Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 21 review

Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 provides a secure and stable ride with lots of cushioning. Mizuno Wave Rider 21 delivers a responsive ride and is good for heel-strikers...

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 fall in two different categories of running shoes, with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 being a stability running shoe and the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 a neutral cushioning running shoe.

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The difference in type of running shoe is immediately visible from within the upper, where the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com has more overlays than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 around the midfoot, where overpronators tend to need the most support.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com also comes with a good amount of overlays around the midfoot, but most of them are no-sew overlays under the mesh with the Mizuno logo connecting the saddle and the midsole as a stitched-on overlay.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 has more stitches around the midfoot and the overlays are thicker, although some of them are partly no-sew.

Something similar happens at the back of the running shoes, where the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 again has more overlays than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

Both running shoes come with a durable stitched-on overlay at the front and keep the toe box pretty open and free from overlays to increase the amount of comfort you get in that area.

All in all, the uppers of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 do not differ that much other than that the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 delivers a bit more support through the use of thicker overlays that contain more stitches.

The midsoles of the two running shoes also differ in the amount of support they are supposed to deliver.

While both running shoes come with a Wave Plate in the midsole under the heel and midfoot, the one of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 fans out into two waves and two parts on the medial side to help stop the feet of overpronators from rolling too far inward.

The Wave Plate of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 does not fan out, but it still delivers some degree of stability and shock absorption.

But in terms of stability and support, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is expected to deliver more than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21, and running shoe lab tests have also rated them that way, with both being rated as delivering an above average amount of stability and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 lying above the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

In terms of cushioning, the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is expected to deliver more than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14, because the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is a neutral cushioning running shoe.

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However, according to running shoe lab tests, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 delivers a bit more forefoot cushioning than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21, with both running shoes delivering an amount that lies way above average.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 delivers a bit more heel cushioning than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14, but not a whole lot more.

The conclusion is that both running shoes deliver an above average amount of cushioning to both men and women, and you should be able to get a soft ride from either, but the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 turns out to be quite cushy for a stability running shoe.

Both running shoes also seem to be very good running shoes for heel-strikers, because the amount of heel cushioning they deliver comes close to the max.

The rubber outsoles of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 look quite similar, with the Wave Plate serving as a midfoot shank in the middle.

Both running shoes also lack a good amount of deep flex grooves in the forefoot, which may have contributed to them being quite stiff running shoes for both men and women, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is a bit more flexible than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14, according to running shoe lab test results.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (233 grams), and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 for women weighs 8.4 oz (238 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.3 oz (292 grams) and 10.4 oz (295 grams), respectively, with the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 being the slightly lighter one.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 are surprisingly similar in a lot of what they provide to runners, with the one big difference that the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is a bit more supportive than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

If you are a heel-striker or are looking to get a soft ride from a running shoe, you could choose either the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 or the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

However, overpronators should look into the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 instead of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21, while neutral runners could go either way, although the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 might deliver a bit too much support to them.

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: Mizuno

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