The ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 14, which looks and feels like the ASICS GEL-Kayano 15 is a light weight performance trainer which weights in at about 290 grams. Categorised as a stability shoe, it is suitable for those who pronate slight more than 15 degrees and for those looking for arch support. Handsomely built, my version came in white, black and red in colour which I believe is the second batch.
Medial view of the shoe...
Lateral view of the shoe...
The shoe's built is a solid one. What is found on the ASICS GEL-Kayano 15 can be found on the ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 14. The upper is built on ASICS Biomorphic Fit Upper system which provides superior fit and function where the shoe wraps around the wearers feet. I find it to extremely comfortable even with the missing PHF (Personal Heel Fit) memory foam. Instead of it, ASICS replaced it with just a common foam which I find it to be a great choice as it's just as comfortable and protective for the Achilles region while at the same time reducing weight. Same goes to the tongue. A thinner padding is used while still providing the necessary support.
In order to reduce weight, I notice there were a few overlays layers lesser compared to their standard trainers thus providing a reduction in weight and also better ventilation. And coupled with the ComforDry Sockliner, bacteria and fungus growth are kept at bay. Standard with all ASICS shoes now is also the Asymmetrical Lacing Design where the laces are tilted to a side for a more natural movement for the metatarsal and tarsal bones, especially when the wearer flex. However, when it comes to flexibility, I was actually pretty upset with it as it wasn't as flexible when wearing it compared to by pushing by hand. A shoe of this caliber, I have expected more from it. However, it did got better with every run. Maybe it just need to be seasoned. Hmm...
The midsole, like any other ASICS shoes are built on top of their GEL cushioning system coupled with Solyte midsole material. There isn't much GEL used in this shoe due to it's low profile. The medial support built on their firmer EVA rubber call DuoMax is present at the entire midfoot section which is a welcome design. With the addition of the gender specific Space Trusstic System arch support, it really help control the pronation rate.
Solyte midsole material...
The outsole is built on top ASICS High Abrassion Resistant carbon rubber which provides superior durability. However, as ASICS version of carbon rubber is much harder compared with other brands, I do find that my mid foot strikes to be just on the little uncomfortable side. Probably due to the low profile design and also lesser GEL in it. Not forgetting that this also caused some discomfort on the arch as with each strikes, the medial support tends to "knock" onto my arch. But it may be for the earlier stage only as ASICS shoes normally require a run in first.
For those who likes the ASICS GEL-Kayano 15 but am uncomfortable with its weight, then the ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 14 is a good alternative. It may have its hits and misses and it's still a good shoe although I really expected much more out of it. It retails at a recommended selling price of RM429.