Tuesday, October 19, 2021

ASICS GT-2000 10 Multi Tester Review: A Friendlier and Softer Riding Stability Trainer. 11 Comparisons!

Article by Renee Krusemark. Dominique Winebaum and Sam Winebaum

ASICS GT-2000 10 ($130)


Introduction

Sam: The GT 2000 a light stability trainer which while looking similar to its predecessors gets very significant updates for version 10. I ran version 8 and while I enjoyed its flexible agile and quite soft forefoot its brick hard heel while supportive was rough! Version 9 I skipped as it appeared to only be an upper update.


While visiting my local running store. The ASICS rep who used to work there insisted I try on a pair of the GT 10. I was skeptical as it looked very much like prior versions. Right away, even walking around I could feel it was a quite dramatically different feeling shoe. Clearly the heel was softer, the upper butter soft and supportive, and the front bouncy and soft. 


So what are the changes?

  • Big, rigid mid foot plastic Trusstic plate is removed

  • Bouncy, responsive Flightfoam Propel foam becomes the underfoot and entire forefoot layer replacing Solelyte with moderately firm Flightfoam and GEL below the rear Propel

  • Instead of a layer of firmer DuoMax on the medial side wall, the vertical walls are now the same Flightfoam as the rest of the midsole

  • Unseen in the top of the midsole we get gender specific 3D Space Construction, a series of pillars that adapt to the foot on the run.

  • The drop moves from 10mm to 8mm in both men’s and women’s versions

  • Finally, we get a butter soft yet supportive engineered knit upper without cages or excess overlays


All of this was most promising indeed as while I usually run neutral shoes I enjoy a touch of support. I prefer it unobtrusive and the design here with no Trusstic, a softer midsole and no firmer side walls seemed to point that way. I also like support shoes to be flexible so as to flow through to an easier toe off after the rear support systems and clearly the GT 2000 10 in hand was flexible. Finally why not some bouncy Propel fun in a support type shoe?


I was eager to test and compare to ASICS other two support shoes: Kayano 28 and Kayano Lite 2 as well as Cumulus which can be thought of as the soft neutral equivalent to the GT 2000.


Pros:

Sam/Renee: Smooth flowing, softer support that is for sure also neutral shoe fan suitable 

Sam/Renee: Bouncy energetic ride with easy flexing forefoot

Sam/Dominique: Wonderfully comfortable and secure engineered knit upper with a roomy toe box, a rarity in knit uppers

Sam: Gimmick, plate, rail, post free construction

Dominique: Extremely comfortable for a stability trainer -- fit and ride.  

Dominique:Great breathability and padding around the collars.


Cons:

Sam/Renee: Wish weight was sub 10 oz given the relatively low stack height. Knit may add weight?

Sam/Renee: While Propel underfoot and under the entire forefoot is bouncy and energetic, the forefoot feels a bit thin and overly soft. Firmer forefoot rubber needed?

Dominique: time and miles to adjust to the low stack height, in particular the forefoot. 

Tester Profiles

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 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 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA.


Stats

Weight: men's 10.12 oz / 287g (US9)  /  women's 8.49oz/242g  (US8)

  Samples: men’s 10.12 oz / 287g US9 women’s 8.49oz/242g (US8)

Midsole Stack Height: 

men’s 22mm heel /14mm forefoot, 8mm drop 

women’s 21mm heel /13mm forefoot, 8mm drop

Available now including in men’s 2E and women’s D wide. $130

 

First Impressions and Fit


Renee: I cannot remember the last time I ran a GT-2000, but I’m guessing it was one of the first versions. I am not a stability shoe fan, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review one of (in my opinion) ASICS’s most notable daily trainers. 


I was not disappointed with the newest version of the GT-2000 and found it to be a comfortable choice for easy and recovery runs between 3 and 5 miles. 


The outsole has enough coverage to work well on gravel without being uncomfortable on pavement or the treadmill. The shoe comfortable overall with a roomy upper and what I call a “no nonsense” fit. For sizing, I suggest true to size or the same size as any other ASICS shoe. The fit is generous, so runners between half sizes could go either way (size down for a tight fit or size up for a roomy fit).


Sam: My pair has a charcoal gray upper with a canary yellow at the top of the midsole highlighting what turns out to be the fun part, the Propel foam layer and heel GEL insert. The white midsole more sober and conservative calls out the stabilizing lower Flyte Foam midsole.

