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ASICS EvoRide Speed: More Foam, or Less Weight?
By Matthew Klein

As the industry shifted towards maximal training shoes and super racing shoes, lightweight trainers began to disappear. A few popped up here and there, but many were the same weight as the new racing shoes. Although it appears the industry thought this was redundant, having a simple lighter training shoe is much different from a carbon-plated super foam racing shoe. The EvoRide series previously was light enough (7.4 oz men's size 9) to double both as an extremely light training/workout shoe and a racer for those who did not want carbon or super soft foams. The challenge was that it is on the firmer side and with the industry continuing to move toward softer shoes, a balance of softness and speed was needed. Enter the EvoRide Speed, featuring full-length Flytefoam Blast cushioning for a softer ride that still can move at speed when you want it. As we begin to understand the balance needed in daily shoe use and some of the potential risks of using excessively soft and stiff shoes all the time, the lightweight training category may make a comeback. People like soft shoes, but they also like light ones. 

ASICS EvoRide Speed
Price: $140 at ASICS
Weight: 8.9 oz, 252 g (Men's Size 10)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: Not Provided (Estimated 4-5mm)
Classification: Lightweight Trainer 


The ASICS EvoRide Speed is a lightweight trainer with a close fit and a moderately cushioned ride. It features enough cushioning for daily training while being light and moderately bouncy enough for workouts/faster efforts. The fit is slightly snug and short, providing a closer fit that feels faster. Those wanting a moderately lighter weight cushioned shoe that can handle a variety of paces like a true lightweight trainer should check out the quietly released ASICS EvoRide Speed.

: New Balance Fuelcell Rebel v3, Puma Velocity Nitro 2, Adidas Adizero SL


The ASICS EvoRide Speed fits true to size, if a tiny bit short, in my normal men's US size 10. A wide toebox is advertised, but the width is slightly snug with a little more room in the forefoot and a rounded/quickly tapered toe box. This continues to provide a performance-like and closer-fitting shape. The midfoot features a thin gusseted tongue that stays secure and helps secure the foot. The heel is normal width but features additional heel collar cushioning that helps hold the foot. There is a moderately-to-highly flexible heel counter that did not bother me at all. The overall security is fairly good and I did not have to lace lock the shoe or tighten down the laces too much. I would wear socks with this shoe as although the rearfoot internal mesh is comfortable, the forefoot is more scratchy. Overall, the upper is fairly simple, a bit lighter with some extra heel collar cushioning. 


The ASICS EvoRide Speed is a lightweight trainer with a full-length, moderately softer Flytefoam Blast. The softer foam and a small posterior lateral heel bevel make for a decent transition at heel strike. The heel drop and stack height have not been provided, but this shoe feels like a lower 4-5mm drop shoe. While there is no plate (that I know of), the forefoot is on the stiffer side. This is offset by a large forefoot rocker and a significant amount of toe spring. The transition rolls you forward once you hit the front and feels good at uptempo paces. The lighter weight of the shoe (estimated at low 8 oz in men's size 9) and cushioning makes for a protective but fast-capable shoe. Easy runs feel good as there is plenty of midsole underfoot, but picking up the pace to tempo and interval pace is doable. The strong forefoot rocker makes this shoe feel better for longer uptempo and tempo efforts. I generally prefer less toe spring and a bit more flexibility for faster efforts and had a bit of trouble pushing this shoe all out. It is a true lightweight trainer as it can handle training and workout paces. Personally, I would not use this as a race shoe, but those who can tolerate a decent amount of toe spring and want some cushioning without a plate in an uptempo, but not aggressive shoe may find this makes a solid half/full marathon shoe.

As with many ASICS shoes now, the outsole is full ground contact with strategically placed AHAR rubber. I have over 30 miles in my pair and am only seeing some small abrasion at my normal spot. This makes me suspect that this shoe will last longer than most lightweight trainers and will wear more like a daily training shoe.  The smooth outsole is best for road and grips well on both dry and wet surfaces. The  outsole pattern at the forefoot grips especially well even on track. It does pick up rocks easily, so I would avoid trails (unless you are David).


The ASICS Evoride Speed is a neutral shoe with some mild guidance elements. Although advertised as creating additional stability, there are some small/minor sidewalls present on both sides of the midfoot. I did not really notice these, but did notice that the midfoot width did not taper much. There is the potential for some medial bias at the midfoot due to lateral AHAR coverage and not medial; however, I did not notice this much. The mild lateral heel bevel and slightly lateral midsole creasing seems to help transition the heel smoothly. The aggressive forefoot rolls you quickly forward, but it isn't necessarily stable or unstable, which is probably the best way to describe this shoe stability-wise. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Toe Spring vs Forefoot Rocker
By Matthew Klein

People often mistakenly use the terms "Toe Spring" and "Forefoot Rocker" interchangeably, when they do not necessarily refer to the same thing.

