Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 First Impression:
Great anticipation has been building for the Wave Inspire 8. Many loyal Inspire runners were taken aback by the sweeping changes made to the Inspire 7. Unfold the tissue paper in the box and you’ll see what looks like a Wave Inspire 6 but you’ll find a new but strikingly familiar ride in the Wave Inspire 8.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Upper:
Mizuno turned back the clock when laying out the plans for the upper of the Wave Inspire 8. Gone is the higher cut heel collar and Dynamotion Fit tab of the Wave Inspire 7. Instead we find a much more lower profile upper with similarly cut overlays as found in the Wave Inspire 6.
Mizuno is still using a wide hole mesh for breathability and the overlay material feels identical to that of my old Wave Inspire 6. Also removed are the flex eyelets and the longer tongue of the Wave Inspire 7.
In fact, the only Wave Inspire 7 design carryover I could find was the inner heel lining material, the Ortholite sock liner and some very slightly modified lateral overlays.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Sole Unit
Mizuno reinvented the entire midsole for the Wave Inspire 8. While the VS-1 cushioning wedge is still found in the heel, everything else has changed.
Mizuno reengineered the wave plate in the Wave Inspire 8 to provide a level of stability that I haven’t seen in this series since the Wave Inspire 4. Not only is the wave plate providing more arch support, Mizuno has also slightly flared the medial aspect of the heel to ensure a stable landing and transition through toe off.
In the forefoot Mizuno has carved out a bit more midsole foam at the flex point and added flex controllers which almost act as a secondary wave in the forefoot. Still in place is Mizuno’s AP+ midsole foam which is a more durable and springy formulation of their classic AP foam.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Opinion
I have liked every version of the Wave Inspire series since I ran in the Wave Inspire 2. However, as the series progressed it became less stable and more geared towards light weight and quick transition thus making every Inspire after the 4 not suitable as my workhorse training shoe. When the Inspire 7 came out I broke my half-marathon personal record twice in them! I had relegated the Inspire series to a distance racing shoe for the most part until I ran in the Wave Inspire 8.
Until now, no other shoe has challenged the Mizuno Wave Nirvana as my go to shoe. The Wave Inspire 8 is a real threat to do just that. I simply cannot keep from reaching for these shoes for every run! In fact, I just took them to the New Orleans Jazz half marathon and shattered my previous best by six minutes.
The Wave Inspire 8 is hitting the sweet spot for me – the arch is there, the transition is still quick and the ride is cushioned but never separated from the road. During the race, I never even thought about my Wave Inspire 8’s. And trust me, New Orleans asphalt will exploit any weakness in a running shoe. Mizuno has turned all the dials to 10 on the Wave Inspire 8. Burn!
Wave Inspire 6 fans, Mizuno has heard you and answered with a low profile heel collar and increased stability. Rejoice!
We thank the nice people at Mizuno for sending us a pair of Wave Inspire 8 for testing. This did not influence our review, written after running more than 50 miles in them