Asics Gel Lyte33 2 Review Facts
The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 is the second in a series of three neutral lightweight running shoes designed to help users improve their speed and form while strengthening feet muscles and joints. It uses Featherweight Asics Speed Technology (F.A.S.T.) in three areas: F.A.S.T. Drop to bring the heel to the optimal position for speed, F.A.S.T. Heel to hug the foot and minimize weight, and F.A.S.T. Sole for maximum durability in the outsole. The shoe promotes natural movement by having both vertical and anatomical flex grooves in the outsole and midsole to allow free forward and side-to-side movement. Many reviewers loved how comfortable and light the shoe is. Are you a neutral runner looking for a shoe for your next race or workout? The Asics Gel Lite33 2 could be the shoe for you!
The rubber outsole uses F.A.S.T. Sole technology to increase durability in critical areas while maintaining comfort and keeping the overall weight light. It has Guidance Line vertical flex grooves to make strides more efficient, and FluidAccess anatomical flex grooves to allow side-to-side movements. The treads give the shoe good traction on roads. The outsole provides some of the lower support to the foot and protects the foot from feeling the cracks and unevenness of the pavement. Some reviewers reported wearing in the outsole after just a few runs.
The midsole features GEL cushioning in the rear underneath a dual-density piece of SpEVA foam that covers the entire length and width of the shoe. The GEL cushioning absorbs shock, adds a small amount of cushioning
and responsiveness, and gives a small amount of drop (F.A.S.T. Drop) to the shoe, in order to optimize speed. The SpEVA asymmetric dual-density foam is softer on the footbed to cushion and protect against shock, and harder on the surface to increase support, responsiveness, and speed. The shoe has a neutral amount of arch support. The FluidAxis grooves in the outsole are so deep that the reach the midsole, adding additional flexibility to the shoe for natural movement.
The upper is made of mesh with a few synthetic overlays in key areas to provide structure and protection. The thin mesh makes the shoe both lightweight and breathable, and reviewers found it very comfortable. The F.A.S.T. Heel technology hugs the foot. The tongue, heel, and collar are padded. The laces provide a snug fit. The fit is true-to-size for most runners. There is a comfortable amount of room for movement in the toe box. A few reviewers either experienced wearing in and around the toe area, or stated that the mesh was too thin to protect against the cold, but overall, most reviewers were happy with the upper of the shoe.
The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 men's shoe weighs 8.4 oz and the women's shoe weighs 7.1 oz. At around half a pound, this shoe is very light compared to similar shoes. The F.A.S.T. Sole makes the outsole light, the F.A.S.T. Drop and thin cushioning make the midsole lighter than other shoes, and the thin mesh, minimum amount of overlays, and F.A.S.T. Heel technology all make the upper lightweight. Although lightweight
, reviewers did not consider the Gel Lyte33 2 to be a minimalist shoe because it still provides a decent amount of cushioning, responsiveness, and support for neutral runners.
The Gel Lyte33 2 is a very breathable shoe. The upper has a lot more mesh than other shoes, with only a minimum amount of synthetic material. The mesh itself is thinner than the mesh in other shoes. The synthetic material has a minimum amount of sewing to minimize blisters
and hot spots, and the material in the front and in the heel of the shoe are perforated. Combining these factors, air can flow in and out of the shoe easily, keeping the foot cool and dry, helping to prevent overheating and blisters.
The shoe provides comfort in all three levels of the shoe. The outsole uses comfortable materials to keep the shoe stable yet flexible. The midsole has two layers of cushioning: GEL cushioning that specifically absorbs shock and SpEVA dual-density foam that cushions landings. The upper hugs the foot and the toe box allows the toes to move. The heel, tongue, and collar are padded. Many users found the shoe to be very comfortable. Some experienced soreness or numbness after around 20 minutes, especially while getting used to the shoe. The neutral level of cushioning can be painful for runners who need a higher level of cushioning, such as those with joint pain or plantar fasciitis
The Gel Lyte33 2 has a classic, lightweight look. The shoe is currently available in two color choices for men: Electric Purple/Onyx/Marine and Titanium/Chili/Black, and two for women: Periwinkle/White/Sun and Grape/Apple/Pink
. The bottom of the shoe mostly has two colors, but a third color is used as an accent to highlight some areas where Guidance Line and FluidAxis technologies are used. Most users liked the colors/style of the shoe, but those who prefer non-bright colors will not be happy with the current selection, especially for the women's shoes.
The Gel Lyte33 2 received mixed reviews on durability. The outsole's rubber uses F.A.S.T. Sole technology intended to place high-abrasion materials in critical areas. The midsole's GEL cushioning and SpEVA dual-density foam were designed to be able to last many miles without wearing down. The upper uses durable synthetic material and mesh to stay intact. Several reviewers had pieces of the outsole fall off within the first few runs, or experienced wearing in the mesh around the toe areas. Even reviewers who gave the shoe a five-star rating stated that the shoe wore out faster than other shoes. Although the shoe was intended to be durable, by focusing on weight and speed, making materials as light and thin as possible, the durability was compromised.
