A few weeks ago, Mizuno sent me a pair of the latest version of the Wave Inspire range to test out.
I’ve been wearing Wave Inspires since I got my first pair of “proper” running shoes a few years ago, and they have served me well. In fact, I’ve run every one of my 14 marathons and 5 ultras in Mizunos. I find them comfortable, hard-wearing, and they don’t cause me any foot issues. I have one pair of Wave Inspire 9’s that have clocked up well over 1,000 miles without problems.
There was one fly in the ointment however – I was not a big fan of the Wave Inspire 10. I found they were not as comfortable or hard-wearing as the 9’s, and in fact, I held off buying any 11’s as I had heard the 12’s were going to be a return to form. The biggest problem I had with the Wave Inspire 10 was the feeling that they didn’t hold my foot as securely as they should, which resulted in a slightly disconcerting feeling of movement within the shoe until they were well worn in. This seemed to be exacerbated by an inner sole material that had a “slippery” feel.
Back to the 12’s! I was keen to see if Mizuno had sorted the issues I’d had with the 10’s and when I opened the box, I was pleased to note that the 12 had the same chunky, solid look as the 9’s. The pair Mizuno sent me were a fetching shade of electric blue, which I felt was a big improvement over the white/multicolour of the 10. They also turned out to have the sexiest laces I’ve encountered on any pair of shoes I’ve owned – they have a soft, almost rubbery quality that I like a lot.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 straight out of the box
Very similar sole to the previous incarnation – which works very well
The Wave Inspire 12 feel great – nice and snug, with a confidence-inspiring hold on the foot. I couldn’t wait to hit the road.
I took them for a test run on a hilly 10k route near my home, on rough tarmac. As soon as I got on the road, I felt a sense of relief – the Wave Inspire 12 are definitely a big improvement on the 10. They feel a lot like the 9’s, but lighter, and perhaps a little more padded. Despite the solid look, they feel very light on the road, with excellent support, and good rebound. Mizuno have hit all the right notes with these, and they look as good as they feel.
Wave Inspire 12 (top) and Wave Inspire 10
Not a lot of difference in the sole – the 10’s shown have around 350 miles done
Over the next week or two, I went for a few short runs in the 12’s, and they confirmed my first impressions. I also noticed that, as a (reconstructed) forefoot lander, these shoes had plenty of cushioning in the sole to avoid any pain on landing.
The first big test for my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 12’s came in the form of the Sixmilebridge Ultra – and what a test it was! We started off in pouring rain, with loads of standing water on the roads, and myself and my new runners were quickly soaked through. They still managed to impress me even soaking wet, as I found they didn’t seem to gain a lot of weight when wet, something I’ve found to be a problem with other runners. I ended up going through 4 different pairs of Wave Inspires during this ultra!
Dried out, the Wave Inspire 12 were back to their best a few days later, and now, having clocked up over 100 miles in them, I can say I am very happy indeed with them. A definite return to their best form by Mizuno, and the Wave Inspire 12 will be my runner of choice for 2016.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 Stats:
Weight: 10.6 Ounces (Mens) 8.9 Ounces (Womens)