Our verdict

We commend the tenth iteration of ASICS' budget line of daily trainers, the Gel Excite 10 because it features a much more durable upper than its predecessor, and it’s worth every penny of its mind-bendingly low price tag. After testing the shoe, we found that Gel Excite 10 solidifies its reputation as a comfy and forgiving shoe that’s perfect for beginners and casual runners. Despite being more geared towards easier, low-intensity runs, it’s versatile enough to tackle most fitness activities, gym days, and long walks around town.

Pros

  • Well-cushioned for short to medium-distance runs
  • Smooth transitions
  • Flexible and easy on the foot
  • Feels stable underfoot
  • Performs consistently in the cold
  • Breathable for warm days
  • Durable, well-constructed upper
  • Generously padded heel counter
  • Secure lockdown
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for walks and gym days
  • Great for beginner runners

Cons

  • Not ideal for tempo training or long distances
  • Ride feels dull
  • Lacks arch support
  • Higher than advertised drop
  • Lacks traction on wet surfaces

Audience verdict

85
Good!
  • Top 29% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We recommend the ASICS Gel Excite 10 as a great choice for:

  • Beginners in need of a neutral daily trainer for easy to moderate-difficulty runs
  • Runners seeking a well-cushioned, breathable shoe that’s reliable all year round
  • Casual runners who want a versatile shoe that can also tackle other fitness activities
  • Those in the market for a shoe that’s comfy enough for all-day wear and walks around town

ASICS Gel Excite 10

Who should NOT buy

The Gel Excite 10’s ride is anything but exciting. While its stack ensures we were well-cushioned from impact during our test runs, the midsole lacks the lively rebound to support tempo training adequately. This isn’t surprising for a shoe at this price point, and the more energetic Flyte Foam found in the ASICS Novablast 3 proves that you get what you pay for. However, the Brooks Revel 6 is a speedy daily trainer that we can recommend to beginners who don’t want to break the bank. 

With an accurate drop of 11.8 mm based on our measurements, the Gel Excite 10’s offset is too steep for forefoot strikers. We recommend that those runners check out the mid-drop Saucony Axon 2, or the Altra Rivera 2 with its 2.8 mm offset as alternatives more suited to their running gait. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 cut

While the Gel Excite 10 feels quite stable underfoot, it lacks the support that overpronating runners require. We recommend the ASICS GT 1000 12 as a similarly budget-friendly option, or the pricier Gel Kayano 30 for those in need of a stability shoe.

Breathability

We kick off with our most visually striking assessment, the smoke test. As the footage clearly demonstrates, the smoke makes its way out of the shoe with relative ease, but mostly around the heavily perforated toebox while the tongue seems rather insulated. This still indicates above-average breathability, leading us to give the Gel Excite 10 a respectable 4 out of 5 for breathability. This makes the shoe well-suited for runs on warm summer days without becoming a sweatbox. 

This level of breathability is easy to explain when looking at a backlit cross-section of the Gel Excite 10’s upper, with the light clearly shining through the porous jacquard mesh. Only the reinforced sections around the laces and towards the rear of the shoe block out any light. 

Inspecting a section of the toebox through our microscope, we can see that it’s made of uniformly woven strands of very light synthetic fibres with lots of room for air to pass through. Moreover, the pattern opens up into much less densely woven sections with many perforations that encourage airflow throughout the shoe.

ASICS Gel Excite 10 mc

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Breathability
Test results
Gel Excite 10 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

We turn to our Dremel to simulate extreme wear and tear on the Gel Excite 10. First up to the chopping block is the shoe’s toebox, which we subjected to 3.2N of abrasive force spinning at 5K RPM. Once the tool’s grinding element was able to bite into the toebox, it seemed to make quick work of mincing up the material. 

However, upon inspecting the aftermath of the four-second test, we came to find that we had only made a small hole in the outer mesh layer, with the layer underneath almost intact. This earns the shoe a frankly impressive 3 out of 5 for toebox durability.

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Toebox durability
Test results
Gel Excite 10 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Next, we turned our attention to the Gel Excite 10’s heel counter, which our Dremel proved to be even more ineffective against. The tool’s grinding element merely skated off the lining and was unable to penetrate through to the soft padding within by the end of the four-second test. 

