Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
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88% say it's true to size.
Overview of this review
This is the new iteration of the Mizuno Wave Inspire.
It showcases some important updates, making it one of the best running shoes (to-date) for overpronators.
Updates of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 features several updates from the upper to the sole unit. One obvious update is the new upper design.
The shoe utilizes a new upper material and design. It continues to deliver breathable coverage. It is still as lightweight and as flexible as the material used by its predecessor.
The shoe also features the new Mizuno Cloudwave technology that is specifically designed for added support and smoother heel-to-toe transition.
The outsole configuration has been modified for enhanced traction. The flex grooves have also been tweaked for a more flexible ride.
Technical Construction of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
The Wave Inspire 14 utilizes a mesh material in its upper.
It delivers lightweight and breathable foot coverage. Along with the upper mesh is the internal lining that provides the foot a much softer in-shoe feel.
The shoe has a moderately padded tongue and collar that offers an enhanced comfortable fit. It also has a traditional lacing system that provides reliable midfoot security.
The Dynamotion Fit is another notable technology found in the upper of the shoe. This technology has been used in some Mizuno running shoes, and it is designed for an enhanced, seamless fit.
The shoe continues to use the same midsole technologies found in the Wave Inspire 13 - the U4ic and U4icX foam compounds. They have a new design to deliver a softer and more responsive underfoot cushioning.
Along with these compounds is the new Cloudwave technology that is coupled with a fan-shaped wave plate designed for stability and responsiveness.
In the outsole of this stability shoe is the X10 technology. It is designed to provide sole durability for long-term use.
It also delivers added traction on paved surfaces. There are also flex grooves in the outsole that provides flexibility for a more satisfying performance.
The Wave Inspire 14 is available in medium, wide, and extra-wide widths.
I have a medium measurement, but I still found the fit too narrow, especially in the forefoot and heel area. I can’t even wear a thick sock on this shoe because the fit will surely become too tight.
The entry of the shoe is too narrow as well. I had difficulty wearing the shoe the first few tries. But after the break-in period, I can now wear and take off the shoe easily.
Comfort and breathability
Since I found the fit too narrow, I can’t really say that this shoe is comfortable enough to wear for a long period. But so far, I haven’t experienced any blister. The internal lining is soft, and the mesh material is breathable.
The mesh upper is lightweight as well and thin, keeping the shoe cool and moisture-free.
The overall performance of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is comparable to the few Asics running shoes that I have.
The shoe is very lightweight that it disappears on my foot when I run. It is also fast and a good pair for long-distance runs. When it comes to the cushioning, the shoe has a responsive, reliable cushioning.
The stability level of the Wave Inspire 14 is impressive. It is one of the reliable stability shoes that I have.
The Cloudwave technology performed well in reducing over-pronation. After running several miles, my feet are still willing to run a few more. The shoe provided me the much-needed support to reduce the stress and pain on my foot while running.
One of the factors that I consider when buying a running shoe is durability. I want the shoe to last for months.
Impressively, the Wave Inspire 14 shows no significant damage after running several miles on the road and some paved surfaces. It really features the Mizuno quality – durable design and premium materials.
- Lightweight & durable construction
- Very supportive
- Reliable traction
- The fit is too narrow
Overall Impression of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 20
Even after having a minor issue with the fit, I’m still impressed by the overall performance of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14. The shoe provided me the necessary support I needed.
The cushioning is just right for my liking – not too firm, not too soft.
Overall, I will recommend the Wave Inspire 14 to runners who are looking for a stable, well-cushioned daily running shoe.
I picked up this pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 from one of those Active.com $85 off shoe deals that members are entitled to, once a year. I didn’t do any research into different brands as I was a newbie to the world of running shoes and spent my life buying shoes on looks first with price as the clincher.
I thought, wow I can get this $130 pair of shoes for $45 - Winner! I wanted these to work out because in my mind, I was finally getting an upper echelon shoe for dirt cheap. No more discount rack shopping for me. I had expensive shoes. I was a runner now. I could talk to other runners about shoes. However, I was disappointed.
The upper and heel were stiff out of the box. It had a nice solid cushion to the heel outer sole, and the toe box and midsole were flexible enough to bend toe to the tongue with ease.
The upper is very breathable which is great in hot weather, but not so good in the rain or cold, or anywhere near the wet ground in general where the slightest spray goes straight through to your socks.
