Mizuno Wave Hitogami 2 Review Facts
Their precursor, the Wave Hitogami were intended to consolidate two popular Mizuno road-racing flat shoe lines, the Wave Musha and the Wave Ronin. Keeping the best of both, the Hitogami combined the lightweight speed of the Ronin and the support features of the Musha. Mizuno hit their mark with the Hitogami. The shoes were named the International Runner’s World Editors’ Best Debut award in 2014 for being a “fast-but-stable racer.”
The Wave Hitogami 2 is the result of Mizuno’s attempt to improve upon an already solid, versatile shoe. The Wave Hitogami 2 features a newly upturned toe for quicker toe-off, firm overlays to enhance support and midfoot lockdown in the previously full mesh upper and a redesigned cushy sockliner.
With its cushion and support features, the Hitogami 2 is made to handle everyday mileage, but with its relative lightweight, is geared toward runners who want a little bit of kick in their every day running.
Many of the design of the Wave Hitogami 2 outsole are similar to the Hitogami 1. Like the outsole of its predecessor, the Hitogami 2 features a softer blown rubber in the forefoot and the X-10 carbon rubber in the heel. X-10 carbon is a durable material and provides solid traction. The Hitogami 2 uses Mizuno’s G3 outsole technology which keeps the outsole light and flexible as well as providing good traction on the surface intended. The G3 outsole component also consists of many treads positioned at regular intervals. These lie flush with the rest of the sole, lying inset within a cavity in the midsole. The outsole is full contact outside of a small portion of the midfoot that provides a glimpse of the Wave plate.
used its own Wave Technology in the midsole of the Hitogami 2. Mizuno’s Wave plate is made of a thermoplastic elastomer, a combination of plastic and rubber that accounts for high elasticity. Runners can feel good about being green while wearing Mizuno, as this elastomer is made from renewable resources and castor oil and helps cut down on Mizuno’s warming footprint. The wave plate, heel/arch area of the shoe between the midsole and outsole, not only provides support but cushioning for comfort and shock absorption.
Like the Hitogami 1, the Hitogami 2 features Mizuno’s Smooth Ride Technology. This technology is a combination of the Flex Grooves, the U4ic EVA foam midsole and Flex Controllers working together. The compression molded U4ic midsole component is lightweight, provides great energy return and shock absorption. The Mizuno wave plate is found between the two layers of EVA. The lower layer extends from heel to toe and the upper layer extends from the heel through the midfoot. The Flex Grooves propels the foot forward in a rocking motion for a strong toe off, and the U4ic midsole provides that springy energy return needed for take off. This technology could be described as a rocking-chair type motion.
The midsole also features Intercool ventilation ports for added breathability.
The Hitogami 2’s upper uses the same technology as in the original, called Dynamotion Fit. Dynamotion is a snug fit that allows for natural movement without being to confining or uncomfortable. The Flex Eyelets that are part of the Dynamotion technology help lock the heel into place while still remaining flexible and comfortable.
This shoe’s upper has a very simplistic design. The upper is made of AIRmesh with molded overlays on top. Mizuno upgraded the Hitogami 2 with a new cushy, soft sockliner and features a removable foam insole
. The upper has a slightly padded collar and non-sleeved tongue. Mizuno updated the braided laces of the previous version with flat laces.
The Hitogami 2 weighs 7.9 ounces for men and 6.5 ounces in the women’s model. This is 2-3 oz heavier than the previous version for both men’s and women’s shoes. This shoe is still significantly lighter
than Runner’s World
average running shoe weight of 11.3oz, but not as light as, the 6.9 oz Ronin’s that the Hitogami line replaced. Notably, the sheer amount of outsole component contributes significantly to the shoe’s weight, keeping it from being ultra-lightweight, but providing traction and cushion.
Tthe AIRmesh upper in the Hitogami 2 features a breathable liner and the Intercool ventilation ports all work together to provide great ventilation for keeping feet cool and dry. You get better than average airflow here for excellent regulation of temperature. Other than the large Mizuno logo, there's no excess of overlays to hinder the ability of free air flow in and out of the mesh upper.
The feedback has been mixed on the comfort features of the Wave Hitogami 2. One important issue runners noticed was that the un-sleeved, snug tongue moved around during the run causing blistering
and chafing. Some runners found that they needed to adjust lacing methods to avoid the issue. Others reported chafing issues with medial inside-shoe stitches causing irritation for runners who do not wear socks. Although the seams did not cause any chafing issues when socks were worn, runners noted still being able to feel them.
