Mizuno vs. Asics – What Running Shoe Brand is Right For You?

Mizuno and Asics are top sports brands on the market. They both manufacture high quality running shoes for different running needs. This article compares high mileage neutral running shoes from the two brands to help with the comparison.

The biggest differences between the Mizuno and Asics is that they vary in cushioning and sole. Mizuno has a soft foam cushioning, called the U4icX absorbent cushioning system.  The cushion makes these running shoes more stable which leads to better support for many runners who need arch support. Asics features cushioning called FlyteFoam midsole which further supports the heel and the forefoot. 

To dive deeper into these two brands, we took two of their more popular running shoes and compared them - Mizuno Wave Sky and the Asics Gel Nimbus 20. The two running shoes vary in cushioning technologies, the upper, available widths and outsole. 

This article compares the running shoes based on the four attributes to help you determine which of the two shoes better suits your running needs and style.

Our Top Choice

ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 21 Running Shoes, 9M, Black/Dark Grey



A smooth, comfortable ride that is lightweight cushioning, FLUIDRIDE Technology Midsole and discreet eyelet construction

5 of 5 Stars

Neutral Running Shoes

The neutral running shoes are top of the line and high mileage, meaning they last up to 300 to 500 miles. This figure varies from runner to runner based on factors such as type of foot, shape of the runner, running surface and strike zones.

The Mizuno Wave Sky and Asics Gel Nimbus 20 have 10mm heel to toe drop, meaning 21mm/31mm forefoot he to toe drop or gradient. The Mizuno Wave Sky has a full length cushioning system to support long-distance runs. 

Whether you’re a midfoot striker, a heel striker or just want a pair of running shoes with proper cushioning for support of toe-off transitions, you won’t be disappointed with either the Mizuno or Asics. Both shoes are high-end and range in price from $150 to $200.

The Mizuno Wave Sky and Asics Gel Nimbus 20 support neutral running for athletes with low foot arches. This means they don’t need much support at the arch. The entire foot comes down with every heel strike, sitting on the shoes’ lateral side.

Therefore, more pressure is exerted on the lateral side of the shoes. And, that’s just where support is needed in the shoes. Neutral foot is supinated. Read on to find out which of the two running shoes for neutral runners is better for your specific running needs.

The Mizuno Wave Sky

Mizuno USA is a leading manufacturer of high quality shoes and apparel for men, women and children. It manufactures sports equipment, gear, shoes and apparel for different kinds of sports ranging from running and volleyball to golf and softball.

The company provides superior sporting equipment for sports lovers. The products are designed to add joy and happiness to the power than comes with engaging in sports. The high quality sports products provide everything you need during your sports journey.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoes

They meet the needs of different players and sports at varying levels. The sports brand is passionate about sports and thus designs ergonomic, innovative, durable, and highly functional items to inspire sportsmen out there.

With over a century experience in the sports gear manufacturing industry, the company is here to stay, pushing sportsmen and women towards their goals.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoes

The Mizuno Wave Sky has a 10mm gradient drop from the heel to toe area. Traditionally, the brand used a soft foam, which is featured on this shoe as a green foam layer. It’s the U4icX absorbent cushioning system. 

The soft foam is integrated into the running shoes to give you plush rides beneath your foot whenever you make heel strikes, midstances and toe offs, across the entire shoe.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoes

With the Wave Plate, the company has differentiated its neutral running shoes from those of its competitors on the market. This makes for a unique selling point. The Wave Plate technology has been in use for many decades.

Sitting on the medial side, the Wave Plate resembles a small blue line lying between the white foam and the green foam. Its integration on the shoes’ lateral side puts it on the heel strike zone to provide support.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoes

Unlike in previous Mizuno Wave running shoe models such as the Wave Enigma, the plate doesn’t go past the forefoot area. The change was made to this running shoe to render it more flexible for smooth toe-offs.

In previous models that featured the Wave Plate on the lateral and medial sides, the running shoes were more stable. They offered better support for many runners who needed arch support in stability shoes.

Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoes

However, the few runners who preferred softer or well-cushioned running shoes didn’t like the shoe’s stiffness that came in the name of better stability.

The company focused on designing a shoe with enough underfoot support right beneath the metatarsal joint for faster and smoother toe-offs. 

This explains why the Wave Plate has been retained on the medial side of the running shoes to support your toe-off transitions. The Mizuno Wave Sky is popular for its great structure, U4icX cushioning system, the Wave Plate, a deep heel counter, and stability in the running shoes.

