Asics Gel DS Trainer 23

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = Runnerclick score (8.0)/10

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Asics Gel DS Trainer 23 Review Facts
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The Asics Gel DS Trainer series has been around for a while, as one can probably surmise by the mere fact that this particular model we’re reviewing today is configuration number 23. It doesn’t feel that long ago that we were reviewing its predecessor – Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 – here on RunnerClick. This version builds upon the 22’s sought-after style to bring consumers a light and speedy run every time they step foot out the door. As you’ll soon find out, the upper was completely restructured in this new version and has been generally well-received by both Asics lovers and naysayers alike.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-Bright and fun neon colorway

-Short break-in period

-Very lightweight

-The updated upper wraps to the foot for a customized fit

Cons

-Back of the inside heel might be too tight for some runner’s feet

-Not very many color options to choose from

-Some reviewers commented that the upper wears out quickly

-Tend to fit narrower than other Asics options

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Gel DS Trainer 23 features many brand-specific technological touches that really help to set this trainer apart. The outsole utilizes Asics’ Propulsion Trusstic system. This system features a supportive shank built right in, extending from the arch of the shoe right to the forefoot area. This shank works by imitating the ligaments of the foot through the heel strike, enhancing the runner’s ability to enter the propulsion phase of their stride. This system helps to maintain a light weighted feeling in the outsole, while still providing a stable base upon which the shoe is built. The outsole also features Asics DuoSole construction for added flexibility and traction (see the Flexibility and Traction sections for more information). The outsole also utilizes the Asics-specific AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) technology, which is a fancy way of saying that each of the individual lugs on the outsole is placed there purposely to help the runner increases their control and grip on the pavement in any weather. They’re made for highly abrasive surfaces and won’t wear out easily.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Gel DS Trainer 23 features Asics FlyteFoam technology. This tech helps to give the runner a fantastic bounce back as well as an incredibly light feeling shoe. FlyteFoam is marketed as being 55% lighter than the standard midsole material found on the market. Because of the organic “super fibers” found in this technology, the shoes provide the runner with a super cushioned and adaptive ride. This tech tends to help make shoes outfitted with it much more durable than other options on the market while also providing an almost unfathomable amount of bounce back.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Though the Gel DS Trainer 22 and the 23 version look very similar aesthetically, the upper was completely overhauled in the newest version of this shoe. This amended upper now features Asics’ Adapt Mesh technology. This update drastically helped the 23 improve both the comfortability and the breathability of the shoe so your feet will stay nice and cool. The Adapt Mesh tech is a unique fabric that gives the wearer both support and the feeling of zero restrictions. It adapts to the shape and motion of each individual foot, providing a feeling that feels truly customizable from person to person. The upper is constructed with no seams, which helps to eliminate the likelihood of the athlete receiving irritation on their feet during their runs. The heel is reinforced which helps to hold the foot in place and stop it from sliding out of the shoe unintentionally. Some reviewers mentioned that this new heel system felt a little restricting on their feet and that did wind up causing irritation.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The men’s version of this shoe weighs in at 238g or 8.4 ounces, meanwhile, the women's comes in lighter at 198g or 7 ounces. The Gel-DS Trainer 23 comes in a little heavier than its predecessor. The 22 weighed 8 and 6.6 ounces for the men’s and women’s versions respectively. The slight increase in weight is likely due to the necessary updates that Asics made to this version’s upper.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

If you remember from the Upper section, this shoe is made from Asics’ Adapt Mesh material which helps to create the breathable and customizable feeling fit of this style. Because of the way this mesh reacts with the foot, it offers a fair amount of breathability for the runner. Bonus points, too, because it handles great in bad weather and will keep your feet dry in wet weather.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The newly added Adapt Mesh upper really helps to conform this shoe to each individual foot. This helps aid in comfort as it feels like stepping into an old, familiar pair of runners the first time you put these on. The new tongue and seamless construction of the upper also aid in boosting the comfort factor for this shoe. The GEL Cushioning System featured in this shoe provides a nice bit of cushioning in the heel. That said, there were some reviewers who commented that this tends to fit on the narrow side. It may be worthwhile to consider purchasing one size up to counter this. Other reviews mentioned that the shoe fit so well once they found the correct size, that the break-in period was kept to an absolute minimum. This is a great feature for any running shoe as no one wants to purchase a new pair of trainers and then need to spend an exorbitant amount of time breaking them in before they can be taken on training runs.
Style
Style

Style

The Gel-DS Trainer 23 looks nearly identical to its predecessor. It is stylish and, depending on the color combination, bright. The men’s version is available in neon yellow/grey/white or in black/carbon, meanwhile, the women’s version is available in dark blue/light blue/purple or in black/silver. Many consumers were upset with the lack of colorways available, however, preferring other Asics shoes with more color options.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Most of what we found from online reviews stated that this shoe was fairly durable and resistant to wear and tear. The outsole of the shoe was lauded as long-lasting and heavy duty. There was one review where the consumer stated that the upper of her shoe wore out by mile forty. This seems to be more of a one-off as we were not able to find other similar reviews online.
Protection
Protection

