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An ultra-light road racer with a sock-like fit, the Mizuno Wave Universe 4 features minimal cushioning and a firm ride.



The Mizuno Universe has garnered a huge following among runners looking for light shoes with a tremendous feel for the road. The super light Universe 4 will carry the mantle without missing a step. So whether you want a racer to help you set that next 5K PR or a terrific shoe in the minimal realm, the Universe 4 is a great choice.

Model Number:

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Weight: 3.9 oz (size 9)

Stack Height: Heel (18mm), Forefoot (14mm); non-removable insole

Sizing is based on the men's scale. Women should subtract 1 and a half sizes from their women's shoe size. Example Women's 8.5 equals size 7.0 for this shoe

How It Fits (based on width D) Width D=Medium

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium to wide
  • Toe-Box height: Medium
  • Arch structure: Low height

Product Lifecycle

  • Release date: January 2012
  • Model discontinued: Unknown
  • Heritage: Wave Universe 3



The Wave Universe 4 is a minimum feature, minimum neutral shoe designed for racing. It is built with a curved shape.


  • Mizuno Wave consists of an elastic, thermal plastic wave running from the heel to the midfoot, creating an incredibly springy and well-cushioned ride. 
  • AP is a full length copolymer midsole that provides lightweight, responsive, and durable cushioning.
  • Smooth Ride is a gender specific network of grooves that minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot to create a smooth heel to toe ride.
  • AIRmesh covers the entire upper and provides breathability to keep the foot cool.
  • Printed Overlays are located at both the medial and lateral sides and help hold the foot in place.
  • Standard Sockliner provides underfoot comfort.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.
  • G3 Sole is a lightweight rubber dot pattern in the forefoot for increased grip and flexibility.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: I never tried a racing flat before. This shoe is amazing- two races, two PR's 5K and a 10 miler. No pain other than normal soreness of running hard. They also seemed to be more durable than the wave Evo Levitas (which I love as a trainer) but it's wearing quite fast, 200 might be the limit in them.
From: Suresh, Skokie, IL

Comments: These shoes have been fantastic for me. I got them after having hip problems and durability issues with the Evo Cursoris. The cushioning and support of the Universe 4 belies its weight. And not only have they performed better for me than the Cursoris, but they are much more durable too. I am completely comfortable in the Universe up to 10K, and I'd like to try a half marathon in them later this year. Looking forward to the Universe 5 coming out this Summer and hope Mizuno can improve on an already brilliant shoe!
From: Jeff, Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Comments: Great shoe, light and fast. The shoe size estimator was right on for me. The only problem for me was the rear collar of the shoe rubs my achilles. I prefer the collars with a little dip in the middle like the Cursoris or Levitas.
From: Matt, Northern California 

Comments: The Wave Universe 4 - I ran a 5K race with a PR of 30 seconds faster than my previous PR. My feet were left without any pain or blisters. I would recommend these shoes for speed work and short runs. These are my favorite flats by far from my previous brands.
From: Rob, Orange Beach, Alabama

Comments: When I first bought these shoes I was hesitant. I was trying to transition into minimalism off of the Brooks PureConnect (great shoe by the way), and was worried that using these shoes would be going to far. However, I wanted a really lightweight minimal shoe, and decided to go for it. When I first got them I went out and ran 12 miles in them. For me this was a huge mistake because the next day I had searing pain in my legs. However, this was just because I was not used to wearing shoes with such low stability. Now that I am used to wearing shoes such as these, I find them to be my favorite pair of everyday training shoes, and they certainly helped me to bring down my mile and 5k times. I would highly reccomend these shoes, but will warn that if you are not used to real minimalism, you will find these shoes take a lot out of your legs (but the rewards are huge). 
From: Alexander, Larchmont, NY, USA

Comments: I can't say enough good about these shoes after using them on varying training runs and races from 5k to marathon.  I got about 1000 miles out of a pair of WU3s and these are a great replacement.  The 4 seems to be nearly the same, with the two mesh layers swapped (smaller mesh, red on the WU3, is on the outside now, and more open mesh, white on the WU3, is on the inside).  They feel just as light as the WU3s.  Great for those of us looking for something a little more substantial than vibrams. 
From: Todd, Somerville

Comments: Wave Universe 4‚s vs 3‚s report. Ran 9.3 miles on same course, in hot and humid conditions as last weeks run in 3's. I have run a full marathon in the 3's in pouring rain for comparison. The 4's are HOT as they do not have mesh uppers and caused blisters as my feet were drenched in sweat. I will use the 3's for hot, humid or rain. 4's for cool temps and low humidity. Mesh is better for most running conditions in my opinion. Feet must breathe.
From: Anonymous