Sponsored Review: Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

For the last month, I’ve had the privilege of trying a brand new shoe before it’s even released. This month, Mizuno began selling their new Wave Inspire 12 – and based on my trial, I’d definitely say this is a shoe worth checking out!


The brand new Mizuno Wave Inspire 12, launched this month!

According to Mizuno:

“The new Wave Inspire 12 has the lightweight support you need to go farther and longer. With an improved upper that provides a soft-yet-structural fit and increased blown runner for maximum durability, this shoe provides the stability you need to stay on the road longer.”

So, how did Mizuno deliver? Well, pretty much exactly as promised!

If you’ve tried the Wave Inspires in the past, the changes in this model include improved construction of the uppers for a more customized fit, and the U4icX strobel lasting board for more comfort and cushioning underfoot. When I first slipped my pair on, I was impressed to discover how pillow-y soft the cushioning was. That U4icX really delivers!


The superhero-type look, thanks to the shiny dark pink racing stripes behind the logo, is also absolutely perfect for my Halloween costume on Saturday… more on that later ;)

However, soft cushioning usually means that they’re not going to provide enough support (at least for a rather flat-footed runner like me). The last thing I want is for my feet to be hurting like crazy after a long run/workout. I tested these both running and also in some kickboxing and bootcamp gym classes, and they provided a lot more stability than you’d expect – I found them to be much more supportive than the Mizunos I’ve tried in the past.

Speaking of which, I’ve tried: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and Mizuno Wave Rider 17 (made for neutral runners), Mizuno Wave Sayonara (low heel drop for racing), and Mizuno Wave Kazan (trail shoes). By comparison, I found the blend of comfort and stability of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 to be really awesome and unique.

One note on fit: like the Wave Rider 18s, these were a bit of a tight fit. I sized up to size 9 (from the 8.5 that I am in almost every other shoe I wear) and it was still a bit tight when I was wearing a heavily cushioned sock. For best fit, definitely consider trying these on in a store or sizing up if ordering online! One nice thing though is that the laces have a lot of stretch to them, so as long as the length is right, you can then lace accordingly for a custom fit.


I love this graphic for some tips on proper lacing to support your feet! Original source (KatieRunsThis) is now defunct, but Pinterest has kept the highlights for you.

Unlike the Wave Sayonaras, the Wave Inspires are definitely not any kind of racing flat – they weigh in at 8.9 ounces for women (10.6 ounces for men), and have a 12 mm heel drop. However, I felt bouncy in them rather than heavy –these really do strike a nice balance between stability and lightness.


There is no pink in this outfit, and yet, my inner Elle Woods thinks the outfit looks super cute with my pink Mizunos :) Plus, they match the awesome motivational posters at Grit Fitness! These shoes are great for running or dance cardio – I love the support.

Overall, I found the Mizuno Wave Inspires to be incredibly well-cushioned, but still providing firm support. They aren’t quite so light as to be a racing shoe for short distances, but I do think they’d do really well as a racing shoe for marathons – when you need extra support and are willing to trade in a bit of weight for more cushioning.

Thanks to Mizuno for letting me try these out before they were released to the general public! If you’d like a pair yourself, they are available on Mizuno.com, Amazon.com, and at your favorite running store, with a pretty standard suggested retail price of $119. Happy running :)

Disclaimer: Mizuno provided me with shoes and compensation for an honest review, but I was not pressured to write a positive review and all opinions expressed in today’s post are mine alone.


  1. I recently switched to Mizuno wave inspires (when I was running). Sadly, they don’t offer pink in men’s sizes. :( :( :( :( :(
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