At first I assumed the upper was an engineered mesh as unlike many knits the engineered knit here has a smooth more continuous surface.  


My pair was a half size up from my normal due to sample availability and fits fine but I could easily go true to size and would in a next pair.  


This is one effective and comfortable knit upper.  It is not compressive and snug but does have a bit of stretch. Very soft on the foot and secure there are notably no cages, no gusset tongue or overly extensive overlays yet hold is secure without over clutching the heel, overbuilt at the midfoot or being sloppy or over snug and compressive upfront as knit uppers can be.  

The conventional tongue with no gusset and the lacing system assures a really solid fuss free lockdown. Truly, and ASICS upper lately have been great, an upper built for both moderate daily training paces and with supreme comfort.


Dominique: This is my first pair of  ASICS GT 2000, and for this 10th edition, the improvements are notable and quite remarkable, as Sam has so well described. 
Despite my limited exposure to stability shoes, I would characterize the GT 2000 10 as a game changer in the support/stability category for delivering a comfortable platform from the upper, to the midsole and outsole.  In short, no rigid underfoot there and I am enjoying running in them -- a first for me in a stability trainer.   

This said, I do prefer running in something that it is not a stability shoe.  I am quite the heel stricker and it has been a bit of adjustment running in a more flexible shoe with a lower stack height and no rocker, features that I like in a shoe. 

However, by all means, this is an extremely comfortable stability trainer with an enjoyable ride. The GT 2000 10 comes in 7 color choices for women -- at first I was not overly enthusiastic about the smoky rose/pure bronze worrying it would get stained; however, after one month of wear, they look just as great as when they came out of the box. 


Upper

Renee: The upper is engineered knit and is comfortable. The toe box is roomy and the heel and midfoot hold is decent. I used the GT-2000 for easy runs, so I did not mind the relaxed upper fit. I ran strides of about 150 meters x 5 on gravel and had to retie the laces to get a tight fit. While I wouldn’t use the shoes for speed work, they do perform well as a trainer at easy and moderate paces. 


Sam: As I said in the fit section and confirmed by Renee a very solid upper for most moderate pace daily training purposes blending comfort with very adequate hold. 

The engineered knit has plenty of hold, a touch of stretch, and a pleasing softness on foot especially in the toe box.

The relatively low height heel counter is particularly well executed with a rigid lower area blending to more give higher up. Not quite the in your face (heels) ASICS “clutch” but totally effective to lock down the heel and more comfortable.

Dominique: The engineered knit upper is extremely comfortable with a roomy toe box providing adequate hold. The upper is extremely well designed and provides great breathability. 


As someone whose pace and weekly mileage is pretty consistent  -- in the twenty mile range with no speed work and no racing - the relaxed knit upper, which is quite roomy, is not an issue.  Some runners (as expressed here) might like a tighter fit, however, as a trainer it is adequate with the added bonus of being roomy. The collar padding  along with the tongue help create a secure and comfortable fit.



Midsole

Renee: The midsole is comfortable and soft with a good amount of bounce. The 8mm drop helps the foot roll forward. The bounce is not as prominent as in the Novablast, for example, but it does feel nice underfoot for even, consistent strides and paces. 


While I do think the stack height is plenty for longer runs of 15 miles (or even longer), I did find the forefoot a bit lacking for my personal prevalence, which I think is caused by the soft midsole/height combination. As Sam wrote, it could be the combination of a thin/soft midsole coupled with the outsole under the forefoot. In comparison, I have no issue taking the ASICS Fuji Lite 2 (trail shoes) with its more substantial outsole and quite soft midsole for 20 miles. 

Sam: The midsole has a dual foam, dual density construction with Flightfoam Propel, the yellow layer below the foot at the heel above a slightly firmer Flightfoam layer below. The Propel runs to the front and becomes the whole cushion stack upfront. The men’s midsole stack height is 22 mm at the heel / 14mm at the forefoot so it is relatively low, especially upfront.  The drop comes down to 8mm from 10mm. 

The midsole feel is well balanced and the support characteristics of this stability shoe are almost completely unnoticed by this neutral shoe runner. As there are no mid foot plates and no outer firmer medial layers as in previous GT 2000, the stability comes entirely from the foams, geometry, and mid foot outsole design.  

