For runners who prefer a little bit of stability even when they’re racing fast, the ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 22 women’s is a secure option. It is a neutral shoe, but our moderately overpronating tester found it was perfect for fast speedwork and it would be a great racing shoe, especially over longer distances.
At 187g, it’s not the lightest speed shoe on the market, but in real-life running you won’t notice the 50g or so it has on the very lightest models. This is still a very slimmed down shoe. In fact, weight is one area that this latest version of the DS Trainer has moved on. It’s one of the trio of FlyteFoam shoes launched by ASICS in March 2017, featuring the new midsole foam that the brand says is 55 per cent lighter than the industry standard. Further cushioning comes from GEL inserts in both the rearfoot and forefoot.
That feeling of stability comes from a few different features. The stiff external clutch counter on the heel helps your foot feel really secure. The Propulsion Trusstic – a plastic unit in the midsole and outsole that is designed to help enhance the foot’s natural propulsion during the heel to toe phase – adds a firmness to the ride that, though not necessarily intended to aid control, does make you feel more stable as you run. And the subtle bonded overlays on the upper help to give a snug fit, too. The shoe has a 10mm drop, which definitely suits heel strikers better than some of the flatter profiles on the market. The only thing that didn’t quite work for our tester was the fit seemed pretty narrow, but that’s nothing a shop fitting can’t sort out for you.
Out on the road, this shoe is a really firm and responsive speed shoe. Grip from the outsole is fantastic, too. Because of that solid feel, it’s a shoe that can feel a little flat at slower paces, but when you’re up to speed you’ll appreciate the immediate energy return that it gives. It’s well built, too, so perfect for those who tend to do speedwork on unforgiving roads rather than the track.
Overall, this is a great fast shoe for neutral runners who want a firm ride, or mild overpronators looking for a responsive race-day shoe.