Product Review: Mizuno Wave Sayonara

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Breaking up is hard to do. I’ve been running in Saucony exclusively since my first surgery, first in the Kinvara and then in the Mirage. In trying to come back from this surgery, however, I found that the Mirage just wasn’t working. I purchase a replacement pair in late February that was identical to my tired pair but we never made it work. My foot hurt, it rubbed my scar oddly and I was landing on the outside of my foot instead of rolling off the inside and off my big toe. Not going to work.

Thankfully, Katherine is a running shoe goddess and we spent a recent Friday night trying to patch my broken heart. I tried the Mirage 4 and Kinvara 4, hoping the model change might work. I tried the Grid and felt like I was wearing high heels. If you’ve ever seen Steve Martin’s King Tut skit, you have an idea what I looked like walking around Fleet Feet.

I tried the PureProject by Brooks and although I don’t think it’s an every day training shoe for me, I do plan to pick up a pair for workouts. Then I tried the Sayonara. I ran in Mizuno before my first surgery and was a dedicated Wave Rider runner. Much like getting the stomach flu after eating a food, however, I hadn’t gone back to them because my compartment syndrome flared up just after purchasing a new pair. Running on the treadmill and then outside, it seemed like the Sayonara might be my new shoe.

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Not one to ever go lightly into testing a shoe, my first real run in the Sayonara was a 14 miler on a slushy Saturday morning. It felt good for the first few miles but by the end, my big toe was killing me. Turns out, I hadn’t actually pushed off it since surgery since the Mirage and I weren’t getting along. By the next morning, however, my toe was fine and I felt pretty confident I’d found my match.

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I now have 70 miles on this pair and although my foot may continue to change as swelling goes down, I’m excited to have found a minimal drop shoe that works for me. Nice work, Mizuno.

Pros

Wide Toe Box with a narrow midfoot, perfect for someone like me with high arches.

Normal colors

Comfortable upper

Breathable; I’ve had a couple hot weather runs and my feet have stayed cool

Cons

The fricken Mizuno “heel cup” aka rock catcher

Short laces; impossible to double knot.

Pricey; $120 is a lot for a shoe when you buy new ones every 6 weeks.

I’d recommend this shoe as a trainer for someone who likes to run in a minimal style but wants a little more in the post or as a racing flat for 10K and up for runners in more traditional trainers.

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