Light, Bright, Just Right: Mizuno Wave Sayonara Review

mizuno wave sayonarasWhen it comes to fit footwear, I’m primarily a Mizuno gal. They fit me well and I’ve never had to work to break them in the way I have with other brands of sneakers, and while I’ve tried a couple of types of Mizuno running shoes, I’ve never run into one that didn’t work for me. So, naturally, when Mizuno reached out to us about trying out their recent addition, the Wave Sayonara, I elbowed my way to the front of the Fit Bottomed crew and shouted, “Oooh! Oooh! Pick me, pick me!”

The Wave Sayonara is a neutral running shoe that’s super duper light — 7.1 ounces (compared to my beloved Mizuno Wave Riders, which weigh 8.2 ounces … or at least, that’s what they weighed before they became caked with sweat and dirt and grime). It’s very low to the ground (so, a very minimalist-style shoe), has a flexible blown rubber sole and boasts an upper design “exceptional forefoot hold and assurance at toe-off.”

Now, as you might know, I’ve been dealing with an injury for the last couple of months, so in the interest of full disclosure, I want to make clear that I haven’t done any big, long runs in these. However, the shorter runs I’ve worn them for have been great — there’s enough shoe and sole there to be stable and comfortable, but other than that, it’s a really nice, minimal feel. And that’s great, but keep in mind that, if you’re switching from a higher drop to this, you might want to build your mileage up a bit rather than jumping straight into a 10-miler.

Of course, the other important question is, how do they look? And that part is without question: They’re pretty and make me look super fast. I’ve gotten loads of compliments on them, mainly from other runners who are interested in a mainstream shoe with a more minimalist feel, but also from some of my girlfriends and ladies at the gym who just think they’re freaking sweet. (I have the white/lime punch/blue atoll color; pictured above is the electric/silver/purple magic. In case you wondered.)

One note: As I mentioned, I haven’t put a ton of miles on them yet and haven’t noticed any wear or tear. However, some reviewers have noticed some wear in the upper after a bit of wear. I can’t speak to that since I haven’t experienced it, but when you have a lighter shoe with thinner materials, I can see where certain areas might show some wear.

My best advice, if you’re interested in an uber-light shoe like this, is to talk to the experts at your local running shop and ask them what they’ve seen and what they would recommend based on your stride. Obviously, a midfoot striker is going to have a different wear pattern than a heel striker, which could make a big difference in your shoe’s wear pattern.

Bottom line, I’m loving the Mizuno Wave Sayonara and would gladly shell out the $119.99. (And I likely will once I have a couple hundred miles on this pair.)

Do you prefer a low drop or a high drop in your running shoe? —Kristen


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