Our verdict

We put the Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 to the test and it really stood out in the stability category. Its well-crafted upper, exceptional grip, and durability impressed us, especially on wet surfaces, gravel roads and easy trails. However, it's best suited for those who prefer a significant heel drop, and we also noticed that the upper isn't ideal for hot weather.

Pros

  • Embedded Wave Plate enhances stability and responsiveness
  • Enerzy Lite midsole delivers thick, protective cushioning
  • Strong grip even in wet conditions
  • Handles light trails with ease
  • X10 rubber is tough and long-lasting
  • Well-built upper
  • Perfect fit for runners with wide feet

Cons

  • Upper lacks breathability
  • Fit may be too loose for narrow feet
  • The 12.4-mm heel drop might not suit everyone

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

We think that the Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 is a good choice for:

  • Runners seeking a reliable mild stability daily trainer that offers exceptional durability, if a little extra weight is not a concern.
  • Loyal Mizuno users eager to include a daily trainer in their lineup, perfect for those easy and aerobic-focused days.
  • Athletes with wide feet who need a spacious and comfortable shoe that provides a cushioned ride without sacrificing fit.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19

Who should NOT buy

For those with narrow feet, the Wave Inspire 19 may not be the best fit. We think you should consider exploring other options in the mild stability category, such as the Saucony Tempus or the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 with its renowned GuideRails technology.

Additionally, the Wave Inspire 19's significant heel-to-toe drop might not cater well to forefoot or some midfoot strikers. In our view, alternatives with a lower drop, such as the Hoka Arahi 6 or the ASICS GT 2000 11, could offer a more suitable geometry for these running styles.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 parts

Breathability

Mizuno chose a Jacquard mesh upper for the Wave Inspire 19, and we noticed one potential downside: breathability. The intricate patterns woven into the thick engineered mesh upper can restrict airflow.

In our lab, we tested the Wave Inspire 19 using a smoke-pumping machine and rated its breathability at 3 out of 5.

That's not great for hot summer runs, but if you're running in cooler or mild climates, it strikes a nice balance between ventilation and keeping your feet warm.

We then shone a powerful light through the upper. And we found that the shoe allows air in only through the toebox, not the midfoot. This is perfectly logical, as the Wave Inspire 19 is designed for mild stability, which necessitates a certain level of structure in this area for proper support.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 microscope

Zooming in with our microscope, we determined that there are no ventilation holes, which explains the lower breathability score when compared to the average shoe.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 microscope

Lastly, we observed that Mizuno really focused on comfort for this shoe. The upper is super padded and layered, which feels great but doesn't do much for airflow.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 227 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Shoes with low breathability can sometimes be more durable because of thicker materials.

When we put the WI19 through our dremel test to check durability, it got just an okay result with a score of 2 out of 5.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Toebox durability
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 161 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We repeated the durability test on the shoe's heel collar and saw a slight improvement, scoring a 3 out of 5.

It's a good result, especially considering the generous, plush padding in that area, which often affects a shoe's ability to hold up over time.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Heel padding durability
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 3
Average 3.1
Compared to 157 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We turned the shoe over to examine the durability of Mizuno's X10 rubber on the outsole.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 outsole

The midsole features a big central cutout to minimize weight, yet the foam is largely covered for extensive protection. This cutout also serves to efficiently drain water and showcase the Mizuno Wave Plate.

To assess its hardness, we used our Shore C durometer and measured the rubber at 82.3 HC, which is about average for a daily trainer's outsole.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 82.3 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 278 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

After rigorously testing the outsole with the Dremel, we only noted a tiny 0.6-mm dent. Wow!

This excellent score is a testament to the quality of Mizuno's X10 outsole, renowned as one of the best in the market. Its carbon reinforcement—a unique approach in the industry—really makes a difference.

Plus, the grip is exceptional, even in wet conditions, thanks to its design with multiple lugs á la Nike Pegasus 40.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Outsole durability
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 139 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The outsole it's also quite thick at 3.7 mm. This shows us it will take a lot of miles to wear this outsole down—if that ever happens.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Outsole thickness
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 3.7 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

We feel that for the 20th edition of the Wave Inspire, Mizuno really needs to trim a full centimeter off the outsole.

At 10.3 oz or 293g, the shoe tips the scales a bit too much, and with the use of their tough X10 rubber, they definitely could find a sweeter spot between durability and a lighter weight.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 10.34 oz (293g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Since the shoe is clearly designed for heel strikers, we weren't surprised when we measured a 38.2 mm heel height, which is a bit above average.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 heel

The heel is slightly beveled to help with overpronation

The Wave Inspire 19 offers plenty of cushioning. No matter your weight, you can count on this Mizuno to provide the support you need.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 38.2 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot thickness is comfortably average, measuring at 25.8 mm.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 25.8 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

The 12.4-mm heel-to-forefoot drop in this shoe underscores Mizuno's focus to serving heel strikers with the Wave Inspire 19.

