ASICS Gel Exalt 2

7.6
7.6 score
[Editors rating (7.5) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (7.6)/10

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ASICS Gel Exalt 2 Review Facts
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The second version of the ASICS Gel Exalt is a budget-friendly, midrange shoe that is supportive and comfortable. The shoe would work well for newer runners looking for a shoe that can perform day in and day out. The outsole provides good traction and the Gel cushioning in the heel keeps the runners from feeling too much of the impact when running. The shoe would definitely work well for 5Ks, daily runs, or even walks with your dog. Both runners and those who take regular walks (of 30 miles a week or less) should find in the Gel Exalt a decent everyday shoe.

Pros
  • Won’t break the bank
  • Upper is breathable
  • Responsive midsole materials that are also lightweight
  • Heel cushioning made of GEL
  • AHAR rubber sole grips well
  • EVA insole is removable
Cons
  • Low mileage trainer can't handle higher mileage
  • Runs a bit narrow
  • Discontinued model comes in limited sizes
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is made of AHAR rubber. It's a rubber featured in many running shoes that's known for its grippy qualities. This compound also happens to be highly resistant, which is another bonus. The sole also packs a little bit of cushioning into the base of the shoe thanks to the GEL heel cushioning.

The outsole also features Flex Grooves which enhances the shoe's natural feel. The majority of reviewers found the shoe lasted a long while. You'll experience standard wear but it should last you at least 400, or more, miles.

Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Right in the middle of the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 you'll find a nicely cushioned midsole with cushioning that runs the length of the shoe. The SpEVA foam is light and provides a bit of extra rebound to ensure a responsive ride. The foam is nice and bouncy, which helps to encourage a springy energy-efficient ride. The midsole cushion of the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 also tends to stay feeling bouncy even after long training runs.

In the heel, the included Gel cushioning adds to the shoe's energy return. The Gel cushioning system is a silicon-based gel unit located in the heel of the shoe which absorbs the shock of landing during the foot strike. The Gel cushion is particularly beneficial for rearfoot strikers.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The flexible upper of the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is made of lightweight materials. The mesh encourages air to circulate ensuring the comfort of the wearer. The overlays stitched onto the upper keep the shoe fitting securely. In addition, both the tongue and collar of the shoe are well-padded. The lacing system features nothing special but does its job to ensure the shoe can be laced to the wearer's liking. The inner sock liner can be taken out and the shoe also features ample reflective bits to ensure visibility.

Weight
Weight

Weight

The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 weighs 11 ounces for men and 8.7 ounces for women. It's a bit heavier than other similar models but it's not designed to be used on race day. It's certainly fully capable of handling the conditions of race day but it's not going to be your first choice. For runners who want to transition to a lighter shoe, the Gel Exalt 2 won't be your overall pick.

Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 has a nice pliable upper with excellent air flow capabilities. The upper is well covered with overlays but this doesn't compromise the shoe's ability to ventilate. The shoe's removable EVA liner also helps to encourage a healthy dry environment inside the shoe. The material that's been used to create the upper also dries quite quickly so it performs well even when the weather gets a bit wet. The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 delivers in terms of breathability.


ss moisture trapped in the shoe. The upper material is also quick-drying if worn in wet conditions. This shoe gets high marks for breathability.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

You'll be getting a lot of cushioning if you choose the ASICS Gel Exalt 2. The SpEVA foam paired with the AHAR rubber outsole pad the ride of this shoe quite nicely. In addition, the Gel cushioning adds another bit of cushioning for heel strikers.

The shoe breathes well and wicks moisture quickly so you'll remain comfortable even if you accidentally plunge your foot into a deep puddle. Padding around the ankle ensures you stay put within the shoe and feel comfortable in that area. Inside the shoe, the not so thick EVA liner adds another layer of padding. The shoe is regular width so keep in mind that for those with very wide feet the shoe may feel much too tight. Going a half size up may help.
Style
Style

Style

The Gel Exalt 2 has all the characteristics of a standard ASICS running shoe, which is not a bad thing. The company makes some very attractive shoes. For men, the shoe comes in classic colors of white, blue, or black with contrasting overlays that give the shoe a streamlined and energized look. Women have a choice of brighter colors with plenty of pink accents. A special Lite-Show men’s version of the shoe can be found on Amazon’s website. This flashy model is black with silver and bright yellow highlights. Although supposedly the same shoe, this special version does not seem to be as durable as the classic colors. There are numerous complaints of the shoe “falling apart” after less than 200 miles.

The newer Gel Exalt 3 model is an option should you find yourself unable to find your size in the Exalt 2.
Durability
Durability

Durability

With the exception of the flashy “Lite-Show” model, the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is pretty durable for a mid-level shoe. The AHAR material that makes up the outsole is quite durable. You'll be able to walk or run for quite a few miles in the ASICS Gel Exalt 2. The AHAR outfitted sections of the outsole are meant to take a pounding. The SpEVA midsole is more durable, flexible, and lighter than standard EVA midsoles and keeps the cushioning from breaking down.

A piece of material that runs across the top of the forefoot keeps toes protected from hard impact with foreign objects. The redesign of the upper also provides better structure and fit.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is a road running shoe, but be taken on non-technical trails. The outsole, outfitted with AHAR material is the first layer of protection. It stops some of the impact from reaching the rest of your body and keeps runners from feeling unstable when the terrain gets gnarly.

In the back of the shoe, the Gel cushioning component also protects from impact. But the star of the midsole is the SpEVA material which stops the forces of impact right in their tracks. The upper also works to keep your foot in place and the toe bumper keeps your toes from getting smooshed.

Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Where does the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 responsiveness come from? Mainly the outsole, actually. Both the horizontal and vertical grooves in the sole act to promote a natural ride and reviewers agreed that running in the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 felt quite smooth and effortless. The shoe has a nice amount of give without being too bendy and sloppy.

Support
Support

Support

The neutral ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is best suited for those with mid to low arches. The sock liner can be taken out and replaced should you need to add a bit of arch support. In addition, the arch area cushioning - made of EVA - enhances the shoe's supportive nature. The mesh material that composes the upper and the overlays featured around the shoe also add a component of support without feeling too snug. The Gel in the heel also supports the wearer by enhancing an already smooth ride.


Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Perfect for daily running or walks in the park the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 can be used on quite a few surfaces, assuming they're hard. The shoe is flexible enough to feel comfy when the ground below is rigid thanks to the outsole's grooves.

Should you wish to have some fun off-road, you sure can in the ASICS Gel Exalt 2. It's best used on the roads but there's no reason why you couldn't go adventuring once in a while in these shoes. The shoe would work particularly well for long non-technical hikes. Daily walkers enjoyed the comfortability of the shoe and lauded its stable feel.
Price
Price

Price

As an older model, the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 can be purchased in some stores for under $100. Local running stores often have a discounted section for older model shoes. This shoe can sometimes be found at local chain stores such as Sears and Target, but the popular colors and sizes may be sold out.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Exalt 2 has excellent grip on most rigid surfaces. The lack of raised lugs mean that the shoe is best for road running or very easy trails. There are no raised treads for gripping loose rocks or unstable debris. On pavement, the outsole design encourages a smooth ride. When it's wet, take care since the shoe lugs are flat enough to allow for a little slipping and sliding.

Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The midsole might reduce the flexibility a tad but the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is still quite flexible. Where does that flexion come from? The shoe's flex grooves allow the sole to bend an appropriate amount and allow for a natural movement from heel to toe. The midsole isn't all super rigid, though. There's a bit of softness to allow for some give and the shoe's upper also has a bit of pliability to it as well.


Stability
Stability

Stability

Technically, this is not a stability shoe but the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 actually has quite a few features that might satisfy a mild overpronator. The upper fits tightly to discourage a sloppy gait. The midfoot cushion adds a bit of extra arch support. The wider toe box also helps runners splay their toes and get a more stable grip.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Gel Exalt 2 has a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm. The shoe has a Gel packed heel but it could easily be used by midfoot or forefoot strikers. A majority of reviewers found the shoe provided adequate energy return without interference from the standard drop height.


Key Features of the Gel Exalt 2
Key Features of the Gel Exalt 2

Key Features of the Gel Exalt 2


  • EVA midsole cushion runs the length of the shoe


  • AHAR outsole


  • Gel Cushioning in heel


  • Vertical and horizontal flex grooves


  • Standard 10mm drop


  • Breathable and comfortable mesh upper


  • Convenient removable EVA sockliner


  • Reflective upper for low-light runs




Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 is a good option for new runners who prefer a shoe that's lower on the pricing scale but don't want to lose out on proper cushioning and comfort.

The shoe would work well for short easy runs, daily walks or cross training. The company's signature Gel cushioning system (in the heel) prevents the shock of running from causing injuries and adds some bounce to an otherwise very comfortable ride. The upper fits well, isn't easily torn, and has patches of reflective material to ensure runners are seen even in the dim light of the morning or evening. You'll get a good deal if you choose the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 as your trainer.