ASICS GLIDERIDE – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | SEPTEMBER, 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What's New?: Asics GlideRide
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Asics GlideRide
- About the Author
We can always rely on running shoe brands to cause a wave when it comes to launching a new shoe. ASICS blew it out the water (or would that be 'out of the salt') when they launched the new GlideRide.
Taking journalists and runners to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah ASICS had a goal not of breaking land speed records, but to put the runners onto a flat, smooth surface so they could remove all other stimuli and focus on their rhythm of running. They gathered everyone from occasional runners to world champions. and each was assigned a pace to run and then off they went, in different directions on the salt flats.
Guest review Brian Metzler was handed a pair of ASICS GlideRide that morning and set out on a run to see what they (and he) are made of.
After a few years without a truly innovative shoe in the marketplace, ASICS has announced its presence with authority this fall with the release of the uniquely designed GlideRide.
This brand new style from ASICS is a well-cushioned, stable and very energetic shoe built on a distinctly curved (or “rockered”) and decidedly firm midsole/outsole chassis that creates a rolling sensation with each stride.
Ultimately, the aim of the GlideRide is to help runners run longer with less effort. ASICS plans to use the technology in additional shoes.
WHAT'S NEW: ASICS GLIDERIDE
While the ASICS GlideRide is a brand new shoe, its design genesis comes from the Metaride model ASICS released earlier in the year.
The MetaRide also featured an efficiency-enhancing curved Glidesole chassis, but it was a little heavier and a lot stiffer and therefore much less forgiving than the soft and easy flowing nature of the aptly named GlideRide.
With that in mind, the Metaride was a more of a concept car that only a small percentage of the running population could find entirely agreeable, whereas the GlideRide can smoothly accommodate heel-striking and midfoot running gait patterns while reducing energy loss in the ankle joint by about 19 percent, according to ASICS research.
The ASICS GlideRide fits true to size (especially with just a little wiggle room in the forefoot. The multi-directional engineered mesh upper looks and feels great, offering a bit of stretch and plenty of support along with sufficient breathability.
The upper of the running shoe has no restrictive overlays, but it is supported by two interior underlays on the medial side and lightly reinforced at the toe bumper. The step-in feel of the GlideRide is moderately soft and very comfortable, and it immediately gives way to the curvy sensation of the Glidesole.
Once in motion, the GlideRide gives off a decidedly rolling ride that creates forward momentum, no matter how your foot hits the ground. That forward propulsion is created by the stiff, curved midsole by keeping the angle of the ankle dorsiflexion and forefoot plantar flexion minimal through each stride cycle.
In doing so, the shoe helps keep a runner’s center of mass farther back than normal to reduce the pendulum at the rear leg and thus the effort needed to swing the rear leg forward to next stride. While it takes a little getting used to compared to other shoes, most runners will find the sweet spot within the first half mile or so.
From then on, it’s all about getting into a rhythm and allowing the GlideRide to guide the stride from foot strike to toe off. Enjoy the ride!
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Just about anyone who runs can appreciate the functionality, cushioning and smooth ride of this shoe, but especially for those run with a heel-striking gait.
The ASICS GlideRide is ideal for moderately long to very long runs. Although it’s not a speedster, it could also be used for races from 10K to the marathon when all-out racing isn’t the goal and smooth-riding efficiency is preferred. Cue the long run!
PROS AND CONS OF THE ASICS GLIDERIDE
Pros: ASICS GlideRide
Plus: The Glideride is built on a three-layer midsole construction that combine. One layer is a very firm and nearly inflexible slab of EVA that helps streamline all downward energy of a foot strike into forward propulsion. Below that is a layer of soft and very responsive Flytefoam Propel that helps cushion and energize every stride. Buried in the middle of those two layers in the heel is a newfangled version of ASICS proprietary GEL cushioning technology.
Plus: Overall, this is a well-constructed without many glaring drawbacks, one of the best high-mileage trainers available this fall. The GlideRide is plushly cushioned on all sides. It sports a thickly cushioned tongue and copious amounts of padding around the heel collar.
Plus: The bottom of the shoe features a long, wide decoupling groove that adds to the shoe’s stability, no matter which way a runner’s gait might be tracking. The thin, perforated outsole serves up reliable traction and durability without adding too much bulk.
Plus: While this shoe sports a high stack height (31mm in the heel) and a 5mm heel-toe offset, those numbers are largely irrelevant because of the extreme rocker geometry and toe spring. While it feels high off the ground at the initial impact with the ground, it feels much closer to the ground as the foot rolls through to the toe-off phase.
Cons: ASICS GlideRide
Minus: The GlideRide is slightly heavier than some of its contemporaries, especially when trying to run very fast. However, the weight doesn’t seem to be a negative factor because the shoe is well balanced from heel to toe.
We cannot wait to see how the GlideRide develops over time; it's an interesting addition to the ASICS line up for 2019 and beyond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”