Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 ReviewApril 27, 2016
- Stable and very supportive
- A workhorse and durable shoe
- Excellent overpronation control
- Stiff and uncomfortable
- A bit narrow
- Lacks feel and responsiveness
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is a standout choice for the runner seeking excellent support and overpronation control while needing extra cushioning to absorb a regular heel strike. The Wave Inspire 12 has a rough ride compared to others tested. The overly rigid and stiff feeling midsole is durable however it limits flexibility and responsiveness. This is not a shoe you’ll want on your feet when the need to suddenly pick up the pace arises.
For those needing extra support the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is a stability shoe designed to function as an everyday trainer. Perfect for runner’s who tend to overpronate, the Wave Inspire 12 has a redesigned U4ic midsole for more ground contact and softer touch down. Weighting in at 10.8oz for men and 8.9 for women the Inspire 12 boosts a 12mm drop making it ideal for heel strikers.
A wedge ofsuper dense foam underfoot and a stiff fitting upper scores the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 an average rating in the comfort category. Despite the 32mm to 20mm of cushioning underfoot the Wave Inspire 12 feels like wood under your feet. There was no give in U4ic midsole which is great for durability but horrible for comfort. However the upper does have excellent padding, which prevented any hotspots or rubbing.
All of our testers agreed the Wave Inspire 12 may favor runners with narrow feet, but was still a very good fitting shoe compared to others tested in this category. Mizuno’s DynaMotion fit upper delivered conforming support where needed.
With such a rigid platform the Wave Inspire 12 lacked any degree of feeling and hence was one of the least responsive shoes tested. These shoes are built for support and logging miles, not for performance.
As expected with a shoe with this much support, the Wave Inspire 12 is not a fast shoe by any means. Between a relatively heavy overall weight and a 12mm heel-to-toe drop it was nearly impossible to get up on your toes and really get a good push off. As one tester noted, “This is a serious motion control shoe and it is hard to get quick turn over and stay on the toes.”
Much like driving a Jeep with off-road tires the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is strong and supportive but a rough ride. Every foot strike felt like a slap on the ground with very little recoil. For anyone but heel strikers it is nearly impossible to get a smooth transition from heel to toe. The 32mm of foam under the heel verses 20mm under the toe felt like a wedge forcing a heel strike.