Arguably Mizuno’s most famous running shoe and certainly our most popular. The Wave Inspire 15 is a legendary stability shoe that has a huge following and a reputation to match. This 15th iteration is mainly an aesthetic update, however it also boasts a new upper design, resulting in a noticeable weight reduction.
Shoe Type: Supportive (anti-pronation) road running
Predecessor: Mizuno Inspire 14
Midsole Drop: 12mm
Weight: 290g (Men’s), 245g (Women’s)
All in all the Mizuno Inspire 15 is an excellent responsive road running shoe for any level of runner and will work for any distances from sprint work all the way through to ultra-marathons. It offers a lightweight, yet supportive feel and has a snug, supportive fit with a fairly generous toe-box.
- Great cushioning
- Very breathable upper
- Solid anti-pronation support
- DynamotionFit upper with engineered mesh adds a touch of sophistication
- At £125 it’s not cheap, but similar to rivals
- Durability is slightly less robust than rival models
Brand New Lighter Upper
We previously remarked on the bulky overlays in our review of the Inspire 14 and it looks as though Mizuno read our minds. The new upper on the Inspire 15 is much lighter, more minimal and has a much cleaner look to it. Mizuno have removed the bulky overlays that sat in the saddle area of the shoe and are now using an engineered mesh to provide lightweight support where it’s needed.
This will also make the upper better for runners who prefer not to wear socks, as the breathability and lining will feel more comfortable.
So the main updates to the upper are less overlays around the saddle area, as well as the overall aesthetics of the shoe; although Mizuno have kept the stitched logo. The heel counter is still very stable and has some nice little reflective detailing for safety when running at night.
The overall fit is fairly snug, with good midfoot hold, strong heel support and a fairly generous toe-box. Even though they are fairly wide fitting, there’s a good level of support and lace take-in for narrower feet as well. So unless you have a very narrow or strangely wide foot, they’ll fit well.
Tried and Tested Midsole – Soft and Responsive
The midsole has been carried-over from the Inspire 14 within which Mizuno gave us a little extra softness, by adding U4icX to the strike-zone of the heel. The full U4ic midsole, with a chunk of U4icX under the outside of the heel gives you the signature Mizuno responsiveness, lightweight feel, but also a more luxurious sensation when you hit the ground. It still uses the traditional 12mm drop, which is great for extra cushioning and support in the heel.
This smoothness doesn’t just come from the U4icX, but the entire strike zone. The additional flex-grooves in the outsole help to improve landing and offer a more ergonomic heel strike.
The extra flexibility isn’t just in the heel. There are additional flex grooves into the forefoot which were widened in the Inspire 14. While extra flexibility normally compromises responsiveness, this midsole certainly doesn’t feel any less responsive.
The double peaked fan-shaped Pebax wave plate is ever present and still offers the same great support, stability and cushioning that this incredible midsole technology has always done.
Smooth, Durable Outsole
Mizuno have stuck with the same great outsole as the Inspire 14. In that model the placement of the flex grooves were optimised, additional grooves added and the grooves were widened slightly resulting in a silky smooth transition from landing to take-off.
The outsole still uses the tried and tested blend of blown rubber in the forefoot and Mizuno’s highly durable, proprietary X10 carbon rubber in the heel. This enhances the smooth, soft forefoot cushioning and provides a stable, durable base for landing.
The angled heel strike zone combined with the flat stable section under the medial side of the foot work together to help control pronation alongside the wave plate, making the Inspire 14 a true rear-foot support shoe.
Is it for me?
We always advise a biomechanical assessment with every new purchase of running shoes, even if you know what sort of runner you are. We also recommend an assessment every few years, even if you’re sticking with the same model, as shoes and your body can change. However if you are looking to purchase online and can’t get an assessment here are some attributes to help decide if the Mizuno Inspire 15 is for you:
It is a moderately supportive long distance road running shoe. The anti-pronation support offered by the double-peaked wave plate is predominantly rear-foot support, but it’s still a very stable shoe in the midfoot. It’s an ideal choice for runners who need anti-pronation support, but have had problems such as blisters in shoes with dual-density.
If you like shoes that feel lighter, but are still stable then you’ll love the feel of the Inspire 15. The great thing about the wave support system is that it isn’t as harsh and direct as traditional medially posted midsoles. So even if you don’t need a lot of support, then it shouldn’t over correct you.
Consider the Mizuno Inspire 15 if you:
- Like a stable, yet light feeling shoe.
- Suffer from pronation-related injuries.
- Want a durable high-mileage road running shoe.
- Have enjoyed any of the predecessors of this model.
If you’re not sure whether anti-pronation running shoes are for you, or if there’s been any big changes to your running style, body or mileage then why not pop in-store and see us for a free biomechanical assessment?
If you want to look at some alternative models that offer the same support, but a different fit and feel, then consider these:
Brooks GTS 19 – A legendary series of running shoes, the GTS range has been our best-selling shoe for years now. This new model sees a complete re-design and has done away with the medial post in favour
Saucony Omni ISO – Definitely a great alternative if you are more of a midfoot striker, or add quite a few sprints into your training. Thanks to its 8mm drop you’ll feel faster and more dynamic, however it won’t support quite as well as the GTS if you are a heavy heel striker or suffer from tight calves. It’s lighter than the GTS 19, but a touch heavier than the Inspire.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 – If you are a Mizuno fan, but are looking for something more substantial than the Inspire 15, then this could be ideal for you. It’s basically a beefed up, premium Inspire. With all of the technology that Mizuno offer in a powerful package!