The running shoe is available in two widths, a D and 2E for the men’s shoe version. On the other hand, the women’s version has a B and D width versions.

Mizuno Women's Wave Sky 2 Running Shoe, Teaberry/Blue Depths, 8.5 B US
  • Aerohug engineered fit to move with your foot while running.
  • Independent decoupling in heel for smoother softer landing
  • Proven Plush Cloudwave Platform for smooth and responsive ride

The Asics Gel Nimbus 20

ASICS is a leading manufacturer of sports gear, apparel and shoes for women, men and kids. It manufactures the items for different sports such as athletics, wrestling, training, trail running, etc.

Founded in 1949, the company was established by kihachiro Onitsuka. He was determined to nurture the Japanese youth through sports as a way of impacting the society positively. The company believes that it takes a sound mind in a sound body to perform exceptionally.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

It manufactures top quality sports products to promote happiness and healthy lifestyles worldwide as a way of boosting your mind and body. Many people worldwide are continuously becoming health conscious. As a result, the definition of sports is being altered.

New technologies and the digital age are redefining how people can enjoy their favorite sports. Japan’s Tokyo city, the home of the ASICS brand, will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

ASICS uses intelligent technology to contribute to people’s unique values, cultures, more satisfying lifestyles and how they enjoy sports. As a result, it fosters the creation of an environment where sports is seen as a natural part of life for healthy living.

The social importance of sports worldwide continues to grow in the modern era. With sports, people can live longer to enjoy more fulfilling and healthier lifestyles.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

It’s also a great way for the company to bring people from different cultures and geographies worldwide together in a global village through quality sports.

The company manufactures various sports gear, equipment, shoes and apparel to help realize its mission of making sports fun. With the right shoes, sportswear and equipment, you can enjoy your favorite sport without feeling uncomfortable.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is an upgrade of the Nimbus 19 running shoes. Many features have been retained from the Nimbus 19 model. For instance, a FlyteFoam midsole encapsulates the Gel pod integrated into the heel and the forefoot.

The upper has been slightly changed to feature an improved structure and better medial side integrity. The woven mesh running across the forefoot is tougher and stronger, making it difficult to wear tiny holes in the running shoes.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

However, this is something you can’t see with your naked eyes. The shoes get added reinforcements through the outer heel counter. The padded liner and extra foam inside the collar gives a snug fit at the back of your heel and the Achilles.

Just like the Mizuno Wave Sky running shoes, the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 has a 10mm heel to toe drop gradient. This translates to 31mm drop in the heel area, and 21mm in the forefoot section. 

The heel to toe transition removes stress off your calf and lower Achilles due to less pressure exertion. The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 version for men comes in three widths to choose from, namely a D, 2E, and a 4E. The different widths are available in varied colors. 

You’ll notice that running shoes brands tend to use certain specific colors for branding reasons.

So, What's the Difference?

The Mizuno Wave SkyAsics Gel Nimbus 20 is both high quality running shoes for neutral runners. 

They deliver similar performance for runners with neutral pronation, with just minor differences in design, cushioning and responsiveness. 

Whichever shoe you opt for, you’re bound to enjoy your runs to the end without experiencing discomfort.

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 20 Running Shoes, 9.5M, Azure/Blue Print
  • I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • Ortholite Sockliner -
  • SpevaFoam 45 Lasting - Employs 45 degree full length SpevaFoam 45 lasting material for a soft platform feel and improved comfort.
  • Reflectivity - Contains reflective materials designed to enhance visibility during low light hours.
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.

Conclusion: Mizuno vs. Asics

When working on a tighter budget, you’ll want to choose the shoe retailing at a lower price to get the benefits that comes with running in either of the two shoes.

You may also consider the appearance of the shoes, colors available and sizes when picking the best running shoes for you. If you want running shoes available in more width options for both men and women, consider the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 for a snug fit.

The Mizuno Wave Sky may work better for runners with narrower feet for a better fit. The lighter shoes between the two would better support lightweight running, especially when going for long-distance runs.

You won’t go wrong with either of the shoes designed for neutral runners. The best running shoes between the two comes down to your personal preference, style and taste.

Opt for the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 for access more width options or the Mizuno Wave Sky running shoes on Amazon for a better fit if your feet are narrower around the forefoot area.

Last update on 2020-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API