Friday, September 27, 2019

ASICS GLIDERIDE In-Depth Multi Tester Review: Back in the Game!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff Beck, Derek Li and Mac Jeffries

ASICS GLIDERIDE  ($150)
Introduction
Sam: The Glideride represents a new direction for ASICS, and the future. This stable, maximally cushioned (31mm heel /26mm forefoot), lively neutral trainer features ASICS GuideSole a technology that seeks to minimize lower leg movement  and increase energy efficiency through a combination of a stiff and curved midsole platform with a forward rocker geometry, deep decoupling groove and EVA propulsion plate.
The science behind the overall GuideSole approach:
  • Reduce the energy taken away on heel strikes
  • Improve propulsion by optimizing efficiency (primarily for heel strikers) by keeping the angle of ankle dorsiflexion ( flexing ankle up) and plantar flexion (flexing toes down) constant during the gait cycle with a stiff sole while using the forward rocker to propel toe off. The idea is to reduce energy loss at the ankle joint and shift the body forward. Initial studies show a reduction of ankle joint energy loss of 19% vs. conventional shoes in the category. 
  • Move the center of mass further back than normal so as to reduce the pendulum at the rear leg and thus the effort to swing the rear leg forward to next stride.
It differs from the earlier "concept car" Meta Ride (RTR Review) in being: approximately 0.8 oz/ 23 g lighter coming in at approximately 10.2 oz / 289 g in a US men's size 9, having a 5mm drop instead of the zero drop of the Meta, including an EVA propulsion plate, having a more conventional rubber outsole as well as a less elaborate upper and being $100 less expensive. 
Women's Color
ASCIS calls out targeted competitors such as Hoka Carbon X and Nike Zoom Fly and our testing indicates those are valid comparatives along with several others we have selected for the comparisons section of this  review including the Hoka Clifton 6, New Balance 890v7, and ASICS own GEL-Cumulus 21 a shoe of identical weight but with a more conventional 10mm drop so less forefoot cushion. I have now run over 40 miles at a variety of paces in the Glideride.
The Glideride was launched at a spectacular event and unusual race event The Eternal Run on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah I was fortunate to attend earlier this month. 
Watch my video of the Eternal Run

Pros
Sam/Mac:

  • Propulsive rocker ride feel without overdoing it, feeling harsh or overly stiff or "flat"
  • Plentiful, slightly bouncy cushion with good overall shoe response
  • Very stable and consistent at all paces, Versatile for all training paces except all out
  • Superb (one of the best of 2019) easy on the foot upper with great front to back hold and all around comfort
Cons
  • Sam: Stiffness, thick forefoot cushion and less pronounced rocker impede as dynamic a toe off motion at faster than half marathon paces popping me more vertical than I would like. 
Tester Profiles
Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 62 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains 40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.
Mac is a former collegiate defensive lineman who runs to fill the competitive void left after school and to stay in shape. He is in his late 30s, runs 50-80 mpw, and at 6’3”, has come down from his playing weight of 275 lbs to a steady 205 lbs for the last 10 years. Jeff’s PRs are 19:30, 1:33:xx, and 3:23:xx; he also teaches and coaches XC & T&F.
Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 40 miles per week, both roads and desert trails in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a PR's of 4:07 marathon and 5K at 23:39 both he is working to demolish with help from his coach Dave Ames as he trains for his first 50 mile race in December 2019.

First Impressions and Fit
Derek: My initial step-in feel was good. There is a lot of generous padding around the heel and tongue. Fit is definitely true to size for me, and the overall shoe volume is pretty middle of the road in the heel and mid-foot, opening up to a relatively wide and high volume toebox. The last ASICS shoe I put significant mileage in (600+km) was the Noosa FF, and comparatively, the Glideride offers a roomier fit and this is most noticeable up front, where I find a little more room around the toes in the same size. Aesthetically, I really like the accented appearance of the midsole. ASICS really seems to be doing well in the looks department. 

Sam: The fit is true to size and both roomy and secure. The absence of front overlays as all support there is provided by the engineered mesh makes for a comfortable and relatively roomy pressure free up front fit.  Moderately wide feet should fit well here, The shoe goes on with ASICS characteristic "thunk" at the heel, super locked down and pressure free but not overwhelming in "clutch" as most ASICS are. Sheer comfort with security here, for me one of the best fitting, if not the best fitting trainer upper of 2019 so far.
The look is classy, just bold enough without screaming with no extraneous "decorative" overlays or overdone external heel plastic pieces.

