I’m a fitness enthusiast and active parent in my mid-40s and am always on my feet. I try to get in as many steps as I can, from walking to short jogs, and I can burn through sneakers pretty quickly.
I try to find shoes that have the features I like at a price I can afford. This is not always easy to do. However, I have found that many ASICS models priced under $100 sport many of the features of the brand’s more expensive offerings, while providing a reliable fit and durable support.
The Gel Excite has been a favorite of mine since it first came out. The original iteration is pictured below; I believe that I bought my first pair of this model in 2012.
I have used the Excite 2 and Excite 4 as well. The shoe has changed a lot over the years, and I believe that the Excite 6 is the best version yet.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 is a sleek and modern-looking running shoe that appears somewhat similar to the more expensive Asics Gel Cumulus 20. It comes in a variety of appealing colorways.
The detailing around the edges of the outsole is a nice touch, especially on a budget model. What is or isn’t stylish can be very subjective, but I find that these shoes should have a broad appeal and might even work for casual wear as well as for athletic activities.
I certainly prefer the aesthetic of the Excite 6 to the previous iterations of this shoe.
Asics generally work well for me in a medium width, as do New Balance and sometimes Brooks. The Asics Gel Excite 6 is no exception. It fits perfectly in a 9.5D, feeling snug around the heel and midfoot while sufficiently roomy in the toebox.
The composition of the upper on this model has a lot to do with this (I will discuss this in greater detail below). My feet feel locked-in with no heel slippage at all, yet the shoes do not feel tight.
The upper of this shoe is made from a perforated, highly breathable synthetic material that is also stretchy. This more flexible upper material is a new feature of the Excite 6 that was not present in the previous iterations of the Excite.
It allows the shoe to “give” more around the toe box, which means that the shoe can accommodate a greater variety of foot shapes. The material is also very soft.
The midfoot is build around the classic Asics logo, which also forms a support cage. This allows for a solid lockdown for the heel and arch, which reduces unwanted foot torsion.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 provides a rigid heel cup that really locks the rearfoot into the shoes, preventing unwanted side-to-side motion during the gait cycle. The collar area of the shoe is very padded with a soft, spongy foam material and a padded Achilles notch.
This prevents chafing of the heel during a walk or run. Both of these features are a must for me, and I do not find them on very many budget-priced shoes.
The midsole of the Asics Gel Excite 6 is quite substantial. It is composed of two types of cushioning. First, there is the traditional Asics Gel unit in the heel.
This Gel cushioning system has been a staple of Asics shoes for decades (I first bought a pair of Asics Gel running shoes in 1998, and I know that they existed well before that), and I find it to be quite effective at absorbing shock during running or walking.
Second, the 6th iteration of the Excite model adds Amplifoam across the full length of the midsole. Amplifoam is a newer cushioning system from the Asics brand, which provides shock-absorption that is supposed to combine softness with firmness.
I find that the Amplifoam feels great underfoot, working in combination with the Gel unit in the heel to give the shoe light and springy feel with good energy return. The addition of the Amplifoam makes the 6th iteration of the Excite the best yet from a comfort perspective.
The shoe comes with a flat ortholite stock insole that is easily removable. It is not at all contoured.
I replaced the stock insole with my inserts (Superfeet brand) with no issue. I suspect that the makers of this shoe understand that many people will choose an aftermarket insole; thus they invest very little in the stock ones.
`This is a wise choice since there are many, many aftermarket insoles available at very reasonable prices that far surpass anything you will find in all but the most expensive athletic shoes.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 provides a basic lugged outsole made of hard rubber, with a pocket that displays the location of the Gel cushioning unit. There is a guidance line down the middle of the outsole, which helps point the feet forwards and maintain stability during the gait cycle.
Although this shoe does not appear to include the Asics High-Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) composition found on some of the brand’s other models (such as most of their trail runners), the outsole is still very firm and appears durable.
I have rarely ever owned a pair of Asics on which the outsole wore down substantially with less than 8-10 months of very heavy use, and I expect the same to be the case with this new model.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 is designed with some surprisingly excellent features:
- A cushioning system comprised of two types of technologies which work together to provide significant energy return during walks and low-mileage runs
- A soft and stretchy upper that also locks the foot in place to prevent blisters in the heel area
- A removable insole that can be easily replaced with an aftermarket model of your choosing
- A solid rubber outsole that guides and supports the foot during the gait cycle
- A reliable fit that appears true to size when compared with other ASICS models I have owned
- A sleek and modern aesthetic
- A very wallet-friendly price tag, especially when considering all the features packed into the shoe
The shoe really does not have any significant drawbacks; however, I do have two caveats:
- The Asics Gel Excite 6 is not designed with distance runners in mind. I am not sure how well it will hold up for running sessions that last more than 3-5 miles. I only run short distances, so for me, this is not an issue. But marathoners are advised to spend more and buy a performance shoe rather than a budget-oriented daily runner like this one.
