Mizuno Wave Universe 4 Review

My Life as a Runner > running shoes > Mizuno Wave Universe 4 Review
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I bought a pair of Mizuno Wave Universe 4 in December last year since I loved its predecessor so much. Wave Universe 3 is great shoes. They are amazingly light and provides just enough support for me to run fast and not get injured at the same time. I knew about the upgrade earlier last year, but knowing WU4s are basically the same shoes with no significant upgrade, I decided to wait a little, especially MSRP was $120 then. However, as soon as I saw a price reduction ($89.97 on Amazon.com), I placed an order. Now, you can find them less expensive at Amazon, Running Warehouse, or other online retailers.

As I mentioned earlier, there are not many differences between WU3 and WU4. Technical spec on the manufacturer’s web site shows few differences. Their appearances are identical except for the color scheme and design/pattern. WU4 might be a bit heavier (3.9oz for WU4 vs. 3.8oz for WU3 in size 9). Heel to toe differential is the same at 5mm. They are both width size D, which is perfect for my feet. The toe pocket provides perfect room for my toes to fit comfortably in both shoes. I hear insole is different, but this is a moot point for me since I wear socks with these shoes.

So far, I’ve run over 80 miles on WU4 and 130 miles on WU3. Despite the light weight, sole and cushioning materials seem to have weathered the pounding very well from running mostly on asphalt and concrete. I ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in WU3 comfortably, and since January this year, most of my running has been in WU4, except for 20 miler long runs (worn Kinvara 2). I am still debating whether WUs are good shoes to run a marathon for me. I plan to run Boston in Kinvara 2 but keep training in WUs and perhaps run a marathon in them later this year to see if they replace Kinvara 2 in marathon, too. I will share the experience here.


  • Deacon
    September 14, 2012

    do you wear socks with your WU4’s? I’m really torn on trying to go sockless in these for a half marathon.

    • Koji Kawano
      September 14, 2012

      I’ve never worn socks in any running shoes, because my feet sweat quite a bit and I am afraid I get blisters. Let me know if you tried.

  • Bill Hair
    July 28, 2013

    I am on my eighth set of Mizuno Wave Universe shoes (3s and 4s) and love them. My current set will cross 500 miles on Monday or Tuesday. I am a forefoot runner with a neutral, center strike and run from 8k – 26k several days a week.

    My review:
    1. Very durable and comfortable and they fit like a glove
    2. Summer miles in Texas – average 450 – 550 miles
    3. Fall/Winter/Spring miles in Texas – average around 750 miles
    4. Weight: If you hold socks in one hand and shoes in the other, it is hard to tell the difference.
    5. Significantly reduced injuries since switching to these shoes

    1. If these are not sized properly, you can get blisters
    2. If you run on hot roads, the heat will sometimes come through
    3. If you have a high arch, the shoe laces can cut across the top of your foot

    I’ve run in:
    Newton’s (they were ok, but at $160 a pair and a max of 350 miles, they are not a good value)
    Asics (fit comfortably but I could not run more than 8k without getting injured
    Vibram Bikila – spread my toes apart to much – I think it caused me to fracture my Metatarsal.
    Altra Zero Drop Adams – lightweight, had to modify for comfort, pass heat, 300 mile distance.

    My Two Cents

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