The Wave Hitogami 2 was also heavily reported as having a firm ride with hard cushioning in both the heel and forefoot regions. Yet, it was noted that the shoe was still more comfortable than wearing a standard racing flat
. On a positive note, many runners report needing no or minimal break-in periods for the shoe. Runners raved about the redesign of the Wave Hitogami 2’s sockliner, calling it soft and plush. With the overall minimal design of the shoe and the hard ride, runners noted that the cushy sockliner nearly made up its harsher elements.
Although there is often a high level of subjectivity in running shoe fit, runners have generally called the Wave Hitogami 2 as being relatively true to size with a snug midfoot that keeps the foot from sliding and a relatively narrow toe-box that still manages to allow toes room to splay. The change to flat laces seems to have alleviated the issue of the shoes staying tied that many runners noted in the previous version.
Mizuno styled the Wave Hitogami 1 in the form of Japanese Kabuki theater masks. In the Wave Hitogami 2, Mizuno continues to call upon their rich Japanese heritage, displaying an eye-catching swirl pattern suggesting the shape-shifting spirits called the Tengu who had the ability to conjure up powerful winds. The color choices along with the eddy-like design make for a truly distinctive
Some reviewers did notice some wear and tear on the outsole. One runner noted seeing some concerning wear after only approximately 60 miles of wear. In runner's mileage, that is "just starting in". I consider that the break-in point. No serious running shoe should wear out this early, although there was only one complaint about it, and it could have been due to improper use.
The Wave Hitogami provides sufficient protection for road running obstacles. However, it will not provide additional protection if taken off road. Without any major overlays, the protection aspect isn't anything special, so you will need to consider that when going out on your run's. These aren't tanks, nor are they meant to protect against anything out of the ordinary. Keep to the roads and the mesh upper will prove to be just fine.
The reviews on the Wave Hitogami 2 have been pretty hit-or-miss on responsiveness. Some runners reported serious responsiveness and ground feel that made the shoe feel snappy. A redesigned upturned toe could explain its especially quick feel, as it could cause an increase in toe-off turnover rate. Others stated that they missed any hint of response or push-back from either the heel or forefoot regions.
The support features on the Wave Hitogami 2 stayed mostly the same from the previous version. It provides a moderate amount of support and works well for runners who are looking to use if for middle to long distance runs. Mizuno’s Wave Technology
does provide some arch support, but not an overwhelming amount. The Hitogami 2 has more cushioning than its predecssors in this particular line, like the Ronin or Musha. Also, the midfoot foot wrap locks the foot into place, prevent the foot from sliding around and becoming unstable.
This shoe was designed for road-running, but some runners noted that they wore the Wave Hitogami 2 on trails and grass with great success. Although lets be sensible. If a shoe is specifically designed for the road, keep it on the road. No need to give yourself something to complain about. I know plenty of runners who use their road runner's for multi-terrain
. Most of the time you can get away with it, but if you want to optimize your experience and keep from destroying your shoes, buy the right pair for the job.
Mizuno is showing a commitment to providing affordable shoes for runners at any budget. Mizuno kept the price point for the Wave Hitogami 2 similar to its previous version. The Wave Hitogami 2 are affordable
, and cost less than many similar, comparable shoes. The high quality features incorporated into this shoe, make it a great buy.
Runners reported that the regularly placed G3 rubber lugs provided good traction on both roads and trail, but as stated before, will do best at what they are designed for - the road. You will have no problem with traction here. In fact, the traction on paved surfaces was quite commended.
Considering the stack height and the wave plate, these shoes are pretty flexible. Overall, runners reported a high level of flexibility in the Wave Hitogami 2. Some stated that the shoe is slightly more rigid in the midfoot while maintaining serious flexibility in the forefoot.
Like its predecessor, the Hitogami 2 is a neutral
shoe, providing what some runners called “just enough” stability in the front and heel. For runners seeking stability or additional guidance, this may not be the shoe for you.
The Hitogami 2 has a 9mm drop. Runners report it feeling like a fairly level shoe. A 9mm drop means this shoe is just slightly below an average running shoe drop and works well with a variety of different runners.
Key Features of the Wave Hitogami 2
Key Features of the Wave Hitogami 2
• Blow rubber in the forefoot and the X-10 carbon rubber in the heel of the outsole
• SmoothRide Engineering flex grooves
• Redesigned upturned toe for speedy toe-off
• AIRmesh upper with Dynamotion Fit & Intercool ventilation ports
• Lightweight U4ic midsole
• Mizuno Wave plate technology
• Enhanced, cushy, soft sockliner
• 9mm drop
• Flat laces that stay tied
The Mizuno Wave Hitgami 2 provides a smooth, but potentially too hard of a ride for some runners’ tastes. For runners who appreciate a firm shoe, the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 2 is a reasonably priced speedy and versatile shoe that can also be used for everyday wear.