Mizuno VS ASICS: Which Is Better?

As an avid runner and sneakerhead, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect pair of running shoes. Mizuno and ASICS are two of the top brands when it comes to performance running sneakers.

But with so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to decide which brand is better suited for your needs. This article will compare the key features of Mizuno and ASICS to help you determine the right shoe.

Comparison Table

FeaturesMizunoASICS
Founded In19061949
Comfort and FitKnown for comfortable and supportive fitExcellent cushioning and support for all foot types
Color OptionsWide variety of color optionsMany color and style options
DurabilityVery durable shoesDurable and well-constructed
PerformanceHigh performance shoes for runnersDesigned for performance running
Design and StyleSleek and athletic designBoth classic and modern shoe designs
PopularityPopular with serious runnersOne of the most popular running brands
Best Selling ModelWave RiderASICS Gel-Kayano

Mizuno Overview

Founded in 1906 in Japan by Rihachi Mizuno, Mizuno is steeped in a long heritage of innovative sports footwear.

Rihachi Mizuno

While newer to the American running shoe scene than some brands, Mizuno has quietly built a following for its responsive, well-balanced performance.

Mizuno running shoes utilize technologies like Enerzy foam cushioning and Wave Plates engineered into the midsole to provide a springy yet stable platform. The smooth but supportive ride makes Mizuno a great choice for tempo runs and speed workouts.

The breathable mesh uppers hug feet securely but allow adequate airflow on hot runs.

Mizuno shoes run slightly narrow but are tailored to most foot shapes with a curved anatomical last. Sizes accommodate regular and wider width options.

The outsoles use durable carbon rubber in high-wear areas for impressive longevity over hundreds of miles. Traction lugs grip well on varied terrain from tracks to light trails.

While the shoes skew minimalist rather than heavily cushioned, the responsive foam and smooth transitions still offer plenty of comfort for long distances. Testers note the quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail shine through.

For runners seeking a well-balanced shoe for mid to high-mileage training, Mizuno delivers a harmonious blend of comfort, responsiveness, and versatility at a reasonable price point.

ASICS Overview

Asics was founded way back in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Kobe, Japan.

Kihachiro Onitsuka

The name “Asics” actually comes from the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano,” which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body.” Asics shoes really align with that mission, aiming to provide runners with equipment that enables peak performance.

Throughout its long history, Asics has continuously innovated and evolved its shoe technologies.

Key components that provide the renowned Asics fit and feel include the IGS (Impact Guidance System) for a natural gait cycle, Trusstic System tech for light stability, SpevaFoam cushioning for soft landings, and Dynamic DuoMax support for optimal alignment.

The outer soles utilize Asics’ specialized rubber compounds called AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) that hold up to heavy mileage on roads.

From fast, feather-light racing flats to well-cushioned trainers, Asics offers a diverse range of running shoe models to suit different needs.

But across the board, Asics shoes are known for their structured, classic look and feel.

If you want a running shoe with proven performance and durability from a brand that’s withstood the test of time, Asics is a solid choice.

Major Differences between the Brands

Comfort and Fit

Both Mizuno and ASICS shoes are known for being comfortable. However, they achieve this comfort in different ways. Mizuno shoes tend to have a wider, more spacious toe box and forefoot, making them better for wider feet.

ASICS shoes offer a more precise, snugger fit throughout the entire shoe. When it comes to cushioning, ASICS uses more overall cushioning with their GEL technology while Mizuno focuses on responsive cushioning in targeted areas.

For those needing arch support, Mizuno tends to provide better built-in support while ASICS has options for inserting your own orthotics. In terms of breaking in, Mizuno shoes have less of a break-in period compared to some stiff ASICS models. For runners with wide feet or who want a shoe they can wear comfortably right away, Mizuno is likely the better choice.

Durability and Performance

Both Mizuno and ASICS are known for making high-quality, durable shoes with advanced technologies to enhance performance. ASICS uses more rigid, durable materials like Gel in their midsole.

This allows their shoes to maintain cushioning and bounce over many miles. Mizuno uses some softer foams which can break down a bit faster. However, their innovative Wave Plate provides durable support mile after mile.

For outsoles, both brands use quality rubber materials that hold up well to abrasion. In terms of technologies for performance, Mizuno’s Wave Plate provides a smooth, springy ride while ASICS focuses more on rearfoot and forefoot Gel placement for targeted bounce.

