Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mizuno Wave Hitogami

Mizuno Wave Hitogami

For the last few years, the Mizuno Wave Ronin has been my go to shoe. I ran in the Ronin 2, 3, 4, and 5. I've liked some versions better than others, but I put a lot of miles on all versions. I wore them for short distance races and long training runs. I have never stocked up on a shoe in the past, but I considered it when I heard the Ronin 5 would be the last. The Ronin and the Musha will be replaced with the Wave Hitogami.


Tonight I saw the shoe in person and ran a very short run in it. I will not have to stock up on the Ronin. This shoe will be my go to running shoe when it is available for purchase. The shoe fit comfortable and had a light flexible ride. This shoe made me feel fast.

The upper appeared to be very breathable. It was light and flexible, but I expect it to be very durable. The heel collar did a good job of locking down my heel. The midfoot was tight leading to a roomy enough forefoot. I would like a little more room, but it has more room than many shoes in this category.

This midsole is the new U4ic with a small wave plate. The Ronin 4 had AP and the Ronin 5 had AP+ for cushioning. To be honest, I don't notice a difference between AP, AP+, and U4ic. They all appear to do their job to me. I'm told the U4ic is lighter for the amount of cushioning it provides. It had plenty for my taste. It had enough cushion for long distance runs, at least for my taste, without feeling squishy.

The Hitogami has a listed weight of 7.4 oz. for men and 6.2 oz. for women. I was told the heel toe differential was 9mm. These numbers are very close to the Ronin and Musha.

The men's shoe came in two color options. In the picture above it is the white, red, and yellow, and below it is the black, blue, and pink shoe. The women's is the white, blue and yellow shoe above, and the pink, blue, and yellow shoe below. I'm not sure I care for the black, blue and pink men's shoe. I don't mind a flashy shoe, but this is not my style.

One of the things I've always like about the Ronin was the aggressive outsole. It had small pieces of rubber attached to the outsole. These provided a good grip on many road surfaces. It was also a very durable rubber. The outsole on the Hitogami was a softer rubber. It was sticky and gripped the road well. The flex grooves that were on the Ronin and other Mizuno shoes are not present on the Hitogami. I didn't miss them.



The lateral edge of the shoe is rounded, I noticed this on my run in a good way. When I run, I supinate. I land on my forefoot and usually wear out the lateral edge of the shoe. This shoe puts the rubber where I need it. I believe this will benefit many runners. This feature is also on the Wave Rider 17.

On a design note, the shoes are meant to look like a Japanese mask. The mask is pictured behind the shoes. When two of the shoes are turned on their sides next to each other, they look like the mask. I like the effort put into this design. The Precision 12 had great graphics. Unfortunately only the women's shoe had the graphics. The Hatogami has graphics that you'll have to take your shoes off to show someone. Maybe good, maybe not great, but it might be a conversation starter.

Hopefully I've typed Hitogami enough times in this to be able to remember the name. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't roll off my tongue like Ronin.  I'll miss the Ronin. It was my go to shoe for a few years. I have a feeling the Hitogami will make me forget how much I miss the Ronin. This looks like a good replacement.

11 comments:

  1. I too have an addiction for running shoes. I am also sponsored by Mizuno, and feel fortunate to work with such an amazing company. I am going to have to get a pair of the Hatogami for my collection! So far Ive been running short races in my Wave Universe 4's, but would like something a tiny bit cushier for a half marathon.

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    1. I'm not sponsored by Mizuno, but I wish I was. The New Universe will come out in July. It's even lighter than the last one. I can't wear it because I need more shoe. You might also consider the Mizuno Ekiden. It's between the Universe and the Hitogami. The Hitogami will be a great distance shoe for many runners.

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    2. I do like the sound of the Hitogami. But I do love the Universe 4...can't wait to see what they do for the next one!!

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    3. The Wave Universe 5 is crazy light. It's 2.8 oz. for the men's and 2.2 oz. for the women's. I like the idea of it, but I personally need a little more shoe. I heard the original idea for the Uiverse 5 was to make it out of race bib material. They didn't do that, but the shoe is printed to look like parts of race bibs.

      I've done some short distance running in the Ekiden and I like that shoe more after a few miles.

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  2. My friend is a KindRunner ambassador http://www.loveeatrun.com/kindrunner/
    Check it out, great place to donate old shoes.

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  3. So it has support? I am a little confused how the Hitogami can replace the Musha AND Ronin? Isn't the Ronin a neutral racer/flat? I use the Musha 4 for tempo work and some road races and really like it. Is the Hitogami the direct replacement for me and will it offer some support like the Wave Musha does?

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    1. This is a difficult question for me to answer. I run mainly in the Ronin and only once in a while in the Musha. I don't consider the Ronin, Musha, or Hitogami to be racing flats. To me, they're more lightweight performance trainers, but I know labels can be funny. I know it has some, but I never found the Musha to have all that much support. Mizuno is using the Sayonara as a replacement for the Precision and the Elixir. I was told that the Sayonara has a tiny bit more support than the Elixir, but you won't engage it if you don't need it. It's very possible that the Hitogami has the same amount of support as the Musha or close to it. I'm really not sure.

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  5. Good Blog! Thanks for sharing. I'm a Musha guy and as for Ronin, I'll be missing My Musha(I have musha1,2,3 and 4) as well. Hope Hitogami will exceeds my expectations.

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