Okay, here’s the deal on this delayed review…
I really didn’t want to like this shoe. I have more than enough in the running shoe department, and I’m really happy with the Brooks Ravennas I just got. So I was hoping the Mizuno Wave Sayonara would be a dud and I could return it for a refund. I’ve worn this pair almost every day, even if I didn’t run, hoping some irritating little thing would pop up to show me they should go back.
In fact, every time I put them on, they feel better, as if they’re starting to mold to my feet.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
My first thought as I pulled the Sayonaras out of the box? “What kind of idiot buys white running shoes in Florida, where I regularly have to run through mud puddles?!” Answer: the kind who wants to coordinate her shoes with a race outfit, of course. I could have gone for a bright fuchsia color instead, but don’t these just scream “Cinderella!”?!
|Glass slippers, right?!|
Other thoughts included:
“Hey look – bright green laces again! Must be a trend.”
“These sure feel stiff…”
And, “That’s a nice heel!”
For a shoe that’s hardly what anyone would call “minimalist”, the Sayonara is surprisingly light and fast-looking. I like the lack of a gigantic heel coupled with a non-pointy toe box. And, after spending 10 miles constantly fiddling with the laces on my Ravennas, I was happy with the Sayonaras’ bumpy laces.
|See that little label on the heel? It says "Wave Sayonara", or "Wave Goodbye!" Fun!|
Trying them on, I was initially put off by how snuggly they hold my feet. But after wearing them around the house for half an hour, I found that the snugness just may be what replaces a medial post for stability; the way the uppers are shaped give my feet lots of support without any sense of pushing them one way or another. V likey.
Taking them on a short walk on the treadmill, I found that what I’ve read about the Sayonara is true: they offer stability on an as-needed basis. In other words, my right foot, which requires no assistance to do its job, was allowed to move as it so desires, while my left foot, which tends to roll off my big toe while walking swiftly, received some counterbalance at toe-off, redirecting movement back toward the center of my foot. I also found that the heel was equal parts cushiony and bouncy, which offered a very fluid transition from heel to toe. V likey a lot.
Following another walk or two, I decided to test the Sayonara with a 4-mile run/walk, secretly hoping they’d feel lousy on the run. Oh. My. Heck. No. They felt even better on the run! The forefoot didn’t feel all that exceptional while walking, but running? It felt like a little springboard under each foot! As with the Ravennas, I found that the heel didn’t get in my way, despite a higher heel-to-toe drop (10mm) than I’m used to, and I was able to land forefoot first without effort. I noticed, too, that as I transitioned from walk to run and back again, I wasn’t shifting weight forward or backward in my hips as I’m used to with the lower drop (4mm) Brooks PureFlows I’ve been wearing for the past year or so. Maybe that’s thanks to the higher heel height? I don’t know, but… V really likey.
My last run in the Sayonaras consisted of four miles of hill (bridge – we don’t have high hills in coastal Florida!) repeats in fog so thick I couldn’t actually see the bridge. That meant very wet pavement, too, which the super-grippy treads of the Sayonaras handled beautifully. One thing I didn’t like was that in the cool air, the soles initially felt very stiff and the thin mesh uppers left my toes feeling quite chilly. But once warmed-up, I found the shoes to be very responsive on both ascent and descent and could really feel the high level of support in both directions. V likey a whole bunch!
The other night, I opted to wear a pair of Brooks PureFlows for a short run – a pair with about 150 miles on them. This was after two weeks of running and walking only in the Ravennas and Sayonaras. And… I hated the PureFlows in comparison. They felt much too squishy, like I was sinking down into the pavement with every landing, and after 20 minutes in them I was riddled with weird little pains in my knees, ankles, hips and feet. All of which were remedied by a switch to the Ravennas for the last 15 minutes.
I’ve concluded that either the PureFlows wear out for me around 150 miles (since I experienced the same thing with my first pair), or something has changed in my running that doesn’t mesh well with that shoe. So… despite the fact that I have a pair of PureFlow 2’s with only 60 miles on them, and another brand-new pair in my closet, yes – I’m keeping both the Ravennas and Sayonaras.
The only question left is which pair for which race as I go for the Triple Crown (Princess 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon)?!