Mizuno VS New Balance: Which Is Better?

As someone who loves athletic shoes for various sports and activities, I often research top brands to find the right fit, comfort, and performance to match my needs.

Mizuno and New Balance consistently arise as two premier options with impressive technologies, reputations for quality, and loyal followings amongst athletes and casual wearers alike.

But how exactly do these shoe titans stack up across the key factors we look for – from stability and durability to price points and style? I evaluated the origins, praises, and potential drawbacks of both brands to highlight the major differences and help fellow shoe seekers determine which might work best for their individual needs.

Comparison Table

CategoryMizunoNew Balance
Founded In1906 in Osaka, Japan1906 in Boston, MA
Comfort & FitKnown for secure and supportive fit; available in different widthsRenowned for exceptional comfort and support; wide range of width sizes
Color OptionsBold color schemes and accentsMore muted, subtle color schemes
DurabilityVery durable with high-quality materialsExtremely durable construction that often outlasts competitors
PerformanceInnovative technologies like Wave Plate for responsive energy returnUtilizes Fresh Foam, Abzorb, and other cushioning technologies
Design & StyleSleek performance look with colorful accentsClassic, understated aesthetic focused more on function than fashion
PopularityPopular amongst serious runners and athletesWide following from elite athletes to casual wearers
Best Selling ModelWave Rider for stability and cushioning880v11 for versatile cushioning and support

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.

New Balance Overview

Founded in 1906 by William J. Riley, New Balance began by making arch supports and prescription shoes for people with foot issues.

Based in Boston, the brand gained popularity for technical innovations like ripple soles and heel counters to stabilize and customize fit.

While New Balance makes athletic shoes across sports, they remain deeply rooted in running due to their origins in correcting overpronated feet.

Core neutral shoes like the 880 use injected EVA midsoles for soft landings and Ortholite insoles for support.

Iconic models like the 990 integrate dual-density midsoles and Abzorb foams to combine cushioning with compression resistance for smooth transitions.

New Balance leans into retros styles while also incorporating new 3D printed midsoles and engineered mesh uppers. With masterful attention to fit adjustments for all foot shapes and biomechanical needs, New Balance delivers versatile performance and classic appeal across running categories.

Major Differences Between the Brands:

Comfort & Fit

Both Mizuno and New Balance are renowned for comfort, but New Balance takes the edge for accommodating wider feet. Their expansive range of width profiles from narrow to extra-wide provides a dialed fit for each individual.

Those with average widths may find Mizuno offers adequate space with a more locked in feel. New Balance’s signature soft cushioning enables all-day wearability.

Durability & Performance

When it comes to withstanding regular wear and intense training over hundreds of miles, both brands excel in durability thanks to premium materials and construction.

Mizuno’s Wave Plate and Enerzy foam provides responsive, adaptive performance technologies aimed at competitive athletes who need that snappy, propulsive feel. New Balance uses Fresh Foam and Abzorb to prioritize cushioning and comfort across long distances rather than speed.


Across both brands, running shoes range from around $100 to $200 with New Balance also offering more budget-friendly options under $100. Mizuno positions itself firmly as a premium athletic brand without many entries at lower price points.

New Balance caters to more casual wearers on a budget while still delivering top tier technology and quality at premium tiers. Those wanting basic comfort or youth sizes can save with New Balance.

Performance Comparison


With nurses spending long shifts on their feet, prioritizing all-day comfort and support is key. New Balance would be the recommended choice of the two brands here thanks to their ULTRAsoft cushioning technologies that maintain cloud-like comfort 12+ hours in. The wider toe boxes may also appeal to those needing roomier fits.


Serious runners training for everything from 5Ks to ultra marathons will appreciate Mizuno’s specialization in performance running. Technologies like the energetic Wave Plate, smooth U4ic cushioning and breathable AIRmesh uppers give you that fast, smooth feeling mile after mile. New Balance still offers great cushioning and support for mid-range runners.

Final Verdict

Determining whether Mizuno or New Balance shoes are “better” ultimately comes down to the wearer’s individual needs and preferences. Mizuno specializes in performance footwear built with competitive runners facing intense training in mind. Their innovative midsole foams like U4ic and Wave Plate offer responsive propulsion tuned for logging speedy miles over chasing PRs.

For those wanting reliable stability across walking, gym sessions or everyday wear, New Balance utilizes support technologies like medial posts and external heel counters to prevent excess rotation that could exacerbate pain or tightness. Their plush cushioning also enables all-day comfort.

Considering factors from budget to intended use, both Mizuno and New Balance produce high quality athletic shoes. Just determine whether your top priority leans more towards robust comfort and longevity (New Balance) or technologies explicitly engineered to enhance athletic output (Mizuno). Identifying those personal preferences helps narrow which brand hits the sweet spot for your needs.

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