Although the new Inspire 6 has been available, I would still like to discuss my experience with the Inspire 5 for comparison, as well, there some might be able to get a discount on the Inspire 5. Let’s begin with the features and technologies before I give my personal opinions on these shoes.
Mizuno has used the Wave technology for some time now, from what I can understand, this technology provides stability in the shoes via several layers of curvy/wavy midsole materials. These layers run the length and width of the midsole and guide the feet to resist overpronation. Contrast to other shoe companies that mainly use a dual sole technology that relies on denser material in the medial (inside) side of the midsole to counteract the tendency to overpronate. The Wave technology also provides cushioning for the shoes; according to the company, the layers of cushioning helps to disperse the force uniformly.
VS-1 is a shock absorbing material that is utilized in the shoes especially in the heel. While the X-10 material made up the outsole.
It is easy to understand how other companies’ dual sole technology work – “there is a harder material on the inside, so it prevents your feet from going into that direction”. It’s much more difficult to explain or understand how the Wave technology works. However, it does work, and works quite well; it is actually difficult to pronate in these shoes even when I tried just for the heck of it. The cushioning is nice; the ride is soft which would appeal to some runner. Mizuno has durability in mind when it built these shoes, the outsole is very thick and the X-10 material IS very durable, I have kept these shoes to walk around in several months after I stopped running in them, and there is still plenty of rubber (or carbon rubber, according to the company’s website). What really distinguish these shoes from other trainers I have tried is the heel, the outside of the heel is wide, and the midsole is thick, or “built up” as Angus at the Markham store taught me to say.
As for my personal opinion of these shoes, I have had a problem with going with more stability than I need when trying out a new brand, as I used to be an overpronator; but has since changed my gait and become a neutral mid-foot striker. This issue continued with my venture into Mizuno shoes, I picked these shoes because they looked durable and the Wave Rider was not available. The main problem for me was the built up and wide heel, they actually changed my gait and forced my heel to strike the ground. However, that’s just me picking the wrong shoes, as I can see that these shoes would be perfect for heavier heel strikers who moderately overpronate and want work horse type trainers. And as I had said earlier, the overpronation resistance is superb. On a note about the new Inspire 6, some reviewers have written that Mizuno has made some changes as the shoes are now lighter due to reduction of material in the construction of the shoes’ upper.