Introducing the Wave Prophecy: Interview with Mizuno USA’s Rod Foley

THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE HAS ARRIVED

The highly anticipated and much discussed Mizuno Wave Prophecy launched at retail locations all across America on Friday, May 6th.  Featuring a full-length Infinity Wave Plate that is fine-tuned to work in harmony with your body, the Wave Prophecy is Mizuno’s most dynamic running shoe ever.  With looks that can kill and performance that speaks for itself, it’s no surprise that the Prophecy is the culmination of seven years of product perfecting.  For an inside scoop on the inspiration and strategy behind the shoe, we caught up with Rod Foley, Mizuno USA’s Footwear Director.

1.) What was the inspiration or sparked the idea for the Wave Prophecy?

The Prophecy was really set in motion a long time ago.  Not long after Wave Technology was born back in 1997, the dream to build a shoe that could really break through the building constraints of traditional running shoes was born.  We at Mizuno really believe that Wave enables us to make shoes that run better than shoes without it.  So the obvious extension of that is, “What if we can make shoes only with Wave and nothing else….”  Whether it started with a back-of-the napkin doodle at a shabu-shabu restaurant in Osaka or was spawned on a petri dish in our Sozo studio, the world may never know.  What is important is that it has been a shared dream by the entire Mizuno global family and there have been tons of people that have worked really hard over the last 7+ years to bring this shoe to market.

2.) What were the biggest hurdles or obstacles in developing the Wave Prophecy, and did your concept of what this should be change or evolve our the seven years it took to finalize?

In the end, probably the biggest obstacle was our commitment to build the Prophecy to be first and foremost, a revolutionary Running shoe.  There were plenty of prototypes that could have passed as really cool shoes.  We don’t play in that arena.  At Mizuno, if the shoe is not going to provide a real and unique benefit to runners, there really is no point for us to spend time on it.  In terms of getting the shoe to run as beautifully as it does, engineering the forefoot to be as well cushioned, flexible and stable as it is was probably the trickiest part.  I still remember taking my first few steps in the prototype that really figured out the forefoot and all I can remember is the grin I had on my mug from ear to ear.  It was then and still is now, fun to run in.

 

3.) Where did you look for comparisons or benchmarks for the Wave Prophecy?

When we set out to build the Wave Prophecy, the whole motivation was to provide a new experience to runners.  The key was to create a feeling and experience that was not possible to create with a foam (or copolymer) based shoe.  Based on the reactions we have been getting from runners, I feel confident that we have done just that.

4.) Preferences in running shoes vary by country and continent; do you see the Wave Prophecy being “interpreted” differently or having more success in certain markets?

Although anything is possible, my very simplistic belief is that if people put the shoe on their foot and take a few strides it will be interpreted fairly consistently.  I may be repeating myself, but there is something so inherently fun about running in the Wave Prophecy.

5.) Mizuno is in the early stages of a new brand marketing campaign.  Can  you speak to that and what it means for Mizuno running footwear?

We at Mizuno believe we have a really cool story to tell.  We have a long and storied history of innovation and cutting-edge engineering all in the pursuit of making the world a better place by enhancing sport.  Very few people know that.  Those that do and have used our products tend to be passionate about them.  We are now at a place in our development where we are ready to start spreading our unique story.

6.) Do you feel like Mizuno has hit the summit with the Wave Prophecy-or is the next break-through in running footwear already on the drawing board?

One of the many things I have loved about spending the last 11 years of my career here at Mizuno is that there is such a tremendous spirit of Kaizen.  Continuous Improvement.  What can we do to enhance running.  If we think we can rest now that the Wave Prophecy is here, we would be crazy.  This is such a great time to be a runner as so many companies are coming to the market with new, exciting products.  At Mizuno, breakthroughs are always on the drawing board.  The trick sometimes is to get them off the drawing board and into a shoe.  The exciting thing about the Wave Prophecy is that we look at it as a beginning as opposed to an end.  Stay tuned.

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy is available for purchase online and at any City Sports location.  Click here to get yours today.

 

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