Thursday, January 16, 2020

ASICS EvoRide Multi Tester Review: Rocking a Smooth and Consistent Uptempo Turnover

Article by Jacob Brady, Sally Reiley, Jeff Beck, Michael Ellenberger with Sam Winebaum

ASICS EvoRide ($120)
Jacob: The EvoRide is the third shoe in the ASICS Ride series, joining the MetaRide and GlideRide. Like its siblings, the EvoRide uses ASICS GUIDESOLE rocker technology which is intended to propel you forward as well as reduce fatigue and increase efficiency through controlling ankle flexion. The EvoRide is firmer, lighter, lower stack than the popular GlideRide, and with just a single layer of FlyteFoam Propel (+ heel GEL insert) has less midsole complexity as well. The GlideRide shines as daily trainer and long run shoe while the lighter and more responsive EvoRide can work as daily trainer category but is on the uptempo side. 
Michael: The “Ride” family is undoubtedly a new direction for ASICS and man, it’s really good! Though I didn’t test the $250 MetaRide, it was well taken by our Editor-in-Chief Sam, and the GlideRide was a surprising success (and a shoe in which I found new life for as a treadmill trainer). I had high expectations for the EvoRide and, largely, they were met! ASICS is back! Sure, there are quibbles here and there, but it is a strong offering in a competitive category for a reasonable price and is a great start for the brand in 2020.*

*ASICS also showed off a connected (stride-analyzing) version of this shoe at CES. As a tech geek, I’m almost more excited about that - but we didn’t test that version, and don’t have any first-hand knowledge as of now.

Sam: I took one fine, shorter, faster run in the EvoRide before “sharing them on” to Michael who is my size. I concluded that this 3d model in the Ride series was a firmer uptempo more mildly but still distinctly rockered sibling to the softer more maximal GlideRide. It is a strong new option for ASICS fans who enjoyed the RoadHawk FF, DynaFlyte 3, and Cumulus 21 rides but who seek more dynamism in propulsion and a superior more modern upper. Watch my initial impressions video here.
Jacob: Top notch ride: smooth, consistent, stable
Michael: Upper is comfortable and refined; sporty looks; sweet-spot of cushion and speed.
Jeff: Midsole super responsive, geometry/design works well at pace, upper breathes well with good foothold.
Sally: Aesthetically pleasing looks; Uber comfortable fit; playful smooth ride that loves to push the pace and cadence
Sam: a wonderfully fitting more performance oriented upper. Stable, smooth and responsive with propulsive rockered pop off the road

Jacob: Puffy tongue
Jacob: Top lace pressure/discomfort
Michael: Uncomfortable and overinflated tongue; some outsole concerns
Jeff: Tongue is awkward, shoe wants to go faster than I can for very long
Sally: if the over size tongue is the only con… that says something!
Sam: A bit firm to cross over to daily training for me. Thin narrow laces over puffy tongue may produce some bite if you have a low volume foot and need to lace tightly.

Tester Profiles
Jacob runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He runs every day and averages 50 miles per week. Jacob recently ran a PR 2:51 marathon and just wrapped up his first season of ultra/trail running which included two 50km trail races and two mountain races.
Michael is his 20’s and is a 1:07 half marathoner. He runs 50-60 miles per week, generally in lightweight trainers or racing flats at around 6:00-6:30 minutes/mile. 
Sally is a mother of five who ran her first marathon at age 54, and has now run the past six Boston Marathons and one Chicago, with a 2017 Boston PR of 3:29, good for 8th in her age group. Along the way she has raised over $200,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital running with Team Eye and Ear. A relative newbie to road racing, she has achieved All-American status in the 10K (44:04) and 5K. To commemorate her 60th birthday she ran the NYC Marathon in November finishing 2nd in her age group with a PR time of 3:28:39.  Sally is a compact (petite) runner at 5’2’’ and 105 pounds.
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 just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 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.
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. In December he raced his first 50 mile trail ultra. 

Weight:: men's 8.8 oz / 249 g (US9)  / women's 7.4 oz / 210g (US8)
  Samples: 10.5oz / 298g (US M12), 8.6 oz / 244 g (US M8.5) 9.48 oz / 269 g (US M10.5)
Stack Height: men’s 22mm heel / 17 mm forefoot, women’s 21mm heel / 16 mm forefoot. 5mm Drop
Available  Feb. 1, 2020.  $120

First Impressions and Fit
Jacob: When the EvoRide is laying on a flat surface, the toe flare is very dramatic, but in hand and on the foot the design and geometry it is less striking. Compared to the GlideRide it is cleaner and simpler—the midsole walls aren’t pulled in and the heel is fairly flat. While the EvoRide is more flexible than the GlideRide, it is not a flexible shoe overall. The flex point is right where the toe starts curving forward—there is consistent lateral flex as well. The EvoRide can bend very far without reaching the breakpoint which will likely contribute to a consistent, solid ride. 

