When we get distance runners looking for a new shoe, we hear a lot of requests — it needs to be well-cushioned but not too heavy, have just a touch of stability, and be lightweight and responsive. Turns out, not a ton of shoes fit that description! Well, here’s one that does — the Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 is the latest version of a shoe that has been combining those ingredients to near perfection for a long time. While long-time users of the DS Trainer might not recognize their old favorite at first glance this year, they’ll no doubt recognize it once it’s on their feet. The Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 is still the same lightweight, responsive shoe that speedy distance runners have flocked to for years, but with a radical change to the upper that ends up working pretty well!
The Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 has the cushioning to be a distance shoe, working even for marathons for the stronger runners out there. This year’s model still manages to satisfy in both cushioning and responsiveness — it uses lightweight FlyteFoam material in the midsole in just the right amount to keep more competitive runners protected over high mileage runs without slowing them down. As before, Asics has also added a touch of stability in a small slice of denser material under the midfoot — it’s not going to correct severe overpronation, but for runners who usually use neutral or light stability shoes, the Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 will provide just the right amount of correction when fatigue sets in and form starts to go south.
It’s a solid choice for all distances, but for longer runs, it’s still one better suited for more experienced runners. The heel-to-toe drop has decreased from 10 mm to 8 mm, and while that’s a minor change, it does mean the shoe will be making you do a little more of the work. Runners used to 12 mm drop shoes (and that’s a lot of them!) might be in for a surprise and some sore calves if they try to do too much too fast in these.
But, those are all minor changes — faithful users of the Asics Gel-DS Trainer probably noticed the biggest change this year immediately. The Gel-DS Trainer 24 is one of the first Asics shoes to get a knit upper, a change from the mesh upper of last year. It does contribute to making the shoe slightly heavier than last year’s model, but the breathability is excellent. Getting the fit of a knit upper right is tricky, and a lot of shoe companies have experimented with it to mixed results over the past few years. Asics seems to have gotten it right early on — this knit upper is secure and comfortable without ever feeling tight or restrictive. Like most Asics shoes, the Gel-DS Trainer 24 does still run a bit narrow, so while the knit upper does have a little more give to it, wider feet might still feel a little squeezed. With extra-grippy rubber on the outsole, the Gel-DS Trainer 24 ends up having a really compelling combination of speed, stability, and control that will appeal to competitive runners.
With just a touch of stability, the Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 can be used by a huge range of runners for a huge range of distances, from track workouts to a full marathon. If you’re a newer runner or coming off injury, it might not be quite right for you as a long run shoe (you might want to get a little more cushion underfoot, especially if you’re pounding pavement), and it won’t offer enough correction if you overpronate to a severe degree, but otherwise it’s a strong choice. It’s rare to see this good of a combination of speed, support, and comfort in a moderate drop shoe — if you’re looking to really work on speed at any distance this year, it’s worth considering!
Is the Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 right for you? Use the Fitted Running shoe consultant to go through our gait analysis process and find out!