Categories
Asics

ASICS RUNNING: THE HISTORY OF “ANIMA SANA IN CORPORE SANO”

Asics Anima Sana In Corpore Sano

ASICS RUNNING: GLOBAL RUNNING PERFORMANCE

Take a step back to Japan in 1949 when Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka began his athletic footwear company by manufacturing basketball shoes out of his living room in Kobe, Japan.

He chose the name ASICS for his company in 1977, based on a famous Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano”, which when translated expresses the ancient ideal of “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body.”Taking the acronym of this phrase, ASICS was founded on the belief that the best way to create a healthy and happy lifestyle is to promote total health and fitness.

Asics Marathon Shoe

WELCOME TO THE US, ASICS

ASICS products were introduced to the United States in 1977 and brought with them an incredible story of athletic performance and technical advancements, a philosophy which still holds true today.

ASICS: ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD

Committed to new technology, ASICS opened up an entire research center in Kobe, Japan in 1990.  The Research Institute of Sports Science is a unique spot where scientist, athletes and coaches work together in a location that can only be described as heaven for any athlete.Imagine a 45,000 research facility with a all weather 350m running track, basketball and volleyball halls, test rooms and the technology to study and analyze human kinetics.  The goal is to create the best gear to enable both professional and regular athletes perform to the best of their abilities.

Asics Cortez Classic
The Classic ASICS Cortez, a running shoe developed for the US market.

ASICS RUNNING SHOES: THE CLASSICS AND THE NEW

ASICS is now one of the top performance running footwear brands  in the industry, and not without merit. For the past two decades the key ASICS runnings shoes have firmly planted their feet (pun intended!) in the US runner’s market.Awards for ASICS shoes come fast and furious.  Their GEL system has pioneered a whole family of shoes that reduce shock making every step for a runner a comfortable and supported one.

Fast forward to the 2020s and ASICS introduced extreme performance shoes the Metaride and the Metaracer designed for efficiency and saving energy and this summer the Metaspeed sky coming soon.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - what's new?

ASICS GEL KAYANO & KAYANO LITE

Now 28, the GEL Kayano has been the go-to shoe for a generation of runners and today’s modern version offers stability and comfort with a heel-clutch making it one of the most stable high-mileage shoes available. Think of the GEL Kayano as a luxury SUV; that’s a good thing for any runner. A bevy of awards reiterates that the Kayano is a classic shoe that continues to stand the test of time.

The ASICS Gel-Kayano Lite is a dreamy, maximally cushioned version of the Kayano that’s lighter, more energetic, faster and more eco-friendly than the original.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

ASICS GEL CUMULUS

The GEL Cumulus has a strong 10mm drop and the classic GEL system.  Add to that now, the ASICS proprietary Flyte Foam makes this a light and reliable shoe. Remember Goldilocks looking for her perfect bowl of porridge?

The Cumulus has cushion, but not too much cushion that you feel you’re losing energy.  A perfect combo for a runner looking for both mileage and comfort

asics gel nimbus 23 - what's new

ASICS GEL NIMBUS & NIMBUS LITE

A quintessential cushioned shoe with an updated roomier forefoot. With such a loyal fan base, the GEL Nimbus has been a solid part of the running market for over twenty years. Soft but stiff enough to support the mileage and the legs of the runners who wear them.

The GEL Nimbus Lite

ASICS GT 2000 9 Review 2020

ASICS GT 2000

For runners needing moderate support and cushioning in an everyday running shoe with a solid price point, the GT 2000 is a no-nonsense shoe that delivers what it promises at great value. But, don’t let the dependability fool you!

The GT 2000 is packed with technology and will keep you running mile after mile.

SHOP ASICS

 

Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL KAYANO 28 REVIEW

ASICS GEL Kayano 28 Review

THE BUZZ

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 is a premium, stability-enhancing, everyday trainer. It offers superior cushioning, plush interior comfort and a gender-specific ride.

Oozing both soft cushioning and reliable support, it’s the pinnacle training shoe in the ASICS line. It has been smartly enhanced with a smoother, softer ride over the past year.

ASICS GEL Kayano 28 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

The new Kayano has been updated with:

  • A new midsole foam package
  • A new engineered mesh upper
  • Slightly different men’s and women’s specific geometries
  • Smaller structural components and more flex grooves in the outsole.

