Tuesday, December 15, 2020

ASICS Glideride 2 Lite Show Multi Tester Review

Article by Ryan Eiler, Michael Ellenberger and Sam Winebaum

ASICS Glideride 2 ($150)



Introduction


Sam: The Glideride 2 carries forward ASICS GuideSole technology which seeks to keep the anke from flexing up and the toes from flexing down to increase efficiency. Characterized bya  rigid profile and a front rocker (here with a hardened EVA propulsion plate), GuideSole shoes have a distinct very directed in the path of travel ride. The Glideride 2 adds 2mm of stack height  cushion in a modified midsole geometry, a new outsole, and a monofilament engineered mesh upper. The Glideride 1 was a distinctively different ride (RTR Review)  and I was especially eager to see what kind of difference more cushion stack and  the more streamlined outsole design made to what was a fairly firm ride for such a big stack shoe.


Michael: The GlideRide was a surprise hit of 2019 - I ended up missing our initial review but put dozens of subsequent miles on ASICS’ rocker-induced trainer and managed to convert some longtime ASICS-naysayers to the joys of the EVA propulsion plate. While it wasn’t a racing flat (or even particularly light), the original GlideRide was a comfortable shoe for even tempo running, as it prompted a certain forward momentum and forefoot strike. When ASICS released the EvoRide, I called it “my favorite ASICS trainer since I have started writing for RoadTrailRun, and probably in the last years,” owing to its seamless blending of ASICS’s traditional platform with the new -Ride series technology. All of that to say - expectations were high for the GlideRide 2!

Ryan: The GlideRide is a shoe designed with specific intentions, imbued with a distinct and strong personality that seems to provide Asics an avenue to be biomechanically creative. The first version of the shoe clearly garnered enough positive feedback that Asics decided to tinker with its properties and perpetuate the GlideRide line into its second generation.


Pros

Sam:      Consistent, highly directed and stable ride. 

    Plenty of cushion and 2mm more of it that v1 is   noticed, especially up front,. 

    Distinct rocker sensation up front that is of a piece with rest of forefoot when underway

    Very secure upper

Michael: Widened platform adds stability to a propulsive, forward ride

    Rocker sensation is genuine and fun

    Upper is pleasantly snug and highly reflective to boot

    Still the best treadmill trainer there is

Ryan:  Exceptionally stable, responsive ride; easy to ‘zone-out’ and cruise at a steady pace

    Forefoot geometry helps efficiency at faster paces

    Midsole’s conspicuous presence may encourage better footstrike and posture for some



Cons

Sam:  Sense of directed ride may be overly rigid and overdone, 

            Mechanical and overly prescriptive requiring good posture and a forward lean and drive. 

            Does the GR need the hardened EVA front plate at all? 

            Midsole foam could be softer.


Michael: Overly stiff, even in comparison to v1; not that fun on easy runs

Ryan:     Has a limited range, given its combination of stiffness, weight, and outsole shape

  Excessively harsh and rigid for what is intended to be a trainer

  Unpleasant at recovery paces


Tester Profiles

A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he has solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K.

Ryan decided to forego his Wall Street job to be a gear junkie, and is currently the fledgling entrepreneur behind his company, Bridger Helmets.  Most days, you'll find him loping along the Charles River in Boston.  Of all the places he's run, Central Park NYC and the New Hampshire coast top his list.


Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon. 


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 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 163 lbs.


Stats

Approx. Weight  men's 10.5 oz / 297g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s  10.23 oz  / 290g (US8.5), 10.6 oz / 301g (US9.5) 

Approx. Stack Height: 36mm heel / 31mm forefoot, 5mm drop

Available Feb 2021, $150  



First Impressions and Fit

Michael: I wrote above of my love for the GlideRide 1 (“GR1”), so let me just say - I was quite excited trying on the follow-up and finding that, at least on first try-on, not that much had changed. The outsole is wider and more traditional-looking (even if the stack is quite noticeable from the lateral side), but the GR2 looks less like a concept shoe and more like a real, production ASICS model - and it fits like one too. Comfortably snug, and (when not running) a pretty normal-feeling platform… what’s not to like?


Ryan: Is this thing really plated? What an interesting design choice for what is decidedly not a racing shoe. Indeed, while it’s not a composite material, an EVA ‘plate’ does run from the forefoot to roughly the midfoot area. 

It makes the shoe feel so stiff in hand, both longitudinally and torsionally, reaching a level of rigidity typically found only in high-end racing shoes.


