The Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 was a shoe I'd reviewed relatively recently, so was looking forward to see if they'd addressed any issues, and how it stacked up against the 8 out of 10 rating I gave it.
Out of the box, I personally think Mizuno's bold designs have really paid off. I think they look great, and definitely stand out from the competition. I was a little apprehensive about putting them on as this was where the previous version fell short. I felt that the heel was a little lumpy where the support was, however, this new version does away with that, and feels much better instantly on your foot. The shoe is very light, and definitely noticeably lighter than others, which is great for me, as I love a light shoe, however I can see how people used to something a bit sturdier may be put off by this.
The midsole has been completely re-engineered for the Inspire 10. Gone is the double layer fan and AP+ foam. Instead, the wave has been redesigned to be made of one material, which both saves weight, and feels much better, and much less intrusive. The U4ic foam has been mentioned plenty by me, and it really is a masterpiece. It's extremely light, and offers superb cushioning and responsiveness.
The upper uses a lightweight mesh that wraps the foot really nicely. There are also very few stitches, with the majority of the overlays being welded on. This provides a secure fit, and again saves weight and irritation. The mesh is slightly sturdier than a few of their shoes (see Mizuno Wave Sayonara), and this is a good move for this particular shoe. It's easy to go for the lightest thing possible, but for a shoe of this nature, that's going to be put through a lot of hard miles, something slightly sturdier is better. The heel counter is also strong, and feels better than before, as more foam has been added to the inside of the counter. However, the counter does ride up quite high on the medial side and I can see how this could irritate people. The toe box is nice and wide, but again, I can see how this might feel unfamiliar to people.
Again, the outsole has seen a big evolution, mostly in the Smooth Ride system. Rather than using tabs, as in the previous version, the outsole is no bevelled round the midsole slightly, creating a smoother curve, allowing your foot to smoothly transition from heel to toe. Rather than slapping down, you get a smooth pronation, and the support system stops your foot going into over-pronation.
Having used the Inspire 9, and the Rider 17, and the Sayonara, it was good to see the difference between them. The new Inspire 10 is the best Inspire yet, and feels the most comfortable. It feels softer, more stable, and more responsive than before, and the changes made all add up to make it an entirely better shoe. It is more comfortable under the heel than the Inspire 9, and doesn't feel like a support shoe. It's an odd feeling, as you know you are being supported, yet it is so light, you don't really know how it is accomplished. Due to the weight, they are also relatively easy to land forefoot in, and I certainly found a midfoot position easy to achieve. Even for heel strikers though, there is plenty of cushioning, without feeling bulky, like a lot of support shoes do. In my opinion, they are up there with the best, and are certainly worth a go, even if you've not been a Mizuno fan in the past.