Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.8) + Users rating (7.6)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 Review Facts
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Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

Mizuno has an almost unrivaled history. 12 years they have tried to meet runners` expectations with fast shoes that offer great support for the underfoot. As always, Mizuno tries to bring some updates with every version. The Wave Inspire 12 comes with some new elements, such as an improved upper and with some patented elements such as the Wave technology. There are added changes to the midsole also. 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.

Pros
  • Excellent for daily running
  • Above average breathability for more comfort on long runs
  • Improved cushioning with anti-microbial features
  • Continues with Wave technology tradition for cushioning and support
  • Increased durability of the outsole
  • Added ground contact with Uric technology
  • Pronation and foot arch support
Cons
  • Heavier than the previous model
  • Narrow in the forefoot area
  • Not worth the upgrade for some Wave Inspire 11 owners
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

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 and partly due to larger slabs.

It also has fewer flex grooves. The forefoot has seen changes with increased blown rubber. This 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 not only increases durability but it also adds traction.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Mizuno is synonym with the Wave technology. It is, largely, a plastic plate which improves shock dispersion. This comes with extra rigidity which is welcomed by most runners. The plate is visible, starting from the heel area and continuing to the midfoot area. The foot doesn`t notice the plate however, the SmoothRide technology implements a well-balanced transition from heel to toe. As you can see, the Wave plate is not flat, but wavy and it increases support for the arch of the foot. The patented technology is ongoing from 1997 as a proof it actually works.

U4icX technology was used to enhance cushioning replacing the older SR Touch foam. Another added technology is Intercool. It allows midfoot ventilation by using perforations in the natural bending points.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper continues the objective of increased ventilation design. The Airmesh technology is higly breathable and allows the foot to stay dry by integrating nylon. The stitched overlays center around the midfoot and the heel areas and provide extra firmness.

Another unique technology used in the upper is the DynamotionFit. It reduces the stretching in the shoe and prevents the movement of the tongue. It also increases the fit. The OrthoLite technology keeps the foot moisture free. Anti-microbial in nature due to reduced moisture.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Wave Inspire 12 is over 50 grams heavier than the previous model. With a weight of 300g (10.6oz.) the shoe is not light. Despite this it runs good enough and on the plus side, there is an increased stability. This places the shoe into the category of long-running shoes for runners with no flat-foot problems and daily running option for runners with moderate flat-foot.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

There is above average breathability with this shoe. Three implemented technologies act to keep the foot moisture free: Airmesh, OrthoLite and Intercool. Airmesh integrates nylon for increase upper breathability. It works great with to keep the foot dry. It also helps that Mizuno didn`t add any overlay to the front part of the shoe.

The second applied technology is the full-length Intercool of the midsole. It reduces both heat and humidity during a race. It does this with the help of the ventilation perforations positioned at bending points.

And thirdly the shoes benefits from OrthoLite technology. It fights against bacteria and while keeping the foot moisture free. There is clear evidence Mizuno placed special attention to the breathability of the shoe. This should be one of the top selling points to the undecided runner.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Judging by the increased breathability of the shoe, there can only be more comfort. The comfort recommends it for long runs and intense training. But it also brings up a new category of buyers looking for a casual shoe for daily use, similar to the Nike Free 5.0. This being said, some runners have reported a mild discomfort in the forefoot area due to a tighter toebox. So if you have wider feet you need to make sure this isn`t a problem for you.
Style
Style

Style

The shoe doesn`t make a visual impact in terms of style. The only exception is the Wave plate. In terms of functionality, the plate will collect dust or other particles over time and will considerably reduce the look of the shoe.