Despite those major changes, it still runs with the reliably stability of previous GEL Kayano models.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The GEL-Kayano 28 fits true to size with a medium interior volume that feels pretty spacious in the forefoot. The soft interior padding and new upper create a dynamic locked-down fit. This means it accommodates a wide range of foot shapes.

Reliable security comes from a more subtle internal heel counter. Add to that, there is a smaller plastic plate under the arch and a firm, lower-profile plastic external cradle and media-side support flange.

But what makes this new edition of the Kayano so special is the new FlyteFoam Blast midsole compound. This runs the length shoe directly under the foot.

That material helps give the multi-density midsole a soft, secure feeling in the heel and a fun, bouncy and energetic sensation as you roll forward to the toe-off phase.

Combined with additional flex grooves in the forefoot, the new Kayano serves up a much livelier ride than ever before without sacrificing stability that over-pronating runners need.

 WHO IT’S BEST FOR

New runners, fitness runners and marathoners who appreciate a soft, lively but stable ride with reliable medial-side support will love the new GEL-Kayano 28.

It has plenty of forgiving comfort for long runs and recovery runs, but it also has enough energetic pop for some moderately faster types of running.

 PROS AND CONS

ASICS GEL Kayano 28 - Pros

The layer of new FlyteFoam Blast cushioning (aka FF Blast) is made from a light, soft and responsive environmentally friendly blend of EVA foam. This provides an energetic sensation in every stride without inhibiting the shoe’s stability-enhancing mechanisms.

As with the previous editions of this model, the midsole cushioning system of the Kayano 28 is enhanced with silicone-based GEL cushioning pods. These are located in the heel and forefoot and reduce impact for a softer landing. They also enhance the toe-off experience at the start of a new stride.

The structural components of the GEL-Kayano 28 are all slimmer and more subtle than those in the previous edition of the shoe. This helps it become lighter and more agile and providing a smoother, more stable heel-to-toe transition while still providing support to offset over-pronation.

The GEL-Kayano 28 continues to be gender-differentiated to address men’s and women’s specific bio-mechanical movement patterns. Each version features unique heel-toe offsets and slightly lower midsole foam densities. Plus, the women’s model has a more compliant flex pattern.

The outsole has been updated with more flex grooves in the forefoot, smaller segments of high-abrasion rubber and a longer open channel under the arch. This starts in the heel and extends to the forefoot.

Combined with the springiness of the FlyteFoam Blast foam in the midsole, these features help give the Kayano a much more flexible, agile and performance-oriented sensation.

The new, two-layer engineered mesh upper is more ventilated and breathable than the previous edition and it helps wrap the foot with a dynamic fit. It expands and contracts slightly as the foot moves through the gait cycle, providing both comfort and support.

ASICS GEL Kayano 28 - Cons

If there’s any slight detraction to the Kayano 28 is that it’s not a speedy shoe.

Although it lost about a half ounce in weight and now has a springier foam in the midsole, it’s a shoe that’s all about comfort and stability. With that in mind, it is not as ideal for quick-cadence running.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GEL Kayano 28 - Tech Specs

SHOP ASICS GEL KAYANO 28

MEN’S COMING SOON
ASICS GEL Kayano 28 - WOMENS

WOMEN’S COMING SOON

Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS NOVABLAST 2 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The ASICS Novablast 2 is a neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that offers a comfortable fit and a soft, well-cushioned, lively ride.

It incorporates subtle but significant changes in the stability, fit, ride and look that build on the success of the original Novablast last year.

ASICS Novablast 2 Review

WHAT’S NEW

ASICS updated its next-generation FlyteFoam Blast cushioning material (now called FF Blast) found the original model to be slightly softer and more deformable to allow runners to experience a more bouncy and responsive sensation in every stride.

A new TPU heel stabilizer was added along both sides of the heel to help support the foot and create more stable, balanced strides, while additional foam under the forefoot improve the stability and responsive feeling of the new edition.

The double-jacquard woven mesh upper has been updated slightly from the original version, offering increased breathability and enhanced stretchiness in the forefoot. The trampoline-style responsiveness is created by open channel in the FF Blast midsole foam under the heel.

