Mizuno Sayonara 2 (Women’s) ReviewJune 17, 2014
- Low profile
- Simple, sock-like upper
- Improved inside comfort
- Fairly rigid heel counter
- Extended wave plate makes for stiff shoe
- Conventional high-drop offset
While is a lot to like about the Mizuno Sayonara 2–such as its nimbleness and comfort–it also gives runners a stiffer, “slappier” ride than the bouncy Hitogami. The high drop offset combined with a pretty stiff heel makes for a challenging forefoot landing.
The Mizuno Sayonara 2, like the new Hitogami, is a versatile low-profile, neutral lightweight trainer, designed for everyday road running, though could also be a nice racing flat for the biomechanically efficient forefoot striker.
I know runners who swear by the first version of the Sayonara and for those devotees, the update will be most welcome. Though the changes generally are minor, they do improve fit and comfort. The Sayonara 2 has less inside stitching than its predecessor to improve the fit and reduce rubbing. Mizuno has also corrected the sizing issue that marred the first edition of the Sayonara. Still, the ride feels stiff and heel-centric, somewhat surprising for such a lightweight shoe. Each step on my longer road runs felt jarring, as if my legs were absorbing more shock than usual. On the track, they were fine thanks to the softer, more forgiving surface. The ride is not bad, but coming after the supple Hitogami, it was a surprising let down.
As frequently happens with companies, Mizuno seems to have become overly committed to their signature feature. That is the problem with the Sayonara: Mizuno’s signature plastic “wave” plate, essentially a motion control device, is unnecessary in a low-slung performance-oriented shoe. The result is a stiff, slappy reverb with every footfall.
While comfortable enough, the Sayonara feels less plush, surprisingly, than the Hitogami. It’s definitely a stiffer chassis, but something you’d expect in a more performance-oriented shoe.
As has been noted, the stiff heel counter and the wave plate that extends through the back half of the shoe makes for a fairly harsh ride.
Like a bad ‘80s mullet, the Sayonara is all business on the front end, but the back half stops the party in its tracks. If you can manage a pure forefoot strike, this is a fast shoe. Mid-foot to heel strikers, even efficient ones, will find the Sayonara somewhat stiff.
Quality of Materials
I have to hand it to Mizuno—their shoes are fun little riddles to admire (maybe that’s why some of their models are Enigma and Paradox). The Sayonara 2 features bands of overlay that if you look closely are hands waving Buh-bye! This is a nicely constructed, good-looking shoe.
At $120, the Sayonara comes in right where other trainers like it seem to have settled. This is a much beefier (though still light) shoe than the Hitogami, so I’d expect an average lifespan for the Sayonara.