The outsole color matches the color on top of the tongue or insole for a simple symmetry. The Mizuno logo is present classically present on the outer side of the midfoot and on the heel. 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. If you don`t care much about the look, you are going to enjoy the shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The U4icX technology is known for durability. But the midsole is not the only section using durable materials. The increased blown rubber of the outsole will prove a great asset in long-term durability. This makes for a perfect combination with the X10 carbon rubber from the outsole. This 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 on the stride and basically increasing durability by absorbing impact. Overall, there is above average durability with the Wave Inspire 12.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The shoe manages to offer decent protection against pronation with the Wave plate. The increased thickness of the outsole will also act as a protective agent for the underfoot. The blown rubber and the X10 both act for cushioning and responsiveness. This means more shock absorption capabilities during landing and take-off. This is helpful because it places less stress on the foot, decreasing injury risks.
The new midsole is also designed to offer greater protection and support to the foot.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

It might be said the shoe is not specifically tailored for long distance runners but rather to training sessions or usual routines. This being said, there is an increased responsiveness due to the cushioning, which promotes faster runs and it also works well with moderately flat-footed runners.

The cushioning is paired with the blown rubber in the outsole and works great for responsiveness. But cushioning and blown rubber are not enough for a pleasant responsive shoe. This is why Mizuno enhanced the Wave Inspire 12 with the Flex Controller for extra responsiveness. This promotes flexibility in high-flexibility areas.
Support
Support

Support

We have seen Mizuno models that offer great support over the years. The Wave Inspire 12 uses the patented Wave plate and manages to give extra support to the underfoot. The technology acts for shock dispersion and delivers a firmer ride. The shoe offers great support to the arch of the foot and offer good pronation response.

This is where the target runner of the shoes can slightly change. While most runners won`t feel inclined to take the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 for a long run, those with flat-foot could consider otherwise due to the increased support of the foot.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The shoe comes with decent levels of versatility. It can work just as well on smooth concrete as on uneven terrains. The durable carbon rubber has no problem tackling tracks, roads, gravel or some lighter trails. The Wave plate does a decent job in absorbing shocks from uneven terrains and increases the confidence and comfort of the runner.
Price
Price

Price

This is the most amazing part of the shoe: the price. If you are lucky, you can get a pair for under $50. That`s right, all those great, unique technologies have an affordable price. This is really one of the few options that pack great technologies at a lower price and places them perfectly for new runners or as backups for advanced runners.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The traction is all on the X10 technology. The technology combines traction and durability in the outsole. The blown rubber also acts to overall traction and is responsive enough to give good results on various terrains. Given the fact the used material is carbon rubber, taking the shoe off-track should not be a problem.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

There is an updated sockliner over the previous version which proved its flexibility. Mizuno used the Flex Controller on the Wave Inspire 12. It comes with increased flexibility in high-flexibility areas. These two technologies not only act to increase overall flexibility but also to balance the rigidity of the Wave plate in the outsole.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Stability is on the best features of the shoes. It comes as no surprise that the Wave technology improves it and manages to take some pressure of the heel. The outsole design also helps for the overall feeling of stability and when you pair it with good arch support you really get a shoe that is above average in the stability department.
Drop
Drop

Drop

There is a 12mm heel-to-toe drop. This is a problem for some runners, as they stay away from high shoes due to injury risks. The added height is quite normal give the used Wave system. If you are considering buying the Wave Inspire 12 you need to balance the fact that the extra height of the shoe is a result and helped by the Wave technology at the same time.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Wave plate technology unique to Mizuno

• Durable X10 technology in the outsole that reacts good to abrasion

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

• Blown rubber in the forefoot

• AirMesh upper for breathability

• OrthoLite Sock Liner technology for cushioning and moisture tackling with anti-microbial defense

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

• The Intercool technology reduces moisture in the warm season

• DynamoFit system for optimal fit of the midfoot and heel

• D (standard foot) and B (narrow foot) fit available
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

When it comes to Mizuno we always expect some sort of unique technology. The Wave Inspire 12 is going strong with the implementation of these systems. Some runners love them while some are not that into them. One thing is certain, the Wave technology is the center-point of the shoe and in order to decide if you want the shoe you need to decide it the added system is something you would like to try.

The only major drawback is the weight of the shoe and you need to make sure it doesn`t affect your running style. You can also consider the decent cushioning of the shoe and the improved breathability of the upper. When you add these together, coming at this price, it is a really hard to say no to the shoe.