There are many benefits of running. Having a great pair of running shoes can be one of the most significant factors determining whether you have a good running experience and a bad one. The best pair will provide shock absorption to minimize the risk of injuries and pain.
In the process of purchasing the best running shoe for your needs, you will have to select the brand as well. Mizuno and Asics are some of the well-known running shoe brands in the market.
Although both are mainly known today for their running shoes, neither of these brands started as one. We will have a brief look into the background of these two brands then compare their features.
If you have been wondering, between Mizuno and Asics running shoes, which are better? Well, stay with us as we find out below.
Who Is Mizuno?
This is a shoe brand with a Japanese origin, having been founded in 1906. It started as a manufacturer of baseball equipment as well as other sports equipment. Mizuno started becoming famous in the athletics world in 2007 after releasing their Infinity Wave sole.
Some of Mizuno’s top-selling running shoes include the Wave Rider, Wave Horizon, Wave Rebellion, Wave Shadow, and Wave Inspire.
Check out some of the other popular shoes from Mizuno below:
Who Is Asics?
Asics started its operations in 1949 as a basketball shoemaker. As such, they are significantly younger in terms of years of operations compared to Mizuno. This brand is known for its gel cushioning technology that was launched in 1986. They continue to use it in most of their shoes’ cushioning systems.
Apart from running shoes, the brand also makes rugby and football shoes that feature injury prevention technology. Asics top selling running shoes include the Gel Cumulus, Gel Kayano, and Gel Nimbus. Their shoes come in a narrower fit, especially around the midsole and heel.
Some of Asics most popular running shoes are listed below:
Features That Make the Best Running Shoe: Mizuno vs. Asics Comparison
Mizuno features AirMesh engineered mesh uppers which are breathable and lightweight. They also use Waveknit upper in some of their other shoes. Waveknit is tighter than AirMesh and has a sock-like fit. In addition, it features overlays that provide structural support.
Mizuno’s Waveknit uppers have a better fit at the shoe’s forefoot. The sock-like fit makes the shoe wrap around the foot comfortably while allowing your toes to wiggle without restrictions. However, the engineered mesh is more breathable than the Waveknit.
Besides AirMesh and Waveknit, Mizuno also uses Dynamotion Fit Tech on their shoes’ upper. This technology ensures that the shoe moves together with the foot. It also helps it move naturally. That’s not all because Mizuno also features a padded heel collar and tongue for added support and comfort.
Asics places a non-elastic and elastic mesh through FluidFit technology. This makes the shoe hug the foot in a sock-like manner. The engineered upper mesh is also breathable.
Further, Asics shoes have a snugger fit, with the heel and forefoot being tighter than average. As such, Asics shoes at times tend to run small, and it is recommended that you go half a size up but they provide a shoe fit guide which is a helpful feature if you are unsure of your size.
Mizuno is popular for its midsole that comes with the Wave Plate technology. The tech designs the shoe so that it spreads impact horizontally as the foot touches the running surface. This protects your muscles, bones, and joints from pain and injuries.
Wave Plate technology has various categories, including Infinity Wave, which is the use of two wave plates with one on top of the other and delivers maximum cushioning; parallel Wave which is ideal for neutral stride runners; Cloud Wave, and Fan-Shaped Wave which is great for overpronators.
The plate(s) sit around the midsole, and they use different types of midsole foams. Mizuno mainly uses U4ic, an EVA-based foam that is more lightweight than EVA foam but gives ideal cushioning and energy return. Mizuno’s U4icX is the lighter weight, more responsive, and softer version of U4ic. It is featured in one of their latest releases, Mizuno Energy.
They also use the XPOP midsole, which is made of compressed TPU pellets that make the shoe more durable. The downside of the XPOP midsole is that it makes the shoes less responsive and heavier than when Mizuno uses U4ic.
Asics is known for using Gel technology for cushioning. They place small gel pieces in the midsole’s heel and forefoot for absorbing shock, especially with heel strikers.