The toe box was a bit narrow for my size 13 flippers, but with some innovative lacing patterns and some lock laces, I was able to take the pressure off. The arch is moderately flat. I have no doubt this shoe fits people with normal proportions. The fit was pretty true to size albeit tight in a few places on my clown feet.
The first 25 miles, as usual, the shoe needed breaking in. The stitched overlays were unforgiving and caused a decent amount of friction. I downgraded my usual cushy socks to lycra/spandex to get rid of the rub, but I kept telling myself for the price, why should I?
I powered through 5ks and 10ks with a smile. The shoes were springy and pushed my feet forward for certain due to their patented rigid plastic wave embedded in the midsole. Or was it all just placebo?
The next 100 miles or so were like any other shoe I have worn. I started noticing shin splints, and lower back pain the more miles I put on them. I was putting in about a 10k a day for four times a week while chasing a half marathon dream and heading to the treadmill for a little-assisted PR cheat on my first 10 miles.
Whether on the pavement or on the machine, my legs were getting more and more tired, but now sooner than usual. Some might say it has little to do with the shoe and more to do with my form and stride.
I argue that as a known pronator the shoe offered little support and the cushion broke down as the miles rolled on. This is coming from a shoe that is touted for its support of moderate to severe overpronators.
By the end of the triathlon season, I couldn’t even use these for a 5k without feeling every jarring step from the ankles to the hips. Maybe I should have rotated other pairs into my regimen, perhaps they couldn’t stand up to my weight at the time, and maybe, just maybe it’s the shoe?
Once I determined that these shoes had failed me, I looked them over. I admit, they held up from a materials standpoint. They barely look used. The outsole definitely held up to hundreds of miles of pavement.
After all, the Wave Inspire was built for pavement per Mizuno. It is mentioned explicitly that high-quality materials can withstand the damaging elements of the road. If only they considered the elements coming in through the super breathable mesh upper.
However, the upper looks brand new after all these miles. The inside liner is barely pilled/scuffed. The insoles are pretty compressed, but that goes without saying.
I noticed the issue was in the cushion and the short lifespan. If the insoles were pancakes, the midsole was clearly taking a beating. I really want to like these shoes, but I can’t. I also want to be angry at them, but I also can’t.
- In its prime, it was responsive and decent energy return
- Too breathable for cold weather or wet weather
- While it is touted as a high mileage shoe, I think they meant it to be good for many short runs or “high mileage” like tires on a car… it just didn’t hold up to the long run at the end (ouch!)
Overpronation is something that the Wave Inspire series has always treated with attention.
Lately, it has been moving more towards a mild overpronator. It is different from other stability shoes, which are aimed at more extreme overpronators.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is not a game-changer, but it performs very well on every critical aspect of a light shoe for mild overpronators. It holds a good shape even after abuse.
Wave Inspire 14 is always ready to spring you forward while giving you a light amount of stability and support.
Now, let’s dive more into it!
Light, breathable, and warm weather ready upper. But, is it cold ready?
First of all, let’s talk about the structure. It is made of a very breathable mesh.
The mesh is mainly characterized by many tiny holes offering air passage on the whole upper, except for the reinforced spots in the toe, sides, and under the laces.
It is a great experience to ride them during warm weather. However, I believe that this construction might not protect you enough from the coldest mornings.
Overall, the feel is very light and seems really durable. It offers great breathability and good inside texture to the foot.
The fit is great for every kind of shape. This is notable considering that this model is available also in a wide version. Also, the pair runs true to size.
It has a snug fit on the heel that offers a good stabilization for the back part of the foot. Though I can imagine that those with wider feet might find it too restrictive, it was spot on for me.
No clouds of cushion for this bouncy and responsive model.
The midsole feel is right the middle in terms of squishiness. It is leaning more towards bounciness and responsiveness than cushioning, which is not the main point of this product.
As soon as you try them on, you will feel some bite of readiness under your feet. They seem to be hungry for movement.
You can really feel this bouncy midsole while it tries to push your pressure and weight back on the arches of your feet.
Those characteristics seem to be all nice and good. However, I can see some runners complaining about the lack of a more solid cushioning and support, which heavier runners might need.
For these reasons, I would not suggest this pair to people with bigger built (85+ kg, or 190+ pounds).
Sharp and crispy—it holds the road magnificently, even with some rain.
All around the heel, the X10 material is radially divided into big chunks that are further divided into long thin lines. These lines open up when the weight presses them against the road, like a tyre.
