Brooks Launch 4 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 20 review

Brooks Launch 4 is a light and comfortable neutral running shoe for fast-paced runners. Mizuno Wave Rider 20 delivers a responsive ride in a lightweight package.

The Brooks Launch 4 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 are both geared towards performance runs so should compare well against each other.

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Both the Brooks Launch 4 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 come with a forefoot that is open and free from overlays.

The entire upper of both running shoes has also been kept light and the amount of overlays reduced.

However, one crucial difference between the upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Launch 4 is that the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 comes with stitched-on overlays in the form of the Mizuno logo around the midfoot, while the Brooks Launch 4 only comes with no-sew overlays.

In fact, the amount of stitches has been kept to a minimum in the upper of the Brooks Launch 4; stitches can only be found at the front and along the saddle.

The stitched-on overlays in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 might give a better hold, but because they have also been kept to a minimum, they might provide as much support as the no-sew overlays in the Brooks Launch 4.

Another difference between the uppers is that the mesh of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 has a structure that provides a bit of extra support.

All in all, both running shoes should provide enough support to neutral runners and a comfortable fit.

Neither the Brooks Launch 4 nor the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 are meant to be super cushy running shoes, because they are meant to help runners go fast through the implementation of more responsive cushioning.

When you look at the results from running shoe lab tests, you can see that both running shoes provide an above average amount of cushioning in the forefoot.

However, the heel of the Brooks Launch 4 could feel a bit firm to both men and women, while the heel of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 might feel very cushy to both men and women.

So the largest difference in cushioning between the two running shoes can be found in the heel.

Another difference between the midsole is the Wave Plate in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 that provides extra shock absorption and functions as a midfoot shank.

The Brooks Launch 4 does not have a midfoot shank and provides full ground contact under the midfoot, where its rubber forms an X that is supposed to help runners transition faster from heel-strike to toe-off.

The men's versions of the Brooks Launch 4 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 do not differ much in height with the Brooks Launch 4 sitting about 0.5 mm higher off the ground than the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.

The heel-to-toe drop is also almost the same for men: 12 mm in the Brooks Launch 4 and 12.2 mm in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.

The differences in height are not that great from women either, with both running shoes sitting at about the same height in the forefoot, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 sits about 1.4 mm higher off the ground under the heel than the Brooks Launch 4.

This allows the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 to have a higher heel-to-toe drop for women: 12 mm compared to 10.6 mm in the Brooks Launch 4 for women.

This means that the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 might feel a bit more like a performance running shoe than the Brooks Launch 4 although both fit the category.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes look quite different due to the use of the Wave Plate in the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.

The Brooks Launch 4 also comes with more main flex grooves in the forefoot than the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. This should help with flexibility.

And indeed, when you look at the results from running shoe lab tests, the Brooks Launch 4 turns out to be a very flexible running shoe and more flexible than the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 also provides an above average amount of flexibility to both men and women, but the amount lies below that provided by the Brooks Launch 4.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 weighs approximately 8.3 oz (235 grams), while the Brooks Launch 4 for women weighs approximately 7.7 oz (218 grams).

The men's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 weighs about 10.3 oz (292 grams), and the Brooks Launch 4 for men weighs 9.2 oz (261 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking to go fast, you could choose either the Brooks Launch 4 or the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.

The Brooks Launch 4 is slightly lighter and more flexible and may provide smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 provides a large amount of heel cushioning and has a slightly larger heel-to-toe drop.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: Brooks | Mizuno

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