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Mizuno Hitogami 2 Running Shoe Review

The Good

Meaghan: The Hitogami has been my favorite shoe from the Mizuno line-up. I even preferred this model over the super hyped Sayonara – mainly due to fit. The Hitogami hugs my foot nicely. It’s snug but doesn’t feel restricting. I typically prefer a little more cushion, but for the purpose of this shoe (race flat), I’m okay with a little less. The updates on the Hitogami 2 are minimal. Mizuno made slight updates to the upper and sockliner, creating a softer, more comfortable fit. They also went with flat lacing versus the braided laces on the previous model. For many people this is probably a nominal update, but I much prefer the flat lacing (they stay tied!). If Mizuno made any changes to the outsole, I missed it. The shoes are structured with standard Mizuno Wave technology and a U4ic midsole. If you’ve run in Mizuno’s before, you won’t be surprised by the ride. It’s a stiff, but efficient shoe. The weight increased slightly, my W7.5 weighed in at 6.5oz compared to 6.2oz in the previous model, but it’s not a noticeable increase. I would argue the slightly heavier build is due to the new upper (worth it).

Thomas: Love this shoe. The Mizuno Hitogami 2‘s cushioning hits bulls eye for everything up to a marathon. This shoe disappears on my feet. The upper wraps my high arch without making it feel constrained. My toes never felt pinned down and I didn’t get a pucker at the throat of my shoe as a penalty for narrow feet. The fit of the upper is on par with the Pearl Izumi N2. There isn’t any update to the midsole and outsole of the Hitogami 2 from the Hitogami 1. So if you liked the Hitogami 1 as much as I did, you will still enjoy the ride on the new version. This update is all about the upper. The shoe feels softer from the outside to the inside. I found no hot spots even after a 23 mile training run and a 26.2 Charleston Marathon. The outsole barely shows any real wear. There is some scuffs where the U4ic foam isn’t protected but that is it. This shoe moves through your stride with smooth efficiency.  I never felt like the shoe was in the way or interrupting my foot strike, which is surprising considering the 9mm drop. The shoe feels light on the foot weighing in at 8.5 oz. for my size 10.5.

hit-back hit-bottom hit-crash

The Bad

Meaghan: My negatives on this shoe have gone unchanged from the previous model: they’re a little stiff and they’re no bueno in slippery conditions. Although Mizuno considers this an everyday trainer, I’d call this a true race flat. Some people may be comfortable taking these long distances, but I’m using this shoe for the shorter quick stuff.

Thomas: Is it a Hitogami 1.5 or a solid 2. The shoe looks cosmetically different, but for the most part other than having a softer upper and new laces… it is the same shoe. On one hand that is great, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? On the other, we are always craving something new.


Meaghan: The Mizuno Hitogami 2 is a quality race flat. It’s a super light, efficient shoe that’s great for speed work and some shorter races (for me 10K or less). If you’re a Mizuno fan, you’re going to like the updates on this shoe. They’ve stayed true to brand with this one.

Thomas: This remains a top shoe. It is tough for me to say what I would change about this shoe. The big question I read online is. “Is the update worth the full retail price?” “Should I just buy the originals for a discounted price?” If the old upper worked fine with your feet and you prefer the look of the original, get a deal on them. You will probably still end up buying a pair of the 2s as well, so maybe just go ahead and treat yourself; the Hitogami 2 are under $100. This is still my favorite Mizuno running shoe. This is more of an update than some others we have reviewed in the past 6 months. Making small updates between models seems to be a trend. The Mizuno Wave Sayonara 1 & 2 seemed pretty similar, we are really excited to try the new 3 coming soon.

Shoes provided by Mizuno Running for the review.

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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. stephan says:

    What’s the drop on these?

    1. 9mm Stephan, but it feels more like 4mm.

  2. shane says:

    Would you really consider these a long distance shoe? I have 2 mizuhitos and i’ve used them up to the half marathon distance. I’ve been told because of the lack of ‘cushion’ that it’s not considered a marathon shoe. I guess I could just go out and try them on a long 20+ miler… thoughts?

    1. I ran my last Marathon in them, so yes I consider them fine for the distance. Everybody has different taste, it might not be right for you. They performed great for me. Take them on a long training run before you make up your mind.

  3. A Dublin says:

    I read in another review that the tongue moved around in this version vs the original. Did you find this to be the case? or did it go unnoticed.

    1. I had no issues with the tongue.

  4. A Dublin says:

    One more question.

    I’m going back and forth between the hitogami’s and the Adios Boost. Is the Hitogami more cushioned in your opinion?

  5. David says:

    Oddly, Mizuno has not released the Hitogami or the Sayonara in Japan. I did come across one enterprising store that’s importing the Hitogami from the States on their own.

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