Editor rating:
9/10 on
User's rating:


  • Seamless upper
  • Secure heel counter
  • Great traction
  • Durable


  • Long Laces
  • Color choices are limited


The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is the brand's most trusted go-to stability trainer. It’s a dependable shoe and I thought the shoe was extremely comfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed testing out my first Mizuno shoe. The biggest changes are the recycled materials used and the seamless upper. I would recommend this shoe and if you are one of the die-hard Mizuno fans this updated version will not disappoint.
Wave Inspire 18
10.60 oz. (301 gr.)
140.00 US$
12 mm
Heel Drop
Previous model
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 is for the individual that needs a decent amount of stability with a higher heel drop. It’s a great choice for the runner who overpronates and needs a shoe to help guide them. It is a versatile daily trainer that will enhance your performance. It will tackle various distances with ease. If durability is something you’re looking for then this is a great choice.

This is Mizuno’s 18th variation of their classic stability training shoe. It makes its debut with some updates but stays true to its original design.

The biggest updates would be the upper and a full-length ENERZY foam in the midsole.

The Mizuno Wave is a fan favorite and this recent model won’t disappoint. With a price of $140, this falls into the price range of many other daily trainers. I’ve run a good amount in them so far and haven’t seen much wear. Looking at the sole you’ll notice how durable it looks and I expect this shoe to hold up for some time.

It has a 12mm drop for both men and women. This is a little on the higher side but I enjoyed wearing these on runs the day after I did a speed workout or when my calves just felt sore.

They are heavier shoes but that’s due to all the stability technology put into the midsole. They weigh 9.1 oz for women and 10.6 for men.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is a similar shoe. Both offer a perfect balance of support and comfort. And it has the same high heel drop of 12 mm. A shoe that’s in the same family that’s similar would be the Mizuno Wave Rider 25.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 First Impressions

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

This is my first pair of Mizuno running shoes ever. I was pretty excited to try them and see why Mizuno Wave fans love this particular model. I opened the box and was surprised with how well made they looked.

The color on the other hand was shocking. It’s this terrible in-between light blue and light purple color that I’m not a fan of. But, that has nothing to do with how the shoe rides and feels. They do have a handful of other colorways that are more complementary.

Lacing them up for the first time I noticed right away how long the shoe laces are. Again, doesn’t change the way they run but I’m definitely going to switch them out.

On my feet, they felt plush and stable. Each step was a bit firmer than I anticipated but I quickly got used to it.

You’ll notice this from the MIZUNO WAVE plate in the midsole area. I felt all over cushioning in the upper along with how breathable they felt.

I haven’t tried past models but I was very impressed with the shoe as a whole from the first time I placed them on my feet.

It fits true to size. The midfoot area is a bit roomier due to the stretch in the upper and would be a good choice for the person who needs to accommodate a wider foot.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Sole Unit

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

The midsole offers the full-length ENERZY foam, which helps to soften each step. This ENERZY foam in the heel wedge gives you a nice energy return and comfort in each step. They claim it’s 17% softer and delivers 15% more energy return compared to previous models.

The standout feature you will notice in the midsole is the double fan-shaped wave plate in the heel. It’s made to address overpronation.

Evenly placing energy from impact to a bigger area to provide that stable platform and I noticed how smooth my ride was but not too soft.

It gives you just the right amount of firmness that will keep you comfortable. Mizuno is also getting on board with caring for the environment by giving the midsole a TPU foam. This is a thermoplastic polyurethane, which is made from renewable resources.

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

The X10 outsole is made up of a carbon rubber material. It is extremely durable. I have run close to 100 miles in them so far with no evidence of wear on the tread. I would recommend using them on a track, road, or gravel/ dirt trail. In wet conditions, they performed very well and had no issues with slipping.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Upper Unit

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

The upper is one of the big upgrades to the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18. It’s one of my favorite features of the shoe. I love how they offer my feet an all-over secure fit.

The upper is made up of breathable, engineered mesh. It is similar to the Wave Inspire 17, but this newer version is seamless and is more lightweight. The shoe laces and the inner lining are made with recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET.) Another great effort by a company in decreasing its carbon footprint.

The heel counter is built up and gives your foot a nice secure fit. You will experience no slipping.

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

There is moderate cushioning around the collar. The tongue is gusseted with slight padding. This helps your laces to stay in place for your run and you will notice no pressure on the top of your feet. I think Mizuno has made a great fitting upper that gives you a fantastic lockdown and no bunching when the laces are pulled tight.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Conclusion

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 - copyright Running Shoes Guru

picture of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

My conclusion about the Mizuno Wave Inspire 18, is that I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to give this brand a try. It is a great pick for a stable daily trainer. I enjoyed the comfortable fitting upper that made it a shoe I could wear all day long. Highly recommended if you are looking for a cushioned stability shoe that can handle a ton of miles.

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 at Running Warehouse with our own money.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18 Price Comparison

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