|Update:||Mizuno Wave Inspire 16|
|Weight:||Men: 10.2oz | Women: 8.4oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 12mm | Women: 12mm|
|Arch type:||Medium arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Heel strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Heel height:||Men: 30mm | Women: 30mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm|
|Width:||Men: Normal, Wide | Women: Narrow, Normal, Wide|
|Colorways:||Black, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Silver, White, Yellow|
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89 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews
A Revelation: Will You Be Inspired by the Mizuno Wave Inspire 15?More photos
Fun. Fun is the one word that kept coming to mind while running in the fifteenth iteration of Mizuno’s Inspire, a slight, stability control running shoe.
But what’s my verdict on the shoe? You will find it below.
According to Mizuno, “Over 15 years ago, runners came calling for a go-to moderate over-pronation running shoe.
The answer from Mizuno was the Wave Inspire. The latest version (offers) a new upper with a softer fit and a more wearable look. (It is) also equipped with the latest Mizuno Wave Technology for an energetic and cushioned, yet stable ride.”
And Running Warehouse adds that, “The Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 is an everyday running shoe designed to provide long-lasting stability through a unique plastic wave design.”
The latest version of the Wave Inspire weighs between 10.2 to 10.4 ounces, depending on the source. This is a positive development as version 13 weighed a full 11 ounces. Lighter is better.
The Wave Inspire 15 has a 12 to 12.6 mm drop, again, depending on the source. As I’ve indicated in previous looks at Mizuno shoes, I would love for the company to consider producing 8 mm drop versions. However, the shoe does not feel dramatically high. If blindfolded, I would have guessed that this is a 10 mm drop model.
There’s no need to go over the basic technology in the shoe, as it’s what you will find in other Mizunos – including the Wave Rider 22 and the WAVEKNIT R2, with a couple of exceptions that I will point out as we go along.
On the foot
The Wave Inspire 15 has an exemplary true-to-size fit. The size you normally wear in a running shoe is the size to order in this model.
The shoe is wide enough up front that the toes are not crowded, and there’s plenty of room for them to splay. I would compare the fit to that in a wide version of the Saucony Ride.
The somewhat wider-than-normal fit is enhanced by a flared sole, which delivers a sense of confidence that you won’t slip, slide or fall on wet surfaces. In this regard, the Wave Inspire 15 called to mind my all-time favorite rainy day running shoe, the original Adidas Supernova.
The upper on the Wave Inspire 15 is flexible in the area over the toes. Bend your toes up and the upper moves with it.
Although some argue that looks don’t matter, this is an attractive shoe in the Quarry/Black colorway. In fact, it’s pretty sharp!
On the road
One can first experience the nice ride of the Wave Inspire 15 by walking in it. Like the Mizuno WAVEKNIT R2, it appears to offer more energy return than other Mizuno models. As soon as you step forward in the shoe, it responds in preparation for the next step.
The increased bounce back, which can certainly be felt in the Wave Inspire 15, is due to a unique double wave fan. The double wave fan was present in version 14 but was somewhat difficult to see. The double wave fan construction is clearly visible in the current model.
It’s only a guess on my part, but I surmise that heavier runners – Clydesdales, will be able to better feel the bounce back on the shoe. That’s because more weight should better collapse the top layer of the wave fan, before the bottom layer responds and returns it back to normal.
The responsiveness of the Wave Inspire 15 is felt, as one would expect, on asphalt. (This means it will feel good on race day.) Surprisingly, however, the shoe feels just as responsive – if not more so, on concrete. This makes for a very good training shoe on urban and suburban sidewalks.
On the trail
The Wave Inspire 15 runs just fine on a dirt, shredded asphalt and small rock strewn trail. One can feel the road surface but without any discomfort from stomping on rocks. The shoe works just as well on mown grass trails, fire roads, and hard rock surfaces. No rock plate is needed. And the shoe has a protective exterior toe cap.
I did not assume or expect that the Wave Inspire 15 would serve as a decent trail shoe. By way of comparison, I recently ran on local paths in a trail shoe from one of the major running companies. I expected that shoe to wow me. It did not.
The shoe felt dead and lifeless. It was not a joy to run in. So I found myself thinking that this Mizuno shoe could not help but be better on trails than the other shoe. It was. Very much so!
So much so that it made me feel re-energized about running. That’s what good shoes do.
A blast on the past
In the 90s, I ran in the Brooks Rival, a precursor to what is now the Brooks Ravenna. One runner at the time made up a slogan about the Rival: “I saw my running rival running in the Rival.”
The Rival was a relatively inexpensive trainer that felt good to run in on both asphalt and concrete. And it was a revelation to discover that the fine ride the shoe delivered was a great ride on a packed dirt trail.
The Rival was basically a Goldilocks shoe: Not too firm or flexible, not too stable or floppy, and not too heavy or light. It was just right. In many respects, the Wave Inspire 15 reminds me of the Rival.
Back to the shoe
Although the Wave Inspire 15 is labeled as a moderate stability shoe, in practice it seems to work in a minimally invasive fashion. The stability control is effective but not dramatic or disturbing.
Yes, you can feel the shoe’s double wave contraption limiting inward roll, but it is not aggressive enough to change one’s natural foot strike. I think most neutral runners will be able to run in the shoe without difficulty.
The high drop in the shoe makes it a natural for heel strikers and there’s more good news in this regard. The heel strike is spot on in terms of the feel it provides. It’s not too soft or light – which would result in an indistinct heel strike, nor is it too hard or firm – which can make for a tiring long run and sore heel bone.
On a ten point rating scale, with 1 as overly soft and 10 as overly firm, the Wave Inspire 15’s heel strike would rate as a perfect mid-range 5.
Running shoes with a firm, inflexible midfoot shank in the sole tend to offer exemplary protection for those dealing with the dreaded condition known as Plantar Fasciitis (PF). When I was dealing with PF, I found the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 to be one of the best shoes to wear during the time I received physical therapy to beat the condition. The Wave Inspire 15 may be the second best shoe in Mizuno’s arsenal for PF battling runners.
Note: On PF flare-up days, the shoe can be made even more protective by inserting a SuperFeet thin black insole. This results in running on a shank on top of a midfoot shank.
A couple of issues
No shoe is perfect, and there were two issues – neither one being major, that arose with the Wave Inspire 15. Firstly, although the current version is lighter than previous ones, the shoe feels heavier than its weight on the road. This serves to further the shoe’s feeling of protectiveness. And despite feeling heavier than its listed weight, the Wave Inspire 15 is a full ounce lighter than the Wave Sky 2.
Secondly, runners who use the Wave Rider 22 or the WAVEKNIT R2 are likely to immediately notice that the forefoot is less flexible on the Wave Inspire 15 – there’s less “give” to it.
The reason for this is that the Wave Inspire 15 has a full flex groove up front, then a very small 35% flex grove behind it; the Wave Rider 22 and Wave Knit R2 both have two full flex grooves up front, with a 60% flex groove following closer to the midfoot. So it’s not just my imagination.
It ostensibly makes sense to firm up the front of a stability shoe but I often found myself wishing for a more malleable forefoot in the Wave Inspire 15.
Better with age
Most Mizuno shoes initially feel inherently stiff initially due to the hard plastic Wave plate technology.
Fortunately, however, they become more responsive with age and mileage. Mizuno shoes are dependably durable, generally lasting a good 350 to 400 tough miles.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 would be a great first shoe for a new runner with mild-to-moderate pronation issues. And it’s an excellent do-all quite well trainer for most runners. At $130.00, this shoe is priced well for one that can be used on various training surfaces, and also on race days. It can be used for distances up to a marathon.
Bigger runners with a need for substantial cushioning may want to consider the Wave Inspire 15 as a lower-priced alternative to premium models like the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 (both of which retail for $150.00).
In addition to meeting the basic needs of runners, the Wave Inspire 15 provides something that money can’t necessarily buy. Fun. It’s a fun shoe to run in most of the time. That’s a bonus you can’t put a price on.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 15: Smooth, simple, and stellarMore photos
I was beyond excited to receive another pair of Mizuno shoes because this brand has traditionally been my go to road trainer. All of my previous Mizuno shoes have been spectacular and I expected this shoe to be no different.
In my opinion, Mizuno Wave technology sets the standard of what all shoe companies should strive for. This is one of the main shoes I use in my rotation when I run on asphalt, the track, or the dreaded treadmill.
Specifications & fit
- Weight - 10.3oz or 294 grams
- Heel to toe Drop - 12mm
- Heel Height - 30mm
- Forefoot height - 18mm
- Overall Cushioning - Moderate
- Designed for - Moderate Over Pronators
The Wave Inspire is the 15th edition of Wave line and my first shoe experience from this line. The shoe has kept its minimal design, excellent traction, and supreme comfort. The latest version is offering a new upper with a softer fit and a more wearable look.
I prefer minimal shoes when running short distances and this shoe offers simplicity and responsiveness I need, while still offering enough cushion for optimum comfort.
I have only used this shoe for training runs so far but it has held up well in all areas.
In true Mizuno style, they offer their shoes in many complex colors as well as the traditional all black or “Black Dark Shadow”. The other colors offered are quarry-stormy-weather, ocean-depths-cloud, and blue wing teal.
Almost all Mizuno shoes have the same style and look to them with the logo largely on display and thick midsole that shows the wave technology used in every shoe.
In some instances, it does look a little old school in turns of its engineering design. However, I kind of like it because when you’ve got the overlays and stitching involved, there’s a little more care and love that’s gone into making this shoe.
In my opinion, this shoe looks a little old school in turns of its basic engineering design. However, I am a fan of the reinforced double stitching, which should help its durability.
The Wave Inspire 15 runs true to size and offers a very secure fit. I have had no issues with my foot-sliding forward when running. It’s always a relief when the shoe runs true to size.
Like most road shoes compared to trail shoes a break in period is not required which is a nice change. The Wave Inspire 15 are very comfortable and offer an excellent cushion for longer runs.
In my experience, road running shoes usually require less of a break in period (if any) than typical trail running shoes. The Wave Inspire 15 are comfortable from the start to end.
The only problem I encountered with this shoe as I had a bout with my plantar fasciitis for a couple of months and I was unable to wear this shoe without pain occurring during the bottom. However, this isn’t a big concern since this shoe is not meant for that purpose.
One feature I have grown to appreciate with all Mizuno shoes is the jacquard mesh technology that they use on it for its durability, flexibility, and breathability.
Mizuno has developed a shoe technology called Dynamotion fit, which aims to simulate the natural fluid motion of the foot throughout the shoe. This keeps the shoe neutral and uses this technology to help mimic the foot natural movement while running and secure the foot as it flexes and extends.
Due to this jacquard mesh region of the shoe I have not had a problem rubbing, pinching, or blistering.
The tongue of the shoe is a jacquard mesh, which is great, providing plenty of ventilation and comfort. The tongue of the shoe stays in place during use, which helps keep out debris.
I have come to appreciate Mizuno heel cup and have no began to expect every shoe I wear to have an excellent heel cup.
While it is still very minimal, the area around the heel has 30mm of cushion to prevent any discomfort while running. I am always looking for the perfect balance between minimal and comfortable, which this shoe succeeds in.
When you put on the Wave Inspire you feel your heel slide right in the shoe, it feels fantastic. You know it’s on, you know you’ve got that support in the back half and it will not become loose while in use.
The Wave Inspires midsole is comprised of U4ic and U4icX for the cushioning system and wave technology for the midsole of the shoe, which offers excellent protection.
The wave technology has been a staple in Mizuno shoes for many years and for good reason.
The Wave Inspire 15 features the Cloudwave fan-shaped Mizuno Wave Technology which is a black thermal piece of plastic that starts at the heel of the shoe and runs along to the forefront to help with cushioning in each step.
The wave technology splits the softer foam from the more firm foam, which is actually very comfortable.
The SmoothRide technology is still in use with the latest version of the Mizuno Wave Inspire. This midsole technology is designed to create a smooth ride by regulating the movement of the foot during rapid acceleration and deceleration. This technology is supposed to decrease impact, as well as offer excellent support, and helps improve motion.
A “U4ic” foam midsole, which is specific to all Mizuno running shoes, helps disperse energy from impact and improves the ride of the shoe.
The lightweight nature of the midsole does not take away from its durability or comfort. From heel to toe the U4ic midsole offers stellar shock absorption which helps keeps the foot moving forward at all times.
The Wave Inspire 15 outsole is comprised of blown-rubber called “Smooth Ride” for the forefoot and X-10 rubber for the heel.
Blown rubber is simply a hybrid rubber compound comprised of rubber and air, which gives you a lightweight outsole that has a decent cushion. X-10 rubber is the Mizuno brand name for their outsole, which is comprised of the most durable carbon rubber.
The heel of the shoe offers excellent comfort and grip with the blown rubber and the X-10 carbon rubber. The Forefront of the foot uses the Smooth Ride, which offers excellent support regardless if you’re a heel striker or a midfoot striker.
The upper of the shoe has been reinforced with a carbon rubber outsole, which has proven to be highly durable and maintains its comfort while on long runs.
I have over 60 miles in this shoe and it shows zero signs of damage, which is something that is the standard for Mizuno shoes. I did notice some loose thread from the stitching when I first got this shoe but I cut it off and it has yet reoccur as an issue.
- High drop
- Somewhat heavy
My first pair of wave inspire 15 shoes did not disappoint and I am delighted that I have found another Mizuno shoe that I can put into my rotation. I recommend this shoe to anyone looking for a comfortable training road shoe that offers durability and breathability.
This Mizuno shoe isn’t anything surprising or innovating because it's very similar to other Mizuno shoes, however, the only difference is the introduction to jacquard mesh on the upper of the shoe.
Thank you, Mizuno, for creating another excellent shoe.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Nice internal stability. So you have plenty of depth and secured in the back of the heel. When you put the Mizuno on and you sort of feel your heel go plug into the shoe. It feels fantastic.
It gives you nice amount of responsiveness and at the same time high cushioning. It has a great midfoot transition area.
- The Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 features several updates to satisfy runners who need moderate support and dynamic cushioning. The shoe has been modified from top to bottom. One significant update is the new jacquard mesh in the upper of the Inspire 15. The mesh offers a breathable foot coverage while delivering durability and support.
- The interior of the shoe also features several enhancements. The shoe has a U4icX heel wedge for a smoother landing and a new U4icX Strobel Board for an increased comfort.
- Lastly, the outsole has deeper flex grooves for enhanced flexibility. It encourages efficient toe-off.
The Wave Inspire 15 has a standard running shoe length. The upper mesh is stretchable enough to follow the natural shape of the foot. The width options for the women’s version are B – Medium, and D – Wide. For the men’s Inspire 15, the width choices are D – Medium and 2E – Wide.
The 15th version of the Wave Inspire is still using the durable X10 outsole material. It is a high-abrasion carbon rubber strategically placed in the outer sole for durability. It also offers a good amount of traction on varied road surfaces. This durable outsole material is also used in some popular Mizuno running shoes, like the Wave Rider 22.
The Wave Inspire 15 features much deeper flex grooves which are designed to enhanced flexibility without affecting underfoot protection. It allows the foot to move efficiently to multiple directions for an enhanced heel to toe transition.
In the midsole of the Wave Inspire 15 is the Cloudwave fan-shaped Mizuno Wave Technology. It aims to provide efficient impact protection and a more stable ride. The Wave plate is also designed to deliver a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
Working together with the Wave plate is the U4icX heel wedge. This midsole technology offers responsive cushioning while delivering a plush landing under the foot. The shoe also features the new U4icX Strobel board for an increased in-step comfort.
The SmoothRide technology is still present in the latest version of the Mizuno Wave Inspire. This midsole technology is designed to create a smooth ride by regulating the movement of the foot during a rapid acceleration and deceleration.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 features a redesigned upper for a modern touch and enhanced fit. It uses a jacquard mesh upper that delivers unmatched breathability and comfort. This upper material is durable and flexible enough to accommodate the natural curve of the foot.
The Mizuno Dynamotion Fit aims to mirror the movement of the foot while running. As the foot bends, stretches and twists, the Dyanmotion Fit mimicks toot’s movement. It wraps the foot comfortably while delivering a more secure foot wrap.
The shoe uses a traditional lace-up closure. It secures the foot comfortably without giving too much pressure.
The padded tongue and collar further enhance the overall fit and comfort of the shoe.