The third generation of the Wave Sky brings a huge change for Mizuno, no wave plate! The new version stays true to the design goals of the Sky – maximum cushion from Mizuno!
In a big move for Mizuno, the Sky has no plastic wave plate in the midsole. While the plate is the trademark mechanism for Mizuno, it was preventing their designers from competing with some of the other max-cushion shoes from other brands. Let’s see how the removal of the plate has affected the overall fit, feel, and function of the shoe.
Mizuno Wave Sky 2 vs Wave Sky WaveKnit 3:
The revisions to the Sky 3 have changed the shoe drastically – but it remains pretty true-to-size in terms of length and overall is pretty wide throughout the shoe, but the toebox is pretty shallow. The new FlyKnit upper is forgiving, but if you’ve had depth issues in the toebox you might have to look elsewhere.
The Sky continues to provide Mizuno’s softest, most cushioned ride. It also has a really nice, plush, premium step-in feel which continues throughout the run. As soft as pretty much any traditional shoe on the wall, the removal of the wave plate has allowed Mizuno to increase the softness of the Sky, but it’s not to the level of the Hoka Bondi yet. Mizuno also has stuck to a pretty traditional foam construction, so the softness does come at the cost of weight. The combination of softness and overall weight, the Sky 3 feels pretty substantial on your foot. About as soft as a Nimbus, Glycerin, or Vomero – the Sky isn’t the over-the-top plush ride that you would get out of a Hoka, but it rivals pretty much any non-Hoka on the market.
The Sky provides no stability, so despite its substantive base, it is only appropriate for neutral runners.
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Mizuno Wave Sky vs Asics Nimbus:
In their current versions (Wave Sky WaveKnit 3 vs Nimbus 21). Both the Sky and Nimbus are designed to provide the highest level of perceived cushion. With the removal of the wave plate, the Sky is considerably softer than the Nimbus. Due to its better transition and more flexible ride, the Sky feels lighter, lower, and more playful. The Nimbus is a more platform-feeling ride, which some runners might gravitate towards. On the scale, the two have pretty similar weights, but on-foot the Sky feels lighter. You’ve got a little more room in the Nimbus, both width and depth. Neither are going to provide any significant amount of stability.
Mizuno Wave Sky vs Wave Rider / WaveKnit
With the big change in the Sky for the Sky WaveKnit 3, this comparison is really interesting. The traditional design goals of the two shoes are pretty straightforward, with the Sky intending to be the more cushioned, more substantial, plusher trainer with the Rider feeling a little faster, lower, and lighter. Some of those design goals are achieved in the current version of each, but there are some surprises in the comparison. Because the wave plate remains in the Rider, you actually feel like you’re sitting lower in the the Sky, especially in the forefoot. The Sky does feel more substantial and a little heavier overall, and the weight on the scale confirms that feel. The interesting aspect of the comparison is that the Rider actually feels softer than the Sky, all the way throughout the shoe. The Rider is narrower and shorter than the Sky, enough that you’d probably need to go up a half-size in the Rider to get a comparable fit. The Sky does provide a more premium feel, overall being a little plusher than the rider. Both don’t really provide any inherent stability and are good options for neutral runners.
Mizuno Wave Sky vs Brooks Glycerin
The new Sky gets surprisingly close to the softness and smooth transition of the Glycerin. The Sky is a little lower and more performance-feeling, but the removal of the wave plate has allowed Mizuno to get pretty close. While the Sky is a little less substantial, it also is a little more bouncy and playful. Step-in feel is a little plusher in the Glycerin. Actual weight on the scale is about the same, and the on-foot feel is pretty similar. You have a little more width in the Glycerin and much more depth in the toebox. Neither shoe is going to have any inherent stability, so both are only good options for neutral runners.
Mizuno Wave Sky vs Hoka Clifton
Mizuno has recently been amping up the cushion throughout their lineup, and the new Sky delivers on the maximum-cushion design goal. With the recent update to each shoe, the Sky is even lower, and the difference between it and the Clifton has increased. The Clifton also had the rocker design that the Mizuno lacks. You really feel the considerable weight difference between the shoes on-foot, with the Clifton being significantly lighter. Width is about the same overall on both shoes, with the Clifton having a much more generous toebox. The Sky lacks the inherent stability that the Clifton provides, so the Clifton is going to be suitable for a little broader audience of runners and walkers.