With only a barely visible scuff as its sole battle scar, this outstanding performance earns the Gel Excite 10 a perfect 5 out of 5 for heel padding durability. We have to commend ASICS on the quality of this shoe’s build which rivals many more premium models despite its extremely wallet-friendly price.

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Heel padding durability
Test results
Gel Excite 10 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We pressed our durometer against the Gel Excite 10’s outsole and got a much harder-than-average reading of 87.5 HA. While this bodes well in terms of the outsole’s durability, but explains its less-than-stellar traction, especially on wet surfaces. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 out dur

Here in the lab, we’ve found that, in general, softer outsole materials are better able to bite into hard surfaces like asphalt while harder ones, like the Gel Excite 10’s, are better suited to softer terrains like dirt trails. Check out this article that breaks down the different types of outsoles and their uses. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 87.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

To test the durability of the outsole, we turn to our Dremel for one last spin; this time applying the grinding element with 10K RPM of rotary force onto the shoe. It seems to go well at first until some rather unhealthy-looking chunks are cast aside toward the end of the twenty-second test. 

Eyeballing the damage afterward, we found that we had basically gone clean through one of the mini-lugs that make up the outsole’s tread pattern. However, our tread gauge reveals that we had only lopped off 0.8 mm of material from the outsole, which is slightly less than our current lab average.

ASICS Gel Excite 10

So while this implies that the Gel Excite 10’s outsole is marginally more durable than average, taking this shoe off-road too much will definitely eat away at the tread pattern which will gradually affect the shoe’s traction.

Test results
Gel Excite 10 0.8 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

At only 2.9 mm thick according to our caliper measurements, the Gel Excite 10’s outsole is slightly thinner than average. While some more rubber underfoot would have definitely improved the Gel Excite 10’s longevity, it also would have added unnecessary weight to the shoe. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Outsole thickness
Test results
Gel Excite 10 2.9 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

This brings us to the weigh-in, and we found the Gel Excite 10 to be smack-dab on par with the average road shoe at 9.45 oz (268g).

ASICS Gel Excite 10 wt

This is a pretty good weight for a daily trainer as the shoe feels rather nimble underfoot despite its generously padded heel. Moreover, the Gel Excite 10 is lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn all day without feeling like a burden on the foot.  

Test results
Gel Excite 10 9.45 oz (268g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Using our calliper, we measured the Gel Excite 10’s stack to be 35.2 mm thick at the heel.

ASICS Gel Excite 10 heel stk

This is higher than our lab average and means that heel strikers have plenty of foam underfoot to promote protective and well-cushioned landings during their runs. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 35.2 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

We measured the forefoot stack to be just shy of our current lab average at 23.4 mm thick. This is still enough foam for forefoot strikers to enjoy good impact dampening in this shoe, with only a hint of the harsh asphalt below. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Forefoot stack
Test results
Gel Excite 10 23.4 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

Despite having a stated drop height of 8 mm, the difference in our stack measurements leaves us with an accurate offset of 11.8 mm. This 3.8 mm disparity means that the Gel Excite 10 falls in the category of high-drop rather than mid-drop shoes. This definitely favours heel strikers as it promotes smooth transitions for their stride, with forefoot striking runners likely to find it too steep for comfort. We recommend the Saucony Axon 2 as a true mid-drop alternative for those runners. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Drop
Test results
Gel Excite 10 11.8 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

At 4.7 mm thick, the Gel Excite 10’s insole is right just shy of our current lab average, giving us a nice and padded surface to land on within the shoe. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Insole thickness
Test results
Gel Excite 10 4.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Pressing our durometer against the Gel Excite 10’s midsole foam gives us an average reading of 24.8 HA. ASICS Gel Excite 10 durmid

This provides us with a balanced level of cushioning that effectively dampens the impact of our landing during our test runs. 

Where the midsole lacks is in energy return, with the ride feeling rather dull underfoot. However, we can’t expect the responsiveness of a premium shoe from such a wallet-friendly daily trainer. For a more premium feeling ride, check out the ASICS Novablast 3 with its luxurious and peppy midsole.

Test results
Gel Excite 10 24.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We popped the Gel Excite 10 in the freezer for twenty minutes and took another durometer reading of the midsole. With a post-freezer reading of 28.6 HA, the Gel Excite 10 isn’t as firm as the average road shoe under similar conditions, and should still feel somewhat pliable underfoot in the harsh cold of winter. 

