For years, the GT-1000 has been sort of emblematic of a lot of “Big Box” shoes (ones sold to casual athletes at Dick’s and the like): cheap, stiff, trying to puff up their image, poorly constructed. But this year, it seems as though Asics has made maybe the best shoe for this particular market.
Now with FlyteFoam and eliminating the visible Gel (the Gel is still there in the heel, you just can’t see it), the shoe has shed weight and become much more responsive. Whereas previous versions were clunky and flat, there’s a lightness here and a certain amount of bounce. I was really very shocked, in a good way. While the Gel and FlyteFoam are in the heel, the forefoot is also responsive, which I suspect is the outsole rubber being softer. The medial support (this is a stability shoe) is also more graduated and natural.
The upper has a great fit, with plenty of room where you need it. The midfoot wrap aids in stability without stiffness, so overall, it feels mostly like a neutral shoe. One quibble is the tongue, which is very short. It reminds us of the New Balance Zante, a trainer/racer hybrid.
The GT-1000 7 has astounding characteristics for a shoe that is essentially not meant for serious runners, and Asics even knocked $10 off the price, to bring it down to $90! At this price level, you won’t find a more complete stability shoe.