Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 General Info:
The Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 is a continuation of the Wave Enigma series. I had never worn Mizunos of any kind before, but was excited to try these out, not only just to try a new shoe, but I had seen this series favorably compared to the Asics Nimbus series, which is my all time favorite road shoe.
The Wave Enigma 4 is a highly cushioned, neutral trainer, perfect for high mileage and daily training. My first impression out of the box was that it seemed quite light for a highly cushioned shoe.
My second impression was based on the color scheme. While I like a darker colored shoe, and the gray is quite nice, the pink and blue accent colors made me feel like I was attending a running-themed baby shower.
I tend to be really picky when it comes to the fit of a shoe, as I’m prone to blisters and soreness across the ball of my foot, but these fit like a dream, not even needing experimentation with different lacing techniques.
Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 Sole Unit:
I found the sole of the Wave Enigma 4 to be incredibly well cushioned. It provided a smooth ride and plenty of cushioning without sacrificing ground feel.
The wave construction of the sole is intended to help disperse the impact and stresses of the footstrike away from the foot, and I found this to be true, as I experienced little to no foot soreness or fatigue.
The heel-to-toe offset of 12mm is quite high, so runners looking for a low to zero drop should be aware. I found the traction to be sufficient on pavement as well as on non-technical dirt trails and gravel roads.
Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 Upper:
The fit of the Wave Enigma 4 is somewhere between slightly small to true to size. If it was small, it was very slight, and going up even a half size would have swung the pendulum to a bit too big.
I found there to be plenty of room in the toebox, although I would classify the width as average. The fit was very secure around the arch and heel, with slightly asymmetric lacing, and comfortable padding around the heel and tongue.
The construction of the upper was sturdy, dealing well with rain and mud. They even survived a trip through the washing machine no worse for wear.
Mizuno Wave Enigma 4 Conclusions:
To be perfectly frank, I’m having a hard time remaining professional in my description of the Wave Enigma 4, because I am in love with this shoe! I find that it compares well to the Asics Nimbus series. If you are a Nimbus fan, I think you should consider giving this shoe a try.
I was a bit leery when first trying them on, as the 12mm drop is greater than I’ve been wearing recently, and it almost felt like I was wearing a pair of seriously comfortable high heels at first.
That sensation quickly disappeared, and I began to realize just how good of a shoe it really is, with a smooth ride and pleasant degree of bounce, without losing my ability to feel the ground underfoot.
Even though they aren’t trail shoes, they provide such good cushion I decided to wear them for my main race this summer, a 50 miler on trail. They performed beautifully, and somehow managed to leave me without a single blister. I plan on wearing them in my next race, as well.
I’ve only been able to come up with two real negatives, and I had to really dig deep for them. First, the price tag is a little steep, although comparable to the Nimbus, as well as the Saucony Triumph, both shoes I feel are similar. Second, I have only been able to find one color in both men’s and women’s versions.
We thank the nice people at Mizuno for sending us a pair of Wave Enigma 4 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.