Mizuno Wave Shadow

Mizuno has since discontinued the popular Wave Sayonara shoe and the Mizuno Wave Shadow is its replacement. The Wave Shadow is meant to be a lightweight everyday running shoe. At least, that's what can be understood from the marketing of the shoe. In reality? It's a solid daily trainer with a few minor issues. Sayonara loyalists, disappointed by the discontinuation, seemed content with this replacement. It has the same feel as the Sayonara but with a better upper fit and a lower overall drop.

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Pros & Cons
  • Ample midsole cushioning
  • Excellent outsole traction
  • Provides a stable ride
  • Flexible construction
  • Stellar ground-feel
  • Solid replacement for the Sayonara
  • Cons
    • Thin upper brings up durability concerns
    • Outsole catches debris easily
    • Shoe squeaks
    • Heavier than some expected
    • Not super responsive
    • Requires a breaking in period
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Mizuno Wave Shadow remains fairly similar to that of its predecessor (the Sayonara). It's made up of X10 material which both provides traction and ensures the outsole doesn't fall apart after a few wears. Reviewers agreed that the outsole provides decent traction but the way the outsole has been designed makes it a poor choice for running on surfaces with lots of debris. Gravel paths are a no go. You'll still feel steady but the grooves in the sole do tend to pick up rocks and pebbles and they get stuck in pretty well. The outsole also tends to make quite a bit of noise because it squeaks. This doesn't affect the way the shoe feels or performs, but it was brought up by reviewers so feels worth a mention.
      The midsole of the Mizuno Wave Shadow features Mizuno's proprietary CloudWave technology. The Wave plate helps to provide stability and flexibility while also bringing down the overall weight of the shoe. The U4icx cushioning pads the midsole just enough for long distances. The midsole's material is a bit softer compared to the Sayonara and other Mizuno brand shoes but the ride provided is still quite firm. A few reviewers pointed out that while the firm cushioning felt good underfoot, they were skeptical about whether it would hold up over time. The shoe does need a breaking in period to really feel nice underfoot. The cushioning does soften up a tad after a few runs. Though, perhaps soften up is the wrong description. It becomes increasingly malleable so that the shoe becomes more flexible overall and so too does the ride.
      The upper features a thin material. Reviewers felt that it lacked durability and were worried about the material tearing. The upper fit is definitely great, though. Thanks to Dynamotion Fit technology. Some reviewers did mention the mesh material in the forefoot area which is a bit too generous. There's so much of the mesh that it tends to bunch up for smaller footed runners. The upper is not seamless, so careful when considering going sockless. A thick insole inside the shoe adds extra comfort which helps improve the ride feel. The stretchy laces are half flat. Upper overlays add support to the wearer and a standard tongue round out the design. One thing missing from the shoe's design are reflective features which reviewers did not appreciate.

