Mizuno Wave Hitogami 3 ReviewFebruary 23, 2016
- Light and comfortable upper materials
- Energetic heel to toe midsole responsiveness
- Outstanding outsole traction
- Too much heel-toe drop for midfoot strikers
- Narrow midfoot and forefoot will cause impingement for some users
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 3 combines race design with durability to offer race-ready performance with everyday training runs. In comparison to the Adidas Adios Boost 3, the Hitogami 3 has better responsiveness in the midsole and better outsole traction, but a narrower overall fit and less comfort for long distance racing. The 9mm heel-toe drop encourages heel striking and won’t appeal to midfoot strikers.
Mizuno manages to pack a number of its design innovations – such as u4ic midsole compound, the mechanical Wave midsole structure, and rockered SmoothRide geometry – into a relatively minimalist shoe. The result is a shoe that’s built for race days but able to handle everyday training mileage also.
The heel area is snug and secure, and the low heel collar leaves your ankle bones alone. Some testers found both the midfoot and forefoot areas to be a squeeze. A traditional tongue and lace system helps customize the fit for those who have excess room in the midfoot. The front of the shoe is more rounded than other Mizuno models, but doesn’t quite allow full toe splay on ground contact. Length is true to size.
A breathable mesh upper with light padding keeps the foot comfortable above the platform. Although wear testers liked the responsiveness of the midsole, (see next item), the midsole is more firm and less forgiving than other brands, even those with similarly low stack heights.
Motion from heel to toe is enhanced by the 9mm drop, by the rockered geometry from back to front, and by a longitudinal flex groove that allows natural movement of the foot through stance phase. Testers describe the u4ic midsole material has having a firm feel but good rebound for quick leg turnover.
The plastic wave-shaped insert that runs from heel through the midfoot effectively absorbs and redirects the impact forces with ground strike away from your foot. It also helps to keep the shoe centered throughout the stance phase, which helps transfer forward momentum more efficiently. However, the plate also contributes to a more rigid feel in the rearfoot.
These are ideally built for fast running, with lightweight construction, super traction, and good energy transfer in the midsole. If the fit and drop agree with you, the The Hitogami 3 is an excellent race day shoe.