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Asics Roadhawk FF Review

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_Score

  • Tech
  • Summary
  • Pros
  • Cons

Asics’s marketing pitch: Looking for speed and versatility?

Upper: Engineered mesh, fused and stitched-on synthetic.

Midsole: Full-length, single density Flytefoam midsole. 8 mm heel to toe offset.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber throughout.

Weight: 243 gms/ 8.6 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed).

What is the Roadhawk FF? It’s a firm shoe with a comfortable upper and works well for fast-paced training. Great value for money.
Excellent value for money, decent upper fit with a plush heel lining, Flytefoam is firm but delivers good transitions
Noisy forefoot, lack of optional widths, average outsole grip on damp surfaces

INTRODUCTION

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_introduction

Remember the 33 series, anyone? A few years ago, Asics attempted to make inroads into the lower drop, minimally constructed running shoe market with its 33M, 33-FA, and the 33-DFA.

The aforementioned shoes featured a 4 mm heel drop which was unprecedented for the Japanese brand. The midsole also skipped the whole Gel-and-plastic show in favor for an all-foam one, and the outsole swapped the traditional ‘Guidance line’ layout with the ‘Fluid Axis’ instead.

It was fairly obvious the 33 series was a case of trying to force-fit a square peg into a round hole. At the time, Asics simply did not have what it took to make the 33 series successful. It neither had the lightweight chops of the Kinvara, nor a cushioned midsole platform which could compete with the likes of Hoka One One.

As one would expect, the Asics 33 assortment met with a short and forgettable demise.

In hindsight, the missing link was a suitable midsole platform. For years, Asics has relied on its Gel tech (more form than function, though) to market its running shoes rather a foam compound.

Then Asics hit a relative breakthrough with its new Flytefoam material, an EVA foam variant with fibers molded in. The $250 Metarun was the first to feature Flytefoam, followed by the Dynaflyte and several others.

The new Roadhawk FF is proof that Flytefoam isn’t tier exclusive, but rather price and platform agnostic. Even at an MSRP of $100, the Roadhawk features full-length Flytefoam, something that even more expensive models do not have.

While it is good that Asics has made Flytefoam accessible, they should exercise caution in maintaining price-value across their assortment – else, if all shoes have Flytefoam, why pay more for one shoe over the other?

And by the way, what is the Roadhawk FF?

It is a firm riding shoe which is suitable for faster training runs, and it has a seamless upper which fits well. Instead of comparing it to other Asics shoes, the identically priced Brooks Launch 4 would be a more meaningful benchmark.

Like the Launch 4, the Roadhawk FF is very lightweight with a sub 9-ounce weight and a snug fit. Despite the abundance of Flytefoam, the ride quality is firm bordering on hard, so know that the FF isn’t meant for everyone.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Asics_Roadhawk_FF

Take a cursory glance at the Roadhawk, and some elements from the 33 series jump at you right away. For example, the heel has a straight-up design, free of the plastic clip or the distinct Achilles lip which are seen on many Asics models.

In the front, the engineered mesh design appears familiar – and that’s because you have seen it before on the 33-FA. The open vented area on the top and the tighter-knitted sides are similar to the FA. There’s an internal bumper propping up the toe-box, and a stiffener gives structure to the heel at the rear.

Even the midfoot treatment is based on the 33 series; fused synthetic forms a box over the midfoot, and the lacing eyelets are punched into them. The laces are regular round types which cross over a thinly padded tongue.

The Asics logo is semi-concealed beneath a see-thru mesh over the lateral midfoot, giving the Roadhawk some nice design depth.

The inner side doesn’t have a logo and simply features a different mesh panel. The removal of the inner side logo is something we’ve seen on Asics a lot lately, including more expensive models like the Kayano.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper

While the heel and tongue don’t have a lot of foam padding, the lining material is very smooth and plush. That’s one of the reasons why we equated the Roadhawk to the Brooks Launch; both shoes have a comfortable lining material.

As you can see, there isn’t much going on the Roadhawk’s upper. It is a simple upper with a nearly seamless interior; nothing more, nothing less. There’re a few other design elements, like the printing over the outer heel which includes a reflective trim, or the molded Asics logo on the tongue flap.

Breathability is average on the Roadhawk, though no more or less than your average trainer. The upper might look very ventilated from the outside, but the interiors have a separate lining layer in certain areas.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_outsole

There are no fancy bits and pieces on the midsole – no shank, no Gel, no nothing – except for the Flytefoam compound in a full-length avatar. The midsole is compression molded and is firm to the touch. The foam has the characteristic Flytefoam texture – you can see a wrinkly surface with embedded fibers.

Like any other foam, not all Flytefoam is the same. On some shoes, it can be of a softer density, while shoes like the Roadhawk FF get a firm kind. This is something you should know – the Roadhawk is NOT a soft shoe, no matter how thick the heel looks.

Speaking of thickness, the midsole is rear loaded. The heel stack of 20 mm is nearly double that of the 12 mm forefoot. And if you’re performing mental maths right now, then you must have realized that the Roadhawk has an 8 mm drop. This is slightly lower than the usual Asics gradient of 10 mm.

The only soft components are the removable Ortholite insole and the foam lasting below it. The insole is a soft, blown-foam kind used in other Asics shoes, and is one of the reasons why the Roadhawk is great value – this is a premium component.

The midsole sidewalls have a very balanced design. There are just some fine ridges running over the surface, and no deep groove which can cause a ride bias. The Roadhawk’s midsole also has pronounced edges which flare on both sides of the rearfoot, and this helps produce a cupping base for the foot to rest within.

Unlike many Asics shoes which have a softer blown rubber forefoot, the Roadhawk’s outsole is covered with hard carbon rubber throughout. While there are a few areas of exposed midsole foam, most of the outsole is overlaid with rubber. At the same time, there’s plenty of flex grooving and articulation.

The product page for the shoe might not mention the ‘Guidance line,’ but there is one – it begins under the Roadhawk’s heel and splits the forefoot into two distinct halves.

DURABILITY ASSESSMENT

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_durability

Regardless of its affordable price tag, the Roadhawk is no slouch when it comes to durability. The entire outsole is made of hard rubber, so sections like the forefoot will last longer than their blown rubber counterparts.

It’s not just the material, but also the design which plays a part in increasing lifespan. Despite the guidance line, the edges of the rubber slabs fare better. The edges along the Guidance line are tapered, and this lessens the potential damage from abrasion. Also, the pieces are better inset (or flush) with the midsole, so that helps too.

The firmer Flytefoam compound will perform better than regular EVA compounds, so that’s one thing less to worry about.

The upper forefoot mesh might be a concern for runners with a wide forefoot. This might lead to the bodyweight rubbing the mesh against the midsole edge, resulting in gradual wear and tear.

As with all blown-foam insoles, the Ortholite will gradually flatten and lose its squishiness over time.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper_fit

There are no complaints with the Roadhawk’s fit. There are no overlays over the toe-box, but only engineered mesh and the internal bumper in the front. So the toe-box isn’t vertically challenged; the height feels just right.

The interior fit is smooth as expected of an upper which features no stitched overlays. However, the round laces tend to apply top-down pressure over the thinly padded tongue.

There’s a small problem with the upper design. When you lace the Roadhawk tight in the front, the forefoot mesh tends to pucker up – though this is not so much a functional flaw, but rather a visual eyesore.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_upper_fit

While there are no hot spots, a slight sense of tightness is felt from the fused bands between the forefoot and the midfoot. The engineered forefoot mesh has enough space; it is only over the forward midfoot where the upper feels a bit snug. There are no optional widths for the Roadhawk, so trying before buying is recommended.

The insides of the heel have a soft lining, so the collar fit has a soft feel. The grip isn’t tenacious like how fully-padded collars are, but it gets the job done, with no slide of any kind.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_cushioning

Don’t let that thick stack of rearfoot Flytefoam fool you – the Roadhawk is a very firm shoe. Sure, the Ortholite insole feels soft underfoot, and the area of exposed foam under the heel also produces a cushioned effect. But once you get past that, the rest of the midsole is firm.

You might have worn other Asics shoes featuring Flytefoam which might have felt softer, but the Roadhawk is not one of those. The compression molded Flytefoam has a higher density, leading to a firm feel from heel to toe. It must be pointed out that the forefoot feels far stiffer than the heel.

The forefoot is rigid due to a few reasons. The front thickness is only a mere 12 mm of Flytefoam, so that’s certainly a contributing factor. The rubber used underneath is a hard variety, and that adds to the firmness too. The forefoot hardness also leads to an undesirable side-effect.

The front outsole makes a slappy noise during runs, and this is going to be more noticeable for forefoot strikers than heel loaders. This might not have a negatively functional impact, but the sound is distracting.

You need to give the Roadhawk’s forefoot at least 50 miles to break in. Initially the midsole has a very stiff feel, but it gains marginal flexibility in the weeks which follow.

There is an upside to the lack of cushioning softness, and that’s the superior stability. The combination of a stiff midsole and a balanced sidewall design make the Roadhawk extremely supportive. There’s no bias on the heel, and the raised sidewalls keep the foot locked in.

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_responsiveness

Forefoot transitions are great. The midsole might not be very flexible, but this character allows the weight to load quickly and economically all the way to toe-offs. Asics advertises the Roadhawk as a speed trainer, and we must say that’s a fairly accurate marketing description.

Like the firm Brooks Launch 4, the Roadhawk is best used for fast training runs, and even long distances if you’re accustomed to a firm ride. The shoe is very lightweight at a mere 8.6 ounces, so that helps make the Roadhawk feel fast too.

As far as responsiveness or the springback quality is concerned, it is nearly non-existent on the Roadhawk, except for some mild feedback from the rearfoot.

PROS AND CONS

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_pros_and_cons

The Roadhawk is excellent value for money, with it’s $100 MSRP offering a lot. There’s a full-length Flytefoam midsole under an engineered mesh upper, and the plentiful rubber coverage makes the shoe durable. There’s little softness to be found on the Roadhawk, but that makes the ride very supportive, and the transitions quick.

There are a few things which we didn’t like about the shoe. The rigid forefoot is noisy, making a slappy sound during runs. The hard rubber also delivers average grip performance on damp surfaces. And then there’s the lack of additional widths. The Roadhawk fits snug, so it would be great to have at least a 2E (wide) available as an option.

SUMMARY

The 2017 Asics Roadhawk is what the earlier (and unsuccessful) Asics 33 series aspired to be – a well-mannered and an affordable lightweight trainer with a comfortable, no fuss upper.

All that said, the Roadhawk isn’t for everyone. If you’re expecting the Flytefoam midsole to be an epitome of softness, then you’re likely to be disappointed. Instead, what we have here is a firm trainer which shines during fast-paced workouts.

So what if you wanted a couple of other shoes to rotate alongside the Roadhawk? We’ll cover that in the next section.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Asics_Roadhawk_FF_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Asics Roadhawk FF Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Asics Hyperspeed Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Asics Roadhawk FF Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1080V7 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

For an Asics shoe with a softer ride, the Cumulus 19 fits the part. It is softer than the Roadhawk, though the toe-box fits shallower. For race-days involving 5K and 10K’s, the Hyperspeed 7 is the shoe to rotate.

If you want an all-foam, non-Asics cushioned trainer with the same heel drop, then we recommend the New Balance 1080 V7. The ride isn’t particularly soft or responsive, but there’s plenty of consistent cushioning.

For shorter races, get the New Balance 1400V5.

SIMILAR ENTRY LEVEL NEUTRAL SHOES

We can think of a few shoes which compare with the Roadhawk, but the Brooks Launch 4 is the closest – both in terms of the $100 MSRP and the ride quality.

Both the Asics and Brooks models are firm, though the Launch 4 has a better padded forefoot due to the use of blown rubber. The Launch 4 has a more comfortable heel collar too, but happens to be slightly heavier – by 0.4 ounces to be precise.

If we had to choose between the Roadhawk and the Launch 4, our money would be on the Brooks shoe.

The Roadhawk can also be loosely compared to the $15 more expensive and cushioned Hoka Hupana and the 4 mm drop Skechers GoMeb Razor. At some level, even the Nike Elite 9 is comparable, if you just consider the intended use-case.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Asics Roadhawk FF Review appeared first on Solereview.

adidas Pureboost DPR review

adidas_PureBoost_DPR_score

adidas’s marketing pitch: Shoes with a lower midsole drop and energy-returning cushioning.

Upper: One piece knit mesh, synthetic suede, fused Urethane.

Midsole: Full-length Boost foam. 8 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Single piece of hard Carbon (non-Continental) rubber.

Weight: 255 gms/ 9 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed)

The PureBoost DPR can (finally) be used as a running shoe, but know that there are better alternatives which can be bought for less. Fits true to size.
Cushioned and responsive, durable, breathable, roomy forefoot
Tongue design needs improvement, expensive, no reflectivity, lack of optional widths, average heel grip, top-down lacing pressure

INTRODUCTION

adidas_pureboost_dpr_introduction

Ever since the adidas PureBoost made its debut, it has put on the pretense of being a running shoe without actually being one. The first 2014 version was the gold standard for bad running shoe design; the shoe was slippery, the ride unstable and the upper was uncomfortable.

Subsequent versions like the PureBoost ZG Prime and the PureBoost 2017 were better shoes but yet below the exacting standards of performance running footwear. All PureBoost models have had an unmistakable lifestyle/casual sneaker orientation, though adidas has consistently (and unapologetically) positioned them as running shoes.

The DPR is the second PureBoost model to be released in 2017. The first one was simply called the PureBoost 2017; it had an inconvenient ‘Burrito’ tongue which struggled to lie flat over the foot.

The DPR borrows a few elements from its namesake model – like the external heel side pods for example – while introducing a lower profile midsole and a more minimal upper design. While we’ll cover the various design elements of the DPR and its pros and cons today, the question is – can the latter be used as a performance running shoe?

Let’s put it this way. On a running shoe scale of -2 to 10, if the original PureBoost was a -2 and a great performance shoe is a 10, then the PureBoost DPR would be a 6. Somebody reading this might say:

“Why, you snooty solereview. What’s wrong with the PureBoost DPR? I ran 5 miles in the DPR today, and they were great. Take your running shoe sensibilities elsewhere. This is a terrible website. Bye.”

Hey, hold on. We never said that the PureBoost DPR was a bad shoe. It might have undesirable historical baggage in the form of the earlier PureBoost models, but the DPR is much closer to a real running shoe. But it still lacks certain ingredients which elevate an average shoe to greatness.

One of the DPR’s drawbacks is its $150 MSRP, which is a huge let-down. Why pay so much when you can get better, full-length Boost and Continental rubber equipped running shoes for less? Then there’s the matter of running shoe design best practices, an area where the PureBoost DPR comes up short.

At best, the DPR is a shoe suitable for mild runs, and it could also be a dual-purpose shoe for business travelers. But a ‘racer’ this model is certainly not, contrary to what the letter R in the ‘DPR’ suggests.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper

Wondered what ‘DPR’ in the shoe name stands for? It’s an abbreviation for ‘Deconstructed Pure Racer.’ Calling it so is a bit of stretch, which by the way, the DPR’s knit upper does not have.

The knit fabric has a fit and feel similar to the adidas’s adizero Primeknit 4.0 or the Ultra Boost ST. And if you’re not familiar with these shoes, then the DPR’s knit upper can also be compared to the fabric used on Nike’s original Flyknit Racer, or more recently, the Flyknit Lunar 3. It’s a single-piece construction without internal lining, with plenty of pores for ventilation.

The interiors are not entirely unsupported, though. The insides of the midfoot have these fused bands of soft synthetic giving the shoe its shape. In the front, there’s an internal toe-bumper.

Even the heel has a thin internal stiffener lending it some structure. One might question the need for an internal counter when there are two ‘pods’ on the outside, but then that’s perhaps the reason why the counter exists. Without it, the plastic pods could weigh the upper down.

These pieces of urethane are fused on either side of the heel. If you’re familiar with the PureBoost 2017, then you’ll recognize these pods. Though the design looks similar, the ones of the DPR are made of rigid plastic instead of the soft rubberized version of the PB 2017.

The term ‘deconstructed’ (or Decon for short) is often used in the sneaker world. Shoes which have this suffix usually implies a design which uses minimal layering or processing.

For example, a Decon shoe could have a raw-edged heel collar without foam padding. The same shoe could have a one-piece leather upper without embossing or lining, and the lacing eyelets could simply be holes punched into eyestay. You get the general idea.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper

Given that context, the PureBoost DPR isn’t a deconstructed shoe in a true sense. The tongue is thick and made of stiff synthetic suede with the adidas logo embossed on top. The heel lining is made of the same material, and there’s some padding inside.

There’s no sleeve inside, and the thick tongue is only attached to the front. As a consequence, tongue slide happens plenty on the DPR.

The PureBoost DPR has only four primary lacing rows plus one reserve for heel lock lacing, and this is a nod to the shoe’s lifestyle orientation. While the thin, flat laces pass effortlessly through the embroidered eyelets, they don’t provide the lockdown required of a performance product.

This lacing arrangement also applies a higher level of top-down pressure compared to regular running shoes, and this isn’t a compliment. Also, these laces aren’t the cottony types found on performance racers, but a smooth kind which doesn’t cinch as well as the ones with a cotton texture.

The DPR is very well ventilated. The knit mesh has plenty of forefoot and midfoot pores, and this allows plenty of air circulation. There isn’t much external layering which gets in the way, except for the heel pods and a small area of transparent lamination over the lacing area.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_outsole

As the name implies, the midsole is made of ‘pure’ Boost foam, adidas’s cushioning tech. Nothing but Boost separates the upper and the outsole, with only the insole and the latticed window above it. The DPR does not have the hard EVA rim or layer often seen on adidas performance running footwear. This way, the foot has easier access to the Boost material.

Historically, some PureBoost models have featured only the perforated (windowed) lasting material below the foot, and nothing else. The original PureBoost had this design, and so did the PureBoost 2017. The DPR features the latticed lasting sheet exposing sections of the Boost midsole, but that is also topped by a molded insole – just like the Prime ZG.