It creates a lateral decoupling effect that creates a secondary bounce effect that energizes the stride as the foot proceeds toward the toe-off phase.

The moderately wide footprint of the Novablast 2 creates a bit of inherent stability for runners who have a neutral gait, though it’s not a shoe recommended for overpronators.

More foam in the forefoot and the wider outsole, along with the new TPU support overlays at the rear of the shoe, have definitely made it more stable than the original version.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Novablast has a classic ASICS fit, true to size length-wise with a medium volume interior. It serves up a secure, locked-down sensation in the heel and midfoot and has just enough space in the forefoot for toes to wiggle and splay.

It’s not excessively cushioned on the interior, but it provides plenty of softness from the padded tongue and heel and the premium footbed. The new upper material and gusseted tongue have improved the fit and feel from the original version.

The ride is very soft, bouncy and resilient, providing a noticeable amount of responsive “pop” in every stride. ASICS has built the shoe to allow the foot go through a “trampoline effect” and there is certainly a sensation of bouncy propulsion after the initial impact.

ASICS Novablast 2 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who run with a heavy to moderate heel-striking gait and those who like cushy, shock-absorbing shoes will really appreciate the Novablast 2.

The maximal cushioning in the extended heel design engages the ground and start the process of absorbing the impact with the ground while helping the foot transition into the midstance phase of the stride.

It’s a great training shoe for slow, moderate and up-tempo running and short to long runs. Our wear-testers believe it it could serve as a fast trainer or a race-day shoe for mid-packers.

ASICS Novablast 2 Review

PROS: ASICS NOVABLAST 2

The Novablast 2 has a good cushioning to weight ratio, thanks to the featherweight and airy feeling of the FF Blast midsole foam. It is soft and compresses easily, but it’s not mushy or sloppy.

It’s responsive and rebounds quickly, delivering an energetic bounciness as the foot approaches the toe-off phase.  The outsole is almost identical to the original version of the shoe with sections of high-traction rubber around the perimeter of the shoe and another segment under the middle of the forefoot.

There are more extensive segmented flex grooves in the forefoot as well as new cuts through the front pads on the lateral and medial sides for improved grip. Overall, our wear-testers found the Novablast 2 to be a fun, energetic shoe to run in, one helped keep our legs feeling fresh during and after long training runs.

ASICS Novablast 2 Review

CONS: ASICS NOVABLAST 2

The Novablast 2 isn’t as light as some of its contemporaries and it actually gained about a half ounce from the first edition. It’s not a deal-breaker for most training runs, but it’s just not as light as some runners might prefer.

TECH SPECS

ASICS Novablast 2 Tech Specs

SHOP ASICS NOVABLAST 2

Men's ASICS Novablast 2 Review

 

MEN’S COMING SOON
Women's ASICS Novablast 2 Review
WOMEN’S COMING SOON
Categories
Asics hoka one one New Balance Nike Reebok Saucony

HOTTEST RUNNING SHOES OF SPRING 2021

Hottest Running Shoes of Spring 2021

In the blink of an eye, spring has come and gone! With summer quickly approaching, we wanted to make a list of the hottest running shoes of spring 2021!

Spring brought us some of the best updates of running shoe classics we’ve seen in years, from brands like HOKA, ASICS, New Balance, Saucony and more!

Highlights of the spring include the do-it-all Saucony Ride 14, the always-smooth HOKA One One Mach 4, the 23rd iteration of the always reliable ASICS GEL-Cumulus and much more!

See which shoes made the list below:

SAUCONY RIDE 14

Saucony Ride 14 Review

“It’s a comfortable, smooth-riding workhorse with an accommodating fit and capable of high-mileage weekly volume and running at a variety of paces.” Read more…

SHOP SAUCONY RIDE 14 NOW

ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

“One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe.” Read more…

SHOP ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23 NOW

HOKA MACH 4

HOKA Mach 4 Review

“The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts.” Read more…

SHOP HOKA MACH 4 NOW

NEW BALANCE FUELCELL REBEL V2

New Balance Fuelcell Rebel v2

“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 is a lightweight and responsive, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe. It’s a versatile shoe with an elite midsole foam and enough cushioning and bounciness to make it amenable to both running longer or faster.” Read more…

REEBOK NANO X1

Reebok Nano X1 Review

“In its 11th version of the training shoe, the Reebok Nano X1 is back and better than ever! This year Reebok took a step away from its cross-training roots to create the new – Shoe of Fitness. We tested the Nano X1 during strength and cardio workouts to see how it measured up.” Read more…

SHOP REEBOK NANO X1 NOW

NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2

This 2nd edition of this record-breaking shoe from Nike just landed last week and has already begun flying off the shelves. With a revamped upper, this shoe will set you up to tackle your next PR!

