Asics Gel-Lyte 33 2
Asics was my first choice for running trainers a couple of years back. This changed when I moved to a more minimal footwear style where Asics simply did not have to much to offer.
Although footwear choice is a very personal thing, your initial choices when one starts running is generally limited to what one knows, is influenced by and what stock your local shoe store has. And yes the internet has a wide choice, but I still believe that the majority of first time runners tend to head to their local sports store. Over time you then tend to develop your own experiences based on your mileage, running style, injuries and what simply works or not works.
I know for example that I like a more minimal upper, lightweight, a heal to toe drop of around 4mm, slightly cushioned and not a racing flat with my weekly kilometer being 40km. My main choice of running shoes since Asics have been Newton Running Shoes and I have tried a number of other brands and types in between. But Newton Running shoes have always been my favorites.
Yet an injury brought Asics back into my life, with me having gone over my ankle running in my Newton’s Distancia on Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles (Note to runners: Don’t run there). With slight bruising, but no deep damage I was lucky, as I had my Half-Ironman coming up 4 weeks down the line. So I needed to keep my running up, but the Newton shoes were causing discomfort on my ankle on any subsequent runs.
My temporary replacement choice was based on the requirement of cushioned with a low heel to drop rise. The decision went to the Asics Gel-Lyte 33 2 for two reasons. There were super comfortable when trying them on, and the choice of shoes at Footlockers was rather limited. The result was that I have done 95% of my runs since April in them, and am now on my second pair, with my ankle injury being history. So why am I still running in them?
The Asics Gel-Lyte 33 2 is meant for faster training and natural running and comes with a 6mm Heel to toe drop. I don’t necessarily see them as being a fast shoe with their bulk and the weight itself hitting 241grs, and with no improvement in my running times, although my distances covered have crept up. They feel super comfortable on and its sole ensures that you don’t feel the road surface. In addition it has something called the FluidAxis technology groove system. This is designed to help you achieve a more natural gait. As I m not a heel striker, I don’t feel that this technology has any benefits to me, and neither do I notice any difference when I run in them.
Yet this shoe has done one thing for me. It might not have made me any quicker, but it has ensured that I can run day after day with my calves and legs not feeling sore whilst increasing my mileage. I have used the word ‘comfortable’ in this article on numerous occasion, and this is the best way to describe it. Its neither fast or responsive, but the perfect Recovery Run shoe if you want something plus underneath or are coming back from an Ankle Injury as myself. It will continue to be part of my running shoes collection. For other runners they would be great shoe to transition from heavy high heel to toe drop to a more minimal shoe, but are not yet comfortable with a zero-drop shoe for example.