Mac: What a funky looking midsole! It is really hard to tell in pictures what is going on there; I actually thought there was a gap under the arch of the foot (there isn’t), until holding them in my hand. The weight of the shoe is acceptable; nearly an ounce and a half over my Carbon Xs, but significantly lighter than most maximal trainers (just over 12oz in my size 14). And although I agree with Sam that the upper is fantastic, I found my 14s to be just a little snug, but swapping out the substantial insole with something very thin fixed that without issue. (FWIW, My foot is probably a 14E, so I would recommend going True to Size on these. I actually ran in these a little with NO insole, and the midsole cushion was more than enough to protect my feet. Lots of versatility there, in terms of sizing.) The fit is quite secure; instead of opting for a sock-like upper that seems to be gaining popularity, this will definitely hold its form, whether there is a foot in it or not. All that to say, it is VERY comfortable; one of the most comfortable shoes I have gotten to try out. 
Jeff: My pair came a little late, so the hype arrived before the shoe - but it was very apparent that the shoe was worth the fuss. Mac is right, the midsole and it’s interesting curves are beyond unique visually, and the upper doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any way, but it still feels great. My shoes were true-to-size 10.5, and fit perfectly, with plenty of room in the toebox.


Upper
Derek: The upper uses what feels like a knitted mesh that is relatively dense and rigid. The external overlays of the ASICS logo provided some support to the midfoot, and around the heel, there is a rigid internal heel counter that runs fairly high up the heel and terminated just before the thick and plush padded heel collar that guards the opening of the shoe. The tongue is well padded and has alternating horizontal strips of plastic laminate on the surface, presumably to add some friction and hold on the overlying laces when the shoe is laced up. 

Overall the fit and sizing of the shoe is true to size but I find that it fits roomier than the Asics Noosa FF, DS Trainer or Roadhawk FF v1 or v2. With the current upper, I find that I need almost zero tension in the laces to achieve a good secure fit with zero heel slippage. I should point out here that in an era where major brands are moving away from rigid heel counters towards completely unstructured heel cups, the rigid heel cup does remind us that it still has its place in terms of achieving a good performance fit. In terms of breathability, I was pleasantly surprised that the shoe breathes relatively well for an upper that looks pretty dense on first glance. I did not experience any hot spots or heat build up on any of my runs.

Sam: The upper is a conventional engineered mesh with the only overlays the Tiger logo and two thin and narrow underlays at the mid foot on the medial side as well as mild bit of stiffening of the toe bumper. It is very decently breathable. 
The heel counter features ASICS characteristic and effective "clutch" with thinner plastic overlays on the exterior of the heel counter. 
This approach allows the fit further forward to not require extensive overlays. The clutch here is not overwhelming as it has been on many ASICS.
The tongue is moderately padded and features ridges of mesh which I find help secure the laces to the top of the foot. I have for all intents and purposes never had to readjust lacing on the run.
The rear collars are well padded and relatively densely padded contributing to the secure hold while at the same time comfortable and pressure free. 
Jeff: Sam absolutely nailed it. Very classic appearance, but that’s not a bad thing. I can count on two hands the shoes this year that the upper got cute in its design, and if they’d gone with this style of upper those shoes would be better for it. The heel collar reminds me a lot of the Triumph ISO 5, only a little more pared down and less bulky. Weather has turned a corner here in Phoenix, but things are still plenty warm, and every run in the Glideride has been pleasant in the upper department. My last test run was the first half of a trail 50K (less than ideal, but when you have to miles for a review, you have to miles for a review), and the upper kept me locked down on the platform. Most of the course wasn’t technical, but the truly rocky parts the Glideride was just fine.

Mac:  Ditto Sam. Well padded, secure fit, and classy look.
I especially want to emphasize the laces: these don’t slip on you when tying them up, a welcome departure from many of the kicks I have been wearing lately.

