Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

Mizuno has an almost unrivaled history in producing and marketing sports equipment. Since being founded in 1906, Mizuno has seemingly produced every type of sports equipment imaginable and currently, have been manufacturing some of the best running shoes on the contemporary market. Over the past twelve years, they have tried to meet runners` expectations with fast, high-performance shoes that offer great support for the underfoot. As always, Mizuno tries to bring some updates with every version. The Wave Inspire 12, the twelfth edition in this long-running line, comes with some new elements, such as an improved upper and with some patented elements such as the Wave technology in its midsole. These changes have impacted the overall weight of the shoe, which now weighs 51 grams more than the previous version. On the upside, the shoe feels solid. With good comfort levels, it seems the shoe could handle longer distances with ease.

Its updated upper construction employs upgrades to its air mesh covers, delivering more layers on the midfoot and in the heel, giving the upper a soft but more coherent fit. The outsole has larger slabs and fewer flex grooves, and the heel area has a softer feel thanks to an increase in the rubber’s thickness. Its midsole cushioning features more cushioning in the heel and firmer forefoot cushioning. But these are mere tweaks to the formula: the fit and sizing of the Wave Inspire 12 are nearly identical to its predecessor, with a snug heel and midfoot and a great amount of room in its toe box that allows for natural toe splay. In updating some elements and keeping other parts intact, the Wave Inspire 12 will find fans in Mizuno devotees while its improvements may draw in some new runners to this long-running line.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

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Pros & Cons
  • Excellent for daily running
  • Above average breathability for more comfort on long runs
  • Improved cushioning with anti-microbial features
  • Continues Wave technology tradition of excellent cushioning and support
  • Cons
    • Heavier than the previous model
    • Narrow in the forefoot area
    • Not the most aesthetically pleasing sneaker
    • The extra height of the shoe might not be suitable for everyone.
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Wave Inspire 12 combines different technologies for durability and responsiveness. Comparing to the previous version, the outsole feels softer. This is partly because of the increased rubber thickness in the heel and partly due to larger slabs. It also has fewer flex grooves. The forefoot has seen changes with increased blown rubber, which makes the shoe feel more comfortable with the extra cushioning. In theory, it should also increase overall durability depending on the runner`s stride. The X10 rubber used in the outsole not only increases durability but it also contributes to improved traction.
      Mizuno is synonymous with the Wave technology. This technology is a plastic plate which improves shock dispersion from impact, which comes with the extra rigidity that is welcomed by most runners. The plate is visible, starting from the heel area and continuing to the midfoot area. However, the runner doesn’t notice the plate during a run, since the SmoothRide technology implements a well-balanced transition from heel to toe. The Wave plate is not flat but wavy and it contributes to additional support at the arch of the foot.

      U4icX technology was used to enhance cushioning in the midsole, replacing the older SR Touch foam. Another added technology is the Intercool system, which allows midfoot ventilation via perforations in natural bending points along the midsole.
      The upper continues to reflect the ongoing increased ventilation design that Mizuno has been striving for since the first edition of the Inspire. This Airmesh technology is highly breathable and allows the foot to stay cool and dry throughout a run. Stitched overlays centered around the midfoot and heel areas and provide extra firmness to the upper.

