Mizuno Wave Inspire 11

8.2
8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.5) + Users rating (7.4)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.2)/10

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Review Facts
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The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is an excellent entry-level footwear choice for beginner runners and seasoned athletes. Thanks to an incredibly competent design, these shoes make for both a terrific daily trainer and a post-race recovery shoe. Features such as a durable carbon rubber outsole and a Mizuno wave plate, from which this shoe derives its namesake, provide a level of protection, durability, and responsiveness that are required for these stressful situations. Improvements in the design of this shoe’s upper from the previous model fix issues with breathability and promote a greater amount of comfort overall. As a result, this Mizuno product is perfect for short races, recovery runs, or casual daily walks.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Highly breathable upper
  • Flexible and durable midsole and outsole
  • Mizuno Wave technology corrects pronation issues
  • Durable and grippy outsole
  • Stylish appearance
  • Terrific blend of support and cushioning
  • Removable sock liner allows for customizable support
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Tight in the forefoot
  • Uncomfortable at first
  • Limited availability
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The design of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 has more of a curve to it than previous iterations. Blown rubber is present throughout the outsole, except around the heel, and is the primary material used for its manufacture. The heel uses a special crash pad instead of the softer blown rubber, ensuring protection for this high-impact area of the foot during a run. Mizuno’s proprietary X10 carbon rubber is also used predominantly in the construction of these running shoes, guaranteeing a higher shoe durability overall. Grooves placed vertically and horizontally along the forefoot of the outsole provide additional flexibility. While the primary purpose of the Wave Inspire 11’s design was not for higher mileage, many runners have expressed satisfaction with Mizuno’s competence in this regard. Finally, superior grip on many common surfaces make these comfortable and capable shoes for either casual walking or serious running.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

As is custom for footwear manufactured by Mizuno, the midsole of the Wave Inspire 11 is primarily composed of u4ic foam material. This material was first used in the previous Wave Inspire model and it weighs considerably less than the previously standard AP+ foam. This new proprietary material offers a comparable durability to the AP+ foam, meaning that it can easily withstand many miles of track and road running without sustaining significant damage. The heel-embedded wave that inspires the name of this shoe evokes a bouncy, responsive feel that works beautifully in conjunction with flex grooves in the forefoot. Another interesting midsole feature of these Mizuno shoes is a wedge-shaped layer of EVA SR Touch foam near the heel. This EVA foam is designed to further reduce the impact of hard landings , resulting in a smoother ride when combined with the outsole’s crash pad.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The majority of Mizuno’s observable updates have been implemented to the upper portion of the Wave Inspire 11. However, "update" may not be the best word to describe it, as a more traditional design has been adopted for this version. More stitching and fewer welded portions of the overlay serves as a callback to retro models, aside from the standard open mesh fabric material which covers the majority. Thanks to this material, the upper is breathable and comfortable and works excellently alongside the heel collar and ankle padding. This upper is so comfortable that it can even be worn without socks if desired thanks to a removable Ortholite sock liner. Finally, anti-microbial material used in the construction help to keep runners’ feet safe from bacterial infections or foot odor.
Weight
Weight

Weight

These Mizuno running shoes are very lightweight at just under 10 ounces for the larger sizes. This impressively low weight was possible through Mizuno’s clever implementation of a redesigned midsole and upper materials, which provide the necessary protection for high-intensity interval training while still maintaining a light and flexible stride. Some carry-overs from the previous version, such as the overlay, add a small measure of weight to the shoe that some might consider to be redundant. However, the end result remains the same; a lightweight, supportive, and comfortable shoe ideal for hardcore trainers and casual walkers alike.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Several improvements have been made to this version of Mizuno’s popular footwear line for the sake of breathability. Removing the welded overlays that previously covered most of the shoe helps to increase airflow throughout the inside of the shoe. The upper material is also comprised of a greater amount of open mesh, keeping moisture from excessively accumulating. Both beginner and seasoned runners can appreciate this change; after all, no one likes the feeling or smell of hot, sweaty feet. The removable Ortholite sockliner is the cherry on top, contributing to moisture management by wicking away sweat from the bottom of the foot. Thanks to all of these features, runners can expect a cool and dry run even in the hottest days of summer.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

This shoe is comfortable for the most part. Complaints regarding a loose feeling that had been levied at previous models have been addressed and eliminated. The upper portion of the Wave Inspire 11 is now softer and provides a more secure fit. It’s true that many runners have stated that these shoes may require some breaking in before they feel truly comfortable, but this is a common practice with a great deal of shoes. Additional comfort is derived from moisture-wicking capabilities of the Wave Inspire 11’s upper, reducing the risk of blisters and chafed feet. The included Ortholite sockliner provides even more comfort, but it can also be removed if you need or prefer a different kind of orthotic insole. Finally, despite its narrow width, runners have praised these Mizuno trainers as a comfortable medium-sized shoe.
Style
Style

Style

In comparison to prior models, this version of the Wave Inspire is more streamlined. They aren’t flashy by any means but the available color choices provide a decent level of fashion appeal. They can be appropriately worn in a variety of occasions and coordinate terrifically with casual streetwear. Although primarily designed for running, these shoes can be used in any situation where standing or moving comfortably is required; it’s subtle style is a reflection of that.
Durability
Durability

