Having previously a pair of Asics Gel-Pulse 6, which I had no complaints about, it felt natural to upgrade to a newer model when I needed a replacement pair. Being more of a hobbyist runner (runs range from 5km to 10km, about 3 times a week), I gave myself a budget of £50-£60 which should be adequate to get a good midrange pair of running shoes.
The Gel Pulse 9 fits right in that price bracket and feature many of the technological advancements as the Asics top range shoes such as the Gel shock absorber. However, the Gel feature is only evident in the heel. For those that are heavy on the midsole or toes, this may be a problem, heel pounders (like myself) should be okay.
One big change from the Asics Gel-Pulse 6 to the 9 is the appearance. The 6 was a little insipid and bland. The 9, however, is a much more visually appealing shoe, especially in the blue and orange combination.
It does still look a little dated with visible stitching and patchwork in abundance and lacks the sleekness of the modern single upper design featured on many contemporary rivals — overall a good mixture of style, technology, and value for money.
From past experience of Asics, I found their sizes to be somewhat on the small size, and these are no exception. In previous Asics trainers, I needed a full size up, but the Gel-Pulse 9 provides a nice snug fit in the heel and midsole with only a half size up.
Weighing in at 341g per shoe (slightly heavier than my Reebok Harmony Roads), they feel light and agile on my feet as compared to the Reeboks, but would probably feel slightly clunky next to the latest incarnation of trainer such as Nike Pegasus, etc.
The toe space is more than adequate with plenty of wiggle room. One issue I have found is that although the heel feels snug, I do find that my right heel slips on every now and then.
This anomaly has never caused injury (blisters, etc.) but does provide a little annoyance. Overall a good solid, comfortable, and snug-fitting trainer.
The sole feels supportive, not spongey when running with very little force of impact felt by the foot. The midsole features hardened rubber/plastic that provides strength and rigidity with the consequences of restricting flexibility.
For me, that is not a problem. The sole provides good grip on the road in all weathers and with varying inclines and declines. After 150km, there is very little wear and tear.
Zero visible compression stress marks on the foam or in the visible gel bubble. There is, however, a noticeable smoothing of the grips on the rear of the sole; evidence of my heel striking technique.
Nonetheless, I would still expect to complete another 350km before retiring them out for dog walking. The upper provides good ventilation apart from hot conditions when I find my feet get almost uncomfortably too warm.
Overall a good performance; firm and supportive.
- An attractive, sleek traditional style shoe but does look a little dated when compared to modern single upper contemporary designs.
- Comfortable and snug fit.
- Features technology, as found on the top range running trainers from Asics.
- Provide a firm/supportive running experience.
- Flexibility is slightly restricted by a solid midsole.
- Doesn’t run true to size.
- Most of the shock absorption is found in the heel.
Overall a good solid midrange traditional style running shoe from a trusted brand that provides very good value for money. Ideal for midrange (5km to 10km) distance running that the majority of hobbyist do on a weekly basis.
Updates to Asics Gel Pulse 9
- The Asics Gel Pulse 9 is a running shoe that’s designed for those who have neutral pronation. It is also constructed to function well on the roads. It uses a high-quality midsole material to support the foot throughout the running session while also resisting material breakdown due to frequent use. The AHAR® Ride+ is an outsole material that is touted to be three times more durable than the standard compounds used in other Asics shoes.
- The upper unit of the Gel Pulse 9 utilizes a breathable mesh to maintain ventilation inside the foot-chamber. The emphasis on printed overlays makes this model stand out from its immediate predecessor, the Asics Gel Pulse 8, though it is worth noting that the Asics logos on the sides are still stitched-on panels.
Size and fit
The Asics Gel Pulse 9 has a standard running shoe length. Consumers can get a pair using their preferred sizing scheme. When it comes to width, the available options are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. Those whose feet have medium dimensions are the ones who are going to mostly benefit from this product.
The SpEVA® 45 lasting material is used in this road shoe. It’s a cushioned board that connects the upper to the platform. The soft structure adds a bit more to the rich underfoot experience of the Gel Pulse 9.
Just like the popular Asics Gel Contend 4, the outsole unit of the Asics Gel Pulse 9 features the AHAR® Ride+, which is made of high-quality rubber. This layer is meant to shield the rest of the platform from the debilitating effects of surface contact and continued use. It is also tasked with giving traction over the ground.
The forefoot and heel have shallow grooves. These horizontal trenches make the sole unit adherent to the bending capacity of the foot. The toe-off phase benefits the most from this design as it is the part that highly involves foot flexibility.
SpeEVA® serves as the primary cushioning unit of the Asics Gel Pulse 9. It has a bouncy nature and durable construction to blend responsiveness and long-lasting support in one package.
The heel and forefoot sections feature the GEL® Cushioning System, a silicon-based material that’s tasked with attenuating impact during the landing phase of the gait cycle.
The Trusstic System is a thermoplastic piece that’s added to the midfoot section. Its task is to bolster the structural integrity of the foam and support the tendons and muscles of the underfoot.
The Guidance Line is a vertical groove that runs from the rear to the front. This single hollowed-out line assists the foot when it comes to taking each step, smoothening the gait and energizing the running output.
A sockliner is placed on top of the main cushioning system. This add-on offers some more cushioning. It can be removed or replaced with a custom insert of the wearer’s choosing.
A breathable mesh is used for the upper unit of the Asics Gel Pulse 9. This porous material accommodates the natural shape and motion of the foot. It also welcomes environmental air into the interior chamber, thereby cooling the foot and keeping it dry.
Synthetic overlays are fused onto strategic areas of the façade. These thin prints heighten durability and secure the foot.
The Asics logo serves as stitched-on panels on the sides of the façade. These extra layers help the traditional lacing system when it comes to hugging the foot and preventing in-shoe wobbling.
Semi-round shoelaces loop through eyelets that are reinforced by synthetic prints. The job of these strands is to adjust the tightness or looseness of the coverage, making strides to adapt to the fit preferences of the wearer.
The padded collar and tongue are crafted to cushion the upper portions of the foot, including the instep, the heel, and the ankles. These parts of the shoe are also responsible for averting accidental shoe removals.
Parts of the silhouette have reflective details on them. The purpose of this feature is to make the shoe more visible when running in low-light conditions. Active individuals to desire running at night may have confidence as their footwear employs an article that can avert any accidents on the road.