyable and satisfying activity, with smiles interspersed amongst the grimaces.
It took me a while to discover that if I ran on my forefoot-midfoot only, I could enjoy a degree of normalcy. Going to a heel strike and expecting a nice smooth heel-to-toe transition resulted in some disappointment, even after 50 miles.
If I were 20 or 25 lbs, heavier, I am fairly confident that the ride of these shoes would be terrific, as the actual cushioning of both the forefoot and heel are superb.
I have also discovered that the Horizon 4's are very well suited for colder days, as its uppers and toe boxes add extra protection from numbing winter winds. However, this same characteristic may make for lack of ventilation during the summer.
With a new park in town, I was as able to try running on some gravel trails, and this is something that I have been enjoying with the Horizons.
I have found that these big shoes really do isolate your feet from all those sharp little rocks on the trails, and are stable on even irregular surfaces.
The traction is excellent on both wet and dry surfaces, including those dangerous painted-on road stripes.
Following the testing of this these shoes, I will be donating them to an orphanage in Tanzania, my other donation point in New England has announced that they will no longer accept used shoes of any sort.
- Price (reasonable for this quality)
- Weight (not unusual for this type)
- Choppy ride (for my weight)
- Model: Wave, Horizon 4
- Model: Mizuno Wave Horizon 4
- Size tested: 12 US / 46 EU
- Weight: 12.8 oz. / 364 grams
- Pronation: Stability
- Heel-toe offset: 10 mm
- Cost: $160.00 USD
To put it simply, my entire attitude towards running was changed because of those Reeboks Forever Floatride Energy 2s, where my feet have found their true "sole mates".
I am sure that somewhere out there, a shoe such as that is in your future as well. And, if you weigh 165 lbs or more, then these Mizuno Horizon 4s just might be those shoes.
Do you overpronate when you run? If so, try Mizuno’s State-Of-The-Art “Wave Horizon 4” running shoes.
If runners can stop their foot from rolling inward their injury rate decreases. Naturally, the ability to run higher mileage then increases and goals become achievable.
Mizuno’s 2020 running shoe advancements cannot be underestimated or ignored. Unfortunately, a picture cannot educate consumers, but once Wave Horizon 4 is held in your hand, tried on and ran in you will feel differences, unlike other brands.
Type: stability trainer
Weight: 9.2 oz (women's) / 11.03 oz (men's)
Surface: road pavement / Track
Technology: XPOP PU Wave Foams
Drop: 10 mm
Mizuno offers 3 colors for women - gray, mauve, blue, and 3 colors for men - gray, black, blue.
The best thing about choosing gray is the neutral color matches everything! Initially, I thought the lighter color would show the dirt, but it really doesn’t. Even if they do get dirty, the repellent material cleans up well with a bit of soap and water.
Mizuno crafted an extra roomy and rather wide fitting upper to the Wave 4’s. If you’re a runner who appreciates extra material with no restriction in the toe box, then this is your shoe! For me, however, I prefer a tighter, snugger upper, especially across the forefoot.
Runners will feel flexibility across the forefoot and on both sides of the shoes. The material's texture feels ultra-smooth and comfortable to run in.
When put to the road test under various weather conditions, durability was a plus. Wave Horizon 4’s easily conquered 400+ miles with no rips, holes, or tears whatsoever! In fact, instead of retiring these shoes completely, they have the potential for great walking shoes.
Of course, feet always swell up and sweat during long workouts, but this is where Wave Horizon 4’s extra-large breathable mesh comes in handy. Look how wide the mesh layering is across the forefoot.
The bigger vent holes provide generous airflow to whisk away excess moisture. During hot summer months, these features are very appreciative!
Mizuno did miss the mark, however when they made Horizon 4’s shoelaces. The shortened length is inconvenient and frustrating to double knot!
When I decide to go out for a run I want to put on my shoes efficiently and out the door, I go! I don’t know about you, but double knotting isn’t optional, it’s mandatory and shouldn’t take up any extra time.
The tongue, on the other hand, scores a home run! The high-quality material is stretchy, well-padded, and longer in length. Best of all, Mizuno cleverly stitched the tongue to the additional fabric on both sides. I love how I can grab the tongue, lay them out effortlessly, and never worry about bundling or folding up.
Various overlays are found throughout the Wave Horizon 4’s. Most visible is Mizuno's logo on every side along with rubberized strips for design.
Unique overlays add fashion and character, but they also add additional weight to the overall shoes. Consumers may notice Mizuno has significantly scaled back on overlays. Perhaps next time they’ll do so even more to create a lighter shoe.
The Horizon Wave midsoles have taken on a drastic change compared to their predecessors. Mizuno completely eliminated the plastic midsole plates they formerly used. Now the shoes feel much lighter due to multi foam layered midsoles. Running feels easier because the impact distributes evenly which allows for a smoother ride.
