The Gel-Neo33 collection from Asics has been created with one aim – to encourage a natural foot movement whilst being as light and responsive as possible.
The Gel33 collection is Asics’ first full movement into the natural running arena and after many years of insisting that a high heel to toe offset of 12mm was the best type of shoe for most runners, they seem to have reversed their position and developed a shoe with more of a natural feel in mind.
The trainers incorporate the four underlying principles of the Blur33 concept – Lightweight, Comfortable, Flexible and Cushioned, whilst at the same time providing a shoe that is suitable for pronators and those with collapsed arches. The trainer manages to achieve its supportive role whilst maintaining its four peak performance points in the following ways:
Firstly the Neo has a dropped heel. This not only encourages you to run more on your forefoot and mid-foot but it also means that more of you foot is in contact with the ground at any one time.
So how exactly are these two factors beneficial? Well for some runners a mid-foot or forefoot strike makes for a more efficient running style. Not only does your heel not strike the ground as harshly as it would if you were running in conventional 12mm heel to toe offset shoes, but you are also landing in a position that is much more in-line with the natural bio mechanics of your running posture.
This review is not going to turn into a lesson on natural running but in order to reduce your risk of impact related injuries whilst wearing natural running shoes you want to make sure that you foot strikes the ground just in front of your center of gravity and you don’t want your foot to stretch out in-front of you when you run. Although you will have a tendency to do this, try to increase your cadence so that your foot is striking the ground closer to your body as this will maximize your running efficiency (within reason) and is how these natural running shoes are supposed to be used.
The trainers have a 65 degree section of Duo Max which is placed below the arch of the foot.
This high strength compound acts to support the arch and combined with the encompassing zero offset outsole means that your foot is supported throughout the entire gait cycle and not just in one section or another.
Lastly, flex grooves have been cut deep into the forefoot section of the outsole. These cut-outs enable the trainers to compress in the last stage of toe-off and mean that your foot is supported even during this last section of the gait cycle.
Because there is a reduced heel to toe offset and a lighter material is used for the arch support, the Asics Gel-Neo33 is a very lightweight shoe that offers a durable, high mileage ride that is both responsive and supportive.
Runners of both genders will be happy to know that these trainers are available in four different colours and are available in stores now