Mizuno Hitogami Review

June 17, 2014
Mizuno Hitogami
Mizuno-Hitogami-heel
Mizuno-Hitogami-outsole
Mizuno-Hitogami-pair
Mizuno-Hitogami-right
Mizuno-Hitogami-top
Mizuno Hitogami Mizuno-Hitogami-heel Mizuno-Hitogami-outsole Mizuno-Hitogami-pair Mizuno-Hitogami-right Mizuno-Hitogami-top
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
95
Comfort
9
Responsiveness
9
Speed
9
Quality of Materials
8

The Good

  • Roomy toe-box
  • Simple sock-like construction
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive feel

The Bad

  • Laces don’t stay tied
THE VERDICT

In the running shoe world where the design pendulum has swung from barefoot to “how much sole can we glue on the bottom,” the Mizuno Hitogami find that sweet spot in the arc–a lightweight shoe that is still protective enough to wear through long runs. The Hitogami is a synthesis of everything a running shoe should be. It virtually disappears on your feet with a hint of bouncy energy return. This is without question the best shoe I have worn all year. It is my everyday go-to shoe. If you are an efficient runner looking for an all-round shoe that you can race and train in, grab a Hitogami!


 

FULL REVIEW

Mizuno has found the sweet spot so many runners look for: a lightweight running shoe that doesn’t feel like you’re running in Kleenex. It’s got the wavy Mizuno plate underfoot that provides a nice little landing pad—there’s just enough cushion to absorb shock, but with a nice little forefoot bounce to propel you forward.  Hitogami is my new favorite shoe—it goes everywhere except trails—a little too delicate for our gravelly arroyos (and the little horseshoe cut under the heel tends to pick up rocks) but for road running it’s hard to beat. The one minor complaint I have is that the laces did not want to stay tied, Runners with a high instep might also feel a little “lace bite” on longer runs.

Comfort
For such a low-cut shoe, there’s a lot of plush. The nicely padded heel cup and springy forefoot will bring a wry smile to your face—a comfy shoe that’s feels like it’s not afraid to work.

Responsiveness
Again, it’s a technical marvel to pack in so much bounce in so little a shoe—whereas there are plenty of big-bounce shoes out there that wear their cooler-sized soles as a badge of honor, the little Hitogami is a tustsumi, hiding it’s spring in its fabric, a surprise in such a lightweight shoe.

Speed
Speed is the raison d’etre of the Hitogami. The genius of this shoe is that it is a go-fast shoe for race day, but is sturdy enough for everyday wear. Just wearing the Hitogami puts your feet to dreaming of the Rift Valley, or at the very least the last half mile down Boylston Street.

Quality of Materials
The simple design of the Hitogami belies its solid construction. It’s little more than a sock on top of a thin, springy platform, but there’s plenty of carbon on the sole, promising a natural lifespan of such a slight shoe. And don’t forget to squish your two shoes together to enjoy the Kabuki mask hidden in the welded overlays!

This is without question the best shoe I have worn all year. It is my everyday go-to shoe. If you are an efficient runner looking for an all-round shoe that you can race and train in, grab a Hitogami!

Value
At $100, it is right on the low side of average, though in the same neighborhood as other lightweight trainers such as Saucony’s Type A. Light, of course, tends to translate into short-lived, so don’t expect to be using the same pair for next year’s marathon trials, despite some nice carbon reinforcements on the sole.

 

 


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MSRP
$100.00
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