Mizuno’s “3 tired cushioning” concept proves to be responsive time after time. Before long I came to rely on having an extra bounce in each step!
Most impressive is how well the “XPOP PU Foam” holds up especially when pushing the extra miles. Oftentimes legs get fatigued and feel prone to injury, but these cushioned “foam wave” midsoles truly make all the difference.
Mizuno manufactured a rubber outsole with some serious gripping ability. If runners don’t pick up their feet they’ll scuff the ground every so often.
This can be quite annoying, yet a mindful reality check. Eventually, I came to appreciate Wave Horizon 4’s great traction especially on wet pavement and trail running.
Understandably, the tread will erode after 300+ miles of continuous heel striking. The outsoles are still quite durable in spite of hitting the pavement on a daily basis.
One day a tiny stone becomes lodged between the grooves, it caused no discomfort whatsoever. In fact, I never knew it was there until I turned them over in the long run. Overall, I’d say Wave 4’s outsoles will easily stand the test of time.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 has a sturdy, well-made heel counter. Heels will slide in and instantly cup a runner's foot for extra support and stability.
Runners will never feel slippage, rubbing along the sides, or excess foot movement. This is extraordinary because they appear roomy around the ankles and once a small stone did work its way in, but that was a rare instance.
Remarkably, after extensive mileage, the back of these shoes look brand new! Both heel counters stand strong and durable with no early signs of breaking break down.
- Provides firm stability
- Prevents rolling inward
- Durable/long lasting
- Moderately priced
- Wide toe box
- Roomy heel counters
- Bit heavy in weight
- Extra short shoelaces
Running is thriving like no other sport and Mizuno USA remains in the game by releasing the Wave Horizon 4, their best stability shoe yet!
When runners stop their foot from rolling inward, injuries occur less, and their ability to run longer distances occur. For this reason alone, Wave Horizon 4’s are well worth the investment.
No doubt, running faster, farther, and injury-free is a runner's dream. While Mizuno cannot guarantee your athletic ability, they will guarantee their shoes being “free from defects in workmanship and materials, under normal use, for the applicable warranty period”.
Mizuno USA definitely takes pride in their final products and sometimes it even rubs off on us runners!
Keep smiling because you’re injury-free wearing Mizuno!
The Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 is a new, sleeker-looking version from the highly cushioned Mizuno Wave series. Mizuno claims that the Wave Foam cushioning experience is designed to make you feel like you’re “floating”.
After 50 miles, here are my thoughts.
Look and fit
The color that I received, the Vapor Blue-White, looked quite sleek. There weren’t a huge amount of unnecessary overlays, and knit upper was clean and comfy looking.
The fit at the toe box was a little big, and the shoes slipped under my feet quite a few times. The tip of the heel cup also cut into the back of my feet sometimes, causing chafing.
The material was comfy, though. The lacing system and the tongue were both solid.
I found the AIRMesh upper to be especially comfy, both when running or just walking around. Also quite breathable. It did get muddy when running in the trails but was good for the most part.
After reading on the site that the foam would make me feel like I’m “floating”, I was quite disappointed. To me, it felt airy but unresponsive.
Each foot landing felt soft on contact, but I didn’t feel much of the energy coming back or bouncing me back. Not sure if it was because of the midsole or the upper, but the shoes just felt bulky and heavy in general.
Although possibly favored by other runners, the 10mm drop did not work for me. No matter how hard I tried to avoid landing on the heel, I got the sense that the shoes were leaning me back.
Fifty miles isn’t a lot of distance for a pair of running shoes, but so far there’s no sign of wear. The X10 outsole provided good grip on the road and is made of quite a hardy material.
I wouldn’t be able to say the same about it on the trails, however. Going downhill on trails proved to be tough, as I often slipped, whether it be from the lack of grip or from the oversized toe box.
Due to the heaviness and lack of responsiveness, I only took these out for slow-paced recovery runs. For $160, I was disappointed in how they performed.
The best word to describe how these shoes feel would be “poofy”. They’re soft, yes, but also heavy and clunky. The stack height felt too tall, and I didn’t have as much foot control as I wanted to, especially on narrower roads and trails with corners.
The one thing I felt this shoe was really good at was the downhills. I could speed down a steep hill while feeling minimal pain from the ground impact or any rocks.
The arch support felt a bit much as well. It interfered with the natural biomechanics of my feet and caused some Achilles pain after longer runs.
In conclusion, The Mizuno Wave Horizon 4, is a cushioned, soft shoe that is way too heavy and ultimately lacks in responsiveness. It can work for beginners and overpronators that just want a trainer that protects their feet.
