Mizuno is a Japanese company which manufactures a range of equipment and apparel for various sports. To name a few, it develops products for football, golf, skiing, tennis, badminton and baseball. In the running world, Mizuno running shoes remain one of the top choices for both beginner and professional runners because they possess the right blend of performance, comfort, and style. If you’re looking for your very own pair of Mizuno running shoes, use this guide to help you choose the best one.
What’s the story behind Mizuno?
In 1906, Rihachi Mizuno and his younger brother Rizo found MIZUNO Brothers Ltd in Osaka. The shop sold Western items, including baseballs. The brothers were hoping to increase the interest of the American sport in Japan. In the next years, Mizuno expanded their company, focusing mainly on manufacturing their own baseballs and gloves, as well as golf clubs – the first ever golf clubs that are Japanese-made. It wasn’t until 1941 that the company name was changed to Mizuno Co., Ltd, and has remained the same ever since.
In the running industry, it was during the 1980’s that Mizuno made major developments that contributed to who they are as a brand today. As the company dedicated itself to research, experimenting, and innovation, it produced high-quality performance products while being grounded in their Japanese heritage. Eventually, they created the most prominent Mizuno Technology which most of their modern shoes are equipped with. They name it the Mizuno Wave, and the rest is history.
The interesting history of Mizuno’s runbird logo
Way back, the Mizuno logo used to just be a simple letter “M”. It wasn’t until 1980 when Noboru Kono, the then leader of Mizuno’s product research and design division at in Osaka, was given the task to revamp and update Mizuno’s “M” logo to better represent the values and views of the company.
The task was work-intensive, but the new logo took its form after more than a year of brainstorming. Kono and his team decided on two words that best represented the concept in their minds: “Run” which is related to health and sports, and “Bird” which symbolizes free-spiritedness in the Japanese culture.
Several revisions were made over the years to make the Runbird logo more aggressive and streamlined. Fast forward to today, Mizuno’s Runbird is one of the few marks in the sporting industry that’s easily recognizable.
What’s so special about a Mizuno running shoe?
When designing and manufacturing a Mizuno running shoe, Mizuno’s main goal of enhancing an athlete’s performance is always kept in mind. This means that every pair is made with quality construction and specific technologies that cater to the different needs of a runner. Aside from focusing on a runner’s performance, each pair also ensures that the runner is comfortable and supported throughout any type of run.
Whether used for road or trail running, during training or long runs, Mizuno’s commitment is evident. The shoe brand is frequently mentioned in over 100,000 shoe reviews, not only for its quality and technologies but, for its style and comfort.
In addition, with several years of shoe production and development under its belt, the brand also boasts of a wide selection of Mizuno women’s running shoes, as well as of men’s. Runners have a wide range of shoes to choose from. For example, Mizuno didn’t just focus on making shoes for road running. They also developed Mizuno trail running shoes. On top of this, Mizuno also developed a minimalist shoe, several stability shoes for overpronators, and some designed specifically for competition running.
To some it all up, Mizuno running shoes are well loved by runners because they are well-constructed, stylish, comfortable, supportive (in the case of overpronators), and runners have a wide variety to choose from.
Common Mizuno running shoes technologies
Another reason why a Mizuno running shoe is special is because of the specific technologies that goes with it. Yes, there are Mizuno techs that you can also be found in other brands, but the most unique and notable tech of them all would be the Mizuno Wave. In this section, we are going to take a look at common technologies that are equipped on the best Mizuno running shoes:
As mentioned, the Mizuno Wave is the most popular Mizuno technology. The best Mizuno running shoes for the road and the trail have this technology equipped in their midsoles. Basically, the Mizuno wave is a plate that can deliver both cushioning and stability. Yes, from the name, the plate is shaped like a wave. However, there are different waves for different needs:
Parallel Wave - The Parallel Wave is usually found on neutral Mizuno running shoes. This type of wave doesn’t offer much support but it does minimally keep the foot in place during runs. Its main purpose is to deliver the right amount of cushioning while evenly distributing the impacting forces throughout the midsole. Take a look at Mizuno Wave Ultima 9.
Infinity Wave - The Infinity Wave plate is the most visible one of them all. It looks like two plates sitting together, with cushioning pillars in between. Its design allows it to deliver durability, dependable cushioning, and a consistently smooth ride. Check out the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 7.