Midsole

Derek: This shoe uses a dual density midsole foam motif, and the distinction is made clear to us by use of the contrasting coloured foams. The red foam directly underfoot is Flytefoam which debuted back in 2017 for ASICS in the Noosa FF, while the white foam underneath is the newer Flytefoam Propel, which is touted as being lighter and more responsive in feel. Right at the heel, between the 2 foams is a wedge of ASICS gel. 

First off, I want to point out that there is usually a degree of “tune-ability” with most foams, such that the same foam can be adjusted to varying levels of softness/firmness.. In this Glideride, the Flytefoam is closest to that found in the Dynaflyte v3. It is soft and compressible. Then you get the Flytefoam Propel that is a firmer type of foam, with a more stable rebound feel. When you combine these 2, you get an initial sinking feeling, followed by a distinct return of energy as your foot leaves the ground. It is a big departure from the traditional feeling shoes ASICS has built its reputation on but in a good way! The drop is 5mm, which is a deviation from their usual 8-10mm range for drop. However, this shoe does not feel like a low drop shoe when you are running. As the underfoot foam is quite soft, you will naturally compress the forefoot more than the heel as you run through the shoe, hence making it feel like a traditional 10mm drop shoe.
Above you can see how much the foam compresses in sequence through a footstrike.

Sam: The midsole outsole is stiff out of the box with a stack of 31mm heel /26 mm forefoot with a pronounced front rocker,  a front EVA propulsion plate (red in photo below), and a deep decoupling groove. Over time the Glideride develops some flex far back towards the end of the EVA plate.
The midsole is made of two foams both of the same density according to ASICS.  Flytefoam is underfoot with below a layer of Flytefoam Propel along with the front EVA propulsion plate just above the Propel to provide response.  Other ASICS such as Cumulus have the Propel underfoot and then Flytefoam. While ASICS will not disclose if these foams are different the feel certainly is. No longer well cushioned but not dull,dense and quite lifeless, as say the Cumulus feels to me, the cushion here is yes dense but considerably livelier with a nice touch of bounce. The geometry and outsole for sure also play a role in the feel, 
Embedded in the forefoot is a hardened EVA propulsion plate, a feature the Metaride did not have. Not totally firm as a carbon or hard plastic plate would be, it is more gentle and subtle in providing a propulsive effect yet one that is clearly noticed and effective on the run with less of the sometimes harsh feel of carbon plates but a bit less spring as well. The 5mm drop and 26mm of front stack make for a flatter feeling more stable and better front cushioned ride than say the Zoom Fly but one that is also not as flat feeling as say the Carbon X. A very nice compromise between two extremes.
And to take the edge off heel landing shock without compromising the stability and rear upper lockdown that helps reduce lower leg movement and thus is said to optimize energy efficiency there is a thin GEL unit on the lateral side, What would an ASICS be without GEL! Here as with the MetaRide it effectively softens what is a fairly firm rear landing on a heel with no bevel. Recall the Guidance Sole technology seeks to immobilize the ankle joint and rear of the foot and get you moving forward.

The overall cushion feel is substantial and very stable and consistent, somewhat firm yet also bouncier and livelier than other ASICS trainers such as Cumulus 21 or for that matter for me Nike shoes with what I find dull React foam. The cushion is lets just say somewhat more "conservative" than Skechers Hyper Burst foam with its springy feel, or the very bouncy FuelCell Propel or the sllky smoothness of Nike Zoom X but it clearly is not the usual from ASICS and is more lively and dynamic than say New Balance Fresh Foam. 


Mac: By far the best midsole produced by Asics in the past 5+ years. Very protective - more so than the Cumulus 21 I tried over the summer - but with some serious bounce! Yup, you heard that right: a relatively lightweight, maximally cushioned Asics shoe with POP! I honestly just cannot get over what a departure this is - in a great way - for Asics. After a couple of 10 milers, yes, they have softened up some, but they still have the same “throwing your foot forward” sensation that they had out of the box. 

Jeff: Mac is spot on, this is the best midsole ASICS has put out there in some time, and it isn’t by a few percentage points. This shoe is a massive departure for ASICS, and the midsole is the main reason why. The stack is high, and very well cushioned, but the balance between the rockered sole and the bouncy nature of the cushioning makes for a shoe that feels and runs much more svelte than it actually is.

