Picture 1: Original Mizuno Brothers building in Osaka, Japan, 1906.
Mizuno History: Mizuno was founded in 1906 as 'Mizuno Brothers' by Rihachi Mizuno and his younger brother Rizo. The brothers had a small shop in Osaka, where they mostly sold baseballs and popular Western sporting goods. After a few years of trading, they began manufacturing products of their own, including baseballs, baseball shoes and sporting wear. By 1936 Mizuno was not only an established baseball brand, but also had the biggest golf club showroom in the world and even manufactured a glider aircraft, the 301 Soarer, which successfully flew over Mt. Fuji.
The starting point of Mizuno running shoes came in 1928 after the brothers produced a leather cleat for track and field athletes. Further down the line, they manufactured their M-Line range which covered all needs—from athletic to daily-use shoes—making a big splash around the world. In 1975 Mizuno's M-logo was replaced by the RunBird logo we are familiar with today, following the release of the Mizuno RunBird shoe.
From left to right: original leather track spike, 1972 M-Line, and 1983 RunBird.
In 1997 Mizuno developed a corrugated plate called Mizuno Wave, which they embedded within shoe midsoles, as first seen in the original Wave Rider 1. The Mizuno Wave, or Wave Plate, was designed to overcome two requirements—cushioning and stability—and provide shoes with great resistance and dynamic cushioning. Their technical running range continues to use evolved versions of the Mizuno Wave. Any Mizuno shoe with a form of this tech will include the ‘WAVE’ prefix as part of the shoes name.
Mizuno Waver Rider 1 (1997/98) vs Wave Rider 24 (2020/21)
Keen on trying out a pair? You can find Mizuno footwear at our Cape Town and Dunkeld West branches where we welcome you to try a pair on and chat to our friendly team! Our Mizuno range currenly includes:
- Wave Sky 4 (well-cushioned trainer)
- Wave Rider 24 (daily trainer)
- Wave Inspire 16 (daily trainer with stability)
By Dylan Stevenson. All images: Mizuno.