Mizuno Wave Enigma 4

8.4
8.4 score
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Mizuno Wave Enigma 4Review Facts

The Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 is a high quality neutral running shoe, that feels light and creates a stable base that will offer the proper support and cushioning. Although this shoe’s actual weight does not make it a “lightweight” shoe, many runners notice that there is less to it than they expect and stated that it performs much better than comparable shoes. With just enough heel drop to make it fit right into your gait cycle, this shoe will create support and a rolling motion with each and every step, whether you are running on vacation or on your old favorite street.

Pros
  • The cushioning system in this shoe creates a nice plush platform for your foot.
  • The shoe (like many of the best Mizuno shoes) features Mizuno’s Dynamotion Fit to hold the foot in place without hindering natural movement.
  • The midsole features a stable base to provide high quality arch support and cushioning.
  • Less overlays than in previous versions of the Wave Enigma mean a more breathable upper.
Cons
  • Cost is higher than the average running shoe.
  • Some runners feel the shoe is too stiff.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Wave Enigma 4 features the same trademark outsole that Mizuno road shoes are known for. This means that the horseshoe segmented heel is completely built with the tough X10 rubber compound. This not only adds traction, but provides durability where you are striking hardest. The forefoot is a blend of softer rubber and the tough X10 material to create extra comfort. The outsole also features built-in grooves for flexibility.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Wave system in the midsole is the iconic thermoplastic system that Mizuno is well known for. From their traditional road shoes to those that are a bit more innovative, the Wave system adds both a solid base on which the midsole is built.

The rest of the midsole is created with a combination of material including the new U4ic on top of the foam which is 30% lighter than the AP+ foam Mizuno has used in the past. Beyond this foam, which helps deliver smooth transition from heel to toe, the heel also includes SR Touch foam. There are built in ventilation ports in the sole to create a breathable setup.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Wave Enigma 4 features a simplified upper from the previous versions of the shoe. The new version gets rid of some of the overlays and uses the Running Bird logo as the main overlay. This creates a level of security and the ankle collar has been lowered to hold the heel in place. The upper also features the Dynamotion Fit system to create a secure and sock-like feeling. The material in the upper is mostly made of a thin but secure mesh layer to add breathability.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Wave Enigma 4 comes in at a low 10.8 ounces for men and 8.4 ounces for women. As far as road shoes go, this is on the lighter side and comes in lighter than a lot of the best Mizuno road shoes. Although this is lighter than many, the Wave Enigma 4 feels much lighter than the numbers make it sound. This is due to the unique Wave system and the light upper mesh that keeps the shoe breathable. The plastic may weigh a bit more, but it creates a much more comfortable ride.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Wave Enigma 4's mesh upper is one that can keep you cool on a standard training run or while heading out for an ultra-marathon. With less upper overlays than in previous versions, this shoe is able to let air in and out very easily. The midsole also features a number of ports to let air in and out with ease. The Dynamotion FIT sock layer creates another way to keep you cool and comfortable.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

With an upper created of high quality mesh and few overlays, the Wave Enigma 4 allows the runner to feel comfortable no matter what the situation. The solid base of the Wave system in the heel creates a large cushion to pad even the toughest heel strikes. The foam padding between the thermoplastic and the foot will keep you very comfortable. The adjustments on this shoe compared to the previous versions include a lower ankle collar which offers even more comfort.
Style
Style

Style

Mizuno is well known for their bold colors and strong Running Bird logo images against very bright colors. The Wave Enigma 4 does a little more to create a sense of style. Instead of relying on bright colors to draw attention, this Wave Enigma 4 offers more muted colors with bright accents. This includes a dark shadow and black main color with blue, red and silver accents as well as a blue color with silver and yellow as accent colors.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Mizuno X10 material in the outsole creates a tough durable layer that can stand up to the toughest asphalt on your road run. The upper is built out of solid material to keep you comfortable and stand up to the elements. The Wave Enigma 4 is built to be strong in the face of the elements. This durable surface creates a solid platform to keep you moving forward through even the toughest elements.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Wave Enigma 4 offers a solid neutral shoe base that serves even the pickiest runners well. With the solid X10 rubber creates a durable surface that offers superior grip. The midsole then offers a layer that protects the foot from the elements with the special U4ci cushion designed by Mizuno to be lighter and tougher than other foams. The upper mesh keeps out the elements and allows your foot to breathe pretty well.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Neutral shoes that are responsive may not be what most runners expect. The Wave Enigma 4 features specific groove cuts in the outsole that allow you to connect to the ground step after step. The unique Wave system of thermoplastics in the heel offers both strength and cushion to keep you comfortable, but it also allows the shoe to respond to the ground underneath. Although the Wave Enigma 4 isn’t quite as responsive as the Wave Ekiden 11, it does flex with the runner to grip the ground very well.
Support
Support

