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Wait, wait, wait, wait. Wave shadow? Didn’t I just reviewed that shoe? Well observed! ;) But don’t be fooled: this is a completely different one.
Sponsored Post: Mizuno provided me with the products for this review at my request. This had no influence on the content of my post. The article is written indipendently and reflects exclusively my personal experiences.
When I reviewed the Wave Shadow 3 I was not aware that Mizuno was working on a completely new cushioning material. As of today “Mizuno Enerzy” and “Mizuno Enerzy Core” is official and available in the first models. Mizuno Enerzy is said to achieve 15 percent higher energy return and is 17 percent softer than the U4ic used so far.
Mizuno Enerzy Core even achieves 56 percent more rebound due to a special midsole insert and is 293 (!) percent softer than U4ic – says Mizuno.
I was given the opportunity to run the Wave Shadow 4 before the launch in September. What difference the new cushioning in the shoe makes, can be read here:Review
Mizuno Wave Shadow 4
Mizuno Wave Shadow 4
After unpacking I was positively surprised by the shoe! Just the colour combination of a “garish” blue with little pink accents is very appealing to me.
When looking from the side, it is noticeable that the midsole looks very slim due to the colouring. With 17 mm under the forefoot and 25 mm under the heel, the Japanese did not skimp on the new Mizuno Enerzy material. It is also noticeable that the wave element has slipped under the midfoot and is supposed to provide additional stability there.
Basically Mizuno Enerzy is supposed to be very robust, but nevertheless additional rubber lining is used as outsole. The forefoot area is completely covered with a net, while a rather simple U-element is used at the heel.
Heel area, entry and upholstery are reasonable, but also not too much cushioned.
The upper is made of a very interesting mesh. It has mountains and valleys – almost like a corduroy ;) The material stretches seamlessly over the entire foot and is only provided with applications in places for reinforcement.
On the Mizuno Wave Shadow 4 even the two additional eyelets for the marathon lacing are reinforced and can be used for a very secure heel fit. The tongue has the ideal length for this.
The shoe is 630 grams for both shoes in my size. That’s about 10 grams more than the predecessor and push the shoe (for me) into the medium weight.
I honestly have to admit: I did not expect too much from the shoe. Too often I have read the promise of a material revolution and then ran in shoes that did not live up to it. Okay, revolution is of course always pretty high up. A noticeable difference would be enough for me. ;)
And what can I say: you definitely find that in the Mizuno Wave Shadow 4! Already during the first steps I had a little WOW moment, because the shoe really fits like a second skin to me. The upper material together with the long lacing provides a really perfect fit.
But I am even more excited about the cushioning: it almost feels like walking barefoot in the surf zone by the sea. :) On the one hand there is a very good feeling for the underground. One feels very close to the road. And on the other hand, the Enerzy cushioning really is more elastic than the previous material, which leads to a softer landing.
But “soft” in this case does not mean “energy-absorbing”. Quite the opposite: already in my first short run I was easily 20s/km faster without really noticing it! From the running feeling he clearly belongs more to the category “competition shoe” than to the light trainers.
This also led to the fact that my third run in the Wave Shadow 4 was actually my 10-km-competition, which I have been training for the last months. Of course I had already decided on a different shoe (and there were certainly good and lighter alternatives), but because of the great running feeling I just felt like running the Mizuno – with success.