Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Anta C202 5 GT Review: $180 Super Shoe
By David Salas and Matthew Klein

Today we're excited to review our first shoe from Anta Sports. Based out of China, they were founded in 1991 and grew enormously after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They are particularly known in the basketball space, sponsoring several NBA players today. They made a big commitment into the running scene with their sponsoring of running legend Kenenisa Bekele over the past year. Their running shoe lineup itself is small, but packed with interesting technology. We're diving straight into the thick of Anta things with a look at the C202 5 GT, their super shoe engineered for racing performances ranging from the half marathon upwards of the marathon. The numbering of 202 came from the conception of the shoe, when the marathon world record was 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Anta C202 5 GT
Price: $180 at Anta
Weight: 7.0 oz, 200g (men's size 8/women's size 9.5)
Stack Height: 33 mm heel / 25mm forefoot
Drop: 8mm
Shoe Purpose: Super Racing Shoe

Pros: Very responsive midsole, good traction for a super shoe, lightweight
Cons: Snug fitting upper that may not work for everybody


The Anta C202 GT 5 is a super shoe that comes with large upside on pricing and versatility. It features a snug upper with good lockdown. The nitrogen-infused peba midsole provides good responsiveness for racing conditions. Even though this shoe is marketed for the half marathon distance to the marathon distance, the Anta C202 GT 5 still has enough versatility to perform well at the 5k to 10k distances.

: Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2
PAST MODEL: Anta C202 4 GT

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The Anta C202 5 GT fits me snug and slightly short in my normal men's US size 10. The upper is fairly snug throughout but especially so in the forefoot/toe box due to a quick taper. The volume is low across the length of the shoe. The upper mesh is a thin, synthetic, translucent material that stays secure without much stretch. The toe box is tapered with a snug forefoot. I had to modify the lacing to open the forefoot and even then it was still snug. The midfoot fits snug with a non-gusseted, thin tongue. The tongue stayed secure but does not provide a ton of protection from the laces. The heel fits normal to slightly snug with a moderately flexible counter and a decent amount of padding around the top of the heel collar. I did experience some mild sliding forward, which was fixed by lace locking the shoe. The mesh material is scratchy against bare skin, so socks are a must with this shoe. The insole is non-removable, so those with specific orthotics may have issues with this shoe. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

David: The Anta C202 5 GT fits true to size in my men's 9.5, though the upper does have a very snug fit throughout. The volume in the shoe is low, and is track spike like in nature. The width through the heel, midfoot, and forefoot is normal to slightly narrow. The engineered mesh is a really lightweight synthetic material and translucent mesh. The heel does have a heel counter with a surprising amount of padding for a racing shoe in the heel collar. The shoe comes with two different laces, depending on what texture you like. The tongue is perforated and very lightweight on foot. Still, I did not have any biting from the laces. This is a very nicely done upper for shorter distance races. I think it will still work for the longer distances, though there is not much room for swelling accommodation. Those needing a little more space within the shoe may find this to be on the tighter end. I think I can still take this 26.2, but I know it won't be for everyone. Making a little more volume in the shoe would benefit it for longer distances. The heel is comfortable, though they could probably save some weight by taking some of the padding out of the heel collar. 

David's Typical Size: Men's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit David well: Nike Vomero 17, Saucony Ride 16, Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Shoes that have fit snug: HOKA Arahi 7
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon Aero Glide

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: No
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: No
Is the Forefoot Flexible: No
How Flexible is the Shoe: Stiff, Carbon Plated
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Small, Medial Bias
Recommended for Haglunds: Maybe
Recommended for Sockless: No
Durability Expectation: Average


Matt: The Anta C202 5 GT is a moderate to higher stack, carbon plated, super foam racing shoe. Although advertised for the marathon distance, I found it far better for 5k to 10k efforts. The shoe is quite light, coming in at 7.4 oz for my size 10. The midsole is a nitrogen-infused peba, which is slightly firmer than many others but still feels highly resilient. The carbon plate makes the ride stiff and the combination of the above factors makes this shoe feel best running at fast efforts. I have found the Anta C202 to feel great at shorter intervals and faster efforts with the max effort being a tempo run. The narrow fit combined with the relatively moderate stack height for a racer (in today's world) and slightly firmer ride may 5k to 10k efforts the max of what I would want to use it for. Those with efficient mechanics or wanting a lighter shoe may be able to take it for a half marathon or beyond, but I would not.