The outsole is a single piece of hard rubber in a ‘Stretchweb’ layout, a design similar to the type used on performance running shoes. That said, the rubber is neither Continental nor adiwear, which is puzzling considering the not-so-affordable $150 retail price.

There’s no Torsion shank underneath, just a small extension of the rubber outsole under the inner midfoot. This again, is borrowed from the PB 2017 which had a much larger area of the outsole extending over the medial midsole.

Discerning users will note that the PB DPR has a ‘bottom heavy’ construction. Most of the weight is concentrated in the lower regions due to the full-length Polyurethane midsole and the rubber outsole.

If you look past that, then the PureBoost DPR is actually lightweight. 9-ounces is pretty decent for a shoe with so much midsole and outsole material.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_durability

adidas and Nike have their rubber compound formulation down pat. So despite the lack of a Continental badge, the outsole will last longer than most shoes do.

The Boost compound is bulletproof and highly resistant to deformation fatigue, so the midsole is the least of your worries. Past Boost models used to have an open window under the heel which led to the Boost foam getting damaged on footstrike, but the recent Stretchweb outsole (also used on the DPR) with its full coverage design has put an end to that.

We can’t point out any construction flaws on the upper, and it should outlast the midsole and outsole.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper_fit

The PureBoost DPR’s actual fit character belies its sleek exteriors. Based on looks alone, one might assume the DPR to have a cramped toe-box and forefoot. That’s not the case at all.

While the toe-box is structurally shallow with barely any space over the big-toe, the upper doesn’t feel shallow. There’s a good reason – the mesh isn’t super-elastic like the Ultra Boost, so the upper doesn’t pin your foot down.

Instead, the mesh has an accommodating nature – not because of inherent stretch in the material, but due to the interlocked knit structure which allows marginal expansion.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_upper_fit

This openness applies to the forefoot too, where the sideways fit feels noticeably more relaxed than most adidas shoes. If the forefoot feels snug initially, fret not – the shoe will eventually adjust to the foot shape. The mesh is also very breathable, as the open pores allow plenty of air to pass through.

The lacing is asymmetrical/skewed, and this relieves some pressure over the forefoot. At the rear, the heel does not have much padding, so the foot’s position is moved slightly rearwards – thus increasing the margin in the front.

But there are no additional widths, as is the case with (even) performance adidas running shoes. When it comes to lengthwise sizing, buy the PureBoost DPR true to size.

The relaxed nature of the interior space extends all the way to the heel. The midfoot has only four lacing rows with no inner sleeve, so the lacing cinch doesn’t feel as secure as it should be. Fewer lacing rows also equates to a greater top-down pressure. Although the tongue is thick, it has no padding and the laces can be felt over the foot.

The tongue has a few design flaws. Firstly, the absence of a sleeve makes it slide – the flap is long, so the movement of the foot’s instep area pushes it sideways. Secondly, the tongue tends to fold over the foot when in motion. The tongue material being what it is, a break-in period is required for the stiffness to abate.

Heel grip is average, which isn’t surprising considering how thinly padded it is. The Achilles also curves outwards, so that doesn’t help either.

Although there are a few parts we like about the PureBoost DPR’s fit, the overall lockdown isn’t great. The midfoot and heel could have a better hold, and this is of particular concern when running downhill or similar steep gradients – this might lead to your foot sliding inside the shoe.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

adidas_pureboost_dpr_cushioning

The midsole and outsole update explains why the PureBoost DPR is a significant improvement over the earlier PureBoost models  The midsole stack is lower, and the outsole uses hard rubber in a full coverage layout.

This bodes well for the ride quality, as the lower stack promotes a higher level of stability which was earlier missing in Pureboosts and the lifestyle UltraBoost. The outsole, while not of a Continental variety, grips well and also serves as a stable foundation.

The extension of the outsole over the inner midsole also adds a little bit of support, and so does the forefoot Boost which flares outwards to create a wide base.

Mind you; we’re comparing the DPR to earlier PB’s from a stability standpoint. When compared to shoes from the performance line – say the Boston 6 – the DPR will rank lower. Speaking of which, ‘a spineless Boston 6’ is a good way to describe the Pureboost DPR.

And why? The DPR and the Boston have a similar amount of Boost available to tap into, but that’s where the similarity ends.

There’s no plastic shank below, nor there is a firmer EVA rim on top – only the insole and the perforated sheet. Hence, the transitions feel slower due to the lack of firmness – both in the upper and lower areas. So we do not recommend using the DPR as a ‘racer.’ There are far better shoes for that.

Cushioned the DPR is, which is expected of a midsole stack comprising of the molded insole and a full-length midsole. All the same, the cushioning and responsiveness feel is very localized instead of being distributed.

In the absence of a firmer upper layer, a smaller section of the Boost gets displaced upon weight loading. The foot tends to focus the foam compression on a smaller section, in contrast to a firmer top layer design which causes a greater volume of Boost to be displaced.

adidas_pureboost_dpr_responsiveness

adidas enthusiastically markets the ‘lower heel drop’ of the DPR, perhaps a feeble attempt to establish the new PureBoost as a performance shoe.

Well, 8 mm isn’t exactly low drop – only so when you compare it to other adidas models with 10-12 mm offsets. Though to the DPR’s credit, the actual (loaded) drop should be lower than the static 8 mm, as the perforated lasting allows the foot to sink further into the Boost midsole.

If you’ve been a customer of the past PureBoost models, then we’d like to point out a few differences. Given the lower stack, the DPR is firmer than both the original Pureboost, the PB Prime ZG, and the PB 2017. Nonetheless, the upper midsole feels more cushioned due to the presence of the insole.

One of the things we hated about the original PB was the soft outsole allowing pressure applied by small rocks and the like to pass through. The DPR’s hardened outsole provides far better protection from the imperfections on the road. The rubber grips better too.

So what is the PureBoost DPR good for, considering that it now bears a greater resemblance to performance running shoes? Like we said in the preface, this new PB is suitable for mild and short runs. Going too fast feels a chore due to the lack of stiffness, and running too long will not be very enjoyable – the stiff tongue and heel lining materials can get in the way.

PROS AND CONS

adidas_pureboost_dpr_pros_and_cons

As expected of a Boost powered shoe, the DPR has consistent cushioning available in spades. Despite the lower stack, the foot has closer access to the Boost material due to the perforated lasting.

Stability is improved when compared to the earlier Pureboost models, and the durable outsole grips the way it should. The upper is breezy and has a relaxed fit which will come as a pleasant surprise to adidas loyalists.

On the flip side, the Pureboost DPR isn’t great value at all. Even after paying $150, you receive neither a Continental outsole nor a proper Primeknit upper. The DPR seems like a budget execution, but the price doesn’t suggest that.

It is evident that sneaker heads are getting shortchanged with the DPR not only from a material package standpoint, but functionally too. What extra material advantage does the DPR have over the Boston 6, the cheaper Supernova or even the Energy Boost?

One could argue that the DPR has a different fit and ride character, but that has little to do with justifying the $150 MSRP. That said, we’d have a different opinion if the DPR were priced at $120.

Though the DPR is positioned as a city running shoe, there’s (ironically) no reflectivity. The transitions are sluggish compared to the DPR’s performance running counterparts, and the upper lockdown isn’t perfect either. The tongue is stiff and tends to slide around inconveniently.

SUMMARY

The PureBoost DPR is very comfortable, but is it a very good running shoe? Not in our opinion. There’s a lot of work needed before the Pureboost DPR can earn its place on the front row seats occupied by the Boston 6 or the adios 3.

As a regular runner, should you get the DPR? No, you’re better served by cheaper models such as the Boston and the adios – or the Tempo if you require additional support.

So who should buy the DPR, and why? We can think of a few reasons:

1. You religiously follow heel drop specs. In that case, the DPR’s 8 mm gradient is lower than most adidas shoes.
2. You found the PB Prime ZG or the PB 2017 too soft, and you want something firmer and more supportive without switching to pure-performance shoes.
3. You want an adidas shoe which has a wide and ventilated fit without the plastic cage or similar suffocating features.
4. You’re ok with limiting the Pureboost DPR to mild runs, and the $150 price is the least of your concerns.

The PureBoost DPR isn’t a bad shoe at all, but choose your running shoe wisely – don’t have buyer’s remorse.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post adidas Pureboost DPR review appeared first on Solereview.

Brooks Ghost 10 Review

Brooks_Ghost_10_score

Brooks’ marketing pitch: The Ghost 10 delivers the smoothest ride possible for neutral runners.

Upper: Mesh, fused and stitched synthetic leather.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole. 12 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 295 gms/ 10.4 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: 2A, B, D – (regular – men’s, wide – women’s), 2E – (wide-men’s)

The Ghost 10 is an improvement over the 9. And why? Brooks’s popular neutral trainer has increased toe-box room and breathes better. The cushioning is slightly softer too, a result of significant midsole design updates.
Cushioned yet supportive ride, premium materials, interior fit quality and heel fit, outsole grip
Outsole durability, the DNA midsole material isn’t engaging

INTRODUCTION

Brooks_Ghost_10_introduction

A few years ago, we were outraged when Brooks swapped its DNA Gel midsole for an all-foam one. The outrage wasn’t so much about the foam midsole per se; after all, brands change their cushioning technologies all the time.

It was rather an issue of semantics. Brooks described the new ‘DNA’ foam the same way it did the Gel, and that, we thought, was somewhat misleading. But that was back in 2014, and the whole DNA foam-Gel thing is a non-issue now – at least from a marketing perspective.

The all-foam Ghost has also grown on us over the past few years, based simply on the merit of the product.

You see, the rest of the footwear industry is on a penny-pinching drive. Many of the new running shoes in the $110-130 price-band are stripped down versions of their former designs, relying heavily on a minimal design language and material specs to reduce manufacturing costs. This approach applies to some of the more expensive shoes too.

Brooks’s design approach is a contrast; they continue to use shoe making materials which look and feel premium. Even though the Ghost 10 isn’t Brooks’s most expensive neutral shoe (the Glycerin is), it is heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the level of materials used.

But will Brooks’s material generosity last for long? Can’t say for sure, but let’s enjoy this fleeting moment while we can.

There’s also a consistency of upper fit and ride quality with the Ghost 10, and that makes the latter’s case as a versatile everyday neutral trainer very strong. The midsole doesn’t have the springy feedback of Boost or Everun, but there’s cushioning in plenty. The upper fits just right, being neither too snug nor excessively spacious.

And what of changes between the Ghost 9 and 10? We’ll eventually cover this topic in greater detail as we always do, but the summary is that the new Ghost 10 comes with an increase in forefoot room, is more flexible, and happens to be a bit softer and lighter than the outgoing model.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper

Most of the Ghost 10’s upper is made out of engineered mesh and high-density printed layers. The Brooks marketing name for this is 3D Stretch Print, a nod to the printing’s semi-elastic nature.

The Stretch Print is applied over the mid and rearfoot, while the forefoot is built of engineered mesh. There are narrow bands of tightly-knit mesh areas near the midsole edge and over the forefoot, and in between are zones with larger pores for ventilation.

The last year’s Ghost 9 had a fused toe-cap with a small ‘canopy’ extending over the big toe. That changes on the Ghost 10, which now uses a regular, stitched-on toe bumper. The Ghost 10’s forefoot gets an updated engineered mesh, and there’s reduced usage of the 3D Stretch print material over the sides.

Needless to say, these updates affect the Ghost 10’s fit character – something which we’ll cover when discussing the upper fit later in this review. There are other design tweaks on the new Ghost, such as the updated (and cleaner) lacing area and the external heel area.

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper

The laces are round this year compared to the Ghost 9’s flat ones. But regardless of their shape, Brooks’s laces are a soft and semi-stretchable kind, and they stay tied-down. So there’s little functional impact here; rather, it’s a matter of personal preference.

The heel gets some bling in the form of molded urethane decorations colored in metallic. We say they’re decorative because the heel already has support due to the hard internal counter. Over the heel center, the synthetic strip of the Ghost 9 has been replaced with molded mesh.

Reflectivity gets affected here, as they disappear along with the Ghost 9’s stitched synthetic. The small ‘DNA’ logo on the midsole and the tongue label are the only shiny bits the Ghost 10 have.

For the last few years, Brooks had relied on a two-mesh set-up to construct the heel collar design. One kind of mesh lined up the Achilles area, while another formed the rest of the heel collar.

That changes with the Ghost 10, which now uses only a single mesh to line the insides of the heel. Also, there’s more foam padding inside the heel over the Ghost 9, so the heel interiors feel smoother overall.

The Ghost has never had an inner sleeve, but tongue slide was prevented by using a ‘tongue-tied’ loop. The Ghost 10 doesn’t have a sleeve either, but the tongue now has two loops instead of one. So the plushly padded tongue is securely held down by these loops, hence completely preventing tongue slide.

The Ghost 10 is slightly lighter than its predecessor due to the elimination of layers; there’s a weight reduction of 0.3 ounces.

Brooks_Ghost_10_outsole

If you’ve been keeping up with the Brooks Ghost series, then you’ll know what we mean when we say that the Ghost 10 feels similar to the Ghost 7.

The Ghost 7 was the first all-foam based model after the Gel-based Ghost 6, and it had a softer ride. A similar analogy applies to the Ghost 10; the Ghost 8 and 9 were firmer riding models.

The Ghost 10’s midsole construction is similar to the Ghost 7 too, with a separate crash pad on both the midsole sides. In contrast, the outer/lateral midsole of the Ghost 9 had a single-density construction.

These updates also mean that the Ghost 10’s forefoot midsole is now single density, as opposed to the twin-stack of the Ghost 9. The result is a noticeable increase in forefoot flexibility and softness over the last version. The design of the outsole flex grooves have little to do with the added flexibility; rather, this change is material and construction dependent.

The midsole walls also flare higher on both sides of the midfoot. You can see the midsole sloping upwards from the forefoot to the midfoot, after which it melds into the rearfoot.

The material hasn’t changed, however. The foam continues to be Brooks’s Biomogo DNA EVA foam, and updates made to the construction and density ends up making the Ghost 10 a softer Ghost.

If you’ve read our Glycerin 15 write-up, then you’ll recognize the common update theme applied to both. For example, a section of the foam midsole (under the midfoot) now swoops down to form a part of the outsole. This is so designed to soften the midfoot transition experience.

Other design aspects are borrowed from the earlier Ghosts. The rounded heel outsole is split into two near the edge; this allows for smoother landings. There’s an open section of midsole foam right under the heel, and this splays wide during landings to produce a cushioning effect.

The removable insole placed inside the upper hasn’t changed. It is the same thick BioMogo foam sockliner used on the past versions of the Brooks Ghost.

DURABILITY ASSESSMENT

Brooks_Ghost_10_durability

Like many Brooks shoes, the soft outsole rubber will be your primary durability concern. What Brooks giveth in outsole grip, it taketh in outsole lifespan. The rubber provides excellent grip, but has lower durability compared to its peers. Regardless of whether you’re a forefoot and rearfoot striker, the frontal section should be the first to shred.

Another area you should keep an eye on is the forefoot mesh. Compared to the Ghost 9, most of the mesh in the front does not have external reinforcement; also, it feels thinner.

Since the mesh is directly glued to the midsole, watch out for signs of early wear due to abrasion and repeated flexing. The Ghost 10’s midsole is noticeably more pliable than the Ghost 8 or 9, so that translates into an increased flexing action for the upper mesh.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper_fit

The Ghost 10’s upper fit is an improvement over the 9. The last year’s model had a larger, fused toe-bumper with an extension over the big toe. This made the toe-box relatively cramped, so the increased space in the Ghost 10 will come as a relief.

By removing the 3D Stretch print in the forefoot and shortening the synthetic toe-bumper, the Ghost 10’s toe-box gains space – both vertically and sideways. The upper breathes better too, and has an accommodating nature. That said, the Ghost 10’s mesh isn’t as stretchable as the Glycerin 15’s.

Brooks_Ghost_10_upper_fit

The insides have a smooth feel, as expected of an upper which is nearly free of stitched overlays. There’s no tongue slide, thanks to the dual loops, and the generous padding filters the lacing pressure.

The heel collar has a smoother fit now. The switch from dual-mesh to a single mesh lining results in a more consistent feel, and there’s this sense of increased padding packed within.

The rear upper grips extremely well. When new, the Ghost 10’s Achilles dip slopes inwards – more so than the Ghost 9 – and this leads to a temporary paucity of toe-box room, as the heel pushes the foot forward. But after a week or so, the heel padding settles in and makes the Ghost 10 fit true to size.

So if you feel that the Ghost 10 is slightly shorter in size, this feeling should dissipate as you put on miles. Get the same size as the Ghost 9, or if you are new to the Ghost, then buy true to size.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Brooks_Ghost_10_cushioning

The Ghost 10’s ride represents an optimal meld of cushioning and support. There’s a distinct sense of softness underfoot, but it isn’t mushy either. But if you’re comparing the 10 to the 9, the newest Ghost is softer. This is because of two reasons.

The first is the updated midsole with a separate crash pad under the heel. This also translates into a single density forefoot on the Ghost 10, which is different than the dual-density design of the Ghost 9. The second is the lighter density of the upper midsole foam itself, which is softer than before.

Brooks_Ghost_10_responsiveness

Combine these updates, and you get a softer ride – both under the heel and the forefoot. While the cushioned insole inside the upper delivers an identical level of cushioning, the softened midsole foam changes the Ghost 10’s ride character. The forefoot is also softer, as the entire midsole thickness is constructed using a single density (and softer) foam.

That said, the rearfoot doesn’t lack support. The crash pads in the lower midsole are firmer than the upper portion, and these structures keep the midsole stable. It is also important to highlight the higher arch flare of the Ghost 10’s midsole. This change in the sidewall design makes the shoe feel more supportive under the arch when compared to the Ghost 8 and 9.

