Mizuno have always been known for having light shoes. The new Inspire is no exception, and having used the Wave Rider, and felt that it was too unstable, was looking forward to a slightly more stable version.
The shoes look great, and are a vast improvement on the Inspire 8's, which I felt looked a little dated. They have some fantastic colourways out as well. When I picked them up, they were light, but other brands have now caught up. Next season is set to be an exciting one, as their midsoles will have lost 30% in weight, so will once again be the go to light shoe. However, having expected a very noticeably light shoe, was disappointed when it didn't feel any lighter than a Saucony Guide. That said, they are definitely a light shoe. Putting them on, they are nice and snug around the heel and midfoot, and spacious in the toe box, which works very well for me. They feel secure, whilst at the ssame time, allow your toes to move and spread.
The midsole is made of AP+ foam, and ues a double wave plate for support. The flex grooves, and weight of the foam allow it to remain flexible, and the wave promises to both prevent over-pronaton, and aid in shock absorption. Howver, having felt the Wave Rider was too unstable, I though that the Inspire would be fine for me. However, instantly I felt the support system almost digging into the medial side of my heel. I'm reviewing the Wave Sayonara in the next few days, and hope that it will be a happy medium, as something in between the two would be perfect. You can definitely feel the support working though.
The upper is the strongest point of this shoe in my opinion. It is very light, breathable, and secure, whilst retaining superb visuals. The lacing system has also been adjusted to support the foot in the form of a different layou of eyelets, moving one down further towards the mdsole on either side. This helps to wrap up the foot and provide a feeling of security. There are minimal overlays so there are no irritation spots, and the shape of them has been tweaked just enough to provide enough freedom in the forefoot without sacrificing stability around the heel.
The outsole has remained almost identical to the Inspire 8's. Which is a good thing, as this was one of the stand out points of the old shoe. It works in sync with the midsole to provide flexibility, and grip. The Smooth Ride tabs allow that flexibility, whilst offering a slightly higher energy return than would be there without. This helps to propel your foot fowards in the toe off phase of your gait. Asode from that, the grip was felt good, and they are certainly going to be durable
The support was just too much for me. As soon as I started to walk around I felt the support on my heels, and it was quite uncomfortable, which was odd, due to how I felt in the Wave Rider. There seems to be too much of a ump from the Wave Rider to this, which I felt was an odd move on Mizunos part. When I started running, again, too much support and I could really feel it in my heels. The rest of the shoe however was fantastic. The Uppers were amaziningly breathable, and light, whilst staying flexible. The outsole was very grippy, and the forefoot cushioning was again superbly responsive. All in all, if you are a real over-pronator, I think this shoe would be amazing, however, if you only have slight issues and have used Mizuno Wave Riders, I'd look more at something along the lines of an Asics Gel Cumulus 15, or a Brooks Glycerin 11. I'll be reviewing the Wave Sayonara in the next few days, so as long as they are everything they are promised to be (a neutral shoe that combines the Wave Elixir and the Wave Precision - i.e. a slightly more stable neutral shoe) then I think that they have the potential to be the shoe of the year. So here's hoping they do what they are supposed to do, and I for one, fully expect them to do that.