Asics Gel DS Trainer 21

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Asics Gel DS Trainer 21Review Facts

The Asics Gel DS Trainer 21 has the “cool” factor both inside and out. This mid-stability trainer carries a long list of technological innovations that address virtually every issue related to running. The DS Trainer 21 is ideal for neutral and over-pronators who are looking to go the extra mile with a shoe that’s versatile and displays a unique balance of speed, efficiency, comfort, and support. Whether you’re looking to race, do that long run you’ve been preparing for, or simply use it as your daily go-to trainer, the Asics Gel DS Trainer 21 is the talented multi-tasker designed to be suitable for a vast amount of runners. Let’s explore how the Japanese shoe maker manages to infuse this nimble trainer with a concoction of technological advancements.

 

Pros
  • Breathable Upper
  • Fit
  • Grip and Traction
  • Delivers good support & cushion
  • Lightweight
  • Versatility
  • Overall Comfort
  • Style
Cons
  • Upper wears down quickly
  • Only one color option available
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole on the DS Trainer 21 is made from AHAR, or Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This carbon rubber material is extremely resilient and immune against any issue that could cause the outsole material to wear off. This portion of the shoe also contains a DuraSponge outsole which implements flexibility, responsiveness, and protection. The shoe’s DuoSole design reduces the thickness and bulkiness of the outsole while enhancing other features.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The DS Trainer 21 contains a Solyte midsole, which is an enhanced and upgraded version from Asic’s Speva midsole. A Solyte Midsole contains the same features as a Speva midsole: cushion, responsiveness, and durability — all condensed into a lightweight platform.

In addition to the main midsole platform, gel cushion inserts are included in the front and rear as a bonus feature. Other bonuses include Asics’ Guidance Line technology which enhances gait efficiency, Impact Guidance System (IGS) which aids in running transitions, and Trusstic System technology which lessens the burden of the entire sole unit.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper on this version of the DS Trainer is a seamless upper with effective breathable mesh lining. The mesh material aids with maintaining a consistent supply of air, ventilating the entire perimeter of the foot. A Heel Clutching System provides a better fit for the heel area and prevents any issues with slippage. The interior includes a ComfoDry Sock Liner which is added as a sanitary feature to keep moisture out.
Weight
Weight

Weight

While not an ultra-light weight shoe, the DS Trainer 21 is fairly light with the Men’s version weighing in just a bit over 9 ounces and the women’s version weighing a bit less than 8. Considering the multiple features it includes, Asics has done a terrific job of condensing a lot of features into a shoe that doesn’t take up too much volume.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The seamless breathable mesh upper generates air to penetrate the shoe’s internal environment for a cool, dry, and comfortable running experience. The mesh upper works together with the ComfoDry Sock Liner which absorbs humidity — thereby enhancing breathability.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Comfort has not been overlooked in the DS Trainer 21 in any way, shape, or form. The shoe maintains well-rounded areas of comfort through several areas. The Solyte midsole along with the gel inserts located in the front and rear disperse an extra helping of cushion and softness. The seamless upper materials ensure that your foot is free from annoying abrasions and irritation. In addition, the extra-comfortable interior make this shoe appropriate for a sock-less running experience.
Style
Style

Style

Without a doubt, the Asics Gel DS Trainer 21 is a great looking shoe. The company has a positive tendency to make a lot of their lighter weight trainers flashier and more aesthetically appealing than their bulkier counterparts.

The one huge drawback to style on this shoe, however, is that they have only created one color option which is Flash Yellow/Black/Orange for the men and Diva Pink/White/turquoise for the women. The color styles do look great and they will definitely get you noticed and make you feel like you own the road.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Several features have been included for sustained durability on the shoe. The midsole, for instance, includes a specific density for the purpose of maintaining its integral componentry. The Trusstic System technology protects the entire infrastructure of the shoe in order to make it last longer and keep it form breaking down. The outsole is protected through carbon rubber materials found in AHAR material and there are specific regions on the outsole that are more adequately protected — specifically, high impact areas. In general, the shoe is fairly durable. However, a significant concern is that many users have indicated a quick breakdown of the upper as opposed to the rest of the shoe.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Just as with durability and comfort, the protection category has not been neglected. There are protective features that serve to enhance running mechanics and efficiency like IGS and Guidance Line. Both of these technologies help with how you move. Your joints remain protected through features like the gel inserts and the support and stability aspects from the dual density midsole. The Heel Clutch System unit ensures that the fit stays intact and as far as health, the breathing qualities from the mesh upper and the ComfoDry Sock Liner ensure a microbial free environment. And in terms of visibility, the shoe’s bright colors are there for more than just show, they are there to serve as a reflective feature for your night runs.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Asics midsoles are constructed using several densities, each one serving a specific function. Solyte technology is no different and it utilizes different densities to achieve a particular purpose. In terms of bounce-back effects, the Solyte midsole includes a harder density layer that provides this feature. It increases the "boost" off the shoe in order for a runner to be able to spring back into action right after landing.
Support
Support