- I cannot comment on long-term durability yet, as I have only owned my pair for a week (this should be pretty clear from my pictures). While the shoe seems very well-constructed, only time will tell for sure.
I was very impressed with the Asics Gel Excite 6! As a long-time Asics wearer (over 20 years now!), I can say that this is probably the single best budget road-running shoe from this brand that I have tried.
It really does have the look and feel of a more expensive shoe, with an extremely comfortable midsole and a soft, flexible upper. This shoe is sure to please many people from fitness walkers to low-mileage daily joggers, or even people who prefer to use cardio equipment at the gym.
If you are looking for a partner to help you add more steps to your daily routine while not breaking the bank in the process, the Asics Gel Excite 6 is the shoe for you!
- The latest release of the Asics Gel Excite line delivers more cushioning for shock absorption and improved energy return. Despite its budget-friendly status, the Gel Excite 6 offers premium-level comfort and performance to allow the runner to log more miles on the road.
- The engineered mesh upper stays the same as the one in the shoe’s predecessor, a piece of breathable coverage that is also durable.
- On the other hand, the sole unit presents a couple of updates. The midsole introduces the brand’s trademarked AmpliFoam technology, an ultra-cushioned material that guarantees a springy and responsive ride. Meanwhile, the outsole finds itself utilizing the AHAR+ like the Gel Excite’s previous version.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 is a shoe intended for runners with high arches. It follows the sizing of the standard running shoe, as indicated in the brand’s size guide, as well as confirmed by numerous users. The forefoot and midfoot areas provide a snug fit as it aims to keep the foot securely in place. Width options available are Medium and Extra Wide for the men’s version and Medium and Wide for the women’s version.
The AHAR+ is the choice of outsole material of the Asics Gel Excite 6. This material is a variant of the widely popular Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR). The difference between the two compounds is that the AHAR+ is twice as durable as the basic one. The AHAR+ is formed with a sponge-like consistency, thus making it lighter and more flexible than traditional rubber. In the Gel Excite 6, the AHAR+ easily withstands impact and stress, possessing a toughness that is comparable to vehicle tires. The Asics Gel Kayano 25, one of the brand’s most popular running shoes, also utilizes the AHAR+ outsole.
Asics’ AmpliFoam technology comes in the form of soft cushioning material with a low density, which means it cannot be broken down easily. This gives the sixth version of the Gel Excite a midsole component that is flexible, adaptable, and comfortable. These characteristics allow the shoe to be suitable for daily running, as the configuration of the AmpliFoam supplies it a resilient quality; it enables efficient forward propulsion of the foot. Meanwhile, its flexibility promotes the natural rolling motion of the gait cycle.
The Gel technology is well-known for its shock-absorbing capability. Found in the forefoot and rearfoot areas of the shoe, the Gel absorbs the impact from footstrike and evenly distributes it across the foot. This function helps the Gel Excite 6 be resilient and responsive simultaneously; it also promotes an efficient gait.
An Ortholite sockliner finishes off the sole unit of the Gel Excite 6. It provides an extra layer of cushioning to the shoe, while also giving added underfoot protection. Ortholite sock liners have an antimicrobial property, which creates a fresh and dry in-shoe environment, therefore keeping the foot free from odor and moisture.
With an engineered mesh upper, the Asics Gel Excite 6 gets a balance of protective coverage and adequate airflow. The material ensures that the foot stays dry for long. The unique construction of the mesh to the rest of the shoe allows the upper to give a secure fit for a comfortable, worry-free ride. Moreover, the engineered mesh also has a stretchable quality, which enables a contoured fit.
Like many other Asics running shoes, the Gel Excite 6 has a set of overlays that come in the signature appearance of elongated panels that form a letter A. The overlays provide a supportive framework and help maintain structural integrity.
The closure system of the Gel Excite 6 is the traditional lace-up system with eyelets. The adjustable quality of the shoelaces permit the most secure fit but still with enough room for a cozy in-shoe feel. The conventional method also equips users a familiar and, thus, a comfortable way of wearing the shoe.
Lastly, the latest version of the Asics Gel Excite features an internal heel counter that brings support to the rearfoot, as well as a precise fit to the heel area. This counter serves as a protective feature as it prevents accidental slip-offs as it holds the foot in place; in addition, it also promotes a stable ride.
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