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The Mizuno Wave Horizon 4: Something very new on the Horizon

95
/100 by Frank DuCett, posted on .
This is a review from one expert, and reflects personal opinions. Learn what 8 other runners think of this shoe and see colorways at the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 main page.

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 company

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.

Outsole

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.

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".

Upper

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.

In my experience, as a 147 lb half-marathoner who feels at home in most stability running shoes, including the Asics GT 2000 and the Nike Structure, I was not initially at home in the Horizon.

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.

Pros

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Cushioning
  • Reflectorization

Cons

  • Price (reasonable for this quality)
  • Weight (not unusual for this type)
  • Choppy ride (for my weight)

Specifications

  • 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

Conclusion

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.

Frank DuCett | Level 5 expert Verified
My name is Frank DuCett, living and running in the Heartland of America. My love is the long lonesome road half marathons of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. My training of 20 - 30 miles weekly is dedicated to staying under 2 1/2 hours for the 13.1 mile distance into my 70s and beyond. I run alone and without earbuds, enjoying the solitude and true sensations of the act.

Wave Horizon 4 - Cushioned but blunky

81
/100 by Micah Hoang, posted on .
This is a review from one expert, and reflects personal opinions. Learn what 8 other runners think of this shoe and see colorways at the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 main page.

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.

Upper

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.

 

Midsole

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.

Outsole

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.

Running experience

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.

Summary

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.

Very few people would (or should spend that amount of money on this pair, as there are many other options out there that are much more enjoyable (Asics, Brooks).

Micah Hoang | Level 3 expert Verified
I’ve been running for 5 years, and I run anywhere from 30-50 miles a week. I compete in cross country 5ks, as well as the 1600 and 3200 in track season. I’ve also competed in 10k and half marathon road races. My favorite brand is New Balance, as I’ve been wearing their shoes for a long time.

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4- A hefty shoe

85
/100 by Bailey Heidingsfelder, posted on .
This is a review from one expert, and reflects personal opinions. Learn what 8 other runners think of this shoe and see colorways at the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 main page.

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. 

 

Mizuno-Wave-Horizon-4-running-shoe-1.jpg

 

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.

 

Mizuno-Wave-Horizon-4-midsole-2.jpg

Comfort/cushion 

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.

 

Mizuno-Wave-Horizon-4-upper.jpg

Performance

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. 

 

Mizuno-Wave-Horizon-4-heel-cup.jpg

 

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.

Price

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.

But for the moment, these shoes are simply too much when you can find shoes that are better or the same for much less (Ravenna 10, Bondi 6, etc.). 

 

Mizuno-Wave-Horizon-4-outsole-1.jpg

Durability

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. 

Conclusion

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.

Bailey Heidingsfelder | Level 2 expert Verified
Hello, I'm Bailey, a varsity high school runner. Over the past season, I have averaged around 45 miles per week with a high of 50. The majority of my races are three miles, where I have a PR of 17:25. My favorite shoes, so far, would have to be my Ravenna 10's and Bondi 6's. Running is my passion and helping someone else with their running makes me happy.

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