The Rundown: Asics GT 1000-7

Photo Credit: Christine DiGangi

THE RUNDOWN: The Asics GT 1000-7 is a durable, reliable choice for long runs, particularly for budget-conscious athletes.

Surface: Road Pronation: Over Stack Height: Medium

Stability shoes have a common problem: weight. So I was pleasantly surprised when I took the Asics GT 1000-7s out of their box and they didn’t feel noticeably heavier than the several pairs of neutral running shoes I have in my rotation. While the design isn’t anything to write home about, it’s a bit sleeker than its predecessor (GT 1000-6) and is the first shoe in the series to incorporate FlyteFoam, Asics’ proprietary high-density foam engineered to deliver long-lasting return.

The GT 1000-7 is decently springy, particularly in the early miles, but it’s not the responsiveness that makes this shoe worth buying—it’s the subtle support. It’s hard to find a shoe that offers a stable ride without dragging you down, and the GT-1000 7 does just that.

Weight: 8.4 oz. (W), 10.2 oz. (M)
Offset: 8mm
Heel/Forefoot: 20mm/12mm (W), 21mm/13mm (M)
Midsole: FlyteFoam Lyte and Rearfoot Gel Technology Cushioning System in the heel cartridge, DUOMAX Support System stability for overpronation and SpEVA foam midsole material throughout
Outsole: Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR)
Upper: Mesh
Price: $90

Photo Credit: Christine DiGangi

100 Miles In: The Review

The GT 1000-7s are on the stiffer side and took a few runs to break in (about 20 miles). After about 75 miles, I noticed the foam in the forefoot start to settle, but overall the shoe retained its firmness through 100 miles. That support, combined with a roomy toe box and a relatively low weight, made it my go-to long-run shoe. I also found the GT 1000-7s to be true to size, though runners with narrower feet may want to consider sizing down.

Over the course of 100 miles with long runs as long as 20 miles, I never got hot spots (which I’m prone to), and even though I didn’t experience noteworthy responsiveness, my feet didn’t work any harder than they had to in the GT 1000-7s. You don’t really feel like you’re in a stability shoe, but the support is definitely there.

The rest of the shoe is well structured without feeling too rigid. The mesh upper is light, breathes well and holds its shape, even after many miles. While the heel counter is thick and stiff, the rest of the upper is thin and flexible, which I really appreciated during long, humid, summer runs. Asics highlights the GT 1000-7’s full-ground contact, which is more supportive than clunky, though it takes some getting used to if you’re usually wearing shoes with a curved last.

I wore the GT 1000-7s on a variety of runs—trail runs, road races, urban run commutes—and they work fine in all circumstances but aren’t the best when agility comes into play. The GT 1000-7s are best for long, steady runs, but opt for other shoes when doing speed work or off-road adventures. I plan to race in these during a marathon at the end of September.

Photo Credit: Christine DiGangi

There’s The Rub

Asics advertises its FlyteFoam as a material offering “exceptional bounce back and responsiveness,” but that wasn’t my experience. It’s not that they totally lacked responsiveness—it just wasn’t a standout feature. This might be because the FlyteFoam starts in the heel and only extends midfoot, making it more advantageous to heel-strikers. The FlyteFoam is the hallmark feature of the 1000-7s (it wasn’t in the 1000-6) but it’s not a game-changer. Perhaps the addition of this higher-density foam is what accounts for the slight weight increase from 1000-6 to 1000-7: 8.3 oz. to 8.4 oz. in the women’s models, respectively.

The topline also comes up higher on the 1000-7, so much so that I thought I was developing a blister on my left Achilles’ the first time I wore them. After that, I almost always wore crew-length socks with the 1000-7s, though I could manage with ankle socks for runs less than six miles.

The topline of the upper isn’t the only excessive part of the shoe—in general, it’s a big shoe. It takes a lot of material to give the shoe the full-ground contact and substantial support necessary for motion control, but it’s still something worth paying attention to when comparing shoes. I personally don’t like the feel of a big shoe on my foot, no matter how light it is.

Finally, the design: It’s boring. The options are better than the 1000-6 choices, but that’s a low bar. The pop of blue on the mostly black women’s shoe is pretty cool, but the dark pink band of thin stripes that wraps around the upper overpowers any excitement the blue offered. The other women’s colorways are similarly average: all black, black with white accents, gray with teal accents, and a steel blue with light pink accents.

But I’ll forgive lackluster design, given the price: $90.

TL;DR

With fall marathons coming up, the GT 1000-7 is an excellent choice for peak mileage weeks or a race itself. They’re durable but surprisingly light, and at $90 a pair, they’re a fantastic deal in a market flooded with shoes sporting triple-digit price tags. The Asics GT-1000 7s are a simple, foundation for run after long run—super supportive without being too heavy or flashy.

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