Friday, 23 December 2011

Asics DS Racer 9 review

This week I've been breaking in a pair of the new Asics DS Racer 9 with an eye on a spring marathon. For the last 12 months my racing shoes of choice have been the Nike Katana racer (for short races including track down to 3000m) and a mix of the Saucony Fastwitch 4 and Adidas Adios for longer races and long tempos.

In the past Asics shoes have been quite tight across my forefoot (which is quite broad) but these have a bit more room in the toebox and fitted well straight away. I did a 45 minute easy run in them straight out of the box before giving them a good going over on road and track.

The bit of medial support in these shoes worked well for me and after an hour long workout my feet felt fine, no sign of having been overworked to keep me stable and I really liked the flexibility as well when I was doing 200s on the track. The outsole gripped nicely on a wet road (which not all racers manage to do) though I wonder how hard wearing it will be as it looks like quite a soft rubber ? As usual I will report back on wear levels when they have a couple if hundred kilometres on them.

Overall these are going to be a terrific shoe for half marathons and marathons as well as longer training runs (I've got a 25km tempo scheduled for next week which will really them a thorough going over) though for short races I will probably be looking for something even lighter than the advertised 215g and more responsive i.e. a thinner midsole/outsole combination. Hopefully the Adios 2 will address this when it comes out.

I've worn the DS 9 quite a bit now and the outsole wear seems to be OK, certainly not something to be concerned by. However, while its very comfortable, it doesn't have the 'pop' that I want in a racing shoe. As a result I've taken to using them on shorter recovery runs as a subsitute for a minimal shoe and started doing more of my fast runinng in the Adidas Adios 2

Take a look at my Adidas Adios 2 review and Saucony Kinvara 3 review

Asics DS Racer 9 manufacturers specification

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