The upper is sleek and the thin mesh pulled taught. On the foot it is accommodating with good foothold even with a loose lace up. The tongue is strikingly thick and puffy and the heel counter is very rigid with well-placed padding. On foot the midsole feels very firm but while on the run, surprisingly cushioned, likely due to the geometry. Overall, the EvoRide fits true to size and is seamlessly comfortable.

Michael: Visually, the EvoRide looks to me like a hybrid of the ASICS MetaRide, the Nike Zoom Fly, and the New Balance Fuelcell Propel. And that’s a good thing! This ASICS certainly breaks out of the mold of what we’ve come to expect from the Nimbus or GT-2000 offerings. Undoubtedly, those shoes have their place, but this EvoRide (and the whole “Ride” lineup) is defining what ASICS can do. Slipping it on, you can’t help but immediately notice the oversized tongue. It’s such an odd choice on a shoe that otherwise feels sporty and fast, but besides that, the shoe feels like a lightweight trainer, on par with any other offerings in the field. Time to run!

Jeff: It’s the GlideRide’s toned down little brother. Last year’s surprise hit put the Ride series on more runners’ feet than the original near-prototype super pricey and heavy MetaRide, and opened a lot of eyes - and had many runners ask themselves “Is ASICS back?” Short answer: yes. Longer answer: Yes,’s complicated. While the GlideRide’s step-in feel felt good, but interesting, the EvoRide’s step-in just feels good. Its aesthetics may be polarizing, but there’s no doubt, the EvoRide puts together a comfortable upper with minimal issues, mated with a midsole and outsole that are made to perform. At a 30,000 foot view, this shoe is immediately impressive, but upon closer inspection some issues do arise. My 10.5 fit me perfectly true-to-size, with a very ample toe box.

Sally: My first reaction was that this did not look like the Asics I knew (and gave up on several years ago). It looks so clean and simple and minimalist in design, but boy, does it feel good on the foot. It fits true to size, and after 50 some miles on them I have no issues (ie, hotspots) anywhere on my feet. The firm heel and softer toe off have actually helped a foot muscle injury I am rehabbing as I train for Boston! 
GlideRide on left, EvoRide on right.
I enjoyed the peppiness of big sibling Glide Ride that results from the rocker forward propulsion, but I actually found the EvoRide to have a quicker and more comfortable ride with what looks like a lot less shoe structure. SImply lighter yet more responsive uptempo ride.

Jacob: The EvoRide upper composed of a thin engineered mesh with a dense weave that is quite breathable (I feel the wind blowing right through), soft, and pliable. 
There is light structure around the toe, a sort of toe bumper, the keep the mesh high and taught. Given that it looks a bit narrow, the upper provides a surprisingly accommodating fit though never too loose as it has a very stiff and padded heel design that holds the rear of the foot exceptionally well—when I slide on the EvoRide I really notice my heel snap into the heel cup. I’ve been having width/outside toe pressure issues in about half my shoes this winter as my toes become overly sensitive in the below freezing temps and the EvoRide causes no issue at all here. 

When laced up, the EvoRide has good mid-foot lock to go along with its solid heel security. The upper largely disappears on the foot, except when cornering at speed, where there is a bit more forefoot play than is desirable, though general comfort is worth this tradeoff.