Outsole

Derek: The outsole here uses an updated version of ASICS’s carbon injected rubber, coined AHAR PLUS. This rubber spans the entire length of the shoe, in a web-like pattern, with only a curved cut out in the middle. In terms of traction, it seems to hold up very well on road surfaces and sandy trail. Durability is hard to assess at this point as I do not have a lot of miles in this shoe, but AHAR rubber has a very good track record of durability. As an example, I have a pair of Noosa FF from 2017 with over 500 km on it, and the rear heel slab of AHAR rubber is only worn by ~30% at the thinnest point. The use of full outsole rubber is not just for extra grip and stability but also as a means of stiffening the outsole shape of the shoe. 
Women's Color


One big feature of the Glideride is the very pronounced forefoot rocker and toespring. This enables the foot to roll through the gait cycle more efficiently. There's actually a subtle art to this; too stiff and the ride will feel clunky, not stiff enough and you end up with a low drop shoe that just feels sluggish in transition. Here I think ASICS struck a nice balance to capture the sweet spot for most people in terms of hitting that medium for daily training and high mileage

Sam: ASICS took a different path with the outsole as well. Instead of slathering the shoe in copious thick rubber we have a certainly durable and thick enough single slab of AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber).  Of particular note, and I am sure something ASICS focused on, the outsole is "off a piece" in feel with the rest of the underfoot platform. There is no sense of any discontinuity between layers of midsole and outsole. The deep long decoupling groove clearly assists in moving the shoe along and reducing weight.
Mac: For me, unless running over fairly specialized terrain, a shoe’s outsole is like a deep snapper in football: you only really notice it if something bad happens. The GlideRide’s Outsole is unremarkable, which is a compliment in my book: capable and quiet. Fine traction on wet asphalt, no loud slapping on the dry stuff… no problems here. 

Jeff: I’d even go further than Mac’s declaration, and this shoe is perfectly fine on most trails. I encountered some dirt covered with small rocks on a steeply sloped downhill, and I didn’t even slide in the Glideride. I can’t imagine the small bit of traction would hold up if the trail got wet and sloppy, but on the road it is a dream to run in, and on the dirt it holds its own.

Ride

Derek: The ride of this shoe as a daily trainer or long run shoe is very good. It is squarely in the maximalist category in terms of feel, with a high stack height and highly attenuated ground feel, coupled with a nice dynamic bouncy ride. It seems to really just dial in the easy-moderate pace range and sits there very comfortably. It does struggle when you try to go fast and that's my only knock on the shoe. On paper, this shoe is not light, and even though you don’t notice the weight at all during regular runs, you do notice it with sudden increases in pace. To be fair, this shoe is designed with the marathoner’s long run in mind and it does that job very well. I think the shoe could potentially be lightened up with a more simplistic upper, but that may in fact throw off the overall weight distribution of the shoe and give it a bottom heavy feel, which comes with its own set of problems.

Sam: The Glideride rides very smoothly and consistently at all paces. Stable, quite firm with a touch of bounce they have an easy if stiff rockered transition and toe off at all paces except very fast where I find they tend to pop more vertically on toe off than forward and up and away than I would like due I think to the stiffness and big stack. I think a touch more front flexibility or a touch more heel stack could help solve the speed issue and the 3d variant in the series coming in the next several months is said to be lighter and more flexible. 

The entire underfoot platform can be said to be responsive yet well cushioned, back to that consistent feel.  This is a shoe you can take out for any run and have no surprises of a mushy labored slow pace, instability as the pace picks up, or on the other extreme an overly harsh dull feel. The 5mm drop due to the firmness of the midsole and lack of pronounced heel bevel is not really as apparent as some with similar or great drops.  The ride shines at moderate to faster paces for me where the Guide Sole, the response and stability come to the fore. It also runs very well at slower paces.
Mac: I will echo what I said in the Midsole section: these give me the sensation that I am running on cushioned trampolines. Hokas match the cushion, but they tend to be overly soft and energy-draining in my experience. I can safely say that I have never tried out a more substantial shoe with more pop. The only shoe that I would compare it to would be the Carbon X, which is lighter but more expensive and less durable. 

