Mizuno Wave Shadow Performance Review
Thomas: The Mizuno Wave Shadow replaces the Wave Sayonara in Mizuno’s lineup. This shoe is their lighter daily trainer. The toebox was accommodating and breathes well. There are no overlays to interfere with air flow. Over the midfoot, there is a welded overlay that provides enough structure to keep your foot locked in place. A structured heel counter provides support for the heel, while the collar is lightly padded around the ankle. The tongue and lacing don’t stand out, which is a good thing.
The midsole cushioning in the forefoot creates a really nice landing and toe-off feel. There is lots of rubber on the outsole to help with traction on takeoff. The Wave plate gives the shoe some spring when going through your stride and offers a lot of support in the heel. My guess is that you will be able to get the standard 300 miles, maybe a little more out of the Shadow.
Meaghan: The Mizuno Wave Shadow is a lightweight daily trainer. As Thomas mentioned, it replaced the Wave Sayonara. The upper is a simple, breathable mesh with overlays through the midfoot. They hug the foot, but there’s enough room for my toes to spread out. The tongue and collar are lightly padded with a flat lacing system to keep the shoe snug and in place.
The midsole/outsole is designed with Mizuno’s CloudWave and U4icX heel cushioning. It’s supposed to create a “smoother, softer ride.” More on that later. The outsole is covered in rubber for added durability and the zig-zag pattern offers a lot of traction.
Thomas: The Wave Plate in the heel ended up being a problem for me. The front of the Shadow is great, the Wave Plate is rigid enough to redirect my foot upon landing. I land on the lateral edge of my foot and the flat plate would cause my ankle distress as the shoe would role down then slap flat. For someone looking for a supportive shoe, this may be a good thing. For me, I just got sore ankles.
Meaghan: I really tried to like this shoe. I mean, really tried. It’s just too firm and uncomfortable for my foot and stride. Landing to toe-off was not smooth and I could never get comfortable through my gait. The upper is great, everything underfoot is not.
Mizuno Wave Shadow Conclusion
Thomas: If you are a Mizuno fan then you will be happy to have a lighter weight (9.8 oz. for size 10.5) 8mm drop trainer in the mix. The fit and quality of the upper are really fine tuned. I really liked the forefoot of the shoe, the plate made the heel feel separate from the rest of the shoe. I would compare the Mizuno Wave Shadow to the Saucony Kinvara 8, Brooks Launch, Hoka Tracer, New Balance Vazee Pace, and Salming Speed 5. The Mizuno Wave Shadow will be available in July 2017.
Meaghan: As Thomas noted, if you like Mizuno, you’ll like the Wave Shadow. It feels similar to its predecessor (the Sayonara), with a bit more cushioning. This is a durable shoe that you can get lots and lots of miles in.