The security and comfort of the EvoRide upper are overall very good. The only major issue I had with the upper is with the unnecessarily bulbous tongue. 
The top of the tongue is so puffy that the top lace cannot compress it and thus slides down to sit on top of the lower lace. This causes double pressure on the top of the foot. I’ve had to re-lace on half of my runs so far because of this. I tried the loop lock technique and didn’t notice any difference. A tight lace is un-runnably painful and a loose lace leaves an oddly free-feeling ankle hold, though security overall is still fine—this is my preferred method. Lastly, rather unbelievably, on one run when running on uneven terrain (patches of hard snow) I clipped the tongue with the side of my other shoe nearly a dozen times—it hasn’t happened more than once on other runs but was exceedingly annoying.
Michael: The upper material, both visually and at a brush, is a very tight, thin mesh that, while dense, does not feel constrictive. In fact, my primary concern in testing the EvoRide was that - with the beautiful lack of overlays! - the upper might even be too floppy. Not so. There’s a very thin toe bumper, but primarily it’s a homogeneous mesh that supports your foot for any sort of run. The tongue - as Jacob noted - does put unnecessary pressure on the topmost portion of my forefoot, though that’s something I’m accustomed to having from tightly-laced trainers. Why, on a shoe that looks as if it could be a racing flat, would they go with such a padded tongue, I’ll never know - here’s to hoping it wears down or evens out over time. Besides that, the fit was good and I experienced no hot spots or blisters. The grey and red aesthetic, to ASICS’s credit, also looks really sharp. My trainers, it should be noted, also fit true to size. 

Jeff: Jacob and Michael covered the upper construction very well, and I agree with the major gripe. The tongue is a problem. Not just aesthetically, though it does look odd and about 20 years out of place, reminding me of the basketball shoes I wore to school every day in the 90s. If the massive padding at the top of the tongue was redistributed down some to the body of the tongue it would provide just a little more protection against the laces - or if the laces were slightly bigger. These are pretty thin, and if you do crank the shoe down, they really dig into the top of the foot. Not the end of the world, but definitely a strike against an otherwise well fitting shoe.
Sally: I totally agree with the others that the upper works incredibly well. The shoe looks narrow, but is surprisingly accomodating to a wider forefoot. One might assume it is a “performance fit” for racing, but it is down right comfortable all around. The dense mesh is breathable without being overly so (for example, my feet were cold in the very breathable ASICS Gel-Nimbus Lite - granted it is January in New England). Unlike the other reviewers, I was not bothered by the puffy oversized tongue. Why it is needed is a good question, but it did not cause any discomfort for me. It was just there. The heel and ankle hold is comfortably secure.

Jacob: The EvoRide midsole uses a single density piece of ASICS Flytefoam Propel with a GEL insert embedded in the heel. The FlyteFoam Propel here is firmer and more responsive than other flavors of FF, The Gel isn’t visible from the outside and I don’t feel like I notice it, though perhaps it adds to the overall feeling of good cushioning, despite a low stack height. The midsole foam itself is fairly firm (though far from hard) with little to no sinking in. It feels energetic with good, firm rebound, though not bouncy or spectacular in any way.  It is solid and stable and lightly flexible. Though not remarkable on it’s own, it’s a quiet performer in contributing to the smooth, consistent, and effortless ride which defines the EvoRide.
Michael: The meat of the matter. I, like Jacob, didn’t notice any of the traditional characteristics of a GEL insert in the EvoRide, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a compelling ride. It’s certainly leaning into the lightweight trainer category - while it isn’t the lightest shoe at 8.8 oz, it does have some racer-characteristics - and I don’t know that the midsole will work well for true heel strikers. As someone with a mid- to forefoot stride, I quite enjoyed the solid, kinetic feel of the Flytefoam - it’s firmer than the midsole on the FuelCell Propel, but has slightly more bounce than a Nike Pegasus 36. The midsole is likely as bouncy (if “bouncy” can be quantified) as Nike’s React cushioning, if I had to compare.

Jeff: This is my third review of an ASICS shoe in the last five months, and every one of them has had a distinctly different feeling midsole. The FlyteFoam midsole has a great feel to it, and I think Michael is correct - the heel portion is not overly protected and could be an issue for runners who land far back on their heel. I agree with Jacob as well, it isn’t a hard material, but the top descriptor I’d give is “firm”, there’s not much to sink into, and this shoe would very much appreciate if you ran faster than a 9:30 mile. But more on that later.
Sally: The others have said it well. The midsole makes for a firm and responsive ride, one that you don’t sink into and yet get a sweet energy return from. Asics writes of the last: “The Guidesole curvature of this shoe encourages a natural rolling motion from foot strike to toe-off” - I really felt this effortless propulsion over the 50 miles I have run in them so far!

Jacob: The EvoRide outsole is composed of a few sheets of rubber with two very different densities. Fairly thick but not dense blown rubber covers most of the forefoot, with denser rubber on the heel and tip of the toe. The structure provided by the outsole is appreciated and it is mostly soft enough to be smooth. I think it lets the midsole be thinner while allowing the GUIDESOLE geometry to still work.

