ASICS is a brand of athletic running shoes that is constantly evolving to include new technology. ASICS’s goal is to produce the best footwear to increase your comfort and performance. This is especially the case for the ASICS Gel Lyte III and the range of ASICS GT 1000. However, which running shoe is better? If you had to choose between the ASICS Gel Lyte III or one of the ASICS GT 1000 (1000 5, 1000 6, 1000 7, 1000 8, 1000 9), which should you choose?
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What Sort of Runner are You?
You only get one pair of feet, and to keep running, you must take care of your feet by investing in the right running shoes. That means you need to understand the particular needs of your feet and the style of your running. Technology can diminish the stress that running (and walking) puts on your body. But all runners and all feet are not the same, and you need the right running shoe to match your particular needs.
Accordingly, before determining which is better – ASICS Gel Lyte III or one of the ASICS GT 1000 collection – you need to answer four questions.
- Where do you run?
- How do you run?
- What do your feet need?
- What features do you want?
Where Do You Run?
Your running surface impacts your feet – literally – that’s why most quality running shoes like the ASICS Gel Lyte III and ASICS GT 1000 include intelligent cushioning to act as shock absorbers for the energy backlash caused by your feet hitting the ground.
In your regular routine, your running may only occur on city streets (hard surfaces) so you need a pair of runners that will protect your feet from that kind of pounding. On the flip side, you may only run on country or mountain trails so that you need trail runners and their extra traction and stability for dealing with uneven surfaces. Alternatively, you may mix up your running routes with a routine involving roads, parks, and trails. It all depends on what access you have, your preferences, and the influence of changing seasons.
If You Run When You Travel
When you travel, you may face different terrains than what you normally choose to do at home. Depending on your destination, the concrete of the city streets may be uneven, with small loose rocks or big potholes. If it is a beach destination, running on soft sand is challenging for a road runner. Alternatively, you may choose your holiday destination to match your usual surfaces. Regardless, your running shoes need to complement your expected running surface to protect your feet and boost your performance both at home and away.
Both the ASICS Gel Lyte III and the ASICS GT 1000 are road running shoes. The tread is not for the shifting surface of a mountain trail or a beach, and the cushioning is for shock absorption and energy backlash arising from your foot hitting a hard concrete surface.
How Do You Run And What Do Your Feet Need?
Like walking, all runners have an individual gait. You are not aware of it because you do what comes naturally, but there is an immense variation in how people run.
Your running shoe needs to match your:
- Foot shape -narrow, wide, or other features.
- Pronation – see below.
- Preferences – fitting above or below the ankle, amount of support for the foot, color, and style.
Pronation is a fancy term for how your foot moves when you walk and run. If you consult a podiatrist (foot specialist), they can tell you what category you fall into:
- Neutral pronation.
- Underpronation or supination
However, you can also look at the wear on your tread and figure this out. It is all about how your foot hits the ground and rolls forward before you lift off for your next stride.
Underpronation or Supination
In supination, the outside of the heel hits the ground first. There is little or no rolling towards the inside of the foot during your gait. Your lower leg bears most of the impact of your foot hitting the ground. You push off with the pressure on your little toes rather than on your big toe. All the action for a supinator takes place on the outside of the foot and sole of the shoe. Supinators have high arches.
With neutral pronation, you still land on the outside of your heel, but you have a nice roll through to the inside of the foot, distributing your body weight evenly and lifting off using all your toes. Neutral pronators have normal arches. The ASICS Gel Lyte III best suits neutral pronation. However, if you are still keen to purchase ASICS Gel Lyte III for other reasons (perhaps a killer sale), under pronators can compensate by adding an insole that supports their higher arches or switch to one of the ASICS Cumulus or ASICS Nimbus shoes.
Overpronation involves a rapid roll through to the inside of your foot, and then lifting off mainly using your big and second toe. The weight transfer misses out the ball of your foot, which is typical for people with low arches or flat feet. The ASICS GT-1000 collection of shoes includes features that deal with overpronation so you can run more successfully and with less risk of injury.
Pronation or gait changes with age, weight, and lifestyle, so keep an eye on how your shoes wear because that tells you how your feet touch the ground. The points to pay attention to are the heel areas that wear down the fastest and the area on the balls of your feet.
If you are still unsure, most running shoe stores can pop you on a treadmill and give you a run analysis to let you know how you run.
Whatever your running style, a high-quality running shoe will support your feet, protect you from injury, and improve your performance.
What Features Do You Want In Your ASICS Running Shoes?
