The DS trainer returns again as the sleeper hit of ASICS’ arsenal of shoes. It is a fast shoe that introduces ASICS’ coveted new FlyteFoam mid sole.
Thanks to the new mid sole material, it floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. I have been an avid follower of this shoe for a few years now and couldn’t wait to this these out.
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 General Info
This is the 22nd edition of the light stability shoe and is the slightly heavier counterpart to the DS Racer line by ASICS. It is a less advertised model when compared to the likes of the Nimbus, Kayano or GT-2000 line; but still maintains an loyal following.
I have been a fan of this shoe since the 19, so I was very excited to get to test this again. I loved the colorway for this edition. It had just the right amount of pop to it.
Definitely a shoe I would wear both in training and when I’m not in running clothes. It was bittersweet knowing that this would likely be the only color scheme though.
First fit impressions were positive. The upper was snug and felt incredibly sturdy. The introduction of the flytefoam made the shoe incredibly light yet provided more than enough stability when paired with the dynamic duomax system
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 Sole Unit
The sole is exceptionally well constructed. The foundation remains mostly the same from previous versions. Everything runners have grown to love in ASICS is here.
The Dynamic Duomax support system is in the forefoot giving just the right amount of over pronation protection and the guidance line system keeps you in control.
The introduction of new tech really sets it above the bar. The material of the midsole has had a complete overhaul thanks to the addition of ASICS’ new FlyteFoam technology.
Flytefoam was introduced last year to the higher price tiered models such as the Kayano and DynaFlyte. This season, it is being trickled out to several shoes in the mid price range.
DynaFlyte boasts to be its lightest material yet and boasts to be 55% lighter than the “industry standard’. While I am not sure what the exact number is of the ‘industry standard’, it is extraordinarily light and attributes to the lighter weight in this edition.
It gives a light, explosive ride and worked exceptionally well when I would do tempo runs. The foam absorbed shock and acted as a springboard allowing me to lift off fast.
It is Incredibly flexible and It didn’t feel like there was a 10mm drop at all; it felt reminiscent of one with much lower drop.
The forefoot has tiny individually raised treads which was one of my favorite parts of it. This translates to superior control in any condition. It was introduced in the DS Trainer 20 and it continues to be perfected.
It allowed me to make hairpin turns easily and have complete control in inclement weather during testing. This included heavy rain and even ice (thanks Maryland weather!).
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 Upper Info
The upper continues to improve from the missteps that were made in the DS Trainer 20s. The 20’s upper took a misstep in the material of the seamless upper. The 21 saw to correct it and the 22 perfected it.
Breathable mesh is seen throughout the shoe. It conforms to your foot giving it a glove like feel. This makes the fit incredibly true to size.
The toe box has ample room but it is somewhat narrow, something I have grown to expect with ASICS. The snugness didn’t bother me but I did feel like I was spilling out from the sides every so slightly. I would suggest buying half a size up to combat against this.
The heel has a hard plastic exoskeleton that locked me in and didn’t have me swimming around in it. There is a large reflective accent on the rear as well; a nice touch of security for running in the dark winter months.
The lacing is a singular unit and fit to the top of my foot nicely. No issues with any hot spots and it felt even throughout.
My only issue with the upper was the thin construction of the tongue. It is mostly detached from the shoe, just sewn in on the bottom lace with a fabric loop on the midfoot.
Very early on, the sides of the tongue started to fold in because of this. I had to stay conscious of this when I laced up otherwise my socks would be exposed. It would have been nice to see more of a booty construction, such as New Balance’s Vazee Prism.
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 Conclusions
The DS trainers have always been good to me both in racing and in training. These were no exception. Recovery and shakeout runs were positive, but I had best results doing tempo workouts and fast paced long runs.
I feel lucky to have discovered these shoes and always found it strange that it is not as heavily marketed and isnt offered in as many styles.
I like the colors of this edition, but only one colorway doesnt sell me on buying multiple pairs to rotate.
The price is just right and is light enough to appeal to runners needing a fast shoe either as their main trainer.
Despite the name trainer, these could easily be a race day shoe. Definitely a trainer that is a racing shoe in disguise.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel-DS Trainer 22 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.