ASICS: My next running shoe?

ASICS Thartherzeal 5, ASICS DynaFlyte, ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22, ASICS GEL-Kayano 23
Finding a perfect-fit running shoe to run a full marathon with personal preference is tough. It's like selecting your running partner who will accompany you for the next one to two years in your running journey when the journey during races can be rough. You need a running partner who is reliable, trustworthy and who understands your feet well.

Every time I want to look for new pair of running shoe, I will fall into depression! Lol! 

In my previous post, I have listed down seven things I look for in my next running shoe with reasons why.

Here is the summary recap:
  1. Running shoe that promotes forefoot running
  2. Running shoe that has wider toe box
  3. Running shoe that is half-size bigger (U.S. shoe size 9.5)
  4. Running shoe that is neutral, less cushioned and with 4 mm heel drop for road running
  5. Running shoe that is fast, light and durable.
  6. Running shoe that looks great, even for casual wear
  7. Running shoe that doesn't cost a bomb (Not more than RM400 preferably)
Let part 1 of my arduous but exciting search of my next running shoe begin... 😋

Brand Consideration: ASICS

I have not owned any ASICS shoe in my whole life. Period. Don't get me wrong. I have always wanted to have a pair of ASICS running shoe. But every time I walk into ASICS specialty shop, I will walk out feeling disappointed. 


Three reasons: 1. Pricey.  2. Narrow toe box for my wide feet. 3. Have not found a very good technical service staff who could really explain and help me to identify the right ASICS running shoes for my needs.

Then why am I considering ASICS now? 

Three reasons: 1. Many elite fast runners wear ASICS. May be there is some secret sauce in ASICS shoes that make them run fast! 😊 2. Selected ASICS models do have wider toe box for my wide feet.

I was glad to have met a very good ASICS sales person who is technically sound. After explaining about my needs and criteria, he pulled out four (4) pairs of ASICS running shoes for me to consider.

1. ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide (RUNFAST)

Not released in the U.S. but available in Malaysia following Japan's model with wide toe box. Heel height: 20mm. Forefoot Height: 10mm. Drop: 10mm. Weight: 6 oz.

    What I love about ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide:

    It fits my feet like a pair of socks!! Wow! Such awesomeness! Toe box is wide and comfortable! And the grip is so tight that I feel I could pick up speed and run really fast like Usain Bolt! No kidding! It also gives me the feeling of wearing Skechers GoRun running shoes. Very light. Barefoot feel. In fact, it's even lighter than most light shoes at 6 oz. Perhaps the lightest running shoe I've ever tried on. Oh yes - the light blue color!! Not too striking and very trendy. I can wear it even as casual wear after I can no longer run a full marathon in it. 

    What I love to see in ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide:

    From the outsole of ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide, it looks like it's made for track running and short distance running up to 10km or so. Minimal cushion indeed. I doubt I could run it in 42km full marathon. This model might not be too durable for long distance. Sigh! Otherwise, it would be perfect! 


    9 out of 10

    2. ASICS Dynaflyte (RUNFAST)

    The DynaFlyte show features ASICS recolutionary FlyteFoam Technology with super fibers for a feather light shoe that doesn't sacrifice responsiveness. The seamless construction on the upper delivers forefoot support, while reducing the potential for irritation and blistering. Weight: 9.3 oz. Heel Height: 20mm. Forefoot Height: 12mm

      What I love about ASICS Dynaflyte:
      It doesn't have as much tight-fit feeling as wearing a pair of socks. It also feels heavier with higher heel drop. But I still love it for the fact that it has wide toe box. There is light cushion with speed built in through the Dynaflyte technology. It looks almost perfect for running full marathons in it.

      What I love to see in ASICS Dynaflyte:

      Somehow I still love the natural barefoot feeling with my running shoes. Perhaps it's due to its 20mm heel height and 12mm forefoot height, I have less feel of the ground. Indirectly, it means there is cushion. It's also slightly heavier compared to other light shoes in the same range at 9 oz. It would be great if the heel drop is not too high and I can feel the ground and 1 oz lighter. Oh - at RM 549 per pair, how I wish the price is much cheaper! 


      8 out of 10

      3. ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22 (RUNFAST)

      ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22 shoe features ASICS revolutionaty FlyteFoam technology for the optimal lightweight ride with better bounce-back, cushioning and a greater energy return between strides. The Dynamic DuoMax Support system and Propulsion Trusstic Technology creates a stable and responsive ride. Weight: 8.0 oz. Heel Height: 20mm. Forefoot Height: 10mm.

        What I love about ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22:
        The technical service guy was wearing it. I know of a few fast runners who are reagular podium finishers also wear ASICS GEL-DS Trainer. And I love the color, the speed, the lightweight, and the comfort this awesome shoe provides. It also gives me the feeling of wearing Skechers GoMeb Speed. It also looks more lasting and durable than ASICS Thartherzeal - good also for full marathons I believe.

        What I love to see in ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22:

        How I wish it has wider toe box! Another is lower heel drop! Then this pair of GEL-DS Trainer will be perfect for my full marathon races in future.


        9 out of 10

        4. ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 (RUNLONG)

        The 20+ years success of the industry-leading GEL-Kayano is sweet testimony to the continuous innovation and thoughtful design of the shoe. ASICS GEL-Kayano has an evolved adaptive fit on the upper and an overall fit that is more true to size, while still offfering overpronators stability and comfort, to improve running efficiency and decreasing rick of injury over varying distances. Our reliable performer hugs feet and cushions impact to make the last mile a comfortable as the first. Weight: 11.3 oz. Heel Height: 22mm. Forefoot Height: 12mm. 

          What I love about ASICS GEL-Kayano 23:

          I was told that ASICS GEL-Kayano is a very popular running shoe for many runners. It's one of the top selling models. Many marathoners love GEL-Kayano. It's cushioned with good support for the miles. But I guess I'm not looking for any running shoe more than 10 oz with high cushion. But I'm sure many many marathoners out there love it! 

          What I love to see in ASICS GEL-Kayano 23:

          It's not fair for me to comment on this since I haven't been running on any running shoes more than 10 oz for last three to four years. Hence, I can't compare and give my feedback. 


          7 out of 10

          What's the verdict?

          Left: Beautiful ASICS Thartherzeal 5Wide. Right: ASICS Dynaflyte.
          Great thanks to the very professional ASICS technical sales service staff at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur outlet! After so many years of running, finally I met a guy who is friendly, willing, and professional enough to help me narrow down to models that I can invest.

          If I decide to have speedwork or short distance racing up to 21 km maximum, I will go for ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide for its wide toe box, lightweight and barefoot running feel. The only key concern is the wear and tear and durability for running full marathons.

          My next choice will be ASICS Dynaflyte for the same reasons as ASICS Tartherzeal 5-Wide. Good durability for longer distance but the higher heel drop and heavier weight are a concern. May be I just need a bit of getting used to. But but but..... the price tag of RM549 is a turn-off! 

          Even though I love ASICS GEL-DS Trainer, but I know I might end up having bruises or blisters after some distance. How I wish it comes with wider toe box. Then this will be my number one choice of ASICS running shoe!! 😊 

          As for ASICS GEL-Kayano, I will give it a pass. 

          Next stop: the newly opened New Balance concept store at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur to search for my next running shoe.

          Oh - just a thought - I was wondering if I could go for reconstructive surgery on my feet so that I can choose virtually any running shoes to buy? :)

          Written by Vincent Khor on September 4, 2017.


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