Women's Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s Review

Disclaimer: Get professionally fitted for running shoes. It shouldn't cost you cash at any decent running store and it will save you a world of injury. Shoes that work for me, may not work for you. 

ETA: See my end of ownership (aka they're done in!) review here.

So I've now had my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s for quite a while. I feel like I am finally qualified to state what I think of these bad boys (spoiler: I like them). I originally picked these up because a painful-to-watch gait analysis in my local running store showed me beyond doubt that my running-on-air but support-free Nike Icarus were causing me to HUGELY overpronate (full story here).

The Brand Says.... 

"The Wave Inspire is Mizuno's #1 support shoe. Engineered for runners seeking the best of both support and flexibility, the Wave Inspire's glove-like fit makes it seem to disappear from your foot to create a light-as-air ride all while providing the critical stability and protection you need for miles of brilliant running.
  • With the help of the Double Fan Wave, the Wave Inspire 9 delivers all the support a runner needs to get through everyday training while keeping them light on their feet through every stride.
  • Internal forefoot overlays provide superior hold and embrace at toe-off.
  • Updated heel counter provides a natural fit and embrace at a reduced weight.
  • SR TOUCH in the heel area creates a smooth landing that propels you forward."

The FACTS (for women's Wave Inspire 9s)...

Weight: 8.3oz/235.3g approx (warning: multiple sources give different weights... the Mizuno Amazon account and actual website give different weights for a start...)
Colour: Malibu Blue/Silver/Rouge Red- Mine are Malibu Blue, which as you can see is pretty bold. Not going to lose them in a hurry. More are available in the US- see below.
Aimed at: Moderate Overpronators 

US Colours I've seen

What I Like...

These shoes are the perfect mix of control and cushion. Good on both road and dry, typical trail. Not ideal in hill racing in Scotland but not designed for it! They are super light but very comfy and floaty. Their fan wave plate is apparently designed to correct overpronation earlier in the gait. I don't know about that but I have so far managed to avoid ITBS so maybe! I hadn't tried it prior to buying, but the online Mizuno Precision Fit shoe fitter also suggested these shoes given my leg and bodily attributes.

I like that they are quite narrow through the middle of the foot. I tried Brooks on at the same appointment and felt my feet were swimming (sorry Brooks, advise me on how to change my mind? ;-)). Mizunos do have wider toe boxes than the midfoot fit. The whole of the upper is mesh and really light and minimalistic, whilst still comfy. This is good for me, as for running I never feel the upper really does anything but hold your feet in (obviously) and never understand why it requires so much padded, hot fabric.

What I Don't Like... 

Occasionally I get pressure points under my ankle bones (I mean those red points that are one step before a blister forms) after really long runs. Additionally, when I first got the shoes it took me a while to get into them. I was considering returning them as my feet felt very held in and almost 'bruised', until my physio (who had recommended them) encouraged walking around in them for a few days before I began running in them. Once I'd done that, I loved them and even when I haven't run in a while I have no issues now. 

Oh, the mesh on the upper is also super breathable. Great if its hot, great if you have water in them as it will leak back out... Bad in that snow and water get in them immediately- there's no proof against that. Personally, the lightness and breathe-ability is worth the possible wet/old conundrum.

Overall...

For myself, who isn't very knowledgeable about the tech stuff, I will say this: they've converted me. I had never run in Mizunos before, but ongoing will be looking for the next generation wave Inspire's to become my next shoe.

I now run in these 99.9% of the time, occasionally run in neutral (but very stable for neutral) Adidas Adistars and I also still have the offending pair of Nike Icarus but only use them for the gym and not running or impact work. 

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What I'm now on the lookout for is a good pair of hill/fell/xc shoes. I like the look and feel of Inov8s but I'm worried that they aren't greatly stable. 

Any advice on these or other shoes for off road that you'd recommend? 

Scotland is wet, slippy, muddy and most races include a lot of rock. Bonus points for any that will survive the road that almost always is the first 300m of hill races!

What shoes do you run in? Do you like them?

2 Comments:

  1. I have a pair of Brooks Cascadias that I quite like for trail running and they fare pretty well on the road on the way to the trails too! They're neutral but I've run up to 10 miles in them as an overpronator with no problems. Haven't tried them in a true XC quagmire yet but I'm a fan so far!

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    Replies
    1. Nice! Thanks for the info :) I've run in Inov8s and in my friends Walshs but I worry both are low on any stability factor or cushioning. Then again if its only a few miles, is there much damage? x

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