One of the benefits to working for a smaller, non-franchised running store are ‘seeds’. Seeds are the free products companies send so that employees can get an idea of the product’s actual feel, look, and behavior in the real world. I recently got a pair of Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3s and this past weekend I finally got a chance to put some miles on them.
Looks: The shoe looks great just sitting in the box. The contrast between the green (which is a perfect match to the PRC green!) and black really make the shoe pop. Although I have never run in Mizuno’s till this weekend I have always thought they do an excellent job with color schemes.
Initial Feel: I was expecting a much firmer shoe based on the fact that the Sayonara is a lightweight shoe and the Mizuno ‘wave plate’ tends to be a little firmer in general. I was surprised when I put the shoe on and felt a very cushioned and almost plush foam underfoot. After walking around, stretching, and warming up in them the Sayonara 3 was off to a very good start.
While Running: I took these guys out for an easy 8 miler on Saturday followed by a fast 10 miles on Sunday and was very please with both runs. The shoe conforms to the foot very well and is a great ride for that mid distance run. One of the things I really like about the shoe is the wave plate technology Mizuno uses. That stiffer (when compared to traditional foam cushioning) wave plate almost seemed to help propel me forward. It had an almost spring like reaction when taking off from the ground that made going thru my stride very effortless and comfortable. Something else I noticed after both runs was the complete lack of hot spots on my feet or general foot fatigue. On both runs I purposely wore cotton socks (that tend to increase friction and irritation as opposed to synthetics) to see if any hot spots or rubbing would develop. Absolutely nothing. There also was not the slightest bit of general foot fatigue that accompanies a mid distance run. The only down side I noticed was during my slower 8 mile run it felt like the shoe was a little heavy in the heel. When I shortened my stride and slowed the pace I noticed prominent heel striking which I believe was a combination of the wave plate not dampening the effects of heel striking as much as a normal foam cushion system, an overall heavy heel feel, and the change in my natural running form. When I increased pace this phenomenon went away completely. The combination of the lightweight shoe design, amble cushioning, ‘springiness’, and complete absence of hot spots or any foot fatigue make this a shoe I will definitely be doing some more running in.
Overall: This is an awesome shoe. Incredible comfort while on the foot and great performance while doing normally paced workouts make this the perfect lightweight trainer for speed work and runs of all lengths.