By James Dodds
Today (errrr…July 1st, 2015) we got this big shipment from UPS and behold the Sayonara 3 was in it. Bus & I … you know Bus, Austin Bussing, former Longhorn, super fast, made the finals in the 3000 meters in the steeple this year at the US Championships and clocked an 8:38 PR …. Yeah that guy – Bus:
So Bus and I were working together and before we put items in the system or place new boxes on the shelves we first “inspect.” We want to know what’s going on with the update before it goes on a customer’s foot. Bus’ initial reaction was that it looked “Retro. In a good way.” The mesh that forms the upper actually looks like those old school basketball jerseys from 7th grade athletics. You know the ones your coaches had you turn in after practice so they could “wash them.” Anyway, the holes in those old jerseys were a little larger and therefore more breathable. So our first observation included, “A breathable upper with a retro look.”
Mizuno’s website calls the mesh, “Airmesh” and says, “it is breathable and cool and maintains a high standard of breathability and comfort.” Smooth move Mizuno! Especially considering the only complaint on the Sayonara 2 was the upper itself. And kudos on the retro look because you know how those Millennials are … Instead of moving forward, they like to reach back and wear mustaches and rock their “Grandpa’s hand-me-downs.” #LoveMeSomeMacklemore
So then we put it on and gave it the ole “feel test.” First thing Bus said was, “It’s definitely more substantial.” Jeff Knight thinks it looks like a “Wave Rider on a diet.” Me? I called it the baby Wave Rider.
Anything wrong with that? Absolutely not! I have put plenty of miles in the Rider and think maybe Mizuno was wanting to take the successes of the Rider itself and simply deliver a lower profile version. If that’s the case, then way to go Mizuno! Way to go! If that was not the goal, then what are you people doing? Only kidding …. What do I mean by baby Wave Rider? I mean it has a substantial heel that drops off into a flexible forefoot.
The heel in both the Rider and Sayonara are both firm and tall. You notice it’s there. So when it comes to long mileage you definitely feel secure. But what you use it for is your call. If you like to race marathons and half marathons in the Adios, Cloud Racer, NB 1400, or Go Mebs, then the Sayonara 3 could be a fantastic long run shoe that provides a lift in the heel and therefore rest for the Achilles. On the flip side, if you spend most of your miles in a Ghost, Ride, Glide, Rider, or Strada then the Sayonara will be your next quality workout/racing shoe. So again, it depends on what you use them for … but before we leave the “feel test” category can I make another comment? Yeah, I can because I am writing this damn review so deal with it!
So Mizuno’s insert actually feels quite nice. It has a “gel-like” feel when you first step in. But anyone who runs in Mizunos knows that they are traditionally firmer due to the wave plate. You eventually bump up against a small piece a plastic that gives you are firmer and more responsive feel. So they have done a great job with the insole because it makes for a comfy/soft step-in feel while maintaining the traditional responsiveness of a Mizuno.
In addition, the tongue is “puffy.” Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better adjective. It is soft and puffy. Cozy, if you will. That’s a good thing. No on wants the tongue of a shoe slipping around on you. Anyway, let’s move on to a better thought.
When I showed it to Chris McClung he said it reminded him of the Mizuno Wave Precision which hasn’t been around since like 2012 (how does this guy remember that stuff?). He has a point. This rendition definitely feels like Mizuno is saying, “Hey, guys, sorry we had it right and then we changed it. Now we are getting right back to … right!” Does history matter though? Not now. All that matters is that they got it right. And yes, I am saying, “They got it right!” The Sayonara 3 is #right and #solid. (Yes that’s a hashtag … two of them!). This shoe is in the same category as the Launch 2. It has a slightly firmer and more responsive feel but very similar in style and function. Their heel to toe drops are similar, falling somewhere between 10-12 mm but the Launch actually weighs slightly more. We’re only talking .4 – .6 ounces difference but nonetheless there is a difference. Mizuno’s website list the weight as 8.4 oz but I am never sure which size & style that refers to so I weighed the Men’s Launch 2 size 11.5 in at 11 oz even and the Men’s Wave Sayonara 3 size 11.5 at 10.4 oz. So in reference to another, the Sayonara is slightly lighter than the Brook’s Launch 2 and just a tad bit heavier than the NB Zante. So we did all we could to “feel them out” and in the end they passed the test. But our final thought was on price.
No one wants to find a Zante or Launch alternative and then have to pay twice as much. So Bus double-checked the price and sure enough they come in appropriately. At $110 they are only $10 more than a Zante & Launch but $10 -$20 cheaper than a Boracay, Adios, or Clifton.
In conclusion, we find the Sayonara 3 to be a lightweight neutral trainer that passes the test. It has a comfy step-in feel that delivers the traditional responsiveness of the Mizuno family line-up. It’s retro look is sure to please your uncle Joe who ran before running was cool and your cousin Jake who has a mustache and thinks he is bringing running back. It stands up against the Launch 2 & the Zante but best of all it doesn’t break the bank. Coming in at $110 the light weight, neutral, retro looking, baby Wave Rider A.K.A. Wave Sayonara 3 is
James Dodds is the Rogue Downtown Assistant Manager. He’s a thinker, may have missed his call as a preacher and, fortunately for him, has a pretty awesome wife. You can catch him on the floor downtown or on the road with his crew, Bods by Dodds. He primarily speaks in hashtags. #also