The transition quality is average, as the softer midsole tends to slow the down the loading process. This is particularly noticeable under the forefoot, where the softer and more flexible base makes the push-offs a bit lazier.

So depending on how you like your neutral trainer served, the Brooks Ghost 10’s added softness could be viewed as a double-edged sword. A softer midsole makes for a plusher ride experience, but at the same time, you’ll miss the rock-solid stability of the Ghost 8 and 9.

Nonetheless, the Ghost 10 is a great neutral shoe for training runs of any distance. It has ample cushioning for a marathon, and stable enough for a quick treadmill run. It is just that you won’t get the bouncy responsiveness of foam technologies like the adidas Boost or Saucony Everun.

PROS AND CONS

Brooks_Ghost_10_pros_and_cons

The Ghost 10’s biggest strength is its versatility. The upper fit hits the sweet spot of interior space and secure hold, and the same applies to the balanced ride character. This versatility gives the Ghost multi-role capabilities, be it tackling marathons or the occasional training run.

We like the use of premium materials in running shoes, a fast disappearing trend save for shoes such as the Glycerin, Ghost and a few Saucony products. There are no evident signs of cost cutting on the Ghost, and that translates into a running experience which feels worth every dollar of its $120 MSRP.

Below, the outsole grips well, and the density consistency of the upper midsole and the BioMogo insole give the ride its characteristic smoothness.

Now for the cons. The outsole durability has always been an issue, so the premium material package amounts to nothing when the underside tends to wear and tear faster than shoes from say, the adidas or Nike stable. And then there’s the staid plainness of the DNA foam material, which provides the expected (and ordinary) foam-based cushioning and nothing more.

You’ll also have to live up with the blemishes and finishing defects in some examples of the Ghost 10. We’ve often highlighted this issue in our past reviews (G7 review), and some production models might have skewed assembly or glue marks. So visually inspect any Brooks shoe before you buy.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE GHOST 9 AND GHOST 10

A couple of things will stand out when comparing the Ghost 10 with the Ghost 9. The first is the softer ride quality which also includes a more flexible forefoot. Earlier in this review, we’ve already covered the reasons why this occurs.

The second update is the increased space in the toe-box, the result of a redesigned toe-bumper and an open forefoot mesh construction.

There are other minor changes such as the 0.3 ounces weight reduction, the increased under-arch support, and the updated heel area, but the ride softness and the toe-box space are the updates which matter the most.

Brooks_Ghost_10_13

Name Shoe tech Check price
Brooks Glycerin 15 Super-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Dual density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Revel Single density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon

Spend $30 more, and you get the Glycerin 15. What’s the difference? The Glycerin has a plusher interior and a slightly more stretchable mesh, and the midsole is more supportive and cushioned.

When compared to the Glycerin, the Ghost 10 feels a much lighter shoe, though the actual weight difference isn’t much. This is perhaps so because the Glycerin 15 feels relative bottom heavy, and there’s a sense of more midsole material than the flexible Ghost.

At the entry level is the new Brooks Revel with its new knit upper and a single density midsole. Much like the Launch 4, there are no additional widths.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Brooks_Ghost_10_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Brooks Ghost 10 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Brooks Launch 4 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Brooks Hyperion Lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Brooks Ghost 10 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand Nike Elite 9 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

The Ghost 10 is a comfortable and versatile shoe, but not very fast. So what do you do then, for faster training runs? You get the much firmer and snugger fitting Launch 4. And if you’re used to firm riding shoes, then the lighter Launch 4 can be used for longer races too.

For shorter 5K and 10K races, the Brooks Hyperion is your go-to shoe.

Now let’s explore some of the options available outside the Brooks assortment. The Hyperion equivalent would be the sleek New Balance 1400V5. It has a secure yet breathable fit, and there’s enough cushioning for shorter runs or races.

For general fast-paced training runs, consider the firm riding Nike Zoom Elite with its snappy forefoot feel.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Brooks_Ghost_10_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
Asics Cumulus 19 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Firm Amazon
New Balance 880 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Pegasus 34 Soft Amazon
Saucony Ride 10 Medium soft Amazon
Underarmour Gemini 3 Medium soft Amazon

There are various neutral trainers available in the same price class and category, but the New Balance 880V7 is the closest match with the Ghost 10.

Much like the Brooks shoe, the 880V7 has a regular dual-density EVA foam midsole with similar support and cushioning levels. The upper, with its engineered mesh and fused overlays, partly resembles the Ghost – except for the 880’s shallow toe-box and tongue slide.

If you’re shopping for Asics, then the Cumulus 19 is the Ghost equivalent. It has a comfortable dual-density ride, but with a shallow toe-box.

The UnderArmour Gemini 3 is also comparable, but solely from a category perspective. The Speedform upper design and materials feel and fit different than the rest of the shoes on the list. Underneath, the Gemini 3 comes with a smooth and supportive ride.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 has a ride quality which runs tangential to the rest of the pack, made unique by the hard plastic ‘Wave’ plate embedded in its midsole.

And lastly, you have two of the most popular neutral trainers – the cushioned and responsive Pegasus 34, and the snappy Saucony Ride 10.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Brooks Ghost 10 Review appeared first on Solereview.

Asics Gel Cumulus 19 Review

Asics_Cumulus_19_score

Asics’s marketing pitch: The Cumulus 19 delivers superior comfort and shock dissipation.

Upper: Spacer mesh, fused and stitched-on synthetic.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole with plastic shank. Front and rear Gel inserts. 10 mm heel offset.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 320 gms/ 11.3 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: D – regular (reviewed), 2E – Wide, 4E – Extra wide

Asics’s mid-priced neutral trainer is adequately cushioned for the long and easy runs, featuring the same sole unit as the 18. The upper toe-box still fits shallow.
Cushioned ride, breathable, plush upper heel and tongue, optional widths
Unresponsive ride, tongue slide, potential upper durability issue, heavy, reduced reflectivity over the Cumulus 18

INTRODUCTION

Asics_Cumulus_19_introduction

The Cumulus 19 is the Japanese brand’s ‘budget Nimbus.’ Like the latter, it is a cushioned neutral trainer but minus many of the bells and whistles which the more expensive Nimbus comes boxed with.

At an MSRP of $120, the Cumulus 19 competes with the likes of the Brooks Ghost 10, the Nike Pegasus 34, the Saucony Ride 10, and many others – all mid-priced neutrals which occupy a similar price band.

For many years, the Asics Cumulus dutifully delivered what it was supposed to. The midsole packed ample cushioning, making it one of the many shoes suitable for long runs and general workouts of a relaxed nature. The upper, while not super-plush, seldom gave any reason for complaint.

The otherwise good-natured Cumulus changed last year. Misguided by some strange market trend, the Cumulus 18 squashed the toe-box shallow, making the new version a marked departure from the well-proportioned interiors of the Cumulus 16 and 17.

Do things change for 2017? Sadly, no. The Cumulus 19 not only features a shallow toe-box, but also uses a more flimsy looking upper. And in what’s now an emerging trend (for Asics), the Cumulus 19 uses a midsole and outsole stack which is identical to the outgoing version.

In the past, each successive update introduced a brand-new midsole and outsole along with a refreshed upper. But the last couple of Asics we’ve reviewed – namely the Kayano 24 and now the Cumulus 19 – appear to be indicative of Asics’s new (cost-cutting) direction.

There’s nothing wrong with using the same sole design. Nike does this on a regular basis, but then a shoe like the Pegasus undercuts others by $10. If Asics is reusing parts or molds from a previous version, then the cost benefit should be passed to the end-consumer in the form of a lower MSRP.

If the toe-box is still shallow and the sole unit hasn’t changed, does it make sense for an existing Cumulus 18 user to upgrade? Not at all. We’ll save you the trouble of reading the rest of this review and tell you right away that there’s no value in swapping your 18 for the 19. It is a better idea to invest in Cumulus 18 deadstock and save money.

And if you can get your paws on the Cumulus 17, nothing like it.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper
To say that the Cumulus 19 has reduced the amount of external overlays would be an understatement. Most of the upholstery is now either spacer mesh or knit fabric, with synthetic leather only providing coverage in select areas. The lacing eyestay has synthetic, which is understandable given that this area needs additional reinforcement.

The external toe-bumper seen on the past versions of the Cumulus is absent. Instead, there’s a combination of a micro-bumper near the toe-tip and a band-like strip which runs over the toe-box and forefoot. This doesn’t mean that the front area lacks structure; there is a reinforcement material underneath the mesh.

Most of the synthetic layering is on the lateral/outer side of the midfoot. The inner midfoot is missing both the Asics logo and the synthetic panel seen on the previous Cumulus editions.

Much like the new trend of carrying over the sole design, the removal of inner midfoot layering seems to be the way ahead, if the Kayano 24 and the Cumulus 19 are to be considered as a yardstick.

Let’s be clear – Asics might tout the ‘cleaner’ midfoot as an ‘improvement,’ but it has no benefit on the quality of fit. This change, similar to reusing the sole design, is purely a cost-cutting measure.

In the Cumulus 19’s case, the flimsy midfoot area is more a potential drawback than anything else. We’ll devote more screen space on this topic in the durability section. The silver lining, in this case, is the improved ventilation over the Cumulus 18.

Most of the external heel area is covered with a knit fabric. This visually cleaner design replaces the synthetic strips, the molding, and the reflective details of the Cumulus 18. Reflectivity is a casualty here, as it gets downsized from a couple of strips to a small logo.

The Cumulus 19 gets a new heel collar design. The prominent Achilles dip which was earlier a part of most Asics shoes is replaced by a rounded collar design with a brand new lining fabric. This updates slightly lowers the heel height, but the generously padded collar counters any (potential) negative effect of the lowered height.

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper

The tongue does not have a sleeve, and the flap uses a softer fabric – the same as the heel collar. Tongue slides do happen, so if you’re switching from a sleeved shoe such as the Pegasus, mentally prepare yourself for this mild inconvenience. And by the way, the tongue is a bit shorter than the Cumulus 18.

The interiors have a smooth feel. Like many modern-day running shoes, the Cumulus 19’s upper relies more on fused layers rather than stitched-on ones. While the insides aren’t completely seamless, there aren’t any irritating bumps either.

Asics_Cumulus_19_outsole

If you already have the Cumulus 18, you can skip this section because the sole unit hasn’t changed. But many of you might not be familiar with the series, so it’s worth breaking down the finer aspects of the Cumulus 19’s sole unit.

The midsole and outsole are based on the long-continuing Asics design template. This includes a top EVA foam layer, a couple of visible Gel windows, and then finally a larger stack of EVA foam which acts as the main midsole.

It’s worth mentioning that while the men’s and women’s Cumulus have the same 10 mm heel -to-toe drop, the women’s Cumulus has a softer upper midsole for increased softness.

Mind you; there isn’t much Gel inside the midsole. The forefoot windows are merely decorative, and even the rear has a penny sized unit. Hence, most of the Cumulus’s cushioning comes from the thick foam and not the Gel. This also applies to more expensive Asics models such as the Nimbus, Kayano, and even the Quantum 360.

There’s a plastic shank under the midfoot, a feature which is now fast vanishing from the world of athletic footwear. As for the outsole, you get the standard layout of various rubber pieces separated by generous grooves – placed in a sideways and lengthwise orientation.

The groove which runs the length of the shoe is what Asics markets as the ‘Guidance line,’ while the other grooves help with flexibility and ride transitions.

As for the outsole, the Cumulus uses slabs of soft blown rubber under the forefoot, and the rear is shod with a harder variety. This is designed so because the majority of the running population are rearfoot strikers, so the rear needs to be stronger to withstand the abuse from heel strikes.

At the top lies a soft, blown foam insole. There’s another sheet of foam just below it, and both these combine to give you the initial softness which most people experience while trying the shoe at the store.

We’re not sure what the next year will bring for the Cumulus 20. Since this is the second year running for the same midsole and outsole, the sole should get an update in 2018. But will the regular foam be replaced by the new Flytefoam? If that happens, the Cumulus 20’s ride is probably going to turn firmer yet more resilient.

Asics_Cumulus_19_durability

The wide ‘Guidance Line’ causes the edges of the forefoot rubber slabs to be exposed to a higher rate of wear and tear. This is limited to the initial days, so from a long-term durability perspective, this isn’t something to worry about. The midsole is made of regular EVA foam, so a flattening of ride quality after a few hundred miles should be expected.

The changes on the new Cumulus 19 upper are worrying, however. The inner midfoot is missing a lot of protective covering last seen on the Cumulus 18, and the thin mesh is directly in contact with the midsole edge.

Based on experience, this kind of design usually ends poorly for the upper. There’s a lot of weight applied by the foot in this area, and the lack of reinforcement could lead to the mesh tearing.

These are early days for the Cumulus 19, so we haven’t come across examples of the mesh failing – yet. Nonetheless, this is a red flag from a durability viewpoint. We’ll update this review if we come across instances of premature mesh tear.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper_fit
The toe-box of the Cumulus 19 is shallow and pointy. It is shallow, because a band of synthetic runs over the toe box in a semi-circular path. There’s an internal bumper, so the Cumulus retains its pointy toe-box profile

This construction hems in the big toe; while the sensation isn’t uncomfortable, it makes the limited height of the toe-box noticeable. The Cumulus 19’s toe box design reminds us of the Brooks Ravenna 6 which used a similar band design and produced an identical fit result.

You should buy a half size larger than your regular size (or the same size as the Cumulus 18), else there’s going to be a paucity of interior space.

Asics_Cumulus_19_upper_fit

The tongue has a lot of padding and offers adequate insulation from lacing cinch. But as the Cumulus 19’s tongue is slightly shorter than the 18, using the heel-lock lacing (the last eyelet) will apply top-down pressure over the foot.

Regardless of the updated heel design which appears straighter than the Cumulus 18, there’s no heel slippage. You miss the foam ‘pockets’ of the older heel design, but that’s more of a sensory difference than a functional one.

The Cumulus 19 is offered in multiple widths, ranging from D (regular) to a 4E. So if you’re not happy with the snug forefoot, then get a width upsize.

The removal of external layering makes the C-19 breathable, more so than the C-18.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Asics_Cumulus_19_cushioning

Nearly all of the Cumulus 19’s cushioning is delivered by the dense foam stack. Asics Gel plays but only a minor role in the ride behavior, as most of the Gel is more show than substance.

The soft feel underfoot is the result of the Ortholite insole, and the remaining foam layers have a medium-soft quality of cushioning. The Cumulus has never been a mushy shoe, and the same applies to the version 19.

Still, running fast in the Cumulus 19 feels somewhat laborious. It’s not just the thick midsole, but the generously articulated outsole which slows down transitions. The outsole lugs mounted on a wide area of exposed foam delivers a cushioning (or ‘piston’) effect, but the trade-off is a somewhat slow quality of transition.

The ‘Guidance Line’ demarcates two sides of the forefoot with a wide chasm, so the rubber edges feel lumpy – the same as Cumulus 18. Though this is less pronounced than some of other Asics shoes we’ve reviewed, the abundance of flex grooves proves to be too much of a good thing.

Asics_Cumulus_19_responsiveness

There’s nothing remarkable about the Cumulus 19’s ride quality, but there aren’t any glaring faults either. It has enough cushioning for runs up to a marathon, happens to be moderately stable, and the outsole grips well.

The midsole works for both heel and forefoot strikers. Even with the 10 mm drop, the forefoot has adequate padding; the blown rubber outsole and the midsole work together to create soft landings or transitions, depending on your footstrike.

It is very likely that the next year’s Cumulus will feature a Flytefoam midsole, but for now, the midsole is made of regular EVA foam. So being responsive or bouncy isn’t one of the C-19’s characteristics; the ride feels padded but flat.

PROS AND CONS

Asics_Cumulus_19_pros_and_cons

If the shallow toe box of the Cumulus 19 doesn’t bother you, then the rest of the shoe isn’t bad. The midsole has enough padding without being overly soft, and the upper is breathable. The heel and tongue have a plush fit and feel, and the optional widths make it easier to find a Cumulus which fits you best.

Among the list of negatives, there’s the tongue slide, the unresponsive ride quality, the shallow front, and the flimsy upper build – especially over the inner midfoot. Lastly, let’s not forget that the Cumulus 19’s 11.3-ounce weight makes it the heaviest in its class.

CHANGES BETWEEN THE CUMULUS 19 AND CUMULUS 18

The Cumulus 19 reuses the Cumulus 18’s midsole and outsole, so there’s no difference in the ride quality. A few changes take place on the upper, but nothing which makes the C-19 significantly different than the 18.

The toe area remains shallow, with the overall interior proportions staying very similar to the C-18. The heel area feels softer, and so does the shorter tongue – thanks to the updated lining material which feels smoother than the 18. And the loss of outer covering increases the 19’s breathability.

In the rear, the Achilles dip is toned down to a rounded profile, and the outer heel loses the molded details and reflectivity last seen on the C-18. The inner midfoot loses the synthetic panel.

Both versions are matched on weight (the Cumulus 18 was 0.2-ounce lighter) and the retail price.

UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE?

Asics_Cumulus_19_upgrade_downgrade

Options Technology Check price
Asics Nimbus 19 Flytefoam midsole, dual Gel windows Amazon
Asics Cumulus 19 Regular EVA midsole, dual Gel windows Amazon
Asics Pursue 3 Regular EVA midsole, heel-only Gel window Amazon

At a $40 premium is the Nimbus 19, a neutral trainer which is marketed as an upgrade from the Cumulus 19. Till a couple of years ago, the Nimbus had a softer ride and a plusher upper than the Cumulus. Today, while some parts of the upper – say the heel and the tongue for example – feel softer than the Cumulus, the ride isn’t softer.

The Nimbus recently switched to a firmer Flytefoam midsole. The new design makes the N-19 much firmer than the older models, so when compared to the Cumulus, the midsole density feels similar. What is different though, is a more resilient and responsive ride than the Cumulus. This is the result of the Flytefoam layer which the Cumulus 19 does not have – yet.

