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 ASICS GlideRide 2 Multiple Tester Review


The second iteration of of ASICS's RIDE series has finally come to fruition with the new Glideride 2 and Evoride 2 (review).  GUIDESOLE technology, particularly in the original Glideride (review), was touted by ASICS to have been "scientifically proven to save energy". We don't have access to this research and have not been able to dissect it or give a critical analysis of it, but the GlideRide 2 is built on a similar platform as the originally studied platform...with some well-executed changes. 



Specifications (per ASICS)
Weight: 10.2oz/290g (men's size 9)   8.3oz/235g (women's size 7)
Stack Height: 30mm heel/25mm forefoot (men's), 31mm heel/26mm forefoot (women's)
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Trainer



RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

David:
The ASICS GlideRide 2 continues to expand on the GUIDESOLE technology that ASICS debuted last year. The GUIDESOLE creates a platform with an excessive toe spring in the forefoot that creates a rolling effect through the forefoot and the toe off phases of gait. The result is a really quick transition up front and a fun ride. The GlideRide 2 differentiates itself from the EvoRide 2 in that it has more stack height and weight to it while still maintaining the light feel. The ride provides a stable and engaging ride that is great for easy days and long runs. 

Nathan: The GlideRide 2 carries through ASICS' GUIDESOLE technology which sports an aggressive forefoot rocker (toe spring) that was debuted in the original GlideRide. The GlideRide 2 is much more refined with a more stable platform (particularly in the heel) as well as a thinned out and more appropriate upper for the function of the shoe. Although at first glance it doesn't look like an overhaul of the original, the changes to the midsole and upper make the shoe run differently without losing its essence. 



FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

David:
The upper of the GlideRide 2 fits true to size in my normal 9.5. The mesh is a little thicker than the EvoRide and is definitely built for some longer runs and higher mileage efforts. The upper feels like it has more volume to it with height and width especially in the forefoot. This worked really well for me and I feel it accommodates swelling really well. The fit throughout is normal width with a wider toebox in the forefoot. There is a toe guard that seems to maintain this volume throughout the forefoot. The upper locks down really well through the midfoot and the heel. The heel does have a semi rigid counter that is padded really well. Because of the large toe spring the heel can almost feel like it lifts easier or slips a tiny bit, but this is not the case. As long as you lace the shoe down snug like you should in most shoes the fit should be just fine. For me I think the heel could still be secured a little bit better and the region between the tongue and toe box could be decreased in volume a little more. 

Nathan: The upper is one of the major updates to this shoe. The upper is still an engineered mesh, but it is thinned out throughout the forefoot as well as in the tongue. Although thinned out, the upper is still robust and typical for a daily trainer (whereas the previous had more of a "premium" high cushion feel). There is a moderate stretch in the toebox for accommodating foot types and overall feels wider than the "classic ASICS fit". With this, I did have to lace down rather snug to prevent any slippage. The heel and early part of the toe box were the areas with the most movement (some heel slippage and movement on turns), but I was able to lace down to minimize this. The toe guard is soft but structured and creates a natural volume to the forefoot, making it feel like there is plenty of space for toe splay and swelling. The shoe fits true to size in my men's size 9 for length as well. 






PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

David:
The ASICS GlideRide 2 is an incredibly unique riding shoe that the runner will experience very quickly within a couple of steps. The GUIDESOLE is more pronounced in the GlideRide 2 than the EvoRide 2 and it will feel like you are almost falling off of the front of the shoe at first. Now at easy paces and really long efforts this feels really nice since the next step is almost initiated for you with almost no work. The stack height is also higher in the GlideRide 2 and is very protective. There is a plastic plate running the length of the guidesole to help create that toe spring in the forefoot and that is noticeable. The plate isn't overly stiff though and feels nice to roll off of. The heel isn't beveled as much but there is a division in the midsole along the midline of the shoe that helps ease the heel transition and the midfoot. The midsole FLYTEFOAM itself is on the firmer end, but the amount of midsole provides plenty of protection. I have taken this on 2 hour plus/18.5 mile runs with no problems. When the pace heats up the toe spring can definitely feel awkward and too prominent, but at controlled easy and long efforts the shoe really shines. Santa Barbara got some rain recently and also had high humidity which slickened up some of the roads and bike paths. I second Nathan that the traction could be better on wet conditions, but overall it does ok. The drop does feel higher than 5mm just because of that heel to midfoot transition being a little bumpy, but the toe spring really rolls the foot and ankle forward. The ride itself is actually surprisingly stable for such a unique design. 

