Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Product Review

Short Take

Mizuno's popular high-mileage ride for the runner who needs some pronation control, Inspire 8 defines smoothness in the daily trainer category.

Big Updates

  • Softer Midsole: Mizuno added foam below the wave plate in the heel and subtracted it above the plate to provide a more cushioned feel in the rear of the shoe.
  • Gender Engineering: The Inspire 8 is designed with gender-specific attributes such as a wider base in the Men's model and additional flex grooves in the Women's version.

Road Test

The Inspire series is a perennial best seller here at Running Warehouse. We expect the eighth version to satisfy the base and win over some converts who will be impressed with the shoe's degree of cushioning, smooth transition and crowd-pleasing fit.

If you're a runner needing a moderate degree of pronation control, it's hard not to feel that running shoe technology is in a golden age right now. Models like the Inspire, Brooks Ravenna 2, Asics GT-2170 and Saucony Guide 5 provide the support many runners need while feeling flexible and responsive underfoot. The Inspire is a class leader in keeping the transition smooth while correcting overpronation. Give thanks to advancements in their Wave Plate design.

That said, the Inspire 8 feels like a lot of shoe underfoot. The heel is pretty tall (32mm) and the gender-specific mid/outsole design in the Men's mode widens the base to improve stability and dissipate shock. Your foot is definitely aware that things are happening below it, but for the most part those things are smile-inducing.

Runners Say

Tera

'Average' is the first word that comes to my mind when wearing the Inspire 8. I don't mean that in a bad way – I think Mizuno nailed the fit, ride and feel that a runner looking for a high-mileage daily trainer really wants.

Daniel

This feels like a lot of shoe underfoot, even for a runner who is expecting a fairly protected ride.

Matt

The Inspire 8 fits me like a good Mizuno should – the ride is firm but never stiff. One thing I'd like to see is a little less volume in the forefoot.