Duel review: Asics GT-2000v4 vs. Saucony Guide 9

So, you’re in the market for new running shoes. You don’t need anything fancy, just a little support, a traditional type of shoe. Hey, you hear Saucony and Asics had some recent releases that are what you’re looking for! But which one is for you?

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So, Saucony has recently trotted out its new cushioning system, EveRun. This replaces their PowerGrid, although you can still see elements of the latter’s net pattern on the heels of the 2016 shoes. For the most part, it works pretty good! It’s not revolutionary, but it may have helped give a smoother transition (although there may be other reasons for that; see below).

Asics, meanwhile, is keeping on that Gel life. You know it, you love it (or don’t), it’s been around for decades. Quick reminder: Gel absorbs impact a bit better than foam, but the trade off is that it’s heavier. Sorry, there’s no spider silk midsole, yet (get on it, Peter Parker).

So the biggest difference in motion seemed to be the transition (the part of your stride where your heel or midfoot strikes the ground and rolls/transitions forward until you push off your toes). Asics is refusing to remove that plastic shank on the majority of its models, so this give the outsole less ground contact. Saucony (and most other brands) has a full-contact sole, although the Everun may also be helping.

Think of this difference as a wheel. One wheel is a normal circle, then the other is a circle with small indents. They’ll both roll, but the indented wheel will be a little more “start-stop”. Although some people swear by Asics and this doesn’t bother them (in fact, my racing shoes are Asics), it irked me on this comparison.

The arches are both on the higher side, for stability shoes. They might have taken notes from the Nike Structure 18, which was a well-received support shoe with an uncharacteristically high arch.

The Guide did seem to have a more responsive forefoot, while the GT-2000 had a softer heel. The only other major difference one might look into is their own foot shape (see chart above). These models really are quite similar, which makes sense. They were built to fill in the same niche and are inter-company equivalents. The Guide is a little lighter, quicker, and the GT-2000 is a tad more plush.

Winner: None! Surprisingly. Definitely get in-store and try these out before deciding (although I’d probably give my money to the Guide, for my running style).

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