11 Best Overall Asics Running Shoes for 2018

11 Best Overall Asics Running Shoes for 2018

Where do new running shoes come from? No, it’s not when a support shoe and a neutral shoe love each other very much and go off to find a size 12 EE shoebox. Usually an established model that meets an existing and well-understood need will get incremental improvements or be retrofitted with new technology. That’s how the best Asics running shoes just get better each year. If you need a neutral daily trainer, the Asics GT 2000 is celebrating its 25th anniversary, like other venerable Asics models that have gotten things right for years or even decades.

But sometimes a shoe engineer gets a gleam in his eye and starts imagining what would be possible by throwing an old concept (or price restrictions) out the window and trying a new approach. New technologies appear in niche models and then spread to other lines. Sometimes an experimental model turns into a hit that everyone wants to have. And that’s how the birds and bees work, at least in the world of running shoes. Over the last half-dozen years, Asics has introduced several experimental shoes alongside its tried and true models, and some of those experiments have now been able to establish themselves at the core of Asics’s running shoe business. Keep reading for the new and old Asics models that runners have picked as the top Asics running shoes.

Number 11

Asics Noosa FF 2

Asics Noosa FF 2

For the past five years, the big news in running shoes has been Adidas’s use of Boost rubber and similarly-formulated competitors like Saucony’s Everun. The one knock on these advanced materials is that they’re heavy. All that springy cushion comes at the price of an extra two or three ounces in each shoe, which can add up to tired legs over a long run. To compete with the best, Asics has responded with FlyteFoam, a midsole material that is both soft and lightweight. Thus the FF in Noosa FF, which replaces the Noosa Tri but retains its triathlon features, including a breathable and fast-draining upper. Even if the triathlon isn’t your game, the Gel Noosa FF is a great neutral uptempo trainer and, at just 8.6 ounces in a men’s size 9, the second-lightest shoe on this list.

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Number 10

Asics GT 2000 6

Asics GT 2000 6

Just like you can count on the GT 2000 to last through the miles of a long run, you can count on the best Asics shoes to live on for decades. The GT 2000 was first introduced in 1993, and its all-round support, cushion, and comfort has been a best seller ever since. Asics incremented the number to the 2010 and eventually all the way to 2170 before reverting back to 2000, but it’s been the go-do support daily trainer for millions of runners the whole time. If you walk out of your local running store (or wherever you think the best place to buy Asics is) with a pair of GT 2000s, no one is going to question your choice.

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Number 9

Asics Dynaflyte 2

Asics Dynaflyte 2

Compared to the GT 2000, the Dynaflyte 2 is still a baby. As the name suggests, the Dynaflyte has a FlyteFoam sole. In fact, the Dynaflyte was the first model to incorporate Asics’s new midsole foam, and it’s a perfect approach to cushioning for shoe that needs to be light, responsive, and fast for uptempo training. While runners on the stability side have the legendary DS Trainer from Asics, those of us on the neutral side have the recently introduced Dynaflyte, and it’s turning out to be one of the best Asics for running fast.

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Number 8

Asics Gel Cumulus 19

Asics Gel Cumulus 19

If you’re wondering which Asics are the best for neutral runners, Asics wants you to think of clouds. Thick, billowing clouds that cushion every step and protect your feet from impact forces. The Cumulus 19 may be the junior sibling of the Nimbus, but it offers plush comfort and a consistent feel, and stands out for its especially soft forefoot. When it comes to cushioned comfort for neutral runners, the top Asics shoes are somewhere in the stratosphere.

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Number 7

Asics Gel Kayano 24

Asics Gel Kayano 24

If you love running in GT 2000s, but you think the best Asics shoe would offer even more cushioning in a support shoe, then the Kayano 24 is your answer. In Asics’s stability line, it’s the premium model when it comes to luxurious comfort. Extra cushioning and stability are often what flat-footed runners need, so the Kayano 24 is a great place to look if you need the best Asics for flat feet.

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Number 6

Asics GT 3000 5

Asics GT 3000 5

If you love running in GT 2000s but you’re looking not for extra padding but for more stability, then your first choice might be the GT 3000. They’re designed for the gait dynamics of overpronators. For walkers who need extra support, the GT 3000 will also be among the best Asics walking shoes.

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Number 5

Asics GT 1000 6

Asics GT 1000 6

Many runners find budget shoes perfect for their needs, but many shoe companies would prefer for them to spend the extra 50 to 100 dollars for a standard or premium model, so these companies give their budget models odd names or dull designs and distribute them through discounters instead of running stores. Not Asics. They’re standing by the GT 1000, an amazingly inexpensive support trainer you can buy from major running stores. Even as a budget model, the GT 1000 provides plenty of cushion, a notably soft heel, and stability on the same level as the best Asics sneakers. I started off running in GT 1000s, and when it was time for new shoes, the next seven pairs were all from Asics. The GT 1000s proved that Asics cared about craftsmanship, even in its budget models.

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Number 4

Asics FuzeX Rush

Asics FuzeX Rush

On your search for the best Asics running sneakers, you may not be content with any of Asics’s traditional neutral or support trainers. If you like to live closer to the cutting edge and you’re looking for performance, the FuzeX line, introduced just a few years ago, might have the shoe for you. The FuzeX Rush is a neutral uptempo trainer that’s meant to be responsive enough for faster tempo runs and workouts, but reliable enough for daily use by runners who prefer lighter shoes. The versatile FuzeX Rush is a good example of a new shoe model going from experimental to mainstream.

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Number 3

Asics Gel Nimbus 20

Asics Gel Nimbus 20

Are clouds solids, liquids, or gases? Asics would like you to think of something that’s in between all three states of matter. Like a gel. The best Asics Gel trainer for neutral runners may be the Nimbus 20, the premium model that has been winning over runners with its generous padding and supreme comfort for two decades. With its soft heel, the Nimbus may also be the best Asics for plantar fasciitis.

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Number 2

Asics Gel Quantum 360 Shift

Asics Gel Quantum 360 Shift

Gel is going on its fourth decade as Asics’s signature cushioning technology. The Quantum 360 answers the question, “What would happen if you put Gel everywhere?” The result is not lightweight or inexpensive, but it is highly cushioned, comfortable, durable, and flexible. And it seems to be catching on with runners, too—it even tops the list of best Asics women’s running shoes. The Quantum 360 is well on its way from the experimental labs at Asics to the production and marketing divisions.

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Number 1

Asics Gel DS Trainer 23

Asics Gel DS Trainer 23

The top spot on the list of top rated Asics running shoes goes to the DS Trainer 23. The model number reflects a long history of updates but not stagnation, as the DS Trainer’s recent FlyteFoam makeover puts it at the forefront of Asics sole technology. With its FlyteFoam sole, this uptempo performance shoe is also the lightest model on the list. If you’re looking for moderate support in a shoe that’s fast, light, and responsive, the DS Trainer will get you through your workout.

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