After cinching them down and standing up, the highly rockered forefoot is immediately noticeable, and provides a distinct feeling underfoot. While the first five minutes of running in the GuideSole geometry was slightly awkward, the shape of the outsole quickly grew on me and ended up producing a surprisingly enjoyable run. My size 9.5 felt just a touch big in the toe.


Sam: The fit is true to size as was the Glideride 1 . I am notably more secure in v2  which tends to stretch on the run, laces and upper. The fit is snug and very supportive but has no uncalled for over pressures anywhere. 

The design is modern and sleek with more muted blues and blue fade ins  to yellow toning down the yellows. 

The Lite Show almost holographic reflective overlays and detailing provide visual appeal and some depth


Upper

Michael: I quite like what ASICS has done to the upper here on GR2, and particularly in regard to the visibility through the Lite Show reflective detailing 


The upper is an engineered “monofilament mesh” that nicely blends the line between a knit-like material and a more traditional mesh upper, and is plenty snug to keep your foot locked in, even over faster runs. I had no issues with lacing at all, and even ASICS’s traditionally beefy tongue didn’t present an issue on my test runs.

What’s more, ASICS has added some reflective elements to the “Light Show” model I reviewed, which means that on these winter runs when it’s dark from 4PM to 7AM, you’ll still be seen. 

Ryan: It’s not a showstopper of a design, but I concur with Michael in that the mesh is strong and nicely shaped. Setting the tone for the rest of the shoe, the heel counter is very well built and there is ample lateral support around the perimeter of the foot. It runs just a touch long in my size M9.5. 

The textured bits in the laces are a nice touch, creating a slightly gritty texture which totally eliminates lace slip.


Sam: Instead of a knit like engineered mesh (as in the Glideride 1) or a knit we have a monofilament engineered mesh here. This type of fiber, more analogous to a fishnet type material than the usual fibers, has less stretch and tends to absorb less moisture  but as it can be very thin it can have a very fine pattern that not only is very breathable but also supports the foot with great consistency. That is exactly what we have here. 

The toe bumper is reasonable in its firmness and reduced in over the big toe side and overall coverage and is less firm overall than v1 which is welcome.


The heel and achilles collar are very similar to v1, plush and supportive and are slightly slimmed down at the achilles. 

The laces and lace up is noticeably secure credit to the wrap of the upper, the reflective Lite Show Tiger logo and the laces themselves.  

The white dots provide a touch of friction/gription which makes the lace up very secure. I have never had to adjust on the run. Truly exceptional in that respect.


Midsole

Sam: The Glideride features ASICS GuideSole. It is a geometry designed to 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. 


ASICS also calls out the following changes to the midsole for v2

  • Reduced midsole sculpting

  • Increased base nets

  • Gender specific midsole densities

The midsole provides a relatively firm highly directed feel with a notable front rocker and propulsion from a hardened EVA plate which is not as firm as plastics and certainly carbon plates. The rocker groove is easy to find and effective.


The v2 adds 2mm of cushion stack and this change was noticed and appreciated as an improvement over v1. There is plenty of firmer dense cushion stack here. I approximate a total stack height of 37mm heel / 32 mm forefoot so we are in the max cushion category but this is not a pillowy soft midsole. It’s a midsole with lots of protection and lots of stability but not necessarily lots of soft cush! 


I even note the flaring lower midsole at the midfoot of the v1 is now filled in for I assume, but could not really feel more stability there although that area did feel slightly more cushioned. Does this fill in add weight?

The heel landing geometry changes with no overhang at the rear and has a slightly more rockered rear profile. As a result, compared side by side with the v1 in my A/B test the v2 feels less heel heavy and transitions off the heel a bit quicker and more smoothly. I actually found this new heel geometry made very slow paces more feasible unlike the v1 although slow and easy is not the Glideride’s run speciality.


I do think the Flytefoam midsole could be a touch softer and bouncier and the EVA plate potentially eliminated to provide a slightly softer easier ride and feel one more in keeping with daily training.  

Heck, the trail ASICS Trabuco Max (RTR Review) with GuideSole has no plate and while it has a rugged firm (and loud!) trail outsole and not quite the sharp sensation of rocker has a more friendly daily road training midsole ride with a more gentle and less firmly cushioned rocker. It’s a more versatile and practical shoe all around and a Trabuco Max with a less aggressive outsole pattern would make a mighty fine road shoe.

Ryan: The shape of the rocker midsole in the forefoot, marketed as ‘GuideSole’ technology, is the defining characteristic of the entire package. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I can best describe the feeling at rest as standing on the edge of a precipice. There is noticeably little pressure under the toes of your foot, and your natural inclination is to shift your center of gravity backward to compensate. Once you lean forward into a stride, the midsole pivot under the ball of your foot immediately acts to encourage you forward. After a few miles of getting used to this new sensation, my upper body settled into a position that leaned slightly further forward than usual.