SHOP NIKE VAPORFLY NEXT% 2

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE?

What did you think was one of the best running shoes of spring 2021? Let us know by tagging us on social via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe. It’s been updated slightly from the previous edition, with a slightly softer feel and a more forgiving ride.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The previous edition of this shoe was pretty good, so ASICS smartly didn’t change it too much. The biggest changes are that there is little bit more Flytefoam cushioning in the midsole and a new gender-specific construction. The gender-specific construction allows the shoe to more optimally flex and adapt to men’s and women’s footstrike patterns.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 has a classic ASICS fit. It is perfectly true to size length-wise and not too narrow and not too wide. The step-in feel is comfortable and moderately cushy, but not overly plush.

It has an easy-flexing demeanor in the forefoot, but the slightly lower-to-the-ground forefoot provides good feel for the ground. The shoe feels slightly firm as you transition to the toe-off phase of a stride. That allows it to run at moderately fast speeds, although it isn’t quite as plushy and comfortable as a result.

The ride is smooth, semi-soft, natural and consistent, but not exceptionally energetic or bouncy — especially compared to other shoes out there with more advanced foam midsoles. 

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

This is a great entry-level shoe for new or novice runners, but it can also be a reliable everyday trainer for experienced runners who log modest mileage every week. It’s one of those shoes that does everything pretty well without having one exceptional feature, and that’s a good thing.

Its wheelhouse is slow and moderate paces, but it’s versatile enough to handle faster paces for shorter distances, though not quite peppy enough for speed workouts or racing.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

PROS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

The new, one-piece engineered mesh upper is smooth, soft and comfortable, wrapping the forefoot while accommodating for a wide variety of foot shapes. It really helps dial in a connective, comfortable fit and makes up for the lack of a gusseted tongue. 

The rear of the shoe is comfortable, secure and supportive. This is thanks to a rigid internal heel counter and copious amounts of padding around the heel and ankle collar. Also, it has a slightly softer, and more shock-absorbing GEL component.

The outsole has been reconfigured with more segmented narrower bands or soft rubber in the forefoot and a lateral decoupling groove pattern of firmer, more durable rubber in the rearfoot. The new configuration contributes to the softer more accommodating ride without giving up traction or sturdiness in every stride.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

CONS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

This shoe actually got slightly heavier — by about a half ounce — compared to the Cumulus 22. That might not seem like a lot, but it was enough to put at the higher end of the everyday trainer category. It’s not heavy, just heavier than last year’s edition.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review | Tech Specs

SHOP ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review
COMING SOON – MEN’S ASICS-GEL CUMULUS 23
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review
COMING SOON – WOMEN’S ASICS-GEL CUMULUS 23
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23 REVIEW

Journalist and shoe guru Brian Metzler puts the ASICS GEL Nimbus 23 through its paces. He shares what this new edition has to offer for runners in 2020 and 2021.

THE BUZZ

The GEL-Nimbus 23 is a premium, neutral daily trainer with loads of cushioning and comfort. The Nimbus has always been reliable daily trainer. It serves up softness and durability and this new version remains true to that with a little bit of energetic pop in every stride.

asics gel nimbus 23 - what's new

WHAT’S NEW

There are a few minor updates to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 that make it a softer, smoother shoe. The GEL cushioning wedge in the heel is more expansive. This helps create a softer and more absorbing feeling in every foot strike.

The upper has been adapted slightly with a more accommodating lace eyelet configuration. It also features a more pliable mid-foot panel that allows for optimal mid-foot flexibility.

GENDER-SPECIFIC DESIGN

The men’s and women’s versions of the Nimbus 23 are specifically designed for the slight differences in the gait patterns between genders.