At the lower end of the assortment is the Pursue 3. It’s a bargain Cumulus of sorts, offering a firmer ride with a trimmed down material package. The Pursue 3 doesn’t appear to be widely available, so consider the Roadhawk FF as an alternative. The Roadhawk is a neutral trainer with a 10 mm heel drop and a full-length Flytefoam midsole.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Asics_Cumulus_19_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Asics Dynaflyte Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Asics Hyperspeed Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Asics Cumulus 19 Cushioned, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand adidas Boston 6 Lightweight, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Firm, lightweight, race-day Amazon

Recommending a three-shoe rotation for the Cumulus 19 is relatively easy. The cushioned Cumulus 19 is good for the long and easy runs, so pairing that up with a firmer and lighter Dynaflyte makes perfect sense.

The Dynaflyte is great for fast training runs and even races up to a marathon. For shorter races, the Asics Hyperspeed 7 will get the job done.

Do not want an Asics shoe overload? Then consider the New Balance 1400V5 as your short-race shoe, and the excellent adidas Boston 6 as a Dynaflyte substitute.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Asics_Cumulus_19_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
Brooks Ghost 10 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Firm Amazon
New Balance 880 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Pegasus 34 Soft Amazon
Saucony Ride 10 Medium soft Amazon
Underarmour Gemini 3 Medium soft Amazon

There’s plenty of competition in the mid-priced neutral cushioning category, so once you look beyond the Asics assortment, the Cumulus 19 doesn’t seem to offer great value. The problem with the Asics Cumulus 19 is that it stands for nothing, and ends up being an ordinary shoe with mediocrity emanating from its 11.3-ounce weight and its shallow fitting upper.

For example, if you wanted a combination of a plush upper and a supportive yet cushioned ride, then the identically priced Brooks Ghost 10 is the shoe. Need lots of soft cushioning with an ultra-durable outsole? That’ll be the adidas Supernova, sir.

The Nike Pegasus 34 is the lowest priced in this category and offers great value. The ride is cushioned and responsive, and the sleeved upper offers a better fit. The Saucony Ride 10 is also an excellent shoe, its ride offering a touch of Everun responsiveness and smooth transitions.

Don’t need a soft ride? The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 delivers a unique, Wave Plate powered ride under a spacious upper. And if you wanted something ‘traditional,’ the New Balance 880V7 is an under-rated performer.

And now in its third year, the UnderArmour Speedform Gemini 3’s ride is smooth and cushioned, same as the versions before it.

So you see, all other shoes seem to have character in one form or another. And what does the Asics Cumulus 19 have, except that it’s an Asics? Amidst all the running shoe newness, the Cumulus 19 struggles to make a compelling case for itself.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Asics Gel Cumulus 19 Review appeared first on Solereview.

Brooks Glycerin 15 Review

Brooks_Glycerin_15_score

Brooks’ marketing pitch: The Glycerin 15 offers neutral runners the ultimate in softness and supreme comfort.

Upper: Spacer mesh, high-density printing and stitched synthetic leather, inner sleeve.

Midsole: Dual-density EVA foam midsole. 10 mm heel to toe drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 300 gms/ 10.6 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: 2A, B, D – (regular – men’s, wide – women’s), 2E – (wide-men’s)

The smooth riding yet supportive Brooks Glycerin 15 is a neutral shoe in the truest sense of the word. Updated for 2017 with a softer ride and a slightly snugger upper.
Ultra smooth transitions and supportive ride, premium materials, interior fit quality and heel fit, outsole grip
Outsole durability, the SuperDNA midsole material isn’t engaging

INTRODUCTION

Brooks_Glycerin_15_introduction

We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat this – the Brooks Glycerin and the Ghost are two shoes which are more ‘neutral’ than all other neutral running shoes.

What does this statement even mean? We define a neutral running shoe as one which has a balanced ride quality; a shoe without the outwardly leaning character which is often present in stability shoes and even certain neutral shoes.

The strong neutral character has been a part of the Glycerin and Ghost for many years now. Brooks might have replaced the DNA Gel midsole with an all-foam one in 2014, but that did not alter the fundamentals of the Glycerin-Ghost pairing. Both these models have been historically supportive with a smooth ride quality, and the latest Glycerin 15 carries forward those qualities.

For those new to Brooks, the Glycerin 15 happens to be Brooks’s premium (and highest priced) neutral trainer. The 15 suffix denotes that the model is in its fifteenth year, which is also a sign of the latter’s popularity with runners. The Ghost 10 is a lower priced alternative with a firmer ride and downsized trim package.

And what’s new on the Glycerin 15? The midsole has a slightly softer ride, courtesy of the change in foam density and an updated outsole. The upper is visually cleaner yet slightly narrower in the forefoot, the result of increased heel padding which pushes the foot forward.

What’s not changed is how plush the Glycerin 15 feels, thanks to the best-in-class material package. The upper looks and feels premium, and that is matched by a smooth and cushioned ride which isn’t mushy.

In our opinion, the Glycerin 15 is an improvement over the 14.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper

The Glycerin 15 has a visually and functionally beautiful upper, with no signs of penny-pinching we’ve seen elsewhere of late. All the materials feel plush in look and feel, and worthy of the shoe’s $150 MSRP.

The upper is made of a single mesh component which is soft and slightly stretchy. Unlike many other models nowadays, the Glycerin does not use an engineered mesh – a design which has a combination of open and close knitted areas. Instead, the entire mesh exterior is consistent, and that’s not without a good reason.

Brooks uses a network of high-density printed overlays on the upper, and a closed mesh design is better suited for this treatment. Brooks calls this ‘3D stretch print,’ which is exactly what it means. These high-density printed overlays match the light elasticity of the mesh they are printed on, allowing both components to work together when the shoe is in motion.

There are a couple of stitched-on components, one which acts as the toe-bumper and another which runs vertically up the heel center. But the midfoot no longer features the thick synthetic panel which graced the uppers of the Glycerin 12, 13, and 14.

There’s even a reduction in the coverage of the 3D stretch print layers. As a result, the Glycerin 15’s upper is visually sleeker and also better conforming from a fit standpoint.

The laces are the soft round variety we’ve come to love, and the tongue is quilted generously with foam and has a soft hand feel.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper

What’s interesting is that the Glycerin 15 uses a ‘tongue-tied’ loop, an exclusive Brooks feature which is meant to prevent tongue slide. This wasn’t needed on the Glycerin 14 as there was an inner sleeve, and as it turns, neither does the G-15 need it. The Glycerin 15 does have an internal sleeve, so this lacing loop is just another precautionary (yet gratuitous) measure.

The tongue flap is softer than the Glycerin 14 and somewhat reminiscent of the Glycerin 13. The flap uses the soft fabric from the heel; the latter is plump with foam and is extremely plush. There’s a marked increase in heel padding, an update which pushes the foot forward inside the shoe and affects the upper fit.

Though there is an internal heel counter like all the past Glycerin versions, the synthetic piece stitched on the outside is smaller than before. There’s more soft mesh near the top, and when combined with a higher level of foam padding, the Achilles dip tends to lean more inwards when compared to the G-14.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_outsole

Based on outward appearances, the Glycerin 15’s 10 mm drop midsole looks similar to the ones before it. But as it so happens, it’s the hidden changes which make all the difference.

We noticed that the upper layer of the dual-density midsole appears to be a separate rearfoot layer instead of being just a rim, like how it was on the Glycerin 12-14.

Although, we can’t be sure if this treatment extends throughout the length of the midsole unless we dissect the Glycerin. This top layer also has a softer density than the rims on the earlier Glycerins. Needless to say, this update makes the Glycerin 15 softer than before.

The primary midsole is made of Brooks SuperDNA midsole, an EVA foam blend which the brand uses on the Glycerin and the Transcend. This foam is slightly softer and smoother riding than the regular DNA foam used on lower priced models.

Beginning with the Glycerin 12, the midsole sidewalls acquired an inwards sloping profile. The previous generation midsoles had a wide base at the top, and then sloped downwards; this resulted in a slim and rounded outsole profile.

Well, no more.

The Glycerin 15’s midsole loses most of that curve. This also leads to an expected outcome – the outsole becomes wider as it lines up with the broader midsole profile. This is particularly noticeable under the rear and midfoot, where the previous generation Glycerins had a rounded profile. This update helps improve the Glycerin’s road manners.

The widening of the outsole isn’t the only change at the bottom. The rubber pieces are now laid out in a brand new geometry, thus influencing the ride behavior. The heel bevel (meant for gradual landings) is similar to the past Glycerins, and so is the groove forming the heel crash pad.

Under the heel, the outsole pieces are flatter and wider with small lugs. There’s also a much longer transition groove separating the outsole pieces, exposing a larger area of foam underneath.

Rubber usage is noticeably reduced throughout, and the Glycerin 15 goes even a step further – part of the SuperDNA midsole extends all the way downwards and forms a part of the outsole. The forefoot layout also gets a bunch of updates.

The forefoot flex grooves are wider, and the inner/medial outsole blocks most of the flex grooves with solid rubber. This is meant to allow quicker roll-offs, and also improve durability by a small margin. While the wider grooves improve the Glycerin 15’s flexibility, they have an undesirable effect on durability. We’ll cover this next in the durability section.

The grip quality is excellent, a continuing hallmark of Brooks running shoes. The soft blown rubber used under the forefoot provides great traction, and the harder rubber under the rear perform equally well.

Brooks_Glycerin_13

Inside the upper are two components you’re already acquainted with – the smooth, compression molded BioMogo foam insole with a plush cloth covering, and the foam lasting below it.

Together, these deliver soft cushioning just underneath your foot. This is the same insole used on the Glycerin 12, 13, and 14 too.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_durability

There’s a trade-off for the newly acquired forefoot flexibility. The wider flex grooves on the Glycerin 15 tends to increase wear and tear on the edges of the outsole rubber strips. The Glycerin 14 fared better in this regard, as the flex grooves were higher in count and closely spaced.

Regardless of the updated flex grooves, Brooks shoes were never known for their outsole durability. Their shoes use a softer kind of rubber which grips very well but are quick to shred.

It won’t be far fetched to say that Brooks’ outsoles are the least durable in the premium running shoe segment. Brooks has nothing on the adidas Continental or even Nike in the matters of rubber longevity. A median of 300 miles is what you should get with the Glycerin; 400+ miles if you’re a light runner using the shoe in colder climates.

On the bright side, the upper is extremely well put together, so expect no durability issues.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper_fit

The interiors of the Glycerin 15 feels as plush as it looks from the outside. The combination of a super luxurious heel lining, an inner sleeve, and a slightly stretchable mesh ensures both functional fit and interior comfort. There’s more padding around the heel over the G-14, so the heel provides a secure grip.

Around the midfoot, the inner sleeve keeps the tongue in one place, and the generous quilting is effective in filtering the lacing pressure. The round laces are made of a semi-stretch yarn structure, so they feel great to cinch.

The upper breathes fairly well and is a definite improvement over the last few Glycerins. This is because the mesh has fewer overlays, which includes the omission of the large midfoot panel stitched over the earlier versions.

In the front, the toe-box is wide with ample room above the toes. Most running shoes with a stitched-on toe bumper have this fit characteristic, and the Glycerin 15 is no different. The forefoot, however, is a mite narrower than before.

While the new heel design offers an excellent grip and plush wrap, the additional material pushes the foot forward.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upper_fit

This makes the Glycerin 15’s forefoot feel a bit snugger than the 14, but far from being uncomfortable. The mesh and the printing over it has an accommodating nature, so the upper doesn’t hem the foot in.

Besides, the Glycerin 15 is available in multiple widths, both on the men’s (B, 2E) and women’s (2A, D) versions.

And does one need to buy a half size up on the Glycerin 15? Since we’re talking purely in relative terms, the sizing situation depends on how you purchased the Glycerin 14. If you had a thumb’s width of space in the front of your toes (on the Glycerin 14), then you should be ok with sticking to the same size on the 15.

But if you were already cutting it close with the Glycerin 14’s size, then you should get a half size up on the 15. This should apply to some Glycerin 14 users who bought the shoe for walking or casual use and did not leave as much toe-box margin as a runner would.

Barring these small updates, the Glycerin 15 has a great fit. All sections of the upper hold the foot securely while offering a very comfortable interior environment.

This is also a running shoe which requires no break-in period – an area where the 15 outperforms the 14. The removal of the midfoot saddle makes the upper softer and more pliable, both on the sides and over the lacing area.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Brooks_Glycerin_15_cushioning

The overall ride quality is similar to the past few Glycerin models. There’s a smoothness which is due to the uniform use of SuperDNA foam from heel to toe and a full-contact outsole. Glycerins have never been a super soft or mushy shoe, and that is consistent on the G-15 as well.

Most of the softness you feel comes from the plush removable insole just under the foot. The compression molded Biomogo insole is generously cushioned, and the cloth over it feels premium. While the Glycerin 15 continues to maintain the supportive ride quality of the series, the midsole is slightly softer than the last three editions.

One of the reasons is a softer top layer of midsole. Unlike the past models where this layer was merely a rim around the midsole edges, the G-15 uses a separate layer of foam over the main SuperDNA midsole – at least under the heel area. This adds an element of softness previously not present.

The second reason is the changed outsole design which introduces a much wider and longer groove under the heel. More foam is exposed on the outsole, making the ride softer on impact and weight loading.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_stability

That said, the ride isn’t mushy at all. You get the best-in-class support and efficient transition quality one expects of the Glycerin. As we pointed out before, the combination of the balanced midsole design and solid foam makes the Glycerin very stable with no outwards lean.

Being responsive or bouncy isn’t the Glycerin’s forte. It never was, even in the days when the midsole featured a full-length DNA Gel insert. There’s mild responsiveness under the heel, but that’s more on account of the midsole groove splaying rather than the material itself.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_responsiveness

The Glycerin 15 lacks the heightened cushioning properties of the adidas Boost or the snapback of Nike Zoom. Instead, the ride is reminiscent of traditional trainers which deliver a consistent kind of foam cushioning minus the theatrics. The same cushioning consistency also makes the Brooks Glycerin the smoothest riding running shoe in its category.

There’s enough padding for daily runs and long distance runs such as marathons. The Glycerin doesn’t feel fast, but its optimal midsole foam softness won’t bog you down either. It’s a versatile running shoe which performs well in most situations.

Regardless of its 10 mm heel to toe drop, the Glycerin works equally well for rearfoot and forefoot strikers. The front has a decent foam stack topped with a chunky insole, and the blown rubber outsole provides a padded feel at the point of contact.

And given its non-mushy character, there isn’t a lot of (perceived) difference between the stated 10 mm drop and the actual (dynamic) offset.

PROS AND CONS

Brooks_Glycerin_15_pros_and_cons

The Brooks Glycerin 15 has a long list of positives. It has a lot going for it, be it the plush material package, a conforming upper fit, or the smooth and supportive ride character. The G-15 is a versatile neutral shoe in the true sense of the word, delivering a plush running experience which is deserving of the high price tag.

The otherwise excellent Glycerin isn’t without its shortcomings. The outsole durability is worst in class, and the SuperDNA midsole, while smooth, doesn’t deliver the engaging ride experience of other shoes featuring tech like Everun or Zoom.

Owing to the increased heel padding, the sizing is inconsistent over the Glycerin 14. This might cause grief for a small group of runners who’ll find the G-15 slightly shorter than the 14 in stick length.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE GLYCERIN 15 AND GLYCERIN 14

The G-15’s overall fit and ride character have a lot in common with the 14, but there are a few exceptions worth noting. The ride is softer due to the new midsole design with a softer upper layer and a larger area of exposed foam under the heel.

Much of the G-14’s layering has been eliminated. The amount of 3D Stretch print overlays have been reduced, and the midfoot saddle is gone too. This not only makes the G-15’s upper aesthetically sleeker, but softer and more breathable too.

The forefoot fit becomes a bit narrower and the sizing turns shorter by a small margin; this is the by-product of a plusher heel padding.

The G-15 performs slightly better on midfoot stability and forefoot transitions. The inwards sloping of the Glycerin 14’s midsole has been toned down on the 15, and this leads to a wider outsole footprint in the midsection. Updates made to the outsole flex grooves make the 15 easier to bend than the 14.

While the Glycerin 15 feels lighter, it weighs the same as the 14. There’s no change in MSRP, which stays at a pricey $150.

Brooks_Glycerin_15_upgrade_downgrade

Name Shoe tech Check price
Brooks Glycerin 15 Super-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Dual density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon
Brooks Launch 4 Single density Biomogo-DNA foam midsole Amazon

The Ghost 10 is the direct price downgrade from the Glycerin 15. Though it shares a few traits with the more expensive model – such as the fit quality and the supportive ride – it’s easy to see why it is priced $30 lower.

The Ghost features a firmer BioMogo DNA foam midsole instead of the G-15’s SuperDNA, and the tongue does not have an inner sleeve. The mesh is an engineered kind with larger vents, as opposed to the softer and semi-elastic material of the Glycerin.

Relatively speaking, the Ghost is more supportive than the G-15. The Ghost’s midsole is firmer and delivers a greater level of under-arch support due to the higher midsole flare. The cheaper Brooks shoe also features a 12mm heel drop, which is 2 mm higher than the G-15.

Compared to the Ghost and the Glycerin, the Launch 4 comes across as utilitarian – which is precisely what it is. A single density midsole provides a much firmer ride, and the no-frills yet comfortable upper is sold only in a single width.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Brooks_Glycerin_15_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Brooks Glycerin 15 Max cushioning, long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Brooks Launch 4 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Same brand Brooks Hyperion Lightweight, race-day Amazon
Multi brand Brooks Glycerin 15 Max cushioning, long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand Nike Elite 9 Firm ride, fast-paced training Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Lightweight, race-day Amazon

Buying both the Glycerin and Ghost is overkill. Instead, adding the firmer and lighter Launch 4 makes more sense. Using this rotation approach, you get a plush cushioned running shoe in the form of the G-15, and a firmer Launch 4 for speedier training runs.