One characteristic I especially appreciated was how well the stiff FlyteFoam smoothed out even the roughest of roads. The icy Boston winters aren’t kind to the asphalt, but the foam’s density smoothed out all but the largest heaves and cracks. I’d even go so far as to say that its protection rivals many trail shoes I’ve tested. Perhaps the 10+oz weight is the price to pay for such protection, but if the goal is to zone-out and cruise along well-protected, without having to watch every place you step foot, then it’s mission accomplished.

Michael: Once again, ASICS has worked its rocker technology into the GlideRide line and, once again, it’s largely a hit. My quibbles with the design here simply relate to how drastic this “rocker feeling” can be - whereas the last generation GR (and the more traditional EvoRide) had some reasonableness to then, I feel like the midsole on the GlideRide 2 presents sort of an all-or-nothing choice - you either like the rocker, or you find another shoe. It’s slightly snappier and firmer than last year’s midsole, and that extra little rigidity only further promotes a forward momentum and accelerated landing. 


But, what Ryan touched on above is undoubtedly true - the increased platform size here, combined with an even beefier midsole packed with FlyteFoam, makes this an excellent cruiser. There are few better shoes to slip on and zone out in - with its thicker midsole stack and robust weight, you can get into that Vaporfly-like rhythm without sacrificing cushion and support. Not only that, it feels



Outsole

Michael: Not a ton for me to say here - there’s sufficient rubber around the perimeter of the outsole, with an exposed Guidance Line (a staple in late-model ASICS) painting the median. The increased width of the outsole undoubtedly adds stability, not only from the ankle-down, but also around tight corners and in winter scenarios - this, coupled with the visibility elements from the Lite Show reflective details, make the GlideRide 2 an awesome winter choice.


Ryan: Michael covered the important points, so I’ll only add that the stiffness of the midsole prevents all of the rubber from squashing down onto the road at once. Again, the words ‘stable’ and ‘linear’ come to mind, and although the stiffness doesn’t allow maximum road to rubber contact, traction is totally adequate for any realistic road running conditions.


Sam: The Glideride 1 had a more conventional outsole design with more continuous rubber coverage especially at the front as well as a narrower front Guidance Line cavity upfront exposing its red plate, now dark green in v2  

During my A/B test, I could clearly feel that the new v2 forefoot outsole in combination with the 2mm of additional foam delivered a less harsh and more cushioned forefoot feel.

Traction has been fine. The outsole even gripped well during my wet, slick wooden boardwalk test. Due to the low outsole profile and overall stiffness, I do not see the Glideride as being particularly good on snow but testing will tell.



Ride


Ryan: This is one of the most unique rides I’ve had in a trainer in quite some time, and it’s what sets this apart from almost any other shoe out there. The ‘Guidesole’ midsole rocker shape reminds me of Saucony’s ‘Speedroll’ geometry, but here it feels even more pronounced. It’s probably exacerbated by the relative stiffness of the midsole foam, but like a (friendly & weightless) jockey on your back, it will consistently remind you to keep driving forward.


Because of its stability and rigidity, the ride feels very linear and purposeful. A firm and responsive footstrike is followed by a distinct, snappy toe roll, and finishes with a firm and spirited toe-off. Not an ounce of mush or hesitation in sight.


As I mentioned in my midsole notes, the density of the Flytefoam distributes impact pressure so well that you feel both protected and disconnected from almost any road surface. The downside is that such robust protection can feel relatively harsh.


Michael: “Like Speedroll, but more” is also how I’d describe the ride of the GlideRide 2. There’s a certain unbridled harshness to it, which I don’t quite remember from its predecessor (and certainly not from the EvoRide). It’s fun - unless you don’t want to run so fast, in which case, well, you’re sort of out of luck. 


Aside from the midsole rocker, I’m happy with the seemingly beefed-up midsole here, and inclusion of a generous portion of FlyteFoam, really does provide a well-dampened and even ride. Coupled with some stability from the wider platform and rigid upper, and you have a comfortable and dynamic trainer that can work for a lot of runners.  

Sam: As Michael and Ryan say above, the ride is “unique, even, protected and disconnected from the road, linear and purposeful, constantly reminding you to drive forward like a weightless jockey on your back”. I agree. Those seeking a soft bouncy ride will not find it here. Those seeking stable, consistent, well rockered forward motion stride after stride in the path of travel will. I found the shoe ideal for moderate tempo on tired legs when I want to move along but need protection, lots of firmer cushion, support, and some “help” to do it. Due to the rigidity and relative firmness it is not an ideal daily training solo option in the quiver shoe for me.  


