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MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15 REVIEW

The Mizuno Wave Inspire has been a perennial favorite for the cushioning it offers runners’ feet balance with a mild stability component. Read our JackRabbit review of the 2019 edition.

 

MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | FEB 12, 2018

The Mizuno Wave Inspire has been a perennial bestseller at JackRabbit stores and online for the cushioning it offers runners' feet balance with a mild stability component.

The 2019 release has arrived and the run testers all gave the updates their thumbs up, especially the new upper and color-palette. Read on to learn the ins and outs of the latest edition from our guest review Brian Metzler.

THE BUZZ

Now in its 15th edition, the new Mizuno Wave Inspire continues to serve mild- to severe over-pronators who want a good blend of cushioning and stability coupled with a firm, fast, responsive ride while undergoing mid- to high-mileage training weeks.

The latest edition has some minor updates, but we think it rides better and it looks sharper than the previous model.

WHAT'S NEW: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

The underfoot cushioning chassis remains the same in this new edition of the Mizuno Wave Inspire, but a new engineered mesh upper—offering stretchy comfort, breathability and fit-enhancing saddle support—has helped improve the fit.

The multi-color design of the upper also offers some stunning aesthetic appeal, calling out the name of the shoe and serving up some instant inspiration. 

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

With the new dynamic fit of the upper and a firm internal heel counter, the Wave Inspire 15 has a dialed-in fit that’s snug at the heel and saddle but slightly roomy in the forefoot. The seamless interior is scrumptiously soft with extra cushiness on the tongue, sock liner and heel collar.

Combined with the dual-density cushioning system in the midsole—one foam layer for shock absorption, one later for energetic responsiveness—the Wave Inspire 15 rides like a middleweight neutral cruiser—agile, smooth and fast.

But the thermal plastic Double Fan Wave insert that separates the foam layers serves up a reliably stable ride without getting in the way of the natural movements of a runner’s foot.
 

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

Runners who tend to overpronate and/or have relatively flat feet will love the comfy fit, smooth feel and stable ride of the Wave Inspire 15. It can be a workhorse shoe for half-marathon and marathon training, but it could also be a great for a beginner or intermediate runner who’s looking for a stable, protective do-everything training model.

We had overpronators and runners with neutral-oriented gaits test this shoe out and both liked it a lot. The overpronating runners raved about the smooth, easy ride, while the neutral runners appreciated the extra stability it provided without feeling bulky or clumsy.

PROS AND CONS OF THE MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 - Pros

PROS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

Plus: The beauty of Mizuno’s Cloud Wave plate system is that it separates the two foams in the midsole, allowing each to do its job while acting both independently and in concern with the other. The U4icX (pronounced “euphoric X”), which sits under the plate and above outsole rubber, acts primarily as a shock-absorbing layer, while the U4ic (pronounced “euphoric”) foam layer sits between the foot and the thermos plastic plate system and acts as an energy-returning boost.

Plus: The shoe is built for runners with a mild to heavy heel-striking gait. Although the heel has a bit of a hefty appearance and even feels a tad overbuilt while walking, any semblances of bulkiness disappears and gives way to a buttery smooth touchdown and transition to the midstance portion of a stride.

Mizuno Wave Inspire - Cons

CONS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

There isn’t much we didn’t like this shoe.

Could it be a little bit lighter?  Yeah, OK, but it hardly feels heavy or cumbersome.

 

SHOP THE MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

WHAT'S NEW: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 15

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”