Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 Intro
The ASICS Gel DS Trainer has been around as long as Gel-Kayano ~we’re talking early 90’s!~ yet it’s flown under my radar until more recently.
To last through 24 versions means it has some loyal fans, and now I know why: while lacking the plush support of Kayano and structured fit of the brand’s GT lines, the DS-trainer is secure enough to lightly skip through speed workouts and the finish tape, with grip that surpasses any road shoe I’ve tried.
Updates to this version include a new performance knit upper—ASICS’ first—with improved fit around the collar and FLYTEFOAM® Lyte foam added to midsole. The downside of knit is that it traps heat (see adidas Ultraboost X).
Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 First Impressions
A tingle of excitement coursed through my veins when unboxing this electrifying beauty.
It’s light with little bulk to it, good for the opposite reasons that I enjoyed the shoe I was then running in: Brooks Transcend 6, a plush, stable shoe which goes the distance.
These came alongside Nike Odyssey React 2 Flyknit — the perfect shoe to compare with DS — and remind me a lot of adidas Adizero Tempo 9, a shoe I’ve been looking for a new version of, but knowing adidas, I don’t hold my breath.
(adidas changes up its lines and models quite readily.)
It turns out to be quite a different shoe from Odyssey React, though both are fun, snug, and lightweight. Odyssey has a high arch; DS Trainer 24’s is med-low.
Odyssey’s midfoot can be bent under pressure and is soft and bouncy—DS holds firm, all around. DS has a great heel counter; Odyssey not so much (but heel-lock lacing can pull it in to make it work).
Odyssey React cushions really well through long runs and high training weeks, while I prefer to stick to runs under 7 miles in the DS Trainer.
DS is a great shoe for those who want a lightly-supported, snappy ride in a long-distance racer, and who don’t mind the firm cushion into higher mileage.
If adidas Adizero Tempo 9’s upper fit like DS Trainer’s, I’d have given that shoe 5 stars. Nonetheless, I still prefer the cushioned-responsiveness of a thin layer of adidas Boost foam for long distance racing.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 Sole Unit
FLYTEFOAM® Lyte foam has been added to the DUOMAX® midsole technology, which supports the foot in an 8 mm. heel-toe offset.
EVA TRUSSTIC SYSTEM® technology supports your foot by stabilizing the center sole to resist twisting while reducing the weight of the sole.
The superb grip on this outsole was immediately apparent to me on my first run, and it’s where the “DS” gets its name.
Always curious, I emailed our RSG resident expert on this shoe, Jon Ober (see reviews for the 19, 20, 22, & 23) during my first run, and he quickly emailed back with the following information after I’d already noted the shoe’s grip.
Jon combed the archives at Running Warehouse to find that DS stands for “Duo-Sole, a nice combination of Durasponge and Wet-Grip rubber that provides durability and a tacky road feel.” http://blog.runningwarehouse.com/gear/rs/asics-spring-2011-the-ds-trainer-and-a-few-close-cousins/
The grip is amazing on a wet road: I ran hill repeats right after a rainstorm and track repeats in light drizzle throughout the course of testing, and DS is my top choice for these workouts both for the lightweight responsiveness and the outsole grip.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 Upper Unit
DS Trainer 24 is ASICS’ first shoe with a knit upper. It is very comfortable and supportive-snug yet traps heat, which means it’s not my favorite for treadmill runs or runs in hot, humid weather.
The shoe has an improved fit around the collar which works together with the sturdy heel counter to fully support the foot throughout the running movement.
The shoe fits a bit narrow—wide feet may want to order a half-size up—but it has stretch to it to fit the contours of different foot shapes.
There are some FUN color options this year: multicolored, blue/green, and black for men; multicolored, illusion blue/orange, and black, for the women’s shoe.
Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 Conclusion
I tried running 15 miles in these once and made it to about 10 miles before caving and slipping on Adizero Tempo 9, still my favorite shoe for distance performance.
I love DS Trainer 24 as long as I keep this shoe for its best-fit workouts: speed repeats and 5k-10k races. Those who can handle the firm cushion will enjoy the lightly stable, snappy kick of this shoe for longer races as well.
This is my first shot running in DS Trainer, and it’s a favorite for many. Let us know in the comments how this new model holds up for you. Do you like the new knit upper?
We purchased a pair of Asics Gel DS Trainer 24 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.