Both brands are excellent for serious runners training for long distances. Overall, ASICS may have a slight edge for durability while Mizuno excels at energy return. But both offer impressive construction quality and performance.

Price

When it comes to price, both Mizuno and ASICS running shoes fall into a similar mid-range bracket, normally between $100 to $150. ASICS may have slightly lower entry-level prices around $60-$80. However, their flagship shoes with the most technology can reach up to $200.

Mizuno shoes almost all cost over $100 but rarely exceed $150 for top-tier pairs. Keeping in mind the Japanese craftsmanship and use of high-end materials, the prices of both brands are justified for serious runners.

Comparing prices for popular neutral trainers, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24 costs approximately $150 while the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 costs $135. For stability shoes, the ASICS GT-2000 10 is $120 versus the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 at $135.

Overall, ASICS may edge out Mizuno slightly when it comes to very budget-friendly options under $100. But for mid-range performance shoes, both offer comparable value considering the proven technologies and quality.

Design and Style

Mizuno and ASICS running shoes have distinct styles. Mizuno shoes have an athletic, performance-focused look with seamless uppers and integrated technologies like the Wave Plate.

They come in a wide range of colorways but the overall silhouette and design elements are more subtle. ASICS shoes have some understated options but also many vivid, printed styles. Their Gel cushioning units and support features like the DuoMax medial post are visible and part of the aesthetic.

For runners wanting loud colors and prints, ASICS has greater variety. The ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 even comes in a titanium /Gold Rush color scheme. For those who prefer a simpler, sleeker look, Mizuno is the better choice.

Both brands offer classic styles like the ASICS Gel-Lyte III and Mizuno Wave Rider that fans love. Overall, Mizuno focuses more on seamless integration while ASICS embraces visible technologies and eye-catching accents.

Popularity

ASICS edges out Mizuno when it comes to popularity and market share. According to Running USA, ASICS is currently the most popular running shoe brand with about 17% of the market. Mizuno sits further down the list with just under 5% market share.

There are a few potential reasons why ASICS has wider appeal and popularity. Their shoes come in a huge range of styles and colors which attracts casual wearers along with serious runners. Mizuno has a narrower, more specialized range that targets performance-focused athletes.

ASICS also has greater brand recognition and availability. You’ll find shelves of ASICS shoes in general sporting goods stores and chains while Mizuno is carried more by specialty running stores. While elite runners may appreciate Mizuno’s advanced technologies, the Gel cushioning from ASICS has wider familiarity and appeal for the general public.

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Target Market

The target markets for Mizuno and ASICS have some overlap but also key differences. Mizuno shoes are optimized for dedicated runners who want serious support and performance for training and racing long distances. Their ideal customer has neutral to moderate overpronation and wants comfort along with responsive feedback from their shoes. ASICS also targets performance runners but has shoes suitable for a wider range of foot types and support needs. Their focus includes runners who need maximum stability as well as more casual runners and walkers. When it comes to demographics, Mizuno customers tend to be serious male runners while ASICS has broader appeal across gender and age demographics.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

For nurses and others who are on their feet all day, both Mizuno and ASICS shoes can provide the comfort and support needed. However, ASICS may have a slight edge for healthcare workers. The plush GEL cushioning system in models like the Gel-Nimbus and Gel-Kayano does an excellent job absorbing shock and reducing foot fatigue during long shifts.

The roomy toe box in certain ASICS styles also accommodates swelling. While Mizuno shoes are comfortable, some styles have a tighter fit that may not work as well for long hours standing.

For those needing slip resistance, ASICS offers SafeTread outsoles on some nursing shoes whereas Mizuno does not have healthcare-specific options. Overall, the superior comfort and support technologies of ASICS make them a top choice for nurses.

For Walking

For walking and casual wear, ASICS again gets the advantage over Mizuno. ASICS walking shoes like the Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 have excellent shock absorption along with features like a Guidance Trusstic System to enhance gait efficiency on long walks.

Many also have Ortholite® footbeds for moisture management. While Mizuno makes some supportive walking shoes like the Wave Sky 4, they lack some of the comfort technologies specifically tailored to walking found in ASICS models.

ASICS also offers more street-style walking shoes versus the sporty look of most Mizuno options. For walkers wanting maximum cushioning along with versatile lifestyle appeal, ASICS is likely the better brand.

For Running

When it comes to performance running, Mizuno and ASICS both shine. Their flagship running shoes use advanced technologies to deliver responsive, well-cushioned rides.