Conclusions and Recommendations


Michael: If you’ll allow me one car metaphor for the year, I’d say this: the GlideRide 2 is a Cadillac, but a souped-up V-Series model. Your running buddies may not know the GlideRide 2 from your average Nimbus or Cumulus, but they’ll know something is up when you’re springing along with speed at the end of a long session.


But, like any performance car, it has drawbacks - it’s harsh on the road, and not so forgiving when you just want to do whatever the driving equivalent of going to the grocery store is (shakeout run?). The GlideRide 2 is great, but it’s a lot, and I think a lot of runners would prefer the slightly more mild version of the GlideRide 1, or its little brother, the EvoRide!

Michael’s Score: 8.9/10.


Ryan: The GlideRide2 is laser focused on providing spirited stability. It’s a fairly specific shoe choice, and its predominant features limit its versatility somewhat, but it excels at what it sets out to do: engage cruise control at moderate to higher paces. It also might be an interesting choice for someone looking to coax his or her footstrike further forward. The outsole rocker geometry and overall rigidity of the shoe are very noticeable, but make for an extremely stable and well-coordinated ride.

Ryan’s Score: 8.5/10


Sam: The Glideride 2 improves on v1 with 2mm more of much appreciated cushion, especially noticed at the forefoot and a new midsole and outsole design leading to smoother landings and transitions, and a great new and secure upper. I found it slightly more forgiving than v1 when run one on each foot in my A/B Test.


The GuideSole technology plus front EVA plate makes for a highly directed in the path of travel, rigid feeling ride but an effective one at moderate to faster paces. I agree it is stable in the sense that the ankle and foot are maintained at constant angles and there is plenty of firmer cushion and outsole underfoot. 


There is an easy to find groove here which feels best pushing the pace. Stride after stride you will be on a very noticeable and consistent set of well bounded “rails” moving you forward.  

Interestingly at very slow paces back on the heels they feel fine too, credit I think to the new heel geometry. It is in those mid range paces of slower daily training that the ride is a bit firm and awkward. 


I wish the weight was lower and I question the need for the front hardened EVA front plate in the mix as it adds more harshness and stiffness than needed for an all around daily trainer with this much stack height (which naturally leads to rigidity in a firmer foam midsole ) and creates an inherent rocker profile. Because of this it suffers a bit in my ride and value scores. While firmer than I would like and heavier, the ride is so distinctive and purposeful that while it may be limited in versatility for some it deserves credit.

Sam’s Score: 9.18 / 10

Ride: 9.2 (50%) Fit: 9.5 (30%) Value: 8.5(15%) Style:9 (5%)


Comparisons



ASICS Glideride 1  (RTR Review)

Sam: 2mm more cushion all around in the GR2 makes for a more pleasant ride especially at the forefoot. The new heel and outsole/midsole underfoot geometry got me off the heel a bit quicker and transitioning a bit smoother. The new upper provides a more secure stretch free lockdown. All of these changes are relatively minor in the sense they do not change the overall very directed rocker based character of the shoe but all were positive improvements.


Watch Sam's A/B Test Run Glideride 2 vs Glideride 1 and Initial Video Review



New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 and 11 (RTR Review)

Michael: While both fit the “cruiser” definition, I think my Conclusion section for the GlideRide 2 proves apt here - the 1080 is a Cadillac, and the GR2 a souped-up version. For those who value performance and don’t mind a harsher ride to get it, the ASICS is a great choice. For those who want even running performance and a comfortable, smooth ride, the 1080 is a great call.


Sam: I find both are relatively firm and responsive in feel (although the v11 is slightly softer than the v10 and the GR 2 firmer and stiffer in feel than either 1080)  and this despite both having lots of cushion stack. Both rely on a rocker type ride with the 1080 having no plate and also having some flex which the Glideride has none of. The 1080 is more conventional in ride feel, not as prescriptive and rigidly directed and is an ounce lighter. 


That lighter weight comes in part from its molded very minimal heel counter achilles construction which in our testing of the v11 led to issues there for some of our testers but not me. Bottom line while it adds weight, the overall upper construction of the Glideride may be a safer bet. Both were true to size for me. 


I would flip a coin between these two with the 1080’s lighter weight its big positive and noticed factor while the Glideride’s easier to find groove and directed motion and upper its big positives.


