Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Review Analysis (2021)
Last update: February 2024
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a support shoe that delivers a stable and fun ride. A very good option for daily runs and long distances.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a moderate stability shoe that uses Enerzy foam and a double fan wave plate for a bouncy and responsive ride.
The highlight (like with most Mizuno models) is its sturdy build with a grippy and firm rubber outsole that can easily last hundreds of miles. Also, besides roads of all conditions, it makes it possible to venture on easy dirt roads.
Like the Rider 25, the Inspire 17 features the latest foam technology of the brand: Enerzy. It acts as a heel wedge to cushion the foot, making for an overall softer ride (compared to previous versions) while remaining on the firm side.
For runners who require a bit more support, the design of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 offers a secure ride. It’s a great shoe for stability control and provides a snug fit with medial side and lateral side support. Moreover, Mizuno’s improved TPU Wave Plate and geometry provide a good balance between bounce and stability.
As with the previous versions, the main criticism of the shoe is its weight. Although Mizuno kept the Inspire below 300 g/10.6 oz, it’s heavier than the Inspire 16, making it clunky for uptempo work.
All in all, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a very good support shoe that provides a stable and fun ride while delivering on the signature durability of the Japanese brand.
Read our full review of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 for more information.
- Good overall comfort
- Stable and smooth ride
- Roomier and versatile fit for a stable shoe
- Very durable build, especially with the outsole rubber
- Dull, bland design
- 12 mm is a bit high as a heel-to-toe drop for a 2021 running shoe
- Heavier than last year’s model
Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Complete Review Analysis
When it comes to running shoes, the Mizuno brand provides a consistently stable ride. The latest model of the Wave Rider series, The Inspire Wave 17, is no exception. While there are no major changes, it performs as well as other Mizuno models and is just as reliable.
Some runners might prefer a more colorful running shoe than the monochromatic Inspire 17. All we’ll say is that this model doesn’t put on airs – its focus is on performance rather than on flashy gimmicks. When it comes down to it, it’s a shoe that speaks for itself.
This model is quite durable, and runners reported dozens of successful, long rides with minimal wear on the shoe after 100 miles. Ultimately, as a daily trainer, the Inspire 17 provides all that a runner could ask for stability, satisfactory cushioning, and versatility. Flexible fit, above-average grip, and agile toe-off are other notable qualities of the Wave Inspire 17. Let’s dive into the details.
Crafted with new Enerzy foam, the Wave Inspire 17 has an excellent midsole for runners who prioritize cushioning. This padding is further enhanced and balanced with the new Double Fan TPU Wave plate. The firmness of the plate further adds to the stability of the shoe.
With 31 mm under the heel and 19 mm under the forefoot, the Inspire 17 is not a max cushioned stability trainer but it’s comfy enough to carry runners over long distances. However, the high 12 mm drop proved problematic for some runners, forcing them to heel strike. Some also reported that the Wave plate in the heel is too firm to effectively counterbalance the midsole, mainly when the shoe is in motion. The difference between midsole softness and plate firmness was too stark for some runners.
Despite this, the Enerzy midsole provides a generally well-padded experience and strong stability that helps runners pace themselves. The forefoot design, made with U4ic foam, makes for a reasonably bouncy ride and helps keeps runners moving through each stride. Also, this latest edition got rid of the Trusstic-like piece used in older shoes, increasing the flexibility of the Wave Inspire 17.
The Wave Inspire 17 is comfortable enough for long-distance runs, as Enerzy foam protects the foot by absorbing the shock of the ground. Still, the shoe is versatile enough for both long and short-distance rides.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The upper of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 features a double-layered engineered Air Mesh fabric that maximizes breathability. It’s thick enough to insulate feet during the colder months but light enough for comfort in hotter weather. Both the gusseted tongue and heel collar are padded, and the embossed Mizuno logo of the midfoot section improves the lockdown.
