Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24 Review Facts
Introduced in 1995, the Asics DS Trainer was among the frontrunners of the light-support trainer category. At that time, running shoes looked like a combination of big foam stacks with synthetic overlays and a large bulky frame. The DS Trainer was a truly new concept with a low profile midsole and a minimal medial post.
The Asics DS 24 has had a fair overhaul with some new features that haven’t been seen in the Asics Model such as a new upper which is now seamless and knitted. Traditionally the DS trainer has been targetted at lighter weight or tempo style running where the runner is happy to sacrifice a bit of weight and cushioning to get a quick transition. The Asics DS Trainer 24 also follows the same philosophy and theme.
The outsole features the patented AHAR or the ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber technology. This provides great cushioning and a good grip on a range of surfaces, wet or dry. But it is also very durable, so runners can run longer in the same shoes. You can also see guidance lines that flow right into the medial post which keeps the shoe stable, while still remaining sleek and lightweight.
More and more brands are removing the Trusstic bands from the shoe to reduce weight, however, the system in the outsole isn’t intrusive and provides a little rigidity. The Trusstic system is a thermoplastic layer placed between the midsole and outsole. It reinforces the outsole while functioning like the muscles of the foot, thus aiding in quick transitioning without sacrificing the performance. This helps energy return when the foot strikes the ground and lessens the reliance on cushioning systems.
We can see a full-length Flyte foam from the heel right to the forefoot which keeps the shoe light and fast while running. In comparison with the Flytefoam propel, the Flyte foam is lighter and has a high-energy feel. Another interesting fact is that this foam is made of organic nanofibers and is environmentally friendly.
As it is not meant to be a full-blown stability shoe, the DST-24 features Duomax which is not very tall and narrows at the forefoot. The Duo max inserts supportive system on the medial side helps to support a runner who fatigues in the ending stages of a run switching from midfoot to heel. The dynamic Duo Max on the inside gives the shoe a nice stable ride and prevents the shoe from moving side to side too much. As it does not have a raised top, the Duo max unit supports neutral pronators adequately.
The tongue and collar are lightly padded to bring some cushioning to the ankle and the heel. Some reviewers found the tongue, less padded than similar competitors and that is because this shoe prioritizes responsiveness over comfort. There is also no sleeve leaving the tongue free to move around.
This shoe features a suede underlay beneath the knitted upper which re-enforces the shoe for more durability
. The knit is breathable, light and gives the foot a nice wrap. With a couple of overlays on the upper, the secure fit of the shoe is reinforced. The shape of the shoe is a bit wider giving more room in the toes. Reviewers with narrow and normal feet mentioned that the shoe fit true to size while those with wider feet recommend going up half a size.
The traditional lacing system helps secure the feet and prevent too much movement in the interiors of the foot. As it says in the name, this shoe uses a GEL technology in the heel and forefoot to add comfort and reduce the shocks of striking. In addition, this also helps your feet stabilize and can redirect energy into a forwarding motion.
At 270 g for the men’s size 9 shoes, it is slightly heavier than the DS 23. However, this can still be considered lightweight for a stability shoe and is great for race days or speed workouts
. The midsole is very lightweight due to the Flyte foam technology. The choice of a knitted upper over mesh helps the shoe save on some weight.
Traditionally knitted uppers don’t add a lot in terms on breathability with mesh materials providing a lot more air flow. But the breathability on this shoe didn’t feel too compromised. The Ortholite sole inside the shoe is very breathable, allowing air passage easily and helps regulate temperature in the shoe. Some runners found that the shoe worked well in hot weather but was not on par in the cold.
This shoe is all about response and isn’t stacked with loads of cushioning, it’s got enough to provide a little bit of dampening. Factors like the Duosole outsole and the midsole stack add to the firmness of the shoe. However, the suede underlay beneath the upper gives the shoe a nice and plush feel against the foot. The upper edge of the midsole adds soft flexibility and softness because of the Flyte foam. Many reviewers commented that the break-in period was minimal and was ready to go after 1-2 runs.
The shoe is sleek-looking and has 3 colorways- Black, Illusion Blue/Black and multicolored. The latter was released as a 20-year celebration color and is a great choice for runners who want a jazzy shoe. The women’s version has 3 colorways- Black/Mist Illusion Blue and multicoloured. Many reviewers enjoyed the color schemes with black being the most common option but the vibrant hues also had many takers. Elements of the Asics DS branding can be found on the tongue and one side of the shoe.
Just as is the case for most medially-posted shoes, you may experience compression of the foam in the midsole over time as soft foam compresses quicker than dual density ones. However, the outsole is composed of High Abrasion Rubber which prevents it from showing signs of wear and tear easily. It is also layered which adds to its longevity. But those who require constant support will need another pair of shoes once they’ve reached serious mileage in these shoes.
