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Mizuno Debuts XPOP PU Foam Technology in New Running Shoe

Mizuno wants to capture that floating feeling.

The performance brand’s newest running shoe, the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3, is the first to feature its proprietary XPOP polyurethane (PU) foam technology, a feature Mizuno said creates a brand new running experience for its “style-conscious, high mileage” runners.

More than just a fresh silhouette, Mizuno said its new shoe conjures a whole new “floating run experience,” thanks to the combination of XPOP PU and the brand’s existing tech.

“The Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 is the showpiece for Mizuno innovation with our latest technologies, Mizuno Foam Wave and XPOP, delivering the utmost in premium performance comfort,” Chuck Couch, VP of running at Mizuno USA, said in a statement.

While Mizuno’s WAVEKNIT and Foam Wave technologies were mainstays in the brand’s product line prior to the release of the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3, this will be the first time Mizuno has combined the features with the bouncy foam of XPOP PU—and the brand said that makes the new model its most comfortable running shoe yet.

But, the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 isn’t just a retread of previous WAVEKNIT entries either. Mizuno said that it engineered a number of enhancements for this particular silhouette to capitalize on the addition of the brand’s newly introduced XPOP foam and complement the new tech with the old.

“A WAVEKNIT upper construction allows for a stable hold, yet flexible fit that supports natural foot movement through its dynamic sock-like fit,” the brand explained. “Constructed without reinforcements in the midfoot, the wave vectors seen throughout the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 work as hold areas, compensating for the stretch in other areas of the knit to maintain the proper support.”

Mizuno, foam wave, xpop, polyurethane,
Mizuno’s Foam Wave in action, this time complete with XPOP PU foam. Mizuno

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In order to get the “floating” feeling Mizuno desired, its engineers embedded a rigid plate into the insole to improve the shoe’s balance and cushioning, and create the smooth transitions that are necessary for such an experience. The new running shoe also features a blown rubber outsole and a premium sockliner that is new to the brand with the release of the silhouette. Additionally, the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 will utilize Mizuno’s U4icX midsole, its lightest, most cushioned option—all held together by a carbon rubber “X10” outsole, also proprietary to Mizuno.

Even the curved upper made possible by Waveknit production methods means the shoe will have a tighter fit while minimizing excess fabric—in short, the Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 will be a combination of the best running technology the performance footwear brand has to offer.

“We challenged ourselves to enhance the already-comfortable WAVEKNIT technology released in 2018 by combining it with XPOP to deliver a shoe that allows natural movement, leverages both comfort and style, and provides the high-performance fit and quality expected in our footwear,” Couch concluded.

The Wave Sky WAVEKNIT 3 is available for both men and women for $160 at running stores nationwide and through Mizuno’s website.