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Asics GT-3000 Shoe Review

Asics GT-3000 Mens

Initial Look:

The Asics GT-3000 represents the 4th generation of the shoe. Formerly called the Asics GT-3030, Asics changed their naming system this year this shoe and several others. The model line continues to offer extra cushioning under the entire length of the foot compared to its sibling; the Asics GT-2000 (GT-2170).

There are some notable changes.  The Guidance Trusstic System replaces the Space Trusstic System.  With a simple “twist test”, the new system seems to allow a little more torsion flexibility than the old.

The obvious grey-colored stability post has been replaced with a post that is color-matched with the rest of the outsole.  Asics adds a few colored specs to the rubber so you know the post is there.  Asics calls this system “Dymanic Duomax”, and a weight reduction is reported.  I do think the new look is more attractive this way.  Not as much of the gel is exposed, so it’s a little less glitzy in that regard.

Those of us who have a bunion will like the fact that the overlays are not positioned over that sensitive spot.

The Biomorphic fit is gone - replaced with standard mesh.  I won’t lament the loss.  I could never really tell that the biomorphic component of the upper really did anything for me.  Also, the “Heel Clutch System” is new in the Asics GT-3000.

The other key features of the shoe (guidance line, forefoot and heel gel cushioning, discrete eyelets, etc.) have been retained.

The shoe has been lightened.  My size 11’s that I wear came in at 12.5 oz.  That’s about an ounce lighter than the previous model.  This puts it in the same weight ballpark as the old GT-2170 model. So for the GT-2170 fans, you can get more cushioning without a weight gain by switching to this model.  But something had to go. That something was the overall width of the shoe.  The front of the shoe has narrowed from the previous model.  The width across the ball of the foot measured exactly the same as the new GT-2000 model, which was also narrowed this year.  The front of the toe box in the 3000 series appears to offer a bit more room compared to the 2000 series.  Runners lamenting the narrowing of the GT-2000 may find comfort in that.

I got my caliper out and compared the thickness of the cushioning under the foot of GT-3000 to the GT-2000.  There appears to be an additional 2-3 mm in the 3000 series.  That’s 10-15% more cushioning than that of the standard shoe. 

The Try-On:

One hallmark of an Asics GT is the cushy feel underfoot.  I tried the 3000 on one foot and the 2000 on the other.  I was hard pressed to tell any difference.  Both felt cushy compared to a couple of other brands.

Fans of the old Gel-3030 will notice the narrower cut of the forefoot immediately.  I still had sufficient room across the width of my foot and my toes were fine.  Still it was a more glove-like fit rather than the spacious fit of older model. 

The shoe retains the smooth transition from heel to forefoot to toe-off throughout the stride that I was accustomed to.  The arch wraps the foot securely and there is no sense that your foot is sliding around.  Despite what Asics calls the “Heel Clutch System”, I did notice my heel move a little. Not enough to worry about though.   Occasionally I feel that in a new shoe and it goes away as the shoe breaks in.

The new arch support system provided good support and I was not able to detect that it provided any more or less stability than its sibling, the GT-2000.  I noted a nice even fit with no pressure points anywhere.  Not a loose roomy feel, but not snug either. 

The shoe fit on the smaller side of the size range, but not enough to make me want to move up ½ size.

The Run:

Thursday, it was a cold rainy winter day – reluctantly, the treadmill won out over the elements.

I put the shoe through a variety of workouts, varying hills (12% incline), speed (5:30/mile) and everything in between.   I was very pleased with how the shoe behaved in all the situations.  It stayed nicely on my foot with no slippage even though I had it laced loosely (I like my long distance trainers to be loose.)  The shoe moves well with my foot and the “Guidance Line” allowed my foot to settle down quickly and transition smoothly to the forefoot and push-off.  The new stability system gave me the support I need without being clunky.

It’s a little hard to judge the feel of the cushioning of a shoe on the treadmill because the track bed also absorbs impact.  But these did feel cushy, particularly under the heel.

At the higher speeds the shoe did feel a bit “bulky.”  After all, it is a long distance trainer and not a racing flat.  Still it transitioned very well and stayed nicely on my foot.  When you are doing fartleks on your long runs, it is comforting to know, the shoe will be ready to respond as soon as you are.  

After 5 miles, I’d reached my limit (not of the shoes, of the treadmill!).

The following Tuesday, I hit the streets for 12 miles.  This was a long training run – just what the shoes were made for.  With it being 35 degrees out, I was expecting the shoe to feel a bit firm due to the cold.  The forefoot did have a firm but responsive feel to it.  But he heel was particularly nice! I could really feel the superb cushioning there despite the cold.  Sometimes I ran on the shoulder of the road, which was comprised of crushed limestone with chunks in it.  From experience, I know my feet would have felt the chunks pushing on the sole.  In the Asics GT-3000, I had a smooth ride.  NICE! 

There was no heel slippage despite the fact that I never snug up my laces.

I searched long and hard to find something about the shoe that I would like to improve upon.  Hmmm.  And then I thought again.  Still hmmm.  Wow, this is a nice shoe!

I highly recommend this shoe for a runner with low-to-medium arches seeking good stability in a long distance trainer.  With the extra cushioning, the shoe would also be appropriate for the following runners: 1) a neutral runner wanting some stability when their arches get tired during the latter phases of run; 2) a runner recovering from an injury or trying to prevent one by minimizing impact on joints; 3) a large-frame runner wanting extra cushioning; 4) a high-mileage runner (over 25 miles per week).

Lace loosely, my friends.

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Doug Balogh is a regular race age division winner, the 2010 Southern Indiana Classic Marathon Champion, and the 2012 National Champion USA Track & Field 10K Trail Racer in the 60-64 age division.

 

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