Fan Wave - The Fan Wave plate is specifically for support. This component can be found on stability Mizuno shoes. As it provides cushioning and energy dispersion, it also brings support on areas where overpronators need it the most. The Fan Wave can be found on the Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4.
Double Fan Wave - The Double Fan Wave is like two Fan Wave plates stacked together. Commonly, this plate can also be found on stability Mizuno running shoes because of its supportive properties. In function, it’s similar to the single Fan Wave, but with more support for overpronators. This feature can be found on the Mizuno Wave Paradox 5.
This next technology is called Dyanamotion Fit. Mizuno used advanced motion capture and biomechanics technology to make a blueprint that was designed to create shoes that adapt to the runner’s movement, while going through each phase of the gait cycle. The Mizuno Wave Rider 22, for example, has this technology on the forefoot area of its upper to promote optimal movement and to deliver a fit that feels comfortable and customized.
The U4ic is a Mizuno technology that’s for the midsole. It’s a material that provides a good amount of cushioning without sacrificing the smoothness of the shoe’s ride and its excellent responsiveness. On top of this, it is approximately 30% lighter than the standard midsole material. You’ll be able to see this technology on the Mizuno Wave Sky 2.
The U4icX is similar to the U4ic but softer and more lightweight. This is usually placed on the heel area of a shoe, as a wedge, to cushion the foot during the landing phase. It also gives the underside of the foot a softer feel. Check out the heel of Mizuno Synchro MX.
From its name, the Smooth Ride engineering aims to minimize the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot while it is transitioning through each phase of the running cycle. The result is the smoothest ride one can imagine. The Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2 has this technology.
Types of Mizuno running shoes on RunRepeat
Whether you’re looking for women’s Mizuno running shoes or men’s, you will surely find what you need on RunRepeat. We’ve spent countless hours aggregating reviews of new Mizuno running shoe releases in the market. Then, we’ve categorized the best Mizuno running shoes according to parameters like arch support, usage, features, and terrain. For example, there are Mizuno trail running shoes as well as ones for the road. There are also several stability and neutral running shoe options, and so on.
Each one is given a CoreScore, a 0-100 score that will show you how positively or negatively a shoe was reviewed. The higher the CoreScore, the better the reviews. Let’s take a look at different types of shoes on the site:
According to terrain
Typically, there are two types of Mizuno running shoes based on terrain. There’s the road shoe which is for road running, working out, and daily use. There’s also the trail running shoe which is better built to tackle the harsh trail.
Mizuno road running shoes are specifically designed to meet the runner’s needs while on common surfaces like asphalt or wood. Though these running shoes are named Road Shoes, they can also be used for gym workouts or just as everyday sneakers. As an example, the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 is a comfortable road shoe with a classic look and an affordable price. It was found to be a suitable all-around shoe.
Mizuno trail running shoes were designed to be robust. Commonly, trail running has higher demands than road running because of the uneven terrain and different weather conditions. Runners could encounter puddles and objects on the trail that could cause injury. A trail running shoe will address all of these needs.
The Mizuno Wave Hayate 4, for instance, has a Michelin outsole – yes, the Michelin that manufactures tires – which is tough. It delivers sufficient traction on the trail, and it also has an ESS rockplate which serves as extra protection for the bottom of the runner’s foot.
According to arch support
Next, there is the type of Mizuno running shoe that’s based on arch support. Your arch is the curved part at the bottom of your foot. When your arch is more pronounced, it could cause rigidity. Typically, our foot rolls inward when running. With a pronounced arch, the foot may not be rolling inward at all, or just rolling in slightly. This is known as underpronation.
A medium arch, on the other hand, is the most common. When you have a medium arch, your foot rolls inward normally or pronation. Lastly, there are people with low to no arches. This can cause an excessive inward rolling of the foot, also known as overpronation. If you want to read more about arch support, we have a study which you can access here.
Mizuno neutral running shoes - Neutral shoes we’re designed for people with an average arch. An average arch is ideal because it allows the foot to roll inward correctly, as already mentioned. On RunRepeat there are several neutral running shoes from Mizuno. An example of this is the Wave Creation 19, which was well received because of its fit, quality, and cushioning.