The outsole’s effect on the ride is positive, but grip is mediocre. While unremarkable on dry road, it is bad on ice and snow and just ok in the wet. Having largely used trail shoes recently (even for road), the EvoRide feels very sketchy on snowy sidewalks—they’re definitely a pure road shoe.

Michael: As with Jacob, I was a little disappointed with the outsole here. I wish they had added a slightly deeper tread (more like the Brooks Launch 7, for example) to improve grip here. For a winter shoe, this wasn’t my favorite option, as on some icy sidewalks and painted trails, I had some concerns regarding grip. On the treadmill, and on your classic dry sidewalk or asphalt path, it was a non-factor. 

Jeff: I didn’t experience any wet runs (yay desert living!) in the EvoRide, but as the others said, on dry pavement it works very well. I did find it interesting that the front rubber is noticeably thicker than the rear rubber. Using digital calipers, the front rubber measured 4.5mm to the rear’s 2.95mm. Not a massive difference, but by percentage a solid change. And the front has substantial rubber covering while the rear portion of the shoe is more than half exposed midsole. The durability of the rubber is solid, showing minimal wear thus far.

Sally: Like Jeff, I have not had the chance to test these on snow-packed or slick roads, but I fear they would be similar to the Nike Epic React, which invite falls for winter runners. The traction might be questionable. The softer rubber on the toe works well hill climbing.

Jacob: The ‘ride’ in the name isn’t a coincidence—the focus of the technology used in the EvoRide is to deliver a smooth, efficient ride that keeps your legs fresh and turning over. For me, it really does run as described.

When I first laced up the EvoRide I thought they felt very firm and the pronounced toe flare a bit shocking. Standing around, they feel normal, flat and neutral, but even a slight lean forward sends you falling—running—forward. It’s like the shoe ends the balls of the foot, like standing on the edge of a cliff. I felt a similar sensation the first time I tried the Hoka Carbon X.

While on the run, the firmness and dramatic forefoot rocker are no longer noticeable. Once cruising along, the EvoRide feels surprisingly like a “regular shoe”, but runs exceptionally smoothly and consistently. The midsole feels much more cushioned when on the run than when standing around—they’re may be the most cushioned feeling 22mm heel stack shoe I’ve ever run. The ride is also inherently stable but very neutral with no motion control components or feel, despite the GUIDESOLE design.

The EvoRide is quite forgiving to inconsistent landings and absorbs variations in stride and foot strike, always encouraging an efficient transition and quick toe-off. I compared slow-motion video of myself running in the EvoRide against video running in a loose, flat shoe (Saucony Freedom 3) and my toe-off in the EvoRide looked so clean and consistent.

I have run the EvoRide at a variety of paces, including straight chilling, blocks at marathon pace (~6:30mi/mi), as well as a longer threshold interval (~5:40min/mi). On the whole, the EvoRide performed well at all paces. The fluid-transition rocker effect wasn’t as notable at the threshold pace (or during short sprints) but they still ran smoothly. I think the sweet spot was from upper endurance to around marathon pace, though they’re pretty versatile.  At all paces, however, they never felt odd or in the way, they just worked. ASICS GUIDESOLE technology is good stuff, though more subtle than a plated shoe. 

My longest run in the EvoRide was 10 miles, though given how that felt they’d be adequately cushioned for longer runs. However, the more cushioned GlideRide may be better suited. The EvoRide also wouldn’t be ideal for a true recovery run as it takes a bit of pace to get them rolling. They’re forgiving and easy to run in, but they definitely aren’t plush; my easy runs all ended up a bit faster than they would be in some shoes as well. As for race potential, I could see them being a marathon racing shoe for some, though with options like the Vaporfly NEXT%, they wouldn’t be my first choice.

Michael: I have to agree with Jacob - ASICS is really delivering what they’re promising (and to great effect!). The EvoRide does feel considerably more like a “regular” shoe than the GlideRide (which, while a really snappy trainer, did have an undoubtedly “plastic-y” feel about it) and I imagine those who come to the “Ride” family without any outside knowledge won’t suspect there’s anything “special” here.

But that doesn’t mean the EvoRide doesn’t have a special “pop” to it - and in fact, I don’t know that the rocker effect is any less pronounced here, once you get going, than on the GlideRide. Instead, whereas the GlideRide felt like a midsole with an upper strapped on top (albeit to still a strong effect), the EvoRide feels like a genuinely cohesive product, and a compelling offer against other trainers in its class. 

