Whether you are a professional or just run for fun, you understand that the shoes determine your comfort, endurance, speed, and overall success.
For this reason, you need to find a shoe brand that matches your attributes and needs. Besides looking for a pair that you like, you should also consider other things such as the drop, cushioning, comfort, and overall foot support.
Mizuno and Brooks are among the most popular sports footwear brands you should consider when looking for the best running shoes. Scroll down further to see the most popular shoes from these two giants.
Both brands have decades of experience, and even though they have a limited number of shoe models compared to other prominent brands, their shoes are the most sought in the market.
However, the bugging question for most runners is, which brand is better between the two? To help answer this question, we have scoured the internet and compiled a comprehensive list of features to help you decide.
But first, let’s try to understand a little background about the two brands.
A Brief History About Mizuno and Brooks
Mizuno is a Japanese brand that dates back to 1906 when two brothers, Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno, delved into a journey of developing industry-leading sporting products.
Through scientific research and top-of-the-class craftsmanship, Mizuno evolved from a typical baseball equipment retailer into a reputable manufacturer of their baseball wear in 1910.
Having been a forerunner of several technologies, Mizuno introduced their patented Mizuno Wave technology. With such a game-changing technology, their shoe models would later win several coveted awards, including the Runners World awards in 2002, 2004, and 2006.
Despite being successful in other areas, Mizuno only became a force to be reckoned with in the running shoe industry in 2007 after developing the infinity wave sole. Since then, they’ve created cutting-edge running shoe models that help avoid injuries and tackle any terrain effortlessly.
Top Mizuno Running Shoes Compared
Established in 1914 as a bathing shoes and ballet slippers manufacturer, Brooks experienced immense growth and success, especially in the 1970s. However, things went from great to worse within a short period towards the end of the decade. In 1981, the company filed for bankruptcy and cut its product line by 50%.
The company decided to focus all its attention on running shoes. And undoubtedly, this was the best decision ever. All their running shoe models become instant hits outselling even some of the world’s famous brands.
Brooks became the best seller from 2011 and received recognition as the best running shoe brand by notable athletic publishers such as Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated.
To date, Brooks designs running shoes integrated with the latest technology to provide runners with the support and comfort they need for overall success.
Top Brooks Running Shoes Compared
Mizuno vs. Brooks: Which One is Comparatively Better?
Since we now know how Mizuno and Brooks came to existence, let’s delve into their unique features to help you make an informed choice.
One area that the two brands exude significant differences is in their construction and design. Mizuno running shoes are lightweight due to slightly narrower cushioning and integrate a Wave Plate technology in the midsole.
On the other hand, Brooks shoes come with a compact and durable foam sole and are made from materials that deliver higher mileage.
Let’s look at these areas to understand more about how Mizuno and Brooks differ in structure.
Mizuno is famous for its AirMesh engineered upper, which is breathable and lightweight. However, some of their shoe models boast Waveknit upper.
The Wavenit is tighter than the mesh and provides runners with proper foot and toe movement. Since it fits like a sock, it can accommodate feet of different sizes.
Both AirMesh and Wavenit upper designs integrate overlays for enhanced structural support and are excellent at hugging the foot without being too restrictive.
Mizuno also features the Dynamotion Fit Technology that allows the shoe to move with your foot providing unmatched support for every stride.
On the other hand, Brooks running shoes come with a lightweight, breathable, and thicker upper. They boast shoes with breathable mesh or Fitknit technology, a stretchy material that moves with the foot and offers adequate comfort.
Although both Mizuno and Brooks offer slightly narrower upper, the latter is long-lasting since it is less ventilated and more reinforced.
Brooks also leverages 3D Fit Print technology for upper design and development. This leads to the creation of lightweight overlays that contribute to a more stable and solid upper.
However, both Mizuno and Brooks running shoes have traditional lacing systems to give runners the chance to tie the laces to their liking.
Mizuno has a solid reputation in the running shoe niche for its signature technology, Wave Plate.
All their shoes are ingrained with a Wave Plate design, where a plastic plate extends through the midsole from rear to front.
Shaped like the ocean waves, the Wave Plate helps absorb impact and disperse the shock horizontally, protecting your foot joints from getting injured.
