ASICS Gel Exalt 2

8.5 score
Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 74 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating
All ASICS Shoes
ASICS Gel Exalt 2 Review Facts

Popular running shoe manufacturer Asics designed the second iteration of their Gel Exalt footwear line as a supportive midrange shoe that is easy on both the foot and the wallet. It’s an excellent pick for newer runners looking to settle into a daily running routine since the excellent traction on its outsole works beautifully with the heel’s gel cushioning to provide a running experience free from most of the pains commonly felt among beginners. These shoes can handle anything from a short walk with your dog to a daily jogging route and even training for a 5K. Asics made something really special here with the Gel Exalt 2 that can be appreciated by runners of all calibers.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Breathable upper
  • Lightweight and responsive midsole
  • Shock absorbing heel
  • Excellent outsole grip
  • Removable insole
  • Questionable lifespan
  • Narrow sizing
  • Limited size availability
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 4 hours analyzing a total of 1500 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • These were lighter than my slippers and have really nice arch support. They were affordable and fit perfect. They have great all over support too.
  • I ran in these immediately with no rubs or hurts. They kept me dry in the snow melt. These are good versatile comfy shoe: walking running, errands; they are great.
  • These are great for under $100. They have good support and are comfortable a over. They do not cause any foot soreness like my old shoes. I run in them everyday and they are nice.
  • Lots of air running through them and tons of comfort. They are top of the line for the price. I get a lot of compliments on these bad boys too. They are light yet very supportive. They are durable and hold up to my HIIT workouts well. These work good and fit to size with my wide 11.5 feet.
  • First Asics shoe ever and I am happy with them. They are snug and supportive. These are great on my narrow feet. The shoe is really light and feels great when I am running. I am actually buying two ore pair as i write this. Great shoe.
  • These shoes do not cause any flare up with my fasciitis. I have tried sneaker after sneaker and this one is the best for this issue so far. I got a normal size although I have wide feet and they still fit nice. I am really happy with these shoes.
  • These shoes have cured my lantars pain. I had an older pair of Asics that were good but started causing pain. These were amazing right out of the box and I knew we were going to be best friends. These have great arch support and I am just over the moon happy about these. NO pain!! They also look really nice, which is a plus. I can wear them out besides the gym.
  • I had to break in the ankles but they work great for my diabetic swelling. I am big too. These have never caused any pain or discomfort , like blisters. They are really comfortable and I would recommend them to anyone looking t make their feet happy.
  • These have really helped with my over pronation. I also am on my feet all day , i am a nurse, ad these keep my knees and joints from aching. I am going to go get a couple more pairs, just in case they discontinue.
  • These lack in cushion but are great in sturdiness and are really from on the foot. I still prefer my Noosas but these are an ok shoe for walkers.
  • I am a caretaker and need a shoe that can get me around all day and help lift and other things. They give me a great support. I used to run in Asics but that was the past. They are really light and extremely comfortable. You cannot go wrong purchasing these.
  • These have the perfect amount of balance and stability. They have helped me with my foot strike and are a high mileage shoe. I am super happy with these.
  • These are a shoe for the occasional runner. They are great to wear all day and keep me supported and are light. These are a true to fit at a size 14.
  • They are ugly. However, that doesn't reflect the comfort. Theyar egreat for overpronation and add a lot of extra support where I need it the most. These really create a lot of support for my hips and knees, never giving me any pain. They do run a bit small so I order up every time.
  • These were really great comfy, everyday wakers. The durability is lacking though. My toes are coming through with mild use. I haven't had them that long.
  • These are really bright and noticeable. They are the only shoe that has kept me from feeling the pain from my Fasciitis. I will by these until they stop making them.
  • I had a little break in time where my foot cramped. I readjusted and they have been a dream. They are so comfortable and have plenty of toe room while hugging your foot. I like the mesh material and how breathable they are. These have been a great starter shoe for me.
  • Not too cushy but epic arches. I have never had a shoe quite so supportive in the arches. I like the shoes but am going to keep them as an everyday shoe because they made my feet go numb during a 3 mile trek. Not a good sign.
  • These have reduced my pain by at least 70% this makes me really happy. I suffer from real pain in my back and legs. They are very supportive and comfortable and fit perfect, no jumping around in size.
  • These are my gym shoes and they are awesome. The color is not pink, it is coral. I like it better. They give me a lot of support in my boot camp training exercises and are very very cozy and sturdy. I have only used them indoors, for what it is worth.
  • These added a bounce to my step although I am mostly flat footed. They were a bit tight on the heel because the shoe is pretty stiff. I got used to it and they have not given me any issues.
  • I walk an average of 7 miles a day and these offer all the support and comfort I love. They are extremely durable and stable. The shoe is stiff but breaks in well. I do like the bright colors these come in. Will probably get a couple more pairs. I really enjoy these shoes.
  • These are my 3rd pair. I do not run, however, I work on my feet all day and these are great. They have epic support and the comfort is all over the shoe. They are cheap and way worth the movie.
  • They have no shock absorption. They are in 20 miles and are stiff as blocks. They are rubbing my heels really badly. I hate this shoe. I am normally an ASICS fan.
  • The stitching was cutting into my left foot really They were lacking in cushion compared to other Asics that I am used too. These felt really cheap. They are not that great for pronation like they state either. I had issues.
  • I did love these shoes and they were very comfortable. I had to return them because they were separating at the sole after only a month of use. I feel they are starting to make them cheaper like other companies and it is really disappointing.
  • You definitely get what you pay for with these pieces of crap. I have bought many Asics but these are so painful and uncomfortable. They are really stiff and never seem to break in.
  • This shoe does not compare to any other ASICS that I have had. It is so uncomfortable and stiff. This is a really disappointing shoe and you should not spend any money on it unless you like sore feet.
  • There is no arch support in these shoes. They are really stiff. They run too small. They gave me blisters on the top of my feet, which created corns on my toes. These are really bad shoes, steer clear.
  • Stiff, blister making machines. These babies are so uncomfortable and cheap feeling. I was not happy at all with these. Asics is failing in the shoe making department.
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 1500 reviews we found in total, 12% were negative, and 88% were positive.


AHAR rubber is the primary component used in the construction of the Asics Gel Exalt 2’s outsole. This form of rubber-based material is commonly found in footwear with an emphasis on providing a solid grip on running surfaces. In addition to providing this feature, AHAR rubber is also highly durable. While this material isn’t the most comfortable, the Gel Exalt 2 mitigates this by providing extra cushioning around the heel with the use of gel in its midsole. Flex grooves have been placed around the outsole, helping to make the shoe feel more flexible. Thanks to this well-designed and well-made outsole, runners are guaranteed an above-average mileage in these Asics shoes.


The Asics Gel Exalt 2 features a midsole with excellent cushioning running the entire length of the shoe. The EVA foam material used in this midsole is lightweight and provides enough springy rebound to facilitate a highly responsive ride. This extra bounciness helps to increase the energy efficiency of the shoe, allowing for longer running sessions without fatigue. This midsole will even maintain its springy nature over many long running sessions, which is a testament to its durability. Additional cushioning has been added to the heels of the Exalt 2 in the form of a gel, adding even more energy return. A silicon-based gel unit placed in the shoe’s heel absorbs shock from foot strikes and is where this shoe derives its namesake. Thanks to this extra attention given to the rearfoot, the design of this shoe’s midsole is the most beneficial to heel strikers.


Lightweight and flexible materials used for the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 provide immediately tangible benefits. The mesh material encourages strong airflow throughout the entirety of the shoe, ensuring the wearer’s comfort even in warmer temperatures. Additional stitched overlays provide extra comfort while also ensuring more protection from the elements and a tighter fit. Padding is present all around the collar and tongue as well. There isn’t anything particularly noteworthy about this shoe’s laces, but they get the job done. A sock liner secures the foot and provides more comfort but can be removed if the wearer so desires. Finally, reflective material has been placed in order to ensure a runner’s safety in low light environments by increasing their visibility.


These shoes weigh around 11 ounces, making them a bit heavier than similar running shoes. This means that some runners won’t be able to reach the same speeds in these shoes than they would from lighter footwear but that doesn’t mean that the Gel Exalt 2 is incapable of handling a race. Regardless, this extra ballast is most likely going to result in these Asics shoes not being any serious sprinter’s first choice. It’s a bit confusing as to how these shoes became so heavy since much of the material used for the midsole and upper are very lightweight. However, it seems that the high traction outsole and extra layers of upper padding are the culprits.


The ASICS Gel Exalt 2 features an upper portion that provides excellent ventilation. Although additional material overlays have been added to enhance the cushion and foot protection, this does not inhibit the shoe’s breathability. A removable EVA liner can also provide additional preventative measures for the accumulation of sweat and moisture. Even in wetter environments such as rain, the lightweight material used for the upper dries quickly. As a result of these features, runners can rest assured that the Gel Exalt 2 will provide the kind of airflow needed for a competent running shoe.


The combination of SpEVA foam in the midsole and AHAR rubber on the outsole provide enough comfort to satisfy even the most sensitive feet. Furthermore, additional heel cushion from the titular gel provides a bit more impact protection for those prone to heel striking. Asics even placed an additional thin EVA liner inside the upper portion of the shoe. Speaking of the upper, impeccable moisture management and high breathability in this region ensures that runners won’t have to deal with pooling sweat or water from a puddle. Extra padding has even been placed around the upper collar, providing a snug and chafe-free ankle fit. While these aspects all contribute to an extremely comfortable shoe, some runners with wide feet may feel discomfort unless they order a half size larger than usual.


The Gel Exalt 2 features all the trappings of your standard ASICS running shoe. This is far from an insult since they make decent looking shoes, but it may disappoint some runners looking to make a bold fashion statement. Men have basic color options in blacks, blues, and whites, while women’s sizes offer ranges of pink. Particularly resourceful shoppers may be able to find alternate colors through other retailers such as Amazon; however, the Gel Exalt 2 is pretty boring overall. Since these shoes have been rendered obsolete after the release of the Gel Exalt 3, some of these color options may be harder to find in specific sizes.