For race day use and track workouts, the Brooks Hyperion works very well. And just in case you feel there’s too much of Brooks-ness for you to handle, get the excellent New Balance 1400V5.

The Nike Zoom Elite 9 isn’t a direct Launch 4 replacement but still adds ample rotational value. The Elite is a firm shoe with a snappy forefoot, and these qualities make it an excellent choice for fast runs.

SIMILAR PREMIUM NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Brooks_Glycerin_15_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas Supernova Very soft Amazon
Asics Nimbus 19 Medium soft Amazon
Brooks Ghost 10 Medium soft Amazon
New Balance 1080 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Vomero 12 Soft Amazon
Saucony Triumph ISO 3 Medium soft Amazon

There are six premium cushioned trainers on the list, but we couldn’t help but notice how different all these are. For example, the adidas Supernova has a softer and bouncy ride inherent to a full-length Boost midsole.

The Asics Nimbus 19 is a now-turned-firmer Nimbus with a comfortable upper, and the Nike Vomero 12 relies on its Zoom Air bag inserts to produce a snappy and cushioned ride. The Saucony Triumph ISO 3 is a mix of the old and new, as the midsole blends regular EVA with an Everun e-TPU foam insert.

On the other hand, the New Balance 1080 V7 feels ordinary for its price. The Fresh Foam platform struggles to keep up with others in the ride department, no matter how well fitting its upper is. Lastly, the slightly cheaper Ghost 10 has a lot in common with the Glycerin, and that’s why it features here.

The Brooks Glycerin 15 has the plushest upper by far and the most supportive neutral (not counting the Ghost) on the list. Brooks might not have the magical properties of the Boost or Zoom, but the ride is smoothest by far, bar none.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Brooks Glycerin 15 Review appeared first on Solereview.

New Balance 1400V5 Review

New_Balance_1400_V5_score

New Balance’s marketing pitch: Designed for movement that feels fast and free.

Upper: Engineered mesh, fused layers.

Midsole: Single density Revlite EVA foam. 10 mm heel drop.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 207 gms/ 7.2 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: D – regular (reviewed)

New Balance’s lightweight trainer/racer retains the fast ride of the previous versions, and its upper takes the minimalist design route.
Lightweight, quick and efficient transitions, smooth interior fit, outsole grip, price-value
Lack of widths, decreased reflectivity

INTRODUCTION

New_Balance_1400V5_basics
New Balance has quite a few models in its Racing-Competitive category, also called ‘RC’ for short. This assortment has a slew of lightweight racers and spikes which sticks to the brand’s legacy numbering system instead of proper names. We don’t cover spikes at this time, but we’ll spend a little time discussing the non-spiked lightweight trainers within the RC construct.

At the time of writing this review, there are three models which fit the description. The first is the 1500, a model which we’ve often reviewed on the site. The 1500 is a lightweight trainer with a twist; it has a small (but unobtrusive) medial wedge embedded in its midsole. The 1500 has a decent amount of midsole stack, so it isn’t a pure racing flat.

The second shoe is the newly released Hanzo. This is a purist’s racing shoe which features a thin, 4 mm drop midsole and a super-grippy DSP (Dual Stencil Process) outsole, all packaged in a hyper-light 6.5 ounces.

There’s a product gap between the Hanzo and the 1500, and that’s where the RC 1400 V5 comes in. It’s a slightly trimmed down version of the 1500 in a neutral guise, and its 10 mm drop midsole packs enough cushioning for fast training runs, but firm and light enough for 5K, 10K races, and all the way to a half-marathon if your feet and mind are willing.

The 1400 isn’t a thoroughbred racing flat considering that a lot of midsole separates your foot from the ground. But not everyone wants to run in racing flats, so that’s where the 1400 and 1500 come in.

Before the Hanzo came along, New Balance used to have the RC 1600 which is now apparently discontinued. But if the 1600 were to exist today, it would be the shoe bridging the narrow gap between the Hanzo and the 1400.

Most running shoes, like people, change over time, and the 1400 is no exception. Now in its fifth year, the model has gone through numerous design iterations, losing some followers and gaining new ones in the process.

The 2017 New Balance 1400V5 bears little resemblance to the first few designs. The V2 for example, had a uber-breathable upper with lock-down provided by a network of synthetic overlays. The V3 took the V2’s fit, but replaced the cheese-hole mesh with a regular spacer one which had lots of stitch-less overlays.

Last year, the 1400 V4 gained a bit of weight, adding more structure to its upper and aligning the overall design with the 1500. All said and done, the ride quality has stayed more or less the same through the years. All 1400 versions have had a single density midsole made of New Balance ‘Revlite’ EVA, a material also used on the 1500.

And what’s new on the 1400 V5? A lot, we’d say. There’s a new upper which cuts down on all the layering, and delegates the fit and support duties to a combination of engineered mesh and a minimal set of thin overlays. While the midsole is still a single sheet of Revlite, the outsole update results in the grippiest 1400 ever.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

New_Balance_1400V5_upper

Unlike the past 1400 versions which relied on a lot of fused overlays to provide structural support, the new 1400 is all about keeping things minimal. The contrast is obvious when compared to the V4.

We’d admit, though, that the V4 had an unusually high level of external layering for a 1400. The V4’s heel, for example, had a thick, stitched-on overlay, accompanied by lots of fused synthetic over the midfoot and forefoot.

The 1400V5 gets rid of all that. It changes the upper material from the spacer mesh of the older 1400’s to an engineered mesh.

This design approach allows the mesh to have vented and close-knitted surfaces on a single component without relying on external overlays. Only the heel center retains a vertical strip of stitched synthetic. This also means the most of the reflectivity of the V4 is gone, replaced by the somewhat shiny ‘New Balance’ font printed over the heel.

The toe-box and forefoot have larger vents for letting air flow better, while the rest of the upper has a close-knit design. The new mesh has a bit of squeeze compared to the previous spacer one, so the upper feels better over the foot.

The only downside is that the shoe looks droopy when not worn. With most of the external overlays gone, the upper tends to sag under its weight. The only areas where the fused synthetic has been applied are the toe-bumper and the lacing eyestay.

The midfoot and heel sides have high-density printing, which includes the ’N’ logo and speed-streak graphics. (New Balance calls this the ‘wind-swept’ motif; nice.)

The toe-bumper is now a shorter version of the V4’s design, and extends over the forefoot on the big toe side. It’s a wise design choice to keep the lacing area reinforced with synthetic, as it prevents the eyelets from tearing.

New_Balance_1400V5_upper

The laces are the standard flat ones with a bit of stretch in them. These spread top-down pressure evenly and stayed tied during runs, so it’s good to see them unchanged. The tongue has minimal padding and has no sleeve. But there’s no tongue slide.

This is due to the 1400’s narrow lacing, a set-up where the opposing eyelets come very close together when laced-up. This allows the tongue to be locked in its position by the very wide center lace-loop.

The interiors are by far the smoothest in the 1400’s history. The complete lack of thick overlays allows the insides to be seamless, making the 1400 suitable for sock-free runs too. A internal stiff counter wraps around the heel, and the collar has minimal padding. There’re a couple of updates over the V4 in that area.

The collar gets a new fabric lining which is soft, but different than the cottony melange type used on the V4. The Achilles dip is also slightly lower, though this does not affect the fit in a negative way.

New_Balance_1400V5_outsole

Save for the cosmetic details, not a lot has changed on the 1400’s 10 mm drop midsole. It’s got a single-density block of EVA which New Balance calls Revlite.

The volume of foam is similar to the one used on the 1400 V4, and the sidewalls get updated details.

Instead of the angular grooves and cuts of the V4, the 1400V5’s midsole has small rib-like details which match up with the graphic on the upper. This compression molded foam is neither too soft nor too firm, which is fitting given the 1400’s fast-shoe positioning.

There’s a perforated (and removable) insole inside which adds an extra layer of cushioning. This is the same insole used on the V4, and also on the 1500 series.

The basic outsole design hasn’t changed in a few years. Thin slabs of rubber are placed flat over the Revlite midsole to result in a near-full contact surface. There are some areas of exposed foam under the heel and midfoot, but the rest of the surface is rubber.

The rearfoot gets a two-piece set up of hard rubber, whereas the front is covered with softer blown rubber. That’s where the similarity with the V4 ends, however. The forefoot outsole geometry gets a radical design update.

A new groove splits the forefoot outsole into two side-by-side halves. This wasn’t the case on the earlier versions of the 1400, and it seems that the V5 has taken inspiration from the medially-posted 1500. Not only is the split forefoot similar looking to the 1500, but the lug design also shares a common template.

This year’s 1400 gets a colony of tiny lugs on the forefoot slabs. This wasn’t so on the V4, which featured wide rubber slabs without a groove dissecting them. As a result, the 1400V5’s road manners have a lot more grip on road and track than the V4, or for that matter any of the past 1400’s.

What New Balance doesn’t mention is the presence of a small midfoot TPU piece. This is placed above the midsole, and contributes to the torsional rigidity of the 1400.

New_Balance_1400V5_durability

For all its lightweight appearance, the 1400 isn’t as fragile as it looks. You should be able to squeeze 300 miles out of the shoe easily, probably more. The smaller lugs tend to wear faster than the bigger slabs of the previous 1400’s, though the rate of wear will gradually taper.

Revlite and the insole are still EVA foam no matter what New Balance claims, so expect the foam to go all wrinkly and flat after a couple of hundred kilometers. In other words, the 1400V5 will get closer to a racing ‘flat’ feel at mile 200 than mile 10, so not sure whether the midsole flattening is a bad thing.

The toe-box is shallow, so get a half size larger if you want to preserve the toe-box mesh. Else, friction with the foot might lead to a premature failure of the mesh material.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

New_Balance_1400V5_upper_fit

There’s a good reason why the 1400V5 is in New Balance’s ‘RC’ category. Apart from its light weight, the upper is form fitting – a characteristic of road racing shoes. A narrow fit keeps the foot locked down and minimizes distraction.

On the other hand, if a shoe such as the 1400 is one of your first, then know that the fit is different than a daily training (like the New Balance 1080 or the Nike Pegasus).

When compared to traditional trainers, the 1400’s toe-box is shallow, the front end is pointy, and the forefoot is narrow. But on a scale relative to the 1400V4, the new V5 has a slightly more accommodating fit.

New_Balance_1400V5_upper_fit

We mentioned that the forefoot and midfoot go through numerous changes, such as a smaller toe-bumper, the reduction of side overlays, and the softer mesh. One can’t have all these tweaks and not expect a change in the upper fit at the same time.

It is no surprise that the foot doesn’t feel hemmed in as it did inside the V4. The engineered mesh is softer and will expand slightly over time. The new toe-bumper is shorter on both sides, so the front isn’t as pointy. The insides feel way smoother than before too; overall, the V5 feels more spacious inside than the V4.

This doesn’t mean that the upper lacks support. The 1400 has a thin waist, which means the upper hugs the foot securely and prevents it from sliding forward. The internal heel counter grips well, and the flat laces do a great job of keeping the tongue in place. As called out earlier, the narrow lacing and the ultra-wide center loop keeps the unsleeved tongue from moving around.

Whether you buy a half size up on the 1400 or not depends on the use-case. If your intention is that of reserving the 1400’s use exclusively for synthetic tracks, then we recommend that you stick true to size.

But you intend to run 10k and beyond in the 1400, then getting a half size larger is recommended. It must also be noted that the 1400 is not offered in additional widths, so what you see is what you get.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

New_Balance_1400V5_cushioning

The 1400 is a 10 mm drop shoe, which means that the cushioning is heel loaded. There’s a lot more Revlite in the rear than under the minimally padded forefoot. So your impression of the 1400’s ride will depend a lot on whether you’re a rearfoot or forefoot striker.

In the back, three components work together. The perforated insole placed inside comes with inbuilt cushioning, and this provides the first layer of cushioning. The primary Revlite midsole does a good job of damping the ride without a loss in speed, and the area of exposed foam cavity (under the heel) splays out on impact, adding to the cushioning experience.

New_Balance_1400V5_responsiveness

Even so, we’d still categorize the 1400’s cushioning character as firm with only the slightest responsiveness. The foam doesn’t have a lot of give, and offers excellent ground feedback, stability, and transitions instead. The forefoot cushioning is bare-bones, but not jarring – the soft blown rubber adds a touch of softness when it meets the road.

If you’re familiar with other New Balance models, then a good way to describe the 1400’s cushioning quality as being midway between the Zante V3 and the Vazee Pace V2.

One might ask – can the 1400 be used for marathons?

No one’s stopping from using the 1400 as a long distance shoe which involves running longer than a half-marathon, but the forefoot is thin and will beat your foot down. Also, the fit is narrow, and there are no additional widths, so that’s another thing you need to watch from a comfort perspective.

Some use the 1400 on light, non-technical trails where a snug upper works better, but then that’s an entirely different use-case.

PROS AND CONS

New_Balance_1400V5_pros_and_cons

This is a New Balance, so the first positive which comes to mind is the upper fit. The 1400 might be narrow, but there’re absolutely no pressure hot spots. More so this year than the last, as the all-mesh upper delivers increased breathability and interior smoothness while being supportive.

The ride quality is a great mix of firm and cushioned. The single density Revlite EVA offers excellent transitions, and the new outsole grips very well on the road and tracks. This lightweight shoe is also great value at an MSRP of $100.

If we had to nitpick, it would be the lack of optional widths and the decreased reflectivity over the previous model.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE 1400V4 AND 1400V5

As far as the ride is concerned, both the versions are very similar. That’s because the V4 and V5 both use a single-density EVA midsole of similar dimensions. That said, the 1400V5’s outsole grip is much better owing to the new forefoot lugs.

What’s changed a lot is the upper. The V5’s upper leaves most of the external layering behind, which also includes a smaller toe-bumper. The reduction of overlays when combined with the slightly more stretchable engineered mesh, frees up more room inside.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

New_Balance_1400V5_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand New Balance 1400V5 Fast runs, races Amazon
Same brand New Balance Boracay V3 Long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand New Balance Zante V3 Medium-paced runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1400V5 Fast runs, races Amazon
Multi brand Nike Pegasus 34 Long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand adidas Boston 6 Medium-paced runs Amazon

If the 1400 is going to be one of the many in your running shoe mix, then there are a couple of rotational approaches to consider. You can either keep the entire collection minimal and speed focused, or go for a wider range of ride experience.

An assortment of the Zante V3, the 1400, and the Hanzo will give different levels of lightweight. The Hanzo is a pure racing flat for quick 5K and 10K runs, while the Zante V3 is a cushioned daily trainer. In between these two, you have yours truly.

But we think that the assortment will be more wholesome if you get the Boracay V3, the Zante, and the 1400V5. This way, the 1400 can be used for races and very fast runs, while the Boracay can perform the role of a long-distance hauler. The Zante works great when you want a lightweight shoe but with a higher level of cushioning than the 1400.

If you seek brand diversity, then consider the Nike Pegasus 34 and the Adidas Boston 6. The Nike will give you all the cushioning you need for longer runs, while the Boston is a good in-between shoe for fast-paced daily training.

SIMILAR LIGHTWEIGHT TRAINERS

New_Balance_1400V5_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas adios 3 Medium soft Amazon
asics Hyperspeed 7 Firm Amazon
Brooks Hyperion Firm Amazon
Mizuno Hitogami 4 Firm Amazon
Nike Streak LT3 Firm Amazon
Nike Streak 6 Firm Amazon

Regardless of its ‘RC’ tag, the 1400V5 is not a full-blown racing flat; the 10 mm heel drop is a dead giveaway. It is undoubtedly a fast trainer, but has adequate padding underneath, much unlike a racing flat. The 1400 is a level or two above the racing flat silhouette as far as road manners go.

There are many other shoes within that category. There’s the Asics Hyperspeed 7, the Brooks Hyperion, and the adidas adios 3.

The Mizuno Hitogami 4, the Nike Zoom Streak 6, and the LT3 are a few other options. Needless to say, each of these come with their distinct ride and upper fit character.

But if we had to choose just one shoe which is a closer match with the 1400 than the rest, it’d be the Asics Hyperspeed 7. The latter’s upper fit shares some of the 1400’s traits, along with a single-density midsole and a transition groove which splits the forefoot – much like the New Balance 1400V5.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post New Balance 1400V5 Review appeared first on Solereview.

Asics Gel Kayano 24 Review

Asics_Kayano_24_score

Asics’s marketing pitch: The Kayano 24 has an evolved adaptive fit that it is more true to size.

Upper: Engineered mesh, fused urethane, external plastic heel counter.

Midsole: Triple density midsole with a firmer medial post and Flytefoam. Plastic midfoot shank. 10 mm heel drop for men’s, 13 mm for women’s.

Outsole: Hard carbon rubber under the heel, softer blown rubber under the forefoot.

Weight: 320 gms/ 11.3 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: 2A, B, D – regular (reviewed), 2E -wide, 4E – extra wide.

The Kayano 24 is the spiritual successor to the Kayano 21. That means that the improved fit has a larger toe-box, and the ride quality is just right.
Upper fit with spacious toe-box and secure heel grip, reflective elements, plush materials
Tongue slide, Guidance line causes accelerated outsole wear, heavy, price

INTRODUCTION

Asics_Kayano_24_introduction

When you’ve been reviewing shoes for nearly a decade, connecting the dots between design updates becomes an easy task. The Asics Kayano is a good example. It’s had its fair share of updates over the years, turning from a firm riding trainer to a super-soft shoe with a noticeable lateral bias.

And it’s not just the ride quality, but the upper fit too which receives a wide range of updates. Some versions had a wholesome upper fit character, with the heel, midfoot, and the toe-box gripping the foot as they should. On others, the toe-box squashed the foot with an uncomfortable down-force.

