Is this love?

sayonarareviewYou know how, when you go to a yoga class and get really present, or mindful, or whateverthehell it is that happens when you get all folded up like that, and you leave and feel so good you just want to hug random people and you think that, you know, maybe you really don’t need all those things, and maybe you should be eating more, I don’t know, kale and shit?  Me neither, but a couple weeks ago I got a pair of the new Wave Sayonara in the mail from the good people over there at Mizuno and I was so excited that I wanted to somehow share my excitement with the world, so I took the kiddos out for some Certs.  That’s how we roll up here in the ‘57.  Anyway, it’s kinda the same thing.

If you’re on the Twitter, or the Facebook or whatever, you’re probably well aware of the arrival of the new Sayonara.  They’re the lightweight bossness from Mizuno that will replace both the Elixir and the Precision.  If you do the math, that doesn’t really equal out, but I’m not gonna embarrass them or anything.  They’re probably the most anticipated things this summer other than the Black Sabbath tour.¹  Wait.  Ok, more than that.  You know what I mean.  Anyway, I got a pair early because my man Seth at Mizuno is the Pootie Tang of running shoes.  I don’t know what that means, but, so, yeah.  Shit is blowing up over the Sayonara.  Who says Mizuno aren’t good at marketing?  Also, I’m pretty sure that Senator Davis is on the payroll now too.

Mizuno are making some really cool things right now, and there are more to come, fo sho.  Wait til you see the Rider 17.  Holy mf shit.  And then when the Hitogami arrives, Mizuno will have a trio of shoes in the Rider, Sayonara, Hitogami and Ekiden that rivals the New Balance holy trinity of the 890, 1400 and 1600.  Wait.  Huh? Keeping with that comparison, I’d put the Sayonara on the same space on the chart as the 1400, the Adios from adidas, and then the, I don’t know, Karhu Flow 3 maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe the Flow 3 Light.  You know, shoes that are on the line between racer and trainer.  So anyway, I’m pretty jazzed about all that.  Do people still say jazzed?  Can I say that?  Whatever, hush.

So the Sayonara are an ounce lighter than the Elixir, an ounce and a half lighter than the Precision and have, according to the people over there in GA, an inherent stability equal to or greater than both.  They have (almost) complete ground control, only sculpted out a bit on the lateral side and then the wave plate on the medial side extends further into the midfoot and is a little thicker there.

It’s a moderately firm shoe, maybe a bit more than the 1400, but way lesser than the mahafirm Adios 2. Somewhere in between. Maybe the original Adios.  The rearfoot, filled in of course with the Wave plate, is firmer than the forefoot, which is still moderately firm, mostly because of the dotty, grippy part of the outsole on the medial side.  They call it G3, because, you know, marketing.  The only thing I’d change in the midsole is I’d lower the offset a couple of millimeters or so, but that’s just me.  You know I like it low.  Even as light as they are, there is some substance to them.  They’re more substantial than the 1400, less so than the Adios.  It’s not heft, but it ain’t flimsy.  If you’re looking for a shoe that can handle some miles, check it, yo.

The upper fits clean and snug from the heel through the midfoot and then opens up a bit, as it should, to give your toes some breathing room.  That was the very first thing I noticed when I put them on.  The second thing I noticed was that I was wearing only underwear and I was standing on the front porch.  I mean, that’s where I was when I opened the box. By now, the neighbors are cool with it, so whatever.  It might be wise, however, if you were to consider going down a half size from your standard running shoe size.  I’ve seen similar suggestions on a couple of shoe forums and I’ve gotta agree.   When a shoe fits me just so, I don’t even really lace them up, but just kinda tie them without making any real adjustment.  With this size on the Sayonara, I’ve got to cinch ‘em down a wee bit.  Maybe if you’ve got a higher volume foot, you’ll be ok.

But the real kicker is when you run in them, which is the way it is supposed to be.  Mizuno have always had a certain feel, a certain ride, that people appreciate and that’s no different here.  Maybe part of it is the silhouette.  The way the shoe looks on your foot.  It looks fast to me.  You know when you drive a, I don’t know, Yaris or some shit and then your friend lets you wheel around the San Francisco streets in his turbo charged Mini and all of a sudden you’re Mario ****ing Andretti?  It’s like that, except with the Sayonara on, you want to take off your shirt and do some lunges on the corner in front of that new ramen joint, except you were taught manners and people are eating in there.  They feel fast, so you end up running fast, faster than you probably should, you know, in the grocery store.   So here’s the thing:  In the almost two weeks I’ve had the Sayonara, I’ve only not run in them twice and I’ve worn them to the grocery store for a smoked whitefish fix, the neighborhood pool with the tots, an Angry Birds birthday party, yoga and yoga.  I like ’em that much.

Really, this is the first time that I can remember this much buzz over a Mizuno model, except when the Rider self-immolated that one year.  And it’s all worth it.  If you’re a Mizuno fan, the Sayonara are gonna rock your face off and then come back for an encore when you’re changing into some fresh pants.  You know what I’m talking about.  If you’ve never ridden the Mizuno train, this might be the one that does it for you.  And just you wait.  That new Rider, the Hitogami?  You don’t even know!  You’ll be down at the tattoo parlor, explaining a Runbird to the guy with the skull rings.

¹Whitesnake?  Are you listening?


6 responses to “Is this love?

  1. ‘They feel fast, so you end up running fast, faster than you probably should, you know, in the grocery store.’ Love it!!!! Laughing! Thank you!

  2. As always..the most entertaining and thoughtful shoe reviews of anyone who writes about such things. Love it.

  3. I did a review of this shoe for Pete Larson, so I can definitely echo your statement “They feel fast, so you end up running fast…” I was surprised by the number of times I went out for an easy run in my Sayonara’s and ended up running way faster than I “wanted to”. Great review, John, your humor just kills me!!

    • Thanks much!
      I love the feel of the Sayonara. Though, after about a month in them, I began to get the familiar little PF tickle. Only the day after I wore them, and no other shoe, so I’ve shelved them for now.

      I think the rear-/mid-foot is just too much shoe for me. Too rigid perhaps. Dunno.

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