Toe spring refers to the upward angle the toes are held in (toe extension) directly under the toes, whereas a forefoot rocker is the upward curve of the sole underneath the toes to simulate the motion that normally comes from the forefoot rocker of the foot (metatarsophalangeal extension). As soles have become increasingly stiff, having a forefoot rocker is important to maintain forward momentum during the terminal stance phase of running gait. Keeping the toes extended is not required for this, although many companies frequently do this.

There are several challenges and issues with keeping the toes in this position.

First is that not everyone has this much extension. While about 60 degrees of metatarsophalangeal (toe) joint is generally required during gait, not everyone has this. Those with stiff joints up front, gout, hallux rigidis and other pathologies may either not have it or may be restricted by pain. These individuals should avoid toe spring and should seek shoes that only require their toes to be in a neutral position (0 degrees) with a forefoot rocker in the sole only.

The other problematic issues is that by extending the toes, you are potentially overstretching the toe flexor muscles. Muscles work best and generate the most torque in mid range positions. End-range positions, unless specifically trained, generally produce less torque. Having the toes held in extension potentially reduces the ability of the toe flexors (which do assist with plantarflexion of the ankle as well as push/off and control of the forefoot during the propulsion phase and later stance phases of gait) to function optimally. This is another reason to keep the toes in neutral while having a rocker design in forefoot the come up to them.

Finally, having the toes extended tightens the plantar fascia and locks up the foot. The windlass test is a common test for plantar fasciitis, whereby the first toe is extended and pressure is applied to the plantar fascia. This is due to this replicating the passive function of this structure (although it should be noted that this test has poor sensitivity and a true diagnosis should be made in junction with an extensive subjective and physical exam). The foot does not need to be locked up and stiff all the time. During landing, it needs to be able to be loose (but controlled) to help with shock absorption. During propulsion, it needs to be stiff and stable. Not all the time. Having the foot be stiff all the time may actually be more problematic as we have seen increasing evidence that a stiff high arched foot may be more problematic than a low flexible one, especially as it relates as a risk factor for plantar fasciitis (Van Leeuwen et al., 2016).

For these reasons and more, I implore companies to reconsider how they are designing the front of their shoes. 


De Garceau, D., Dean, D., Requejo, S. M., & Thordarson, D. B. (2003). The association between diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and Windlass test results. Foot & Ankle International24(3), 251–255.

Van Leeuwen, K. D. B., Rogers, J., Winzenberg, T., & van Middelkoop, M. (2016). Higher body mass index is associated with plantar fasciopathy/‘plantar fasciitis’: systematic review and meta-analysis of various clinical and imaging risk factors. British Journal of Sports Medicine50(16), 972-981.


I have really enjoyed the ASICS EvoRide Speed, especially given my preference for lightweight trainers. However, there are still a few areas it could improve. The biggest thing is that the toe spring needs to be reduced. While the sole is not the stiffest, the toes are held at a high angle that is not necessary for the points I outlined above. This also makes the shoe feel shorter and prevents this shoe from actually being as comfortable as it could be up front. Adjusting this will not only make it more biomechanically appropriate, but will also likely fix the mild fit issue.


The ASICS EvoRide is a well-cushioned lightweight trainer that in times of overly complicated shoes does things decently by being simple. While the excessive toe spring needs to be fixed, it is still a great shoe that can handle a variety of paces. What I am most confused about is why ASICS released this shoe so quietly. With small bits of emerging evidence suggesting that overusing super shoes may have risks, getting more people into lightweight trainers seems like a great idea. Running faster once in a while is great. Not everyone needs a super shoe for that, but having a few different shoes, especially lighter ones, can be helpful. With the death of the DS Trainer, the EvoRide Speed has some serious potential to take that well-balanced lightweight trainer spot. Many of us still want a simple lightweight shoe for daily training, uptempo efforts and whatever comes at us, so I hope ASICS keeps this model and refines it.


Fit: B/B+ (Slightly short fit that starts to open as the shoe breaks in. Still a more performance-type fit overall.
B+ (Good cushioning in a lighter package that can handle daily trainer and faster workouts)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Neither excessively unstable or stable. Standard neutral)
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Decently done shoe except for the excessive toe spring, which can be problematic for many populations)
Personal: B+/A- (I have really enjoyed running in this shoe. The only thing that put me off is the excessive toe spring which in turn causes the shoe to also fit short)
Overall: B/B+ 


ASICS EvoRide Speed
Price: $140 at ASICS

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased with a medical discount and personal funds. 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 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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New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3

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