Runners will find various wave technologies on Mizuno running shoes, including Cloud Wave, Infinity Wave, Fan-Shaped Wave, Parallel Wave, and Double Fan-Shaped Wave.
Mizuno places its wave plates within the midsole foam. The midsoles are made from lightweight foams of different compounds, including U4ic, U4icX, XPOP, and Mizuno Energy.
By contrast, Brooks is famed for its highly cushioned running shoes. Brooks delivers fast, comfortable, and highly supportive running shoes using a wide range of midsole compounds.
One of the plushest and softest midsole foams that you’ll find in Brooks running shoes is the DNA LOFT. This is a lightweight material that adheres to the foot structure and provides unmatched shock absorption and support.
There’s also the BioMoGo DNA, which is highly responsive and environmentally friendly. Other foams integrated into Brooks running shoes are DNA AMP foam, DNA FLASH, and DNA ZERO.
For added support and to reduce overpronation, Brooks also boasts GuideRails technology.
Mizuno artfully combines a carbon rubber compound with state-of-the-art technology to create solid and highly supportive outsoles.
These outsoles provide exceptional surface grip and superior ride quality. They boast excellent energy return on every stride and go an extra mile to provide great landing on any surface.
Some of their shoes’ outsoles come with Dynamotion Groove or D-Flex Groove for increased flexibility and coordinated motion.
By contrast, Brooks shoes come with full rubber outsoles. Some shoe models boast the PHP Plus, an anti-abrasive rubber compound that makes the shoe durable and highly stable.
Runners will also find other shoe models in the Brooks portfolio with Dual Stability Arch Pod, a fabulous design that helps prevent overpronation.
Both brands feature high reliable outsoles that can handle virtually any terrain.
Although the shoe’s longevity can depend on the user’s feet and use, both Mizuno and Brooks running shoes can give you an average of 400 to 500 miles.
However, we can’t fail to mention that the Mizuno running shoes tend to wear out much faster due to their narrow upper.
Therefore, while the two brands create running shoes that can last up to 400 miles, the Brooks shoe models can last longer if used for their intended purpose.
Overall Fit and Comfort
Mizuno running shoes are naturally narrow and usually have a slimmer fit. While their upper is stretchy, some wearers find them restrictive, especially for shoes made from the Waveknit fabric.
While the Mizuno products scream authenticity and offer great value, they don’t always provide a perfect fit, especially for big and wide-footed runners.
However, it is crucial to understand that runners find Mizuno extra comfortable, primarily due to the wave plate technology and the super-soft foam cushioning.
On their side, Brooks running shoes boasts an extra-layered, breathable, and highly elastic upper effortlessly liaises with the comfortable midsole to leave a wide toe box.
They offer a snugger fit and a comfortable heel cup that improves foot stability without being intrusive.
Brooks shoes allow the foot to flex and move but can be tightened using the races for improved comfort and support.
Both brands deliver light and comfortable shoes, but Brooks’ running shoes are comfier and plusher.
Unfortunately, you can’t use price as a factor to differentiate between the two brands. Both Mizuno and Brooks running shoes averagely around $130.
However, since you can extend Brooks shoes’ longevity through maintenance and ensuring that a shoe model is used for its intended terrain and conditions, they definitely offer more value for every dollar you spend.
After our comprehensive comparison of Mizuno vs. Brooks, we can confidently say that there is no outright winner between these two.
Both brands have created cutting-edge running shoes that integrate various technologies that help absorb shock and improve comfort.
The two brands have shoe models for all feet and different terrains, including neutral and stability shoes. Both brands have lightweight running shoes, but when it comes to cushioning, Brooks outpaces Mizuno.
For runners in search of shoes with a broader fit, extra cushioning, and a little plushness, Brooks running shoes are the best bet. The shoes provide robust foot support and are adequately cushioned to deliver comfy running.
If your preferences lean towards shoes that return energy with every stride and disperse shock to protect your feet from injury, you won’t go wrong with Mizuno running shoes. Their advanced technologies, including Wave Plate, make them springy and light for all kinds of runs.
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 to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.