You can expect the same level of durability from the Asics Gel Exalt 2 that you would receive from any other typical midweight running shoe. The AHAR outsole material provides a decent amount of resiliency that will last for a few hundred miles without showing noticeable wear since they’re designed to take a pounding. While the SpEVA-comprised midsole is also durable, the degree to which it is so has been diminished for the sake of providing greater flexibility and a lighter weight. However, you can still rest easy knowing that this portion of the shoe won’t crumble after a few lengthy jogging sessions. The upper provides decent longevity as well, meaning that you are guaranteed enough durability to handle standard running environments without diminished quality or the immediate need to replace your shoes.


Although the ASICS Gel Exalt 2 was primarily designed for use as a road running shoe, it offers enough foot protection to function adequately on non-technical trails. In addition to providing a physical shield against harsh terrain and errant debris, the AHAR outsole protects runners’ joints from shock during repeated foot impact. This shock absorption property is also added to the rearfoot with the inclusion of a gel heel pad. However, the most protective aspect of these shoes is the midsole with its SpEVA material, providing the most significant measure of shock absorption. Finally, some finishing touches that round out this shoe’s protective capabilities are a cushioned upper and rubber-reinforced toe pad.


In addition to providing traction and protection, the outsoles of the Gel Exalt 2 provide the majority of its responsiveness. A naturalistic running stride is guaranteed thanks to the horizontal and vertical grooves placed along the outsole. Customers are in agreement that these Asics running shoes provide a smooth and effortless running experience thanks to these amenities. Fortunately, this high responsiveness doesn’t come at the cost of feeling too unstable or sloppy.


The level of support present in the Gel Exalt 2 makes them the best fit for runners with mid to low arches. In cases where additional arch support is needed, the sock liner can be removed in order to make room for custom orthotics. Other than that, EVA cushioning in the midsole help to provide targeted support for the arches, and a gel pocket near the rear provides extra support for the heels. The upper portion of these Asics shoes also provides some support by providing a secure yet comfortable fit around the upper portion of the foot.


The Asics Gel Exalt 2 can be effectively used on a variety of running surfaces, so long as they are sufficiently flat and hard. Several grooves on the outsole help to absorb excessive shock from these kinds of surfaces, making these shoes ideal for roads, tracks, and sidewalks. Surprisingly, the competence of the Exalt 2’s outsole even makes them viable for some lower intensity trail running. However, something to keep in mind if you wish to use these shoes for some off-roading is that they won’t guarantee the same comfort and durability in these environments.


Since these Asics shoes are a bit older now, the cost has dropped to a point below the average price for a pair of running shoes. It may be possible to find them for even greater discounts through online retailers such as Amazon but some brick-and-mortar outlets such as Sears or Foot Locker may have them as well. While this does mean that the Gel Exalt 2 can be purchased at an excellent rate, the age of this product may result in greater difficulty for customers to find their desired colors and sizes.


These Asics shoes were designed to provide adequate traction on running surfaces that are flat and hard. This means that the Gel Exalt 2’s outsole doesn’t have raised lugs, excluding it from providing the type of grip needed for more intense trail running environments. Fortunately, the design features implemented into its design make them perform terrifically when running on sidewalks, roads, and even some light trails. However, precautions will need to be made when running in wetter environments, as the outsoles aren’t designed to provide grip in the presence of excessive moisture.


Due to the highly dense EVA foam midsole, some of the flexibility factors in the Asics Gel Exalt 2 is diminished. Fortunately, some design characteristics aside from the midsole provide much-needed bendiness. Flex grooves placed along the outsole allow for an appropriate amount of pliability so as to increase comfort without hampering stability. However, these shoes ultimately made the choice of greater stability at the cost of flexibility.


While the flexibility of the Asics Gel Exalt 2 has been downplayed considerably, the stability has improved as a result. Runners with pronation issues, in particular, will definitely appreciate the gait correction features of the generously sized outsole. Additionally, a tight-fitting upper helps to further prevent slippage during a run. Finally, a wide toebox enables runners to provide their own stability with more wiggle room to grip the terrain at their feet.


About 10 mm of additional material has been placed on the heel of the Asics Gel Exalt 2 compared to the forefoot. This is predominantly due to the addition of the titular gel padding, making these shoes ideal for runners who have a tendency to strike their heels during a run. Thanks to the innovative cushioning material, runners have stated that these shoes offer more energy return than others with similar heel drops that implement alternative cushioning materials.
Key Features

Key Features

  • 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

For new runners who want to get into serious running sessions, these Asics shoes offer the perfect level of comfort and stability to get them started on the right path. Whether it’s for walking, jogging, sprinting, or cross-training, the Gel Exalt 2 offers the right features at a very reasonable price point. Thanks to the use of its gel cushioning system, common hazards that might discourage beginners from getting into the wonderful sport of running are avoided, such as sore calves from excessive shoe weight or heel pain from excessive foot striking. Aside from a supportive personal trainer, the Asics Gel Exalt 2 is one of the most powerful motivators a fledgling runner can invest in.