The women’s model has decoupled flex grooves in the forefoot and a softer plastic Trusstic support brace under the mid-foot. This encourages optimal flexibility and a slightly steeper heel-toe offset (13mm, as opposed to 10mm for men) for a more active transition from heel strike to toe off.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The GEL Nimbus 23 has the classic true-to-size fit ASICS is known for. It shares a snug, narrow-medium volume interior that secures the heel and mid-foot. However, it provides just a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.

The step-in feel of the new Nimbus is nothing short of luxurious. This is thanks to the premium sockliner, padded heel collar and cushy, wide tongue. The slightly updated engineered mesh upper contributes to improved comfort, flexibility and breathability while also helping cinch down each foot to the chassis of the shoe.

The ride is soft, smooth, supple and flowy without any sense of awkwardness between heel strike and toe off. This edition of the Nimbus retains that vibe, only it’s slightly softer and more comfortable.

ASICS Nimbus 23 - JR Colors

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The GEL-Nimbus 23 has always been a great shoe for a wide range of runners with neutral stride patterns and a heel-striking gait.

TheNimbus is a neutral shoe, but it does provide a little bit of stability in every stride. This comes from the plastic Trusstic shank embedded in the midsole under the arch. That extra bit of structure makes this shoe a very good choice for longer runs when your gait starts to show signs of fatigue.

No matter whether you’re running 10 miles a week or 50 miles a week, the GEL-Nimbus 23 is a durable workhorse of a training shoe.

It’s best for slower to moderate paces, but its range can extend from short runs to long runs. It’s not going to be ideal for speedier workouts, but it can suffice for tempo runs and fartlek runs with longer fast segments.

asics gel nimbus 23 - pros

PROS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

The Nimbus 23 has an invigorating dual-compound midsole that consists of a layer of light, soft and durable Flytefoam and a secondary layer of lively Flytefoam Propel, which serves up a bouncy feel with considerable energy return. The bottom line? It’s sufficiently cushions every foot strike and puts a little bit of a spring into every new stride.

The step-in feel and interior comfort features of the GEL-Nimbus 23 are exceptional. The soft heel collar secures the foot but goes easy on the Achilles, while the partially gusseted padded tongue wraps around each foot and stays in place as each foot moves through the stride cycle.

Our wear-testers love this shoe for long runs, recovery runs and random group runs at conversational pace. It’s one of those shoes that’s so comfortable, you barely remember you’re wearing it.

asics gel nimbus 23 - cons

CONS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

As far as training shoes go, the weight of the Nimbus falls in the mid-range of the category. It’s not heavy, but it’s not as light as some of its contemporaries. You will probably only notice it if you have a penchant for lighter shoes.

TECH SPECS

asics gel nimbus 23 - tech specs

SHOP ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

asics gel nimbus 23 - Men's

MEN’S NIMBUS 23

asics gel nimbus 23 - womens

WOMEN’S NIMBUS 23
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He 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. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “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.”

Brian Metzler - trail running

 

Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL NIMBUS LITE 2 REVIEW

Coming to JackRabbit, the ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 is a fabulous update on the well-received first edition from 2019. Read Brian Metzler’s review and ready yourself for it’s arrival at JackRabbit stores and online late November 2020.

THE BUZZ

The encore edition of last year’s inaugural ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite is a soft, lightweight, neutral-oriented everyday trainer that will put a bit of a spring in your stride. It’s a reliable high-mileage shoe for a wide range of runners. The new edition is much more versatile, comfortable and stylish than the original.

The Nimbus Lite 2 is somewhat of a hybrid between a traditional cushioned everyday training shoe and a lightweight performance trainer.

You can consider this edition your trusty everyday-of-the-week shoe. Alternatively, you can pick and choose the days you’ll use it based on the running on your schedule.

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

Even though last year’s original GEL-Nimbus Lite was well-received, this year’s version has been exceptionally revamped and refined. The eco-friendly Flytefoam midsole is softer, more pliable and more sculpted this time around. The internal GEL cushioning packets are softer and noticeably more resilient.

The revised seamless, engineered knit upper is comfortable and effective. This has helped lower the overall weight by a half ounce per shoe.