      Another unique technology used in the upper is the DynamotionFit technology, which reduces stretching in the upper’s material and prevents slippage of the tongue while improving overall fit after lace-up. The OrthoLite Sockliner also contributes to keeping the foot moisture free.
      The Wave Inspire 12 is over 50 grams heavier than the previous model, coming in at 10.6 ounces/300 grams. This may knock it slightly out of the running as a “lightweight” running shoe, but on the plus side, there is an increased stability to this edition. This places the shoe into the category of long-running shoes for runners with no flat-foot problems and a daily running option for runners with moderately flat feet.
      There is above average breathability in the Wave Inspire 12 thanks to three technologies employed throughout the shoe: Airmesh, OrthoLite, and Intercool. Airmesh integrates nylon for increase upper breathability, which works to keep the foot cool and dry. The lack of substantial overlays on the upper also contributes to its high degree of breathability.
      The second applied technology that adds to overall breathability is the full-length Intercool system in the midsole. This reduces both heat and humidity during a run with the help of ventilation perforations positioned at bending points on the midsole. Finally, the Wave Inspire 12 benefits from its OrthoLite Sockline, as it fights against bacteria while keeping the foot moisture-free.
      The comfort of the Wave Inspire 12 follows close suit to its improved breathability, making it suitable for long runs and intense training sessions. But it also encourages the attention of a new category of buyers looking for a casual shoe for daily use, similar to the Nike Free 5.0. However, some runners—particularly those with wide feet--have reported a mild discomfort in the forefoot area due to a tighter toe box.
      Looks aren’t everything. Especially when it comes to running shoes, performance means more than aesthetics. This is important to keep in mind when considering the Wave Inspire 12, which isn’t exactly the most cool-looking sneaker on the market. Preferring symmetry and performance over style, the Inspire 12 is a classic-looking running shoe that follows function over form. Coming in a variety of color combinations and with a certain vibrancy, the Inspire 12 may not win any fashion awards but they will perform well on a run.
      The Mizuno logo is present classically present on the outer side of the midfoot and on the heel, while the stitching of the overlay is not highly refined and the breathable Airmesh looks fragile. Overall, the style of the shoe is lacking refinement and for runners looking for the most stylish option, this might not be the best thing to hear. But again, looks aren’t everything.
      The U4icX technology employed in the midsole is known for durability. But the midsole is not the only section using durable materials in the Wave Inspire 12. The increased blown rubber of the outsole will prove a great asset in long-term durability, which makes for a perfect combination with the X10 carbon rubber that is centered around the two main high impact areas of the forefoot and on the heel.
      Adding to these technologies is the Wave plate that manages to distribute the force applied to the stride and increasing overall durability by absorbing impact. This makes the Wave Inspire 12 a durable and dependable option for runners looking to purchase a long lasting trainer.
      The Wave Inspire 12 manages to offer decent protection against pronation thanks to the Wave plate placed in the midsole. The increased thickness of the outsole also acts as a protective element for the underfoot. The blown rubber and X10 rubber of the outsole both act as responsive cushioning. This means the outsole itself is more capable of providing shock absorption landing and take-off, placing less stress on the foot and decreasing risk of injury.
      It might be said the Wave Inspire 12is not specifically tailored for long distance runners but rather to training sessions or usual routines. However, it does have increased responsiveness due to its cushioning unit, which promotes faster runs and it also works well with moderately flat-footed runners. The cushioning is paired with blown rubber on the outsole that works great for increased responsiveness. But cushioning and blown rubber is not enough for a pleasant responsive shoe. This is why Mizuno enhanced the Wave Inspire 12 with Flex Controller technology for extra responsiveness. This promotes flexibility in high-flexibility areas.
      We have seen Mizuno models that offer great support over the years, and the Wave Inspire 12 uses Mizuno’s patented Wave plate to provide extra support to the underfoot. The technology acts for shock dispersion and delivers a firmer ride. The Wave Inspire 12 offers great support to the arch of the foot and offers a fair amount of pronation response. This is where the target runner’s opinion of the Wave Inspire 12 can slightly change. While most runners won`t feel inclined to take the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 for a long run, those with flat feet could consider otherwise due to the increased support of the foot the Inspire 12 provides.
      The Wave Inspire 12 comes with a decent level of versatility. It can work just as well on smooth concrete as it does on uneven terrains. The durable carbon rubber of the outsole has no problem tackling tracks, roads, gravel, or some lighter trails. The Wave plate also does a decent job in absorbing shock from uneven terrains and increases the confidence and comfort of the runner on these varied surfaces.
      While the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 may not be the flashiest or most high-performance shoe available today, there is one factor that may launch it into becoming your next go-to trainer: its price. That`s right, all of the great, unique technologies built into this shoe come at an affordable price. This is really one of the few brands available today that pack so many great features into one edition at such a low price, which prices them perfectly for new runners or as a solid backup pair for advanced runners.
      In the Wave Inspire 12, its traction is all on the X10 technology. This technology combines traction and durability in the outsole. The blown rubber of the outsole also contributes to overall traction and is responsive enough to give a solid performance on various terrains. Given the carbon rubber on the outsole, taking the shoe off-road should not be a problem.
      There is an updated Ortholite Sockliner including in the Wave Inspire 12 from the previous version which improves its overall flexibility and comfort. Mizuno also employs Flex Controller technology in the Wave Inspire 12, which increases overall flexibility in high-flexibility areas. These two technologies not only act to increase overall flexibility but also help balance out the rigidity of the Wave plate in the outsole.

      Read also about is new balance a good running shoe.
      Stability is on the best features of the Wave Inspire 12. It comes as no surprise that the Wave plate technology improves overall stability and manages to take some pressure off the heel. The outsole’s design also helps the overall feeling of stability, and when you pair it with the solid arch support in the Inspire 12, you get a shoe that is above average in the stability department.
      There is a 12mm heel-to-toe drop in the Wave Inspire 12. This may be a problem for some runners, as they stay away from higher drop shoes due to increased risk of injury. However, if you are considering buying the Wave Inspire 12 you need to balance the fact that the extra height of the shoe is helped by the Wave plate technology. Most runners used to standard shoe drop height, however, will not find the adjustment to this drop too difficult.
      Key Features
      • Proprietary Wave plate technology that absorbs shock and increases stability

      • Durable X10 technology in the outsole

      • Good for moderate over-pronation due to the Smooth Ride technology

      • Blown rubber in the forefoot

      • AirMesh upper for breathability

      • OrthoLite Sockline for cushioning and combating moisture

      • U4ic technology in the midsole for shock absorption and added responsiveness

      • The Intercool system in midsole reduces moisture in the warm season

      • DynamoFit system for optimal fit in the midfoot and heel
      Bottom Line
      When it comes to Mizuno, runners can always expect some sort of unique technology. The Wave Inspire 12 is yet another example of Mizuno employing some new technologies while keeping elements that have long proven themselves reliable. While the Wave plate is the focal point of the shoe, there are plenty of other great elements that make it a solid all-around everyday running shoe. Affordable and offering solid performance, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 could just become your favorite shoe for exercise, active wear, or running.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
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      Holabird Sports Link
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      Moosejaw Link
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      Road Runner Sports Link
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      By Brian Price
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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