Neutral runners to those needing more stability will enjoy this shoe for daily runs and long runs.
Do not purchase this ASICS offering for a speed or racing shoe.
Kayano is fitted with the best tech such as FF Blast+ foam versus FF Blast in GT-2000; GT-4000 is an option for heavy overpronators; and the GT-1000 is their budget-friendly option.
GT-2000 is somewhere in the middle of these options for price and tech, with the cost this year going up another $10 to $140 USD, making it $20 up from just two models prior.
This is the 27th shoe in a line that began with a different naming system and has tried out various fit types and materials over the years.
Older styles were more bulky but very stable with more recent versions trying out trimmed-down designs to cut weight and increase speed; each approach had its good and bad sides. The newest materials now allow for maintaining similar weight with more padding added back in.
Many long-time GT-2000 runners who have not been happy with recent editions of the shoe will like the 11. The ride reminds me the most of GT-2000 4, though I had to go up a half size in the 11 to get a similar fit.
The GT-2000 model 6 really cut material and weight, which was built back gradually to the 10. The 10 maintained a smooth transition into toe-off and a light, fast-feeling ride and introduced a new support system in the midsole.
The 11 feels more like earlier versions of GT-2000, prior to the design changes of the 6 and 7, but also moves backward in a smooth ride. This latest version is a reliable go-to shoe for long runs but is not as versatile for speed or tempo runs.
The fit is slightly smaller in length, and I had to go up a half size this year. Weight is down slightly this version (a smidgen of length?) to 9.8 oz. men’s size 9 and 8.3 oz. women’s size 8.
This latest design fits and rides a lot like the Brooks Adrenaline, with the GT-2000 bringing an 8mm. drop compared with the 12 mm. drop in Adrenaline.
“Great color, it’s cool and calming,” I thought, pulling this latest GT-2000 out of the box. I pointed out the fun “wings” aesthetic on both sides of the shoe, to my daughter, and had her shine my phone flashlight on them. The strip up the back of the shoe is reflective, but unfortunately the “wings” aren’t—that would be really cool!
From the first step I felt the beefed-up midsole under the inside heel. Compared with the 10 the new one felt noticeably higher.
Official stack heights for the 11 are 22 mm. down to 14 mm. for the women’s shoe and 23 mm. to 15 mm. in men’s. (The midsole looks much thicker, so I’m not sure how they measure that.)
This is only up 1 mm. from last year, but doing some rough measurements on my shoes, the midsole measures 3-5 mm. higher at various spots around the shoe, from the 10 to the 11. Is that due to compression with use? Yikes.
After a few laps on my first run I traded out my left shoe for the GT-2000 10 for comparison. The 10 (like the 6 and 7) offers a more smooth transition into midfoot and toe-off, so the heftier midsole brings that immediately noticeable downside.
The fit was only slightly smaller, but I have always been borderline about needing to go up a half size. After my first few runs I sent the shoes back for the bigger size.
A breathable, open, jacquard mesh knit upper encases the shoe, with a well-ventilated support layer, including a toe-cap, added below it in the forefoot and ASICS logo material bringing structure to both sides of the midfoot.
A padded heel collar and well-built internal heel counter round out the back of the shoe, as is typical of this line. At least 50% of the main upper material is made from recycled content to maximize the use of resources.
The moderately-padded tongue is super soft underneath and is anchored down with laces running through a loop. The upper is well-reinforced around lace holes and adds a fun design with “wings” on the heel!
A wide strip up the back of the shoe and “glittery” specs throughout the upper provide reflective visibility in low light.
Many color options allow each runner to go with a bright or subdued tone to suit their fancy.
Visually “3D Space Construction” is printed on the standard, quality sock liner in the shoe, witnessing to the impact guidance system in the midsole, ASICS’ tech to guide the foot along. It works together with LITETRUSS, a firmer cushion under the heel and arch, and heel gel to support the foot at heel-plant through transition.
FlightFoam Blast replaces FlightFoam in the forefoot to bring a softer foam under the ball of the foot. This FF Blast also runs in a thin layer over the LITETRUSS to add a soft touch to the support.
I do like the midsole better this year, but the overall transition is unfortunately not as smooth as in recent years. GT-2000 has moved a step closer to a medium-long run specific shoe as opposed to a versatile shoe for all types of runs.
Hearty rubber pads continue to offer the grip and durability expected from this shoe to the outsole.
This version of GT-2000 feels more supported underfoot than the past few models, and FF Blast adds a softer touch under the forefoot.
The transition is not as smooth as in recent years and toe-off is average, so wear this shoe for slow-medium paces and medium-long runs when comfortable stability is desired in a reliable shoe.
With many fit and function options and a variety of colorways available many runners will find what they are looking for in GT-2000 11.