Mizuno Ronin 4 – Our Take
“The Ronin 4 is an impressive racing flat, but my foot just couldn’t quite settle into the upper. I had to cinch the laces pretty tight to feel securely in place, but then my midfoot was cramped. Still, I enjoyed the firm, flexible ride.” – Matt
“This shoe is super flexible and fast. My foot felt at one with the ground, thanks to the very natural transition. I had to go a half size up to get the right fit.” – Joanna
“Bit of a strange shape in the upper. The toebox had some extra room, but it didn’t affect performance. When speed is the objective, this shoe delivers.” – Daniel
- Fresh Design: The Ronin takes a big step forward in design, with a flashier look compared to prior models that flew under the radar.
- Flex Controllers: These additions to the outsole maximize energy optimization by improving efficiency during the final stages of toe-off.
Many of you out there probably know what a ronin is. Japanese samurai who became masterless were known as ronin, which translates in English to “wave man.” They got this name because of their status as warriors who were socially adrift. The Mizuno Ronin 4 certainly hasn’t lost its way, but wave man is quite a fitting description, given the shoe’s Wave cushioning technology.
Version 4 of the Ronin looks very fresh but rides much like the outgoing model. You still get plenty of tech in this shoe, including Wave plate cushioning, AP+ midsole, AIRmesh upper for better breathability and a G3 outsole for lightweight grip.
It was a challenge for our testers to feel much of a difference between the Ronin 3 and Ronin 4. Many commented that the latest version felt just a touch more responsive in the forefoot, which probably can be attributed to the Flex Controllers placed on the outsole. Like its predecessor, the Musha 4 has a 10mm heel-to-toe offset, but the shoe feels flatter than that on the road. The slipper-like fit received a lot of praise, letting the foot do its thing without too much interference or slipping around.
While the Men’s version fit true to size, we recommend purchasing a 1/2 size bigger in the Women’s model. The bottom line is that Mizuno didn’t mess with success on the Ronin 4 design, and that will be music to the ears of the many Ronin fans out there.