Despite the unforgiving environment, the shoes performed well.
It’s not everyday you wake up at 3am and head to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to try some new running shoes, but here I was, putting Asics’ latest running technology to the test. To mark the launch of the GlideRide, Asics designed the ‘Eternal Run’, where myself and 25 other runners headed out into the Salt Flats with no phones, music or distractions, with the aim to run for as long as we could before dipping below our given ‘moderate’ run pace, pre-determined by sports scientist, Professor Samuele Marcora.
The surface was unforgiving and the experience soon became a test of mental strength rather than training, but the shoes themselves were a pleasant surprise, here’s our first thoughts:
What’s new when it comes to the GlideRide?
These shoes are kind of like the MetaRide’s little brother; the GlideRide is designed for everyday running with a less extreme curve and apparently boast 7% more cushioning. Kenichi Harano, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager at ISS told Runner’s World, “while the MetaRide is our top energy saving shoe for our Front Runners and our top level athletes, with the GlideRide I wanted to create the same energy saving, but in a more comfortable ride. We have done this in three major design points – there’s a less extreme curve, the shoe is lighter and there’s a softer material used in the midsole.”
The key features of the GlideRide include:
- The softer curve: In the GlideRide, Asics’ curved ‘GlideSole’ is intended to allow runners to run further, easier and longer. The 5mm drop in the GlideRide supports the rolling movement of the foot through the gait cycle, which has been found to reduce energy loss at the ankle joint in research conducted in July 2019 by Progressive Sports Ltd at Loughborough University.
- A lighter shoe: Compared to the MetaRide, the GlideRide is 16g lighter for a more comfortable run. (Men’s MetaRide size UK 8.5 weighs 305g, GlideRide weighs 290g. Women’s MetaRide size UK 5 weighs 251g, the GlideRide weighs 235g).
- A softer midsole: With a less extreme curve and 7% more cushioning than the MetaRide, the GlideRide is designed for the everyday runner. Harano adds, “we designed the MetaRide for the elite, these are designed for the everyday runner. With the midsole, we tried not to compromise anything, but the hardness is completely different when compared to the MetaRide. The functionality is similar, but the feel is completely different.”
- Gel in the rear of the shoe: With comfort in mind, the GlideRide has cushioning under the feet to reduce shock when the foot hits the ground.
- Mesh upper: The upper is soft and breathable, while still being supportive.
What’s next for the ASICS’ ride series?
Of course, the fact that the GlideRide comes just seven months after the MetaRide leads us to ask the obvious question – what next? Harano laughs, keeping the brand’s secrets close to his chest, but tells us, “the Glide series is just beginning. There are so many possibilities. We are currently looking at different running styles for example forefoot striking and trail running. We are doing research.”
Asics’ president and COO adds, “This latest innovation is a major milestone in achieving our goal to make our energy saving technology available to all runners. In Spring 2020, we will launch the next shoe in the family, EVORIDE. And it doesn’t finish there. Asics commitment to this new category extends beyond footwear with the planned introduction of further innovations to our in-store and on-line services.”
How do they feel on the run?
When it came to the Salt Flats, the surface was tough. Thanks to rain the night before, it felt like running on sticky snow, and it didn’t take long for the salt to bunch up under the shoe, reducing the effectiveness of the rocking motion.
That said, with the incredible surroundings and the lack of distractions, I soon forgot I was wearing new shoes and ran to feel for longer than the experts predicted. On the pavement, the extra cushioning comes into play and when combined with the propelling feeling that the GlideSole rocker produces, the shoe feels comfortable and capable. Compared to the MetaRide, the GlideRide is also much more affordable, retailing at AUD $230 and NZ $280
More miles will be needed to fully test the shoe, but the early sensations suggests this a very capable long distance shoe that will munch up the miles, however the rocking motion might not be for everyone.
The GlideRide will be available online and in stores from Tuesday 2nd of October 2019.