Shoe of the Week: Mizuno Wave Horizon 4
The Wave Horizon 4, Mizuno's plushest trainer, is well appointed for a long run…and creature comfort.
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Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 Review
Weight: 11.1oz M, 9.7oz W
Offset: 10mm (30 mm / 20 mm)
Posh cushioned, supportive trainer that lulls you over many a soft mile.
Mizuno throws all its cards on the table in this fourth version of the Wave Horizon, deploying its foam wave technology with multiple material midsole sans plate for a more flexible yet lofty supportive ride, and its AeroHug upper to secure the foot in an adaptive less-is-more hold.
This is the shoe for you if…
You like to float above the road on a smooth, luxurious ride, with a hint of stability and a taste of energy-return pop—and you don’t mind a bit of weight.
The flow of the Wave Horizon, from heel to toe, was buttery smooth. Testers remarked at the luxurious ride that, although supportive, allowed the gait to move in a natural, unobstructed manner. The cushioning of the midsole is long-lasting and, even after being tested over more than 150 miles, demonstrated no noticeable compacting, although the new streamlined, overlay-reduced, engineered mesh upper showed some wear and tear.
The noteworthy staying power of the midsole comes from a tri-level construction that softens the ride, attenuates impact shock—especially in the heel—and provides energy return and resilience in the forefoot for takeoff. This impressive combination is thanks to a TPU foam mixture sandwiched by sheets of EVA foam. All that, and it weighs-in lighter than the Horizon 3—although not enough to make the 4 considered lightweight by our test team. The flex got high marks, especially over previous versions of the Horizon.
The Horizon is characterized as a stability shoe, but it is a mild version of stability that is more of a suggestion, one that doesn’t interfere with the stride the way aggressively-posted shoes do. Mizuno accomplishes this by engineering the shoe with the Fan Cloudwave, an enhanced foam—instead of plated—midsole, with more substantial wave lugs on the arch side. Testers observed the ride as “almost neutral, until you needed some power steering for your gait, late in a run, when your form begins to fall apart on you.”
The insole and midsole combination was “floaty” and the impact absorption effective without being “deadening,” thanks to the rebound of the midsole, allowing for a “perky” performance. While the Horizon was deemed a long-run friendly shoe, its weight keeps it from being used for anything but training.
The upper fit was found true to size and the toe box ample for most, but not wide enough for those who count on full splay or who have a high volume foot. The laces required a short seeding period and some adjustment but, after a little futzing, worked very well to hold without binding. And they stayed tied too—which one would think would be standard fare but, unfortunately, is still an elusive quality for many companies.