The new model Mizuno Wave Sky is said to be, “A highly cushioned premium running shoe… for daily training over any distance.” (Running Warehouse)
Do we agree? See the verdict below.
The Wave Sky has the appearance of a larger trainer, similar to the Brooks Glycerin 15. It weighs 11.1 ounces – although it feels lighter, has a 10 mm drop, and offers a medium volume fit for most.
The Wave Sky is semi-curved and slip lasted. Some of the space inside the shoe is taken up by what I felt was an overly-thick, padded foam insole. When I removed this insole to replace it with a thinner sock liner, I discovered how well cushioned this shoe is.
There’s a bed of compliant rubber that sits on top of the midsole. One can tell by pressing on this bed that the Wave Sky is going to offer some welcome bounce back on the road.
The Wave Sky has some hard and durable X10 carbon runner on the heel and on the lateral side of the forefoot that adds a touch of firmness.
But this does not mean that the shoe provides a firm ride, as I will touch on later below.
The upper on the Wave Sky utilizes a number of different materials. It might come off as busy on a lighter colored shoe but looked just fine in the peacoat blue/silver/yellow colorway of my sample pair.
I may not be the only person who sees some retro 80s/90s touches in the appearance of the Wave Sky’s upper. I like it. I also like the generous padding that surrounds the heel cup. It comfortably locks the heel in place for runs.
On The Road
Walking in the Wave Sky on the way to a running course, I could feel the responsiveness underfoot. And one gets the sense of stability that the shoe offers due to its wide base and flared sole.
When first running in the shoe, it becomes clear that one does not need to choose between soft cushioning and good responsiveness; both are present.
Often in a bigger, heavier trainer forefoot flexibility is sacrificed. But the Wave Sky has two full flex grooves and a third smaller groove up front.
The Wave Sky is flexible and there’s an easy test that demonstrates this. Put the Wave Sky on and raise your big toes. The front of the shoe bends up with the large toes, which is exactly what’s needed.
The Wave Sky feels close to the ground while running, despite its built-up appearance. As seen in the grades below, it’s a shoe that accommodates the needs of runners across a broad spectrum.
Grading the Wave Sky
You could not ask for more cushioning in a trainer. Well, you could but it would likely slow you down.
Responsiveness: B+ to A-
The Wave Sky is quite responsive. The shoe provides a noticeable amount of impact displacement – all the bounce a reasonable person might ask for, while facilitating all styles of running. Speaking of which, the Wave Sky facilitates rapid feet turnover, so it can be used for the occasional speed session.
Flexibility: B- to B
I generally experience some sort of issue with my feet while running in a new model shoe. That was not the case here. While the Wave Sky protects the feet from being punished on asphalt or concrete, it has enough space and flexibility in the forefoot for toes to splay as they may.
Stability: B- to B
There’s enough support in the Wave Sky to enhance straight-ahead running, but not so much as to interfere with a runner’s normal foot strike.
The Firmness Issue
I still notice periodic references to Mizuno running shoes being firm. Well, keep in mind that I previously ran in the Mizuno Wave Sayonara, the Wave Sayonara 3, the Precision 3 and the Wave Rider 3. Those were firm shoes. I don’t feel the same level of firmness in the Wave Sky; in fact, it’s not even close.
The issue may pop up on long training runs – say 13 to 15 miles or more. But at that distance, a number of trainers – including the Asics Gel-DS Trainer and the GT 2000 series shoes - will begin to feel firm. It may literally go with the territory.
A Two Shoe Rotation
The Wave Sky retails for $150. The exemplary Mizuno Wave Shadow retails for just $110. So for $260 one may own a pair of trainers that will be sufficient for months of training.
The Wave Sky can be used as a daily trainer, as a shoe for short to mid-distance training runs, and as a perfect recovery shoe when feet or knees are bruised or aching. The Wave Shadow is a good shoe for fast training days, race days, and long distance runs.
The two shoes happen to represent two different styles, from appearance to function.
The Wave Sky is a traditional somewhat heavy trainer that’s quiet and not too noticeable. It’s a stealth shoe that gets the job done. The Wave Shadow is a bright, light attention-getting trainer that’s always ready to run on race day.
If you’re looking for a trainer that provides a roomy fit, excellent protection from hard surfaces, and enough responsiveness to enhance all manner of training runs, the Wave Sky is a shoe to consider.
I found the Brooks Glycerin 15 to be an excellent trainer. I think the Mizuno Wave Sky is also excellent. It’s a great shoe for a new model trainer, and I expect that it will only get better in the future.