Mizuno sneakers: the Japanese brand that should be on your radar
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Mizuno sneakers: the Japanese brand that should be on your radar

Translation: Julia Graham

Looking for stylish sneakers that aren’t on everyone’s feet? Then Mizuno, the most underrated sneaker brand IMO, might have what you’re after.

Hype culture in sneaker world has trends spinning at a dizzying pace. A sneaker that everyone’s after today may be considered basic the next, or at worst, cringeworthy. How can we escape this merry-go-round? By focusing on brands that are more resilient to hype than the likes of Adidas and Nike. I’d suggest stylish sneakers from Japanese brand Mizuno.

Founded in Osaka in 1906 by Rihachi Mizuno and his younger brother Rizo, the company initially focused on baseball accessories. In the decades that followed, they gradually expanded on this range. Mizuno was soon supplying high-quality, innovative equipment to tennis players, golfers, footballers, handball players and runners. The brand has long been a renowned name in the world of sport. In fashion, on the other hand, it’s only just beginning to gain ground. And it does so in style.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 10 is a classic dad trainer.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 10 is a classic dad trainer.
Source: Instagram @mizuno_sportstyle/Daniele Misso

Gorgeous designs and exciting collabs

In 2018, the company ventured into new territory with the launch of its Sportstyle product line. Mizuno breathed fashionable flair into its performance-orientated designs and planned clever collabs, such as those with Dutch streetwear label Patta and trendy shoe shops, such as Footpatrol and Shinzo Paris.

Mizuno recently collaborated with city pop icon Hiroshi Nagai. This graphic designer defined the aesthetics of the 80s genre with his album cover designs, a look which is currently experiencing a surge in popularity. If you scroll through Instagram reels, YouTube shorts or TikToks, your ears will likely be hit with Stay With Me by Miki Matsubara in less than five minutes.

Timeless: the Mizuno Contender Premium.
Timeless: the Mizuno Contender Premium.
Source: Instagram @mizuno_sportstyle

Capturing the zeitgeist paid off and secured Mizuno a place in the fashion world. These days, if you ask trainer fans or fashion enthusiasts which underrated sneaker brand to watch out for, the name Mizuno will almost certainly come up pretty quickly.

Tried and tested Wave technology

Mizuno is known for its Wave technology, which was first introduced in 1998. This swell-inspired midsole is designed to both cushion and stabilise. Designer Tuan Le explains to High Snobiety that it «stretches out upon impact and propels the runner forward as it returns to its regular waved shape.» This technology is used for numerous everyday sneakers in a number of different ranges, including Sportstyle.

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy LS is both retro and futuristic.
The Mizuno Wave Prophecy LS is both retro and futuristic.
Source: Instagram @mizuno_sportstyle

If you’re a fan of retro running shoes, you’ll be able to fill your boots with the Wave Rider 10, Wave Rider Beta and the slightly futuristic Wave Rider Prophecy models. The Contender design is also very popular. Meanwhile, if you prefer more of a basketball-inspired silhouette, you might like the City Wind.

Header image: Instagram mizuno_sportstyle

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Has endless love for shoulder pads, Stratocasters and sashimi, but a limited tolerance for bad impressions of her Eastern Swiss dialect.


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