Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.8)/10

Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 Review Facts

Mizuno is nearly unrivaled in marketing and producing sports equipment. Mizuno was founded in 1906. Since that time, the company produced almost every imaginable type of sports equipment. At present, they manufacture some of the contemporary market's best running shoes.

Over the last 12 years, the goal has been meeting the expectations of runners with high-performance shoes that provide great underfoot support. The company is always updating their products. The Wave Inspire 12 is the 12th edition of a long-running line. New elements include an improved upper and some patented elements like Wave technology used in the midsole. The changes impact the weight of the predecessor. On the plus side, the weight gives the shoe a solid feel. It is comfortable and can handle long distances with ease.

The latest version employs air mesh cover upgrades that deliver more layers in the heel and midfoot. They give the upper a soft, yet more coherent fit. There are fewer flex grooves and larger slabs on the outsole. These are tweaks to the formulas. The sizing and fit of the Wave Inspire 12 are nearly the same as the previous model. It has a snug midfoot and heel. The toe box has plenty of room. The toes splay naturally. In keeping some parts and updating others, the Wave Inspire 12 will keep Mizuno devotees and draw new runners.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Better ride balance
  • Breathability provides maximum comfort
  • Excellent daily running shoes
  • Improved antibacterial cushioning
  • Improved upper fit
  • Increased stability
  • Price
  • Wave technology for superior support and comfort
  • A bit heavy¬†
  • Extra height is bothersome to some
  • Narrow forefoot area
  • Not very attractive
  • Slower transition than before



Different technologies for responsiveness and durability have been combined in the Wave Inspire 12 outsole. It is softer than previous versions. The softness is partially due to larger slabs and increased thickness in the heels. There are fewer flex grooves.

Increased blown rubber in the forefoot is a change that makes the shoe more comfortable with additional padding. The goal was to increase overall durability that is dependent on the stride of the runner. The X10 rubber increased the strength of the outsole and contributed to improved traction. It is abrasion resistant.


Mizuno and Wave technology go hand in hand. Wave technology is a plastic plate that improves the dispersion of impact shock. It works like an automobile's suspension system. Wave technology gives the shoe rigidity and a measure of torque resistance unequaled by other shoe designs.

It contributes to the firm ride that is characteristics of Mizuno shoes. The plastic plate is visible from the heel to the midfoot area. Runners do not notice the plate while running. The SmoothRide technology provides a well-balanced heel to toe transition.

As the name indicates, the Wave plate is wavy. It contributes to extra support at the arches or the feet. U4icX enhances the midsole cushion. It replaces SR Touch foam. As a result, the Wave Inspire 12 leans out slightly more laterally than the Inspire Wave 11. The Intercool system is another added technology that allows midfoot ventilation through perforations at natural bending points of the midsole.


The upper also reflects the increased ventilation design. The Wave Inspire 12 has the traditional style upper of the Inspire 11. The overlays are sewn instead of the heat pressing used in the Wave Inspire 10. The upper of the Wave Inspire 12 features more overlays and is more substantial than the previous year's model.

Extra heat pressed overlays are on both sides. Both the looks and the sewn construction of the end cap on the toe is similar to the Inspire 11. The mesh of the upper has an extra layer of fabric underneath it that makes for a thick feel and caused the shoes to retain heat.

The laces are a semi-flat style found on the majority of modern running shoes. The tongue is of medium thickness. Fabrics on the interior feel like that of the previous model. They are finely woven and friendly to the touch. An OrthoLite Sockliner completes the package.

The upper meets a goal set by Mizuno from the first Inspire edition. Airmesh technology that is highly breathable allows the feet to stay dry and cool throughout the run. The heel areas and midfoot have stitched overlays that provide additional upper firmness.

Dynamotion Fit is a unique technology that reduces upper material stretching and prevents the tongue from slipping. It improves overall fit after lace-up. Contributing to moisture-free feet is the OrthoLite Sockliner.


The Wave Inspire 12 is more than 50g heavier than its predecessor. It weighs 10.6 ounces or 300 grams. The weight puts a ding in the 'lightweight' category of running shoes. Additional weight does translate to increased stability. The shoe is a daily running option for runners with moderately flat feet or no flat-foot problems.


The above average breathability of the Wave Inspire 12 is due to the three technologies used throughout the shoe: Intercool, OrthoLite, and Airmesh. Airmesh increases breathability with nylon that works to keep the feet dry and cool.

The full-length Intercool system adds to the overall breathability of the midsole. Heat and humidity are reduced during a run with the aid of ventilation perforations positioned at the midsole bending points. The OrthoLite Sockliner provides the benefit of fighting against bacteria as it keeps feet moisture-free.


The Wave Inspire 12 follows closely in suit with the improved breathability. Extra foam has been added under the sockliner. The full-length cushioned last treatment is comparable to memory foam placed above a mattress on a bed.

The shoes are suitable for intense training sessions, and long runs. A new category of buyers who are looking for daily-use, casual shoes will also like the Wave Inspire 12. The tighter toe box has caused some complaints of mild discomfort in the area of the forefoot.


Looks aren't everything is an appropriate comment for these shoes. Aesthetics are not as important as performance when it comes to running shoes. Keeping that fact in mind is essential when the Wave Inspire 12 is under consideration.

The shoes are not the coolest looking sneaker available. Preferring performance and symmetry over style, the classic-looking Inspire 12 follows function over form. There are a certain vibrancy and a variety of color combinations.