Jeff: This is where the shoe kind of falls apart for me, but make me think many runners are going to love it. This shoe does not want to be run slowly. Not to say it’s exclusively a speedwork shoe, and I think Jacob is right - there will be runners looking at this for the marathon or half marathon. My problem is I can’t keep up with it. For example, my first run in the shoe was a hilly three miles around the neighborhood. The first mile at 9:30, second at 8:30, third at 7:45. And the first mile the shoe felt a little blocky and awkward, during the second it felt a little smoother, and the third felt great. I suspect if I’d have put down a fourth mile at 6:45 (as if that was in the cards) they would have felt even better. Considering I’m far and away the slowest runner on this review, I’m okay acknowledging that this shoe probably isn’t the best for me - but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great shoe. Turns out the world doesn’t revolve around me, and so I issue a warning. If you think of an 8:00/mile as an uptempo pace, you probably won’t want to use this shoe for anything other than faster runs, which is unfair. 

The more than ample cushioning of this shoe is meant to be used for more than an hour or so, but the geometry ramps up the speed. The more I ran in the EvoRide, the more I fought the urge to push faster and faster, and found that it runs just fine at a 9:30 pace. Not nearly as awkward as that first run suggested, but not nearly as smooth as it does when you turn it up.

Sally: Yep. What Jacob said. So well! I love this shoe at faster paces. I actually found (according to Strava) that my cadence was quicker than usual when wearing this shoe, and my paces likewise a bit faster. The EVORide truly provides a smooth, consistent, and seemingly effortless ride. The firmness has been great for daily training runs… BUT I wore them on a 14 miler this weekend (Boston training on the hills of Newton is in full swing!) and I think that is the limit for me in this shoe. My feet were “tired” by the end of 14 miles. A bit more cushion underfoot is needed to pamper these 60 year old feet on longer runs.

Sam: I had one shorter and for the over 2000 meter/6800 foot altitude fast run in the Evo before handing them off to Michael. Quite firm and responsive with a distinct rocker effect, this shoe moves along faster and faster quite effortlessly . For my running, I question how far I would take them, maybe 10 miles max. My sense is that for my uses it is a faster tempo and road intervals ride and a compliment to the more forgiving ride of the GlideRide. So ASICS has delivered quite distinct ride options in its Ride line with the MetaRacer to come soon for race day. 

Conclusions and Recommendations
Jacob: The EvoRide has a simple and effective design which makes it a very smooth running shoe. The GUIDESOLE rocker technology and midsole characteristics work well to deliver a consistent, easy turnover. Despite a stack height on the lower end for many shoes these days, the EvoRide is adequately cushioned for longer runs. The only weakness I’ve found is the unnecessarily large tongue which leads to top lace pressure and discomfort; really too bad as they were close to being near flawless.

The EvoRide performs well on most runs, though I’ve found its sweet spot to be in the endurance to tempo range. The ride doesn’t feel as smooth or cushioned on really slow days and the rocker effect is less present at paces above threshold. I’ve found them to be a decent choice for most types of run—they always seem to run well. I think some people may enjoy them as a half or full marathon racer. However, they don’t feel like they encourage speed as some super-bouncy superfoams or plated shoes do, so I’m mixed on whether I’d ever race in them myself, especially with so many race-specific shoes out there. 
Jacob’s Score: 8.75
Ride: 9.5 (50%) Fit: 7.5 (30%) Value: 9 (15%)  Style 8 (5%)

Michael: ASICS undoubtedly started something with their MetaRide in early 2019 and GlideRide a few months later - and while the EvoRide may not be as flashy (or as expensive!) as the initial offering in the “Ride” family, I’d argue it is no less compelling. In fact, the EvoRide is my favorite ASICS trainer since I have started writing for RoadTrailRun, and probably in the last years. Now, is the EvoRide a perfect trainer? Not by any means. The tongue is bafflingly uncomfortable, and the outsole is not only slippery, but raises some significant durability concerns. And yet - I’m willing to deal with it to put some miles into this trainer. The upper and midsole are exceptional, and I genuinely hope this is the direction ASICS is going to take in the future.
Michael’s Score: 9.4/10

