Asics released the GEL-DS in Autumn 2014 as their 19th running shoe in the DS trainer series. A lightweight shoe that has designed to provide added stability to over-pronators. Asics have created another seriously comfortable shoe that provides a glove like fit without compromising stability and flexibility. As a general rule, the more protection a shoe provides, the greater it’s stiffness will be. This comes at a cost as the foot is unable to flex as it needs to do when running. The GEL-DS is relatively flexible, whilst being supportive, an impressive achievement.
The shoe is covered in a black mesh giving it it’s awesome green and black contrasting colour scheme, that almost looks luminous. Reflective materials have also been used to provide added safety at night. As running shoes go, it’s a nice looking shoe.
The majority of the weight of the shoe lies in the clever construction of the sole. Asics signature technology has been used, consisting of their motion guidance system and durable rubber. The heel contains their patented gel and ‘Dynamic DuoMax’ support in the fore foot. Although the shoe has a 8.9 mm heal-to-toe drop you still find yourself landing on the mid area of your foot. The sole also contains what Asics call as ‘Wet Grip’ which I found to be brilliant. I took the shoe out on a few runs where I had to run over light snow and ice and had great traction of the ground.
The midsize contains what Asics call their ‘Dynamic DuoMax’ which provides a more responsive and stable ride. Simply, this is a stiff piece of material that helps to guide the foot through it’s motion from ground contact to push off.
The GEL-DS features a 8.9mm heal drop, designed to support over-pronators throughout their running gait. The shoe is stiff where it needs to be to offer protection against over-pronation and yet flexible enough at the toe box to allow full flexion of the toes. The shoe also features Asics IGS technology, which is their ‘Impact Guidance System’ aimed to support the foot through it’s gait. I’m not a heal striker, but made use of the shoe when landing more mid-footed on slower runs where distance is the session goal. I did find that when running down hills, where my heal was being used more, that it was really well supported and minimised over-pronation.
How did the shoe perform?
I don’t believe that one shoe fits all running styles, but I have been massively impressed with the GEL-DS. Each runner has their own gait and it is best to find a shoe that best supports that gait. The GEL-DS wouldn’t be my normal choice as a forefoot runner, but that hasn’t prevented me from making full use of this lightweight running shoe. I find myself grabbing the GEL-DS trainers for longer runs over my other running shoes, for their supreme comfort.
A fantastically designed shoe for the over-pronator. It looks great, is lightweight and feels really comfortable. The perfect shoe for midfoot/heel strikers who like to put in some serious miles.
Distance ran in: 100 km
Terrain tested: Road, with the occasional gravel path.
Weather tested: Dry, wet, light snow, ice.
Value for money: 4/5
(Notes on the Author – Danny Foster is an avid runner and nutrition expert currently studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University. He works in our Sheffield Decathlon branch and currently works as an expert Sports Adviser; ensuring each running/nutrition customer leaves the store kitted out with everything they need for their next race. Danny is also an expert in injury prevention, functional movement corrective exercises and biomechanical analysis. Drop in to our Sheffield store to speak with Danny for nutrition, training and product advice. Are you interested in a job that lets you pursue your passion? Why not scoot over to our careers site and discover the many positions available –http://www.decathlon-jobs.co.uk/)