The DS trainer was completely overhauled for the 20th edition. New material, new features in the sole unit and an overhaul in weight cutting an ounce off of last year’s model.
This is the sleeper hit that ASICS offers and is a personal favorite of mine. It’s a shoe for someone who wants to dabble in lightweight shoes for their tempo runs or on race days.
It is not overwhelmingly light though, so it’s not like doing a canonball in the deep end.
The price is right and it looks great with vibrant colors. I would like to see more colors offered, but that does not appear to be a pattern with this model as there has only been one colorway offered in the past.
The shoe did great in runs shorter than 10 miles. I didn’t get to try them in a race, but there is a weekly group run that I do in my neighborhood.
This is with people who are a bit faster than me so it is my weekly tempo where I am maxing myself out. I got to stay with them the entire way, which can be hard at times.
The lightness of the shoe combined with the construction of the sole allowed me to really excel.
I managed to run a couple longer double digit runs in these. While I liked being pushed forward and my average pace being faster than normal, I paid for it the next day with dead legs.
It’s hard to run at a slower pace in these, which I need to do when I am putting in high volume. I would save the longer runs in these for race day.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 20 General Info
Like it says on the heel, this is the 20th anniversary in ASICS’ long standing line. It is meant for athletes looking for a light ride but not sacrificing support along the way.
I loved running in the 19s so I was very excited to get these. The colors immediately stood out to me and the seamless design of the upper was one I had not yet seen in ASICS shoes I normally wear.
Trying them on gave me the same snug feel as I have come to expect with ASCIS. I was a little worried at first with the fit, but once I actually took them for a run my nerves were calmed.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 20 Sole Info
If you have ran in ASICS before, then you know what’s down here. The trademark gel is ever-present on the outer of the heel to absorb shock. It works together with the dynamic duomax support system platform to be firm, yet light.
The construction of the shoe naturally pushes you forward. On the forefoot is enhanced gripping. There are smaller pieces of rubber here that really enhance control on the front side of your foot.
In my eyes, this was the biggest improvement between the last edition and this one. I had better control than before. The gripping plus the enhanced forefoot acted as a spring board which helped me put in some very fast miles.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 20 Upper Info
The upper portion is completely different in this model. Gone is the mesh, replacing it with a seamless material. It is totally breathable and forms to your foot.
It fits like a glove, leaving enough wiggle room in the toe box. I have a fairly wide foot, so it was a little snug. If you are not a fan of shoes fitting too snug, definitely buy a half size up.
The heel clutching system is improved further, with hard plastic on the foot that locks your foot in but is not intrusive. This assisted with absorbing shock and giving optimal stability.
I did have issues with the wear of the material. About halfway through my testing, the material started to separate from the ASICS logo on the shoe.
Toward the end, the material was peeling away from the toe. I was dissapointed with this, because this is wear and tear that I would expect much later in the life of the shoe.
Thankfully it didn’t tear, because the material is pretty durable, it’s just not constructed well to the other parts of the shoe.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 20 Conclusions
The shoe is lightweight and is designed for speed. If you are looking for speed, then this shoe is for you. The improvements in this edition are bountiful and you will really be impressed with how it is going to make you fly.
I really wish the upper construction was designed a little better because otherwise this would get a perfect score.
The wear of it didn’t affect me during testing, but I could see this shoe being retired prematurely from the material on the upper falling apart.
Overall though, if you are looking for a fast PR, this is the shoe for you.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel DS Trainer 20 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.