The Wave Prophecy 4 is Mizuno’s premium cushioned trainer found to be the heaviest and most expensive shoe in this class. Testers found the shoe successful in cushioning and durability however it presented an extremely firm ride and steep price. The Mizuno Wave Prophecy is best suited for heavier runners looking for a durable high-mileage shoe.
The Wave Prophecy 4 delivers Mizuno’s ultimate level of cushioning through two full-length wave plates joined with rubber pillars. The inherent design of the wave plate offers mechanical attenuation of shock rather than absorption through foam. Additionally a thin layer of Mizuno’s proprietary lightweight foam is sandwiched between the sole and plastic wave plate. The end result is a very firm midsole and overall stiff shoe. Mizuno appears to have stagnated in the Prophecy’s forth edition as the shoe maintained the same weight, offset and had no change in wave plate or cushioning. This edition does away with the upper’s hot melts, using instead traditional sewn synthetic overlays.
Comfort The heel collar consisted of smooth synthetic material with just enough cushion for a secure hold. The forefoot was otherwise average with breathable mesh. I found no forefoot slippage despite the shoe’s stiffness. The too-short laces snugged comfortably against the plush cushioned tongue.
Speed At 12.3 ounces this shoe is the heaviest in the comfort trainer class. Deep grooves in the forefoot offer a touch of flexibility yet when transitioning to forefoot the shoe felt clunky and slow. This is definitely not a tempo shoe!
Responsiveness While there was no true snap, this shoe turned over faster than I expected given its weight. Some found the midsole stiffness to be cumbersome when not heel striking due to “fighting the shoe’s mechanics to run on the forefoot”.
Heeluxe, our shoe testing laboratory partner, tests the responsiveness of a shoe by measuring how thick a running shoe is and multiplying it by how much pressure the forefoot foot feels while running. The softer or thicker the midsole, the less responsive a shoe will feel, but the more comfortable the shoe will generally feel. The thinner or firmer a midsole is, the more power you’ll feel at toe-off.
Value The amount of engineering in this shoe dictates a steep price. Those with deep pockets and fans of Mizuno’s wave plate technology will appreciate it, however.