Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 provides tons of stability and support with a good amount of cushioning. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a very plush ride to moderate overpronators.

NEW! Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 23

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are running shoes that are meant to offer runners a moderate degree of stability and support.

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The uppers of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are similar in that they both have sturdy stitched-on overlays on both the lateral and medial sides of the upper to give you a good hold around the midfoot.

The difference between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 comes with more overlays in its upper than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12.

So in addition to the stitched-on overlays, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 also has no-sew overlays running between the stiched-on overlays to give you a more close-to-foot fit.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 also comes with a sturdy external heel counter at the back to increase the amount of support there. While the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 does not come with such extra support, you should still get a good amount of support at the back of the shoe.

The final difference is that the forefoot of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is more open and free so good for runners who have large bunions. There might be some degree of constriction in the bunion area of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

All in all, both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 provide a good amount of support through their uppers with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 offering a somewhat tighter fit than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 was built to deliver a very plush running experience to runners. The same cannot be said of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 although its amount of cushioning has increased compared to previous versions.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 comes with two layers of foam and GEL cushioning to soften your landing and toe-off phases.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 comes with one main layer of foam and consists of two layers under the heel due to the sandwiching of the Wave Plate that is used to control pronation.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is more concerned with providing you with a good amount of support rather than a huge amount of cushioning.

Having said that, running shoe lab tests have still found the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 to be quite cushy.

For women, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 sticks out as the one that provides a large amount of cushioning that is well balanced between the forefoot and the heel.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 lags a bit behind but not by much. It provides above average cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot despite being somewhat less cushy than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

For men, the amount of forefoot cushioning of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 almost equals that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, but the amount of heel cushioning is much less than in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 although it is above average.

The conclusion is that if you want a very cushy ride, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be the one to turn to. However, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 can certainly provide a well-cushioned ride.

Where the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 wins is in the amount of stability and support provided.

The Wave Plate in the midsole of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 fans out into two waves and two parts to help stop your foot from rolling too far inward. The Wave Plate also functions as a midfoot shank.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 uses a more traditional method of controlling overpronation with foam that is reinforced by a midfoot shank.

However, because there is still a softer layer of foam closest to the foot, the degree of pronation control is less than in the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12.

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 have a traditional outsole that consists of a forefoot and a rearfoot area.

The amount of separation between the rubber compartments is greater in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 than it is in the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12.

This should help the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 dissipate shock better and help with the smoothness of your ride. It should also help with the flexibility of the running shoe.

Running shoe lab tests show that for women, there is just a tiny difference in the flexibility of the running shoes with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 being the more flexible one.

For men, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 turns out to be quite stiff, thereby making the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 look flexible to men.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 weighs approximately 8.4 oz (238 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams).

The men's version of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 weighs about 10.8 oz (306 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 can be worn by moderate overpronators. However, they serve two different crowds.

If you are looking for a lot of stability and lightness but do not care much about how soft your ride is, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 would be the one to consider.

And if you are after a very plush ride but do not require a large amount of stability and support, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might do a better job than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 12.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Mizuno

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