The heel features a small, centered if slightly medial heel bevel. This makes the rearfoot a little clunky until the midsole breaks in and compresses more. The midfoot and forefoot are stiff but the forefoot features a longer rocker that makes transitions off the front smooth, particularly at faster paces. The grip on road and track is especially good and I found even on wet surfaces I had confidence with turning. The durability is quite good as I have 25 miles on my pair with no major wear on the liquid rubber outsole. So while I personally feel this shoe will work for shorter distances, users should be able to get a higher-than-average number of miles out of it.

David:  The Anta C202 5 GT was a very pleasant surprise for me. Especially at its price point, it really wowed me. The shoe is as good as any other super shoe I have tried on this year at nearly all paces. The shoe is light, responsive, and decently stable (though still very neutral) for being a super shoe. The midsole is a nitrogen-infused peba foam that has a lot of rebound to it, but does still maintain a bit of a firmer feel underfoot. Some of this may be due to the lower stack height at 33mm. The liquid rubber outsole was also surprising. I was able to run on a wet track without having any slippage issues at all. I did feel I could grip the road well without any issues.

The transitions of the shoe are very rhythmic and I would compare it to a hybrid between the Saucony Endorphin Elite and Metaspeed Edge Paris. The heel has a gentle bevel that eases you on the midfoot pretty smoothly. The magic in this shoe is mostly through the midfoot and the forefoot. The shoe does have a pretty early forefoot rocker that keeps you rolling forward. It is not overly rounded and still gradual enough to push off hard from. For that reason I have actually found this shoe to feel really good when turning up the pace at 5k/10k paces as well. I would best describe the ride as a firm bounce with an early forefoot rocker.

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

Matt: The Anta C202 5 GT is a neutral racing shoe. There are small sidewalls in the midfoot that I did not notice due to the softer foam. The midfoot is particularly narrow, although surprisingly I did not notice this over shorter distances due to the stiffer plate. Over longer distances, I struggled with the midfoot, so those needing stability there may not find enough. The forefoot does offset this as the extremely stiff plate, well-rockered transition and small sidewalls medially and laterally do provide some solid guidance forward. The heel is fairly neutral with a little mild medial bias due to the slightly medial angled heel bevel. Thus, the C202 is best for those with neutral mechanics or needing some mild guidance in the forefoot. 

David: The Anta C202 is definitely a neutral shoe. The nitrogen-infused peba foam is firmer than some other ones, though it is still soft compared to normal foams. The platform is very normal width throughout. There is some good sole flaring and the upper locks down well. The traction is surprisingly good and also helps with some stability. Despite some elements, this shoe is definitely a neutral super shoe. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Upper Importance for 26.2
By David Salas, PT, DPT, CSCS

When choosing a shoe for the marathon, you need to make sure you have something on your feet that you can trust for the long haul. A shoe can have the greatest platform in the world, but if you are having irritation from the upper that can completely change your experience. 

As we run our feet do experience some changes. As the miles click off and the clock keeps running it is not uncommon to experience some swelling in the feet. There are many reasons for why this can happen, but some thoughts out there reflect a literal increase in fluid intake and retention as the race develops. This can be done via repetitive stress and also due to some declining kidney function from long bouts of exercises. Granted, these findings look more at the ultra distances, but similar processes are happening at a smaller scale at the marathon distance. 

This is why having a good upper around your foot is imperative. You want it to be secure, but you do not want it to squeeze your feet as they expand. Having a little more volume throughout the upper, or having a little stretch to the material can help make this a little more comfortable. 


Cejka, C., Knechtle, B., Knechtle, P., Rust, C.A., Rosemann, T. (2012). An increase fluid intake leads to feet swelling in 100 km ultra-marathoners - an observational field study. Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. 9: 11. 

Knechtle, B., Zingg, M. A., Knechtle, P., Rosemann, T., & Rust, C. A. (2015). Feet swelling in a multistage ultraendurance triathlete: a case study. International Journal of of General Medicine. 8: 325-332. 