The wide outsole remains unchanged, with a mix of exposed foam and carbon rubber segments at key places. These are placed to align with common foot strike patterns. The slightly wider footprint allows for maximal ground contact and a touch of inherent stability. The small carbon rubber sections provide enhanced durability and traction in high wear areas.

As with the previous edition, there is no hard plastic support shank under the arch. This means the Nimbus Lite 2 is infinitely flexible and rolls easy from heel to toe.

The bright color motif and modern aesthetics of the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 puts among the most attractive shoes in the market. We all know that feeling good on a run starts with looking good and this one delivers! There are numerous reflective elements integrated into the shoe, providing greater visibility at night and low-light hours.

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 - new and improved

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The step-in feel of the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 has a soft and plush feel with a performance-oriented fit. The rear of the shoe has a compact fit with a lightly padded heel collar and a thin exoskeleton heel clutch. The saddle is nicely integrated with a lacing system and new engineered knit upper that adapts to different foot shapes and volumes.

The GEL Nimbus Lite 2 feels moderately light the moment you lace it up. When you start running though, it feels light and energetic once you’re in motion.

The midsole is comprised of a single layer of next-generation Flytefoam. The high heel-toe offset gives it a thicker/softer sensation in the heel and a slightly firmer feeling in the forefoot. That allows for comfortable heel-striking strides and snappy toe-offs, especially at higher speeds.

The ride is soft and smooth but also extremely agile and lively. This combination inspires quick-cadence running and a slightly faster pace than most everyday trainers.

The new engineered knit upper of the GEL Nimbus Lite 2 is soft and pliable, but it also offers a touch of support from thin, lightweight 3D-printed overlays (built into the ASICS logo). These help keep the foot locked down on the run. The shoe is just wide enough in the forefoot for the toes to wiggle and splay, but not loose enough to feel sloppy.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 is a great choice for a wide range of runners who run with a neutral-oriented gait. Those who appreciate lightweight everyday training shoes will be well-suited to this new edition.

It can be a do-everything training shoe for runners who prefer neutral shoes without much structure or support. It’s also capable of inspiring long runs and faster efforts like tempo runs and fartlek runs.

It could also be a race-day shoe 5K to the half-marathon for novice to intermediate runners.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 21

SHOP ASICS GEL NIMBUS LITE 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He 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. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “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.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - trail running
Categories
Asics

EKIDEN WORLD CHALLENGE 2020

ASICS EMBRACES THE JAPANESE CHALLENGE OF THE EKIDEN RELAY

The Ekiden Relay is a historical part of Japanese running culture. First debuted in 1917, it’s a long distance multistage relay race. The original event was a three day, 23 stage run from Kyoto to Toyko over 507 kilometers.

The name Ekiden draws upon an old Japanese transportation system. Mail and officials would travel by relay across the country by horse or by foot. The first relay was inspired by this method of traveling long distances; it’s become an integral part of running in Japan.

The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 will embody everything about the spirit of the relay. It’s an accessible 26.2 marathon distance for six team members. You’ll compete with teams from all over the world to be part of this global adventure.

Johnny Gregorek receiving the tasuki sash from his team-mate

Listen to middle distance runner Johnny Gregorek explain more about the Ekiden.

SIGN UP FOR THE ASICS WORLD EKIDEN

THE TASUKI: SHARE THE SASH

As each runner completes a leg of the relay, they wear a tasuki, a cross-body sash, that is passed from runner to runner. The tasuki represents passing the spirit of the race from one to another, embodying the team effort of the Ekiden.

ASICS World Ekiden 2020 - Tasuki

ASICS WORLD EKIDEN 2020

The World Ekiden 2020 will be the ultimate virtual team challenge. The 2020 relay celebrates ASICS’ Japanese heritage and introduces runners to the heartbeat of Japanese running culture.

The 2020 relay is a virtual, team challenge. Taking place on ASICS’s Runkeeper platform, the relay features teams of six runners will complete a marathon distance over six legs.

JOIN THE 2020 WORLD EKIDEN CHALLENGE

Dates: November 11th – November 22nd, 2020

ASICS invites runners to discover the exhilarating challenge and team-on-team rivalry of the Japanese Ekiden—virtually.

