Summary

We spent 7.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The AIRmesh is the fabric of the Inspire 12 and it offers breathable and comfortable coverage.
  • Most reviewers appreciated the Stitched Overlays that are located in the lateral and medial sides, giving a snug yet secure fit.
  • The Ortholite Sock Liner gives additional cushioning, moisture wicking and anti-microbial protection.
  • The U4ic is a mid-sole material that is shock absorption, durability, and responsiveness.
  • Moderate over-pronation of the foot is handled by the added mid-sole components, such as the Wave tech and the Smooth Ride system.
  • X10 is an outsole unit that is super durable and efficient when dealing with wear and abrasion.
  • The Wave Inspire 12 has systems that improve the natural flexibility of the foot.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners noticed that it was a bit narrow in the forefoot area, making the toes clump uncomfortably close together.
  • There were testers who noted that it didn’t offer as much stability as the previous version.
  • This running shoe has a slightly expensive price.

Bottom line

The Wave Inspire 12 from Mizuno is a daily running companion that is efficient and trustworthy. The shoe garnered quite the popularity from runners who search for a running shoe that offers responsible stability and control. Though a few have some issues with the shoe, it is still considered by some success a successful update to the Wave Inspire line.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this June

Expert Reviews

83 / 100 based on 31 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 |

    Reliable Daily Trainer Model of Mizuno

    More photos

    I was looking for an alternative for daily runs and with a discounted price; Wave Inspire 12 caught my attention.

    I was happy with my other Mizuno models; therefore, I did not spend too much time on thinking about my decision.

     

    Fit

    The size of the shoe is similar to other Mizuno models. Therefore, no surprise should be expected.

    The toe box of the shoe provides a comfortable fit while at the back, heel side has much closer fit. I believe that since the shoe targets overpronators, more firm fit at the back is providing additional support.

    Outsole

    Mizuno uses X10 rubber for the outsole part of the shoe, which is very durable.

    I already covered around 100 miles with the shoe and it shows very limited wear and tear. I had a chance to run on rainy days as well, and the shoe has a very good traction on asphalt roads.

     

    Midsole

    Mizuno uses several technologies, which runners can identify from other models as well.

    First one is the patented Wave technology; a rigid plastic plate that starts from heel part of the shoe towards the front part. The rigidity of the Wave plate gives additional support for stability. Nevertheless, thanks to SmoothRide technology, you do not feel the plastic plate while running.

    Wave Inspire provides cushioning via its U4icX material. In general, I cover between 5 to 8 kilometers each time I go out for a run, and that's even after a long day at the office.

    Thanks to its cushioning, I was very satisfied with Wave Inspire 12.

     

     

    Apart from running outside, I did several treadmill session with the shoe.

    Previously I was experiencing more soreness on the feet after such sessions. However regardless of how hard I ran, or at which incline level, with Wave Inspire 12, I did not have such problem.

    I believe that additional cushioning provided by U4icX material eliminates this problem.

    Upper

    Breathability is the key element for a running shoe, which you would like to have in a daily trainer. My experience with the shoe in this area is mixed.

    I did not experience any problem even during the hottest period of the year, however, I feel that its breathability level is not at its best. I felt hotter in it than in my other running shoes.

    It is hard to reach a verdict on this; therefore, I am leaving that topic to other experts to dive deeper.

     

    User Experience

    Apart from running, I put Wave Inspire 12 on during some of my travels.

    I felt comfortable with the shoe during travels as I did during my runs. For a mild overpronator, the shoe provides enough stability for distance runs. It has a good level of responsiveness that is a key feature for those long runs.

    It might not be a lightweight shoe and is nearly as heavy as Wave Paradox line, top stability shoe from Mizuno. Therefore based on the price level, it can be a good substitute for Wave Paradox as well.

    I picked the shoe at a discounted price and with all features it arrives, the price-benefit ratio becomes very high.

  • 88 / 100 | Phidippides TV | | Level 4 expert

    The Mizuno Inspire, on its 12th version, continues to be solid in its effort to support and guide the foot and yet still provide a lightweight package.

  • 85 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 3 expert

    It is a heavier, beefier-feeling shoe than last year--than the last couple of years, as a matter of fact--but it's still a very good shoe. This is a solid stability shoe that will put a lot of miles in and not break down. It's very well-built.

  • 85 / 100 | Runner's World | Level 5 expert

    Mizuno gave the Inspire a softer feel while keeping the snappy ride and solid control.

  • 80 / 100 | Solereview | Level 5 expert

    The new Inspire 12's hallmark is its balanced ride behavior, which was also true for the Inspire 11. Changes? It's put on a lot of weight, improved its fit, and done a few things to its sole design.

Become an expert
  • The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 comes with an updated upper construction. It uses new set of air mesh covers and delivers greater layering in the sides of the midfoot and in the heel. The new upper gives a soft yet structural fit. Lastly, the newer version comes with softer laces.
  • The outsole was also updated. The shoe has lesser flex grooves and larger outsole slabs. The heel area feels softer due to the increased rubber thickness.
  • The cushioning of the Wave Inspire 12 was also changed. The heel cushioning is softer while the forefoot cushioning feels firmer.
  • Due to the changes in the upper, outsole design and cushioning, the Wave Inspire 12 weighs approximately 51 grams heavier than the previous version.

The fit and sizing of the Wave Inspire 12 is identical with its predecessor. It has a snug heel and midfoot with ample of room in the toe box for natural splay. This is great for those with medium measurements and who love a roomy toebox. The widths are the standard D and B for the men’s and women’s, respectively.


The Mizuno’s X10 rubber outsole, which is also used in the Mizuno Wave Inspire 15, offers durability and enhanced traction. The Wave Inspire 12 has increased the blown rubber in the forefoot for added cushioning, durability and responsiveness. It also features the brand’s Flex Controller technology that increases flexibility in high-flex areas.


Mizuno combined several notable technologies in the midsole of the Wave Inspire 12. The Mizuno Wave technology is extended from the heel to the midfoot to deliver a well-cushioned and springy ride. With the SmoothRide Engineering, runners can experience a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 features the redesigned U4icX technology that delivers more cushioning for efficient shock absorption and well-cushioned underfoot feel.

It also uses the full-length Mizuno Intercool ventilation that reduces the humidity and heat build-up especially when running in a warm condition.


The upper features the Airmesh cover that is highly breathable, keeping the foot cool and dry. The stitched overlays in the lateral and medial side deliver a secure fit while the Dynamotion Fit gives optimal fit.

Lastly, it has OrthoLite sockliner that is anti-microbial in nature and keeps the foot moisture free.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com