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The Mizuno Paradox 4 is Mizuno’s motion control designed to offer maximum support while having a lightweight, responsive ride. We’ll see about that…
This 4th generation Paradox follows a line of slightly bumpy offerings from Mizuno, that said, each model has been an improvement on the last so we were interested to find out how this one faired.
The shoe is packed full of Mizuno tech. It’s a big looking shoe, the sort of shoe that shouts, ‘protection’. The Paradox 4 certainly looks like the it has been improved; the mesh of upper has a much better look and feel to it while still retaining the significant and solid overlays. Overall, the shoe looks much more attractive.
It is no lightweight and the shoe has a certain bulk to it. My heart sinks at the sight of another motion control beast. Why can’t us runners who have certain stability issues run in skinny, lightweight, soft, flexible flying racers and be fine? We know we wouldn’t last a mile… For us, the world of running shoes often means practical bulk. The sort of footwear that is boringly functional.
The Paradox 4 looks functional. It looks and is super-solid in construction, and with most Mizuno’s, the materials are of a high-quality. It feels comfortable (and solid) on your foot but the inclusion of the strobel last board ensures that the shoe has a certain rigidity to it and it might feel too rigid for some. That said, it’s there to ‘firm up’ the shoe but over-pronators and bigger runners would begrudgingly appreciate this.
On the run, they feel really well cushioned and supportive. The uppers were extremely comfortable with plenty of room in the toe box. They felt breathable and the engineered mesh flexible. The overlays really lock in your foot to the shoe and your feet feel secure.
They ride a little stiff but are a marked improvement over the previous model. They are responsive and the dual density midsole materials help cushion but support the medial side during your running motion. Again, they look like they will ‘do a job’ for you and they do it well.
Mizuno's U-shaped Fan Wave technology is full-length in the Paradox and provides a firm, solid platform.
The fan is constructed at different heights to control the level of stability and cushioning. It is denser on the medial side to control the foot rolling inwards. The plate also dissipates impact forces away from the foot for a more smooth, cushioned ride.
The Paradox 4 is responsive and you’re certainly aware of the bounce-back feeling while you run. The wave sits in a firm midsole foam but there is an additional layer of a softer foam Mizuno call their U4icX which provides an additional layer of softness.
Dynamotion Fit technology ensures that they are comfortable. The materials move with your foot and offers a nice non-constricted feel. The mesh upper is better than the previous model and was breathable. We also liked the look and feel of it. The real features of the upper though are the midfoot overlays that wrap around your midfoot and the super-solid heel counter that will ensure that the heel won’t give way under pressure.The shoe also features a removable insock which is very well cushioned and adds to the comfort.
The shoe features a full-length ‘ventillation system’ called Intercool which is designed to manage the build-up of heat in hot and humid conditions. I have got to admit that we didn’t notice it on our runs around the country park but it wasn’t exactly boiling when we tested the shoes in October. This ventilation system in the sole removes heat through a system of ventilation channels.
Mizuno’s X10 outsole delivers both durability and traction. Both should work well as you log your daily miles in this workhorse. Finally, the flex grooves in the outsole help make the shoe more flexible.
We liked the latest Paradox model. It will provide you with a stable and well-cushioned ride which is also surprisingly responsive. It is a beast of a shoe but this just means that it will take a lot of punishment. The shoe is a very well-made one offering a lot of additional overlays to support your foot and the shoe. Overpronators and heavier runners alike will tend to put a lot of stresses through a shoe which the Paradox 4 will be a match for.
They are relatively stiff but that may not be such a bad thing. All in all, a very good stable shoe for your daily steady runs.
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Mizuno Wave consists of an elastic, thermal plastic wave running from the heel to the midfoot, creating a springy and well-cushioned ride.
Extended Wave Plate in the midfoot is an extension of the Mizuno Wave for increased torsional rigidity between the heel and forefoot.
Double Fan Wave provides a stable ride to reduce pronation without increased stiffness.
U4icX in the heel and forefoot is a lighter, more cushioned version of U4ic that delivers increased responsiveness with a soft, pillowy underfoot feel.
Smooth Ride is a gender-specific network of grooves that minimizes acceleration and deceleration of the foot to create a smooth heel-to-toe ride.
X10 located in the heel and forefoot is made of durable carbon rubber for enhanced traction.
Open mesh comprises the upper and provides exceptional breathability.
Dynamotion Fit creates optimal fit using stretch material in the forefoot and a collar construction that prevents the heel collar from buckling under load.
Mizuno logo located on the medial and lateral sides helps hold the foot in place.
OrthoLite Sockliner is anti-microbial and moisture wicking for a healthy foot environment.
Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.