Nathan: The GlideRide 2 is certainly a shoe you will have to get used to, even if you've ran in other rocker-sole shoes. This shoe's rocker is positioned towards the forefoot, and when you first put the shoe on it may even feel like you are "falling forward" because of the angle and position of the rocker. This disappears some when you begin to run, but it may take some time to accommodate to the feel of the rocker. The midsole is made up of FLYTEFOAM, and with the higher stack is is slightly on the firmer end overall (with still some noticeable cushion). From back to front, the shoe is stiff (not flexible) thanks again to the higher stack and the reinforced plate. The result of all of this is a smooth, rolling, and forward "propulsing" ride, but not a bouncy or necessarily responsive one. Again, this is quite the pronounced forefoot rocker, and you will be able to experience it regardless of where you land (heel stride vs. non rear foot strike). Finally, the rocker sole offsets the 5mm drop, and felt more like a 8-10mm drop shoe to me. Side note for my winter running friends, traction on snow-packed roads was less than ideal and I had a lot of slippage given the lack of grooves and ridges.  




STABILITY

David: As I stated above in the performance section the GlideRide 2 is surprisingly stable for such a high stack and unique riding shoe. The FLYTEFOAM definitely leans on the firmer end and the plastic plate create a sense of stability but the majority of it comes from the GUIDESOLE and upper integration. The heel bevel could be more prominent but the transition is improved by the midline disection of the outsole and midsole. The shoe takes the path of least resistance and follows this midline up through the toe spring anteriorly. The platform is also pretty wide and makes the shoe feel much more stable than it may initially seem. The forefoot rocker is pretty intense, so if someone doesn't do well with that falling forward motion that be a sense of instability for them, but overall this shoe does a good job with stability. 

Nathan: This is the greatest area of improvement over the original iteration of this shoe. The first had unique "interactions" of two midsole foams that included cutouts laterally and "bulbous flares" medially in the rearfoot. I spoke about this in my review of the original, so if you want details check it out HERE. Stability from heel to toe is much improved and overall very stable. There is a wider contact platform and the midsole construction is simplified and uniform without those cutouts from the original. Combine that with a very forward-driving midsole and firmer foam and you get quite a stable shoe for a neutral shoe. That said, the severe forefoot rocker may pose problems for people with balance issues in the saggital (forward/backward) plane of movement. Therefore I wouldn't recommend this for people with known balance issues or history of falls for either a walking or running shoe.



THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

If you take a look around the running shoe world, you’ll notice that many brands are incorporating a “rocker sole” design in their geometric design (HOKA, Saucony with SpeedRoll Technology, ASICS Glide/EvoRide, etc). Rocker soles may include both a heel bevel and toe spring, or at upward trajectory of the shoe at the toes. Much of the theory behind this design is to have the shoe mimic the heel, ankle, and forefoot rocker that naturally happens during the gait cycle. The hope in this design was to offload the achilles and decrease injury (not exactly where research is at yet...but that was the original theory behind trying).

In theory, shoe companies are designing this to decrease demand on the ankle/calf and potentially improve running economy. We’ve had people ask: Does it actually work? If you’re decreasing demand on the ankle will your ankle get weaker? Does it affect your gait?

Well, we don’t have definitive answers from the literature. We do have studies that show changes in loading in the forefoot (ball of the foot) with rockered soles (Shih-Yun-Lin et al 2017). The important piece is to have both the right angle of the rocker as well as the right firmness of the midsole foam. When combined correctly, it has been shown to decreased forefoot loading during gait. The other piece to consider is where the rocker begins. HOKA has an early stage rocker, which will mimic the ankle rocker and be potentially helpful for people with ankle motion limitations. The ASICS GlideRide has a late stage rocker, which may be helpful for offloading the big toe and metatarsals by mimicking the forefoot rocker.

Another thing that is emerging from the literature is that these rockered soles do not change your running mechanics (Hannigan et al 2019). This means that the motion through your ankle, knee, hip, etc. isn't changing while running. However, it is also known that there are changes in the workload at each joint (Sobhani et al 2017). This study looked at the work at different joints of runners (16 women) while in rocker soled shoes compared to standard running shoes. What this study found is that work at the ankle during both loading and propulsion were decreased by 32% and 16% respectively while wearing rocker soled shoes compared to standard shoes. At the same time, there was 14% more work at the knee. This is the consideration -- by decreasing work in one place you will have to shift it somewhere else. In the case of rockered shoes, it seems to be shifted to at least the knee. Oh...and at least in the acute switch to rocker soles there is some evidence that people's running economy may even decrease (Sobhani et al 2014). This was a study of only immediate effects in people who weren't experienced in running in rocker sole shoes, so don't take these results to be bank and say "oh, rocker sole shoes worsen running economy". My point is to highlight that changes in running shoe type may at least temporarily worsen running economy. Like I also said, we aren't privy to ASICS research on this, but we hope to learn more soon as they've reported saved energy in their shoes. 


As always, something with a drastic change from what you typically use will place new loading through the body and will take time to accommodate to. Using rocker soled shoes all the time may not create marked weakness in the foot/ankle, but you may have a hard time transitioning back to a more typical shoe after prolonged use. As you’ve heard us say before: shoes are tools!

- Nathan Brown PT, DPT

REFERENCES

Hannigan, J. J., & Pollard, C. D. (2019). A 6-week transition to maximal running shoes does not change running biomechanics. The American journal of sports medicine47(4), 968-973.

