The Mizuno brand has been divisive between runners ever since the turn of the Millennia. On one hand, they have always had durable shoes that aesthetically have been distinct and have had a well designed upper sole. On the other hand, however, the company has often failed to really tackle the issues of overpronation and has not tended to have the smoothest of a running pattern. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is a definite improvement over its predecessors, but there are still key issues present that you should be aware of if you wish to purchase yourself a pair.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is definitely one of the best looking shoes in the Mizuno range and benefits from bold, modern design choices. For one, the use of colors is fantastic and right in line with modern color choices, utilizing visually striking green and silver alongside clean lines and use of materials. The overlay patterns give a sense of the shoe being in motion, delivering a swift running experience whilst the material utilized on the lateral panels and roof of the shoe is in keeping with the rest of the styling.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 favors a stitched together overlay instead of its predecessors near fully moulded approach and the overlay patterns and logos are also now fully stitched on. The fabric utilized on the panels and roof of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is also excellent, being favorable to a breathable design whilst also providing sufficient room for you to change your foot shape in accordance with the road surface below you.
Thanks to a reconfiguration of materials and overall approach to the upper, the insole receives considerable attention to. The material utilized in previous generations is switched out for a tighter fitting, yet more comfortable on the walls, providing good midsole support and the heel counter is also a little firmer than before, which is a good thing as it acts as a good counter although a little short in design. The overall experience is much more snug to your foot in general also, which helps proceedings greatly.
The sole of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 revolves around the patented Mizuno wave plate that is effectively a suspension unit, adding shock dispersion, added structure and an overall torque resistance that is rare in Mizuno’s competitors. The rest of the shoe barely changes, although there is a different material utilized in the midsole of the shoe, the U4IC design which is effectively 40% lighter than in previous incarnations. Blown rubber is utilized throughout the rest of the shoe aside from the heel which utilizes XR10 blown rubber for a more resistant finish.
What this means is that the ride is effectively the same from the Wave Inspire 10, and this is an issue if you have a midsole strike that makes you light on your feet. Thanks to the approach taken by Mizuno and the medial arch, combined with the midsole of the shoe remaining the same, issues of overpronation may well be suffered by users and this is not a desirable trait at all. The U4IC foam also is much more prone to creasing, which is not an issue faced by the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10.
This being said, the cushioning and overall ride comfort of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is actually very good. There is a good amount of control that you can exert on the shoe before it becomes an inherent issue, despite the poorly placed midsole arch and the upper is also perfectly designed for your feet.
The flexibility is also good, especially if you tend to have a strike reliant mainly upon your heels. The sole design means that whilst overpronation is an issue for those with a midsole strike, for everyone else it is somewhat bearable and the amount of control is fantastic. The upper of the shoe also does not inhibit your actions in any way whatsoever, which is refreshing to see in the Mizuno range and is a testament to the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11’s reconfiguration.
- Much improved upper over its predecessors
- Sole is well cushioned with a good ride, despite the main issues
- Upper is extensively reworked and it really shows
- Good use of material throughout
- Midsole is highly unsatisfactory from a design point of view
- Heel can feel clunky under speed
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is a big improvement over its predecessor and last few incarnations, bringing a sleep design to the table with excellent stability and cushioning. For those who utilise the midsole of their foot however, this is not the best shoe for you. I hope that this Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 review has been helpful.