Mizuno Tennis Shoes
Depending on the type of tennis player you are, the courts you play on, and your foot shape, Mizuno has designed different shoes to cater to your needs.
In this article, we’re going to explore how Mizuno’s shoe tech improves your tennis game, and then we’ll help you decide which model would be ideal for you.
How Mizuno tennis shoe technology improves your performance
Exceed Tour 4 AC -- Mizuno’ premium performance shoe
The Tour 4 was created with serious tennis players in mind. It could be considered sort of the opposite of the agility shoe, the Wave Impulse. This model was built for stability and comfort.
The outsoles on the Tour 4 have a good combination of slip and grip -- they stop when you need to change direction, but they’re also slick enough to slide into shots. And unlike other tennis shoes with a ton of cushioning, these are surprisingly light.
Mizuno really packed the cushioning into this model. In fact, it can almost feel like your feet are sitting on top of the cushioning, which will make you feel high above the court. So if you’re looking for a low-court feel, this probably isn’t your shoe.
What you’ll notice:
- Thick cushioning.
This seems to be Mizuno’s primary goal with the Tour 4. It is stable, and it does perform well, generally. But more than anything, what you’ll likely notice is just how much cushioning they’ve packed into this shoe.
- Open heel area.
Some people prefer to feel locked into the heel area, and some prefer a little wiggle room. Depending on your unique foot shape and size, you’re likely going to have a little extra wiggle room in the heel.
If you feel a little bit of slippage in the heel, you can simply lace up the last eyelet to lock your feet down and that should solve it.
Exceed SL AC -- Mizuno’ lighter version of the Tour 4
You could think of the Exceed SL AC as the lighter version of the Tour 4. It doesn’t have the stability tech that the Tour 4 has, which helped drop the weight, making this a slightly faster shoe.
And without the rubber cage (the stability tech) on the upper, this model is also going to be a little more breathable than the Tour 4.
Note: By getting rid of the stability tech, you’re obviously not going to have as much support for your lateral movement. Not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of when you try to stop on a dime, running side-to-side.
What you’ll notice:
- Lighter all-around shoe.
While this shoe has a lot of the great qualities of the Tour 4, you can’t help but notice your feet are a little more free. It’s still got a lot of great performance, minus a little stability. But your feet will have more air coming through, and more give in the upper.
Wave Impulse -- Mizuno’ agility tennis shoe
The Wave Impulse was built to be Mizuno’s flexible, low-court tennis shoe. They achieved this by making the upper bendy and ventilated, and they stripped the bulky cushioning out of the way.
The Impulse has okay stability, though it’s not as stable as the Tour 4. Nor as well-cushioned. If you’re looking for a cushy shoe to separate your feet from the court, the Impulse isn’t it.
The Wave Impulse is for players who want to feel close and connected to the court, and don’t want any heavier stability tech in the upper impeding their movement.
What you’ll notice:
- You’ll really feel the court.
The Wave Impulse has a very low-to-the-ground feel.
If you’re a hard stomper, or if you spend a lot of time on your toes during a match, just know that the Impulse isn’t going to offer a ton of cushioning.
- Very agile.
The upper is very flexible and will bend along with your foot. So even though this shoe runs just a hint on the narrow side, most foot sizes will feel at home because the upper doesn’t try to hold you in place.
How do I choose the best Mizuno tennis shoe for me?
There are a few things to consider when choosing your next tennis shoe:
- What type of tennis player are you?
- How much do you want to invest in a tennis shoe at the moment?
First, what’s your style of play?
Do you go after the ball? -- Some tennis players like to be aggressive, running back and forth covering the entire court. If this sounds like you, then you’ll probably want a more light and flexible shoe that won’t get in your way, like the Wave Impulse.
- Do you let the ball come to you? -- Other tennis players like to hang back near the baseline and let the shots come to them. This type of player is typically making side-to-side movements, as opposed to forward and back. If this describes how you play, then you’d probably want a stability tennis shoe, with an upper design to support lateral movement, like the Exceed Tour 4.
And next: How much do you want to invest in a tennis shoe at the moment?
- Are you ready to dive in, fully? -- If you know what type of player you are, as well as your shoe preferences, then you may be ready for a premium shoe. If you’re looking for a top performance shoe with stability, then you might check out the Exceed Tour 4, or the lighter more flexible Exceed SL AC.
- Do you want a little bit of a learning curve? -- If you’re not ready for a big investment yet, as you’re just learning what all you need out of a tennis shoe, you might want a more entry-level price. If this sounds like you, then you’d probably appreciate the Wave Impulse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the same pair of Mizuno shoes for playing tennis and going for runs?
It’s possible, yes. Although it’s usually better to have a separate pair for each activity.
Tennis shoes are built using stability tech that helps to prevent you from rolling your ankle when making abrupt side-to-side motions. Running shoes are usually layered with special cushioning intended to absorb repetitive impact while moving in a constant forward motion. They’re both simply built for different reasons.
This is why it’s a good idea, if possible, to use a specialized shoe for each unique activity.
But if you could only have one shoe for both activities, you’d probably do better to choose a tennis shoe. Even though you wouldn’t likely need the stability tech for running, it won’t be in your way, and it’ll be there when you make abrupt lateral movements during a match.
If you’re going to double up on one shoe, you should probably choose a lighter model like the Exceed SL AC, or the Wave Impulse.
How often should I replace my Mizuno tennis shoes?
This will always depend on how aggressive of a player you are, how frequently you play, and how durable the shoes you’re playing in are.
The typical tennis shoe lifespan, when the technology and materials will begin to break down, is around 45 - 60 hours of play. This usually equates to about half a year to a year, after which it’s probably a good idea to invest in your next pair.
Here are a few obvious signs telling you it’s time to seek out your next pair:
- When you notice your shoe traction isn’t squeaking like it once did while playing on a hard court
- If you notice the traction isn’t grabbing the court and stopping you as abruptly as before
- If you finish a longer match and you notice aches or pains in your joints, or lower back, that you didn’t use to experience.
Can I machine wash Mizuno tennis shoes?
You probably shouldn’t machine wash your Mizuno tennis shoes. During a wash cycle, the shoe tech and materials could easily get damaged, and the shoes will no longer perform the way they’re supposed to.
How should I clean my Mizuno tennis shoes?
The best way is to clean your shoes using a soft brush and mild soap.
- Take out the sockliner and laces
- Lightly scrub any dirt or debri off using the brush
- Rinse your shoes with cool or cold water
- When finished, you’ll want to air-dry your shoes. Setting them in direct sunlight to dry could damage the materials
I need help deciding — What are the best Mizuno tennis shoes for a beginner?
The Wave Impulse is a great entry-level tennis shoe. It’s light. It’s breathable. And yet it still has enough stability tech to protect you when making harder pivots.
It’s got a little bit of everything, at a very reasonable price, so that you don’t break the bank as you’re learning your preferences. Once you have an idea of the type of player you are, and the technologies you might prefer, then you can upgrade to a premium model.