Mizuno Inspire 11 – 200 Mile Review

What happens when you finally find a running shoe that works and works well for you?

Of course the Brand changes it into something else in subsequent versions and the running shoe that I finally found that works well for me has become – yet another one and done.

The story of my life and running shoes.

So while I will say lots of flowery things about the Mizuno Inspire 11’s, but unfortunately, I probably will not be getting another pair – yeah it sucks and can you tell I am just a bit frustrated by it :(.

Oh well let’s talk about all the good things I like about the Inspire 11’s.

While stats do not make or break a pair of running shoes they are a good place to start, when first looking at a pair of running shoes, especially if you are buying them online which I did through Amazon.


Due to previous experiences with Mizuno running shoes, I got them in a size 9 and they have worked exactly the way I want, although some might say to are a little too long – I like the way they fit me.

  • Weight: 9.5 oz.
  • Profile (Heel): 33.7 mm
  • Profile (Forefoot): 21.5 mm
  • Drop from heel to forefoot: 12.2 mm

*Taken from Runner’s World

Yes, they have a lot of shoe between you and the road, with a high heel-to-toe drop of over 12mm. Which is probably why they are helping out on recuperating that balky left Achilles Tendon that I had so many issues with this summer.

They weighed in at when I got them:

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A little less than what Runner’s World or other sites had them listed at. Now for something I have always wanted to know about a pair of running shoes, how much does the weight change over 200 miles?

So now I have my answer. This particular shoe lost 0.2 ounces, which what I expected.

They are also a mild stability shoe which I am finding works better for me than a more neutral shoe. As I get tired in a run, my form tends to get sloppy and I need to rely on my shoes to keep me in control a little more and the Inspire 11’s do that well. They do not get in the way like some stability shoes do, when I don’t need the extra stability and do not weigh a ton to get the job done.

They have shared runs with me on the treadmill, dirt road down back, UMA’s groomed trails, tar, longer runs and even more than a few fast vehicle intervals with Bennie.

I can run any distance I run – comfortably. When I put them on I know I am coming back without any blisters, hot spots, foot pain and my left leg will be in one piece.

The Inspire 11’s are truly put them on and just go run shoes.

Not too many shoes have earned that label from me.

Upper

Yeah, it is an old-fashioned upper, not flashy by any stretch of the imagination, but it works well. I don’t have any issues the right foot’s Bunionette, I don’t go over the side when I corner and haven’t had any blisters. Mizuno pays attention to the details on their shoes and I couldn’t find any cosmetic issues/flaws with my I11’s. Although I would not want to go sockless in them, the inside has a seam or two which would bother me – something I don’t do very often anyways.

They breathe well, which means for three seasons they do really well, but as the colder weather gets here, I have a feeling that they would be cold feet shoes, even with merino wool socks.

Sole

For having 200 miles on them, there is very little wear and where there is some, it is my usual spots – on the toe and a little on the inside of the heel. Due to the amount of rubber on the outsole, they are noisier than many other shoes I have run in, but they protect my feet on the dirt road down-back, where I do most of my running, so while I prefer a quieter shoe, these run so well I will deal with it. They are a bit firmer than many other shoes, but I can feel the cushion more in the Inspire 11’s than I could in other Mizuno shoes I have run in.

Sometimes having a firmer midsole is not a bad thing and it seems that it is what I needed over the past few months to help me get over my Achilles issues, which seemed to linger on and on until I switched to these shoes as my primary trainers.

They are road shoes, make no mistake about that. While you can take them off-road when it is dry and make it, that ain’t what they are designed for. However, on wet pavement, they have done very well. They are a pretty flat-bottomed shoe and I wouldn’t want to wear them outside in winter weather too often – I like my arse without bruises.

Why not the Inspire 12 or 13?

Being blunt – they gained way too much weight.

According to Running Warehouse the Inspire 12 weighs in a 10.8  ounces and the Inspire 13 comes in at 10.9 ounce and on Mizuno’s own website 11.0 oz. Which to me takes the Inspire series shoes into a different category from the light-weight daily trainer, which I want.

Before someone says it is only an ounce or two, I have run in a pair of 11.0 ounce shoes this year, so I will not waste my time or money on something that I already know would not work the way I want my running shoes to work. I like my daily trainers in the 9-10 ounce range and that is what seems to fit the way I run best.

Going forward

At the 200 mile mark, I would put the Mizuno Inspire 11’s into the top 10% of ALL running shoes that I have run in – period.

They have impressed me that much.

The Inspire 11’s are not flashy, or surrounded with all the hype and hoopla some other shoes seem to garner. The Inspire 11’s simply do the job and let me run well in them.

It will be interesting to see what my thoughts are at 400 miles, because I am pretty sure that they will make it there without too many issues. I have a sneaking suspicion that they will be my first true pair of 500 mile running shoes in a long, long time, but it will not happen until next spring/summer sometime.

I am going into reduced the mileage mode for the Inspire 11’s once the winter weather gets here and only use them for clear day long runs and not too many treadmill miles. I have other shoes I will use for that and my trail shoes will get most of the outside miles in the winter (I hate cold feet!).

Well, I could back on Amazon or other sites and find one or two more pair of Inspire 11’s and put them in the closet and pull them out as I retire the previous pair, but I really hate to do that. Especially, since the Inspire 11’s are already two generations old and while they work great for the way I run – closet shoes never seem to work out quite the same for me.

Oh, I know that if I see a deal I just can’t refuse, I’ll grab a pair. Otherwise I think I will just move on to something else that will hopefully work just as well for me. Probably something in the Mizuno Ride or Catalyst series or maybe even a Boston or Tempo Boost if the toe box feels right (which has always been the downfall of Adidas for me until recently).

There are many running shoes out there that will work for me, now to find another pair that work as well as the Inspire 11’s have for me so far.

Still I hate it when the brands change a running shoe so much in the name of improving it, that they make it a completely different shoe, than the one you loved, but keep the same damn name on it.

Yeah, if I sound a little frustrated about that – I am and no it ain’t the fist time it has happened either and in all likelihood not the last time.