Protection

This shoe features Asics 3M Scotchlite material. This helps to enhance the runner’s visibility for running in the dark. This material acts similarly to the reflectors on cyclist’s bicycles. When motorists can see you, you’re less likely to get into an accident. The Impact Guidance System found on the Gel-DS Trainer 23 helps to reduce shock at the heel strike portion of your stride. With shock reduction comes protection for your joints and feet. The two rubber compounds found in the outsole also provides protection. In addition to this, the 10mm drop found in both the men and women’s version is the best biomechanical position between the forefoot and heel of the shoe. The drop helps to enhance the forward motion of the runner while reducing the load that the tendons, muscles and back will encounter.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Asics Gel-DS Trainer 23 features yet another special technology from the company – Guidance Line. This is a synthetic insert that helps to separate the mid and outsoles of the shoe. When these two important components are decoupled, a consistent load transfer can be expected at the propulsion step of the stride. This tech helps to ensure that the runner’s gait is the best it can be while also helping the runner to beat fatigue and sidestep any injuries. Reviewers found that the sole of the shoe felt a little stiff at first but that it did perform well, providing a springy and supportive ride. They also mentioned that it felt easy to run faster with these shoes on. The DuraSponge outsole also helps aid in the responsiveness of this shoe while the Flytefoam midsole’s super fibers help give the runner a lot of bounce back no matter the distance of their runs.
Support
Support

Support

The Impact Guidance Technology found in this style helps to add extra control and allows the foot to perform in a natural way. Shoes with Asics’ IGA tech are made in such a manner that can only enhance the natural gait of the runner. This is a really helpful feature for runners who overpronate. It’s important for those who are known overpronators to ensure that they’re using a running shoe that will help them in the long run. When you overpronate, your foot lands on the outside of the heel and tends to roll inwards too much. When this happens, your weight gets transferred to the inner edge instead of the ball of your foot, where a normal stride should fall. Overpronating runners’ big toes and second toes do the most of the work and without a properly supportive shoe, these athletes are more prone to injuries. The Gel-DS Trainer 23 also features the company’s Heel Clutching System which will help to anchor the runner’s foot in place. This system is made of an exoskeletal heel and adds even more support as well. With an ankle that is firmly in place, one can expect their feet to feel fully supported while also reducing the risk of injury as well.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Asics Gel-DS Trainer 23 is marketed as a road running shoe. It’s made for pavement and other surfaces with just small irregularities. This would not be a shoe you’d want to take out on the trails too often, however. Reviewers mentioned that this shoe works well for the gym and provides a lot of support and cushioning for heavier duty workouts and exercises such as box jumps and agility work.
Price
Price

Price

Retailing at $120, the Asics Gel DS Trainer 23 is priced competitively with other similar trainers on the market today. We would have to say that at this price point, you are getting a deal for all that this shoe has to offer. You may be able to find cheaper options available on Amazon, depending on the size and color you fancy.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Is there anything this shoe can’t do? The outsole, made with two different rubber compounds, provides both traction and protection to the wearer of this shoe. As mentioned in the outsole section of our review, it also features forefoot lugs that are patterned to help to increase the surface grip of this shoe. The DuraSponge material on the outsole is constructed out of blown rubber and helps to protect the sole of this trainer as well as provide traction. Not many reviewers mentioned traction in their reviews so we took this as a good sign that they’re happy with the amount that they receive from this shoe.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The DuoSole outsole found in the Gel-DS Trainer 23 offers runners a lightweight and flexible trainer that is both responsive and durable. The DuoSole construction also features non-prominent lugs to help encourage grip as well as flexibility. This shoe also utilizes Asics Adapt Mesh technology in the upper which Is a breathable fabric that is by its very nature a flexible material. Having this added flexibility in the upper is really beneficial for runners who value a trainer that offers resilience.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Thanks in part to the Asics Impact Guidance System, the Gel-DS Trainer 23 runner is incredibly stable. The IGS tech promotes dynamic stability through encouraging the trainer to work WITH your foot, rather than trying to gain control over it. This system supports the runner’s natural gait, from heel strike to toe-off, for added stability. The Dynamic Duomax foam found in the midsole of the shoe, as well as the plastic shank in the outsole, offers even more stability control to make not only an effective shoe for the known overpronators but also for lateral movement as well. Because of the fantastic level of stability found in this model, it is a great shoe option for runners with flat feet, too.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Both the men’s and women’s version of the Gel-DS Trainer 23 feature a 10mm drop. As a refresher, the ‘drop’ of a shoe is the difference between the height of the forefoot and the heel. The vast majority of running shoes have a 10mm drop so this series is no different. The 10mm drop puts your feet in the best biomechanical position for running.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-Propulsion Trusstic Technology to help imitate the foot’s natural function
-DuoSole outsole for a lightweight and flexible feel
-FlyteFoam midsole for a more responsive ride
-Heel Clutching System ensures a more comfortable and secure feeling fit
-Impact Guidance System to help encourage the shoe to work with the foot’s natural manner
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This is a great shoe. There wasn’t a lot of negative feedback that we saw when we went through online reviews of this product. It seems to be well made for the most part, barring the narrow width of the shoe which might not suit everybody’s foot. It is comfortable, durable, lightweight and provides just the right amount of bounce back to really energize your runs. Asics really upped their game with the 23rd adaptation of the Gel-DS Trainer, much to the delight of supporters of the brand and style. The company nailed it with this shoe and given its middle-of-the-line price point, it’s an easy decision whether or not to purchase this item. We’re off to go purchase a pair for ourselves right now.