Asics Gel-Excel 33 2 General Info:
This is the improved second version to Asics flagship shoe in the 33 collection. Upgrades to the shoe have improved upon the shoes already impressive responsiveness, and changes to the trusstic system have given the shoe a nice even base.
Asics continues to use sound science and engineering to produce this flexible high-mileage shoe.
Asics Gel-Excel 33 2 First Impression:
Upon unboxing the shoe my initial thoughts were fairly positive. The shoe was light, flexible, and fairly simple.
Initially it appeared that there were no major changes to the shoe from its predecessor particularly in the upper. Once I put the shoe on the fit was comfortable and roomy without being sloppy.
Asics Gel-Excel 33 2 Sole Unit:
The midsole of the Excel v2 is still composed of two different EVA materials. Directly under the foot, running the full length laterally before terminating medially at the midfoot, is the spEVAlayer for improved cushioning and comfort. Under that, the bottom layer is made of SoLyte – a denser and resilient foam material that offers better energy return and stability. The Marriage of the two helps reduce impact and stress, but at the same time maintaining a good solid platform connected to the ground that provides consistent energy return. A gel cushioning unit is still prevalent in the heel that was modest and kept in line with the shoes overall natural feel and rotation.
The Trusstic system has been modified slightly this go round. Asics has gone away from the shank type truss block and replaced it with a more beam type construction. This has streamlined the system giving it a cleaner look, and improving its efficiency slightly. The one-piece beam system is still located in the arch of the foot and rays out both medially and laterally to the forefoot.
I found that this new trusstic system provided enjoyable propulsion through the gait cycle particularly at toe off and higher speeds.
Segmented grooves along the midfoot combined with the guidance line keep the shoe super flexible and connected with the ground. The heightened flexibility kept my gait more natural feeling and uncompromised.
Asics High abrasion rubber finishes off the midsole. I found this outsole to be particularly durable showing very little signs of wear after approximately 200+ miles of use. In addition to the durability the ride is smooth, quiet, and traction is just right even in wet conditions.
Asics Gel-Excel 33 2 Upper:
Once I had laced the shoe to my foot the upper was snug, comfortable, and soft. The mesh component of the upper remains similar as before just slightly more of it. This is due to a slight restructuring of the overlays across to metatarsal area of the fore foot.
The only problem that I was able to find with this was that the mesh seemed to be breaking down is this area faster than any other area of the shoe. This could decrease the shoes life expectancy as I could see it compromising the integrity of the upper as time goes on.
Asics heel clutch is still utilized vs. a traditional heel counter and worked flawlessly at keeping my heel locked in position.
Asics Gel-Excel 33 2 Opinion:
The Gel-Excel 33v2 offered a sensational smooth ride that seemed only to improve the faster I ran. The shoes really allow you to feel the ground without ever lacking cushioning. The energy return of this shoe is particularly what I appreciated, and I think the reengineering of the Trusstic system made this possible.
Over all this is a superb trainer for the neutral or mild over pronating runner seeking out a solid road shoe. Runners should be impressed with the shoes flexibility, cushioning, and ability to withstand serious mileage.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel-Excel 33 2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.