Feel lighter, run faster.

February 27, 2013 Posted By: Seth Hasty

Sounds sort of like an idealist runner’s dream… right?
Well, at Mizuno we never stop dreaming about how to make our stuff better. It’s actually deeply embedded into our DNA while paying homage to our strong Japanese roots, with just one word: “Kaizen”, which basically translates to “continued improvement”.
“Kaizen” isn’t just a word to us, those six letters perfectly embody what Mizuno Running is all about. Follow me here…

Think back to your last PR. It was pretty awesome right?
You trained your butt off for months.
You increased your mileage.
You became a regular at the local track.
You skipped dessert every night (ok.. once in a while)
You showed up at race day nervous, yet confident… and crushed it. Boom… a shiny new PR.

Then on your way home, somewhere in between thoughts of which beer to crack open first and how many different toppings to add to your celebratory pizza… that thought popped into your head, “dang, that was a killer race… but what’s next?”. That voice, right there… the one that is deep inside all of us runners, yea… that’s what we call “Kaizen”, continued improvement.

You’re stoked with your 10k PR from last Summer, but what will it take to place in your age-group? Kaizen.
You’ve never been a runner yet your friends made you sign up for a 5k. It hurt, you swore (good thing your kids weren’t around) but you finished… with a smile! Now you’re already talking about that half-marathon next year! Kaizen.
After a while the excitement of that sub 4:00 marathon fades, and you start flirting with the idea of nailing that elusive BQ. Kaizen.
You set the school record in the mile, made all-state in XC… but finished 2nd at States, you now want the gold. You guessed it, Kaizen.
At Mizuno Running, we’re exactly like you… constantly on the quest for more brilliant runs. We could never accomplish this by settling on what’s already been done. That would be the easy way out, and frankly… pretty un-kaizen, right?

Wave Rider 16 was released a few months ago… and as a lot of you know, it’s pretty dang sweet! A full ounce lighter than Rider 15, super smooth mesh within the upper with internal overlays for that “just enough” soft embrace… the thing is like buttah. So we high-five each other around the office, went out for a run, ordered in sushi then look around the table and get to work on making Wave Rider 17 even better.

Trust me, the product development team is not very good at resting on their laurels. Which is awesome, because if they were… I wouldn’t be talking about the next midsole compound we just developed that will be introduced later this summer… U4iC.

Take a trip back to 2010 with me. “Hot Tub Time Machine” was in theaters, the music world was introduced to Mumford & Sons, I became a father and we at Mizuno were geeking out about AP+. Our brand new midsole that blew away it’s predecessor “AP”. AP+ featured improved resiliency, more bounce, and 10% more rebound. Total game changer, and we put it in classics like the Elixir 5, Creation 11 and you can feel it today in your Wave Rider 16’s. Well, it’s said that the only change, is constant… and at Mizuno it’s all about continual improvement. Enter U4iC…

Although no mention of super-fast running shoes within the text definition of “euphoric” it is stated that “Experiencing an overwhelmingly pleasurable emotion” is the true meaning. Hmm, sounds to me a lot like how we feel after a one of this brilliant runs. The type of run you left it all out on the asphalt, lit the track on fire, or crushed it out on the trails. That first glimpse of the finish line, only 385 yards away after you just ran your guts out for 26 miles… that’s euphoric. It’s our job to help you feel this way as much as possible, so we looked at what we learned from AP and AP+, and took it to the next level.

U4iC will deliver optimal shock attenuation, durability and a superior ride that’s 30% lighter than AP+! Innovatively light, well cushioned, responsive, resilient, and fast… sound good?
U4iC will be introduced this July in two shoes. The first, a brand new shoe we are ecstatic to release…the Wave Sayonara. An 8 ounce performance shoe that will sit lower to the ground, and run faster than any previous Mizuno trainer. Also this summer, Wave Universe 5 will hit the streets. Always meant to be the lightest racing shoe in the universe, with the help of a new U4iC midsole, it will tip scales (and drop PR’s) at 2.8 ounces! We expect this to be a game changer for Mizuno Running, and just the catalyst for where U4iC will take us (and you) into the future.

Like I said, “Feel Lighter, Run Faster”… and never stop improving.

-Seth

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