ASICS makes excellent running shoes. It researches and develops features and technology that will give you performance and protection for your feet.
What Does ASICS Gel Lyte III Offer Runners?
The ASICS Gel Lyte III is a road running shoe with a retro feel inspired by designer Shigeyuki Mitsui’s classic ’90s design. Most styles are unisex. They are available in both men’s and women’s sizes with a range of different colors.
ASICS Gel Lyte III Features
- Rubber outsole – thick and durable. The flat tread is sufficient for road running but won’t give you the grip and traction necessary for challenging trails and uneven surfaces.
- Midsole cushioning – you get gel cushioning in the heel to absorb impact shock and triple-density EVA foam for a cushioned ride.
- Best for neutral pronation with normal arches – your heel strikes the ground first when you run and rolls naturally forward to the inside of your foot.
- Some color patterns include cushioning over the entire midsole.
- Split-tongue design (first on ASICS GEL-LD racer) to improve fitting the upper to your foot. (The split tongue divides opinion, with some people loving the custom-fit and others wondering about the fuss.)
- Combination of leather and mesh or perforations in the upper for support and breathability.
Best ASICS Gel Lyte III For Men And Women
Best ASICS Gel Lyte III OG For Men And Women
The “OG” stands for the original shape and construction letting you know that this ASICS Gel Lyte III has the original sneaker silhouette. It’s a stylish sneaker style with classic and bright color patterns including versions with bright orange laces. The upper is synthetic leather and mesh giving a vegan-friendly running shoe with all the performance you expect from an Asics.
Like the other models of the ASICS Gel Lyte III, these ASICS shoes are unisex. Accordingly, look to both “men” and “women” categories for your size and different color choices.
What To Expect From The ASICS Gel Lyte III
The ASICS Gel Lyte III suits the casual runner who runs a few miles, either daily or a couple of times a week. If you want a good-looking pair of sneakers to wear all day, walk around city streets and go for a run or two on your holiday – pack a pair of ASICS Gel Lyte III. These sneakers are light and comfortable to wear and will support your feet for a long walk or relaxed run.
What Does ASICS GT 1000 Range Offer Runners?
ASICS’ give the ASICS GT 1000 top billing as a stability running shoe with style and pizzaz. The best features of the Asics GT 1000 include:
- FlyteFoam and gel technology strategically placed for cushioning, energy return, and shock absorption.
- Contoured EVA sock liner or insole that hugs your foot for a custom fit.
- Removable sock liner.
- Fits neutral or overpronation (low arches with higher impact on inside of foot while running).
- Trusstic system – stabilizes midsole to prevent twisting when running.
- Duomax – dual-density midsole to soften overpronation.
- Strategic placement of Asics High Abrasion Resistance Rubber (AHAR) on the outsole. It has great cushioning and grip qualities on a range of wet or dry surfaces, and increases durability.
- Impact Guidance System (IGS) to promote your best and most efficient gait – guidance line and connecting sections in the tread pattern.
- Breathable mesh upper.
The ASICS GT-1000 collection comes in various colors and versions with subtly different features. Decoding the descriptions is simple. The version number (9,8,7,6 or 5) refers to the running shoe model and is an indicator of the technology included. For example, the ASICS GT-1000 9 has the latest technology, whereas the ASICS GT-1000 5 is an older model.
What Do You Get in the ASICS GT 1000 5?
This 5th version of the ASICS GT 1000 gives you plenty of features:
- Safety yellow in the soles and reflective panels in some color versions.
- Duo-max foam positioned along the inside edge of the midsole for cushioning and providing stability for overpronators.
- EVA foam in the toe area to give you more bounce and lift.
- Standard foam sock liner -removable, and you can replace it with orthotic supports.
- Mesh in the upper for breathability.
Best ASICS GT 1000 5 For Men And Women
What More Do You Get in the ASICS GT 1000 6?
The ASICS GT 1000 6 version:
- Is slightly lighter.
- Includes gel technology in the heel to cushion from impact.
- Upgrades to the High Abrasion Resistance Rubber in the sole.
- Includes insertion of the Trusstic for midsole stability.
- Adopts guide-line technology for a natural gait.
- Adds moisture management to the sock liner.
Best ASICS GT 1000 6 For Men And Women
What About the ASICS GT 1000 7?
This version of the ASICS GT 1000 changes things up a little bit:
- Still have the mesh upper but less padded and lighter.
- Lower heel drop – 8mm instead of 10mm.