Jeff: This shoe works just fine at easy paces, but it wants to be run a little uptempo. One of my easy runs included a half-dozen strides at the end, and this shoe felt much better at a sub-7 minute pace than it did at 9:45. There’s a lot of similarities between the Glideride and Fresh Foam More, but the ride really separates the two shoes.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Derek: Overall, it is a big departure and significant step forward for ASICS in terms of creating a new, more dynamic sort of running experience. This shoe will work well for serious runners who clock high mileage in the easy-moderate effort range, like marathoners and runners who enjoy running in neutral maximalist shoes in general. 
Derek’s Score: 9.40 / 10
Ride 40% 9, Fit 40% 10, Value 10% 8.5. Style 10% 9.5

Sam: Asics has clearly delivered a maximally cushioned shoe with a dynamic and effective "glideride". Reasonable in weight at 10.2 oz for the 31mm heel / 26 mm stack with a truly superb upper that should fit, and well, many foot shapes from narrow to moderately wide, it is much more fun to run for me than previous ASICS which for me were often dull, firm and lumbering. It gets the brand back into the competitive and increasingly innovation driven run trainer game with an entirely new midsole configuration and geometry backed by scientific principles which works effectively. 
I can't wait to see how a racer version might perform!  In the meantime I think the Glideride is a great all around trainer and for marathoners say in the 3:30-4:00 range a solid and stable race shoe, especially for the later miles when form suffers and this despite weighing more than some race shoes. And no reason they could also serve as a single shoe in the quiver for many runners given its versatility. 
While I would like to see the weight brought down below 10 oz with lighter foams and maybe a touch less overall outsole coverage there is no question that this will be a durable many miles shoe.
Sam's Score: 9.3 / 10
Ride 50% 8.5, Fit 30% 10, Value 15% 10, Style 5%10
Deducting for: Weight and ride at fastest paces. For all other elements a 10/10!


Mac: Agree 100% on the rec for 3:45+ hour marathons, and faster runners will enjoy these for Long Runs of pretty much any distance. These are mileage hogs - or luxurious recovery shoes - and you will enjoy every minute of wearing them. If I am going to nitpick, of course they could be lighter - what shoe wouldn’t benefit from a helium infusion? - but these shoes are designed to be substantial and fun, and they accomplish that admirably. 
Mac’s Score
This ended up being my second-favorite shoe I have tried out; I never thought I would say that about an Asics! RIDE: deduction for weight, but being lightweight wasn’t really the intended goal of these. FIT: I think they run a quarter size small, but it is entirely possible that my foot runs a quarter size wide :-) VALUE: Any way we could get these for $100, a la Forever Energy? STYLE: Classy upper, funky midsole shape, all good things! 

Jeff: This shoe works just fine at easy paces, but it wants to be run a little uptempo. One of my easy runs included a half-dozen strides at the end, and this shoe felt much better at a sub-7 minute pace than it did at 9:45. There’s a lot of similarities between the Glideride and Fresh Foam More, but the ride really separates the two shoes.
Jeff’s Score 9.3 / 10
Ride 50% 9 Fit 30% 10 Value 15% 9 Style 5% 9


Comparisons
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 21 (RTR Review)
Sam: The identical weight but higher drop (10mm vs 5mm) and lower stack 29/19mm, so 2mm less at the heel and 7mm less at the forefoot, Cumulus has a firmer harsher forefoot feel and more labored transitions. Somewhat more responsive in feel due to its thicker outsole and thinner forefoot it is not nearly as cushioned or smooth and snappy as the Glideride. The Cumulus upper while potentially of about the same volume is ill fitting in comparison to GR with overlays up front felt, a baggy midfoot that is less secure, and a heel area that is overbuilt. The popular Cumulus represents the past at ASICS, the Glideride the future. No question Glideride.
Mac: “Cumulus represents the past at ASICS, the Glideride the future.” Couldn’t have said it better, Sam. The two shoes have similarly good uppers, but that is where all comparisons stop. It is hard to believe that these two midsoles came from the same company in the same calendar year. 


ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 (RTR Review)
Sam: More cushioned but a chore in comparison to run and 0.7 oz heavier the Nimbus makes a fine daily trainer but doesn't provide nearly as much joy or dynamism as GR.


