Exciting times over at Mizuno
Mizuno are known for making light shoes, and being ahead of the curve in this department. However, in recent years, many brands have developed new ways to decrease the weights of their shoes, and Mizuno have seemingly sat back and watched it happen. Other brands have caught up, and Mizuno are now no longer the go to brand for a lightweight shoe. However, all that is about to swing back in Mizuno's favour. R&D have been working quietly behind the scenes to bring us something that is quite frankly, incredible. The introduction of a new foam called U4ic (euphoric). It offers the same level of cushioning and durability as their previous lightest foam AP+, but weighs a whole 30% less. I don't know the specifics of how they've done it, but I can only assume witchcraft. With this new change in mind, the lineup is going to drastically change as well. The first shoe to include this new U4ic foam is the Sayonara:
Mizuno Wave Sayonara
The Wave Sayonara is the replacement for both the Precision and the Elixir, combining the best elements form both shoes. It is marketed as a lightweight racing shoe, that can stand up to regular everyday use as well. It offers a little in terms of support, but only for Mild over-pronators. Tipping the scales at just 230g, it is phenomeonally light, and the design is another step in the right direction. It has a practically seamless upper, and produces a very comfortable fit. Using minimal overlays, that have been hot-melted on, again, weight has been saved, and there will be less irritation as a result.
Mizuno Wave Enigma 3
The second shoe to us the foam is an existing silo, in the form of the Waave Enigma 3. This is effectively the shoe that sits above the Wave Rider, and as a result is a little heavier, and a little plusher. However this new version weighs in at 310g, which for a top level cushioned shoe, is very good. It weighs 40g less than the previous version, which is an amazing feat, as it contains all the technology of the last shoe, including a full length wave plate, and superb cushioning, with smooth ride technology as well. Think of this in the same breath as an Asics Nimbus (325g) and you're about there.
Mizuno Wave Paradox
Like with the Sayonara, the Wave Paradox will be replacing 2 shoes; the Nirvana and the Alchemy. It promises the same support as the Alchemy, with the comfort of the Nirvana. The details on this are hard to pin down, however, what we do know, is that the design is very striking, and is in a similar vein to the Sayonara. The reaosning behind it is that it will look like a shoe that you can pick up off the shelf a little more easily. With the Nirvana, and the Alchemy, both have blended into the background, and not really caught the eye. Again, this shoe will offer the U4ic midsle, so promises to be pretty light all things considered.
Mizuno Wave Hitogami
Again, we have a replacement for 2 popular racing flats in one shoe; the Wave Ronin and the Wave Musha. The shoe will be called the Wave Hitogami, meaning 'Man-God'. Again, it promises the best of both previous shoes, and again will use the U4ic midsole so you can be sure it will be very light. The weight difference between this new shoe, and the previous versions will be less than the other shoes mentioned, due to the thin midsole used, but, it will definitely be lighter. The design of this shoe is a little plainer than the other unconfirmed named shoes, but does not slack in this department.
Mizuno Wave Rider 17
The Wave Rider has received a similar treatment to all the shoes mentioned so far. Much lighter than the current Wave Rider 16's, the upper has had an overhaul, and looks a lot cleanrer and crisper. It uses fewer overlays, and looks excellent. TheSmooth Ride has evolved , and no longer exists in the way we know it. Instead, the outsole wraps around the foota little, and flares up the sides of the midsole slightly to provide a smoother ride. These are due for release around Christmas, and will cost £105
Mizuno Wave Inspire 10
Again, the Inspire has had an overhaul. The midsole (you guessed it) will be U4ic, and the wave plate has been altered slightly. Instead of using 2 waves, they have combined it to become one wave, that promises to be lighter, and stronger than the previous model. The midsole flares in a similar way to the Rider, and again promises a smooth ride. These are due for release around Christmas, and will cost £105
Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 will also contain the U4ic foam, however this will not make a huge difference in weight, as only a minimal midsole is used, with the majority of the cushioning coming from the full length infinity wave. However, what will save wight is the upper. This has been revamped, and again uses minimal verlays, and a lightweight mesh to offer a triking design, and a much lighter shoe.
Mizuno Wave Creation 15
You must have noticed a pattern by now... The Wave Creation receives the same treatment in getting an overhaul. Using an infinity wave in the heel, and U4ic foam in the rest, it has become a great deal lighter, and still offers the same structure and cushioning as the previous model. The upper has again received an overhaul, and has saved weight.
Mizuno Wave Universe 5
This shoe is ridiculously light. It weighs less than the socks I'm wearing. Weighing in at just 86g (you read that correctly), it is a racing flat for the true speed machine. It even contains a Wave plate in the heel, but this shoe is incredibly light. When it was handed to me, my hand genuinely lifted up, and I could not believe it was happening.
All in all, I am very excited about this new lineup, and having seen the range, can only applaud Mizunos design and Research and Development teams, as it looks to be a very exciting time over at Mizuno HQ.
All Mizuno shoes are available through the following sites, and all the new ones will appear as and when they are released.
Images are courtesy of Sportsshoes.com and Mizuno.eu