The Mizuno Wave Inspire has always been a durable, stability-enhancing shoe built with a good blend of comfort, shock absorption and support. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a mid-weight everyday trainer with remarkable cushioning, a plush step-in feel, semi-firm support and exceptional breathability.
The Wave Inspire 17 has been overhauled since last year. The changes are all good, starting with the addition of the new ENERZY foam wedge under the heel. ENERZY is a durable midsole compound that delivers excellent softness and rebound.
The ENERZY midsole foam below the Wave plate is 17 percent softer and returns 15 percent more energy than previous midsole compounds. This gives the shoe a smoother transition after the heel impacts the ground. A slab of lightweight, resilient U4ic foam remains on top of the Wave plate and the combination of all of it.This results in optimal shock reduction, long-lasting durability and a smoother ride.
Other updates include a semi-malleable TPU fan-shaped Wave plate in the midsole for softer stability. Also, it features a new lightweight engineered mesh upper for a cleaner look, better fit and enhanced breathability.
Another small but significant update is the addition of more ground contact in the outsole. There’s full ground contract from heel to toe under the medial side of the shoe. A slightly wider footprint, vertical decoupling in the middle of the heel and three small flex grooves under the forefoot all play key roles in the balance and stability of this shoe.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Wave Inspire has always had a soft, comfortable and secure fit. That remains for the 17th edition, only slightly better this time around.
It fits true to size and secure with a medium width and interior volume throughout, only with a slightly more snug feeling in the toe box than some similar shoes. (It’s available in two widths for men and women.)
The step-in feel is comfortable and plush, with notable cushiness along the footbed, under the tongue and around the heel collar.
The ride has been dramatically improved in this version of the Wave Inspire. The shoe has designed to be softer and smoother without losing its penchant for performance.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
The Wave Inspire 17 is designed to be a workhorse trainer for overpronating runners who need a bit of support. It’s a great shoe for long runs, recovery runs and moderately fast tempo runs.
New runners will love the uplifting stability in every stride. Experienced runners will appreciate that support in the final miles of a long run. It might not be the best choice for a half marathon or marathon. However, it’s certainly a great training tool that can help get you to race day.
PROS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17
The chassis gets its stable feeling from a softer fan-shaped Wave plate embedded in the medial side of the midsole, a secure heel counter and supportive overlays on each side of the upper.
For many years, the Inspire was a performance-oriented everyday trainer with a distinctly firm feeling under foot. Even though it always had a soft, plush interior, the Wave Inspire was on the stiffer end of the spectrum and, as a result, heel-toe transitions felt quite rigid. But this year’s version has a softer, more flexible and more energetic demeanor.
The exquisite, double-layered engineered mesh upper incorporates Waveknit technology with an embossed Mizuno logo. This mesh contributes to the fit, hold and lateral support of the shoe. The relatively low-volume fit in the forefoot gives the shoe an important-oriented feel.
The bottom line? Mizuno has made this shoe more accessible to more runners, more comfortable and more fun to wear out on a run. And if that’s not a good reason to check it out, what else do you need?
CONS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17
The Inspire 17 is slightly heavier and not quite as cushy compared to some of its contemporaries among everyday stability trainers.