Durability

As is custom from this footwear manufacturer, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 has a level of protective longevity that is guaranteed for many miles of use. This impressive durability only applies when running on surfaces they were meant for, however, so runners shouldn’t expect the same lifespan if they use these shoes for hiking than they would if they wore them in a gym. Regardless, Mizuno is well known for creating sturdy and long-lasting footwear, with these shoes being no exception.
Protection
Protection

Protection

In addition to making shoes with an incredibly high durability factor, one other aspect of Mizuno’s acclaim is how protective their products are. Following in the footsteps of previous iterations, the Wave Inspire 11 offers a similar level of full protective coverage for a runner’s foot. This coverage begins on the bottom with a highly reinforced outsole, continues through the midsole with the proprietary Wave plate, and ends at the upper with a highly cushioned and snug-fitting design.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Mostly as a result of the wave plate in the midsole, these shoes are highly responsive. This proprietary technology from Mizuno was designed to provide maximum energy return with each stride. Waves of material flex and respond as pressure is applied to the foot, working in conjunction with horizontal and vertical grooves in the forefoot which provides comprehensive flexibility. Runners’ have described these shoes as springy and quick to respond after the briefest moment of ground contact.
Support
Support

Support

This running shoe was designed to provide stability for runners with medium to flat arches and a mild tendency toward overpronation. Although the included sockliner provides a terrific degree of support, it can be removed to accommodate orthotic insoles for runners with specific support needs. Mizuno’s proprietary u4ic midfoot material maintains a secure fit on the runner’s foot while providing ample arch support through each stage of their stride. The mesh upper provides additional foot support by enabling a snug fit that isn’t excessively tight. Further support is provided by the rear foot crash pad and EVA SR Touch foam, making the Wave Inspire 11 a great footwear option for heavy walkers or individuals with chronic leg pain.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The primary surfaces these running shoes were designed for are roads and tracks. The outsole’s construction is ideal for use on hard and flat surfaces while the forefoot flex grooves contribute to a responsive stride. Mild trails, packed gravel, and grassy fields are all appropriate running surfaces for the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 but the terrain is it most suited for are open roads and paved trails. Limited features are present for handling rocky trails or steep inclines. Casual walkers appreciate the comfort and stability offered by these shoes on sidewalks and even some slippery surfaces.
Price
Price

Price

As a currently discontinued model, these shoes are very competitively priced. Bargain-oriented customers should be able to get an excellent deal, provided they can hunt down a pair for sale in their size. This is the unfortunate downside of its discontinuation; many sizes and color options are exceedingly rare to find. For runners having trouble finding the right pair for them, it may be a better idea to look into purchasing a pair of newer Mizuno trainers such as the Wave Inspire 12 or 13.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The traction offered by these running shoes is of a sufficient amount to accommodate running sessions on most lower intensity running surfaces. Roads, tracks, and flat trails can be run on safely and efficiently thanks to the well-designed outsole and midsole. Mizuno’s X10 carbon blown rubber provides a durable shield from debris or excessive shock with each foot strike while keeping the Wave Inspire 11 feeling airy and light. In conjunction, the midsole’s titular Wave plate provides a responsive return on energy and utilizes proprietary u4ic cushioning to provide lightweight support.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This is a flexible shoe despite all the cushion, mostly due to outsole grooves that follow the foot’s natural gait. The u4ic midsole cushioning is also forgiving to the point that it flexes with each step. The mesh upper material in conjunction with pliable overlays helps to ensure that these shoes feel very flexible while retaining a sturdy structure.
Stability
Stability

Stability

These shoes are advertised for their stability, with several features in place to prevent overpronation while running. The tightly secured heel maintains a neutral foot position and the midfoot cushioning cradles the arch. The titular Mizuno wave plate in the midsole also keeps the foot stable by maintaining rigidity in the heel and arch. The effectiveness of this plate can best be observed when running at faster speeds, but walkers will still appreciate amenities added to these shoes to provide a stable gait and stride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe features a 12 mm heel drop, meaning that the heel is significantly higher off the ground than the toe. For beginning runners and experienced walkers this design choice should not be noticeable; higher heel elevation promotes a more absorbent heel strike, lowering the likelihood of foot injury. However, more experienced runners and individuals used to a neutral heel drop may find themselves needing to adjust before enjoying the Wave Inspire 11. Ultimately, this high of a heel drop can lead to problems such as overuse injuries down the line.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features


  • U4IC foam midsole

  • X-10 carbon rubber outsole

  • Rear foot crash pad

  • Extra EVA SR Touch foam heel cushioning

  • Mizuno wave plate technology in the midsole

  • Horizontal and vertical flex grooves

  • Breathable mesh upper

  • Removable Ortholite sockliner

  • 11mm heel drop

Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is a great shoe for novice runners interested in something durable and highly supportive These Mizuno shoes are perfect for recovery runs after a major event, long walks around the city or park, and casual social settings. The Wave Inspire 11 accommodates these needs by offering a responsive, cushioned, and supportive ride. They are stable enough for running or walking and the improved upper portion provides much-needed comfort and breathability for longer exercises. Considering that all this is available at an incredibly low price at it seems like picking up a pair of these shoes is a no-brainer.