Support

Support is implemented through the DuoMax system which is located toward the rear of the shoe. It’s the thickest part of the midsole and it’s actually labeled. This system, like the rest of the midsole, contains more than one density that enhances support and stability while raising the elevation of the entire platform — all while counteracting any added weight.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The DS Trainer 21 is a road shoe but will also work great on other flat surfaces like the track. It would also make a great addition to add to your gym bag. The outsole is resilient and durable enough to where it could handle a light flat trail. However, we wouldn’t advise running in anything more severe.
Price
Price

Price

Amazon has the shoe listed from the low $60s to the mid to high $100s. Asics has the shoe listed in the mid $100 range. The shoes have been out for a while so naturally there will be greater price fluctuations but availability may also be limited. This is an expensive shoe but the price tag seems to be justified considering the innovation that has gone into this shoe.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The AHAR outsole has grippy qualities that enable this shoe to grasp the surface with ease. The DuoSole Outsole, located toward the front of the shoe, also has specific grip qualities that enable this part of this shoe to be especially tractive. Also, certain spots on the outsole are outfitted with more aggressive rubber, higher impact areas to be exact, that will perform exceptionally well. The traction on the DS Trainer 21 has been impressive enough to garner the attention of runners who have been sure to mention it in their own reviews.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The upgraded upper on this version of the DS Trainer limits the use of stitching. This results in in greater pliability for the entire upper. Where the midsole is concerned, there is a particular density measurement that makes the platform more movable. Therefore, the shoe remains flexible not just on the upper but throughout the midsole area as well. Together, with the shoe’s relatively low-weight, the DS Trainer 21 remains an adaptable shoe that works with the unique movements of your foot.
Stability
Stability

Stability

We have discussed the DuoMax support system as the shoe’s main support and stability platform. This component raises the shoe’s elevation, particularly in the rear part of the shoe, and gives your foot that needed boost in order to keep your foot leveled and stable throughout your run. While the DuoMax support system provides the bulk of the stability and support work, other features on the shoe achieve running efficiency so that stability is achieved actively through improved running form and not heavily reliant on supportive platforms.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Forefoot height measures 11mm for Men and 10 mm for Women. Heel height measures 21 mm for men and 20 mm for women. The drop offset for both sexes is 10 mm. The rear part of the midsole is thicker than it is in the rest of the shoe. In terms of drop measurements, this falls within the mid range classifying the DS Trainer 21 as a mid stability shoe. This shoe could work particularly well for the novice who may still need supportive features but wants to opt for the lighter and less aggressive shoe.
Key Features of the Asics Gel DS Trainer 21
Key Features of the Asics Gel DS Trainer 21

Key Features of the Asics Gel DS Trainer 21

Solyte Midsole

Gel Cushioning System

Trusstic System

Durasponge Outsole

ComfoDry Sock liner

AHAR Outsole

Heel Clutch System

Guidance Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The DS Trainer 21 is a sophisticated shoe that incorporates a great set of features and compacts them into a stylish shoe that’s very reasonable in size and weight. It addresses just about every issue imaginable. The DS Trainer 21 implements cushioning, stability, flexibility, comfort, protection, and responsiveness. It’s almost as if it belongs in a category of its own for the fact that its technological features make it out to be a versatile shoe that can work with just about any type of runner. However, the DS Trainer 21 is mostly ideal for neutral and over pronators.

As a mid-stability and mid-profile shoe, not to mention its mid-range weight, the DS Trainer can be appealing to a large number of runners, from the newbie to the seasoned marathoner. Despite the fact that it’s only offered in one color, the style of the shoe is an added bonus.

As with many things, perfection is a hard measure to come by. The most notable concern is with regards to the durability on the upper which users have reported wearing down quicker than the rest of the shoe. Considering the price tag on the DS Trainer, it’s certainly an area that could make one reach for the other running shoe. But on the other hand, there are just too many good things about it that it’s also difficult to turn our heads the other way.