Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 Running Shoes Review

  • In this version, Mizuno Wave Inspire gets a redesigned upper and midsole. The upper has more overlays compared to previous model while the midsole is redesigned to provide more cushioning, protection as well as support to the foot.
  • The heel geometry seems to be changed in the Wave Inspire 12. A new compound called U4ic X replaces the SR Touch foam wedge. This new compound is 30% lighter than the AP+ midsole technology. This leads to a greater stability or wedging effect of the shoes than before as well as better shock absorption and durability.
  • Mizuno also added an additional layer of foam under the sock liner of Wave Inspire 12
  • The outsole is also a bit less curved compared to the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11.
  • The AIRmesh combined with Intercool ventilation system makes sure that your foot will always be cool and dry as well as comfortable.
  • With the redesigned lateral aspect, these shoes no longer sticks runners’ feet into a fast pronation rate as the 11 did.
  • One of the best features in the Mizuno Wave Inspire is the different construction of the midsole and outer sole for women and men. This is done through their Gender Engineering.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 description


The Wave Inspire 12 still maintains traditional style upper of the 11, but it features more overlays than previous model. They still use Airmesh cover for breathability of the shoes. But the mesh in the upper now is added an additional layer of fabric that creates thick and hot feeling. A large Runbird logo connects a long overlay to the sewn eyelet row. In terms of fit, the Dynamotion Fit used in the upper gives optimal fit while the stitched overlays in the medial and lateral side provide a secure fit. Lastly, the shoes feature OrthoLite sockliner which helps get rid of microbial and moisture for fresher environment inside the shoes.


There are several notable technologies incorporated in the midsole of the v12. Firstly, the SmoothRide Engineering is designed in the midsole to make sure runners have a smoother transition from heel to toes. The Mizuno Wave technology is lasted from heel to midfoot in order to provide a springy and well-cushioned ride. Additionally, the redesigned U4icX technology featured in the shoes promises to offer well cushioned underfoot feel and more cushioning for efficient shock absorption. Noticeably, combined with breathability property in the upper, the full-length Mizuno Intercool ventilation in the midsole helps reduce heat and humidity built up inside the shoes.


Mizuno’s X10 carbon rubber is found in the outsole for abrasion resistance and enhanced traction. Additionally, a softer blown rubber is increased in the forefoot for durability, added cushioning and responsiveness. This is also used for better balance in the outsole. Besides, the brand’s Flex Controller technology found in this unit enhances flexibility in high-flex areas.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 review

mizuno wave inspire 12


Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 has much better comfort than other shoes I’ve owned in the past. Basically no break-in period required. They are incredibly comfortable right out of the box. From the materials, features as well as technologies incorporated into these shoes focus on providing the optimum comfort to runners. In fact, I have worn them for many long-time activities and runs but my feet have no issue at any point.


My foot is a bit wide with a normal to flat arch and I was worried that they would feel too narrow, but they have very similar fit and size as my Wave 10 model and fit well for my foot. Like the old model, I also order half a size larger for these. The new stretchy laces allow you to snug up the shoes in needed places giving a "glove like" feel around your foot.


In comparison with previous version, breathability of these shoes is not good. An additional layer of fabric added to the mesh upper retains heat in the shoes that cause hot feeling, especially in summer days.


I have bad knees, the cushioning system in the heel, especially the forefoot area of these shoes provides great support as well as comfort to reduce and even get rid of my pain. Besides, this great cushioning gives better shock absorption and protects your foot from unexpected injuries or damages on the roads. I also feel great cushion around the balls of my feet. I’m not sure how long this sensation will last, but I’m very happy with them.