I felt a very consistent softer than usual support system out back from the vertical medial sidewalls and the deep but soft outsole rubber coverage at mid foot. As the Lite Truss is only geometry of vertical sidewalls of the same Flytefoam as the midsole (a change from previous where there was firmer outer DuoMax sidewall) there is no sense of a post, a wall, a mid foot plate or a rail here making the flow from heel landing on forgiving bouncy Propel and GEL very smooth and pleasing with no harsh jarring landing as in the GT 2000 8. 

The lateral heel GEL here is particularly well integrated doing its job of absorbing impact and providing response without being sensed as being separate from the rest of the stack. Upfront we also have a GEL unit, I assume at the first metatarsal. 


Upfront we have all soft Propel and a relatively soft outsole rubber which makes the forefoot flexible, soft and quite bouncy if a bit thin feeling.  I wonder if firmer forefoot rubber might help.  But don’t change the firmness of the mid foot rubber; it is key to both providing pronation support and a close match to the rest of the materials in the stack.  


Dominique: I cannot emphasize enough that the GT-2000 is extremely comfortable riding for a stability shoe.  Overall, the midsole provides plenty of support to avoid pronation but without the stiffness typically associated with stability shoes. Though the cushioning is protective and responsive, I would agree with Renee and Sam that the forefoot feels a bit too thin, especially so as I tend to run in shoes with a greater front stack height. 


Outsole

Renee: The outsole isn’t anything fancy, but it provides enough rubber coverage to absorb impact and provide traction and grip. I ran on the treadmill, on pavement, and on gravel with the GT-2000 (dry conditions), and they felt comfortable. Even during 150m strides (a 5:15 m/m pace), I had confidence in the landing and grip. 


Sam: Renee says it right. In addition to traction, the softer front mid to front outsole also absorbs impact. The three detached rear pads are a firmer AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) the rest is softer rubber.


I think the forefoot with its soft and bouncy Propel and plenty of flexibility could benefit from a bit firmer rubber or slightly more front stack or both to give the toe off more pop and reduce the somewhat thin feeling cushioning there but this is a relatively minor concern as the ride is so much fun.


Dominique I would characterize the outsole as quite soft and flexible in the forefront which ultimately helps maximize the comfort of the shoe and generate a smooth ride but also contributes somewhat to front thinness I felt.  


Ride


Renee: The ride is comfortable and soft with some bounce. I used the GT-2000 for short, easy recovery runs of 3 to 5 miles. I’m normally fine with running similar stacked shoes up to 20ish miles, but I agree with Sam that the forefoot feels a bit thin (likely caused by the soft landing). The shoes weigh a bit more than I would expect; they are not heavy, just a bit heavier than I like for a daily trainer and closer to weight of other shoes I have no issues wearing for longer easy runs (the NB880v11, for example). As a neutral runner, I did not find the stability features annoying and I always ran faster than my perceived effort. 


Sam: The ride is stable and fun and as Renee says the stability elements are in no way annoying, harsh, or in the way of moving smoothly forward.  Love the “friendly” stable landings here followed by obstacle free flow and flexible soft toe off.  Smooth! The ride is ideal for those daily runs of between 3 and 10 miles at pretty much all paces from recovery to near or at slower tempo paces. 


The stability elements: vertical sidewalls and thick medial outsole rubber never kept me from enjoying the shoe and were a welcome support element. Quite frankly, I have never enjoyed a shoe called out for stability or support  quite as much as the GT 2000 10 and that includes ASICS other shoes in that category the Kayano 28 and Kayano Lite 2 compared below.


I do agree with Renee that the soft flexible forefoot is a bit thin and can get a bit tiring and powerful forefoot landing runners may find it yet more tiring than the relatively minor feeling of thinness I experienced. 


Dominique: I am surprised that I could actually enjoy running in a stability shoe -- this is the first!  There is plenty of cushioning - and GEL - for shock absorption, support, and bounce, in addition to the LITETRUSS™ Technology for support.  I do tend to like a rocker in my running shoe and a high stack, so by all means, I have had to adjust to the feel of the shoe so as to enjoy their smooth ride. 


Although the feet are securely in place, the feeling of a tight hold is missing, accentuated by the roomy toebox and the give of the knit.  However, this is a stability trainer, and not a racing shoe, delivering a protective, comfortable and smooth ride when extra support is needed. 