However, this doesn't rule out forefoot or midfoot strikers—just know that you're opting for a shoe with a significant drop, complete with its unique characteristics, as we've detailed in our heel-to-toe drop guide.

By the way—take a closer look at the photo, and you'll notice the Wave Plate in the heel and midfoot area.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Drop
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 12.4 mm
Average 8.6 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole offers a touch more padding than we typically see (5.4 mm), clearly emphasizing comfort. We believe this approach is spot-on for this shoe, enhancing the overall plush feel.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Insole thickness
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 5.4 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

In the midsole, we discovered the Mizuno Enerzy Lite foam. This TPE-based foam enhances the cushioning by 17% and energy return by 15% over a regular EVA foam, marking a significant upgrade.

During our test runs, the shoe felt well-balanced yet not overly plush (19.8 HA), which appears to be the right choice for a shoe designed with mild pronators in mind.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Midsole softness
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 19.8 HA
Average 21.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 225 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We put the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes before testing its softness. This time, we measured 23.0 HA.

The difference is just 16.5% from the room-temperature reading, showing that the performance holds up well in different weather conditions. This aligns with the benefits of TPE foams over EVA, enhancing performance as we've shown in this article.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 16.5%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 224 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Wave Inspire series aims to combine a standard daily trainer with a stability shoe. This mix creates a hybrid that's perfect for runners with mild stability needs or those who want a more stable feel on certain days.

And the shoe really delivers on stability for most runners. Mizuno has managed to do this without adding bulky elements to the upper, which is a big plus.

Torsional rigidity

Looking at torsional rigidity, Mizuno played it safe and stuck to what you'd expect from a regular daily trainer, earning a 3/5 score from us.

This approach makes the shoe very comfortable for daily wear and easy runs.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Mizuno took an aggressive approach with the heel counter to enhance stability and differentiate this shoe from a neutral daily trainer. Scoring a 5/5, it's exceptionally rigid—our video showed it hardly flexed at all.

This design is spot-on for the shoe's target users, predominantly heel strikers. It ensures reliable support, particularly benefiting mild pronators needing some guidance.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

A major factor in the enhanced stability of this shoe, compared to other daily trainers, is its width. Measuring at 117.8 mm, it provides a broad landing platform that boosts stability at any pace.

This generous width is a key feature, contributing to a stable and secure feel underfoot for those with mild pronation issues.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 117.8 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel design is crucial in this shoe because that's where the majority of Wave Inspire users will make contact with the ground.

This broader heel, when combined with the stiff heel counter, allows for a stable shoe that avoids the need for additional, obtrusive elements like medial posts.

The result is a seamless and supportive ride that enhances stability in a non-intrusive way, perfect for long runs where comfort is key.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 94.8 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We had the idea that the Mizuno Wave Plate in the midsole might lead to a stiffer shoe.

But when we put it to the test in our lab, bending the shoe to a 90-degree angle took only 16.1N of force. This means the plate keeps the shoe comfortable, not overly stiff.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 16.1N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We applied the same freezing method as we did for the softness test to gauge the shoe's response to cold conditions.

We found that it took 20.1N of force to flex the shoe to 90 degrees again, yielding a result quite close to the previous one.

We've seen a solid 25% increase, a performance that surpasses most options on the market. This impressive result highlights the great performance of the TPE-based Enerzy Lite foam.

Test results
Wave Inspire 19 25%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We're happy to share that the toebox is designed as the midsole, so it's a real treat for runners with wide feet. Measuring at a whooping 102.4 mm, it offers ample room for your feet.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 toebox

And Mizuno doesn't stop there—they even provide a wide size option, ensuring that absolutely no one feels left out due to having wider feet.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 102.4 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We measured the toe area to gauge the space available for toe spread.

Our findings indicate it tapers more than anticipated, yet at 79.6 mm, it remains more generous than the typical shoe, offering ample room for toe splay.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 79.6 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 172 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The smart addition of a semi-gusseted tongue is a lovely feature that ensures a snug fit and stops the tongue from shifting at faster paces.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue, at 7.7 mm, is super-cushioned—almost to the point of excess given the shoe's significant weight. We think shaving off a millimeter or two could be a clever move for v20.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Tongue padding
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 7.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 295 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Staying consistent with the design of recent Mizuno models, including top-tier offerings like the Wave Rebellion Pro, there's an absence of a heel tab.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Heel tab
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 None

Removable insole

The insole is not glued, which is great because it means we can easily switch it with insoles from our other running shoes and, because of the ample width of the WI19, they fit without any trouble.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Removable insole
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Mizuno chose not to add reflective elements to this shoe, which is a bit of a letdown for us.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 Reflective elements
Test results
Wave Inspire 19 No