Asics Gel Pulse 5 - Mini Review

Pros

  • Wide Toe Box
  • Comfortable
  • Budget
  • Excellent Cushioning

Cons

  • Inner lining is basic
  • Heavy

Editors Opinion

  • The Asics Gel Pulse 5 is a great shoe for the neutral runner who doesn't have a huge budget.  You get a lot of technology for your money here, and with a slightly wider toe box than most Asics shoes, its very comfortable.
  • 8/10
  • RRP £85

The Asics Gel Cumulus 13 was one of my favourite Asics shoes ever, especially when I was a heel striker, and you can see its likeness in this shoe, so I was feeling nostalgic about reviewing the Gel Pulse 5

Initial Feelings

Out of the box, it was almost like I'd gone back a few years and had my Cumulus 13's again.  They look almost identical, and I even had the green colour way in the 13's.  So they were off to a good start.  Picking them up, they felt good.  They were quite heavy, and at 295g they aren't ever going to be a lightweight choice, however, they don't feel overly heavy for a shoe of this nature.  Putting them on, they don't feel like an £85 shoe, and were very comfortable.  The toe box was wider than I was expecting from an Asics shoe, which was a pleasant surprise, and the only issue I found with the fit was that the liner was very basic, and slightly rough, especially round the heel, which, if the fit is a little loose, could potentially cause problems.

Midsole

The midsole is the main selling point for this shoe.  It uses Gel in the heel and the forefoot, as well as a SpEVA foam.  This is common to see on Asics shoes at around the £100 mark, so I was very impressed with how it felt.  It feels soft, and not as inflexible as I thought it would considering how heavily cushioned it is. 

Upper

The upper uses a flexible mesh and a reinforced section around the midfoot for a little bit of structure.  The heel is snug, and uses memory foam to secure itself.  The toe box was wider than I thought, as previously mentioned, and is very comfortable.  The lacing is a basic eyelet system, with the addition of two loops on either side, to pull the whole shoe tighter around the midfoot, giving you a feeling of security without it being tight.

Outsole

The outsole uses Asics Guidance Line and Guidance Trustic to help push your foot through a natural gait cycle.  I was impressed Asics had included this, as it is a relatively new idea from them that has only come into the top end shoes in recent editions, so to include it in a mid range shoe already was very impressive.  The rubber is the same AHAR+ used on top end shoes, so will be hardwearing, whilst remaining flexible, and the flex grooves make it more flexible than I thought.

1 Hour In...

I was very impressed.  The Asics Gel Pulse 5 is not one for forefoot running, but that's beside the point.  The shoe is very soft, and very comfortable for £85, and I felt very nostalgic wearing them, as they felt the same as my old Cumulus 13's.  1 hour in, and my feet were still feeling good, with no issue of impact at all.  My only issue with this shoe is the lining.  I had to butterfly the laces and then pull them tight to prevent any rubbing at the heel, but once I'd done so, there were no problems. The Asics Gel Pulse 5 is a very impressive shoe.  If you're a heel striker and a neutral runner, then don't overlook this shoe because it isn't expensive. Asics have done a fantastic job in filtering down the key technologies from higher end shoes without making it cost the Earth.  If you're looking for a top of the range shoe, but can't afford those, then this shoe is for you.  Also, if you're looking for a second shoe to your current high mileage shoes, then look no further.

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