A Podiatrist’s Take On The Asics Glideride
Released in October 2019 the all-new ASICS GlideRide is born from the roots of the ASICS MetaRide. The GlideRide is one of two new shoes produced to focus on ‘propulsion and performance’.
The GlideRide shoe is a shoe built for longer easier runs.
The feature most noticeable on the initial sighting of the GlideRide is the toe spring design or forefoot rocker. Like most other running shoe brands ASICS have designed a shoe with a large forefoot rocker similar to the Hoka style of shoes.
From a Podiatrists perspective, the rocker shoes have a couple of notable benefits and a couple of notable negatives. The stiff forefoot rocker counters the need for 1st toe dorsiflexion or bending which is great if you have big toe or forefoot problems. A rocker shoe has also been shown to reduce the work of the calf muscles via a reduction in ankle dorsiflexion. This may be great for people with Achilles tendon issues (1). The downfall is that rocker shoes are unstable so aren’t great for people with balance issues and the rocker shoes will load the knee more.
Having run in Hoka Clifton’s, Hoka Bondi and trialled Hoka Carbon X I was keen to give the ASICS GlideRide a run.
The first thing I noticed when putting the shoe on is soft, mesh upper. The upper fits like a firm sock yet have enough room not to squeeze the foot. There is no noticeable ridge where the upper meets the midsole and no seems. This is sure to be a good thing for wider fitting feet. Standing in the shoe the combination of a foam heel plug, lightweight outsole and flytfoam midsole provides a soft yet firm and reassuring feel. The shoe feels slightly firmer underfoot than a Hoka Clifton, particularly the newer models of Clifton.
Next, it was time to move. To say the rocker is noticeable is an understatement. Once the heel has left the ground the foot feels as though it has dropped off a cliff. For those uninitiated with a rocker style runner this will feel very different to your more traditional running shoe. I put this feel down to the stiffened/ reinforced forefoot in the GlideRide. This feature should see the shoe hold its performance over many kilometres. The feel of the rocker is more like a Hoka Carbon X rather than a Hoka Clifton.
After completing several runs in the GlideRide I have been able to transition to the shoe with no issues at all. This, however, is not to say it will work for everybody. The shoe will work well as recovery, long and easy run shoe.
In summary, the shoe is soft underfoot, yet provides an aggressive rocker that most definitely aids in propulsion. The upper is snug yet accommodative. There may be an X percentage performance gain to be had in this shoe however this is not where the shoe comes into its own. The materials used in construction along with the rocker shape will provide comfort and allow you to run on heavy legs without feeling much in the way of additional impact.
Overall a nice looking addition to the runner’s running shoe rack.