Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 Review Facts
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Once a company produces a popular shoe line, they know to keep providing their customers what they want. Such is the case with the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4, the fourth iteration in the Hitogami line that has become very popular among neutral pronators for its comfortable components, awesome design, and excellent performance on the roadAnd the road is where this shoe belongs, as it’s specifically designed to tackle the pavement and asphalt running surfaces both long- and short-distance runners would likely encounter in their daily runs. Specifically designed for those with neutral pronation, the Hitogami 4 retains many of the elements that made its predecessors successful, such as stitched overlays that are largely in the same position as they were in the Hitogami 3, along with the Mizuno logo in the medial and lateral areas of the upper. Its upper’s mesh material both guarantees a snug fit after lace-up but remains breathable throughout a ride.

Although similar in construction to previous iterations, the Hitogami 4’s midsole is made of an improved U4ic compound that makes it more responsive, along with an added springiness and shock absorption from impact from the Wave midsole unit that runs from the heel to midfoot of the Hitogami 4’s midsole. With an outsole made of durable rubber that protects the midsole from the abrasiveness of the road, it also provides a solid amount of traction while on a run. Outfitted with a network of grooves for increased flexibility and to aid in natural foot movement as it transitions through the gait cycle, the outsole of the Hitogami 4 will be a bit with any neutral runner looking for a smooth, fast ride while on the road.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very comfortable fit during a run
  • A wide toe box that allows for natural toe splay
  • Relatively affordable long-lasting, lightweight trainer
  • Retains the classic look and feel of the Mizuno Wave Hitogami line
  • Fits snug and secure with the upper wrapping around the foot
Cons
  • A few runners have complained due to the ground feel

  • Long runs are difficult in these shoes

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Hitogami 4 is made of an X10 carbon rubber compound that’s high-quality and long-lasting. The outsole shields the midsole from wear and tear while also providing a great amount of traction, helping the runner gain surface control. The grip of the outsole is enhanced by its proprietary G3 Sole design, which is a rubber dot pattern located in the forefoot. This pattern mimics the same kind that helps rubber tires hold the ground while on asphalt.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

One of the major updates to the Hitogami 4 is its midsole construction. Made from a lightweight foam known as U4ic, this material provides responsive cushioning and a springy ride, providing great energy return with each toe-off and impact. The Mizuno Wave, an elastic unit made of thermal plastic, runs from the heel to midfoot to provide additional cushioning and more spring with each step. The overall SmoothRide system, which is a network of grooves built into the platform that allows for a more flexible overall ride. These are placed in gender-specific patterns, so both men and women can enjoy a customized run with this feature.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The construction of the Hitogami 4 is well thought-out and detailed. The main upper fabric is AIRmesh, a breathable material that’s tightly woven to provide a snug fit without sacrificing airflow. Stitched overlays run across the forefoot and midfoot sections, providing overall structure to the upper while securing the foot after lace-up. The Mizuno logo is placed on the lateral and medial sections that also aid in providing a snug fit after lace-up. Its Dynamotion Fit technology is a stretchable material that makes up the front section of the Hitogami 4’s upper and its collar. This tech adapts to the motion and shape of the foot for a responsive feel that allows for the upper to be close to the skin to prevent wobble in the shoe during a run. In addition, its wide toe box allows for natural toe splay.
Weight
Weight

Weight

A lightweight shoe through-and-through, the Hitogami weighs in at 7.8 ounces/221 grams in men’s and 6.7 ounces/190 grams in women’s for an overall lightweight experience and fit.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

With the main upper fabric of AIRmesh, a tightly woven but highly breathable material, runners will feel the air enter freely into the foot chamber to guarantee a cool, dry ride each time out. Flexible and comfortable, the breathability of the Hitogami 4’s upper is lightweight and provides an easy fit.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The overall comfort of the Hitogami 4 is noteworthy since it is such a lightweight running shoe. With its midsole made of u4ic foam that provides a responsive ride and the Mizuno Wave tech that runs from the heel to midfoot for additional comfort, the support for a neutral runner is matched by a specially designed comfortability in its midsole’s design. This is further customized by the SmoothRide system, a flexible platform that is designed along gender to provide a specific ride geared towards the differences of the sexes’ physical traits. Its AIRmesh upper is similarly comfortable, providing a smooth feel and fit that aims to provide an irritation-free ride.
Style
Style