- Fits a wider foot – especially in the heel and toe area.
- Thermoplastic Trusstic system rather than the plastic one.
- FlyteFoam provided as a heel-cushioning wedge.
- More extensive use of the High Abrasion Resistance Rubber on the sole
- Seamless engineering of the upper – less rubbing and better flex.
- EVA sock liner is slightly thinner.
Best ASICS GT 1000 7 For Men And Women
What Does the ASICS GT 1000 8 Bring?
This ASICS GT 1000 8 slight redesign brings some subtle changes:
- Intelligent positioning and layering of foam in the midsole – a single thicker layer of FlyteFoam in the toe area and gel cushioning in the heel. This means high quality cushioning with less weight.
- Flex grooves added to the sole – improves natural gait.
- Redesigned the upper to make it a looser fit. The overlays are more to the back than the foot’s middle.
The design tweaks are slight, but the resulting shoe is lighter, faster, and ideal for slight overpronators.
Best ASICS GT 1000 8 For Men And Women
What’s New In The ASICS GT 1000 9?
Most of the technology is now pretty standard, but the latest version of the ASICS GT 1000 takes these running shoes up another notch:
- Improvement of the engineered mesh upper – looks sleek and is very breathable.
- Durasponge in the forefoot of the sole (a blown high abrasion rubber), giving a bouncier step.
- A lighter version of the midsole foam – FlyteFoam Lyte.
- Vertical and horizontal flex grooves to improve gait.
- Lots of color and shoe sizes available in this latest version.
Best ASICS GT 1000 9 For Men And Women
Other Features in the ASICS GT 1000 Collection
The other available feature in the ASICS GT 1000 range of stability trainers is Gore-Tex to improve waterproofing and maintain the running shoe capacity to let your foot breathe. A “GTX” in the title indicates Gore-Tex is included in that shoe. However, it is worth checking the specifications for each shoe in which you are interested as not every seller highlights this useful feature.
Most ASICS sneakers fit narrow to normal feet, but with the ASICS GT 1000, you can get a variety of sizing:
- “B” is narrow for a man’s size or normal for a women’s shoe.
- ‘D’ is normal for men’s sizing but wide for a women’s shoe.
- “2E” is a wide fitting for a man’s shoe but extra wide for a women’s shoe.
- “4E” is an extra-wide fitting in a men’s size.
ASICS doesn’t normally add anything for normal sizing. In other words, if you don’t see a “B” for a women’s shoe or “D” for a man’s shoe, or any other designation, it is normal sizing.
Which Is The Better Running Shoe: ASICS Gel Lyte III or ASICS GT 1000 Range?
Both the ASICS Gel Lyte III and the ASICS GT 1000 collection are road running shoes for the casual to mid-distance runner. Accordingly, the choice between the ASICS Gel Lyte III and the ASICS GT 1000 collection will be a matter of personal preference, what suits your feet and running life, style, and price.
However, the ASICS GT 1000 range offers more running technology than the ASICS Gel Lyte III. This includes:
- Stability features benefiting overpronators and neutral runners.
- Improved use of gel and high-tech foams.
- Engineered soles for better running performance.
- Midsole support.
- Guideline technology.
ASICS Gel Lyte III
If you are a more casual runner, enjoy a retro sneaker in styling, and would like your ASICS shoes to cross over from a runner to a walking shoe then the ASICS Gel Lyte III is an excellent multipurpose athletic shoe that is fit for your morning run and a day out and about.
ASICS GT 1000 Collection
If you are a bit more serious about your running, possibly gearing up for your first race, and you like to keep a dedicated pair of shoes for your running, then the ASICS GT 1000 collection will give you more features for your money. The older versions cost less than the newer ones, but they still have a lot of technology that you will need for a comfortable performance run.
The ASICS GT 1000 will suit you more if you need the stability of a support trainer and put a lot of daily miles on your feet. The high abrasion rubber will give you more mileage on those hard city streets, and the engineered tread pattern, although not specifically for trail running, can cope with gravel and wet grass if you like to mix-up your running routes.
Whichever ASICS’ shoe that you choose, it is important to select the right socks for ultimate comfort. In addition, if you prefer to have a dedicated pair of walking shoes, ASICS has many excellent walking shoes. For a review of the best ASICS walking shoes, please take a look at this article: 7 Most Comfy And Best ASICS Walking Shoes (Review).
In the end, whichever ASICS’ running shoe you pick, you can be confident that you have safe and best-dressed feet for your run or walkabout.