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Mizuno Wave Musha 4 – Our Take

February 4th, 2012

Mizuno Wave Musha 4 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

The Musha 4 bulks up a bit and improves midsole for extra bounce. Still tops for slight overpronators who want a versatile racing shoe.
(View Men’s Musha 4 and Women’s Musha 4.)

Runners Say

“These are majorly flexible and springy, especially for a Mizuno product. I wasn’t expecting the level of comfort this shoe delivers.” – Joanna

“The green and red colors, combined with a comfortable upper and silky smooth transition, make it Christmas every day you put the Musha 4′s on your feet.” – Matt

“This shoe compares well with the DS Trainer, but for me the arch was just a bit too high and felt like it was positioned a little too far back in the shoe.” – Daniel

Big Updates

  • Women’s Model: The Musha 4 is the first version of the Musha series to have a dedicated Women’s design, shaped for a woman’s foot and in the standard B width for women.
  • Increased Weight: The Men’s model has gone from 7.8 oz to 8.5 oz (Men’s 9). Still, the Musha is light on the scale and more importantly feels light on the foot.
  • Greater Responsiveness: Mizuno upgraded the Musha 4 to their AP+ midsole technology, which is designed to provide better bounce without adding much weight.

Road Test

All male testers reported finding a comfortable fit as soon as they laced up the Musha 4. The story was much different for our female testers. Joanna first picked out her regular size in the Women’s version, only to find them much too small. Once she and another female tester sized up a 1/2 size, they were able to fit properly in the shoe, but still didn’t feel entirely comfortable. Both staffers said the shoe has a low-volume midfoot and narrow forefoot, combined with a heel that felt a little loose. That said, once they got the shoe moving, they both loved its smooth transition and responsiveness.

In fact, the responsive midsole received universal praise. It’s pretty impressive that Mizuno was able to make such a flexible and springy shoe that offers a bit of cushion in this weight class. The AP+ midsole technology provides some extra bounce compared to the already springy step in the Musha 3.

Outside of the fit concerns in the Women’s version, few complaints were heard. Daniel noted that the midsole felt a touch too high on the lateral arch, but still said he would be comfortable using the shoe for road races, mile repeats or even as a weekly tempo trainer. We expect the Musha 4 to continue in the 3′s footsteps, competing well with the upcoming Asics Gel DS Racer 9 (Men’s DS Racer 9 and Women’s DS Racer 9).

Matt Running Shoes ,

  • Alex

    Weight gain and a slightly higher arch is a little worrisome for a racing flat. I’ll be buying up a couple pairs of the 3′s, just in case.

  • Sany

    So if im flat footed will this shoe work for me?

  • Matt

    Thanks for the question. Whether this shoe is right for you will depend on how much your flat footedness causes overpronation (rolling of the ankle inward during the running gait). If you are a mild overpronator, the Musha 4 offers a sufficient level of pronation control. If you pronate a lot, the Musha 4 won’t provide enough support to correct your gait.

  • Nats

    Hi, I have a neutral gait. Can I still use this? I’m trying to transition to a minimal shoe for short runs, but I’m not interested in the Ronin or the Asics DS Racer.

    Thanks!

  • Matt

    The Wave Musha 4 should work just fine for you. The pronation support is created by the wave plate, rather than a traditional post that adds weight and stiffness, so the Musha still runs very smoothly and a lot like a traditional racing flat. There’s not a ton of pronation control in the shoe to begin with, and it shouldn’t feel like it’s getting in your way.

  • Nats

    @Matt
    Thanks a lot, Matt. I appreciate the reply. Musha here I come!! :)

  • Zo

    I am looking to move from the Mizuno Wave Rider 14 into the Mizuno Musha in search for a more “minimal” shoe. I was told that the Musha would hold much better than the Ronin for Marathon / long distances. The only remaining question I have is whether I should look to move to the Musha 3 or Musha 4. I personally like the Wave Rider 13 more than the Wave Rider 14 because of the lower ankle design. The Musha 4 seems to be a slight higher than the Musha 3 and of course has the AP+ plate (which is designed into the Wave Rider), but makes me wonder if that makes them more “neutral” than “minimal”. I also own a pair of New Balance Minimus Trail shoes which I have used to run 13.5 miles in training and a pair of Newton trainers which I have used up 10 (maybe 12) miles. Thanks in advance for the advice.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the question. Both the Wave Rider and Musha will hold up over a marathon distance, though of course a lighter shoe is generally better to minimize fatigue as you rack up the miles. We no longer have the Musha 3 in stock so we can’t directly compare ankle height, but you are correct that the ankle on the 4 looks slightly taller. The Musha 3 and 4 both have a Wave Plate midsole. AP+ is the type of foam used in the Musha 4 and Rider 14/15. AP+ has a bouncier feel and longer-lasting cushioning compared to the original AP material. The Musha series is designed to provide a bit of pronation support so it is definitely not a neutral shoe. We’d also not classify it as a “minimal” shoe. It’s a lightweight racing flat with some pronation support, compared to the Wave Rider series, which is a neutral daily trainer. If you’re running comfortably in the Minimus Trail, you might also want to look at the Mizuno Ronin 3 or 4, since it doesn’t sound like you need the pronation support the Musha series offers.

  • Rhonda gage

    Love Musha 4 ! As a high arched older runner with a narrow heel this shoe has been the best fit I have had in ages !!!! I save it for race days . Lightweight but protected feel plus snappy color combo. Please keep making …wonderful

  • Matt

    We’ll be sure to pass along all the praise to our Mizuno contacts, Rhonda. Thank you for the feedback!