Tuesday, December 27, 2016

MIZUNO Wave Sayonara 4 (Men US9.5) - Wear test review

Wear test review of MIZUNO Wave Sayonara 4 (Men US9.5)

The Sayonara 4 represents the top line light weight trainer of the Mizuno stable.  In the past it has been listed as a racer, but since then had been transformed into a hybrid of racer/trainer.  I would say more of the characteristic of a trainer.  The construction of the shoe is ideal for those who are not use to racing flats and use it for a fast race because of its light weight.

The shoe was provided by World Of Sports Malaysia for me to do a wear test review, and the pair I got from them was the Blue/Lime color.  This did not influence the outcome of the wear test review.

The shoe was put into a run-in session of multiple runs consisting of short runs of 5k to 6k, and progressively increased to 10k, 20k and the finale acid test was a 35k run.  In the initial few runs, the sole is a bit hard, and hence I can hear louder noise when my feet hit the tarmac.  As it gradually eased in, the rubber of the sole gets softer and the loud noise during landing actually fades away.  Overall the shoe had clocked about 100km before I wrote this wear test review.

The Sayonara 4 has an outsole with a horseshoe shape of the Mizuno X10 black carbon rubber around the heel.  The X10 had proven to be of soft and high durability material to prolong wear and tear.   As I said the Sayonara 4 had clocked about 100km during my test run and I don’t actually see much wear across the sole from the forefoot area and all the way to the heel area.  Hence in terms of durability, I must say the X10 material handle it pretty well without sacrificing anything on its weight and softness.

The outsole feels firmer compare to other softer shoes of similar class. But sometimes when one is looking for that extra push in a race, that firmness is something that what we are looking for, and for that I really like it.  But if you are not fond of a firmer ride then this could be more of a nuisance rather than an advantage.

If you are not familiar with it, Mizuno’s Wave Technology comes in 3 different designs, each with its own role.  In the Sayonara 4, it uses the Parallel Wave plate combines with “U4ic” foam at midsole to give you a good cushioning and propulsion (the action of pushing forward).  I believed Mizuno use the Parallel Wave plate was because it is considered the most appropriate for neutral runners, the elastic thermal plastic plate was designed to absorb the impact from striking and allocate it evenly throughout the midsole.  The benefit from this is to reduce in energy loss from one stride to another.  Hence this will give you a more responsive strike.

Additionally, the added foam provides a more structured feel at the bottom and gives the runner a better support feeling compare to other shoe of the same class.  This is something I found to be a plus point on longer tempo runs.  The U4ic foam is thickest at the heel and gradually thins out toward the front of the shoe.   This is a great consideration for heel strikers that will wear this shoe off.

The upper had good breathability that does not retain heat on a hot day.  What Mizuno did was to use an external mesh top (very thin layers) with larger openings.  To me this constructions offer very good breathability without sacrificing durability (won’t get torn easily)
Another area that is worth mentioning was the plastic lined toe box.  It looks like an ordinary design but actually had proven that it actually prevent water from getting into the top of the sock (if you run through a puddle of water or wet lawn)   So happened I ran over a field during the test run after a downpour and surprising the top of my sock did not get wet at all.

One more plus point that I would like to mention in the Sayonara 4 is the lace guide on the tongue.  This will secure the tongue properly when you run.  Ever experienced the shoe tongue had completely moved over to the outside of your ankle?  Elastic laces were used for the Sayonara 4 and it gives you good traction in terms of strength applied while lacing up and securing the fit.

The Sayonara 4 is true to size (at least for me).  I do not need to go any size up or down.  The first fit give me a good feeling that the fitting is perfectly OK comparing to other US9.5 that I am wearing.  The feel is exactly the same.  The shoe comes in a weight of 9 oz (Men US9) and is consider light for a trainer.  Toebox is not narrow as I normally wear a Medium cut.  Those who have wider feet may need to do a shoe fit and check out if the toebox space is good enough.


The Sayonara 4 offered me a comfortable ride, whether it is over a short run and longer LSD.  Although it may not be my first choice for a 10k or 15k run, but definitely will be my top of the list for longer runs of 20k to 35k and beyond.  It offered the right amount of cushioning plus support yet not sacrificing on the weight itself.  A stack height of 28mm (heel) and 18mm (forefoot) giving you a drop of 10mm.  If you are very used to lower drop shoes of 4mm or less, then you will probably avoid this shoe.  But if you are one  that consistently wear trainers with 12mm drop or higher, then the Sayonara 4 is the shoe for you on marathon race day.  Plus with the extra cushioning at the heel and forefoot, it will definitely be of great help when you are building up your distance.  And if you are a heel striker, you must give it a try.

Weight: 9.0oz (Men US9)
Stack Height: 28mm (Heel), 18mm (Forefoot)

Wear and Tear of the outsole after about 100km.

The MIZUNO Wave Sayonara 4 is available at all World Of Sports Malaysia outlet retailing at RM479.00