Style

A sleek, low-profile trainer, the Hitogami 4’s overall style doesn’t differ much from its predecessor in this line, but when something’s done right the first time, why change what worked? Although definitely a running shoe aesthetically, the bright colors and well-balanced design of the Hitogami 4 will appeal to both short and long distance runners who want their running shoes to look like running shoes. With spider web-like overlays that contrast with the main upper color (of which several different types are available), this is a trainer with a bit of flash and style in its overall look without being garish.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Runners can put dozens and dozens of miles on the Hitogami 4 without any noticeable wear and tear. With its thin upper, one would worry about tears in this breathable material, but the Hitogami 4 has updated this feature with a more tightly woven upper that’s difficult to penetrate or tear. Its carbon rubber outsole is highly durable and long-lasting, while its midsole retains its spring and comfortability even after many runs.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Made to hit the ground running, and by that we mean the asphalt roads and paved sidewalks of your town, the Hitogami 4 is a notable road shoe that is specifically made for these surfaces. It’s also a lightweight shoe made of light materials, which means there’s not much in the way of protection. While the carbon rubber outsole and SmoothRide platform in the midsole are meant to help protect the sole of the foot from abrasive surfaces, this trainer will not offer much in the way of protection in its mesh upper. A road shoe but not a trail shoe or meant for extreme climes, the Hitogami 4 only offers protection in the way of protection from impact of the road.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The U4ic foam that comprises the midsole was constructed to provide a responsive, springy ride, and at this task it succeeds. Likewise, the G3 Sole design on the forefoot of the outsole, made to mimic the pattern tires have to grip the road, also help with delivering a responsive ride for the runner.
Support
Support

Support

Geared specifically for runners with neutral pronation, the Hitogami 4 offers standard arch support with extra cushioning in its U4ic foam midsole and Mizuno Wave elastic that runs from the heel to midfoot. In addition, The upper is features Mizuno’s custom DynamotionFit, a stretchy material that provides a sock-like fit.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

As stated, the Hitogami was specifically made to be a road running shoe, meaning it’s best suited for asphalt, pavement, track surfaces, and other hard standard running surfaces that many runners tread for their daily run. Its G3 Sole design, located at the forefoot of the outsole, is meant to replicate the type of grip tires have on asphalt. However, this is not a trail shoe, so runners expecting this to climb hills and slick grass may be in for a bad surprise if they take these out on the open trail.
Price
Price

Price

While not the cheapest shoe on the market, for its lightweight construction, excellent grip, high level of comfort, and overall solid performance the Hitogami 4 provides, its price is nominal for what the runner receives from a purchase.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Thanks to a smartly designed outsole, the Hitogami 4 provides excellent traction on the road. Made of carbon rubber, the secret weapon of its traction is the G3 Sole design located on the forefoot of its outsole. Providing a tire-like grip on hard surfaces, runners will immediately notice the traction they gain from this feature, particularly in the dynamic toe-off it provides.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

From its upper mesh that’s made of AIRmesh, a breathable material that’s both flexible and provides a great fit after lace-up, to its SmoothRide system platform that features numerous grooves for enhanced flexibility, the Hitogami 4 is an overall very flexible shoe. Although its carbon rubber outsole may not have much give to it, the rest of the shoe’s flexibility more than makes up for this element.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Well-balanced and made for neutral runners, the Hitogami 4 is stable enough for those who need only comfort and a bit of cushioning for a run. However, this is not a stability shoe and those who suffer from the types of pronation problems that would require a stability shoe will not find their answer here.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The heel-to-toe drop featured on the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 is 9mm, which is just slightly below the standard drop. Runners used to a standard drop in their trainer will find the drop in the Hitogami 4 just right, particularly those who tend to land on their heel instead of forefoot.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• U4ic midsole that provides great responsiveness
• AIRmesh upper for excellent breathability
• SmoothRide midsole platform that’s specialized for either sex
• Wave technology from heel to midfoot for extra cushioning
• G3 Sole on forefoot of outsole that provides excellent tire-like traction
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Hitogami line has been providing a consistent shoe with each edition that are responsive, comfortable, and firm in the places it needs to be year in and year out. The 4th iteration of this line maintains this consistency and improves on some parts of its overall composition, most notably in its new top midsole made of U4ic foam that heightens its responsiveness and its AIRmesh upper that improves upon its breathability.

Durable and fast while out on the road, this neutral runner has a little more pop than its previous editions. Sporty and low-cut, the grip and traction its outsole delivers and the comfortability and overall breathability of its upper will keep the runner feeling in control and close to the road during a run. Recognizing when they have a good design, Mizuno didn’t radically alter the Hitogami 4 from the 3, but in the elements it did revise, they improved upon without taking any of its good points away. Lightweight and dependable, the price point for the Hitogami 4 may be slightly more than what a runner is looking for, but given the great performance that this trainer offers, it’s well worth the investment and then some.

A solid option for runners looking for a short to long-distance trainer that’s built for road racing, the Hitogami 4 can handle anything from a 5k to a half marathon. With a newly constructed upper that offers a snug and secure fit that will keep the foot locked in place throughout a run and an overall versatility that will serve the serious racer well on race day or just during their daily run, the Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 is built to perform and go the distance. Those that have been impressed with previous versions of the Hitogami will find this yet another step forward in its evolution, while those new to the line will find their next great road runner.