All these strange changes can be attributed to the non-existent feedback loop of running shoe design. Unlike other industries where a new product usually translates into an improvement over the older one, the long-lead times involved in designing a running shoe means that it’s impossible to incorporate customer feedback from one model to the next. More so, when brands go through this compulsory new shoe thing every year.

Most of you would agree that the Kayano 21 represented an optimum combination of fit, aesthetics, and ride quality if you consider the Kayano iterations released in the last three years. The Kayano 22 was too soft, and the 23, while better, featured the same shallow toe-box fit.

The Kayano 24 marks a return to the wholesomeness of the Kayano 21, though only in spirit.

The upper uses an evolved visual scheme which is a euphemism for keeping up with the current cost-cutting times, and the midsole makes use of Asics’s newest and brightest tech in its arsenal – the firmer Flytefoam foam.

The Kayano’s positioning as a mild-motion control shoe hasn’t changed, which means that the inner midsole has a firmer wedge for medially-skewed support.

This year also marks a rare occurrence for a Kayano. Asics, like Brooks, tends to refresh the midsole and outsole design with each annual update. For what’s a break from tradition, the Kayano 24 reuses the Kayano 23 sole unit without making any changes.

That means that all the updates take place on the upper and none on the sole. If you own a pair of the Kayano 23, then expect the same ride.

On the other hand, if you’re coming back to the Kayano after a brief hiatus, then fret not. We’ll discuss the Kayano 24’s sole design and ride character at length too.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Asics_Kayano_24_upper

A lot has changed on the Kayano 24’s upper in just a year, which runs contrary to Asics’s ‘don’t-change-it-ever’ design philosophy. Perhaps there’s a new crew at the helm of things, which could only explain this unexpected newness of the upper and the contrast of the carry-over midsole design.

At a basic level, the Kayano 24 shares a common mix of materials and placement with the 23. The upper has engineered mesh – one which combines tightly knit and vented areas over a single component. The section over the toe-box and the forefoot sides, for example, has larger vents when compared to the rest of the upper.

The molded Asics logo on the side is a familiar fitment, but there’s a change here. Instead of having the logos on both sides, only the outer (lateral) side has the logo. This again is a departure from how Asics usually does it. This one logo treatment (or a variation thereof) is usually seen on budget Nike and Saucony shoes.

That said, we have to remember that the Kayano isn’t a $100 shoe but a $160 one, and the upper needs to look the part, even if it means it’s a matter of form over function. So instead of skipping on the side logo, they should have done something like the Nimbus 19 which has a lightweight logo printed over the inner upper.

The heel features an external counter made of hard, molded plastic with smooth contours. The Kayano 24 features a much larger piece than the last year, and this design is apparently influenced by the much expensive Metarun. The external counter now extends higher and longer on either side, and that’s not all – even the heel collar design is updated.

Instead of having a prominent Achilles dip, the collar is now rounded and has more foam inside. This also means that there’s a reduction in the overall height, and the sides clasp snugger than the Kayano 23.

The Achilles dip also curves inwards, and usually such a thing reduces the sizing width. But it doesn’t, and we’ll explain why in the upper fit section of this review.

The lining material is similar but seems to have a softer feel than the 23. The reflective element also blends in much better with its surroundings thanks to a tonal visual scheme.

Whereas the shiny parts of the previous Kayanos were metallic in color, the reflective elements of the 24 are of the same color as the heel counter. The reflective windows also feature molding details which add to the overall design depth.

Asics_Kayano_24_upper

The lacing area gets a raised, molded panel this year. There’s also a thin, laminate underneath which also extends to the heel area, thus visually connecting the midfoot and the heel area in the process. The rounded, non-elastic laces pass through a moderately padded, and slightly modified tongue. There’s no sleeve keeping the tongue in place, so you get the expected serving of sideways slide.

The Kayano 24’s heel update changes the upper fit quality, but its extent of influence pales when compared to the toe-box update.

We did say something at the beginning about the 24 resembling the 21, and some of that is based on the new toe-box fit. With a raised toe-box which has both an internal and external stiffener, the toe-box fit quality changes for the better.

There’s another update which affects the fit in the front; the forefoot (sideways fit). The Kayano 23 had this internal tape under the mesh, and this extended from the lacing area to the toe-tip. On the inner side of the forefoot, an external overlay provided structural support.

The Kayano 24 does have internal taping (pictured in fluorescent green in the images above), but it has a different orientation. Instead of bridging the lacing area and the toe area, it spans vertically on both sides of the forefoot. The external layering of the 23 is now replaced with a few strips of internal layering.

Later, we’ll explain how these updates affect the quality of upper fit.

Asics_Kayano_24_outsole

The Flytefoam midsole introduced on the Kayano 23 finds its way into 24 as well. There’s a firmer Flytefoam foam layer at the bottom, while the upper midsole is made of softer EVA foam.

On the medial side, there’s a harder foam wedge. Asics has stopped making the firmer wedge in a different color since the Kayano 23, so it’s difficult to visually distinguish the medial post if it were not for the ‘Dynamic Duomax’ text callout.

The midsole has a couple of Gel pads, but if you’ve been reading reviews on this site, you’d know that these pads only form a small part of the overall midsole volume. The Gel is more effective under the lateral heel where it performs the role of both form and function. The visible forefoot Gel is 100% show and 0% cushioning.

A plastic shank bridges the midfoot, and the outsole is made of multiple pieces of rubber. The forefoot has a softer blown rubber, while the rear has a more durable variety. Asics’s ‘Guidance Line’ longitudinally splits the outsole.

Available over the midsole is the standard stacking of a foam lasting, and a soft, Ortholite insole. It must be mentioned that there’s a difference between the men’s and women’s model when it comes to the sole design.

The men’s Kayano edition has a 10 mm heel to toe drop, while the women’s version has a 13 mm drop. This means that the heel stack is higher, making the women’s Kayano slightly softer than the men’s one.

Asics_Kayano_24_durability

The Asics Kayano has made gains over earlier versions in this department, particularly when it comes to the durability of midsole foams. Flytefoam has shown a greater resistance to cushioning loss when compared to regular EVA.

However, since only a half of the midsole is made out of the new material, the increased durability does not apply universally. Also, parts of the outsole are prone to early wear and tear. For example, the edges of the soft forefoot rubber lugs (flanking the Guidance Line) has the tendency to wear quickly within the first 30 miles, though the rate of wear tapers soon after.

The upper has plenty of layering and reinforcement, so expect it to outlive the outsole.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Asics_Kayano_24_upper_fit
The 24 marks a return to the Kayano’s roots. In other words, the new upper fits and feels great, unlike the Kayano 22 and 23’s much disliked toe-box shallowness. The raised toe profile ensure ample toe-box height and also eliminates the pointy-ness of the 23.

While the toe-box height gets a boost, the subject of forefoot fit is noteworthy. The Kayano 24’s forefoot is a mite snugger than the 23 – especially on the medial side. This has to do with the re-positioning of the internal tapes; they might no longer extend over the forefoot, but they are placed vertically on both sides of the forefoot.

Asics_Kayano_24_upper_fit

This new placement of the tapes tends to limit the inbuilt expansion of the mesh, and hence, the forefoot feels a bit narrower than the 23.

We’ll repeat this so that nobody is confused: The Kayano 23 had a shallower toe box (less vertical room) but more relaxed forefoot (sideways room across the widest part of your feet). On the Kayano 24, that is reversed. Which is more toe-box room (vertical), but a relatively snugger forefoot (sideways fit). The forefoot fit difference isn’t a lot but is bound to be noticed by discerning running shoe geeks.

The midfoot is archetypal Kayano. In plainer words, this implies that the midfoot feels smooth, and the untethered tongue tends to slide. The tongue is padded enough not to let the lacing pressure pass through.

Regardless of the lowered heel height, the Kayano 24’s rear upper grip is excellent. There’re a couple of factors which make the heel fit secure. One happens to be the much taller and longer plastic clip which holds the foot in place. The second is the lower, softer, but inwards curving heel collar.

On a related note, an inwards curving Achilles tends to push the foot forward and make the shoe smaller. But in the Kayano 24’s case, the grippier heel and the enlarged toe-box have a counter-canceling effect, and thus the true-to-size nature of the Kayano stays unchanged.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Asics_Kayano_24_cushioning
The upper fit isn’t the only thing which harkens back to the Kayano 21.

The new Flytefoam infused midsole’s firmness resembles that of the 21, but with a different ride quality. Most of the Kayano 24’s softness is concentrated in the upper regions of the midsole, thanks to the combination of the insole, foam lasting, and the softer midsole layer molded out of EVA foam. We could have said the same of the Kayano 23, except that the new Kayano makes for a better comparison in the context of the improved upper fit.

Flytefoam as such is a firm compound, and this particular trait will be noticed by runners who are transitioning directly from the Kayano 22 or earlier.

Asics_Kayano_24_responsiveness

The Flytefoam material isn’t particularly responsiveness or springy, but it has a bit of resilience which was missing on the earlier, pure foam based Kayanos. The newer editions do feel faster, though. This expands the Kayano’s capability from a mere slow-speed road plodder to a versatile trainer.

You can expect the Kayano to perform many roles. Marathon distances are suitable for the Kayano, and so are those short 5K training runs. The Kayano is no speed demon, but it isn’t mushy like the 22. Transitions are smooth and efficient, unlike the overly soft ride of the Kayano 22.

Asics_Kayano_24_stability

As expected of medially posted running shoes, there’s a slight tilt towards the outer heel. The combination of the soft foams and the visible Gel makes that side softer than the firmer wedge said.

That said, the skew isn’t acute, so the Kayano 24 can be considered even if you’ve historically preferred neutral shoes.

PROS AND CONS

Asics_Kayano_24_pros_and_cons

The Kayano 24 has a well-sorted ride quality, one which isn’t overly soft nor firm. Combining the Flytefoam layer with the softer EVA foam parts makes the ride softer in the upper areas, but firmer near the point of contact. This bodes well for the quality of heel-to-toe transitions. The medial post isn’t intrusive, and the midsole is fairly stable for what it is.

We find plenty of good things to say about the upper. The toe-box is spacious (unlike the last two Kayano models), the midfoot interiors are smooth, and the new heel counter grips very well.

There are a few negatives. The sleeve-less tongue slides to one side during runs, and parts of the blown rubber outsole will undergo a small degree of wear and tear in the initial period.

The outsole wear is more a design issue than a material one. The Guidance Line splitting the outsole leaves all the heavy lifting to the edges of the forefoot rubber slabs, and this causes the rubber to wear off faster.

The last issue is subjective. One of our contributors pointed out that the Asics Kayano 24 looks pretty bare for a $160 shoe. There’s no Asics logo on the medial/inner side (all the past Kayanos had one), and this lack of aesthetic detail isn’t fitting given the premium price.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE KAYANO 23 AND KAYANO 24

There is no change in the ride quality as the ‘new’ Kayano 24 only changes the upper and not the sole composite. And speaking of the former, the upper has plenty of updates worth highlighting.

The toe-box gets a new-found quality of fit. There’s a lot more vertical space compared to the Kayano 22 and 23; although, the forefoot (sideways fit) feels a bit narrower due to the revised placement of the internal tape.

In the rear, the significantly larger plastic counter grips the foot better than the 23, regardless of the lower heel collar. The Kayano 24 and 23 are near-evenly matched on weight and price, though it has been mentioned in reader reviews that the 24 feels lighter than the 23.

LOWER PRICED ALTERNATIVES?

Asics_Kayano_24_upgrade_downgrade

Options Technology Check price
Asics Kayano 24 Flytefoam, Dual Gel Amazon
Asics GT-2000 5 EVA foam, Dual Gel Amazon
Asics GT-1000 6 Firm EVA foam, Gel Amazon

Asics has many running shoes with firmer medial posts, but three models are better known than the rest. Namely, it’s the Kayano, the GT-2000, and the GT-1000.

The GT-2000 5 is a mild motion control shoe with a slightly lower material spec than the Kayano. The GT-2000 is missing a few bells and whistles available with the Kayano, like the large heel clutching system, or the lack of a visible forefoot Gel element. But these minor details have little impact on the GT-2000’s versatile character.

So if you don’t want to spend $160 on the Kayano and can live without the Flytefoam, then the GT-2000 should be your second choice when it comes to a mild motion-control shoe.

The GT-1000 6 is a budget GT-2000 (if you can call $90 ‘budget,’ that is). Made with noticeably lower quality materials, the GT-1000 delivers just the bare minimum required of a support shoe, and little else.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Asics_Kayano_24_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Asics Gel Kayano 24 Cushioned, mild-support Amazon
Same brand Asics DS Trainer 22 Lightweight support Amazon
Same brand Asics DS Racer 11 Lightweight racer Amazon
Multi brand Asics Gel Kayano 24 Cushioned, mild-support Amazon
Multi brand Saucony Guide 10 Cushioned, mild-support Amazon
Multi brand New Balance 1500V3 Lightweight trainer Amazon

You’ll notice that this rotation recommendation chart looks different than the one displayed last year. That’s because two things have happened since; the then-larger toe-box of the GT 2005 no longer remains an incentive as the Kayano 24 opens up the front. The second factor is there’s a new DS Trainer with a Flytefoam midsole.

Under the circumstances, the DS Trainer 22 works as a great second shoe for fast runs and the occasional half marathon. For shorter and even faster races, there’s the DS-Racer 11 with its very grippy Duosole forefoot.

If you’re not going the Asics route, then the Saucony Guide 10 works great as a rotational companion. We’d like to clarify that the Guide 10 and DS Trainer aren’t comparable. Rather, the Guide is a firm cushioned shoe with a touch of responsiveness. This makes it a versatile trainer for runs of all kinds.

Few shoes combine the optimal ground feedback, cushioning, the upper fit, and a barely-there medial post like the New Balance 1500V3 does. It’s a great shoe for 5K and 10K races, fast training, or even races up to a half marathon. If seen from an Asics lens, the 1500 is halfway between the DS Trainer and DS Racer, giving you the best of both worlds.

It must be mentioned that all the recommended shoes have a medial post, but of a non-invasive nature.

SIMILAR PREMIUM CUSHIONED-SUPPORT SHOES

Shoes_similar_to_Asics_Kayano_24

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas Ultra Boost ST Very soft Amazon
adidas Supernova ST Soft Amazon
Brooks Transcend 4 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Paradox 3 Medium soft Amazon
New Balance 1260 V6 Medium soft Amazon
Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 Medium soft Amazon

The Asics Kayano 23 is a traditional motion-control shoe – it has a firmer midsole wedge with a multi-component midsole. Purely on a contextual basis, the New Balance 1260 V6 and the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 are comparable. Both these shoes have a cushioned ride but with a medial post, not to mention the closely matched price(s) too.

Some models offer a different interpretation of the cushioned-support category. The adidas Ultra Boost ST, for example, is a super-plush shoe with just a hint of medial side support. The new Supernova ST is a level below the Ultra in the cushioning department, but doesn’t go overboard with the stability thing.

The narrow fitting Brooks Transcend 4 lacks a foam wedge. Instead, it just happens to be a supportive and cushioned shoe, made possible by a very wide midsole. The Mizuno Paradox 3 is the Japanese brand’s premium support shoe. Lots of foam, lots of plastic Wave plate; you get the idea.

Lastly, the GT 2000 5 is also similar to the Kayano 24, which isn’t surprising considering the shared elements like Gel pads, upper last, a multi-density foam midsole, and a similar looking outsole.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

The post Asics Gel Kayano 24 Review appeared first on Solereview.

adidas adizero tempo 9 Review

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_score

adidas’s marketing pitch: Light shoes designed for support and flexibility.

Upper: Synthetic leather/suede, spacer mesh.

Midsole: Full-length Boost topped with a firmer EVA foam layer. Plastic midfoot shank, supportive laminate over the inner midsole. 10 mm heel drop.

Outsole: Combination of Continental and adiwear hard rubber.

Weight: 266 gms/ 9.4 oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.7/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed)

The Tempo 9 downsizes the Stableframe midsole, turning it into a lightweight trainer which is comparable to the Boston 6.
Responsive ride and efficient transitions, durable outsole, breathable upper, outsole grip
Lack of optional widths, mild tongue slide

INTRODUCTION

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_introduction

The adizero Tempo 9 is adidas’s fast training running shoe with a mild support element. One way to look at it would be to do so as a lighter and slimmer version of the Supernova ST. The latter is a cushioned trainer suitable for longer distances, while the Tempo 9 is a much lighter shoe suited for races and training runs of similar paces.

The Boston 6 has to be mentioned in the same breath as the Tempo, for the two shoes are (now) remarkably similar. Considering that the Tempo 9 does not use a firmer medial-post, it won’t be wrong to treat the shoe as a slightly more supportive version of the Boston.

This year’s Tempo 9 features a brand new set of midsole and outsole. The end product is a marginally softer ride experience, the result of less EVA on the midsole and an outsole design with bigger windows. And mind you, the Tempo 9 no longer uses the word ‘Stableframe.’ Taking its place is adidas’s new ‘Energized stability’ film over the inner midsole.

The Tempo also receives a new set of clothes; the upper switches to a subdued aesthetic scheme along with a couple of elements which influence the quality of fit.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_upper
There’s nothing groundbreaking about the Tempo 9’s upper, just a tried-and-tested combination of materials and placement. Synthetic suede is used liberally over the upper which not only lends a subtle look but also makes the shoe supple.

The toe-bumper is a largish piece of suede, and the lacing panel and the three-stripes logo are made of the same material. There’s something about suede which gives any shoe an understated look, and adidas has put it to good use here.

The laces are flat and have a cottony texture which keeps them tied together.

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_upper

The inner sleeve which formed a part of the Tempo 7 and 8’s interiors is gone. It is replaced by a thin and softer tongue with a traditional lace loop. And while we have always appreciated an inner sleeve in the past, the Tempo is better off without it. The past two adizero Tempos had sleeves, but the standard of assembly was sub-par.

By switching to a simpler construction minus an inner sleeve, the Tempo 9 ends up a much better finished model. There’s also visual clean-up in the form of the redesigned heel; gone are the glossy layers of synthetic seen on the V8.

Instead, a thin transparent laminate is applied over the external heel. Inside, there’s a stiff counter like before. The collar lining and foam fill levels stay unchanged from the V8. The heel upper gets a nylon pull tab, which is a new design addition.

The forefoot and the midfoot mesh is also now a single kind of spacer mesh, which is a cleaner approach than the multiple mesh types used on the V8. All said and done, the most important update on the Tempo 9’s upper is the split eyestay.

Instead of having a single midfoot suede panel – as it was on the Tempo 7 and 8, the Tempo 9’s first two lacing rows are mounted on a separate strip of synthetic.

This new arrangement allows those rows to operate independently; this can affect the fit quality, depending on how you lace the Tempo 9.

Like for like, though, the Tempo 9 has less layering on the forefoot side. There are a couple of thin straps in a criss-cross formation which opens up the forefoot more than the Tempo 9’s synthetic covered design did. adidas calls this design ‘Japanese Origami’ inspired, presumably based on the art of Japanese paper folding.

On a side note, 2016 was the year of mid-season model refreshes. The Supernova Glide changed its outsole half way through the year, and the Tempo refreshed its upper mesh as well.

As a result, there were a couple of Tempo variants available to buy, depending on which retailer’s website you were on. If that wasn’t confusing enough, there was even a separate women’s version.

For now, it seems that the Tempo 9 will be consistent for 2017.

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_outsole

If you’re familiar with the adidas’s Supernova, Boston, and Tempo series of running shoes, you’ll feel right at home with the Tempo 9’s midsole.

A familiar combination of the firmer EVA rim on top and a full-length Boost midsole is deployed on the Tempo. While this design is similar to the what’s on the adios 3 and the Boston, the Tempo 9 does a few things differently.

When compared to the Boston, the EVA component is slightly larger, while the Boost foam is present in a larger volume than the race-day adios 3. So in terms of cushioning, it won’t be wrong to say that the Tempo 9 sits midway between the adios and the Boston. The Tempo also has a couple of other features befitting its ‘support’ categorization.

The last two Tempo versions had a ‘Stableframe’ midsole with slightly more support and material on the inner side and around the heel. On the inner midsole, the EVA portion extended till the midfoot as a means of additional support. The EVA near around the Tempo 7 and 8’s heel was also raised higher and served as a cupping base of sorts.

This year, the Tempo 9 gets a midsole with the EVA portion trimmed down – both near the forefoot and the heel. In their place are a couple of new features.

The inner midsole has a thin film over the Boost which adidas calls ‘Energized Stability.’ This is keeping in line with the changes on the Supernova ST (previously called the Sequence) which also switched from a larger Stableframe midsole to a combination of a slimmer midsole and a thin laminate.

As a matter of fact, adidas no longer mentions ‘Stableframe’ in the Tempo 9’s description. adidas claims that the Boost midsole is dual-density, but it is technically not so. The thin film over the midsole does add some firmness, but then, that’s a separate component over what is unarguably a single-density Boost midsole.

Also, there’s a larger ‘Torsion’ plastic component between the midsole and the outsole, one which also extends to the inner sidewall like the adizero adios. Parts of the plastic also extends under the forefoot for added stiffness.

The outsole is a combination of Continental rubber and adiwear used liberally over the forefoot and rearfoot. There are minor changes like larger rubber lugs and increased windows exposing the Boost foam beneath.

The higher number of windows makes the ride slightly softer, as was the case on the Boston 6. There are a few things carried over from the previous design, such as the beveled/angled heel for gradual heel strikes and transitions. Inside, there’s a chunky EVA foam insole which adds extra cushioning over the midsole.

With all the changes, the Tempo 9 gains 11 grams/0.4 ounces over the outgoing model.

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_durability

Ever since the pairing of the Boost foam and Continental rubber outsole began, the general trend has been that of the sole unit outliving the upper. The Boost foam and adidas’s rubber compound are highly resistant to wear and tear, so it is unlikely that parts of the upper will fail first.

For example, the shallow toe-box mesh or the heel lining areas will undergo expected wear and tear. This is a natural occurrence once the shoe crosses a mileage threshold of a few hundred miles.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_upper_fit

The Tempo’s upper fit is closely modeled on race-day shoes, which means that an overall snug fit including a relatively shallow toe-box is part of the territory. While the toe-box doesn’t pin down the big toe, there’s isn’t any margin left over either.

The midfoot gets a conventional fit and feel, thanks to the thin and sleeve-free tongue. Unlike the Tempo 7 and 8, there’s no inner sleeve, so the fit goes slightly relaxed. The downside is that you experience tongue slide which is associated with a sleeve-free design.

In the back, the narrow molding of the internal counter keeps the foot locked in, despite the minimal amount of foam padding.

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_upper_fit

The Tempo 9 gets more forefoot room than the Tempo 7 and 8. There’s a lot more open mesh area compared to the previous year models which had synthetic over both sides. This change, when combined with the lack of an inner sleeve, makes the Tempo 9 more breathable too.

But there’s a catch. As the first two lacing rows are mounted on a separate panel, cinching them tight will lead to a noticeable increase in narrowness. This isn’t a bad thing, considering that a snug forefoot fit works great for fast track runs.

All the same, if you’re using the Tempo 9 for longer runs like a half marathon, you should be mindful not to over-tighten the lacing in the front. Also, we recommend buying a half-size larger  – unless you’re limiting the Tempo’s use only to track runs.

The first two rows also add some extra synthetic over the toe-box which was previously missing. This means that you’ll sense the additional material over your foot when flexing. For this sensation to disappear completely, you’ll need to account for a break-in period of a week or so.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_cushioning
The Tempo 9 has a firm ride. The only layer of softness you get is from the molded insole sitting atop the midsole; the rest is firm cushioning. Unlike the more cushioned Boost models like the Supernova and Energy, the amount of Boost available on the Tempo is just enough to make the ride cushioned but not soft.

The Tempo 9’s EVA midsole also covers the Boost completely over the heel as opposed to being just a rim on the Boston, so that also contributes to the firm ride character.

There’s enough cushioning to run half marathons, though if you’re running anything longer, we recommend a second shoe – see our rotation section later in this review.

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_responsiveness

Soft the Tempo 9 may not be, but responsive it certainly is. The Boost has a nice springback quality about it, and you feel it with each footstrike. The transitions are also efficient due to uniformity in the material used – be it the Boost or outsole rubber, everything is used in a full-length format.

For all practical purposes, the Tempo 9 is a neutral running shoe. This statement has greater relevance for the Tempo 9 than the 7 and 8 which had a larger Stableframe. With a bulk of the EVA gone and substituted with Boost foam, the midsole exhibits a ride quality which feels uncannily similar to the Boston and adios.

As mentioned before, the larger windows on the outsole design make the Tempo 9 a bit softer than the 7 and 8. Coincidentally, this is an update similar to what we experienced on the Boston 6 versus the 5.

PROS AND CONS

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_pros_and_cons

The Tempo 9 doesn’t have many faults. The ride is cushioned and responsive, the transitions feel quick, and the model is lightweight too. The midsole and outsole are very durable, and the upper is reasonably breathable. The split eyestay allows a custom level of fit to be achieved through the front rows.

If we had to nitpick, we’d point out the Tempo 9’s unavailability of optional sizing widths. This isn’t specific to the Tempo, but to most of adidas’s product line. The tongue also tends to slide a bit, so that’s something one needs to be aware of.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE TEMPO 9 AND TEMPO 8

A good way to summarize the changes would be that the Tempo 9 is an easier-going Tempo. The ride is slightly softer due to the reduction in the volume of the firmer midsole EVA foam and the redesigned outsole, and the upper feels breezier because of lower synthetic usage and no sleeve.

The upper fit is more relaxed around the midfoot, and the forefoot can be relaxed or more narrow, depending on how you treat the first two lacing rows.

A $120 MSRP remains constant across both versions, and the Tempo 9 is heavier by nearly half an ounce. This is likely the result of a larger plastic Torsion shank on the midsole which now extends to the heel and parts of the forefoot.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand adidas Tempo 9 Firm ride, fast runs Amazon
Same brand adidas Supernova ST Cushioned ride, long runs Amazon
Same brand adidas Takumi Sen 3 Lightweight, Race-day Amazon
Multi brand adidas Tempo 9 Firm ride, fast runs Amazon
Multi brand Saucony Hurricane 3 Cushioned ride, long runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance Hanzo S Lightweight, Race-day Amazon

In the last year’s Tempo 8 rotation, we recommended the Ultra Boost ST and the Sequence. This year, we’ll adopt a different rotation approach because the Sequence has morphed into the much softer Supernova ST.

As such, the Supernova ST is an ideal companion to the Tempo when it comes to a cushioned shoe capable of long distance runs. There’s significantly more Boost packed into the Supernova ST’s midsole than the Tempo, and only slightly less so than the Ultra Boost. This makes the latter redundant, and you can go with the Supernova ST instead.

If you’re using the Tempo 9 as the shoe for runs of 10k to a half marathon, it makes sense to get something lighter. Like the Takumi-sen 3 for instance. It’s a great shoe for quick 10k runs or shorter, and this quality adds to the shoe’s rotational value.

In case you’re looking to substitute the Supernova ST with a shoe from another brand, then the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 is a good stand-in. After all, the Everun foam is nothing but another name for a material similar to the Boost, and the Hurricane has a thick midsole with plenty of cushioning.

The ultra-lightweight New Balance Hanzo S or the Mizuno Wave Ekiden is a good substitute for the Takumi-Sen if you’re not up for the latter’s high sticker price.

SIMILAR LIGHTWEIGHT TRAINERS

adidas_adizero_tempo_9_similar shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
adidas adizero Boston 6 Firm Amazon
Asics DS Trainer 22 Firm Amazon
Brooks Asteria Firm Amazon
Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2 Firm Amazon
New Balance 1500 V3 Firm Amazon
Saucony Fastwitch 8 Firm Amazon

The Tempo 9 is a lightweight and supportive trainer, which puts it in the same category as the likes of the New Balance 1500V3 and the Asics DS Trainer 22. The 1500 has slightly less cushioning and responsiveness than the Tempo, but excels as a lightweight trainer till distances of a half marathon. It also performs superbly on synthetic tracks.

The Asics DS Trainer 22 has a lot in common with the Tempo. It’s got a medial post which is barely noticeable, and the Flytefoam offers a cushioned yet relatively flatter ride quality. The Brooks Asteria is somewhat comparable, considering its mini medial-post mated to a lightweight midsole. The Saucony Fastwitch 8 is a firm yet padded lightweight trainer with a non-intrusive support element.

Mizuno has the Catalyst 2 representing its lightweight support category. As expected of any Mizuno shoe, the ride is firmer due to the plastic Wave plate inserted between the midsole foam. On the bright side, you get plenty of support with a ride character which feels quick and efficient.

Lastly, another adidas shoe compares with the Tempo. That would be the Boston 6 with its slightly softer ride but with a similar weight class and ride quality.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

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Skechers GoRun Ride 6 Review

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_score

Skechers marketing pitch: The sixth generation of the GoRun Ride has additional impact protection and response.

Upper: Engineered knit mesh, fused urethane, synthetic leather.

Midsole: Single-density EVA foam, 4 mm heel drop.

Outsole: Circular hard carbon rubber pods in a localized placement.

Weight: 235 gms/ 8.3 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27

Widths available: Single, D – regular (reviewed).

If you were a fan of Skechers’ older ‘M-Strike’ midsole, then you’ll be happy in the GoRun Ride 6. Be mindful, however. By carrying over the legacy midsole design, the Ride 6 delivers a cushioned, yet flatter ride quality when compared to newer models such as the GoRun 5 and GoMeb Razor.
Cushioned ride, smooth interior fit, extremely lightweight for its class, great price-value
Lack of outsole grip, flat ride quality, poor insole quality, Skechers’ custom fit (with the insole) strategy is hit or miss

INTRODUCTION

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_introduction

Hmm. This is interesting. The Skechers GoRun Ride 6 uses the same midsole as the GoRun Ride 5, which means that it is now the only Skechers performance running shoe to feature the legacy ‘M-Strike’ rocker midsole, with its rubber-tipped foam pillars doubling as the outsole.

The rest of the performance line, be it the recently launched GoRun 5 and the GoMeb Razor – have transitioned to different midsoles. As a result, there’s a significant difference in ride quality between the GoRun Ride 6 and the rest.

Although Skechers has updated the Ride 6 midsole with its new 5GEN EVA foam, it’s done so in an injection-molded format. This delivers a flatter and less resilient ride quality than the newer models.

As a stand-alone shoe, there isn’t much wrong with the Ride 6. Its sub-$100 retail price and knit upper still makes it great value for money, and its neutral cushioned ride has plenty of padding.

The bright side is that those missing the ‘M-Strike’ midsole design have the Ride 6 to look to. The rocker-shaped midsole won its share of followers in the early years of Skechers’ performance assortment, so the Ride 6’s older design is a solace to some.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_upper

The lower part of the Ride 6 might not have changed, but the upper is brand new. Like the rest of flock, Skechers uses an engineered mesh upper (aka the GoKnit) for the latest version of the Ride 6. The upper has a clean profile with minimal layering, at least in the frontal areas of the shoe.

There’s no external layering over the toe-box, and the latter maintains its shape through an internal toe-stiffener. The midfoot has a band of hotmelt urethane placed vertically which then goes to join the lacing panel made of the same material.

The flat laces pass through rectangular-shaped eyelets and over a padded tongue which has a familiar design and construction. In relative terms, the heel has a lot of material. To begin with, Skechers’ ‘Quickfit’ is now in the shape of an external pull-tab. It is attached to a large piece of synthetic which wraps around the back.

The heel collar is padded with an internal counter, and the lining is the same textile used on most Skechers models. Reflectivity is provided by a few bits located over the heel and midfoot.

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_upper

There are numerous structural changes over the GoRun Ride 5’s upper. The eyelet holes are now rectangular shaped versus the round ones of the Ride 5. This update allows for a smoother movement of laces compared to the Ride 5. Also, the Ride 6 has a cleaner looking upper as it gets rid of most of the forefoot overlays.

This, when combined with the new knit mesh, creates more sideways forefoot room and raises the toe-box height. The Ride 6 is also more breathable because of the larger vents knitted into the mesh.

But there’s a catch.

The last year’s GoRun Ride 5 did not have the ugly looking Quickfit tab. Instead, the heel collar had a hole which performed as a hook for your fingers. This year, the collar is made ‘whole’ instead of ‘hole,’ and this causes the foot’s position to move forward towards the toe area.

As expected, the GoRun Ride 6 feels slightly shorter in size when compared with the GoRun Ride 5.

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_outsole

The midsole uses a single-density piece of EVA foam. Though Skechers uses 5GEN, its newer foam variant, it is visually impossible to tell the difference between it and the last year’s Resalyte midsole.

The Ride 6’s 4 mm drop midsole is identical to the Ride 5’s and uses the rocker design with its foam pillars protruding underneath. The only difference is that the Ride 6 does not use midsole paint on the sides.

What passes off as the outsole is a colony of circular rubber pieces mounted on midsole pods. The placement of rubber isn’t where maximum wear and tear happens, nor do they follow a movement path. Instead, the outsole design prioritizes visual symmetry over function.

There’s an upside to the minimal use of rubber, and that’s the shoe weight. The Skechers GoRun Ride 6 is a measly 235 grams/8.3-ounces, which is very little weight in exchange for a decent stack of cushioning.

The Ride 6 can be worn in two ways – with and without the insole. The removable insole is a thin sheet of compression molded foam, and below that is another layer of foam.

Unlike most running shoes with foam lasting, the Ride 6’s underlayer is designed just like an insole. There’s an identically colored fabric lining on top, with ‘Skechers Performance’ printed and all.

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_durability

The upper will hold up okay, but there’s a potential durability issue with a couple of other components. The removable insole is made of low-quality EVA foam, and it tends to go flat after 100 miles.

The midsole doesn’t fare any better. The pod-like structures on the outsole tend to shred quickly in specific wear and tear areas. The newer outsole design used on the GoRun 5 and Razor perform better on durability.

The foam is standard EVA, so expect a gradual flattening of cushioning after a couple of hundred miles.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_upper_fit

The Ride 6 fits true, but if you want the same sizing margin as the Ride 5, then you need to buy half a size larger. That’s because the new heel design pushes the foot slightly forward.

Barring this change, the Ride 6 offers ample vertical and sideways room. The internal toe-bumper without layers outside offers spacious accommodation for your toes. Over the forefoot, the generously vented GoKnit mesh provides enough foot-splay room and ventilation.

No complaints with the heel and tongue fit, either. The padded collar grips the foot well, though our opinion is that the whole ‘Quickfit’ feature is overdone. The huge synthetic pull tab is a gratuitous design add which looks aesthetically displeasing.

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_upper_fit

You have to be wary of the GoRun Ride 6’s removable insole set-up. The interiors are designed so that you can wear the Ride 6 with or without the insole. But opting for either choice comes with issues of its own.

If you wear the shoe without the insole, then there’s excess room left over. So much so that the heel starts slipping, and the forefoot tends to gather when laced tight. And while there are no fit issues when you use the provided insoles, one needs to be careful about the insole’s placement.

We recommend that you wear the GRR 6 with the supplied insole, but with a caveat. The insole edges are thin and high, so they might ride up the insides and can potentially prove to be an irritant. So make sure the insole placement is perfect before you take the Ride 6 for a run.

Skechers should drop this insole ‘feature,’ as the potential drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_cushioning
Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_responsiveness

There’s not much to write about the GRR 6’s ride quality. The midsole provides cushioning, but without much responsiveness. Though there’s softness beneath, the ride feels flat.

