Mizuno Wave Rider 18 vs. Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 review

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a lightweight everyday trainer for neutral runners wanting enhanced cushioning. Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is a lightweight stability running shoe.

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The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 may look alike, but fall in two different running shoe categories.

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The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 could be twins when you look at them.

Both the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 have the Mizuno logo that connects the saddle to the midsole, so should give you enough support around the midfoot.

The main difference in their uppers is that the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 has some extra overlays around the midfoot.

These overlays tend to give you a more secure lockdown there, since the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is meant to be worn by runners who overpronate and who require a bit more support than neutral runners.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 look pretty much the same at the front and the back of the shoes with breahtable mesh and a design that promotes comfort.

Being from the same running shoe manufacturer, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 have similar midsoles.

The midsoles provide heel-to-toe cushioning with a Wave Plate in the heel that provides shock absorption as well as rearfoot stabilization.

It is the Wave Plate that differs between the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has a parallel plate that has one wave on the medial side of the midsole, while the plate in the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 fans out into two parts and two waves on the medial side of the midsole.

The latter is to provide pronation control to overpronators and to stop their feet from rolling to far inward after heel-strike and before toe-off.

Because the midsoles of the two running shoes look so similar, it is difficult to say which one provides more cushioning than the other.

However, running shoe lab tests have shown that the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 provides just a little bit more heel cushioning than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 for men, but almost a similar amount of forefoot cushioning.

For women, the differences are greater with the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 providing way more heel cushioning than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11, but also a similar amount of forefoot cushioning.

So if you are a heel-striker, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 would benefit you more than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11.

As far as the rubber outsoles go, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 has more horizontal flex grooves than the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, and the rubber segmentation is a bit different.

Both running shoes provide a good amount of shock dissipation, however, running shoe lab tests have shown that the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 is more flexible than the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 for both men and women, but more so for women than for men.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 weighs approximately 7.6 oz (215 grams), while the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 for women weighs approximately 7.5 oz (213 grams). The men's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 weighs about 9.3 oz (264 grams), and the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 for men weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams).

If you are an overpronator looking for a good amount of stability and support from a running shoe that is pretty light, then the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 would be one to look into.

And if you are a neutral runner looking for a running shoe that can make you feel fast while still providing you with enough cushioning for longer runs, then the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 could be the one for you.

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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