Mizuno stability running shoes - Stability shoes, on the other hand, control overpronation. Usually, it has a component which stabilizes the foot. In the case of the Mizuno Wave Horizon 2, its wave plate is mainly responsible for doing the pronation control. It is also the same component which gives the midsole its cushioning.
How to easily find the best Mizuno running shoes on RunRepeat
In this guide, we’ve learned so much about Mizuno Running shoes. Now, it’s time for find your best pair. To easily do this while you are on the RunRepeat, make use of the following filters:
On the upper right part of the list, you’ll find a drop down menu with CoreScore, Popularity, Price, Discount and Newest. As a default, the shoes will be sorted according to their CoreScore.
By using this Sorting tool, you’ll be able to see the top shoes based on your preference. For example, if you want to see more affordable options, you can choose to sort the list according to “Price”.
Now that you’ve sorted the list, you can refine your results even further by using the filters on the side. There’s a “Gender” filter, which shows you the Mizuno running shoes women’s version or the Mizuno running shoe men’s version.
Other filters include Terrain, Weight, Width, Number of Reviews, and so on. You may want to focus on the “Features” filter which can which show you the results of Mizuno running shoes with the right feature. If you choose, “Lightweight” for example, you will see all the lightweight Mizuno Running shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know my right size for Mizuno running shoes?
The best way to check the right size of a Mizuno Runnin shoe is to go to a physcal store and then try a pair yourself. However, if you are shopping online, you’ll have to refer to Mizuno’s size chart (you can access it here). You can also check out other resources online that accurately describe the fit and sizing of the shoe you want. Another alternative is to read reviews carefully.
In a nutshell, you’ll know that you got a pair of Mizuno Running shoes in the right size if you feel comfortable while using them, your toes are not pinched, and your heel feels supported but not constricted.
2. How do I pick the right Mizuno running shoe?
It all depends on how you define “right”. The Mizuno running shoe should meet all of your needs and preferences. For example, if you’re looking for an everyday shoe that you can occassionally use to the gym, choose a Mizuno Road Running shoe. It can have a neutral arch, sufficient cushioning for that comfort you’re looking for, and an outsole that delivers enough traction.
On the other hand, if your definition of right is a light or minimalist Mizuno running shoe for training, then it should have a low drop and minimal features so you can focus on your speed. However, if it’s a Mizuno trail running shoe you are looking for, your pair should be pack with features that allow you to conquer any type of terrain.
3. What’s the difference between a neutral Mizuno running shoe and a stability one?
A neutral shoe is for runners whose feet are rolling inward correctly or pronating. Typically, a Mizuno neutral running shoe will not have all the bells and the whistles. It’s going to be more straightforward with a design that focuses on comfort, cushioning and responsiveness.
Meanwhile, a stability shoe is for those whose feet are rolling inward too much or overpronating. As mentioned in the earlier part of this guide, a Mizuno Stability running shoe will typically have a component that controls the excessive rolling. In Mizuno running shoes, it’s usually a specific type of Mizuno Wave technology that promotes proper body mechanics and corrects the overponation.
4. Can I still use stability shoes even though I have neutral arches?
For years, this has been a topic that’s debated in the running community. RunRepeat was able to analyze 150+ studies and resources that discussed arch support. In our analysis, we’ve concluded that runners can use stability shoes even if they have neutral arches provided that they feel comfortable in the shoe. If a neutral runner runs in a stability shoe and experiences some pain, it may not be an ideal shoe to wear. It all depends on your comfort.
5. What Mizuno running shoe should I wear if I want to run a marathon?
When it comes to shoes that you can use for a competition or marathon, it all boils down to your preference. If you’re running long-distances, your pair has to be very comfortable and well-cushioned. If it’s a competition that’s speedier, you may want to check out minimalist shoes. However, to make things easier, you can check out Mizuno running shoes for competition here.
15 best Mizuno running shoes
Mizuno Wave Rider 23
Mizuno Wave Sky 2
Mizuno Wave Inspire 15
Mizuno Wave Rider 22
Mizuno Wave Shadow 2
Mizuno Wave Creation 20
Mizuno Wave Shadow 3
Mizuno WaveKnit R2
Mizuno Wave Sky WaveKnit 3
Mizuno Wave Creation 19
Mizuno WaveKnit C1
Mizuno Wave Shadow
Mizuno Wave Prophecy 7
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3
Mizuno Wave Prophecy 8
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78.