Matt: For $180, the Anta C202 is a solid shoe. The narrow fit and midfoot pushed me away from this shoe but that may work well for others. My major suggestions for this shoe are to slightly widen the midfoot, move the bevel to the lateral side and add more volume to the upper. Although this is not the tallest midsole, it is still taller and softer than most shoes, which requires some width along all parts of the short. I would suggest filling in the midfoot at least a little while working with other geometries to keep weight down. The bevel is an ongoing suggestion and should be lateral due to that being the most common spot for heel strikers to land on initially. Increasing the upper volume would improve the distance versatility of this shoe as currently the narrowness/taper is so uncomfortable I can handle wearing for anything longer than 5-7 miles. If this is meant to be a distance racer, it also needs the upper room to accommodate not only normal-width feet but the swelling that also comes with running for multiple hours

David: The Anta C202 is actually one of my favorite racing shoes to come out this year. Despite that, there are some things I think could improve. The upper is very snug throughout, and may actually give some irritation with marathon distances with foot swelling. Increasing the volume a little could help make that a little more comfortable. I also think that the heel collar (though comfortable), probably does not need that much padding and could save some weight that way. The shoe is really fun as is, but being at the 33mm stack height I can't help but want to find out what it would feel like closer to the 40mm stack height max. 


Matt: The Anta C202 is a carbon plated, peba-midsoled racing shoe for those who want a snug/narrow fit, a slightly firmer but bouncier ride and a shoe that works best for shorter distance races. The upper has a fairly secure mesh with a tapered fit up front and a normal to slightly snug fit in the rearfoot. The shoe is quite neutral, so those sensitive to stability or guidance will do well. The ride is snappy but has a good forefoot transition especially at faster speeds. Because of that, it will still work best for 5k/10k efforts and maybe longer if you can handle a neutral, bouncy, narrow and slightly firmer ride. The $180 price tag is great for those for whom this shoe's unique features match. Although there is still some mild updates that are needed and the fit does not work for me, I am still impressed at what Anta is doing and think those with narrow feet should definitely check this shoe out. 

David: The Anta C202 is a super shoe for someone looking to have a snug fit and a slightly firmer bounce on their super shoe. The shoe also retails at $180 and could save a decent amount of money on a super shoe. This shoe is certainly as good as many super shoes already out there. The shoe has a modest heel and midfoot with a good rounding and bounce through the forefoot. Those wanting a more spooned out forefoot with an early rocker will have some fun in the Anta C202. 


Fit: C+ (Tapered forefoot, narrow fit with some mild sliding. Best for those with narrow feet)
A- (Slightly firm but bouncy/snappy ride that works better the faster you go.
Stability: B [Neutral] (Neutral heel/midfoot with mild guidance at the forefoot)
Value: A (Excellent value for a shoe that costs $180, below what most shoes like this cost)
Personal: B- (I want to like this shoe more but the upper prevented me from enjoying this shoe more)
Overall Design: 

Fit: B+ (Good lockdown throughout, but volume may be a little too snug for some, especially over 26.2. Heel collar comfortable but probably does not need that much padding.)
Performance: A- 
(Lightweight and responsive with good traction underfoot. Great from 5k to marathon pacing, but may cater towards 5k to half marathon due to snug offering.)
Stability: B+ (Definitely neutral but upper security, outsole traction, and sole flare through the forefoot do help with creating some stable elements.)
Value: A ($180 is plenty of value for the market right now. This is one of my favorite racing shoes  right now "period".)
Personal: A (Very fun shoe that I have been able to take a large variety of paces with good comfort throughout.)
Overall Design: A- 


Anta C202 5 GT
Price: $180 at Anta

Shop Men | Shop Women

*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Naked Belt The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist.
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


Saucony Peregrine 14 | Review
Saucony lifts the midsole up on this classic trail trainer.

Hoka Skyward X | Review
Hoka out Hoka's the competition with a 49mm stack monster

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running


Check out the Doctors of Running Podcast to find more reviews, interviews, and running features from the team.

Visit our Podcast Page
Find us on Apple
Find us on Spotify

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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Anta Singapore for sending us pairs.  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 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.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at

Hoka Skyward X

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>