It has been written that finding the perfect running shoe is a lot like finding a perfect partner. It can take years, even a lifetime. Some would say the perfect “one” doesn’t exist. Others say you have to go through a lot of them to get to the right one.
Onlineshoes.com recently contacted me to do a review of a particular running shoe. I was reluctant, at first, since I haven’t “strayed” from my Hoka One One’s in a while. Mainly I just don’t do a lot of reviews when asked by product sponsors or distributors. I’ve always felt there is a bit of a conflict of interest when a company gives away its product in exchange for a review.
But I decided to do this one anyway. Why? First, I’ve used onlineshoes.com in the past and found their service to be very good. Second, they asked me to review a pair of Asics GT 1000s. Cool, I thought. I’ve run more miles in Asics than any other shoe made. 10ks, half marathons, marathons, 50 mile and 100 mile races. I’ve run them all in Asics. But I haven’t run in Asics for a couple years. so I thought it would be interesting to see how they compare to my latest quiver of shoes.
My first test was to weigh the shoes. I’m a little anal about shoe weight and I’m always interested to see the variance in the advertised weight of a shoe compared to what my shoe actually weighs. Manufactures use smaller shoe sizes (lighter) for advertising the weight of a shoe. Consequently, I’ve always found my shoes to be a little heavier than what is advertised. Sure enough my 10.5 size GT 1000s weighed in at a 11.6 oz, or 1.2 oz more than the 10.4 oz advertised on onlineshoes.com.
My second test was to bend the GT 1000 from heel to toe. Whenever I walk into a running store and look at a shoe the first thing I do is fold the shoe like a taco. The purpose is to see where the shoe bends. If it bends near the ball of the foot, like the GT 1000 does, it passes my test. If it bends in the middle of the shoe, at mid foot, it fails my test
The reason? If a shoe bends near the ball of the foot then it will bend naturally through the running gait from foot strike through toe-off. If the shoe bends in the middle it will put much more stress on the planter fascia, the last thing a runner wants. I’ve run in shoes that bend at the midfoot and it the result if searing pain in my planter fascia within a few miles. I’ve returned dozens of shoes over the years for this reason. Once I started doing this taco test I stopped returning so many shoes.
While running in the GT 1000 I discovered the shoes are a relatively stable, firm ride on the road. Not too much cushion, but with gel in the heel and forefoot, enough to give you the protection you need. I like what Asics calls their Trusstic System which is a plastic midfoot unit built into the shoe to increase torsional rigidity. It is this system that prevents the bend in the midfoot.
I have pretty high arch and over the years I have found Asics tend to fit my foot well. The GT 1000 in no exception. The overall fit of the shoe is snug, particularly in the heel and midsole. The forefoot is also snug, but I would prefer a bit more room in this section of the shoe.
Since I started running in Asics some 25 years ago the company has used a DuoMax SupportSystem which is a dual-density material in the midsole that is designed to reduce over pronation. I don’t pronate but I have found this system to enhance shoe durability. DuoMax is basically a harder material that is used on inner half the midsole.
ASICS stands for “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano,” Latin for a sound mind in a sound body. Whether you are a serious runner gunning for a local, state or national title, or a novice simply seeking to get in shape, ASICS has the goods for you. The GT 1000 is a solid road trainer for those of you with the commitment and resolve to meet your running goals.