Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4 Review Facts
Mizuno is no stranger to creating innovative ideas in the world of sports, but the Mizuno Wave Prophecy series offers runners something both unique and useful. For the Wave Prophecy 4, Mizuno eliminates a thick cushion from the sole and instead goes with a supportive strut system. Given this setup, one might assume it is less comfortable, but for a daily road running shoe, it provides plenty of cushion along with arch support and responsiveness.
The outsole of the Wave Prophecy
4 is made with the X-10 carbon rubber with a segmented crash pad for durability. The front of the shoe contains a softer blown rubber as well. The flex grooves in the forefoot also help provide flexibility and responsiveness. For a road shoe
, this outsole is fairly standard, but the durability is substantially higher than many others due to the outsole material.
While minimalist shoes are all the rage
, a full road shoe can do wonders for many runners and the Infinity Wave helps this shoe serve up a unique and surprisingly comfortable setup. This design uses two plates separated by rubber, which compress during striking to create a responsiveness feeling. The main cushioning comes from the lighter U4ic midsole
and small segments of foam in the heel section. This foam is roughly 30% lighter than the previous foam that Mizuno used in their shoes. This lends the shoe to use in even the hardest road conditions while providing the runner comfort and stability.
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4 offers a redesigned upper. This features a very fine screen on top of the woven pattern which keeps the shoe both well ventilated and secure. The lacing system pulls the shoe tight like a glove while the plush interior keeps you comfortable. Synthetic overlays and toecap add accents to the upper without compromising ventilation. Due to the placement of overlays, though, the toe area lends itself to offering decent foot splay while still keeping the foot secure.
The Wave Prophecy 4 is slightly heavier than many other road shoes available, coming in at 14 ounces per shoe for US size 11. While this may sound like a lot more than expected, the responsive plate and rubber system can make the weight feel like less of an issue and it does provide a durable shoe that will survive for miles and miles. Since the upper allows a lot of air movement, the shoe can feel lighter than the actual weight would lead you to think.
The upper offers a combination of soft and unlined mesh over a breathable design that resembles a honeycomb. Both the majority of the upper and the tongue feature this design and allow for the movement of air without much concern. There are a synthetic logo and toe cap which allow in less air but overall there is plenty of ventilation to keep you cool as you move through your daily run or the next 10k road race
The Wave Prophecy 4 offers a surprising level of comfort for such a unique design. The cushion
comes from the rubber between the two plates of plastic that create the small pillars along the sole. This design creates a spring feeling while offering any runner some more flex than standard running shoes. The cushioning creates such a soft strike that you will not even consider how tough the ground under your shoes is.
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy offers a unique style because of the “mechanical cushioning” sole design. This is similar to other unique designs such as the Adidas Springblade or the Nike Shox. With a unique setup of small pillars made of rubber and plastic plates on either side, these shoes may draw just as much attention to the uninitiated as many minimalist toe shoes
do. While this part of the shoe draws attention, the upper consists of standard color combinations such as yellow and black, white and blue with black, blue with silver, orange with black, and black with yellow accents. To the casual passerby, they may even entirely miss the unique sole just because the rest of the show looks like a standard Mizuno shoe, but the responsiveness and springy sole design makes up for the standard appearance.
The price of the Wave Prophecy 4 may be off-putting to some runners at first, but when durability is considered the value in comparison to just price is the more important part. The sole design created by the Infinity Wave plates offers more durability due to the material used, and the carbon rubber outsole offers superior lasting ability. It is important to consider the number of miles able to be completed in a pair of shoes when considering the price. The durability of these Mizunos makes sure that you get every step you can before they break down. The thin mesh upper cover will help keep all the elements out and stop the upper from being torn up by the general crud that finds a way into most running shoes.
Many shoes can offer standard cushioning protection, but the unique Infinity Wave offers a fully flexible sole that can absorb the toughest asphalt. Built to survive the harshest hot pavement
, this shoe offers a level of separation from the elements while still keeping you comfortable. The mesh covering on the upper creates a layer of protection for your foot to keep dirt, rocks, and other materials on the outside instead of allowing them in to begin rubbing your foot. The tongue and collar offer some padding but don’t create a tight or constricting section. This section keeps your foot forming blisters.
