Asics DS Trainer 25 Intro
The Gel DS Trainer is back for its 25th(!) edition. There are some slight tweaks to the knit upper, but the shoe remains relatively unchanged from the big overhaul the 24 had.
This moderatly priced shoe competes with other “performance” stability shoes like the Brooks Ravenna, Saucony’s Liberty ISO, and New Balance’s 1500 line.
I feel like this has been a shoe that has always flown under the radar. It seems to be overshadowed by stability powerhouses Kayano, and the GT series.
Rejoice fellow believers, it’s back and not going anywhere.
Asics DS Trainer 25 First Impressions
Asics always like to go hard or go home with color and design with the DS Trainer; this was no different. Unboxing I was immediately drawn to the red and black pattern and was a sucker for the insole telling me to “feel fast”.
I felt a little restricted in these at first. The upper was soft, but fit too snug. The fit was quite stiff and really took a few runs for it to break in.
Asics DS Trainer 25 Sole Unit
The midsole uses Asics’ proprietary foam, FlyteFoam Lyte. A dual density approach is used for over pronation support with denser foam on the medial side. The heel has Ascis’ signature gel for added shock absorption.
Flytefoam is hard to the touch and feels quite dense. It is one of the firmer midsoles I have encountered in the sea of brand exclusive materials out in the wild today.
The outsole is really what made the shoe shine. This is the grippiest road shoe I have ever ran in. There is an immense amount of traction and I never felt like I was out of control in any weather event.
The 8mm drop had me landing mostly on my forefoot. The denser medial side helped keep me in check from rolling out of control too much but never felt overwhelming. It was firm on landing, but felt light on liftoff.
Durability wise, there was minimal wear after testing.
Asics DS Trainer 25 Upper Unit
The upper is a knit material that felt too snug and stiff at first. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to stretch out.
I typically have the same issues with new shoes that have knit uppers so this didn’t come as a huge surprise. Once the break in period was done with, I found it to fit nicely.
The lacing was quite sturdy and it really felt comfortable on top of my feet. No issues with any areas feeling too tight or too loose. I typically utilize runner’s loop lacing, but didn’t see the need to on these.
I have found Asics shoes to always be on the narrow side and be VERY true to size. These actually weren’t too bad!
I didn’t see the need to go half a size up, but it did remain snug. Use your best judgement when deciding on sizing.
The heel collar just barely cupped my heels but gave a ‘locked in’ fit. The toe box had a nice of room, more than years past. Very comfy overall.
My biggest complaint is the tongue on this shoe. Asics can never seem to get it right on this shoe. It’s too thin!
It was constantly folding inward and I had to pay special attention to make sure it was going over my foot properly.
Asics DS Trainer 25 Conclusion
I complained in years past that there were limited colorways of this shoe but that has changed since the 24. The added attention assures me this shoe isn’t going anywhere.
I ran in these during some of the highest volume weeks of my marathon training cycle this winter. The upper breathed nicely and kept my feet protected from the cold and wet days. The grip was superb.
My tempo workouts were a blast thanks to the light, firm, snappy ride. I was able to dial into a faster than usual pace during my long runs with several that were 12-15 miles.
My body didn’t feel like it was breaking down and the ride of the shoe gave me just the right amount of support.
I did find it difficult to run a recovery pace though. The firmness was not something I wanted when I wanted to run easy. I would save the shakeouts for a different pair of shoes.
The DS Trainer continues to be a sleeper hit, but shines as a shoe that gives a fast ride with ample support. Here’s to 25 more editions!
We purchased a pair of Asics DS Trainer 25 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.
Asics DS Trainer 25 Price Comparison
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