The BasicsThe Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 (link to men's here) is a somewhat traditional, supportive running shoe for those with mild to moderate over-pronation. The shoe has a 12mm offset (meaning the heel area of the sole is 12mm higher than the forefoot). The women's version weighs in at 8.9oz and the men's at 10.8oz. The Wave Inspire 12 is available in several widths, 3 colors for each gender, and is priced at $120.
The Down and Dirty
I was sent the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 as part of a promotional campaign (opinions are my own) and while it is not a shoe I would have chose on my own, I have really enjoyed wearing them more than I expected I would. When I first opened the box and saw the shoes, I thought they looked too long for my foot even though they were my usual 8.5. While they do fit a bit longer than Sauconys the difference isn't enough to size down; the length is similar to Nike.
The Wave Inspire feels surprisingly light for a supportive shoe and it's not too stiff or overly firm either. It has a very nice under-foot feel and a thin, soft cushion. The liner of the shoe is one of the smoothest I've ever felt, it's almost like a super soft neoprene feel. You could definitely wear these shoes without socks.
I can't decide if my favorite feature of the shoe is the soft interior or the outsole. In this version of the Wave Inspire, Mizuno has increased the amount of blown rubber in the forefoot. I love this. As a prominent forefoot striker, I'm used to many companies ignoring this part. All of the durability of the outsole is focused on the heel with maybe a small area of good rubber in the forefoot. This means that my shoes are going bald in the forefoot before 150 miles. After putting over 50 miles on the Wave Inspire, it really seems like they will prove to be more durable than others.
As far as the structure of the shoe, this is the most supportive shoe in my current lineup (the only other supportive shoe being the Saucony Mirage, which is very mild), so I definitely notice a difference. However, it is a lot more cushioned and flexible than I would normally expect from a supportive shoe. Comparing it to the Mirage 5, I'd say the Wave Inspire 12 is more flexible, which is surprising being that it has more structure to the medial sole.
In SummaryI'm reviewing this shoe after having ran over 50 miles in them, mainly on roads and sidewalks, with a few grass and hard-packed dirt trails. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is an excellent option for runners who over-pronate, yet still want some cushioning and flexibility in their ride. While the shoe is lightweight, it does still skew towards the traditional side, being that it has a 12mm offset and a stack height that falls right in the middle compared with others. The fit is good, comparable in length to Nike with maybe a little more width. If you want a nice, "locked-in" feel you will probably need to use a different lacing method, implementing the extra eye-holes at the top of the shoe. Without lacing them this way, the shoes are too loose on my heel and for this reason alone, they are not a shoe I would choose for myself. The interior of the shoe is one of the nicest features, with a super smooth fabric that will feel great against bare feet. I also loved the durable feel of the outsole, which seems like it will last longer than many others I've tried.
If you over-pronate, and have an average to slightly wide foot (remember they also come in widths if you don't fit this average) the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is worth checking out. It's a traditional, yet lightweight option that would be great for daily training.