ASICS MetaRide (RTR Review)
Sam: The first shoe in the series,  the $250 Meta could be thought of as the concept car. At zero drop vs. 5mm in the GR, I quite liked the much more pronounced rocker with its metronomic ability to drop forward and go. It has the same heel stack as the GR but 5mm more stack upfront.  It is heavier by an ounce and $100. The Glideride is more practical and a faster ride.

Skechers Performance MaxRoad 3 Ultra
Derek: I think the overall ride of the Glideride is closest to the MaxRoad 3, a little bit softer and bouncier than the MaxRoad 4 Hyper. The Glideride goes even farther and accelerates the transition with a brilliant forefoot rocker than takes away all the drawbacks of a soft midsole and low drop. The Glideride is by far the more enjoyable ride. 


Hoka Clifton 6  (RTR Review)
Sam: An interesting comparison that I did not entirely expect but in my A/B one on each foot test had me sit up as these two are very close. Clifton 6 felt somewhat more cushioned but with a denser less bouncy feel on the run, a big surprise.. but the 6 is not the Clifton 1. The forefoot while rockered was stiff feeling and more difficult to transition especially at slower paces than GR. It does have 2mm more stack front and back than the GR but not the substantial decoupling groove or EVA plate. Underfoot far less rubber on the Clifton contributing to its 1 oz lighter weight, a weight difference not really noticed on the run. As for uppers no contest. The Clifton upper is crude in comparison, considerably snugger with arch pressure noticed as well as a lower narrower toe box. 


Nike Zoom Fly FK (RTR Review) & Zoom Fly 3 (RTR Review)
Derek: The Glideride is softer and bouncier than any version of the Zoom Fly, and yet the rocker is very nearly as good at moderate paces. The main drawback is the Glideride’s weight. It is still easier to pick up the pace in the Zoom Fly, but the gap is closing fast!

Sam: ASICS has Zoom Fly as a competitor they were aiming GR at, and at least for the Zoom Fly FK (I have not yet tested the Zoom Fly 3) they are spot on. The GR has a smoother easier transition but less spring as there is no carbon plate. I can get a tired forefoot in the Zoom Fly as the combination of carbon plate and React foam feels overly firm and also can cramp my feet. Interestingly not so in the Vaporfly. The overall ZF platform is narrower with "sharp" narrower edges especially at the heel where it is clearly less stable feeling. Unlike the GR, when my form goes I struggle to run the Zoom Fly and the same at slower paces which the GR handles just fine. As far as uppers, no contest. While I don't mind a performance fit as the ZF has, the Flyknit upper is much lower and narrower over the toes than GR's toe box. At midfoot the ZF is somewhat more secure but beware of lace bite if tied too tight. The GR upper is more relaxed, more comfortable and for a trainer superior particularly if you have somewhat wider feet. Considerably lighter, 2 oz lighter for ZF,  its use is most limited to tempo only for me whereas GR has a much wider range of uses. 

Jeff: Sam stole the words. The Zoom Fly Flyknit has a lot going for it, and I still think of it as the Vaporfly 2.5%, but it isn’t all things for all people, the midsole and ride are very love it or hate it, and the upper is fine to problematic. I don’t see many runners taking the Glideride for a spin and coming away without a smile on their face, and the upper just works.

Nike Zoom Fly 3 (RTR Review)
Mac: Anything you can do, I can do better: I find the ZF3 and the AGR to have very similar purposes, and the AGR dominates in every facet: better fit, better pop, more fun. I think the AGR is the shoe that Nike was TRYING to make. 


Hoka Carbon X (RTR Review)
Derek: The comparison would be easier if they were closer in weight. As is, i really prefer the ride of the Glideride over easy-moderate paces, it is bouncier and easier on the legs with better vibration dampening. That said, once you try to go faster, the Carbon X really starts to shine more. I see the Glideride more as a long run shoe and the Carbon X more as a lightweight trainer/racer. 