Conclusions and Recommendations


Renee: The GT-2000 is a comfortable daily trainer for neutral or stability runners. The upper is comfortable and generous while the midsole is comforting. The GT works for me for easy paces moving up to tempo at times (or a few quick strides). I would prefer a tighter upper fit for speed work and a lighter shoe overall in a trainer. The shoes weigh more than they look or feel on the run. At 8.5 oz in a women’s size 8, I would expect a shoe to feel good for longer runs, in which the GT-2000 seems to be lacking. The GT-2000 remains a solid choice for runners who need a do-it-all stability trainer.

Renee’s Score: 8.8/10 

(-.50 heavier than they need to be, -.50 soft forefoot feel not ideal for longer runs of 15+ miles, -.20 generous upper fit might not be ideal for narrow/low volume feet)


Dominique: I am very pleased with my experience running in the GT 2000 10.  It certainly changed my perspective on stability shoes as in the GT it  can be fun running in them.  As a runner who no longer races or tries to run fast so as to avoid injuries, and who runs fairly short distances (10K), it is a good fit. The GT-2000 10  provides great protection - and support - in addition to being extremely comfortable and responsive. This said, I might enjoy the shoe with a higher stack at the forefront.

Dominique’s Score:  9.14 / 10

Ride: 9. Fit 9.5. Value: 9. Style: 8.8.


Sam: A comfortable and effective (a rarity in my experience) engineered knit upper joins a relatively soft, flexible, and energetic underfoot platform. The support elements are non obtrusive and barely noticed but do their job subtly and more pleasantly than in any shoe in the category I can recall. 


Hard to know if those who have big pronation control needs, or those that think they do, will find enough support here but I think many might and while they cruise along in this friendly approach to the “problem” with more smiles than in the brick hard heel, plastic reinforced predecessors or many other stability/support shoes. 


The negatives here are the thin feeling, maybe overly soft but fun forefoot, also a strength, and the weight at just over 10 oz for a relatively low stack shoe by today’s standards. Then again a lighter mesh upper might not be quite as comfortable as this one is. 


Agreeing with Renee, neutral runners can also find great utility in a shoe with just enough support and a friendly energetic and bouncier Propel layer backed by a solid lower Flytefoam and outsole that is so well blended together. It is the kind of shoe I want to keep reaching for those basic cruising along daily miles at slower to moderate paces as its cushion, support, smooth obstacle free transitions and flexibility work so well together.

Sam’s Score: 9.18 / 10

Ride: 9.1 (50%) Fit: 9.6 (30%) Value: 8.8 (15%) Style: 8.5 (5%)


Watch Sam's GT-2000 10 Initial Video Review (15:03)


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 (RTR Review)

Sam: With about the same cushion stack but 2mm more drop, the Kayano 28 has a similar easy flexing forefoot with FF Blast instead of Propel upfront. They feel quite similar up front but the K28 outsole being a bit firmer delivers more pop .  K28 has a plastic midfoot Trusstic plate, a firm medial layer of DuoMax, and external TPU plastic stabilizing elements. Its support system is clearly more “present” in fee,l and noticed, but still is not overwhelming with the K28 sharing a similar flow forward to a flexible toe off with a touch more decisive snap from its mid foot plate and firmer outsole rubber up front. I prefer the more easy fitting yet still effective GT 2000 upper. All the extra support comes at a cost of about 0.7 oz and $30 more. Unless you need a lot of support the GT is a better value and better shoe. 


ASICS Kayano Lite 2  (RTR Review)

Sam: Taking a similar no added pieces approach to stability, the construction of the Kayano Lite 2 is simpler yet. A single layer of decently lively Flytefoam with a relatively elaborate geometric shape and broad on the ground platform (especially from heel to midfoot)  delivers the stability. 


Somewhat more cushioned than the GT,  and especially at the forefoot, the broad platform makes it more ponderous for me to move along, also requiring more break in than GT as it is stiffer. It is a slightly better choice than GT for pronators needing a light (weighs the same as GT at 10.1 oz) well cushioned longer trainer but for me the liviler smoother GT is a better pick. As with Kayano 28, it is $30 more than the GT and weighs just about the same as the GT so considerably lighter than the K28.


ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Cumulus is the neutral equivalent to the GT with the same forefoot stack and 2mm more at the heel. It has a single density Flytefoam midsole,  The GT is a bit more agile and bouncy in feel, due to the soft Propel up front and has a more distinct flex point while the Cumulus is more mellow and cushioned in feel upfront. At the heel they are similar in feel with the GT with its vertical side walls providing a bit more pop forward and the Cumulus softer cushion feel overall. The Cumulus is plenty stable and a slightly better overall choice if your training includes longer runs due to its deeper feeling forefoot cushion and more mellow flex.

  

ASICS Evoride 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Evoride 2 is a lighter, faster ASICS option with a strong forefoot rocker. For comfort and easy paces, the GT-2000 is a better choice. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. The GT-2000 has a bit more room in the forefoot and toebox. 


ASICS Novablast 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Novablast 2 is a bouncier shoe with a gentle roll forward from the midfoot. The Novablast 2 offers more cushion underfoot for longer runs. For stability, the GT-2000 is the winner and it also has more rubber on the outsole. I wore a women’s size 8 in both shoes (the Novablast 2 is slightly heavier, which is not noticable). 

Sam: The Novablast is for sure more cushioned with a full 8mm more stack height. It is about 0.3 oz lighter and less stable than GT although v2 improves in that area over v1. If you have support needs you will be safer in the GT but if you are looking for a highly cushioned, faster neutral trainer the Novablast is the choice.  


New Balance 880v11 (RTR Review)

Renee: The 880v11 is not a stability shoe, but it does have a wide platform and a stable ride despite the 10mm drop (which is not noticeable). The midsole of the GT-2000 is a bit softer, but it lacks the height needed for long runs. The 880v11 has been a long-run-friendly shoe for me. For short, easy recovery runs, the GT-2000 might work best; for everything else, I would choose the 880. I wore a women’s size 8 in both; the weight is similar. 


Saucony Guide (RTR Review)

Sam: Saucony gets to stability in the Guide with a side plate of TPU that also wraps under the sole. The support is much more noticed and not nearly as pleasant when combined with the firmer EVA/TPU blend midsole and firm medial rubber outsole. Clear win for GT here for me,


Hoka Arahi 5 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Arahi is considerably more cushioned all around and especially up front with a higher stack height and is lighter by 0.4 oz. It’s support is provided by a firmer section of rear to midfoot midsole medially which also strangely wraps around to the lateral side of the heel.  Considerably firmer at the heel, almost unpleasantly so on the lateral side,  it is a faster and yet more stable shoe which relies on the Hoka rocker instead of flex. It lacks the versatility of the GT for me and is not nearly as pleasant a ride but if you need a faster paces and longer runs very stable shoe it is a better choice. 


Nike Pegasus 37/38 (RTR Review)

Renee: Although not a stability shoe, the Pegasus is a popular daily trainer much like the GT-2000. The high drop and unflexing feel underfoot of the Pegasus 37 and 38 did not work for me. I could wear them maybe once a week, but on a daily basis, the shoes aggravated my knees. Although I could run longer distances with the Pegasus, as a trainer I much prefer the GT-2000. I wore a size 8 in both shoes; the GT-2000 offers more room in the forefoot and toebox. 


Topo Phantom 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Phantom 2 is slightly heavier than the GT-2000 and offers some stability via its wider platform and low drop (5mm). For long runs, I would choose the Phantom 2. For everything else, I would choose the GT-2000. I wore a women’s size 7.5 in the Topo and a size 8 in the GT.


Mizuno Wave Rider 25 (RTR Review)

Sam: A neutral trainer, the Wave Rider 25 has plenty of stability on board from its Wave plate. Both have lively bouncier midsoles and a flexible forefoot with the Wave Rider slightly more cushioned and not as thin upfront.  The deep decoupling of the Wave Rider combined with the plate offers a smoother heel to midfoot transition if a touch less stable one. The Mizuno is about 0.3 oz lighter. I prefer the Wave Rider in this match up.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and currently preferred shoes

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

RUNNING WAREHOUSE
GT 2000 10 Available Now! Many Colors!
USA  Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
GT 2000 10 Available Now!
AUSTRALIA Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

ROADRUNNER SPORTS
GT 2000 10 Available Now! Many Colors!
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

FLEET FEET
GT 2000 10 Available Now! Many Colors!
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

SHOPPING FROM EUROPE?
TOP4RUNNING 
GT 2000 10 Available Now!
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products
FREE Shipping on orders over 99, 30 days return policy, no questions asked.

REI 
GT 2000 10 Available Now!
Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

AMAZON  
GT 2000 10 Available Now!
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: