The brand new Mizuno Wave Shadow hits the market to replace Wave Sayonara saga. Although two first editions of the Sayonara were quite successful, last two were less and less popular and even important price drops could not boost sale figures. So marketing department from Mizuno became aware of situation and decided to rebrand its performance shoe for neutral runners and gain some market share from dominant Adidas Adizero Boston 6 with a versatile and light shoe featuring 8 mm drop (2 less than Sayonara) and more cushioning than popular racer Wave Hitogami 4, making the Wave Shadow a great option for tempo runs and racing road distances up to half marathon.
So many changes compared to theorical predecessor Wave Sayonara 4 that makes sense from Mizuno to release a new model. Upper is cleaner and gets rid of sewed reinforcements in toecap while mesh in forefoot is plenty of holes to improve ventilation. Fused elements (including Mizuno logo) provide consistent structure combined with enough reflective material to increase visibility under poor light conditions. Internal heel counter features enough stiffness and flat laces enable custom and secure fit.
Midsole from Wave Shadow features a softer feeling than typical firm one from Mizuno. Using reliable foam U4ic as baselayer, midsole brings in CloudWave™ plate (already seen in popular Wave Rider 20) to provide smooth transition with great stability although without proper pronation support like in its counterpart Wave Catalyst. Outsole reminds classical Mizuno configuration with decoupled areas and more robust rubber (X10) in more exposed areas to increase durability. SmoothRide™ technology now includes diagonal instead of crossed flex grooves so we have to wait for reviews from unbiased testers to know real performance.