Many running shoes choose to add cushioning material to the heel and forefoot to minimize the landing shock and loading forces experienced by the foot. This makes running less tiring and thus reduces the chances of injury.
Read also about best women's running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
The shoe also features an updated heel counter design, which is designed to grip your feet better when you lift your heel, so you feel more secure in your runs. This update is especially useful for those who run at a faster pace.
Made using a polyurethane formula, the Ortholite sockliner inside the shoe helps keep your feet cool and dry in hot weather. Since they are also easily washable, runners who are prone to sweat a lot will find this a good feature.
Just as in previous AS models, this version uses the Flyte foam which is the lightweight and responsive cushion that gives you a quick and explosive ride. The sole uses the Propulsion Trusstic System which leverages plastic units to provide a responsive feel with each stride. One runner commented that she felt self-propelled during her run.
Asics incorporates their dynamic Duo max support system which is meant to give you support with reduced weight and some comfort. The shoe is more flared in the front compared to many other knitted upper shoes that squeeze the front foot. While not targeted at a true-heel striker, this shoe still provides support for someone who drops the heel down.
Compared to the previous version of the shoe, the 24 is more "neutral" with more features for an overpronator. Some runners attributed this to the decreased DuoMax and the removal of the lateral Trusstic support
Many reviewers remarked that they could wear these shoes for training or quick runs on flat and rough surfaces without any issue. Designed for light and moderately rough terrain, the shoe still performed quite well on lightly muddly terrain too.
When tested on the road, this shoe offers a firm and responsive experience. Because of its slight rigidity and solid materials on the midsole, the DS-24 can feel somewhat flat on slower runs. It gives its best performance on higher paces with its immediate energy return.
The outsole retains the small lugs scattered that were present in the DS 23 outsole which offers superb control and grip. The AHAR technology also helps make the outsole sturdy, allowing a great experience on unforgiving pavement also. Some reviewers wore this shoe more in gym workouts than outdoors and praised its stability features.
In comparison with other lightweight stability shoes, the Asics DS 24 can be considered affordable. Considering the unique technology it uses such as the Flytefoam light, AHAR outsole, Duo max midsole, and the Trusstic system, the cost can be justified.
The outsole with its High Abrasion Resistance rubber provides a good amount of grip in all weather conditions. The grippy nature of the rubber allows for greater control over swerves and brakes. The tread pattern is designed in a way to provide decent traction on roads, light trails, slightly muddy hikes and even gyms
. The small lugs allow you to ascend and descend easily with a spring in your step.
Since the DS-24 is more of a training shoe than a running shoe, the sole is a little less flexible in comparison. The sole here allows for a multi-directional movement which makes this shoe versatile and great to wear for your gym workouts.
The combination of Duomax foam, the Propulsion Trusstic outsole, and the 8mm drop add stability to the shoe. The Propulsion Trusstic aids the foot’s natural propulsion and adds firmness to the run. The overlays on the upper help provide a snug fit to the feet.
Dynamic Duo max is mostly used in stability shoes and in the DS-24, it also allows easy side to side movement when you’re running or working out. So you can easily do box jumps, skipping rope workouts without the fear of falling over.
The inclusion of the IGS (Impact Guidance System) technology helps the foot maintain its natural gait while reducing the shocks of heel strikes. This works with your foot to provide dynamic stability.
This iteration if the DS Trainer series has a lower drop of 8 mm compared to the 10 mm of the previous versions
. This creates a happy middle with a slight minimal feel that permits a forefront or midfoot heel strike. While not too high, this medium drop allows for contact with the ground and a quicker push off.
-Flytefoam® Lyte Technology Midsole
-Rearfoot Gel® Technology Cushioning System
-I.G.S (impact guidance system) technology
-Duomax® Support System
-AHAR ASICS High Abrasion Rubber outsole
All-in-all, the Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 is a light training shoe with a no-frills construction. While it is well-known that some brands release new version of their shoes to prolong their sales, we can safely say that this shoe isn’t a blatant revival. A comfortable upper, sturdy midsole and a grippy outsole allow for a safe yet responsive ride. Many runners had complained that the DS-23 had issues with the heel pinching their foot and this has been rectified in this model.
While this shoe offers good responsiveness for faster and shorter runs, it is not the best choice for long-distance every week. The advantage of firmness comes at the expense of cushioning that long runs require.
Hardcore fans of the DS Trainer will find this shoe satisfactory given that the variety of lightweight stability shoes is dwindling. The striking aesthetics and the performance knit upper can tempt many runners to switch their loyalty over to Asics.