It is one thing to expect a shoe to be responsive when it consists of a thick rubber sole and midsole sections, but this shoe takes that a step further. The outsole design created by the small pillars and the two plates goes beyond response to actually provide a spring-like reaction to every single step regardless of what is underneath. There is very little that could offer more response as you power through each mile, and every step receives the same bounce back. This also serves as a shock absorber to keep you comfortable when on challenging terrain, offering you solid footing while speeding along.
Due to the unique design, these shoes offer more support than one might expect. The plate system creates shock absorption through the pillars, but it also creates a strong foundation on which the shoe is built. The hard plates offer a level of arch support
to most runners that is not common in neutral running shoes. The solid upper features an area in the toe box to allow the foot to play out but still offers a solid base underneath to support you.
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4 was designed to be used as a daily runner on the pavement for road runners in most any situation. Although it can work as a good all-around shoe, the outsole offers less grip on the trail than standard trail shoes
. For road use with varying terrain, including light path and gravel sections, this shoe will offer enough cushion and shock absorption to remain comfortable even with higher mileage use. The heel and forefoot feature a design meant to grip in most conditions, but some runners found that on wet asphalt the Wave Prophecy 4 did not grip as well as expected. Due to being designed to stand up to the toughest cement and blacktop in town, the shoe is specifically made to be durable and stand up to the harsh environments most road runners push through.
One of the major sticking points for many considering the Wave Prophecy 4 from Mizuno is the price. Coming in higher than most other running shoes, save those that feature other types of mechanical cushioning, the important thing to remember is durability. When you choose running shoes that are in the upper end of a price range, you expect the best. These offer many features not available in a lower price range and for those runners that feel the Infinity Wave system is perfect for them, these may be just the ticket. When breaking down price into a consideration of dollar per mile, these shoes offer the ability to squeeze the most out of what you put in.
The tough carbon rubber outsole offers more than just durability. The crash pad features a design that allows both flexibility and strong grip on the ground underneath. Mizuno also chose to add flexible grooves in the sides of the forefoot, which allow for more overall flexibility and create more surface area contact between the outsole and the asphalt underfoot. Although the design offers slightly less traction in wet situations
, it will grip tightly to dry asphalt as well as slightly more loose surfaces like hard pack dirt and light gravel.
The Infinity Wave system creates a shoe that both flexes with your foot as you move from heel strike to forefoot and cushion because of the rubber pillars. There are also specific small flex grooves in the forefoot section to allow the shoe to flex along as you move. The independent nature of the plates allows the shoe to move in ways that others generally can’t because the rubber lets them move in multiple directions. The upper offers flexibility thanks to the honeycomb and mesh, which allows the runner's foot to move within the confines of the shoe to stay comfortable.
The solid plate and pillar system creates the ability to move the shoe in multiple directions more than just standard cushioning systems. While it may sound counter-intuitive, the versatility of this system is that it creates a stable platform under your foot and over the lower plate. This means that it doesn’t matter if you are running on the local track or making your way through a destination road race
, this shoe will offer a solid platform to keep you moving forward.
Although many runners are looking into zero or nearly-zero drop shoes
, many are still choosing to keep using shoes with a substantial change in the heel to toe drop. These shoes offer a 12mm drop, which is comparable to many other shoes designed for running on roads daily. For those that have already adjusted to less drop, this may require some adjustment in gait. Still, for those that run with a neutral strike or have a heavy heel strike, these shoes offer a nice layer of shock absorption and remain very responsive.
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4
• The Infinity Wave system uses two hard plates connected by pillars of rubber to offer a unique responsive spring-back feeling and comfortable cushioning.
• The honeycomb upper with light mesh covering offers breathability and superior comfort.
• The trademarked X10 carbon rubber outsole creates an extremely durable and solid base on which the shoe is built.
• The midsole construction is 30% lighter than those used by Mizuno in the past.
For a solid daily road shoe, there are cheaper options available than the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4, but they likely don’t contain as many features or benefits. The use of a unique system like the Infinity Wave creates better compression and softer cushioning than previous versions while still maintaining a relatively light weight
and responsive feel. With all these features and the quality upper and classic sneaker style, runners would be hard pressed to find something just like the Wave Prophecy 4. It clearly is a unique and versatile running shoe.