Support

The Wave Enigma 4 is a neutral shoe. A neutral shoe is designed to offer more support than most minimalistic options, but not as much as those overbuilt stability shoes. A neutral shoe is designed to offer enough support to build up your arch and keep you on the road, but provide enough cushion to keep you comfortable. With a solid upper made of mesh and synthetic overlays that tighten and secure the upper, this shoe offers support for the foot on all sides including the top.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Wave Enigma 4 was designed for road running. The outsole is built of the toughest Mizuno materials offered, which allows it not only to keep going tough but to stick hard to the ground underneath. The toughest roads will be eaten up by this plush shoe with its comfortable design and high quality build.

The Wave Enigma 4 actually can be used off road as well, as some runner report that it gets use if a wide variety of terrain. The midsole can absorb the pressure of a hard heel strike during a run without giving up, meaning that the shoe can withstand what you will be able to throw at it.
Price
Price

Price

Many runners balk at a higher priced shoe, but the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 proves why that higher price point is necessary. Although the price might sound high, for such a high quality running shoe, it really isn’t so bad. The features in this shoe are clearly for road runners looking to purchase a high quality shoe with plenty of features rather than a basic running shoe that simply covers your feet.

The midsole system offers a solid running experience, built with both the unique Wave and several parts of foam that cradle your foot through each step. The breathable and secure upper creates shoe that is built for both comfort and quality, not just a flash in the pan gimmick shoe designed to grab customers by the wallet and hold them at all costs.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The outsole is designed to grip and push you forward on any surface. With built in flex grooves creating more contact surface area with each step, the durable X10 rubber material in the heel clings to the ground until you lift off. The forefoot and midfoot sections also feature the X10 carbon rubber, but in strategic locations to keep those parts of the shoe light and comfortable while still providing traction, even on wet roads.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Many runners might feel like a neutral shoe is built too strong for it to be flexible. Mizuno puts those thoughts to rest by building in flexible layers from the ground up. The outsole features grooves cut into the material that allow the foot to flex in a natural way and make contact with the ground evenly.

The midsole’s foam allows for both flexibility and responsiveness while it soaks up the impact from each step. The upper mesh stretches with the foot to allow for maximum comfort and security. With these considerations, there is very little chance of the shoe feeling too stiff or not bending with you as you move.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 isn’t an overbuilt stability tank, but don’t let that fool you. It is designed to roll through each step with a smooth motion that creates a stable platform for takeoff thanks to the Mizuno Wave midsole system. By using the plastic Wave plate in the heel, this shoe creates a smooth landing pad that is able to transition from strike to takeoff without much trouble.

The foam padding in the midfoot and forefoot sections offers a responsive bounce back feeling and helps absorb shock as well, making the shoe feel more stable than some of the other options available. The strong grip in the outsole also provides stability in the multi-directional sense, not allowing the foot to slip either to the outside or inside and instead just keeping the runner moving forward.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 maintains the style of drop offered earlier in this series of shoes. With Mizuno not jumping on to the zero drop bandwagon as so many brands have done, this shoe features a 12mm drop from heel to toe. The purpose of a drop is to help facilitate the gait roll from heel to toe and put more cushion where it will be needed most. The Wave Enigma 4 does a good job of balancing minimal options and maximal options with a nice compromise.
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4

Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4

• Wave plate system
• Mizuno X10 carbon rubber outsole
• Breathable mesh upper
• 12mm drop
• Dynamotion Fit
• AP+ foam midsole
• SR Touch foam
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 comes down to one question for most runners. Are you ready to experience a high level of comfort as you push yourself for mile after mile on the pavement? If so, this might be exactly the shoe you are looking for. By utilizing the unique Wave system, the Enigma 4 can absorb shock and help you roll from step to step without adjusting your natural gait.

This shoe is a stylish option with classic color combinations that many runners enjoy seeing. The neutral shoe builds upon the strong base with a nice secure upper layer built out of mesh to keep air moving freely around your foot and keep you ventilated. The truth is, there are many road shoes available, but the Wave Enigma 4 is likely to be the road shoe for you.