Our verdict

The ASICS GT 1000 12 maintains its reputation as a versatile stability running shoe. With fantastic comfort and impressive breathability, this shoe transitioned seamlessly into cross-training or walks around the block during our tests. And it's a gem for those looking to score a stability shoe without breaking the bank. Yet, while it covers most bases beautifully, we think speed enthusiasts might find the Flytefoam midsole lacks energy return.

Pros

  • Incredible value for the price
  • Cushioned and soft midsole
  • Offers great stability
  • GEL technology in the heel
  • Perfectly comfortable for cross-training or walking
  • Built to endure long-distance runs
  • Offers exceptional breathability
  • Durable outsole with a long lifespan

Cons

  • Flytefoam could offer better energy return
  • Upper lacks durability

Audience verdict

82
Good!

Who should buy

The ASICS GT 1000 12 stands out for several reasons. We found that it's a top pick for:

  • Folks looking for a budget-friendly and plush stability shoe.
  • Runners wanting a do-it-all shoe that offers more stability than your average neutral trainer.
  • Anyone on the hunt for a stability running shoe that offers out-of-this-world breathability and comfort.

Asics GT 1000 12

Who should NOT buy

The key area where we found the GT 1000 12 might not meet everyone's expectations is its midsole. By today's standards, it's on the thinner side. If you're in the market for a shoe with more cushioning, you might be left wanting. For those seeking more foam, the ASICS Gel Kayano 30 and Hoka Gaviota 5 are solid choices, but they come with a heftier price tag.

In our view, runners who lean towards a shoe with a natural, firmer feel and better energy return might need to look elsewhere. The Saucony Guide 16 is a nice alternative for them, as the GT 1000 12 isn't designed with these features in mind.

Asics GT 1000 12

Breathability

Hyper-breathable monomesh uppers often feature in premium, pricey shoes like the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+. However, the GT 1000's 12th version by ASICS challenges that notion, offering a top-tier upper at an affordable rate.

We're always excited for the breathability test in our lab. It's not just because watching it is fascinating, but it truly helps us gauge airflow in every shoe.

After employing our smoke-pumping machine on the GT 1000 12, we happily awarded it a perfect 5/5 score. This score demonstrates its impressive performance!

So, how does this shoe achieve such stellar airflow? We discovered that it's largely due to the countless breathability holes in the upper.

Unlike many other shoes that have these holes primarily in the toebox, the GT 1000 12 boasts them in the medial section too. This is a rare feature and can be game-changing for runners in warmer regions.

Asics GT 1000 12 microscope

Finally, we turned to our microscope in the lab. We wanted to closely inspect those breathability holes.

Asics GT 1000 12 micro

Upon closer look, we found that ASICS uses a two-layer setup in the engineered mesh, ensuring that while air flows freely, the holes are still protected.

Test results
GT 1000 12 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 230 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Typically, when shoes excel in airflow, they compromise on the durability of the upper, and we found this to be true here.

Sadly, after putting the GT 1000 12 to the test, we had to gave it a mere 1/5. The upper couldn't withstand our Dremel and passed away in record time. The comparison with the On Cloudswift 3 is striking.

Asics GT 1000 12 Toebox durability
Test results
GT 1000 12 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

When we examined the heel, we had admittedly low expectations. Often, a low score in the toebox tends to indicate a similar outcome in the heel padding. Yet, this ASICS pleasantly surprised us. We were genuinely astounded by the results—an impressive perfect score of 5/5, a rarity in this test.

For runners who often experience wear and tear in the heel padding, this shoe might be the answer. The leap from the ASICS GlideRide 3 is truly remarkable—such a significant improvement!

Asics GT 1000 12 Heel padding durability
Test results
GT 1000 12 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 160 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Turning our attention to the outsole, we initially wanted to assess the amount of exposed foam. In our lab tests of the GT 1000 12, we discovered that the shoe had about a 60/40 coverage.

This design features smart cutouts in the forefoot, primarily for enhanced flexibility, but we'll delve into that later.

Asics GT 1000 12 outsole

When we measured the outsole's hardness, we found a 74.8 HC result. This is on the softer side, which likely contributes to the impressive grip we felt during testing. However, we're left wondering: might this affect its long-term durability?

Asics GT 1000 12 Outsole hardness
Test results
GT 1000 12 74.8 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

The answer is... no! 

We put the Dremel to work one more time and were pleased to discover that it only managed to create a 0.7-mm indentation in the rubber.

Asics GT 1000 12 Outsole durability
Test results
GT 1000 12 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 142 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Adding to its impressive features, the ASICS designers made sure to prioritise durability in the shoe's outsole.

In our lab tests, we measured 4.8 mm of rubber—significantly more than the average shoe. They clearly wanted to ensure that this one wouldn't wear out quickly.

Asics GT 1000 12 Outsole thickness
Test results
GT 1000 12 4.8 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

And there's more good news! Weighing in at a sleek 9.6 oz (271g), this shoe is a standout contender for the best budget-friendly stability shoe out there. It's not that usual for us to test stability shoes that weigh below 10 oz.

Asics GT 1000 12 Weight
Test results
GT 1000 12 9.56 oz (271g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

When we examined the midsole, we found a 30.2 mm stack height in the heel. While this might seem low-profile compared to current trends, it provides a respectable amount of cushioning.

Yet, for heavy runners who aim to have more cushion combined with support, the Brooks GTS Adrenaline 23 offers a heel stack of 34.1 mm.

Asics GT 1000 12 Heel stack
Test results
GT 1000 12 30.2 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

At the forefoot measuring point, we discovered a stack height of 23.0 mm.