Lin, S. Y., Su, P. F., Chung, C. H., Hsia, C. C., & Chang, C. H. (2017). Stiffness effects in rocker-soled shoes: biomechanical implications. 
PLoS one12(1), e0169151.

Sobhani, S., van den Heuvel, E. R., Dekker, R., Postema, K., Kluitenberg, B., Bredeweg, S. W., & Hijmans, J. M. (2017). Biomechanics of running with rocker shoes. 
Journal of science and medicine in sport20(1), 38-44.

Sobhani, S., Bredeweg, S., Dekker, R., Kluitenberg, B., van den Heuvel, E., Hijmans, J., & Postema, K. (2014). Rocker shoe, minimalist shoe, and standard running shoe: a comparison of running economy. 
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport17(3), 312-316.







RECOMMENDATIONS

David:
I have a couple of recommendations for the GlideRide 2. One being the heel bevel integration with the midsole and midfoot transition. From the midfoot forward the shoe is very smooth, but the bevel is really small on the GlideRide 2 and almost feels nonexistent when landing. It isn't too bad but can be a little clunky so refining the bevel to have a slightly steeper bevel angle or making the foam slightly softer in that region could ease that transition. The other recommendation would be to improve the traction as well. I'm not running in snow like Nathan but I still had a little bit of slipping on slick conditions here. 

Nathan: Kudos to ASICS for making modifications to stabilize the platform. One area for improvement would be improved traction of the outsole. Yes, I know I'm running in snow, but if I were choosing one shoe for all my runs, I would avoid purchasing this one because I wouldn't want it to take me through winters. Other typical daily trainers do just fine in snow packed roads/sidewalks, and it would be nice for this one to do the same. 




WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

David:
The GlideRide 2 is a neutral training shoe for those looking to have a highly involved rocker feel to it, specifically in the forefoot. The shoe runs best for me during easy runs and long runs and provides plenty of protection for long miles with the high stack. For those that have really stiff ankles and have a hard time with obtaining adequate dorsiflexion when running this could be an option to look into since it will demand less range of motion out of the ankle to advance the limb. The platform is also on the wider end and provides a stable ride throughout. 

Nathan: The GlideRide 2 is an option for daily miles, recovery runs, and long runs for people looking for a rocker sole and overall stable ride (minus the saggital instability). Additionally, this shoe may be very suitable for particular populations who have motion restrictions in the big toe (1st MTP joint) or those with metatarsalgia for other reasons due to the aggressive forefoot rocker with can offload demand from that area. For people with recurrent knee pain or known balance issues, this shoe may not be the best option, and you'd have more success with a typical trainer and lower stack shoe.






GRADING (Trainer)

David
Fit: B (A lot of volume in the forefoot vertically, heel security could be refined a little better with the lacing)           
Performance:  B+ 
 (Rocker effect very noticeable, great at easy recovery paces and long runs, awkward at other paces) 
Stability: A-
 (Wide platform, firm foam and plated GUIDESOLE all help, sagittal stability decreased with such intense rocker) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
A- (A fun riding shoe for such a unique design that integrates many concepts of stability and guidance into performance footwear) 
Personal:  
B+ (The ride is very fun and enjoyable, but very niched to recovery days and easy long runs to me, not the most versatile with usage) 
Overall:  B+ (Stable, protective, unique, and fun ride that will really intrigue some. The forefoot rocker might be a little too intense for some, and the geometry doesn't allow for faster running too comfortably, overall a solid shoe though.)         


Nathan
Fit: B+ (roomy toe box, thinned out compared to the previous version, the feel is more consistent with what the shoe is best for, slightly sloppy in early toe box and some heel slippage)                     
Performance:  B+ (aggressive forefoot rocker takes time to adjust to, but very smooth one you find the rhythm, lack of traction) 
Stability: B+ (Stable for a neutral trainer, particularly in the M/L directions. Unstable in the saggital - front to back - plane) 
DPT/Footwear Science: (Integrating known science on firmness/rocker shape to optimize the rocker, stabilized the platform, feels maybe slightly aggressive in the forefoot. Will benefit certain populations well as outlined above but may shift load to other areas and caution may be wise when transitioning) 
Personal: B+ (Forefoot rocker is too much for me personally and traction was an issue, but very happy with the updates in terms of stability and smoothing out the ride and a lighter upper)     
Overall:  B+     

Q&A WITH CONTRIBUTOR NATHAN BROWN



Nathan answers your Q&A questions from our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Make sure to follow our social to get questions in on future reviews!

Interested in shopping ASICS Glideride? Check out Running Warehouse hereUsing this link helps support our work at Doctors of Running! Thank you so much.  

FURTHER READING

Compare
Asics Evoride 2 - The lighter, uptempo companion to the Glideride
Saucony Ride 14 - Stable, steady cruiser
Asics Hyper Speed - Another light, aggressive toe spring focused entry from Asics

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Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up. IG handle @kleinrunsdpt

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at ASICS for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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