Mizuno Updates SS15
Mizuno have had a strange year. With the release of their new U4ic foam, they completely shook up their line-up, getting rid of some old favourites, and combining two shoes into one to bring their range into the modern age. I for one am a big fan of Mizuno, and the U4ic foam is a massive step forwards, however their designs have not been to everyone's tastes this year. Let's take a look and see how that will change for SS15
Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy is basically Mizuno's showcase piece. It is them saying 'look at all the technology we have'. However in practice there are very few people who will benefit from its full length infinity wave, designed for the ultimate in shock absorption. You do get some energy return from the spring like sole, however the trade-off is stiffness and weight. A great technical piece, however the practical benefits are generally not worth the price tag.
Mizuno Wave Creation 16
The Mizuno Wave Creation takes the Infinity wave of the Prophecy, and the full length wave of the Enigma, and gives you an incredibly soft and smooth gait. It is still relatively stiff, but no more so than most shoes in its bracket. Using U4ic foam, and a one piece seamless upper, it is the ultimate in luxury from Mizuno.
Mizuno Wave Enigma 5
The Mizuno Wave Enigma is the shoe that sits between the Luxury of the Wave Creation, and the responsive cushioning of the Wave Rider, perfectly filling a void. It is more stable than the Wave Rider thanks to the full length Wave, however, uses a regular wave instead of the Infinity wave seen in the more expensive shoes. This makes it lighter, and also feel softer for everyday use. It is the high mileage version of the Rider, and uses U4ic foam in the midsole, as well as a full length wave, and again a one piece, seamless upper, for zero irritation. Image coming soon.
Mizuno Wave Rider 18
The Mizuno Wave rider series has been a staple neutral shoe for a long time, and is always the lightest in its class. It offers cushioning and flexibility, however until recently had been lagging in terms of stability. With the Wave Rider 17, they upped the stability, and lost weight by switching to U4ic foam, but were not quite there with the design. Now, the Wave Rider 18 looks to take everything learned from the 17 and improve upon it. The U4ic midsole remains, however, the heel has been decoupled slightly more, and the smooth ride has been adjusted to provide an even softer and smoother gait. The upper is now a one piece construction, with minimal stitching (only present around the eyelets), and the mesh feels a little more substantial than before, without gaining any weight. All things considered, this is a shoe to look out for this season.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 11
The Wave Inspire 10 was one of the most talked about shoes this year. Very much a 'love it or hate it' kind of shoe. There was no denying how good it was, but again, the design was a little out there for some, and this actually put a lot of people off, despite the fact it was far superior to the Wave Inspire 9. With the new Wave Inspire 11, they have toned down the design to make it a little more subtle, however keeping with Mizuno's modern characteristics. As with the Wave Rider 18, the Wave Inspire 11 comes with a one piece upper, and a more decoupled heel unit. The wave has received slight tweaks, but the main change here is the holding back in design.
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2
The Mizuno Wave Sayonara was one of my favourite shoes of last year (see my review here), and Mizuno seem to agree, as the only slight changes to this shoe are a slight alteration of the way the overlays have been printed. This is to combat premature wearing of the upper where the foot bends and creases the shoe. This is very much a Mizuno Wave Sayonara 1.2 rather than a new shoe.
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 2
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami is another shoe that I have grown to love this year, and having got a pair to replace my much loved Sayonaras, that's saying a lot. They replaced the Ronin and the Musha, which disappointed some people, but I would not worry, because these are incredible. Light, comfortable, and beyond flexible, they are a racers dream. This second version uses a U4ic midsole, a light mesh upper, and appear very minimal (and feel it too) despite having a 9mm heel. They also use fewer overlays than the first version, and I think they look fantastic too. I will be writing and filming a review soon, so stay tuned for that.
Mizuno Wave Paradox
Again, a love it/hate it kind of design, more leaning towards the hate for most people. It was certainly a talking point, and that is exactly what Mizuno wanted it to be. Replacing the tame looking Nirvana and Alchemy, the idea was that people would see it on the shelf and be drawn to it. However in practice, people were drawn to it, but would lean towards something else, because of the way it looked. Functionally, it was very good, however I'm hoping for the Paradox 2, we'll see them tone things down a tad, and look more like the new Wave Rider 18 and Wave Inspire 11