Jeff: Last year’s GlideRide was a shocking hit, with a number of caveats - you needed to want an exaggerated rocker, a very high stack height with lots of cushioning, and a pretty heavy shoe. This EvoRide seemed like a slightly pared down version, essentially the same shoe without the anchor dragging behind it, and that’s true. But I personally feel like the anchor slowing the GlideRide down ultimately makes it better The EvoRide has some upper issues, mostly tongue/lacing related, but the super uptempo feel of the midsole geometry has me constantly pushing pace just to find that sweet spot. Faster runners likely won’t experience this, and I’m expecting to see lots of folks enjoying this shoe. I will too, but only on days when I want to see how fast I can run.
Jeff’s Score 8.5 / 10
Ride: 9 (50%) Fit: 7 (30%) Value: 10 (15%) Style: 7 (5%)

Sam: I did not get enough runs in to score the Evo but do like what ASICS has done here. The EvoRide delivers a distinctly rockered, uptempo, stable ride with a comfortable overlay free upper that matches the performance chops of the shoe without compromising comfort or foot hold. My sense is that with more runs, I might conclude the firmness may limit its utility for me, keeping it out of the daily training class as GlideRide is for me,  It makes a great complement to the GildeRide and for me obsoletes other ASICS in or near its class such as Dynaflyte and even the fine RoadHawk FF with the Cumulus 21 sitting between EvoRide and GlideRide in cushion and function also now a dinosaur in comparison.

Sally: I wouldn’t have run over 50 miles in this shoe already if I didn’t enjoy it! This shoe works for me as a great daily trainer. The GlideRide would be my choice for longer runs, given the firmness of the EVO Ride. But ASICS is back: this shoe fits like a dream, looks classy in a wonderful minimalist way, and performs with a smooth and consistently quick and yet seemingly effortless ride. It is NOT the shoe for easy recovery runs. I might consider it for racing if I didn’t have a quiver of expensive “magic slippers” that I believe wholeheartedly in (perhaps with carbon plates, haha). 
Sally’s score: 9.45/10
Ride 9.5 (50%)  Fit 9.5 (30%) Value 9.0 (15%)  Style 8.5 (5%)

Comparisons Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

ASICS GlideRide (RTR Review)
Michael: As frequently mentioned above, the GlideRide and EvoRide have considerable shared DNA, and are both fun rides top-to-bottom. Still, I think the EvoRide is a more compelling choice - not only because the price is lower, but because it feels like a more cohesive, carefully-designed shoe. If you’re between the two, it’s unlikely GlideRide is likely not a bad choice, but the EvoRide is my choice.
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. I anticipated thinking the EvoRide was the ASICS to recommend most runners - cherry picking the great elements of the GlideRide and normalizing others; how could it not? While the GlideRide feels a little more gimmicky with the exposed plastic plate, I ultimately like the shoe much more. This is an easy dividing line though - if you can run an easy five miles in less than forty minutes, I suspect you’ll prefer the EvoRide, if you are on the slower side, you’ll like the GlideRide more. Both great shoes.
Sam: I clearly see more versatility from the GlideRide. While it is heavier by a quite considerable 10.2 oz vs. Evo at 8.8 oz it can handle most paces the Evo can except maybe fast tempo but will do some with more cushion at 31mm heel / 26mm vs. 22mm/17mm for Evo and slightly softer cushion (combination of FlyteFoam and Propel). I felt GlideRide had better propulsion but is not quite as responsive and snappy, is softer with yet a more distinct and felt rocker due to its hardened EVA forefoot plate and its deep and long decoupling groove as shown in Sally's picture above. Overall and so far I prefer the GlideRide. 

GEL-Nimbus Lite (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. On paper these two are cannibalizing sales for the other - both ASICS, similar stack height, similar weight, so similar shoe? Couldn’t be more different. The EvoRide is firm and wants to go fast, the Nimbus Lite is soft and likes easy paces. I could recommend you pick up both, and alternate depending on what the day brings, but I wouldn’t think even faster runners would compare them, the Nimbus is just that much softer.
Sam: Jeff is spot on. With a soft less structured upper especially upfront for softly cushioned bouncy, shorter even fast runs Nimbus Lite, for lots of response, a comfortable performance fit fast paces, shorter hard workouts Evo.
Sally: Jeff nailed it here. I like both shoes, but definitely prefer the EvoRide for quicker runs. 

Asics Roadhawk FF 3 (RTR Review)
Sam: A similar feel firmer FlyteFoam Propel midsole characterize both. Where they differ is in the far more dynamic rocker of the Evo, just plain more fun and faster to run. It has a far superior upper of the Evo which contrasts sharply with the relatively crude in-elastic upper on RoadHawk, and weight as the Evo is a significant 0.8 oz lighter. The Evo is a well worth its $30 heavier price. Hands down Evo.

