Asics GlideRide review
The Asics GlideRide is the most fun shoe release of 2019. It’s cushioned enough for long marathon distances and responsive enough for tempo workouts.
I have always thought of Asics as a boring company, sticking to their recipe of making small tweaks to their popular Nimbus, Cumulus, Kayano lines. Asics took a big risk with the GlideRide, and it paid off. It’s now my favourite Asics shoe of all time!
Upper is so well-built
The GlideRide’s upper is extremely structured and built up. It might be the most structured upper I've ever run in. The unsleeved tongue and the heel counter are generously filled with foam.
The tongue doesn’t move at all during runs, and the plastic clutch external molded heel counter secures and locks down the heel well. There are also reflective overlays by the laces and around the heel counter for nighttime visibility.
I’m a big fan of the look of the shoe. It looks like a premium, well-made shoe filled with technology. Asics has finally stopped making “grandpa shoes.”
The molded heel counter and plush padding combine to lock down the heel without irritation.
The upper is made from engineered mesh that doesn't stretch and is smooth inside the shoe.
The thick mesh and the structured upper means that the shoe runs on the warm side. It fits true to size, and the toe box has plenty of depth and foot splay room.
The engineered mesh looks stretchy from afar, but it is far from stretchy, so make sure you order the correct size.
The only thing I don't like about the GlideRide’s upper is the seam inside where the panel ends, which I could feel on my midfoot. It didn't cause any blisters or pain, but I could definitely feel it on the lateral sides of my feet.
The inside seam where the smooth lining ends might irritate your foot if you wear thin socks or go sockless.
Is this really Asics? The springy ride of the GlideRide
I almost rolled my ankle a few times while running in the VaporFly Next% because the midsole is so high and narrow.
Running in the GlideRide feels like running in the Vaporfly with training wheels on. It's much more stable in the heel and midfoot, and it cradles the feet.
The GlideRide also has a dual foam setup of Flytefoam Propel and Flytefoam like the Asics Cumulus 21. Still, it doesn't have the sink-in layer of cushioning directly under the insole.
The top part of the midsole is Flytefoam (firmer, more responsive), and the bottom part is Flytefoam Propel (softer, bouncier). In the Cumulus, Flytefoam is at the bottom, and Flytefoam Propel is at the top.
The GlideRide is still a cushioned shoe, and the Flytefoams used are much softer than the React foam used in the Zoom Fly 3. The combination of Flytefoams provides a great balance of cushioning for comfort and firmness needed for the plate in the shoe to work.
There is a small amount of GEL in the heel, but it can’t be felt during runs. The red part of the midsole is Flytefoam; the white part is Flytefoam Propel.
Many people say that the shoe is only for heel strikers, but I disagree. I am a midfoot striker, and I still feel the propulsion that the plate provides upon toe-off.
It doesn't feel like a spring pushing your feet; it feels more like a rocker that eases your foot through the gate cycle. The GlideRide is a really unique shoe in that the longer you run in them, the better they feel.
The first 2km’s of every run feel a bit awkward, but 30 minutes into the run, you get into a pleasant rhythm that feels like the shoe is helping to propel you forward. At the end of every run, I don’t want to stop.
The GlideRides are lively and fun to run in.
The GlideRide is also responsive, which is surprising for an Asics shoe. It’s built for long runs but has enough pop for tempo workouts.
Spring off the toes
There is no flexibility due to the stiff plate and the thick midsole. The lack of flexibility is needed for the rocker effect to take place.
The GlideRide has a high toe-spring where the front of the shoe angles upward. This upward angle is how the shoe rolls you forward along the front of the shoe instead of flexing like with most shoes.
Asics takes a page out of the Hoka playbook when it comes to the high toe-spring.
Stable for a plated shoe
When looking at the GlideRide with its high stack height, it's easy to assume that the shoe is unstable and will be hard on the ankles. However, the GlideRide's wide forefoot, midfoot, and heel makes the shoe extremely stable.
The sides of the midsole are raised, so your feet sit inside the midsole. This means that the shoe cups your feet to prevent lean bias.
The red part of the midsole is raised and acts like guide rails to keep your feet centered.
Just enough rubber
The GlideRide's outsole is a full-contact blown rubber. Asics says that it’s AHAR rubber sponge, but it’s definitely not the same durable AHAR rubber used on the Cumulus 21.
The rubber does grip well on wet and dry surfaces, though.
Wear can clearly be seen in the high wear areas such as the outer heel. There are cutouts along the outer heel area to save weight.
The guidance line (Guidesole) that runs through the length of the outsole helps keep the foot centered. When the shoe is loaded, the exposed area in the guidance line touches the ground. This gap in the outsole provides extra cushioning.
The hard EVA plate can be seen through the bottom.
Final thoughts on the Asics GlideRide
The Asics GlideRide is a classic example of a company taking an existing product, making refinements, and ending up with a better product than the one which was first to the market. The GlideRide is the shoe that I wish the Nike Zoom Fly had always been.
I bought the Zoom Fly 3 earlier this year, and I was really disappointed. The midfoot was narrow, and the arch poked into me, the foam was firm and lifeless, and it was an overall uncomfortable shoe. Running in it felt unstable, and the upper was too minimal.
The GlideRide takes all of the problems I had with the Zoom Fly and fixes them. It’s like a softer, more stable version of the Zoom Fly with a comfortable, plush upper.