Mizuno is a brand known for its pursuit of excellence in sporting goods for over a century. In keeping with its Japanese roots, each product is developed using a scientific approach and skilled craftsman. Mizuno is committed to the cause of promoting sports with superior quality products.
In 1997, Mizuno first developed the Wave shoe functionality which incorporates cushioning and stability in the making of a shoe. Since then Mizuno has produced several editions of this feature. Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4, the new entrant of the wave series has retained the best from its predecessors while also evolving a great deal. Read on to find out what this latest edition has on offer.
A road running shoe for people with neutral pronation, Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 sports the same façade as the older variants but a lot has changed under the hood. It has retained the stitched overlays with the brand’s logo appearing in the very same position. However, the mesh is a lot more robust looking while also remaining breathable. The true evolution is in its components.
By far the most colorful looking series in the Mizuno brand, the Hitogami is lined with a network of grooves on the base making its platform more suitable for natural foot movements.
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 follows the regular size preferences of runners. The men and women’s versions are of medium width. This running shoe is semi-curved shaped and thus easily adapts to the natural curve of the foot.
A worthy member of the lightweight category, Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 for men weighs 220 g and for women weighs 190 g.
The riot of colors that the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 sports are upheld by AIRmesh, a breathable material which forms the uppermost fabric of the shoe. This time the mesh is a lot more tightly woven making it more robust and yet breathable when compared to the older variant. Stitched overlays and the Mizuno logo have been retained. The Dynamotion Fit technology uses a stretchable material to provide a well-rounded collar in the front of the upper. It easily conforms to the shape and movement of the foot and prevents wobbling at the time of running.
The Hitogami 4 sports single color stay tied laces to balance out the riot of colors on the rest of the shoe.
Here is where lies the evolution of this variant. The midsole of the Wave Hitogami 4 is made from U4ic, lightweight foam material that promptly delivers responsive cushioning to the foot. This is part of the wave technology in this series. The Mizuno Wave is made from thermoplastic which provides both cushioning and springiness to the wearer while running. The overall SmoothRide system is built using a network of grooves placed in a gender-specific pattern that provides more flexibility of movement to the runners.
The outsole made from a derivative of carbon rubber provides much-needed grip and traction to the runner and proves to be of much help in maintaining surface control. It does a good job of protecting the foam on the midsole from possible fatigue. The G3 Sole design which is inherently a pattern made of rubber dots in the forefoot section. These dots are therapeutic and help provide pliability and grip to the runner.
Suitable for Roads
The Mizumo Wave Hitogami 4, a road running shoe, is best-suited for standard running surfaces which are hard. The G3 Sole design positioned at the forefoot is built to provide a grip similar to that of rubber tyres when they hit an asphalt surface. Do note these shoes are not equipped to handle trails and should not be worn while climbing hills.
Pricing and Availability
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 retails at $100 on the Mizuno website where it is currently being sold at a discounted sale price of $55. It is also sold for $99 on Amazon. You can also buy it on other leading online stores where the price may vary but only slightly.
How Does It Compare
In addition to gathering product specs, it is also important to compare Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 to its peers (other brands in the road running category) to see how it fares against the competition. Let’s see the Hitogami 4 with two other options in the same category of running gear.
- Top midsole incorporates new U4ic compound for a more durable and responsive ride
- Luxurious air mesh for a breathable, flexible fit and feel
- flat, stay tied laces, low profile, fast transitioning shoe
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 checks all the boxes for new and improved. While retaining what worked in the older variants, it has upped its performance with evolved components bringing the right technology to running footwear. Let’s see how it fares.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
Clearly not the cheapest option in its category, the Hitogami 4 is truly value for money when comfort, flexibility, grip and overall construction are considered.
The stretchable material makes for a snug and secure fit with the upper nicely wrapped around the foot after lace-up. It provides neutral arch support.
Designed and developed to meet the needs of a roadrunner, the Hitogami 4 delivers on lightweight, responsiveness, traction, grip, breathability and to a great extent style, all of which are a direct result of the new features incorporated in building this edition.
The Nike LunarSolo is a good lightweight, versatile and affordable shoe option, ideal for everyday runs.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
The LunarSolo is affordable at $89.95 to $149 based on size, making it a value-for-money purchase.
This is a great lightweight shoe that offers arch support both indoors while exercising and on the road. However, the overall fit is not too secure.
Some users have experienced sizing issues and also complained about the upper material being easily stained.
This shoe is highly recommended due to its quality, construction and performance. It comes in an attractive design while also providing great cushioning, breathability and most important, flexibility. Some users have expressed concerns about its pricing and durability.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
It is priced on the higher end within the range of $100 to $130 and is considered expensive.
The Salomon Sonic RA is a great option for runners looking for comfortable and responsive shoes. It also provides excellent traction on wet roads, provides flexibility with a well-constructed upper that also allows for breathing.
The shoe comes in a wide variety of colors and provides adequate cushioning for a comfortable and secure fit.
Ease of Use
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4
Salomon Sonic RA
Pros and Cons
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 has retained the signature look of the series which is stylish and not garish. The new and improved Wave Hitogami 4 is a lot more responsive due to the new U4ic midsole made of foam and the G3 Sole design on the outsole forefront. Both of these provide great responsiveness. The AIRmesh on the upper makes for a breathable material which allows for the air to enter and the foot remains dry and comfortable inside the shoes. The G3 Sole Design does a good job of providing tyre-like traction and a fine grip to runners on hard surfaces. This variant has one making it ideal for natural toe splay.
Based on an isolated user experience the Wave Hitogami 4 is rated as not the best for running at length because after a while the ground can be felt under the feet. Designed for people with neutral pronation, the Hitogami 4 is not suitable for runners who need a lot of arch support. It is designed for normal, high or medium-high arches that need neutral support.
On assessing the product specifications, pros and cons of the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 and that of its peers, we are convinced that this edition brings the best of the old and the new in its look, feel and function.
Mizuno has retained its wondrous wave technology and managed to up it with newer features and technology such as U4ic, AIRmesh, SmoothRide and G3 Sole design that add a whole new dimension to these shoes.
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 is worthy of a 4.5 rating when you consider all that it brings to a shoe and your running experience. Give them a shot and let us know of your experience with your pair.