ASICS is getting your body to work with momentum with its latest running shoe, dubbed the GlideRide. Based on technologies first introduced on the very pricey MetaRide shoe from a couple of years back, the star component of the GlideRide is the GuideSole, an ergonomic precision shaped curved sole that is claimed to reduce energy loss while you are running.
It works by supposedly minimising lower leg movement through the stride, to give a feeling of effortless coasting. The idea is to allow you to go further for the same amount of energy expanded.
The GlideRide feels different from most regular long distance shoes the moment it is worn. There is a very pronounced curve along the length of the shoe that gives it a rocker-like effect, similar to what you might find in shoes from HOKA ONE ONE. The view of the shoe from the side confirms this, with the forefoot sector being raised quite aggressively upwards.
An embedded plastic plate is supposed to help control your foot motion and provide some extra snap at take-off, and the impact cushioning is provided by the FlyteFoam midsole and a sliver of GEL material at the heel. There’s an obvious two-section division along the length of the midsole too.
Real-world drop height measures to be about 5mm, and the toebox is roomy in the usual ASICS tradition. It favours a moderately quick turn of pace when used for running, thanks to the GuideSole’s snappy characteristics. It doesn’t claim to have the spring of Nike’s carbon fibre equipped Vaporfly, but this shoe is designed for a different style of running.
ASICS researchers claim that runners waste a lot of energy at the ankle joint, and the GlideRide is tuned to provide a stable back to front transition with an additional snap at toe-off, essentially allowing your feet to rock from landing towards take-off efficiently for every step. This helps to maintain your forward momentum, and like a clock pendulum, you are supposed to be able to keep swinging forwards until physical exhaustion.
That’s the theory anyway.
However, the fact is the GlideRide does feel pretty effortless to run in if you’re a 165 steps per minute and higher type of runner. There’s a subtle feel of it carrying your momentum with every step. Slow down your cadence however, it feels slightly awkward, like the shoe is encouraging you to move your feet faster.
It’s also very light when compared to some of the competition, and feels nicely ventilated along the uppers, which you’ll really feel on hot days. At an asking price of S$239 in Singapore, it’s definitely a running shoe aimed at the upper end of the scene. The bottom line is that this is a shoe that doesn’t claim to make you faster, but is designed to help you conserve energy by limiting unnecessary movements at the ankle joint.