Sam: Another competitive shoe called out by ASICS. The X has a softer cushion feel but a layered one as the carbon plate is clearly felt when foot meets plate. It has a somewhat flatter feeling ride than GR due to its softer cushion but a more distinctive spring effect. Both have a more labored vertical feeling toe off as paces get faster than my half pace, so a similarity there.  The X upper is thinner with a slightly more secure mid foot hold and less heel and forefoot hold leading to a sense toes are pulling up and moving more than I like. With very similar stack heights, 1mm more front and back for the X, the key difference is weight...At 1.4 oz lighter the X is notably lighter and a faster shoe while retaining plenty of cushion for almost all training purposes except, as with GR, faster intervals and faster tempo where neither is ideal.  I prefer the easier transitions of the GR but give the nod to X here. Lighter foams and construction and the GR would be the clear winner of this pairing.

Mac: Ditto Sam. It just depends on what you want: since both have similar cushion and energy return / pop, it comes down to weight, durability, and price. If you want to shell out $180 (I mean, at that point, why not just get some Vaporflys?) for the Carbon X to save some weight and sacrifice some durability, I won’t think any less of you… but the Glderide will appeal to a broader market, last you longer, and cost you less.  

Jeff: The more I run in the Carbon X the more my enthusiasm wanes. It’s a good shoe priced at a super premium price point, and in an apples to apples Left/Right comparison, I like the Glideride more under my foot. No question ASICS has a better toebox too. Give me the heavier Glideride which has much greater mass appeal.


New Balance Fresh Foam More (RTR Review)
Sam: New Balance's most maximally cushioned shoe with a stack somewhat higher than GR, the More lacks a decent rocker design or for that matter any decoupling so is hard for me to transition. Fresh Foam is somewhat more responsive in feel but firmer with less bounce than GR's outsole midsole combination.  The More upper, while looking similar is less foot conforming, and can challenge lower volume feet far more than the GR's upper which accommodates narrower as well as somewhat wider feet very well. At the same weight the Glideride is a clear winner for me. 
Jeff: Exactly - the geometry of the midsole/outsole gives the Glideride a much better ride than the FFM. Both are super cushioned without being mushy or sloppy, so that’s great, but the Glideride upper is super easy to make work, while the Fresh Foam More’s upper has capital i Issues. No hesitation, take the Glideride.

Skechers Performance Max Road 4 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both shoes that have a fun bouncy ride. That said, the Skechers feels magnitude more of a pop feeling, but with an upper that can cause issues (and midsole pods that gave me blisters on each foot on 100% of runs - but that may just be a me problem) while the Glideride didn’t have any fatal flaws. If the Max Road works for you, it’s the better ride of the two, but if you can’t deal with it’s faults, stick with the Glideride and enjoy.


Salomon Predict RA (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both top notch big mileage daily trainers, but the Glideride runs so much more fun, it's hard to give the Predict its due. As good as the ASICS upper is, the Predict upper is in a different league, but the midsole and ride are merely good, to Glideride’s excellent. One more comparison ASICS wins handily.


Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 (RTR Review)
Jeff: This heavy duty shoe was surprising, a Mizuno that’s soft and well-cushioned, up against an ASICS that’s a joy to run in. I think I enjoy the ASICS ride more, but the Wave 3 is a little more traditional. If you can’t pick and simply flip a coin, you could do far worse than either of these shoes, but of the two, I think I want to log more miles in the Mizuno than the ASICS, but just barely.


New Balance 890v7 (RTR Review)
Sam: A much much lighter shoe at barely 7 oz the comparison here is for similar rocker geometries. While the 890v7 is much firmer, I found they run fairly similarly so if you like the 890v7 ride and want a trainer to pair you might consider the GR.  
Watch our Video Review of the GLIDERIDE

The ASICS GLIDERIDE releases Sept. 27, 2019

The product reviewed  and trip to the Eternal Run were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the author's.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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17 comments:

geomaz said...

Hello Sam! My question is why someone to choose asics glideride istead of skechers maxroad 4 hyper. Thanks again for all these usefull info!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Geomaz,
Actually not a hard answer and read our Max Road review for details, if you are a heavier runner and/or a runner who tends to supinate heavily on toe off I think Glideride will be a better choice. If you need more forefoot stability GR. I also think GR outsole will prove more durable. No issues for most with more breathable GR upper too. If you are not the above the Max Road is more fun and springy for sure, a real joy whereas the Glideride is steady and consistent with a nice rocker.
Sam

Joel Morris said...

