The shape of the shoe stands out. It boasts a tall two layers of foam that curves sharply upward at the toe. That rocker shape, ASICS says, propels you forward and makes you move smoothly and efficiently through your stride.
Fleet Feet testers tried out the unique new running shoes to see how it fits and how it performs. Here’s what we thought.
8.1 oz (women’s size 7); 9.9 oz (men’s size 9)
A shoe won’t work for anyone if it doesn’t fit right—no matter how efficient the technology is. Fortunately, the ASICS GlideRide gets the fit just right.
The toe box is wide enough to allow wiggle room for your toes.
“When I loosened up the laces in the forefoot, there was plenty of room for my toes,” says a wide-footed tester. “I never felt any discomfort or numbness.”
Part of the roomy feeling comes from the engineered mesh upper. ASICS calls it a “multi-directional” mesh, which is sewn in different patterns to give structure to some parts and flexibility to others.
The vertical pattern around the toe makes the mesh stiffer, giving height to the toe box. But the perforated mesh panel on top of the toe box is softer and more supple for improved flexibility.
There also aren’t any noticeable seams on the inside of the shoe with the exception of where the heel padding begins. That seam didn’t cause any hot spots or blister problems for any of our test runners. And, it made for an exceptionally comfortable upper every tester loved.
Designers used the ASICS logo on each side of the shoe to lend support to the midfoot. The burlier overlay helps prop up the mesh on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. Around back, ASICS gave the GlideRide a sturdy internal heel counter that locks your foot into place.
“The shoe felt very secure,” he says. “I never felt any heel slippage, even when I pushed the speed.”
ASICS did well to cushion the heel counter, too, by inserting padding around the heel collar and covering it in a smooth fabric. Paired with a good pair of running socks, the shoe feels plush and comfortable while maintaining a locked-in fit
The GlideRide derives its name from what ASICS calls “Glidesole” technology.
Fleet Feet testers noticed the aggressive shape right away.
“You know this shoe is different at first glance,” one tester says. “You can’t miss the rocker shape.”
The rocker is so prominent that if you put the shoe flat on a table and press down on the toe, the heel lifts a couple inches off the surface. And that’s exactly how it feels when you start running.
Coupled with a stiff plastic insert in the midsole, the Glidesole rocks you up onto your toes as step. ASICS says the rocker shape reduces ankle flexion to decrease the amount of work your other leg muscles have to do to keep you moving.
The GlideRide is a neutral running shoe, but, according to one tester, the clever engineering creates a stable ride that put his foot in the right position through each transition.
“I felt like the shoe gave my his foot a nudge toward the medial side the instant before toe off to direct power to the strongest part of my of his foot—the big toe,” he says.
The shape is part of what delivers a smooth ride, but the midsole foam also lends a hand. ASICS’ Flytefoam cushioning is soft and slightly springy. It makes for plush landings and smooth transitions through the forefoot and toe off.
“It feels substantial and protective without being too heavy,” one tester says.
There’s also a lot of it: Designers gave the shoe a 31 mm stack height in the heel and a 26 mm stack height under the forefoot for a 5 mm heel-to-toe drop.
A ring of rubber traces the outsole for improved traction. None of the Fleet Feet testers noted any problems with grip on pavement
ASICS debuted the GlideRide in September at a sunrise event in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Race organizers asked runners to put on the shoe for a race that had no finish line.
Using Garmin watches, runners recorded and sent baseline VO2 max data to ASICS sports scientists prior to the race. Those scientists then calculated the pace each runner should be able to maintain over a certain distance if they were wearing typical running shoes. Each runner’s race ended when they dropped off the expected pace.
Runners then laced up the GlideRide and set to work.
More than 20 runners ran the race, including one from Fleet Feet Chicago. ASICS set her optimum pace at 4.7 mph and predicted she would run 2.4 miles at that pace. She pushed all the way to 2.8 miles—a 17 percent increase over the prediction.
ASICS says the test runners wearing the GlideRide on average ran 24 percent farther than their predicted distances.
The ASICS GlideRide rides the wave of new running shoes promising efficiency enhancements, but that’s difficult to quantify outside of a lab.
What we can say is the new shoe uses a unique shape to deliver a smooth ride. It provides a soft landing thanks to ASICS Flytefoam, and it has an accommodating fit, even for wide feet.
Fleet Feet testers took the GlideRide for long runs, cruised with it on recovery days and pushed it on challenging tempo workouts. It worked as advertised in each situation—smooth, comfortable and ready for more.
Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.
By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.