Much of this can be attributed to the injection-molded construction which feels less resilient than the newer compression-molded midsoles used on the GoRun 5 and GoMeb Razor. There are exceptions to how injection molded parts can feel, so this isn’t a sweeping generalization. For example, the GoRun Ultra uses injection molding, and the ride feels noticeably responsive.

We prefer the cushioning quality of the GoRun 5. It isn’t necessarily softer than the Ride 6 but provides better responsiveness and feedback. Transitions also feel slower on the Ride 6; the foam pillar based midsole doesn’t feel as quick as the flatter profile of the GoRun 5. And the outsole grip could also be better.

Despite some of the shortcomings of the GoRun Ride 6’s midsole, the shoe is comfortable enough for longer runs – as long as you aren’t chasing pace records. Remember that the GRR6 weighs a mere 235 grams, so it delivers a lightweight running experience.

You can also use the GoRun Ride 6 on treadmills but stay out of synthetic tracks or light trails. There simply isn’t enough grip to make track workouts fun, and the build isn’t durable enough for unpaved surfaces.

The Ride 6 is best worn with the supplied insole. Without the latter, there’s nearly nothing between your feet and the midsole – this turns the ride quality remarkably flat in character. The lasting below the insole has a layer of blown foam, but it’s so thin that it’s good as not having any.

PROS AND CONS

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_pros_and_cons

There’s one fact you can’t deny about the GRR6. A sub-$100 price makes it great value for money, considering that you get a knit mesh upper and a cushioned ride in lieu. Skechers is the only brand we know of which provides these materials at this price-point.

It’s also very lightweight, with the upper being comfortable and well ventilated. There’s enough forefoot and toe-box room, and the lack of seams results in a smooth interior. Though the midsole material doesn’t feel special in any way, it contains enough cushioning for runs of most mileages.

What’s missing though, is an engaging ride experience. There are also a few other shortcomings, such as the tricky placement of the removable insole and the lack of outsole grip and durability.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE RIDE 6 AND RIDE 5

The GoRun Ride 6 is a reminder of what the Skechers performance line used to be once. The rocker-shaped ‘M-Strike’ midsole is similar to what was used in earlier versions of the GoRun series, so the ride quality will feel familiar to runners who have owned a pair of older GoRuns.

Notwithstanding the carry-over midsole, the Ride 6 is a lightweight, cushioned, and value-for-money shoe. The knit upper is smooth, breathable, and has ample interior room.

The fit changes slightly over the GoRun 5; while the sideways forefoot room and toe-box height increases, the new heel design results in a slightly shorter sizing.

There are plenty of other updates on the upper, such as the new GoKnit mesh (the GRR 5 used regular mesh) and an aesthetic profile which is much sleeker than before. The retail price is $5.00 lower than the GRR5, and both shoes weight the same.

What remains to be seen is how Skechers manages its differentiation problem going forward. We mentioned in our GoRun 5 review about how the latter is very close to the GoMeb Razor, considering that both are based on identical midsole platforms.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_rotation

Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Skechers GR Ride 6 Cushioned ride, daily runs Amazon
Same brand Skechers GR Ultra Road 2 Cushioned ride, long runs Amazon
Same brand Skechers GoMeb Speed 4 Lightweight, Race-day Amazon
Multi brand Skechers GR Ride 6 Cushioned ride, daily runs Amazon
Multi brand New Balance Boracay V3 Cushioned ride, long runs Amazon
Multi brand Saucony Type A Lightweight, Race-day Amazon

Making a recommended rotation of three Skechers shoe could have been tricky if not for the recently introduced GoRun Ultra Road 2. By far, the Ultra Road 2 packs the most cushioning of all Skechers running shoes, hence creating a differentiated rotational assortment of the Ultra, the Ride 6, and the GoMeb Speed 4.

With the rotation approach mentioned above, you can use the Ride 6 as a cushioned daily trainer while delegating fast runs to the GoMeb Speed 4. For those long and easy runs, the brand new GoRun Ultra Road 2 comes in handy.

Within the recommended 3-shoe non-Skechers rotation, it’s worth looking at the New Balance Boracay V3, a 4 mm drop shoe with more cushioning over the GRR6. On the other hand, the 4 mm heel drop Saucony Type A will work as a fast, race-day shoe.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

Skechers_Go_Run_Ride_6_similar_shoes

Brand Model Midsole Check price
Asics Roadhawk FF Medium soft Amazon
Brooks Launch 4 Firm Amazon
Hoka Hupana Medium soft Amazon
New Balance Boracay V3 Medium soft Amazon
Saucony Kinvara 8 Medium soft Amazon
Skechers GoRun 5 Medium soft Amazon

Despite Skechers positioning its GoRun 5 as a training (and faster) shoe, the GR 5 is the Ride 6’s closest living relative. The knit upper and 4 mm drop feels all too familiar across both models.




Among the rest, the new Asics Roadhawk FF is a lightweight (sub 9-ounce) cushioned trainer which strays from the tried-and-tested Gel and foam formula. Instead, the midsole is made of Flytefoam stack with a 8 mm offset. The New Balance Boracay V3 is somewhat similar to the Roadhawk and provides more cushioning than the GRR6.

The Brooks Launch 4 is a firmer neutral trainer; the Hoka Hupana and Saucony Kinvara 8 are moderately cushioned with a low heel drop.

You might have noticed that this recommended list is nearly identical to what we prescribed in our GoRun 5 review. There’s a good reason for doing so.

Regardless of how Skechers pitches the Ride 6, the shoe isn’t of the same category as a regular neutral trainer. The Ride 6 has a low heel drop of 4 mm, is very lightweight, and does not have as much as cushioning as you’d find on, say, a Pegasus or a Ghost.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Review

Nike’s marketing pitch: Versatile and fast.

Upper: Engineered mesh, partial inner sleeve, Flywire strap-based lacing.

Midsole: Compression molded EVA foam midsole, heel and forefoot Zoom Air bags. 10 mm heel drop.

Outsole: Full-length hard carbon rubber.

Weight: 295 gms/ 10.4 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 10/UK 9/EUR 44/CM 27.1

Widths available: B – narrow, D – regular (reviewed), 2E – Wide

The Pegasus 34 is very similar to the 33. The ride quality is exactly the same while upper receives a few updates. The value proposition – that of a durable and comfortable everyday trainer – stays unchanged.
Responsive ride and snappy transitions, secure upper fit, breathable, durable outsole, decent price-value 
Lack of 4E width, Flywire cords aren’t perfect, thin tongue, reduced reflectivity

INTRODUCTION

Nike_Pegasus_34_introduction

The Nike Pegasus is, by far, the longest continuing running shoe series (excluding retro releases) in the history of the footwear industry. The ’34’ suffix to the shoe name is a testimony to how long the Pegasus has been around. It won’t be far fetched to say that the Pegasus is nearly as old as Nike itself.

So what makes the Pegasus so special? But that’s asking the wrong question. The Pegasus isn’t special in any way, and that’s perhaps its greatest strength. The Pegasus is the footwear equivalent of the boy or girl next door – not the smartest or the most athletic, but someone you’re comfortable hanging around with all day.

This decently priced, neutral cushioned trainer by Nike fits that analogy. There’s cushioning, and yet it’s not ultra soft. The upper fits well without cocooning your feet in material plushness. The Zoom Air bags provide a snappy feel under the forefoot and rear, and the outsole is as durable as they come. In other words, the Pegasus 34’s lack of special is what makes it endearing to so many.

The same can’t be said for the Structure, the Nike Pegasus’s stability counterpart. The Nike Structure has gone through many changes with all the enthusiasm of a swinging pendulum. Some versions worked well, while others were flawed. But then, that’s a story for another time. So for now, we’ll stay on topic.

If you’re a long-time Nike user, then you would be familiar with Nike’s biennial design update cadence. For most Nike running shoes, midsole and outsole changes happen once in two years while the upper changes annually. The Pegasus 33 updated the midsole and outsole, so this year it’s time for an upper-only refresh.

Not much has changed since the Pegasus 33. The midsole and outsole stay the same, and all updates happen on the Pegasus 34’s new upper. The upper changes aren’t major and just happen to be tiny tweaks made to the material and construction.

So if you’re not in a mood to pay new-shoe dollars for the Pegasus 34, it’s perfectly ok to stay with the 33 for another year. This way, you can save plenty of money by getting the outgoing Pegasus 33. That would be a financially prudent decision, as the differences between the 33 and 34 do not amount to much.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

Nike_Pegasus_34_upper
While the Pegasus 34’s upper bears a close resemblance to the previous designs, efforts have been made to align the aesthetic scheme with Nike’s ‘Breaking 2’ collection. The Pegasus 34 is inspired by the clean lines of the Vaporfly 4% and the Zoom Fly. This inspiration also extends to the large vents on the Pegasus 34’s engineered mesh upper and the ‘speed lines’ running over the side.

The Flywire cords are now concealed by the first layer of the engineered mesh, which is a contrast to the exposed design of the Pegasus 33’s Flywire cords. Hiding the Flywire now allows the 34 to move the Swoosh logo to a more prominent location over the center.

The basic upper construction is similar to the last few Pegasus versions. A single piece of mesh wraps around the entirety of the shoe, with another internal layer forming the half-sleeve attached to the tongue. In the rear, there’s a hard internal counter and the toe area has a pliable stiffener.

No change can be observed on the tongue and collar lining. The tongue is sparsely padded as always, and the collar uses a soft textile with a foam fill inside. The last two lacing rows are non-Flywire, and the reserve row can be used for heel-lock lacing when called upon.

What’s new on the Pegasus 34’s upper is the engineered mesh with larger-than-before vents. Compared to the past few models, the forefoot has bigger pores which allow improved splay and ventilation. And while it is difficult to see from the outside, the internal toe-bumper appears to have gained height too.

Nike_Pegasus_34_upper

Also new are the flat laces and the external heel design. The Pegasus finally switches to flat laces with a minute amount of stretch in them, which is a much-needed improvement over the round laces of the past models.

We say this because the flat laces do a better job of distributing top-down pressure and stay tied-down longer too.

The counter gets additional urethane reinforcement over the sides and back. The sides are now covered in a transparent laminate (same as what’s used on the lacing area), and the heel center has a thicker urethane with reflective strips over it.

This is one area where the Pegasus 34 is shortchanged; the level of reflectivity is lower than the 33.

Nike_Pegasus_34_outsole

True to its once-in-two-years midsole design update cycle, the Pegasus 34 carries forward the same sole design from the 33 (which had a brand new sole unit). The Pegasus 33 introduced an additional Zoom Air bag under the forefoot last year, and that continues to be the case for the 34 too.

Nike’s EVA foam – Cushlon – forms the bulk of the 10 mm drop, single-density foam midsole, with Zoom Air bags embedded in individual heel and forefoot cavities. Unlike shoes such as the Vomero, the EVA used isn’t very soft and is tinged with firmness.

Outsole coverage is plentiful. Except for a portion of exposed midsole foam under the heel, the bottom is generously overlaid with durable and grippy rubber. The outer side has a series of ‘crash rail’ – pairs of rubber strips – for smoother transitions.

Nike_Pegasus_34_durable

Not all hard Carbon rubber types are the same; the compound used in some brands last longer than the others. Nike’s formulation for its outsole rubber hits the sweet spot between delivering traction and durability. We’ve rarely come across complaints about the Pegasus’s sole, and that’s because they usually last very long.

You should be able to extract more than 400 miles with the Pegasus. Wear and tear will happen with the foam midsole and insole, though the Zoom Air bags will retain their cushioning as long as they do not accidentally deflate.

The double-layered upper is durable as ever, so it’s unlikely that it will fail before the midsole.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

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The Pegasus switched to a slim fit after the version 30, and the 34 is similar in many ways to the 31, 32, and 33. That said, there are a few welcome updates to the fit. As mentioned previously, the flat laces do a far better job of sitting flush over the thinly padded tongue.

The new mesh material has larger vents, so there’s a bit of extra splay room on the sides. Not saying that the Pegasus 33 was narrow, but the 34 just relaxes the sideways fit ever so slightly. As a bonus, the Pegasus 34 is more breathable than the 33.

We could be wrong, but the toe-box height also feels higher. It is our guess that the internal toe-stiffener is raised over the 33, freeing up a bit of vertical room. In the back, the heel fits and feels the same, with the overall heel-to-toe sizing being true.

Nike_Pegasus_34_upper_fit

Moving most of the Flywire between the upper layers also means that the cords are closer to the foot. This change is something you can sense, as the thin cords strain against the foot when laced tight.

The heel provides a secure grip. The internal heel counter delivers the required support, and the padded collar wraps the foot without slippage.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

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If you’re expecting the Pegasus 34 to be a soft shoe, then you’ll be disappointed. The Pegasus 33 and 34 are firmer even by version 31 and 32 standards, and that’s because of the extra Zoom Air bag added to the forefoot last year.

The only layer of perceivable softness is provided by the removable insole and the foam lasting below it. The foam cavity under the heel also splays when loaded, and adds to the cushioning experience.

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Most runners would describe the Pegasus as a stiff shoe, and that’s not far away from the truth. The Zoom Air bags add a high degree of responsiveness, but the trade-off is the loss of softness, especially at lower speeds. At a higher pace (faster than 5 min/km), the Zoom Air bags add plenty of springy feedback to the ride, regardless of whether you’re a forefoot or heel striker.

The firmness and relatively inflexible forefoot contributes to the transition quality. Push-offs feel quick on the Pegasus 34 (and 33), a trait which adds to the Pegasus 34’s versatile nature. The combination of standard foam and Zoom Air bags packs enough cushioning for gruelling marathons while the snappy feel makes the shoe suitable for shorter runs.

PROS AND CONS

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The Pegasus is a decently priced, well-rounded package. The Pegasus undercuts most of its competitor by $10 while offering a ride character which combines a healthy dose of cushioning with plenty of springy responsiveness.

The upper has a seamless interior and a secure fit, both of which are positive traits on a running shoe. The durable outsole is the icing on the cake.

All that said, the Pegasus isn’t perfect. We’re yet to warm up to the idea of the cord-based Flywire which puts localized pressure over the side. This happens more so on the Pegasus 34 which moves the cords closer to the foot. Also, the 34’s heel reflectivity looks snazzier, but there’s less of it when compared to the previous model.

The Pegasus 34 also seems (at the time of writing this review) to have dropped the Extra-wide (4E) version which was previously available on the 33. Why?

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN THE PEGASUS 34 AND PEGASUS 33

The ride quality hasn’t changed over last year, so it’s ok if you decide to stick with the Pegasus 33. Both versions are equally versatile, comfortable with taking on long-distance runs as much as shorter bursts. There’s adequate cushioning along the length of the shoe mixed with a snappy feel provided by the Zoom Air bags.

All changes take place on the 34’s upper. Here’s a list of the updates: The laces change from round to flat, the new engineered mesh upper is more breathable and slightly roomier, the Flywire cords are now placed closer to the foot, and there’s a reduction in heel reflectivity.

There is a small difference in shoe weight; the Pegasus is 0.4-ounce lighter.

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Options Technology Check price
Nike Zoom Vomero 12 Heel and forefoot Zoom Amazon
Nike Zoom Pegasus 34 Heel and forefoot Zoom Amazon
Nike Zoom Winflo 3 Heel Zoom Amazon

With the Nike Pegasus receiving two Zoom Air bags, there’s reduced differentiation between it and the higher-priced Vomero 12. But you’ll still get extra cushioning due to the blown rubber outsole and a slightly softer midsole foam. Keep in mind that the Vomero 12 fits noticeably narrower than the Pegasus 34.

The Zoom Winflo 3 is an entry level neutral shoe with a lightweight build. The use of Flywire and engineered mesh serves as a design tie-in with more expensive Nike models, and a heel-only Zoom provides snappy cushioning for rearfoot strikers.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

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Rotation Model Shoe type Check price
Same brand Nike Lunarepic 2 Low Long and easy runs Amazon
Same brand Nike Pegasus 34 Medium pace runs Amazon
Same brand Nike Streak 6 Fast pace Amazon
Multi brand adidas Supernova M Long and easy runs Amazon
Multi brand Nike Pegasus 34 Medium pace runs Amazon
Multi brand adidas adios 3 Boost Fast pace Amazon

Having the Lunarepic Low 2 along with the Pegasus and Streak 6 makes for a wholesome running shoe assortment. The Lunarepic offers a softer and differentiated ride than the Pegasus, while the Streak 6 is great for fast runs and races up to a half-marathon.




Last year, we recommended the adidas Ultra Boost as a more cushioned companion to the Pegasus. That changes this year due to the introduction of the much-softer Supernova. You can rotate the adidas Supernova for the long and easy runs alongside the relatively firmer Pegasus 34.

The durable and snappy adidas adios 3 performs best when used for fast-paced runs. Say, races from 5K up to a half marathon.

SIMILAR NEUTRAL CUSHIONED SHOES

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Brand Model Midsole Check price
Asics Gel Cumulus 19 Soft Amazon
Brooks Ghost 9 Medium soft Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Firm Amazon
New Balance 880 V7 Medium soft Amazon
Nike Pegasus 34 Soft Amazon
Saucony Ride 10 Medium soft Amazon
Underarmour Gemini 3 Medium soft Amazon

The Pegasus 34 compares to several others in the mid-priced, neutral cushioning class of running shoes.

The Saucony Ride 10 is the closest in terms of overall character, and the Underarmour Speedform Gemini 3 is a close second. Both shoes are different in many ways, though. The Ride fits narrower and has a flatter ride quality, and the Underarmour is a firmer shoe with a slimmer upper.

Others like the Brooks Ghost 9 provide a cushioned and supportive ride without being noticeably soft or responsive. And there’s the softer riding Asics Cumulus 19 and the New Balance 880V7 with their engineered mesh uppers.

Mizuno’s Wave Rider 20 is not cut of the same cloth as the others, thanks to the plastic Wave plate and the firm midsole foam. Nonetheless, a neutral and supportive running shoe it very much is.

Do you own this shoe? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

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