I wouldn’t recommend the pair to most people, as the arch support can be an annoyance. It was also difficult to navigate the trails and turn corners with such a bulky shoe on my feet.
The upper and fit were mostly good, and the shoe looked good, so I’ll give it that. But for $160, this shoe does not deliver what it claims it can.
I like the design of the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4. It is very bulky, unlike a traditional running shoe that has a sleeker kind of look. Just because something is bulky doesn’t mean it has a bad design, it just means that its a different style.
This shoe also has a few different colors that while not numerous will go with most outfits. Overall, I would not detract from the shoe based on the design.
When I first saw the Wave Horizon 4, I thought that they would not be comfortable and feel like bricks, and when I first wore them, they didn’t feel that good.
However, after a few runs, I broke in the shoes, and they became much more comfortable. The cushion itself is pretty good, but it’s not the best.
So, overall, it’s pretty comfortable but compared to brands that specialize in cushion-like Hoka’s I would just put the Wave Horizon as mediocre. In my most recent runs, my feet have felt comfortable, and my knees have felt fine.
So far most of the runs I have done in the Wave Horizon have been recovered and a few faster runs. I would have to say based on my runs I have done slower runs are definitely better for these road shoes. Simply put these shoes are too bulky to run tempo runs or any real fast workout such as intervals.
A shoe that is a little on the bulkier side isn’t bad, but these shoes are just too much.
On my recovery runs in these, I feel fine but don’t expect to have the best run of your life while wearing these or setting any Pr’s.
We should address the elephant in the room; these shoes are 160 dollars. I believe that is an outrageous price for these shoes. I believe, however, that over time this price will most likely go down after enough time.
So far, I have run only around 100 miles in these shoes, so I don’t really have much to say about the durability except that they have been holding up fine and I expect them to last around 400 miles.
My pros for this shoe is the cushion and comfort while my cons are the bulk and the price.
Keep in mind that I have not included the price of the shoe in my final score. I am just using the price to give another detractor to the shoes. I don’t include the price of the shoes because I believe that the score of the shoe should be based off-quality not price.
The cushion is nice, but I think that other shoes have just as much cushion and bulk but feel much smoother while running.
Throughout this review, I have bashed on these shoes a lot, but in reality, I don’t think they are bad or horrendous shoes. I just think that there are better options.
The fourth edition of the Mizuno Wave Horizon has undergone several changes to provide better cushioning and support compared to its predecessors. Instead of using the usual plastic Wave Plate technology, this stability running shoe utilizes the new Mizuno Foam Wave for a floating-like running experience.
The Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 also incorporates XPOP technology, which delivers long-lasting comfort and responsiveness. The Mizuno Foam Wave and XPOP technology are working together for a more comfortable and secure fit.
An updated thread pattern is also integrated into the outsole of this road running shoe. The outsole delivers an improved grip on various surfaces.
The technical components that affect the fit of the shoe include the AeroHug Fit. This midfoot construction offers a secure and comfortable fit while running. Other elements that influence the shoe’s comfort are the lacing system and padded tongue. These features allow for a customized and snugger in-shoe feel.
A highly durable carbon rubber called X10 technology is used in the outsole of the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4. This rubber material is positioned in high wear areas for exceptional durability. It ensures maximum grip and gives a secure hold on various surfaces. The X10 outsole is also utilized in the Mizuno Wave Creation 20 and Mizuno Wave Inspire 15.
Every time the foot strikes the ground, the SmoothRide Engineering starts up with its flex grooves in the back. This technology encourages natural foot motion, resulting in more stable running experience.
This Mizuno running shoe features the innovative XPOP PU foam for a cloud-like running experience. The XPOP PU foam is one of Mizuno’s advanced midsole technology, which is made from PU foam that offers high energy return and soft cushioning without compromising durability.
The XPOP PU foam is coupled with the Mizuno Wave technology to ensure lasting comfort and stability. The Foam Wave midsole is created using two soft materials, combined in a wave-shaped design for a unique shock absorption quality. This structure delivers added stability and guides the foot for a more natural running gait.
A soft insole is also included in the shoe for extra cushioning. Aside from providing another layer of comfort, this element also offers added underfoot protection.
AeroHug technology is incorporated into the upper of the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 for a comfortable and secure fit. This component is positioned in the midfoot area to securely hold the foot in place while running.
The soft mesh fabric maintains a high level of breathability, keeping the foot dry and cool throughout the day. This material also protects the foot from the elements.
The lace-up closure is used for a personalized in-shoe feel. The shoelaces allow the runner to fasten the shoe as comfortable as possible for a pleasant wearing experience. A padded tongue is also featured in this running shoe for a snugger fit.
Size and fit
How Wave Horizon 4 compares
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