In addition, Asics features Flytefoam technology which, besides being extremely lightweight, is also durable. However, Flytefoam gives less energy return but would be a great choice if you prefer a snug fit.
Asics features Duomax, a double density midsole, on the sole’s inner side at the midsole. It prevents the shoe from collapsing. A heel counter locks the heel in place while providing support.
Mizuno uses blown rubber in its running shoe outsoles. This rubber is impressively durable and delivers a great grip on both dry and wet surfaces. However, this blown rubber is not used in all their shoes, and it would be best to confirm before purchase.
Further, they feature either D-Flex Grooves or Dynamotion Grooves in most of their running shoe outsoles. This makes them more flexible. Some of their trail shoes also have XtraGrip tech that makes it easier to run on challenging terrains by providing excellent traction.
Asics uses the Trusstic system in their shoe outsoles to split the rearfoot and forefoot. Trusstic prevents the foot and shoe from twisting. Besides, they feature either AHAR or AHAR + in the outsoles to make the shoes durable and improve traction.
Cushioning and Fit
Mizuno’s wave plate technology is one of their shoes’ best assets because it delivers a lot. One of the key qualities it gives to the shoes is superior cushioning. As such, you are cushioned from impact when running. In terms of fit, Mizuno shoes come in a comfortable fit, again thanks to the Wave Plate technology.
Asics is well known for its gel cushioning technology. It does the job by delivering excellent shock absorption. When it comes to fit, their shoes have a snug fit, so the foot has little to no room for wiggling. While they make a great choice for those who prefer a close fit, they might be a challenge for people with wide fit or those who generally prefer a roomy toe box.
On average, Mizuno’s running shoes weigh 5.5 to 9.8 oz., with the average weight being 7 oz. They make some of the lightest shoes in the market.
Men’s and women’s Asics shoes weigh differently. While men’s versions weigh between 10 and 11 oz., those of women weigh 8-9 oz.
There is no doubt that Mizuno shoes are lighter than those of Asics. They fall below recommended maximum weight of 10 oz. for men and eight oz. for women.
While the Wave Plate tech in Mizuno’s shoes’ midsoles is primarily for protection, it also makes the shoes durable. In general, Mizuno shoes deliver about 400-500 miles.
Asics shoes deliver between 450 – 550 miles. They also give a 1-year warranty for any manufacturing defects but not for wear and tear.
Asics have a higher lifespan expectancy than Mizuno. They also have a warranty on manufacturing defects which is a good addition. As such, Asics takes the lead in terms of durability. Keep in mind, a shoe’s ultimate durability depends on the terrain, your gait, and weight.
When buying a shoe, you want to ensure that you spend your money on a pair that will deliver what you need, should it be cushioning, stability, energy return, ideal fit, or a perfect mix of all this. Therefore, you might have to spend a bit more to ensure that you get value for money.
On average, a pair of Mizuno running shoes will cost you about $130. On the other hand, an Asics pair of running shoes will cost you between $110 and $160. Both brands give good value for the money based on their features.
The average price for the two brands is within the same range. Although they may have cheaper models, choosing a pair within this range is best since the cheaper ones are less likely to provide great performance and durability.
If you were wondering whether to buy Mizuno or Asics running shoes, there you have a comparison of these two brands. As is evident, both do a great job regarding the top features of a good running shoe.
If you prefer shoes with a snug fit, then you should go for Asics. Although Mizuno also doesn’t have a very wide toe box, theirs is better than Asics. In terms of outsoles, both brands have made efforts to ensure that they deliver the desired durability and traction.
The main distinguishing feature between the two brands is their cushioning systems. While Mizuno uses U4ix to cushion and support the entire foot, Asics uses their famous gel technology or Flytefoam, which focuses more on the forefoot and stability.
Ultimately, a decision on the brand to settle for will depend on your needs. If you need lightweight shoes, we highly recommend Mizuno, but if you need durability, we recommend Asics. We hope that this article has helped settle the Mizuno vs. Asics superiority battle.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.