Topo Zeyphr  (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. One of my favorite shoes of last year, the Zephyr is surprisingly firmer than that EvoRide when worn head-to-head against the latest ASICS. The Zephyr’s slight rocker feels massively toned down by comparison, of course the toebox is substantially larger, and there is a plate to contend with. But the EvoRide brings more bounce to it, which was surprising. If you want a shoe that runs well slowly or fast, get the Zephyr. If you want a shoe that just goes fast, get the EvoRide.

Nike Pegasus 36 (RTR Review)
Michael: The Pegasus 36 and EvoRide are actually quite different in what they represent; the Peg 36 is the old guard of Nike Running, whereas the EvoRide is a brave new step. And guess what? They’re both great trainers. I think for most runners, the Pegasus is probably a safe, more durable shoe - but that’s not to totally discount the ASICS. Try them on and see if you prefer old and refined, or new and exciting. Or better yet - wait for the Pegasus 37! Sizing here is similar.

Nike Epic React (RTR Review)
Jeff: Nike fits half size small, 11, my usual for Nike. These shoes have a very similar ground feel, while the geometry of the ASICS gives it a much faster toe-off, and the upper isn’t as prone to weird bunching. Give me the EvoRide.

Jacob: I find both the Epic React (I ran in the 2) and the EvoRide to have a smooth, consistent ride. They’re similarly cushioned--a tad firm and lightly bouncy--though the ER2 is softer. The EvoRide has a more locked-in ride with easier toe-off due to the GUIDESOLE rocker. The Epic React upper is quite floppy and harder to dial in but it has a thin, integrated tongue and thus none of the annoyance of the huge EvoRide tongue. I think the ER2 runs better at slower paces than the EvoRide, but the EvoRide would be a better racer (though still not a first choice). Similar category and I like them both; EvoRide for faster days, ER2 for easier.

Sally: I was a huge fan of the Epic React 1 and 2 (did Nike seriously retire that shoe already?). I found the EVO Ride a bit firmer, not quite as bouncy as the ER2. The ER2 was thus a better shoe for me for longer runs, the EVORide would be my choice for shorter (10 or less) and more uptempo runs. 

Hoka Mach 3 (RTR Review)
Jacob: The Mach 3 is in the same class as the EvoRide; both are fairly lightweight, uptempo trainers. Both shoes are firm, but the Mach is firmer as well as bouncier. The Mach feels lower to the ground despite a slightly higher stack height. I really like the response and reactive feel of the Mach, though it doesn’t have the same ease of toe-off as the EvoRide, so it depends what you’re looking for. The Mach upper is also exceptional--light and seamless--though the shoe is certainly less accommodating (specifically narrower) than the EvoRide. With fairly different rides they both have a place in my rotation.

Nike Zoom Fly 2, 3  (RTR Review)
Michael: I unfortunately never ranthe Zoom Fly 3, but the Zoom Fly 2 was an absolute blast to run in - while it was a terrific high mileage trainer, I even took pulled it out for a mile race (albeit one dressed in a Santa costume). The EvoRide and Fly actually share a common issue - lack of grippy outsole - but it’s more forgivable on a shoe like the Fly that really blurs the line between racer and trainer than the “pure” trainer of the EvoRide. So, while I can’t speak to the newest iteration from Nike, I think the Zoom 2 is overall a bit more fun than the ASICS. 

Jacob: I also never wore the Zoom Fly 3, but loved the Zoom Fly 2 and still wear them occasionally. The Zoom Fly is much higher stack, squishier, and more cushioned. The EvoRide and Zoom Fly share a smooth rolling--light “falling forward”--effect but the Zoom Fly’s ride is a bit more dramatic. I’ve also raced pretty extensively in my Zoom Fly and find they kind of just keep getting more fun at speed whereas the EvoRide has a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. The EvoRide upper is a bit more accommodating, but the Zoom Fly is more versatile and fun overall.

Sally: I have run in the Zoom Fly OG, 2 and 3. I absolutely love the ZF 2 Fyknit! I have struggled with hot spots on the upper of the Zoom Fly 3 (above the big toe joint) but really want to love it. The ride of the Zoom Fly is softer and higher, and fun and fast. Definitely my choice for longer training runs, especially when gearing up for a race (in Nike VF).