New Balance Fuel Cell TC  (RTR Review)

Michael: Actually a closer comparison than I would have forecasted at first. The FuelCell TC is a blast - a plated trainer with an amazing spring and cushion. The GR2 is sort of a riff off the same tune, but done with a little less finesse. Both are fun and fast trainers, but unless you want that markedly harsher feeling, I think the TC is an all-around better shoe.


Sam: Not as stable for sure and far more fun to run and run fast, the TC is my pick over the Glideride for faster days but for those seeking a rocker plated type ride for everyday stable and supportive running the yes somewhat firmer Glideride is a better and safer choice.


Nike Tempo Next%  (RTR Review)

Sam: Both shoes are heavily “prescriptive” as they both really control your movement forward and up and away. The Nike moves you forward to its massive firmly rebounding air pod while the Glideride puts you on rails (but not of the side stability sort) towards its EVA plate rockered toe off. The Tempo is yet more bionic in feel with massive responsive cushion and little sensation of the road while the Glideride has more road feel and  more of a sensation of directing you forward in, as Ryan says, a very  “linear” path.  Over 1.5 oz lighter, the Tempo is a faster more effective shoe for its stated purpose of “tempo” while the Glideride has a broader range of training uses leaning more towards daily training but not as far towards easy daily miles as it might. Both true to size.


Saucony Ride 13  (RTR Review)

Ryan M9.5: The Ride 13 is in my top 3 favorite daily trainers, so the bar is set high here. The GR2 definitely has a more purposeful mission than to just be a generic, daily trainer, whereas the Saucony excels as an all-around go-to shoe. I’d be happy wearing the Asics if I had a quickish run in mind and want to be reminded not to sit back on my heels, but I don’t think it’s a shoe I’ll reach for more than once per week. The Ride 13 is a more versatile, traditional daily trainer, which turns over quicker with a lower inertia. It is also far more flexible and feels less harsh, and for a neutral runner is probably preferable to the rigid personality of the GlideRide.

Sam: I agree with Ryan. More traditional for sure with a higher drop and flexible forefoot,the Ride 13 relies on its copious bars of front rubber for its responsive toe off. It has less cushion than GR2 as it has less stack height but the more prescriptive rigid GR 2 and its front plate feels firmer overall.


Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Michael: I mentioned Saucony’s Speedroll geometry in the review, and frankly, I think the Endorphin Shift came in and mimicked what the original GlideRide was doing, only better. The Saucony has a more muted ride - still propulsive, still cushioned, but just a little more pleasant and controlled than on the ASICS. Fans of the original GlideRide will like the GR2, no doubt, but I think newcomers should look at the Endorphin Shift instead.

Sam: The Shift is for sure a strong comparison and I agree the Shift’s ride is more muted as it has yet more stack than the Glideride. Both rely on a rigid rocker based profile and both have lots of stable firmer cushion. While the Shift’s medial extend heel counter “catches” early pronation with a noticed and pleasant early kick of the foot laterally the GR2 has more of a linear alignment through the stride. Up front, the Shift’s Speedroll does something similar to the Guide Sole with a very noticeable final toe off impulse while the Glideride has a longer roll. On days I want to get more road feel I lean Glideride. Otherwise, Shift is a more versatile heavily cushioned move along trainer.


Nike Zoom Pegasus 37 (RTR Review)

Michael: The new Pegasus is a mashup of old and new, but we found it to largely miss the mark, with a harsh feeling Zoom Air unit in the forefoot that took some testing to get past. The GlideRide is harsh, too, but the momentum generated by ASICS’s midsole geometry is more fun and more comfortable than on the Nike. Pick the ASICS.


Hoka Mach 4 (RTR Review)

Ryan M9.5: This is more of a contrast than a comparison, in that the GlideRide and Mach have entirely different personalities. Whereas the GR2 imposes its stiffness as a way to enhance efficiency, the Mach is buttery smooth, inviting, and mellow. Both shoes are supremely stable, yet the Hoka comes in about 2 oz lighter and is far less harsh underfoot, given its rubberized foam outsole. The Asics may be the better choice for harder, enthusiastic efforts, but the Hoka wins for most other types of running. I found the GlideRide’s fit to be slightly longer than that of Hoka.

Sam: Unless you a more directed highly linear and yet more stable ride no question the much lighter livelier Mach 4 for me too. Both true to size.

Please Check out our Big Holiday Runners' Gift Guide HERE

The product reviewed was provided at no charge for testing. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

RUNNING WAREHOUSE
USA  Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
AUSTRALIA Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

ROADRUNNER SPORTS
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

HOLABIRD SPORTS
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

REI 
Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

AMAZON  
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE REVIEWS ON THE ROADTRAILRUN CHANNEL



Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook: RoadTrailRun.com  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

No comments: