Asics Gel Fortitude 8 Review Facts
True to its name, the Asics Gel Fortitude 8 was designed to be long-lasting and stable. Though it’s marketed for neutral pronators, it also has corrective features for those with underpronation. It has many of the same features found in its predecessors, such as a SpEVA midsole and Gel Cushioning. The brand’s AHAR and DuraSponge compounds return to form a durable yet cushioned outsole. While its Guidance Line technology also returns, it’s joined by a Guidance Trusstic System for greater arch support and a smoother gait. The decision to include a seamless engineered mesh upper also added greatly to the runners’ level of comfort. However, some major issues with the line’s previous models still have yet to be fixed. Reviewers have pointed out that it still feels heavier than it looks, and others have had trouble finding their size due to this model’s wide fit.
As with all of its predecessors, the Gel Fortitude 8’s outsole is made from two different rubber compounds. The forefoot is constructed of DuraSponge
, Asics’ specialized blown rubber that acts as an extra layer of cushioning and responsiveness. It’s also meant to give a more lightweight feel to the running shoe. Its heel, on the other hand, is formed using the brand’s specialized AHAR
material for stronger durability and traction. In addition, flex grooves are included to give the runner an easier and more natural stride.
A full-length SpEVA
unit is used as the Gel Fortitude 8’s primary cushioning. Made from standard EVA foam and rubber ball material, it’s more durable while giving the runner an even greater bounce with each stride. This is aided further by the brand’s Gel Cushioning
system, placed at the forefoot and heel for higher levels of shock absorption. Though this model isn't marketed as a stability shoe, it still offers some stability features that can benefit under-pronators. This comes in the form of a Guidance Trusstic System, a TPU foundation between the midsole and outsole that gives arch support and prevents the tendons from over-flexing. There is also Guidance Line Technology, a vertical flex-groove that promotes a smoother and more balanced gait cycle. Finally, a ComforDry Sockliner is included for added cushioning and support, as well as an added source of moisture control. Runners can easily replace it with a custom insert if need be.
Compared to the midsole unit, the Gel Fortitude 8's upper is surprisingly simple. An engineered mesh
is used to encourage greater breathability and give the wearer a more sock-like feel. Both its outer construction and inner lining are seamless, meaning there will be little-to-no skin irritations for the runner. Compared to previous versions, this model's overlays are very minimal, providing just enough necessary structure and giving more security to the lacing system
With men's sizes weighing in at 12.3 oz. and women's averaging 10.2 oz., the Gel Fortitude 8 is definitely on the higher side of average when it comes to its weight. This isn't too surprising when considering the many technologies that are incorporated into its midsole and outsole. Though most reviewers find this shoe easy to move around in, some have complained that it feels too heavy
or bulky for them. While it could be a matter of personal preference, there is a chance that some of these reviewers haven't found their correct size and fit for this particular model.
Between its upper material and sockliner, the Gel Fortitude 8 has been designed to be incredibly breathable. Its seamless construction is made up of an engineered mesh, complete with a knitted texture and air holes all along the forefoot and sides. This allows hotspots to be easily targeted where they most happen. In addition, the ComforDry Sockliner works to draw away moisture in order to ensure a more comfortable wear. This also means that odor, blisters, and infections are kept at bay.
For the most part, reviewers are extremely happy with how comfortable
the Gel Fortitude 8 is. The combination of SpEVA and Gel Technology within its midsole keeps even heavy-set runners cushioned and supported for hours on end. The Guidance Trusstic System and Guidance Line work together to correct the runner's posture and gait cycle in order to eliminate any chronic pain that they might feel by the end of the day. The ComforDry Sockliner provides even more cushioning and moisture control, and can easily be swapped out for a custom insert. With the inclusion of a seamless engineered mesh upper, runners have a supportive and breathable running shoe that keeps them cool and cushioned even during long distance runs. One of the most distinguishing features of this model is its different width options and extra toe room. Considering that most Asics models are incredibly narrow, this is a major plus to a number of runners. However, its heavier weight and inconsistent fit do make it difficult to wear for some.
When compared to its predecessors, the Gel Fortitude 8's style is quite minimalist. Aside from its trademarked striped design, its only overlays are within the lacing system and underneath the ankle. It also features the same toe bumper, oval laces, and padded tongue and collar as before. One obvious downside is that this version is available in fewer color options. Women's sizes are only sold in Mid Grey/White/Porcelain Blue, while men's have the choice between Glacier Grey/Black or Victoria Blue/Indigo Blue/Sulphur Spring.
Though not many reviews touch on the Gel Fortitude 8's level of durability, some do indicate that it's sturdy enough for numerous long distance runs. The heel section of its outsole is made of the brand's specialized AHAR compound, which is created to withstand constant use on paved roads. And its midsole's SpEVA material is highly resistant to degradation and other forms of damage. Though it's still prone to tear when used frequently on rugged terrains, the engineered mesh upper still proves to be much stronger than standard mesh. Even those who are on the heavier side have noticed how well this shoe's cushioning managed to hold up.
