Who should buy Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

This shoe strikes a good balance between comfort, responsiveness and support and it’s great if you have mild to moderate overpronation and want a responsive shoe for your easy runs.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 mizuno-wave-inspire-18-overview

Who should not buy it

Not the best if you:

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Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 vs. 17

The Inspire 18 feels very similar to the previous iteration, except that:

  • it’s slightly softer underfoot
  • its upper feels of better quality
  • it’s slightly more breathable

Support if you overpronate

Runners with mild to moderate overpronation found  the Inspire 18 ideal for their feet.

The Wave Technology was praised by testers because it provides only as much stability as your body is asking. As a runner said, if you don’t need it, the support is not so noticeable: “if I hadn’t been told, I would have never noticed.”

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A surprising midsole

Testers were surprised by the blend of softness and energy return of this midsole:

  • “surprisingly bouncy,” but not mushy 
  • “feels very good and has a nice softness to it”

Besides, an expert commented that the insole adds comfort as it provides “a very nice plush feel at first feel.”

“Old school” heel drop

With a substantial 12mm drop, the Inspire 18 is no minimalist shoe. While it “is noticeable,” with some breaking in “it smooths out somewhat.” Although not very common nowadays, such a high drop might help when recovering from calf or Achilles tendon injuries. If you're curious about these changes and the muscle groups different heel drops target, look at our in-depth guide on heel to toe drop.

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Endless laces

A runner was disappointed by the laces as “they are… just… so long” and “felt them bouncing around.”

Not breathable, yet seamless

The upper is not so breathable, yet reviewers appreciated that the toe box is slightly roomy without feeling unsecure and loved the upper overall: it is “seamless – literally,” “super comfortable” and it makes the shoe “enjoyable for all day use.”

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Fit is great in the Inspire 18

While most reviewers were aware of the rigid heel counter, they said that it provided a solid lockdown in the rearfoot and they experienced no rubbing. This shoe runs true to size, “slides on comfortably” and it’s very easy to get “an optimal fit.”

Ideal for your easy days

Although this shoe can manage some tempo runs, experienced runners suggest that the Wave Inspire 18 is best for slower paces and recovery days. As one tester perfectly put it: “this is not going to set your pulses racing,” but it’s going to “soak up miles.”

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The grip borders on perfection

The traction of the Inspire 18 is extremely good and reliable, even when the road gets wet. An experienced runner was surprised just how well it handled snow and ice and another one commented that this is now their “go to shoe when the roads are more slick.”

Wave Inspire 18 is not so stiff

You would expect this Mizuno to be stiff, but the Wave Inspire 18 has a forefoot that is surprisingly flexible, especially for a stability shoe. 

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Feels lighter than what’s on paper

With the weight of 10.5oz (300g) the Wave Inspire 18 almost completely matches the average weight of the stability daily trainers (301g). Faster runners, though, did feel the weight when picking up the pace, but this is a daily trainer after all that made an expert say it feels "lighter than the listed weight."

10/10 durability

Testers found the durability to be excellent, mainly thanks to the extensive outsole rubber:

  • after more than 30 miles the shoes “have not made a dent in the outsole”
  • they expect it to last beyond the industry standard of 300-500 miles.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 10.6oz
Drop: Men 12mm
Arch support: Stability
Forefoot height: Men 19mm
Heel height: Men 31mm
Collection: Mizuno Wave, Mizuno Wave Inspire

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Author
Gabriele Zampieri
Gabriele Zampieri

Gabriele lives and runs in Italy and he knows the Alps inside out. No wonder given that he has 30+ via ferratas, 20+ trail races and 100+ hiking routes under his belt. And he willingly bivouacked more than 30 times in the middle of nowhere. He logs 25-45 miles per week with 1k-3k elevation gain and is now training for his first 100k race. Trails run through his veins but so does the Italian talkative side.