This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Okay, let’s be real, since September 1st, I have not run in any other shoe than the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11’s. It is not like I don’t have other options or anything (I had plenty of other choices, when the month started).
In other words they have done everything I have wanted from them.
My left leg is starting to feel better since I changed to the Inspire's and to be blunt, while the 11’s are not fancy, flashy or the newest/greatest running shoe around. They are working for me and where I am with my running right now, so I am not going to screw things up by changing things up. Which is typically what I tend to do.
Back on August 31st, I finished up my Summer Shoe purge and for a LOT of reasons leading up to that post I decided to stop, look at how I actually run, what has worked for me in the past, which shoes fit well.
After a lot thought, research and actually looking back at my RunLogs, I decided to continue using a pair of what I consider traditional daily trainers, with motion control features, that will:
- Not hurt my feet
- Last more than a couple hundred miles
- Didn’t weigh a ton or feel like I am running in boondockers
- Have a higher drop
- Didn’t cost an arm or a leg - although it was getting so I thought about giving away that left leg :-)
There are more than a few running shoe models that fit some of those criteria, but finding ones that fit all five was a lot tougher!
The more I read reviews online about the Mizuno Inspire 11’s, the more they seemed to be what I was looking for. Plus, I remembered how well I ran in Mizuno Elixir 7’s & Ronin 4’s, even though I was wearing a size too small. The more I thought about it, at the price point they are at now, the more appealing the idea became. Especially, when my birthday shoes stopped doing what I wanted and were returned. I knew they would last at least 400 miles, since Mizuno’s have always worn well for me and if I got the right size, they shouldn’t bother my feet.
I took a chance and ordered a pair of size 9’s (in the past I had gotten 8.0’s or 8.5’s and they always felt too snug). The price came in under $60.00 through Amazon and were supposed to somewhere between 9.6 & 10.0 ounces (actually mine weigh 9.3).
When I first put them on they fit the way that I want my running shoes to fit. Snug in the heel/midfoot, but allow the toes to splay and don’t press against my Tailor’s Bunionette. I have not had any problems with the fit of the Inspire 11’s or them bothering my feet.
What kinds of runs have I done in them? Primarily my runs have usually been 3-4 miles on tar, dirt roads or groomed trails, in rain or dry conditions at around a 9:00 minute pace, even a slow treadmill run, during which I really wanted to go faster.
The 11's have done well, without any issues or significant wear, the wave plate acts like a rock plate and protects my feet from rocks on the dirt road down-back and while the sole design does collect some small pebbles, I don't really notice them and they pop right out if I want to get rid of them.
Actually the only area of wear that I notice is the plastic wave plate getting dinged/scratched from where I run primarily on dirt roads. The one problem that all Mizuno running shoes share is those that have a horseshoe gap in the heel will get a larger rock stuck there every so often and you have to stop and take care of it, otherwise the tapping on tar will drive you crazy - at least it does me.
Due to the problems I have had with my left leg, I haven’t attempted any hard runs in them - yet. I didn’t get them to be racing flats or faster paced shoes, they are my daily trainers/recovery and long run shoes, I have other shoes to run faster in. However, when I have gotten them up to race pace for a short distance, they felt fine, nice heel-to-toe transition, no issues when I got up and ran with more of a forefoot landing. All good things.
The reality is After 50 miles the Mizuno Inspire 11's are doing what I want from my daily trainers, they let me run comfortably and don’t get in my way.
In other words they just work - so far. I am not going to get too hung up on a pair of shoes at 50 miles, right now the opinions I am forming about the 11's are still pretty much my initial impressions. The real test of a running shoe for me, is if they make it to 200 miles and if I continue to run in them after that point. Then the big if, you know if I go out and buy another pair in the line or do I keep looking for something else. Unfortunately, as much as I am enjoying running in the Inspire 11’s, I don’t see me getting either the Inspire 12’s or 13’s, due to their pretty significant weight gain. The 12’s in a size 9 according to Running Warehouse come in at 10.8 ounces and the 13’s will weigh 11.1 ounces. Which in my view is a pretty significant weight gain from my Inspire 11's 9.3 ounces. To me the additional weight makes the Inspire line go from a light-weight daily trainer with some motion control features, to a much more traditional motion control running shoe that weighs more than what I want to run in. My feet, my choice, my cash, so I will stay with my sub 10.0 oz daily trainers. Which is too bad, because the Inspire 11’s check off just about everything that I want or expect from my daily trainers. I have a feeling I might try to pick up one more pair of 11’s at a cheap price (while I can) and then will probably move over to the Mizuno Catalyst or the Rider lines which seem to be pretty close to what the Inspire 11’s were. Sometimes when a brand “improves” a shoe, they don’t always target the same segment of runners who did run successfully in that style/model in the past and do it to differentiate the line from a similar line, but don't communicate that to the people who loved the shoe that had been working for them. It seems that is what Mizuno has done with the Inspire line??? Too bad, but Mizuno has other shoes that fit the style of running shoe that I am looking for, so I will stay with the brand and move over to a different style. Sometimes you have to ignore the line names and go with the style of shoe and stats you are looking for within a certain brand that tends to work for you Although, I would have preferred to have kept being Inspired.