The ASICS GT-2000 9 running shoes are an update to a pavement-focused stability running shoe. We put them to the test in advance of the September 1 launch.
The upcoming ASICS GT-2000 9 takes one of the brand’s most successful running technologies of the year and merges it into this comfort-focused stability shoe for an updated fit and feel.
With every iteration of the GT-2000, the underfoot feel gets softer. And now the upper has a softness to match. ASICS pulled the upper from the April 2020 Cumulus 22 and placed it on the GT-2000 9 because the material tested well. Plus, Cumulus 22 sales show it has been the brand’s top seller since its introduction.
Along with the new upper, the shoe receives an updated, softer blend of FlyteFoam. The rear stability technology aims to give the brand its combination of stability with comfort.
In short: The blend of new technologies focused on creating a softer, more comfortable shoe. These give the $120 ASICS GT-2000 9 a cozy step-in feel from the first mile. It provides stability through the run, all buoyed by the update to the upper.
New this year, the Cumulus 22 launched with a soft mesh upper void of overlays. This allows it to work well with a variety of foot types. That same design makes its way to the GT-2000 9 with this update. It allows the new shoe to work with various foot shapes.
The mesh provides stretch and breathability. Plus, eliminating the overlays removes any potential for odd rubbing, chafing, or hot spots, especially those commonly found on the top of the foot.
ASICS then paired a padded tongue and laces with stretch to improve the step-in feel on the upper. By including round laces with give, the brand enabled me to cinch the upper tight over my foot, as I like for security, but the upper material didn’t dig into my foot during my multiple 3- to 5-mile runs.
ASICS GT-2000 9: First Impressions
On pavement — and a couple of short gravel and turf stretches — comfort is there from the first step. ASICS used a softer FlyteFoam cushioning material than it had previously to improve the comfort level and paired with the brand’s famed gel technology in the heel for shock and impact absorption.
The shoe’s 21mm heel height and 11mm forefoot height on our tester pair (the women’s model is 22-12) gave the shoe noticeable heel-to-toe drop from the first step, but not one that went drastic.
When running, the heel cushioning is stronger than that in the forefoot, aided by the Duomax technology that plays a key role in the stability of the rear of the medial part of the shoe. Duomax is 3 mm of firmer foam the brand says “acts like a bowling lane bumper” to help the foot stay in one place without forcing it, aimed at helping the mild pronator gain assistance.
This Guidance Trusstic System helps re-supinate the foot at midstance for a more efficient toe-off. That helps this stability-minded shoe, similar to the brand’s Kayano model, offer stability without getting too stiff, a knock on previous versions of the GT-2000.
ASICS GT-2000 9: Fit & Feel
As advertised, the soft mesh upper eliminated any hot spots, even after multiple miles in the shoe. The 9.9-ounce design on the men’s pair we tested (the women’s model is 7.8 ounces) feels lightweight but certainly isn’t minimal.
There was no break-in period required on the FlyteFoam or gel, although within about 2 miles the shoe was already riding slightly more in tune with my foot than the first few yards. The heel cushioning holds up well with the sandwich construction of gel between two layers of FlyteFoam.
But for those who seek extreme cushioning throughout, the forefoot isn’t as plush, although still quite a bit more padded than many lighter models. The midfoot and toe have one layer of FlyteFoam.
Keep in mind that I’ve always gravitated toward the ASICS brand for its sizing. For me, the true-to-size last and design created a near-perfect toebox — not too roomy so you have to worry about slippage, but also not too narrow where you get odd pinching sensations.
The traction pattern, complete with some serious flex grooves in the heel, mixes types of rubber for softness and durability. The shoe felt secure along the pavement and even on a wet Pacific Northwest summer day. It isn’t designed for off-road use but performed dutifully for the brief moments of off-road running it encountered in a local park.
Should You Buy the ASICS GT-2000 9?
The use of FlyteFoam throughout the shoe brings with it a comfortable ride. The gel cushioning in the heel offers noticeable impact dampening in that part of the foot, all helped along by the technologies designed to keep your foot secure.
The mesh upper sans overlays complements the design well for this new iteration. Overall, the ASICS GT-2000 9 accomplishes the goal of creating a stable running shoe that leans toward lightweight (for the category) by removing clunky stiffness and instead imparting comfort.
The GT-2000 9 will be a solid choice for runners looking for moderate stability guidance in a soft, pliable running shoe. Look for it in September 2020.
Tim Newcomb is a Pacific Northwest-based journalist covering gear, shoes, and equipment. He explores the outdoors and the gear that makes it all easier, from trail runs in Chamonix, France, to mountain bike rides in Squamish, British Columbia, hikes in Brazil, paddles in Hawaii, and more than a few runs, hikes, and rides in the PNW.