This shoe offers good protection for neutral runners without pre-existing conditions such as joint pain or plantar fasciitis. The outsole gives a layer of rubber to protect the foot from feeling the cracks or unevenness in the roads. The midsole absorbs shock in the heel with the GEL cushioning, which is great for heel strikers but not so good for forefoot or midfoot strikers. The upper has mesh for a lot of the area, but the heel and toe areas have synthetic material to protect against accidental striking. The thin mesh is great for hot weather, but does not protect well against the cold or wind.
The entire Gel Lyte33 2 shoe is designed for maximum speed, and therefore responsiveness
. In the outsole, Guidance Line vertical flex grooves and FluidAxis anatomical flex grooves work together to allow the foot to move quickly and freely during both forward and lateral movements. The rubber uses F.A.S.T. Sole technology to make the rubber lighter and runners faster. In the midsole, the GEL cushioning provides a small amount of responsiveness, but the biggest responsiveness comes from the dual-density SpEVA foam's dense layer that bounces the foot back into the air. The F.A.S.T. Drop places the heel at the optimal level for speed. The upper fits well yet is flexible, allowing quick and easy movements, and the F.A.S.T. Heel supports the foot while keeping the weight light.
The Gel Lyte33 2 offers some support, but is not for runners with flat feet, who need arch support, or who overpronate. The midsole has a layer of SpEVA foam that offers some support to the foot and a neutral level of arch support
. Runners who need more arch support might want to consider using an arch support or gel insole. The upper uses F.A.S.T. Heel technology that keeps the heel in place. Overall, the Gel Lyte33 2 offers some support for neutral runners, but because of its flexibility and design to move with the natural motions of the foot, reviewers note that it is not a good shoe choice for non-neutral runners.
The terrain of choice for the Gel Lyte33 2 is roads. The outsole has treads to grip the road and lots of grooves to allow runners move their feet quickly and easily in every direction. The shoe is good for dirt roads, paved roads, or very light trails that are not too uneven and don't have a lot of objects to go over. The shoe was designed to be as light as possible, which is great for runners who want to race or speed train, but support and stability were compromised to keep the weight low, so trails are generally not a good idea. The shoe also lacks spikes, so it is not good on snowy, icy, or slippery terrain.
The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 is a low to mid-range priced shoe. The price seems fair because Asics invested in F.A.S.T. Technologies to keep the weight low for speed and to help runners improve their form, but at the same time, it lacks the protection, support and stability offered by other shoes. The shoe is currently listed between full price and up to 40% off because it is categorized as “endangered,” meaning some sizes and colors are no longer available because it is an old model. A newer model is available, but even the new (latest) model has been out for a few years.
The shoe's outsole has treads and grooves that give the shoe a nice amount of traction on dirt or paved roads. This makes the Gel Lyte33 2 ideal for daily road runs or racing
around dirt tracks. It grips the road well enough to prevent slipping and allows the responsive elements in the shoe to bounce the foot back into the air. The shoe does not have spikes to grip snow or ice, nor does it grip slippery terrain. It also does not have the lugs needed for traction on trails.
The Gel Lyte33 2 is not only light for maximizing speed, but it also flexible enough to move naturally with the foot and help runners improve their form. The outsole has Guidance Live vertical flex grooves and FluidAxis anatomical flex grooves to make the shoe as flexible as possible in order to move quickly in any direction, and these grooves extend to the midsole. The GEL cushioning and SpEVA foam are also flexible to maximize speed and responsiveness. The mesh and synthetic upper is very flexible and allows the foot to move freely.
The Gel Lyte33 2 has just two features that provide stability
: the SpEVA foam in the midsole and the F.A.S.T. Heel in the upper. This is just enough stability for neutral runners who want to improve their speed and form, but is definitely not for runners who overpronate. Reviewers report that the flex grooves in the outsole and midsole actually make overpronation worse because the shoe moves with the foot and makes you overpronate even more!
The shoe uses F.A.S.T. Drop, which is said to bring the foot to the optimum level for speed. At just 6mm, this is below a standard drop and was designed for runners who want to train in natural running. A low drop means the padding is more evenly distributed throughout the shoe, which is especially good for non-heel strikers.
- F.A.S.T. Drop raises heel to optimal level to maximize speed
- F.A.S.T. Heel hugs the foot and minimizes weight
- F.A.S.T. Sole has high-abrasion material in critical areas
- Rearfoot GEL cushioning absorbs shock
- Guidance Line vertical flex groove makes strides more efficient
- FluidAxis anatomical flex grooves allow the foot to freely pronate and supinate during runs
- Lightweight, dual-density SpEVA midsole cushion adds responsiveness, comfort, and stability
Overall, the Gel Lyte33 2 is a great road running shoe for neutral
runners or racers who want to improve their speed and form. It uses F.A.S.T. technology to make the shoe as light, flexible, and responsive as possible, while maintaining a decent amount of cushioning and rear-foot shock absorption. Intending to help improve form by strengthening muscles and joints, the shoe lacks support and stability for non-neutral runners, does not have enough cushioning for runners with joint pain or plantar fasciitis, and actually makes over-pronation worse. The outsole and upper deteriorate faster than average because durability was compromised for weight. In short, it's a great shoe for most neutral runners, but not good for runners with pre-existing pain
or pronation issues.