- 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
- Flytefoam could offer better energy return
- Upper lacks durability
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.
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.
Additionally, 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.
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.
Finally, we turned to our microscope in the lab. We wanted to closely inspect those breathability holes.
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.
|GT 1000 12||5|
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.
|GT 1000 12||1|
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!
|GT 1000 12||5|
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.
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?
|GT 1000 12||74.8 HC|
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.
|GT 1000 12||0.7 mm|
Adding to its impressive features, the ASICS designers made sure to prioritize 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.
|GT 1000 12||4.8 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||9.56 oz (271g)|
|Average||9.42 oz (267g)|
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.
|GT 1000 12||30.2 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||23.0 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||7.2 mm|
Our measurements show a 4.7-mm insole—pretty standard in thickness. It's lightweight and provides ample comfort.
|GT 1000 12||4.7 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||12.8 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.
|GT 1000 12||62.7%|
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.
The ASICS GT 1000 11 was an excellent cross-training or walking shoe. Its outstanding comfort in the past made us hope for a continuation of that trend. Thankfully, this model lived up to our hopes.
We assigned it a score of 3/5—a surprisingly low figure for a stability shoe, indicating its commendable flexibility and great comfort.
|GT 1000 12||3|
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.
|GT 1000 12||3|
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.
|GT 1000 12||114.9 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.
|GT 1000 12||90.8 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||12.0N|
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!
|GT 1000 12||23.8%|
Size and fit
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.
|GT 1000 12||271.1 mm|
Toebox width at the widest part
The earlier version of the GT 1000 wasn't too welcoming for those with wide feet. Recognizing this, ASICS redesigned the upper to be more accommodating.
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.
|GT 1000 12||100.7 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.
|GT 1000 12||79.7 mm|
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.
|GT 1000 12||None|
After cutting the upper from the shoe in our lab, we discovered the tongue padding was insanely thick.
Hence, we quickly grabbed our caliper and found that it measured a whopping 10.1 mm with two foam layers. That's COMFORT.
|GT 1000 12||10.1 mm|
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!
|GT 1000 12||None|
You can easily take out the insole, and we were able to swap in custom orthotics and insoles from many other shoes.
|GT 1000 12||Yes|
Unfortunately, ASICS seemed to think that reflective elements were no big deal.
|GT 1000 12||No|