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 (RTR Review)
Michael: Hard to vote against my 2019 Shoe of the Year (though 2020 is off to a great start)! I’m going with the Turbo 2. No trainers in recent memory so effortly blend technology, comfort, ride, and durability as Nike’s offering. The EvoRide is no slouch - but the Turbo 2 wins the day! Both ran TTS for me.

Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5, which is a rarity in Nike for me. I didn’t love the Peg Turbo 2 as much as Michael, but close. While there is a big cost difference, I also think there’s a big performance difference with the Turbo being an all-around amazing shoe. If you shop around for older colorways it’ll help defray the cost difference, but no question, get the Turbo.

adidas adizero Boston 8 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. My first Boston, the 8 has a more dialed in upper, especially in the forefoot than the EvoRide, but I prefer the rocker toe-off of the ASICS. Both decently cushioned performance shoes, and in this case, just slightly, make mine ASICS.

Sally: The Adidas Boston 6 was MY SHOE for marathons and most everything for several years. The Boston 7 was okay (not as peppy) and the Boston 8 is just stiffer and not quite doing it for me. I would prefer to lace up the EVO Ride.

Altra Escalante 2 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. Altra wins the toebox game, but even as a midfoot striker I like a little drop in a shoe to take the added stress off my calves and achilles. The Escalante works fine with the pace picks up, as well as when it is an easy day, but the ride of the EvoRide is a massive improvement. ASICS for the win.

Hoka One One Carbon X (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. I get it, there’s a 50% price difference, as well as a different approach to weight and stack height, but these two shoes are both uptempo heavily rockered shoes. While only one has a plate, the Hoka definitely has a more aggressive toe-off as your foot leaves the ground - and while it is a good-for-Hoka toe box it could use a little of the ASICS forefoot width. It’s neck and neck, but I’d give the advantage to the EvoRide, $180 is a ton of money for a shoe that has a number of pluses and minuses in the comparison.

Sam: Price difference aside, and it is significant, clear nod for me to the Carbon X for its versatility from daily training to long racing. While its rocker is less pronounced up front with a flatter feel compared to Evo it is clearly more and more softly cushioned even with its carbon plate (felt) in the underfoot mix,

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. While the Beacon shoes have always pushed me to run a little faster than anticipated, they’ve also been smooth running at easy paces too. The upper is a sloppy fit compared to the EvoRide, but ultimately, I’d take the versatility of the Beacon.

Jacob: Though they’re both lightweight trainers on the firm side that work well at speed, the ride is pretty different. The Beacon feels flatter (certainly less rocker) but also has more stack which makes it bouncier and more dynamic (e.g. more springy on downhills when you compress more of the foam). The ride is less locked-in/consistent but more versatile and enjoyable at more paces and for longer distances. The Beacon upper is a bit sloppier but more comfortable as well. Try them both to see what you’re looking for, but if it’ll be your primary shoe, go for the Beacon--more versatile.

New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel (RTR Review)
Jeff: Both fit true-to-size 10.5. My go-to speedwork shoe of the last few months, the Rebel has a great pop at faster speeds, but the toe-off of the EvoRide matches or exceeds the Rebel. The bootie construction of the NB means either the shoe works for you or it doesn’t, without much opportunity to dial in fit. Ultimately as a dyed-in-the-wool supinator, give me the Rebel with its extra lateral fin, but it is a much closer match up than I anticipated. The EvoRide likes a quick ride, if you can give it to it, you’ll be very pleased.

The EvoRide releases Feb 1st, 2020

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Michael said...


Unknown said...

This is the most fully review abt Evoride I found. It's really useful. Thank team!

Anonymous said...

Great in-depth review, thanks!
I like what I'm reading but cannot really see a place for the EvoRide in my current line-up: Turbo2,Propel,Beacon2,Peg36,Adios3/4
I'm sure that I'd really like the ride but need a little push to justify the purchase. :) Anything else you might wanna add that might tip me over? Thanks!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for kind words. Of the shoes you mention the EvoRide would slot between the Peg 36 (firm and not very dynamic for me) and Turbo 2 (softer more flexible but I find not as stable and kind of sharp around the midsole edges) I am not sure it would slot as a daily trainer in your rotation given the shoes you mention. As a more direct substitute for Peg look at GlideRide which could also handily do recovery or closer the Salomon Sonic 3 Balance or for a super fun fast bouncy ride the pricey NB FuelCell TC Reviews below at link
Sam, Editor

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