Verdict from 8 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A large number of appreciative runners loved the super comfortable feel of the Inspire 11.
  • Durability is a very nice asset of this shoe, based on some reviews.
  • The blend of cushioning and support is unbelievable, according to most users.
  • A very plush and soft Ortholite sockliner adds to fit and comfort.
  • It runs light and relatively flexible despite the cushioning and support.
  • It is not clunky or boxy like the prior model, noted a handful.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some needed a break-in time to get the right kind of performance from the shoe.
  • The price is a bit expensive for several runners.
  • The forefoot is a bit tight for a few users.

Bottom line

The Wave Inspire 11 maintains the tradition of providing stability for training and a nice shift from landing to take-off. Additionally, it remains to be very light for a cushioned and stable shoe, which makes it a versatile option for different distances at different speeds. A solid choice for entry level and dedicated runners.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • Mizuno deals the Inspire 11 with several major modifications to completely erase memories of the past version’s noticeable failures. First up is the revamped upper, which is now a remake of the past versions where stitched overlays are a major theme. This is to address issues of a loose upper that created all sorts of problems for the runner. The new version gives a nice hug that keeps the foot secure from start to finish.
  • Another major change is the material use in the Wave Plate. Mizuno goes back to the one used in earlier models as the one used in the prior version lacked the trademark shock dispersal and pop in the heel. Mizuno fans will recognize the performance of the Wave Plate in 11th Inspire.
  • To compensate for the firmness of the old thermoplastic material and design of the Wave Plate, Mizuno made the forefoot more curved or springy while the last is a little curved as well. This helps with the flexibility and the transition from the heel to the forefoot. The Ortholite sockliner is also made of softer material to reduce the firmness of the ride.

The significant makeover also involves the fit. The Mizuno Inspire 11 has a snugger fit in the heel to the forefoot. With the new last and improved upper, there is an enhanced lockdown feel in the heel, the midfoot, and the forefoot. Despite the curvier last, there is still decent space in the toe room for a natural splay of the toes. Medium to extra wide are the available widths of the shoe while the shoe length is standard.

The outsole is made mostly of blown rubber bar the heel where the more durable X10 carbon rubber serves as a deterrent to wear and tear. This outsole material is used in some Mizuno shoes for running such as the Inspire 15, Rider 22, and Creation 20.

Flexibility is provided by flex grooves with a segmented crash pad that helps with shock attenuation.

The thermoplastic plate known as the Wave Plate occupies the heel and the forefoot sections of the Wave Inspire 11. From the heel, it extends to the midfoot to deliver torsional rigidity and arch support. Mainly, the technology helps with shock dispersal and transition through the gait cycle. Handling the main cushioning duties falls is the U4iC midsole foam. While it is a bit firm, it is lighter than the AP+ with just about the same durability. The SR Touch foam in the heel softens the impact in the heel.

A very breathable mesh covers a large portion of the upper. As mentioned, there are several stitched overlays, including the Runbird logo that delivers the vastly improved fit of the upper. The tongue and collar are sufficiently padded while a plush Ortholite Sockliner helps soften the landing and enhance fit.


How Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 25% road running shoes
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Top 27% Mizuno running shoes
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Top 30% stability running shoes
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The current trend of Mizuno Wave Inspire 11.
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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.