With only a 15.7% difference in the firmness of the midsole between warm and cold conditions, the Gel Excite 10 is much more consistent than the average road shoe, and thus shouldn’t feel too different whether out for a warm summer run or braving the cold for a winter session. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Gel Excite 10 15.7%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Despite some excessive lateral movements as we shifted our weight from side to side, the Gel Excite 10 feels pretty well-planted and steady underfoot. This is good for neutral runners, but those with pronating strides should consider more supportive shoes like the ASICS GT 1000 12 or its more premium cousin, the GT 2000 11 instead

Torsional rigidity

We were met with an average level of resistance as we attempted to bend and twist the shoe in our hands, leading us to give it a torsional rigidity score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale. This strikes a good balance between comfort and stability as the shoe allows for some natural contorting of the foot, but still maintains a relatively level landing platform for our landings. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Gel Excite’s heel counter didn’t put up much more of a fight to our manual manipulations, thus also earning it a stiffness score of 3 out of 5. This gives the shoe some structure at the rearfoot that holds our heel in place without squeezing the life out of our Achilles tendon. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Measuring the midsole at the forefoot reveals the secret to the Gel Excite’s surefooted underfoot sensation. At 120.5 mm wide according to our caliper, it’s much wider than our current lab average, giving us one heck of a robust platform for stable landings and toe-offs. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Gel Excite 10 120.5 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel isn’t quite as broad but is still a little wider than average at 91.1 mm according to our caliper. As such, heel strikers should also enjoy stable landings in the Gel Excite 10. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Gel Excite 10 91.1 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Requiring only 15N of force to torque the shoe 90 degrees in our stiffness test makes the Gel Excite 10 much more flexible than the average road shoe. This greatly factors into the shoe’s comfort as it easily bends along with the natural flexion of our foot during our stride rather than resisting it. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 15.0N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We also repeated the flex test after letting the Gel Excite 10 chill in the freezer for twenty minutes. With a barely higher force gauge reading of only 18N, the Gel Excite 10 remains incredibly flexible in the cold compared to our current lab average.

Becoming only 20.3% stiffer post-freezer makes the Gel Excite 10 an incredibly consistent shoe that will feel comfy and forgiving on the foot all year round! As such, we recommend this shoe to runners living in countries with drastic changes in weather between the seasons. 

Test results
Gel Excite 10 20.3%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

While good enough for our test runs on dry asphalt, the Gel Excite 10’s subtle tread pattern proved to be less than ideal on slick (like smooth cobblestones) or wet surfaces where it felt rather slippery. For runners who frequently contend with rain, we recommend the Nike Downshifter 12 as another budget trainer that’s grippier on wet surfaces. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Measuring 98.3 mm wide at its widest point, the Gel Excite 10’s toebox is within range of our current average for road shoes. This means that, apart from runners with very broad feet, the toebox should be accommodating enough for most runners. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Gel Excite 10 98.3 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Moving up to the big toe, we measured the toebox to be 76.9 mm wide which is also on par with our current lab average. This means that most runners should have enough room to splay out comfortably within the shoe, except, again, those with very broad feet. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Gel Excite 10 76.9 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Gel Excite 10’s tongue is non-gusseted, though we didn’t experience any slippage during our test runs.  

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Gel Excite 10 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Using our caliper, we measured the tongue to be 5.6 mm thick. This is within range of our current lab average and provided us with a comfortable and secure midfoot lockdown, with no hint of lace bite during our test runs. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Tongue padding
Test results
Gel Excite 10 5.6 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The Gel Excite 10 features a handy finger loop at the heel, although we didn’t make much use of it as the shoe is already quite easy to slip in and out of. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Heel tab
Test results
Gel Excite 10 Finger loop

Removable insole

The Gel Excite 10’s insole isn't glued in, making it easy to remove and replace with custom orthotics wherever necessary. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Removable insole
Test results
Gel Excite 10 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

With no reflective element to be found on the shoe, the Gel Excite 10 does nothing for nighttime visibility. We therefore recommend that runners stick to well-lit routes and/or make use of additional high-vis gear when out for nocturnal sessions. 

ASICS Gel Excite 10 Reflective elements
Test results
Gel Excite 10 No