The Inspire 12 is unlikely to win a fashion award, but it performs well on the run. The Mizuno logo is classically displayed on the heel and the outer side of the midfoot. Overall, the shoe lacks refinement. The breathable Airmesh looks fragile, and the overlay stitching is not highly refined. Runners who want a stylish shoe will likely not choose the Mizuno Inspire 12


The U4icX technology used for the midsole is known for its durability. Durable materials are used in other sections of the Wave Inspire 12. There is increased blown rubber used in the outsole that is a great, long-term durability asset.

It is an ideal combination when it is used with the X10 rubber, centered around two main areas of impact, the heel and the forefoot. In addition to the Wave plate, the technologies manage to distribute applied stride force and increase overall durability by impact absorption. The Wave Inspire 12 is a dependable and durable option for the runner looking for a long lasting trainer.


Thanks to the Wave plate in the midsole, the Wave Inspire 12 offers decent protection for pronators. Increased thickness in the outsole acts as a protective underfoot element. The X10 and blown rubber on the outsole serve as responsive cushioning. The outsole is capable of providing more shock absorption when landing and taking off. Less stress is placed on the foot. The risk of injury is decreased.


The Wave Inspire 12 is tailored for usual routines and training sessions rather than long runs. Due to the cushioning unit, it does have increased responsiveness. The cushioning works well for moderately flat-footed runners and promotes faster runs.

Paired with blown rubber a cushioned outsole increases responsiveness. Those two elements are not enough for pleasant responsiveness. Mizuno enhances the Wave Inspire 12 with Flex Controller technology that promotes responsiveness in high-flexibility areas.


Over the years, Mizuno has offered great support. The Wave Inspire 12 uses the patented Wave plate to provide additional support to the underfoot. The technology delivers a firmer ride and acts for shock dispersion. Excellent arch support is offered along with a decent amount of pronation response.

Targeted runners differ somewhat in their opinion of the Wave Inspire 12 responsiveness. Most runners are not inclined to take the shoes on long runs. Those with flat-feet may run because of the increased foot support provided by the Inspire 12.


The Wave Inspire 12 has a fair amount of versatility. It works just as well on uneven terrains as smooth concrete. Durable carbon rubber on the outside tackles light trails, gravel, roads, and tracks. The Wave plate over a decent job absorbing shock on uneven terrains and increases the comfort and confidence of runners on varied surfaces.


The price may be a factor that launches a person into choosing the Wave Inspire 12 as the next trainer purchase. It may not be the most high-performing or flashiest shoe, but all the unique technologies it has are built into a shoe that has an affordable price tag.

The Wave Inspire 12 is among only a few brands that pack great features into an edition for such a low price. Amazon sells the shoes for prices that range from a little over $100 to $140. At prices like that, the shoes are ideal for new runners or backup shoes for advanced runners.


The X10 technology is responsible for the traction of the Wave Inspire 12. It combines durability and traction in the outsole. Blown rubber is a contributing factor to the overall traction. It is responsive enough to provide reliable performance on a variety of terrains. Taking the shoe off-road is not a problem with an outsold made of carbon rubber.


An update OrthoLite Sockliner included in the Wave Inspire 12 improves the overall comfort and flexibility. Mizuno uses Flex Controller technology to increase performance in high-flexibility areas. The OrthoLite Sockliner and Flex Controller technology not only increase flexibility but aid in balancing the rigidity of the outsole's Wave plate.


One of the best features of the Wave Inspire 12 is its stability. The Wave plate improves stability and manages to alleviate some pressure from the heel. The design of the outsole helps the feeling of stability.

When the outsole design is paired with solid arch support, the Inspire 12 gets above average ratings in the stability department. The lateral leaning out of the Wave Inspire 12 provides a wedging effect that gives the shoe greater stability


The most common heel-to-toe drop is the ten-mm. The Wave Inspire has a drop of 12mm. The height may be problematic for some runners who veer away from high drop shoes because of the increased risk of injury.

Those considering a Wave 12 purchase need to take into account that the Wave plate technology helps counteract the extra height. Runners who have used the standard drop height find adjusting to the 12mm drop is not difficult.

Key Features

AirMesh upper for breathability
Blown rubber of the forefoot
Durable 10X technology of the outsole
DynamoFit system for optimal heel and midfoot fit
OrthoLite Sockliner for combating moisture and cushioning
Intercool system reduces moisture
Proprietary Wave plate technology increases stability and absorbs shock
SmoothRide technology is good for moderate over-pronation
U4ic technology used for added responsiveness and shock absorption

Bottom Line

Runners can expect unique technology from Mizuno. The Wave Inspire 12 is another example of using new technology while keeping features that have proven to be reliable. The Wave plate is the shoe's focal point, but other elements make the Wave Inspire 12 a solid everyday running shoe.

The price and reliable performance are suitable for running, activewear, and exercise. The strongest features are stability and cost. Weak features include style and weight. Mizuno pared down some aspects and beefed up others.

Fans of previous versions may not be fond of the changes. The shoe is hot and heavy, For years, Mizuno catered to runners who needed extra underfoot support. The shoes were snappier, faster feeling shoes than that of the competition.

The company abandoned the weight loss war and produced a shoe that is beefier than before. The Wave Inspire 12 has a redesigned upper and midsole.