Asics GT-2000 8 - Women's Review
Cons: Narrow, heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GT-2000 is a classic Asics runner. Their stability is second to none, but their toebox width, or lack thereof, made our pinky toes cry. And bleed! The responsive Flytefoam sole on this version sadly didn't make up for the lacking toebox real estate.
The GT-2000 8 does decently in this metric because it truly does have better energy return than the average shoe. Despite our discomfort, each step rolled into the next. The GT is a solid, traditional, 10 mm drop running shoe, and we could feel the heel-elevated architecture adding an element of "rolling" from one step into the next. Overall, the responsiveness of this pair of shoes was what we expected. We are neither disappointed nor delighted by it.
We realize that we started on a critical note, but we intend to look at each metric individually. That said, the landing comfort of the GT is solidly average. The structural elements take away from the plush interior that we know and love on past Asics. The arch support is adequate, but other models offer a softer, smoother, and more responsive ride.
For the amount of structural technology that they boast, the weight is not surprising on the GT-2000 8. Asics is known for constructing shoes that support aggressive pronation, and these are no exception. They offer ample structure, and, because of this, their weigh-in is slightly heavier than average.
The durability metric is tricky for these shoes because they do last for quite a while, but with our toes rubbing the outer edge, we expect to see our socks poking through the sides any day now! If these kicks fit the shape of your foot, they'll undoubtedly have lasting power. But if they don't, as was the case with us, you'll begin to notice the engineered mesh deteriorating due to normal wear and tear.
As we ran in these, we became aware of pinky toe hot spots — and that awareness never faded. Once we peeled our sweaty and swollen feet out of these shoes, it became apparent that the upper comfort is suitable for narrow-footed runners only. Not only is the toe box narrow, but the midfoot and lace bed are also thinner than average. As our feet began to swell during runs, it became obvious that there just wasn't enough upper real estate to accommodate our perfectly average shaped feet.
For most of our running careers, we have been loyal Asics wearers, and we all expected to immediately love the GT-2000 8. Our disappointment over these kicks is palpable. If you can picture a Toyota Tacoma next to a Mazda Miata, you'll understand the following comparison. A typical running shoe toe box is the Tacoma. There is plenty of space for your bike, your friend, and a couple of backpacks. The Miata is the GT-2000. It looks cute and fast,but when you go to put your German Shepherd in, you realize that the only way to fit him in is to hurt him, and you can't do that. You're right, the dog represents our pinky toes in this analogy. And they sure do hurt after pounding the pavement in these kicks.
This is the metric where the GT scored the best — our feet felt downright cool while running in these. The downside of these super breezy beasts is that sand and dirt infiltrate and settle between toes, but this will be a non-issue if these kicks are worn strictly on roads and tracks.
Again, if these shoes fit your feet, they are worth their price. Since we couldn't wait to get them off, we personally wouldn't shell out the cash. But the durability and road-ready tread make them a good investment if a narrow, stable runner is what you're in the market for.
We wish we could say we loved the Asics GT-2000 8. We hate ripping on a brand that we know and love. Unfortunately, this iteration of the GT did not live up to our expectations. Their narrow midfoot restricts the normal ebbing and flowing of blood during runs, and the tight toebox tore our poor little tootsies up. If you are looking for a narrow and supportive shoe to correct overpopulation, these kicks will deliver. If your needs as less specified, we recommend you keep looking.
— Ally Arcuri