Sign up and start a team of up to six runners. Get ready to compete with teams from all over the world as you run a marathon, leg by leg. Create or join a team of up to six runners. Each teammate will run between 5K and 10K, totaling the marathon distance.

Virtually log your leg of the race on the ASICS RunKeeper app between November 11 and 22. Work hard and run fast as you strive to pass the virtual tasuki to your teammate!

Sign up here to join the ASICS Ekiden World Challenge race.

SIGN UP FOR THE ASICS WORLD EKIDEN

Finishers will get a place on the ASICS global leaderboard & unlock access to exclusive rewards. Share your results with friends and family on social, and don’t forget to tag #ASICSWorldEkiden!

PREP FOR YOUR EKIDEN, SHOP ASICS
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL-KAYANO LITE REVIEW

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite is a new kid on the block in 2020. Brian Metzler takes a look at this new, innovative twist to the GEL-Kayano family.

THE BUZZ

There are few runners who haven’t loved the ASICS GEL-Kayano through the years as a smooth-riding stability shoe. What has ASICS done now? They made a dreamy, maximally cushioned version of the Kayano that’s lighter, more energetic, faster and more eco-friendly than the original.

While the GEL-Kayano 27 still exists in the line as a reliably secure stability shoe, the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite is a lightweight stability model with a softer and livelier vibe that weighs 2.5 ounces less than its legendary predecessor.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - what's new?

WHAT’S NEW?

A lightweight and very resilient midsole configuration combines a thick amount of luscious FlyteFoam cushioning with ASICS GEL packets embedded inside. Other aspects that differ from the GEL-Kayano 27 include a new engineered mesh upper made from recycled polyester, an overall reduction in componentry and an adaptive stability dual-density foam setup that helps offset pronation.

The new engineered mesh upper helps provide a better, more accommodating fit and noticeable breathability. It’s feathery soft and form-fitting, one of the most comfortable uppers we’ve ever slipped our feet into.

Strategically placed segmented rubber sections on the outsole provides plenty of traction and stability while also helping to keep the overall weight down. The mid-foot cutout sections also allow for greater flexibility and heel-toe transitions while still assuring full-ground contact for inherent stability. 

The midsole has a design feature known as 3D Space Construction, which is a grid of hollowed out chambers in the heel and forefoot that allow a runner compress the foam more for an improved cushioning experience. It also allows the cushioning to provide a “tuned” experience for men’s and women’s specific gait qualities.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - New and Light

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite fits true to size with a classic, medium-volume fit. It has a snug, secure heel that utilizes the brand’s renown exoskeletal Heel Clutching System that provides a reliable, wrap-like fit around the back of the heel.

The recycled polyester upper provides support in the mid-foot but flexibility in the forefoot and wiggle room for the toes. The step-in feel and soft interior feel luxurious and comfortable the moment you slip them on, but also when you’re out on a run.

The ride is exquisitely soft and smooth with a touch of bounciness, providing sufficient cushioning and energy return for long runs, tempo runs and recovery runs.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who enjoy lightweight shoes with a resilient but stable ride will love this shoe as a versatile everyday trainer.

Whether you over-pronate all the time or you just need stability in the late miles of a long run or race, the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite could be a great shoe for you. Although it’s not a featherweight racing flat, it could be an ideal choice for racing a 10K to a marathon.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - Pros

PROS: ASICS KAYANO LITE

ASICS has reimagined how to provide overpronating runners with a stable ride. A slightly firmer section of foam that runs along the inside of the sole helps support the foot as it rolls through the gait cycle.

This shoe inspires you to run better by providing comfort and energy return in every step. It provides subtle stability that isn’t overbearing or awkward. Just lace it up, and it will take your fitness to new heights!

This shoe has an amazing green story. Aside from the upper being made from recycling polyester, the lightweight Flytefoam midsole is made eco-friendly, durability-enhancing Cellulose Nanofiber and the shoe is colored with non-toxic, water-based dyes.

Asics Gel Kayano Lite Cons

CONS: ASICS KAYANO LITE

There are precious few cons to bring to the table with the new GEL-Kayano Lite. It’s a stability shoe, so not for those who do not need that support. But for those who do, the Kayano Lite is a game-changing addition to the stability category.