Moving ahead, the outsole changes into what Mizuno calls SmoothRide. It has a different amount of patterns spreading along the forefoot.
These patterns offer great surface bite even on a sudden change of direction. Right under the toe, an inverted V-shaped outsole offers a nice propulsion response whenever needed.
The outsole of the Wave Inspire 14 provides a fantastic grip on standard and non-standard surfaces, with a very agile response. It also allows a solid grip even on really wet roads.
Indeed, I was really surprised by the behaviour of the outsole on a long rainy run over painted cement.
A very agile and quick pair of light stability shoes.
The light structure of the entire shoe allows the runner to feel a great connection with the road. It lets him concentrate on the run while mastering every change of direction and speed.
It has an agile response and a ton of bounciness on both the forefoot and the heel.
If you are an extreme overpronator like me, within their first 100 miles, you will feel that the Inspire 14 lacks the needed cushioning and support for your feet.
This lack of support might potentially annoy you from under your arches or, the worst case, your shin splints.
On the other hand, if you are a mild overpronator aiming for a light pair of agile shoes with some support and springy feel on your run, this is absolutely for you.
- Feels very light
- Springy midsole pushes you forward
- Holds use and abuse very well, especially on the upper
- Very breathable upper construction (great in warm conditions)
- Great grip on all main surfaces, with a solid bite on the wet too
- Toe box might be too snug for wider feet
- Not much support for more severe overpronators
- Very breathable upper construction (terrible in cold conditions)
Updates to Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
- The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is a running shoe that’s designed for moderate overpronators and those who want some extra midfoot support. It caters to shoe enthusiasts of all levels of proficiency. Its silhouette is similar to its immediate predecessor, the Inspire 13, but this one has a redesigned upper that considers both breathability and durability.
- The midsole unit of this Mizuno running shoe is made up of proprietary foam compounds and plastic wave units that work together to provide an underfoot environment that’s supportive and agreeable. Durable rubber acts as a protective agent against wear and tear while also providing traction. Flex Controllers ensure a responsive toe-off.
Size and fit
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 has a standard running shoe length. It adheres to the usual preferences of consumers when it comes to size. The width options for the women’s version are 2A – Narrow, B – Medium, and D – Wide. For the men’s release, the choices are D – Medium and 2E – Wide. The platform and upper is shaped to accommodate the natural curve of the human foot.
The heel portion of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 makes use of X10, which is made of carbon rubber. Its purpose is to protect the midsole from the potentially debilitating effects of constant use. It also delivers traction, which is a vital part of the performance. This outsole material is also used in other Wave Inspire versions like the Mizuno Inspire 15.
Blown rubber is placed in the forefoot section. This compound is more responsive than the carbon-based one. So, it’s capable of flexing and compressing when pressure is applied. It potentially adds a bit more cushioning and springiness to the toe-off.
The high-flex areas are home to Flex Controllers. These grooves and hinges in the forefoot encourage the natural bending of the metatarsals, thereby exhibiting more ease to the forefoot lift.
U4ic is a lightweight foam that makes up most of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14’s midsole. This material aims to provide a robust yet reactive underfoot experience.
The U4icX is a lighter iteration of the U4ic foam. It’s used as a wedge in the heel section of the platform. It serves as a pillow that supports the back of the foot, keeping it safe from impact during the landing phase. It is tailored for heel strikers.
The Smooth Ride is a network of grooves that support the foot and prevents it from feeling separate from the platform.
The Cloudwave is a thermal plastic unit that runs from the back of the sole unit to the midfoot section. This elastic component adds springiness to each step.
The Double Fan Wave is a stability unit that’s placed in the medial midfoot section. Its goal is to support the arch and prevent overpronation.
The U4icX Strobel Lasting Board makes sure to keep the upper and midsole connected. The foot-shaped lasting material has the job of bringing a relaxed in-shoe experience. Moreover, it adds a bit more cushioning to the underside of the foot.
AIRmesh is composed of a soft and smooth material that has ventilation pores for breathability. Unlike the previous version, the one used in the Inspire 14 has a tighter and more robust weave. Such a design heightens durability, but not at the expense of its capacity to accommodate airflow.
The forefoot area has stretch panels that welcome the natural motion of the foot, as well a collar construction that grasps the ankles and lower leg for a secure wrap. This form-accommodating design lets the shoe acclimatize to the dynamism of the wearer’s foot, and for that, it is called Dynamotion Fit.
Overlays are stitched onto the mesh material. They support the foot by keeping it in place throughout the running session.