There they were, shiny, spacey and sure to make me the road burning stud I dreamed to be… The latest and greatest from the land of Japan the one and only Asics Gel-Kinsei 2. And what a better place to purchase these masterpieces of foot architecture than Champs Sports at Times Square New York, the center of the modern universe of course. Believe it or not it never felt so good to hand over $186.19 for a pair of sneakers. I chose the Red/Black/White color scheme as opposed to the Platinum/Brilliant Blue/Black available for men. The color option for women is cherry pink and white which looks quite dapper and cute I must say. I couldn’t help feeling like I was taking some sort of step towards becoming a better me or even perhaps greatness. These type of feelings hardly ever result in success keep that in mind.
One bonehead mistake though… I should have been smart enough to print out the online coupon available at Champssports.com that offers a $10.00 in store discount on any purchase over $75. The experience at Champs Sports was top of the line overall. Well trained and experienced floor teams guide you to the right product and make useful suggestions. Champs Sports could very well be the Best Buy of sports foot wear. Back to the shoes and my trial results, I really put this model through its paces. To earn a $179.99 price tag the shoes must bleed!
Asics Gel-Kinsei 2 Total trial hours: 270 hours
Grades, the Report Card Coolest Feature: Asymmetrical Lacing System- Suppossed to Enhance the Biomorphic Fit by conforming to the bony architecture of the foot.
Lackluster Feature: Do you like the smell of cow dung? Then boy do I have the sneakers for you! Read on please, don’t judge me.
Sure to Fit: 3 The model runs a full size too large a definite draw back. In addition a nasty heel slippage issue in which the shoe does not remain on your heel during aggressive movement is a disappointing performance hindrance.
Washability: 7 Four washes in the rough cycle and the model kept its form and even gained a desirable worn softness in toe mesh and leather grain that added a flexible feel. The model brightened up to a crisp white without yellowing even after muddy trails.
Comfort: 5 Good heel strike feel with Gel technology. But then again that feature is negated with the heel slippage crisis. Not fitting to your foot within the realm of normalcy is a downer as well.
Ruggedness: 7 A tough pair of sneakers no doubt. The model proved its mettle on trails and pavement, heat and snow. Two quirks though: A horrible smell and loud sound. The model omits a pungent odor following wear. The smell must be a combination of glue and the usage of unorthodox materials in the mesh and leather. The model is also very loud on pavement which can be annoying. The model is too heavy. The weights contributes to its ruggedness but extra ounces can be a liability for long distance trainers. One last blemish to the model is the deterioration of the Gel sole component. I noticed chipping in Gel heel by the 16th day of the trial.
Cushion: 6 Good cushion, not great. The shoe is a little stiff and hard at the heel for most runners.
Looks/Style: 8 Stylish and cutting Edge they are.
Speed: 7 You can tear up the track in the Gel-Kinsei 2 and catch up to a cab in the middle of New York City as well, obviously I speak from experience.
Innovation Design: 8 An “Asymmetrical Lacing System” enhancing my Biomorphic Fit while conforming to the bony architecture of my foot…oh goody-goody I love tech savvy shoes! Where do I plug in my Ipod? Not to mention all the Gel and gooey goodness in the heel and forefoot.
Over all Grade and Final Analysis Grade: 6.38
The Gel-Kinsei 2 is a shoe that will be great…but for now it is a definite pass. Asics has to step it up and drop the odor, weight and heel issues with this model. The model has strengths in innovation and Asics will most likely incorporate these advances in cousin models such as the Gel-Nimbus and Gel-Kayano. By the way, I am holding off on the all too easy smell related jokes I can make in reference to the most unusual odors emitted by the shoes.
The true value of this shoe is: $60.38 U.S. dollars
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