Super interesting how many shoes are using weight-reduction and springiness, whereas Asics seems more focused on biomechanics. Hows the EVA plate? Seems like even hardened versions of the material wouldn't be stiff enough.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Joel,
The plate is not as noticeable as carbon in say Zoom Fly or Carbon X but it is there. I can feel it oh so gently in the mix. I think its purpose is to help with response below the Propel layer which while not super soft is not firm firm. Works! It is a more subtle and smoother feel than carbon plates and also not quite as "explosive" as this is a daily trainer.
Sam, Editor
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Jim O'Donnell said...

Regarding the width and softness of the midsole on the Glideride? How does it compare to the Hoka Clifton 6 softnees in the midsole? I have the 2E wide in the Clifton 6, the regular width is too narrow. How does the normal width of the Glideride compare to the normal width of the Clifton 6? Thanks!

Dan said...

How do you feel this compares to the Bondi for long runs at slow-moderate pace (~9 min miles)

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Dan,
Much more fun! Stiff but much more effective rocker. My last Bondi was 1 though. Plenty of cushion.
Sam, Editor

Jared said...

Thanks for the review on this new shoes definitely trying this as replacement for my current Nimbus 20

Anonymous said...

I have a question for Mac about his comparison with Carbon X. I don't understand why you made it looks such a big deal to add more $30 from the $150 glideride to $180 carbon X BUT adding more $70 from $180 to $250 vaporfly looks like an easy task? Oh and also with vaporlfys you sacrifice MORE durability.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
Ha, chalk that up to a communication error. The Vaporfly comment was meant to me somewhat tongue in cheek... but I will admit, for some reason, $180 for a pair of shoes seems like a ton of money, while $150 seems like it is on the high end of acceptable... which of course is completely a self-imposed paradigm. All that to say, you have a valid point, but I do stand by the crux of my statement: If you want something more durable and don't mind the extra weight, go with the Asics and save a little cash. If you are looking for something lighter - especially something like a road ultra - then by all means consider the Carbon X. Both are fantastic shoes. (And, yes, if money means less than performance, then the VF will toast both of them!)
Sincere thanks for the constructive criticism.
Cheers :-)
-Mac J

Anonymous said...

Would the Glideride still be suitable for someone who overprints slightly. tried them on today and they felt mint, but I'm cautious about taking the plunge on a £145 shoe when I've already bought a lot of running shoes that outside of the shop have turned out unsuitable. Thanks for any advice with this.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
If you over pronate slightly Glideride should be fine. They are inherently stable if a high stack. Before concluding though what shoes have proven suitable and which unsuitable for you?
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I have pretty much spent close to a £1000 on running shoes trying to find something that doesn't give me crippling knee pain for a week afterwards, so i have a fair few. i thought more cushioning was the answer when i thought i was still neutral so bought 2 pairs of the original Zoom Fly, also vomero 12's, can't even keep my heels on the Zoom Fly soles. I then had my gait re checked and they told me I over pronate on my left foot. So i set out to find the softest support shoe I could find, so far I have NB Vongo 1 & 3, Kayano 23, Hoka Arahi 2 and Gaviota 1, Brooks Transcend 6, and recently Ultra Boost ST.
Out of those the Vongo 3 works ok-ish, the Kayano used to work but after using the Hokas I mid foot strike all the time and the Kayano feels paper thin to me now. The Transcends feel way too firm as well. I love the Gaviotas, but the lower drop gives me calf cramp no matter how much I stretch before. So at the moment I'd have to say the Ultra Boost ST's are my go to shoe. I don't seem to get as much knee pain, calf cramp, or shin splints with them..... i just find them a little slow.
Thanks for your help again.

Anonymous said...

Does this shoe work well on midfoot landings?
If the reviewer bio knows the reviewer's foot strike type, I think it will be a great help for those who use it to find good shoes.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Great suggestion! I think GlideRide will work well for a mid foot strike as the mid foot has a stable platform and the rocker should allow a quick toe off.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the quick response, sam.

Anonymous said...

I bought a pair of GlideRide and used them in a recent marathon. The shoes struggled for grip in the rain on a normal road surface which really surprised me. Never experienced that with my normal ASICS Kayano. Now a dry weather running shoe only for me! Back tot he trusty Kayano‘s for me!