Also read: Best cushioned running shoes


For many years, Mizuno Wave Inspire has catered people who need extra support underfoot. The wave plate used in Wave Inspire 12 is the core of any Mizuno shoes that gives shock dispersion, shoe rigidity and a measure of torque resistance. This feature contributes to provide the well-known firm rides of Mizuno shoes. They provide such excellent arch support and cushioning that, for the first time ever, I experience no knee or foot pain during or after my run. Besides, my feet have moderate pronation; Wave Inspire 12's is perfect in treating my foot condition. Generally, the v12 has more support than the 11 and is very reliable.


I love the shoes and the stability they provide. The Wave Inspire 12 is stability shoe; therefore, there is no question about the amount of stability they can provide. How great they are! The stability features of these shoes even control every foot strike that runners do while running. That also means you can have a fixed heel-to-toe transition during take-off and landing.


Although they are stability running shoes, they don’t forget to provide enough flexibility in high-flex areas through Flex Controller technology in the outsole. In other words, these shoes are not stiff. They are highly flexible that allow your feet to move freely.

Quality/ Durability

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is built with not only nice and comfortable but also strong and excellent materials. They also contain the features to promote durability of shoes. For example, the U4ic not only provides a robust ride and shock absorption but also enhances durability in the midsole. Other than that, the shoes have a durable carbon rubber outsole to ensure that their sole will not be easily damaged on challenging surfaces.


These shoes are designed to work well on terrains such as tracks, roads and gravels. Moreover, the outsole is made of a carbon rubber material, which is very helpful in providing great traction to deal with wet environments. Thanks to this, you can run comfortably without worrying about slipping off or falling on the ground.


Stability shoes are generally heavy but these are lightweight enough for you to use them in more activities. The weight of the Mizuno Wave Inspire men’s version is 306 grams (10.8 oz.), while the women’s weighs 252 grams (8.9 oz.). Compared to other versions of Mizuno Wave Inspire, the v12 is a bit heavier. However, the increased weight isn’t a deal breaker for runners because these are incredibly stable and cushioned.


They also look pretty cool. I do like the improved aesthetics of these shoes. I have them in black/white and teal. I was worried that I wasn’t going to like the colors the first time getting them, but the teal looks great with lots of my running clothes. However, the only complaint I have is that there are only 2 color choices for runners who need wide shoes in this style. It is better if they have more choices.


Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is often used for normal trainings to improve performance of users. These shoes give me the freedom to run comfortably on various surfaces over medium to long distances. Besides, because of stability and support features in the shoes, I'll recommend them for long distance stability run. Don’t use them for speed works because they can’t support much.

These shoes are considered to have very affordable prices. But for me, I can say that the prices of these are too cheap compared to huge benefits they have given me.​

Mizuno Wave Inspire Pros and Cons


  • Stability and upper fit are improved compared to previous versions
  • Added more cushioning
  • Give more balanced feeling ride
  • The price doesn’t increase


  • Breathability is not as good as previous versions
  • They feel stiffer than the 10th and 11th versions.
  • The weight is increased a little

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Previous versions Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11

Compared to their predecessors, Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 has several improved features and benefits to continue working as one of the best stability running shoes on the market. Generally, Wave Inspire 11 provides better stability and smoother transition in every stride. In the upper, Mizuno has welded overlays to make it more durable. Breathable oval-hole mesh, tongue, collar, and the medial arch strapping are updated features in the upper in order to provide snug fit, comfort and greater breathability to the shoes.

Additionally, the improved sockliner gives a softer stride but it is still quite resilient because of its flexible and durable foam structure. Like the v10, the U4ic foam material is used in Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 for lighter but more excellent cushioning to increase running performance. For the outsole unit, soft and durable rubber material is used to increase shock absorption, responsiveness and traction that allow the shoes to be used on various terrains such as gravel, road and track or even wet ground. The Extensive Wave Plate is also equipped in the shoes to provide rigidity in the heel and forefoot, which also adds more stability properties and helps reduce over-pronation. The shoes are highly suggested for normal training, but not for speed works because of their heavy weight.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10

The 10th version has some new things to improve performance and quality of the shoes compared to previous versions. Their midsole now has the U4ic cushioning compound, which is 30% lighter than the midsole technology of old models. This new material provides effective cushioning, a better ride and enhanced durability in the midsole.

