Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4 ReviewSeptember 22, 2016
- Strong outsole traction
- Comfortable overall fit
- Good ventilation throughout upper
- Stiff rearfoot and midfoot
- Midsole responsiveness slightly dull
- Feels heavier than advertised
The Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4 is a very nice upgrade in fit, comfort and softness compared to its previous version. It is relatively stiff through the rearfoot and midfoot, and responsiveness in the midsole isn’t as dynamic as the Adidas Adizero Boston 6 or New Balance Vazee Pace 2. In terms of weight, there is a mild discrepancy between the listed spec and our size 11 test pair.
Some testers found the last shape slightly gappy in the arch area, but the traditional lace system cinches and secures the midfoot area quite well. Multiple thin overlays keep the upper locked to the midsole, and lightweight padding through the ankle area locks the heel in place securely. Length of the Wave Sayonara 4 is true to size.
A redesigned upper allows extensive ventilation and air flow throughout the Wave Sayonara 4. A rounded toe box allows toes to splay on impact or swell with high mileage runs. The interior lining rides comfortably against the foot without hot spots. Cushioning is noticeably soft in the forefoot and absorbs impact from the road nicely.
Mizuno’s trademark Parallel Wave platform redirects impact forces for transferring momentum forward from the rearfoot, making responsiveness quite effective for heel strikers. Our testers felt that the softer forefoot midsole on the Wave Sayonara 4 lost some responsiveness as impact energy gets absorbed more than returned – this is a particular concern for midfoot strikers. A slightly rounded heel creates a mild forward rocking motion through the stance phase to further assist energy transfer.
Newly formulated blown rubber in the Wave Sayonara 4 outsole provides a soft landing without sacrificing traction. The combination of rigidity from the Parallel Wave with soft midsole cushioning results in an overall ride that propels you forward while minimizing impact from the road. Our testers found the ride quality very comfortable for high mileage days without that pounding sensation in the final miles.
With the slight energy loss in the midsole, the Wave Sayonara 4 is more of a long distance cruiser than a speed trainer. It also has a heavier feel than other shoes with similar weight specs, slowing our leg turnover a bit more than we’d like for race day.
Donald Buraglio- Minimalist Running shoes
Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports.