Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 review

The shoe is looking sharp with the initial glance over. I like the mesh upper, the laces, the intense midsole, and the solid tread.

One can notice that this is a bit of a Clydesdale when picking it up; the shoe is a bit clunky compared to others, and pretty stiff to the touch. I realize this shoe will be tough to destroy; I’m just hoping it doesn’t destroy my foot.

First 50 miles with the Inspire 15

You can tell the difference in this shoe as soon as you take your first steps. No joke, I couldn’t tell I was wearing shoes the first few steps of my very first run.

The shoe continued to demonstrate a strong personality and build throughout these first 50 miles as I was able to take them on the roads, sidewalks, gravel, stones, grass, dirt, mud, and just about everywhere in between. They handled the cold and wet days well, and they tolerated the surprising winter warmer days over these last few weeks.

I like the general look of this shoe

The tongue and laces are quality; not too thick, not too thin. They stay in place and are smooth to the touch.

The new mesh covering for the 15 is a nice addition. I like the look and feel of it, and it has provided good protection from the elements, while also allowing for sweat to dry pretty quickly during and after the runs.

As I mentioned earlier, the color schemes seem pretty fun. One thing I always wonder about with new shoes is if they can retire to become my daily sneakers for casual wear, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear these around town. The heel is a bit loose for my liking, but it has not hindered my runs in any way yet.

Stable and responsive

The U4icX technology that makes up most of the midsole has been surprisingly stable and responsive. I was worried about the weight and the stiffness of the shoe, but overall I have not come across too many issues during the runs.

I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of ‘empty space’ in the midsole that some of the U4icX plastic allows for, but nothing has gotten stuck inside of it yet, so I don’t even think of it much. Again, THE PADDING!

I honestly feel very good with the padding, especially in the forefoot. While I generally run with pretty good form, I can tell that the shoes are compensating for muscle fatigue, especially later in the runs. Again, these are not the most responsive shoes in the world and have a tendency to feel a bit clunky at times, but man, they cover my butt on long runs time and time again.

Grips well on varied surfaces

The tread and grip on the outsole have treated me well in a multitude of winter running scenes. I have taken these shoes through puddles, over ice, rocks, and mud, and they have performed great. Otherwise, things are pretty standard underneath, with no complaints about a road shoe.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 10.2oz / Women 8.4oz
Drop: 12mm
Arch support: Stability
Update: Mizuno Wave Inspire 18
Forefoot height: 18mm
Heel height: 30mm

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Jeff Binder
Jeff Binder

I am a runner, pastor, writer, and lover of all things outdoors, living in Portland, Oregon, with my wife, Julie; our dog, George; and our cat, Annie. I can be found on the trails of Forest Park, hiking along the coast, on Mount Hood, or running the bridges of the Willamette River.