TECH SPECS

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - tech specs

TESTER’S FINAL THOUGHTS

ASICS is on the right track with redesigning its classic models. As much as I love the stability of the original GEL-Kayano, I love this shoe even more. The GEL-Kayano Lite offers plenty of stability, but it’s also considerably lighter and much more fun to run in!

SHOP ASICS GEL-KAYANO LITE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He 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. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “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.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - trail running
Brian Metzler - Trail racing
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GT 2000 9 REVIEW

Brian Metzler reviews the ASICS GT 2000 9, the classic stability shoe from the brand. The 2020 edition has a new look and an easy performance update. The previous version of the GT 2000 was a good shoe, but the new upper and the lighter weight make the ninth edition an exceptional shoe.

THE BUZZ

One of the enduring legacy shoes in the ASICS’s line, the GT-2000 is a reliable stability shoe with an energetic vibe and it showcases a clean new look.

Our wear-testers love the fit, the feel, the easy-striding performance and consider this one of the best updates of the year.

Asics GT 2000 9 - Exclusive JackRabbit Colors

WHAT’S NEW?

The ninth edition of this shoe has been redesigned with a one-piece mesh upper to create an improved fit. It also features added support as the foot rolls through the gait cycle.

A lighter, softer and more resilient Flytefoam midsole in the GT 2000 9 pairs well with GEL cushioning packets in the lateral side of the heel and forefoot.

And best of all? It’s a half ounce lighter than last year’s model.

The traction-enhancing, durable rubber outsole sections are broken up and separated by grooves. This allows decoupling at the heel and easy flexing in the forefoot. 

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

With the classic fit ASICS is known for, the GT-2000 9 fits true to size with a medium-volume in the heel and midfoot (with slightly more room under the arch). It has just enough room in the toe box for the toes to wiggle and spread.

A stiff, internal heel counter helps keep the heel locked down throughout the gait cycle. This helps ensure the foot is in the optimal situation.

The step-in feel is moderately soft under the foot with a comfortable but not extravagantly padded tongue and heel collar. Out on the run, the shoe straddles the line between being moderately soft and moderately firm. What’s more important is the subtle stability the GT 2000 9 provides along the medial side of the foot.

The FlyteFoam midsole compound provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance or pace. It utilizes organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low-density foams. These three layers of cushioning help reduce impact shock and create a smooth, rolling sensation as the foot transitions from heel strike to the toe-off phase.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Review 2020

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate a comfortable, energetic shoe that provides a little bit of stride-stabilizing structure will love the ASICS GT 2000 9.

It’s workhorse of a training shoe, capable of high-mileage weeks, long weekend runs, moderate tempo runs and fartlek workouts. For runners who need stability in a longer race, it could be a smart choice for a half marathon or marathon.

The ASICS GT 2000 9 also performs as a great shoe for beginner and middle-of-the-pack runners who want a comfortable, reliable, do-everything shoe to wear every day of the week.

Our wear-testers liked it for long runs but appreciated it as a go-to shoe for other workouts and recovery efforts.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Pros

PROS: ASICS GT 2000 9

The new, one-piece upper offers a combination of smooth, pliable comfort and reinforcing structure. It holds the foot in place through the saddle but gives plenty of room for the toes to wiggle and splay as the foot flexes.

This shoe is nicely light and nimble for the amount of stability, cushion and comfort it provides, thanks to the lightweight midsole package that helps the shoe maintain a high cushion-to-weight ratio.

The stability and structure the GT 2000 provides comes from the slightly flexible plastic Trusstic frame under the arch and the firmer layer of Dynamic Duomax foam in the heel and along the medial edge of the foot. It’s a system that still allows the foot to flex naturally, but it inhibits the inward rolling motion caused by over-pronation.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Cons

CONS:  ASICS GT 2000 9

There aren’t many drawbacks to this shoe, but one thing that was slightly annoying was how tiny pebbles had a tendency to get caught in the grooves of the plastic Trusstic frame under the middle of the shoe.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GT 2000 9 Tech Specs

SHOP ASICS GT 2000 9

ASICS GT 2000 9 men's shoe

MEN’S GT2000 9
ASICS GT 2000 9 women's shoe
WOMEN’S GT2000 9

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He 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. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “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.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - Boulder Running Company
Brian Metzler - trail running