This is much like what we found in the heel—ample for most runners and a good balance for maintaining a lighter shoe weight.

Asics GT 1000 12 Forefoot stack
Test results
GT 1000 12 23.0 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

The difference between the heel and forefoot gives a 7.2-mm heel-to-toe drop. We found that this design approach suits nearly all runners, regardless of which part of the foot first hits the ground during a run. 

Asics GT 1000 12 Drop
Test results
GT 1000 12 7.2 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Our measurements show a 4.7-mm insole—pretty standard in thickness. It's lightweight and provides ample comfort.

Asics GT 1000 12 Insole thickness
Test results
GT 1000 12 4.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 296 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.

The ASICS GT 1000 12 isn't ASICS' top-of-the-line stability shoe. So, in our lab, we found that obviously it doesn't have their best training foam (FF Blast+).

The midsole mainly consists of Flytefoam—a soft EVA. Its main drawback? It doesn't offer much energy return. But rest assured, it's a great midsole unless you're looking for peak performance.

Asics GT 1000 12 Midsole softness
Test results
GT 1000 12 12.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 228 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

Unfortunately, Flytefoam doesn't perform well in cold weather—it becomes firmer. We placed the shoe in the freezer for a quick 20 minutes and then tested it.

Our results showed a concerning 20.8 HA reading.

This is a 62.7% increase—which is truly discouraging. This clearly indicates that you'll feel a noticeable difference when using these shoes during cold winter runs.

Asics GT 1000 12 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
GT 1000 12 62.7%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 227 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Promoted by ASICS as a budget-friendly stability daily trainer, we were eager to test it. Indeed, we found it to be very stable.

ASICS integrated GEL—a classic feature of the Japanese brand—into the outer portion of the heel. This helps offset the potential instability from the soft foam and subtly corrected our stride when running.

Torsional rigidity

No heel tab on this saga yet, but we've been sliding our feet in without a problem. Anyway, fingers crossed for a tab in v13!

Test results
GT 1000 12 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 279 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

This trend continues with the heel counter. Instead of aiming for extreme stiffness to guarantee maximum stability, the 3/5 score indicates ASICS sought a balance with comfort.

Test results
GT 1000 12 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We've measured the width of the GT 1000 12 at 114.9 mm, and for a stability shoe, it falls short.

Ideally, we'd want ample width to guarantee neutral landings. While it's a bit wider than the previous model, it only earns a D from us in this exam.

Asics GT 1000 12 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
GT 1000 12 114.9 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

After the forefoot, we measured the heel. We found that at 90.8, it's pretty average when stacked against other shoes. However, for a stability shoe, it slightly misses the mark.

Asics GT 1000 12 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
GT 1000 12 90.8 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Remember when we mentioned the outsole cutouts designed to boost the shoe's flexibility? Well, they're genuinely working wonders. Paired with the plush Flytefoam midsole, the shoe boasts remarkable flexibility. 

In our lab test, with a reading of just 12.0N at a 90-degree bend, this shoe stands out as one of the most impressively flexible models we've ever encountered. This result highlights ASICS' efforts to create a versatile-yet-stable shoe.

Test results
GT 1000 12 12.0N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

The Flytefoam midsole became too firm after its time in the freezer, but its stiffness didn't change much. We measured it again in the lab and got a reading of 14.8N. That's good news!

We measured a 23.8% increase, which is impressive. It even beats some of the premium shoes!

Test results
GT 1000 12 23.8%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

ASICS consistently gets the shoe length just right, and this one is no exception. We measured it at 271.1 mm—only 1.1 mm more than what the tag states.

Asics GT 1000 12 Internal length
Test results
GT 1000 12 271.1 mm
Average 269.2 mm
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
259.9 mm
Internal length
280.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

The earlier version of the GT 1000 wasn't too welcoming for those with wide feet. Recognising this, ASICS redesigned the upper to be more accommodating.

Asics GT 1000 12

We measured it and found that at its broadest point, it's a generous 100.7 mm. This change means it now comfortably fits a wider range of foot shapes.

Asics GT 1000 12 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
GT 1000 12 100.7 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

In the area around the big toe, the shoe maintains its roomy design. We measured it and discovered that at 79.7 mm, it offers more width than many other running shoes in the market.

Asics GT 1000 12 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
GT 1000 12 79.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 175 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Heel feel

We've measured the width of the GT 1000 12 at 114.9 mm, and for a stability shoe, it falls short.

Ideally, we'd want ample width to guarantee neutral landings. While it's a bit wider than the previous model, it only earns a D from us in this exam.

Tongue: gusset type

For just a hundred bucks, this shoe is full of awesome features. That's why we hoped to find a fancy gusseted tongue when we popped open the box. Unfortunately, it looks like the v12 still rocks the classic non-gusseted tongue.

Asics GT 1000 12 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
GT 1000 12 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

After cutting the upper from the shoe in our lab, we discovered the tongue padding was insanely thick.

Hence, we quickly grabbed our calliper and found that it measured a whopping 10.1 mm with two foam layers. That's COMFORT.

Asics GT 1000 12 Tongue padding
Test results
GT 1000 12 10.1 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

No heel tab on this saga yet, but we've been sliding our feet in without a problem. Anyway, fingers crossed for a tab in v13!

Asics GT 1000 12 Heel tab
Test results
GT 1000 12 None

Removable insole

You can easily take out the insole, and we were able to swap in custom orthotics and insoles from many other shoes.

Asics GT 1000 12 Removable insole
Test results
GT 1000 12 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Unfortunately, ASICS seemed to think that reflective elements were no big deal.

Asics GT 1000 12 Reflective elements
Test results
GT 1000 12 No