Mizuno Wave Inspirer 10 provides mild or moderate over pronators with the right amount of support and stability through the Wave technology for them to control their pronation during gait cycle. Smooth pavements or even rough terrains can’t cause difficulty for these shoes because their outsole is made from the highly durable carbon rubber materials. Road, gravels, tracks and even trails are ideal terrains to run with Mizuno Wave Inspire 10. Despite not being designed for long distances or long races, these stability running shoes are often used for normal trainings or regular running routines.

The great cushioning of these will provide more responsiveness and energetic ride and promotes you to run faster than your usual routine to get your desired speed. Moreover, if you are a moderate flat footed runner and want to run efficiently without any pain or injury, these shoes are a good choice for you.

Also read: Best Trail Running Shoes

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9

In this version, Mizuno retained the technologies of the midsole and outsole. AP+ technology is still used in the midsole and contributes to the weight of the shoes and provides a more flexible ride. You can find Smooth Ride technology and an engineered pattern of grooves in the midsole that are for a smoother heel to toe experience.

Like previous model, Mizuno employs wave plates to enhance torsional rigidity, which are useful for those who need support for their over-pronation. The presence of the Intercool system keeps the foot comfortably dry and cool during running. In fact, Mizuno uses a new midsole technolog even though it is not obvious. They replace the VS-1 tech of the previous version by the SR Touch compound. This feature seems to give similar performance for support and cushioning to the old model.

The outsole is still made of X10 carbon rubber for added durability. This durable outsole enhances grip of the shoes on roads or trails. The upper of these shoes are designed with minimal overlays, which are set up close to the Runbird symbol and near the heel. This update gives better ventilation and helps remove irritation often caused by old networks of overlays.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 is designed for runners who have over-pronation or suffer from plantar fasciitis because they can offer the much-needed support to those. Besides, flat footed runners or those who need extra flexibility to their arches can also benefit from these stability shoes. You can use the v9 as everyday heavy-duty shoes for workouts or long course running. They certainly help improve your performance.​

Similar running shoes to Mizuno Wave Inspire

Nike Flyknit Lunar

Like Mizuno Wave Inspire 12, the Nike Flyknit Lunar is less stiff, which allows your feet to move freely while running but still provides great amount of cushioning and stability. The weight of these shoes is similar to the Wave Inspire 12’s; therefore, runners who are looking for lightweight stability running shoes will be satisfied with Nike Flyknit Lunar. The small downside of the shoes is that they have a high heel to toe drop that makes some runners don’t want to buy them because it can cause some unexpected accidents.

Also read: Best lightweight running shoes

Asics Gel-Super J33

The Asics Gel-Super J33 is other similar shoe to the Mizuno Wave Inspire. These shoes are measured to be lighter than the Mizuno’s. Despite the lightweight, they still provide enough forefoot and heel cushioning to protect you when running. Especially, these shoes are designed with more stability features than others. In short, this is a great replacement for the Mizuno Wave Inspire in terms of lightweight, cushioning and stability.

Saucony Cortana

Another good shoe that you can use to replace for the Mizuno Wave Inspire is the Saucony Cortana. They are considered to be the heaviest one among the four running shoes mentioned. Although in comparison with the others these shoes have the lowest heel cushioning rating, they still ensure enough cushioning for your foot to absorb shock as well as being protected. The Saucony Cortana also provides good stability properties but not as much as what the Mizuno Wave Inspire can do.

Each shoe can have more or less features and functions compared to the Mizuno Wave Inspire but when you look for similar lightweight, cushioning and stability, these three are highly recommended.


Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is the great shoes for moderate over-pronators and runners with flat feet. These lightweight stability running shoes will certainly help you get your goals in training as well as make you love your sport life more.

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