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Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Performance Review

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Featured

When I found out I’d be getting our feet in some stability shoes from Mizuno, I was hesitant, because I don’t typically need or run in a stability shoe, but to my surprise, I’ve been reaching for the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 well beyond just testing purposes.

As is the case with many recent Mizuno models we’ve tested, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 is bulletproof and in my experience, a jack of all trades. Pegged as a stability shoe, I found that it’s just a very delicate touch of stability and if I hadn’t been told, I would have never noticed. Let’s jump into the nitty-gritty:

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

Release Date: March 2022

Price: $140

Weight: M 10.6oz, W 9.1oz

Drop: 12mm (26mm forefoot, 38mm heel)

Sizing: True to size

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  • Rundown: Stable, moderately priced, and extremely versatile shoe.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Ground feel
  • Lockdown

Cons

  • Laces
Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 side view

Pros

Versatility

As I said above, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 is a jack of all trades for me. It’s lightweight enough to pick up the pace, yet cushioned enough for longer runs, all while feeling extremely comfortable around the foot. The upper is seamless – literally. It’s made of recycled materials and disappeared on my foot. The laces, however, are another story (more on that in the Cons section).

Ground feel

I’ve said it in other reviews: I’m a fan of big, chunky, soft midsoles. But, the more I’ve run, the more I like a shoe with ground feel. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 delivered the feel I wanted. I attribute the great ride (and feel) to the Enerzy foam in the midsole (Enerzy Lite was also a standout in the Wave Rebellion, which we reviewed late last year).

The previous Inspire was the first version to utilize Enerzy foam. After how it was implemented in the Wave Inspire 18, I don’t see how they can top it next year. The shoe delivered such a balanced ride that the Mizuno team has a tough job ahead of them in order to figure out how to improve.

Lockdown

The fit was spot on with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18. The shoe fits true to size and aside from the laces, which we’re getting to, the lockdown was near perfect. Mizuno has really dialed in the fit here with no cinching, bulging, or upper funkiness. You know what I’m talking about, the stuff that can sometimes turn a great shoe into a decent or meh shoe.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Fit

Cons

Laces

I don’t know what happened the day that the Mizuno team decided on lace length. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume whoever made that call was either out sick or someone transposed the digits.

These laces make Rapunzel jealous. They’re longer than the line at the DMV. They are…just…so long. I double knotted a few times and still felt them bouncing around, but the performance of this shoe, as mentioned above, made up for this small issue. Having said that, I’m switching the laces out for something that fits better as soon as possible.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Laces

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Summary

I’ve wracked my brain for other negatives about the Wave Inspire 18 and even went on a few runs, specifically to think in real-time about what I don’t like. As you can see, the list ended at the laces.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 is a great shoe. If you’re not in the “stability” market, don’t disregard them. You’ll be rewarded with a minimally stable, moderately priced, and extremely versatile shoe that can handle a great deal of what’s thrown at it. Think of it as a great everyday trainer with a little extra stability thrown in for good measure.

9/10
Total Score
Buy at Mizuno

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Ground feel
  • Lockdown

Cons

  • Laces

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