The SpEVA55 midsole in the Asics Gel Pursue provided excellent cushioning and a firm ride. The impact absorption was not as cloud like as the Ghost 7, it’s turn over felt more rapid. The Pursue is heavy and slower than the Hoka Huaka but rather average for a cushioned trainer. The Gel pursue is a budget friendly solid shoe with high durability best for a heavier runner who loves heel to mid foot striking.
Asics has introduced a more affordable mid-weight cushioned trainer in the gel-neutral line of shoes. The Pursue is marketed as a faster, more comfortable neutral shoe yet I felt more comfort than speed. At first glance these shoes look bulky. Most brands are cutting weight with welded upper seams and eliminating excess outsole rubber. Aesthetically the exterior of the Pursue shoe reveals ample sewed seems reinforcing the last, a hard plastic heel counter and midfoot as well as exposed gel for cushioning. After nearly 50 miles in this shoe there is virtually no visual wear and the firmness remains.
Comfort Plush foam encompassed the heel counter and a thickly padded tongue gave a cushioned feel. Mesh was present throughout the mid foot distally without an intrusive sock liner like the Nike Pegasus 31. The laces secured a lock and anchored the lasts’ numerous external sewed supports to the sole without an issue.
Fit The forefoot was a touch narrow yet Asics offers wider widths in the line if needed. Eyelets were sewed in place without metal therefore no pressure points. Any sock thickness was easily compensated for by the ability to loosen or really wrench down on the laces without dorsal foot pressure thanks to the tongue’s padding.
Speed The Pursue had a dead average weight at 10.6oz for a cushioned trainer. The increased weight added durability yet paid for it with reduced speed. I cruised around a 7:35/mile pacing in this shoe and felt comfortable on tempo runs. I did not feel sluggish picking up cadence but had difficulty transitioning this to speed. This was most notable on hill climbs compared to lighter neutral shoes like the Wave Sayonara or the Hoka line.
Stability An exoskeleton heel counter provided a solid lock with heel striking and held steady around corners. The rear stack height is lower than I expected from Asics giving a closer to ground feel. Lateral exposed gel catered to impact absorption and accept the lateral impact at heel strike. Numerous outsole flex lines allowed for good lateral motion.
Responsiveness Asics’ EVA material is blended throughout the midsole of the Asics Gel Cumulus 16, which created less of a boggy absorption feeling as seen in Asics’s older cushioned line. The EVA foam is sandwiched between layers of composite materials, which created adequate cushion without robbing mid-foot energy. I felt a bit more spring in the Pursue than I experienced in the Brooks Ghost yet that did not translate to speed or turnover.
Value At $110, the Pursue offers gel cushioning with average weight, high durability, and a lower tag than it’s upscale siblings, the Asics Cumulus and Nimbus.