Neutral runners can’t go wrong with popular models like the Mizuno Wave Rider or ASICS Gel-Nimbus. For overpronators, the Mizuno Wave Inspire and ASICS GT-2000 series provide excellent stability.

Cushioning differs between the brands, with Mizuno focusing on targeted Enerzy foam and ASICS using Gel more generously throughout their midsoles. However, both excel at dispersing shock while returning energy for a smooth, efficient run.

Serious runners training for everything from 5Ks to marathons would be happy with either brand. It comes down to personal fit and feel preferences between the two.

For Flat Feet

For runners with flat feet who overpronate, ASICS is often the preferred brand. Their DuoMax support system combined with rearfoot and forefoot GEL units helps control excessive inward rolling of flat feet.

Motion control shoes like the ASICS GT-2000 or GT-4000 work great for this purpose. While some Mizuno models like the Wave Inspire do have stability features, they tend to have less structure and control than comparable ASICS. Going with ASICS for flat feet ensures you get the maximum support and guidance needed to compensate for low or fallen arches.

For Back Pain

The ample cushioning from ASICS also gives them an advantage for runners with back pain. Neutral shoes like the Gel-Nimbus provide soft, shock-absorbing comfort underfoot, taking pressure off the back. Stiffer stability shoes can potentially aggravate back issues so the Gel cushioning of ASICS is ideal.

Mizuno shoes are also comfortable but their Wave Plates are less forgiving. The combination of Gel and seamless, flexible uppers in ASICS shoes makes them a great choice if you want running shoes that help prevent and alleviate back discomfort.

For Standing All Day

Nurses, retail workers, and others on their feet all day need running shoes with exceptional comfort and support. Once again, ASICS comes out on top. Their Gel technology and blown rubber outsoles ease the constant impact from standing and walking.

Options with removable insoles allow you to use your own custom orthotics as well. While Mizuno shoes do have decent shock absorption, their snugger fit may not be as comfortable for extended wear. Going with ASICS shoes optimized for walking like the Gel-Tech Walker Neo ensures your feet will feel great even after long hours on the job.

For High Arches

Runners with high arches have specific needs when it comes to cushioning and support. In this case, Mizuno tends to be the better option for high arches. Their SmoothRide midsoles mimic the rocking motion of the foot, guiding high arches through a natural gait cycle.

The Wave Plate also provides responsive cushioning under the arch without collapsing. ASICS shoes work well for some high arches but their Gel system often feels too soft.

The firmer ride of Mizuno better supports high arch structures. Stability models like the Wave Inspire provide the right mix of cushioning and support if you have rigid, high arches.

For Hiking

Heading out on the trails? You’ll want shoes with grip, protection, and durability from either Mizuno or ASICS. For more aggressive hikers, Mizuno may be preferable. Shoes like the Wave Daichi 5 have rugged outsoles along with Michelin® Wild Run technology for superior traction even on wet surfaces.

The grip tends to last longer than ASICS hiking shoe outsoles. Mizuno hiking shoes also provide great lateral stability on uneven terrain. However, ASICS does have comfortable, well-cushioned hiking options like the Gel-Venture 7. So hikers who prioritize plush comfort may be happier with ASICS. For technical trails, Mizuno’s grip and support gets the win.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The inflammation and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis needs to be managed with proper arch support and cushioning. For this purpose, ASICS shoes are often the top recommendation.

The Gel padding in the rearfoot cushions each step to minimize aggravation of the plantar fascia ligament. Arch support can be customized using orthotic insoles but shoes like the Gel-Kayano provide excellent built-in stability.

While Mizuno shoes can also work for plantar fasciitis, the combination of impact protection and guidance in ASICS makes them ideal for both preventing and managing this common running injury.

Final Verdict

Overall, while both are leading athletic brands, ASICS tends to come out slightly ahead for comfort, cushioning, and support – especially for runners with specialized needs. Their Gel technology, seamless construction, and styles tailored for walking and stability give them versatile appeal.


However, Mizuno is still beloved by many loyal runners for the smooth, responsive ride and excellent shock absorption their shoes provide. You can’t go wrong with either of these brands known for quality and performance.

The right choice comes down to weighing your specific foot shape, running gait, comfort preferences, and budget to decide between Mizuno and ASICS. With similar pricing but different strengths, it’s smart to try on shoes from both brands to see which feels best for your unique needs.

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