Though it doesn't seem like a very protective running shoe on the outside, the Gel Fortitude 8 actually safeguards the runner from a number of everyday hazards. The heel's AHAR compound stays sturdy against paved roads, protecting the rest of the heel, as the forefoot's DuraSponge provides additional lightweight cushioning. The midsole's SpEVA and Gel units give sturdy cushioning and responsiveness that maintains its shape. A Guidance Trusstic System and Guidance Line work together to correct the runner's gait and keep the foot properly supported, greatly reducing the likelihood of developing chronic pain. The engineered mesh upper allows complete ventilation, keeping the foot cool and eliminating odor
, blisters, and irritations. Of course, the inclusion of the ComforDry Sockliner helps by working to draw away moisture.
Aside from giving sturdy cushioning, the Gel Fortitude 8's midsole also proves to be incredibly responsive
. The primary full-length SpEVA unit provides the runner with an even greater bounce with each toe-off, thanks to the rubber ball material integrated within the technology. The brand's ever-popular Gel Cushioning is also placed at the forefoot and heel to give an even higher level of shock absorption. Even its stabilizing features respond to underpronation in order to correct the runner's gait and ensure a smoother, easier run.
Reviews indicate that the Gel Fortitude 8 is meant for runners who prefer their footwear with more sturdy support. This is thanks to the combined use of the brand's SpEVA material and Gel Cushioning Technology for the midsole. Though the removable ComforDry Sockliner does give a little more softness, this unit was designed to maintain both its shape and level of support throughout all-day usage and multiple long distance runs. This also makes it an excellent choice for those who are on the heavier side. In addition, the tongue and collar are also padded to support the ankle
and prevent accidental removal.
Across the board, reviewers love the way the Gel Fortitude 8 performs during long-distance road runs. Its AHAR heel unit was made to hold up against paved roads
, and the forefoot's DuraSponge compound keeps the runner light on their feet. And the various cushioning and stability features within the midsole ensure that the runner stays cushioned and supported for hours whether they're running, at the gym, or on their feet at work. And its upper's breathable nature makes it especially fit for warmer conditions.
At most online retailers, including Asics' own website, the Gel Fortitude 8 can be found for $120. Though it may seem pricey to some, this is considered an average price for most high-quality running shoes. And when buyers consider its durability, versatile wear, and high levels of comfort and support, many actually consider it to be a very good bargain. Lower prices can also be found via Amazon or eBay, as long as consumers check the listing reviews ahead of time. Of course, this model's inconsistent sizing does have some a bit worried. Therefore, it's recommended that they try it on in-store before making a purchase.
The Gel Fortitude 8 features the same diamond-shaped tread pattern as its predecessors. Though the outsole is already textured in order to ensure a decent grip onto road surfaces, the heel's AHAR material strengthens this gip even further. As a result, runners feel completely secure during indoor workouts and long distance runs. That being said, product listings and other online reviews do not indicate how well this model performs on wet or slippery surfaces.
By looking at its materials, it becomes quite clear that the Gel Fortitude 8 was designed to be more durable and stable than flexible. Though the outsole's DuraSponge is more pliable, the heel's AHAR compound stays rigid for a safer, long-lasting wear. There are flex grooves that are still featured throughout in order to allow easier movement. Both the SpEVA and Gel Cushioning within its midsole are intended for those who prefer a more firm support with their running shoes. Still, the engineered mesh upper has very few overlays and an adaptive fit which completely follows the runner's motions.
As stated before, the Gel Fortitude 8 was not designed to function as a stability shoe. However, while it's mainly for those with neutral pronation, it also works incredibly well for those who underpronate. The midsole's SpEVA unit and Gel Cushioning Technology work together to efficiently support the runner and safeguard them against impact, even if they are heavy-set. Asics' Guidance Trusstic System is a TPU foundation placed in between the midsole and outsole. It acts as a form of arch support, keeping it from buckling during runs, and prevents the foot's tendons and muscles from over-flexing. Guidance Line Technology
is also present in the form of a deep vertical flex-groove, ensuring perfectly smooth heel-to-toe movements.
Like most running shoes that are on the market today, the Gel Fortitude 8 features a heel-to-toe drop height of 10mm. This gives the runner plenty of heel padding while still allowing them to move around naturally. In addition, its 22mm heel height and 12mm toe height means that it can provide enough cushioning for both slim and heavy-set runners.
-DuraSponge and AHAR outsole
-Responsive and durable SpEVA midsole
-Gel Cushioning for shock absorption
-Guidance Trusstic System for arch support
-Guidance Line for a smooth gait cycle
-Breathable ComforDry Sockliner
-Seamless engineered mesh upper
-Blue and grey colorways
All-in-all, the Asics Gel Fortitude 8 would work for most runners on all levels. Though intended mainly for those who neutral, its design also works incredibly well for underpronators. Between its highly durable outsole, sturdy yet supportive midsole, and breathable seamless upper, runners have a shoe that can last them throughout numerous long distance runs. And its wider fit enables it to truly stand out amongst the brand's traditionally narrow models. Though it does feel heavier than it looks, and its width options do have some struggling to find their correct size, it has proven itself to be highly functional and versatile.