While the upper is relatively soft and fits true to size, some runners remarked that the gusseted design makes for a tight fit. It could pose a problem for those with wider feet, despite Mizuno’s aim to accommodate these runners. The toe box is versatile enough for most foot types; however, those with very wide feet will find little room for toes to splay. The lacing system also sits on the lower side of the shoe, which makes the tongue seem longer and bulkier. The design intends to add to foot security and shoe stability, but if the standard version of the Wave Inspire 17 is too tight, wider sizing is available.
Overall, the upper of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is very comfortable, but too much padding and a somewhat narrow fit contribute to a constricted feel for some runners.
Grip and durability
The rubber outsole of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is sturdy and has more versatility than other similar stability shoes. Made of the blown rubber and X10 carbon rubber, the outsole holds up over miles of runs on various terrain. Runners will find that these shoes are exactly what they’re looking for in a firm trainer that tackles all road conditions.
While the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 uses the same design as previous outsoles, it uses a different tread pattern that contributes to more grip.
Runners found that the outsole of this shoe held up well on wet roads and in rain, snow, and sand. The Wave Inspire 17 doesn’t lose traction on less-than-optimal surfaces but maintains its superior grip and stability.
Durability-wise, the lugged pattern of the outsole is what makes light trail running possible with the Wave Inspire 17. Meanwhile, 5 mm worth of Micro Blown Rubber lays thick and firm against the heel and holds up over time, even after repeated use.
Ultimately, the outsole of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is one of its most notable features.
When it comes right down to it, runners like the Wave Inspire 17, some of the most common praises of the shoe included great midsole cushioning, excellent stability, decent energy return, and durability for days.
Of all of the Wave Inspire 17’s qualities, this shoe outdoes itself in the cushioning department, thanks to the Mizuno Enerzy heel wedge foam. Heel-to-toe transition is easy and smooth, and the Wave plate on the medial and lateral sides propels runners forward. In addition, it’s a versatile shoe to use for daily runs and longer distances, thanks to the comfortable cushioning of the two foams.
Also, while with some shoes, the thick rubber of the outsole may stiffen the underfoot feel, the deep flex grooves enhance flexibility for snappier transitions from heel to toe.
In summary, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is an outstanding trainer and lends itself to a perfect ride for most runners.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a solid daily trainer that succeeds in combining fun and stability.
While the ride is firm, it offers a very comfortable and stable cushioning overall. Also, the sleeker design that swept aside some legacy features provides more flexibility for a more responsive ride.
As with most (if not all) Mizuno shoes, you get a good bang for your buck as you can rest assured the Inspire will not fall apart even if you regularly give it a beating over your long runs.
Of course, as a stability running shoe, it offers plenty of support and cushioning to be comfortable over long distances. The only downside is that it doesn’t have much give when it comes to fast-paced runs; if your goal is speed rather than endurance, you might want a different type of shoe (but again, this might be tricky if you’re looking for a support mode).
All in all, this makes a very good choice for most types of runners who need some extra support during their workouts or races!
|Heel stack height
|Forefoot stack height
|309 g/10.9 oz
|258 g/9.1 oz
|2 – Firm
|3 – Moderate
|Blown rubber, Flex Controllers, X10
|Double Fan Wave, Mizuno Enerzy, U4ic
|Air Mesh, Overlays
|Mid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon
Reference: Mizuno’s official US website
Comparisons – Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 vs.:
Mizuno Wave Inspire 16
On the one hand, the new Enerzy foam gives a softer underfoot feel and less intrusive (but equally as effective) support. On the other hand, the Inspire 17 is heavier and, as a result, may feel more clunky.
Runners who tested both shoes noted that the 17 may be more suitable for heel strikers while the 16 was encouraging midfoot landings.
As for the rest, both shoes are both very sturdy with a fantastic grip on dry and wet surfaces alike.
So, it’s a matter of personal preference. Hint: even if you overpronate, you may want to give a try to the Mizuno Wave Rider 25, which is also relatively stable despite being officially a neutral trainer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, our review analysis confirms that testers unanimously enjoyed the Inspire 17 for its stable and comfortable ride. The main downside is its weight but that’s often the case with support shoes.
Yes, it does. However, do note that the fit may feel a bit narrow if you have wide feet.