Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

I caught a glimpse of the Mizuno Wave Sayonara right around its release date back in July and it was love at first sight.  It is rare that I like a shoe this much without having ever even tried it on, but come on…look at it!


Even more rare than loving it just for the way it looks is for me to pay full price for a just released pair of shoes.  I'm usually all about buying end of season or previous year's shoes with big discounts applied, but I bit the bullet on these and went down to my local running shop to order in my size.  The next week I went in to try them on and almost $150 later (after our good old 13% Canadian sales tax) I had myself the new Sayonara's and my first ever pair of Mizunos.  Thankfully I had won a $25 gift card to the Running Room at the Bluewater Triathlon, so it eased the sticker shock just a little bit.


The Mizuno Wave Sayonara's have a heel to toe drop of 10mm (24mm heel, 14mm toe), which is a bit more of a drop than I normally run with.  I was looking at the Sayonara as more of a distance shoe and I was hoping that the larger drop would result in a bit of forgiveness when my form started falling apart 20+ miles in.  My current distance shoes are the Saucony Kinvara 4 and the Newton Distance and they feature 4mm and 3mm drops respectively.

I broke out my kitchen scale to see how the weight compared to my other distance shoes, and the Sayonara came in at 9.5oz in my size 10.5.  The Kinvara 4 came in at 8.2 oz while the Newton's were 9.2oz, both 10.5's as well.  Running Warehouse lists the Sayonara as 7.9oz in a men's size 9.


I have been running in the Sayonara's for a couple months now and have put 150 miles on them.  I have covered as much as 13.1 miles in them and raced in both a 10-miler and a 5K (which I PR'd with a 18:44).  Most of my runs in these shoes have been around 10K.

My very first run in the new Sayonara's was an 11 mile run up at the cottage...it took almost 5 miles for my feet to feel good but once I got going the shoes felt fine.  I finished the run feeling like I could have kept going easy enough, and my feet were pain- and blister-free.


It wasn't all roses getting started with the Sayonara's though…over the next few runs I noticed that they were tight through my right midfoot and that caused some discomfort.  I tried lacing my shoes a few different ways and it made things mildly better but resulted in my heel slipping.  Eventually this discomfort went away after I had about 50 miles in on the shoes…probably safe to attribute this to the regular break-in period of a pair of shoes, though I've never had issues in the past breaking in other shoes.

The shoe does feel a lot firmer than most of the shoes I usually wear and I would attribute this to the hard Wave Plate that is in the sole of the shoe.  Mizuno's Wave technology is designed to both cushion and stabilize, and I could certainly feel the stability of the wave plate.


The shoe has a decent sized toebox that did not pinch my forefoot, which is always a plus, but it was not as roomy up front as my Kinvara's or Newton's.


The back of the shoe is much stiffer than my Kinvara's and a bit stiffer than my Newton's…this isn't a problem but it does further highlight the differences between the more minimal shoes I normally wear and shows the more structured nature of the Sayonara.  A nice touch up the heel as well, the wordplay of 'Wave Sayonara'  (wave goodbye) as other runners catch a glimpse of you ahead of them.


The soles of the Sayonara are covered with little textured 'nubbies' that seem to increase grip…I haven't had any issues feeling unstable even while running on wet, slippery paths or loose dirt trails.  The Wave plate is also exposed so you can actually feel how hard it is.  After 150 miles, the sole isn't showing any significant signs of wear.


As I have put the miles on these shoes I have come to appreciate them more and more.  I've raced in them and generally feel fast in them despite the fact that they are slightly heavier than my other shoes.  They have been a good shoe over longer distance as well as going for speed…in fact I have run my fastest mile in these shoes, a 5:46.  Does it make any sense to simply say that they feel fast?  Because to me, they really do.  I am now ready to take these shoes on longer and longer runs and will seriously consider using this in my next marathon in January.  The Sayonara has performed well with every distance and speed I have thrown at it and has proven worthy of future challenges.

My relationship with this shoe started out as pure infatuation…it was a thing of beauty and I wanted it.  Once I had it, the luster wore off quickly with the discomfort of the getting to know you stage.  After a few dates though, I got to know the shoe better and we have hit it off great ever since.  It's now looking like this could be a relationship that turns out happily ever after.

These opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.  I bought these shoes with my own cash.  I am open to bribes though if any shoe manufacturers want to hook me up with cool swag.

Have you tried the Mizuno Wave Sayonara?

Do you have a love/hate relationship with any shoes?


  1. I haven't tried the Sayonaras but really want to! I'm already a huge Mizuno fan - just can't justify another pair of new shoes right now (I think I've added 3 or 4 since summer ended - oops!!).
    Glad that you have liked them more as time goes on!

  2. Man, I could never do a post like this, kudos. My post would be like, they felt comfy under my princess feet and they are neon! lol

    This post is like Superman revealing the secrets to his cape! Such insider information!

  3. Well Kim, I could say something about your shoe obsession...but that would be a case of the kettle calling the pot black. No judgement here!

  4. Excellent analysis Declan...I would buy a pair of shoes off that recommendation for sure ;)
    Less Superman's cape, more MJ's Air Jordan's...be like Mike. I guess that makes you Mars/Spike Lee??

  5. Great review Mike! Makes me want to try a pair!