      The Mizuno Wave Shadow felt heavier than some reviewers expected. Overall, it's a fairly lightweight shoe, though. The women's version weighs 7.4 oz and the men's about 9 oz. That's not terribly heavy but some felt the look of the shoe was deceiving. In that, it looks lighter than it feels underfoot. The Wave plate does help to eliminate unwanted weight, which helps keep the weight down. The Mizuno Wave Shadow is meant to be worn for daily training. It's not a racing shoe and its light enough to work for that use. Many reviewers also found the shoe suitable for fast training runs.
      The Wave Shadow is covered in thin mesh material so there's no surprise that it breathes fairly well. Reviewers didn't have anything negative to say about the shoe's ability to ventilate. The Dynamotion Fit construction ensures the shoe fits well without being too tight. The upper is thin enough to circulate air super well but that also translates to an upper that tears easily. There's a tradeoff going on. There were virtually zero complaints from wearers about the shoe's ability to breathe but durability was definitely a concern.
      Most reviewers found this shoe to be fairly comfortable. The Dynamotion Fit technology provides a great fit (better than the Sayonara). The cushioning is firm and supportive but there's also a plush insole for a bit of softness when landing. The flexible nature of the shoe makes the ride feel smooth. A few did mention they doubted the midsole material's ability to last for a long time and the shoe does require a breaking in period to really feel comfortable.
      Talk about flash! The Mizuno Wave Shadow comes in limited color choices but the ones available are super bright and loud. The neon coloring for men will make it easy for your loved ones to spot you at races. For women, there's a bright light blue color that commands attention as well. Overall, it's a nice design but not particularly innovative.
      This shoe has a fairly durable outsole thanks to the X10 material covering the bottom of the shoe. But, when it comes to the rest of the shoe, durability is a concern. The midsole cushioning provides some energy-return but some runners noted that the cushioning did tend to feel less bouncy after a while. The upper provides an improved fit compared to the Sayonara, but the material is thin enough to tear easily.
      The Mizuno Wave Shadow provides a decent amount of protection for runners. The outsole provides plenty of traction so runners don't have to worry about losing footing on the slippery ground. The midsole U4icx cushioning is generous enough for long distance training. The upper fits well which helps eliminate instability. Additional overlays in the upper help steady wearers as they run. What's missing are reflective features. Yes, the shoe is brightly colored but that's not going to be of any use when running in the dark. It's better than black for visibility but reflective components should really be added.
      This shoe is not super responsive. Sure, there's some form of energy-return. That's mostly thanks to the CloudWave construction which helps provide a bit of bounce back to the runner. But overall, the shoe is better at providing ground-feel than it is when it comes to responsiveness. The firm U4icx cushioning also tends to provide less and less bounce back throughout training.
      The Wave Shadow provides enough support for long distance training. The majority of the support comes from the Dynamotion constructed upper. The snug fit and secure overlays keep wearers locked into the shoe. The firm cushioning also affords runners a stable platform to run on. The excellent ground-feel of the Mizuno Wave Shadow also helps when it comes to support. Runners should feel safely planted when moving in the shoe.
      This Mizuno shoe is made for pavement running. It's probably not a great idea to head anywhere in the Mizuno Wave Shadow with lots of debris. The outsole is notorious for grabbing small rocks and pebbles. It makes the ride uncomfortable and the design of the outsole makes it hard to dislodged whatever gets stuck in there, to begin with.
      The Mizuno Wave Shadow is fairly priced. Sayonara loyalists felt that paying the same for this update seemed fair. For the right runner, it's a good buy. It delivers a comfortable firm ride that's not too heavy, is cushioned enough for all kinds of distances and provides plenty of support and stability.
      The Mizuno Wave Shadow provides plenty of traction. The X10 outsole is a star when it comes to gripping surfaces. It does have the issue of having too many crevices for stuff to get trapped in but otherwise, it performs pretty well. Some reviewers did point out something that was more annoying than problematic: the shoe's outsole makes a lot of noise. It squeaks underfoot. Not at all something that should be a deal-breaker but it was annoying enough for reviewers to mention it.
      The Wave Shadow is plenty flexible. The CloudWave construction of the shoe ensures a smooth transition and comfortable movement from heel to toe. This makes up in droves for the shoe's lack of energy-return. Reviewers loved how flexible the ride felt in the Mizuno Wave Shadow. The flexible nature of the shoe helps make runs feel effortless and works well for any kind of footstrike.
      Even though the Mizuno Wave Shadow is a neutral shoe, there's plenty of stability to ensure wearers feel secure as they run. The CloudWave construction helps with stability. The thinly covered upper does feel flimsy but it fits extremely well around the foot to ensure the wearer feels stable. The firm midsole cushioning also helps to ensure the whole ride experience feels secure and stable. Reviewers agreed that the Mizuno Wave Shadow provides a stable ride.

      This shoe features an 8mm drop. The Sayonara had a 10mm drop, so it's 2mm lower. The result is a closer to the ground feel, not minimalist but close enough to the ground that ground feel is superior to other shoe models. The lower drop promotes a more sure-footed feel and a better connection to the ground throughout a run. The result is a more stable ride that feels a lot more natural.
      Key Features
      - X10 outsole provides protection and traction
      - CloudWave construction promotes stability and flexibility
      - Wave plate helps reduce weight of the shoe
      - U4icx midsole cushioning is firm and supportive
      - Upper is not seamless so careful if you decide to go sockless
      - Overlays for support ensure a locked-down fit
      - Standard tongue
      - Well-cushioned insole helps add a bit of softness
      - Flat stretchy laces for tightening the fit of the shoe
      - Dynamotion Fit technology for better upper fit
      - Thinly covered mesh upper for breathability
      Bottom Line
      The low down? The Mizuno Wave Shadow is a great daily trainer and a solid replacement for the Sayonara. The same feel is paired with a better upper fit and a lower drop. The result? A stable, supportive ride that provides a solid connection to the earth. The shoe isn't perfect, of course. The upper material is supportive but thin enough to tear easily. The outsole tends to catch debris and it squeaks loudly on multiple surfaces. The shoe doesn't have reflective features either. But none of these is a deal breaker. For those who want a reliable shoe for day to day training for any kind of distance, the Mizuno Wave Shadow is a good choice. The flexible, stable ride is also comfortable. Just make sure you're okay with having a flashy shoe.
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      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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