I switched to Asics Running shoes pretty close to the beginning of 2018 and I’ve been through all the stages. Afraid feeling naked and alone, loving them and buying some ‘extra’ pairs, waking up to the realities that it’s just a sneaker and finally replacement. Which means I’ve been busy goggling things like “Asics signs of wear” and “Asics wear indicators” for over a month now and it’s slim pickin’s out there folks! From what I can tell Asics doesn’t at least publicly admit that there are or are not wear bar indicators in the design. With that in mind I decided to take a look at my plethora of samples, make my own and share. And it’s the last one the overall sole condition that might be the best indication of wear.
Some companies put obvious indicators so you can flip ‘em over and take stock of a slow process all at once. Some of these are genius like a logo in the tread that’s worn away and the degree to which that has happened makes the logo disappear. Other times it’s a hidden graphic in the soles of the shoe that becomes visible when it’s time to replace. There however does not seem to be any well known Asics harbingers or wear so let’s dig into mine and try to find some. That said the photos in this post aren’t the prettiest but they get the job done. But a picture is still worth a thousand words.
The kicks in the line-up
Well worn: Asics Gel Cumulus 18’s purchased in December 2017 and put into use pretty much as soon as I got home that day. Mostly eaten up in training miles. 439 km, these are mostly done! These sneakers feel almost finished and have for about 50 km. For now I’m only using them for easy short runs and they’ll be retired soon about 50 km or so. I will however keep them around for a potential mud run in the future.
Medium wear: Asics Gel Cumulus 19’s purchased in April 2018 and put into use right away, all hard miles on these! 193 km but lot’s of life yet! I have no major races planned soon but after 100 km or so they would likely have to be replaced as race shoes depending on how they wear. Right now I’m using them for long runs and speed work. Or just in case I do any of that soon as I’m not training.
Low wear Asics Trail 6’s purchased in February 2018 and used a bit in the snow and walk/runs with the trainees on the trail. These are almost new and pretty much only have the easiest of miles on em. 120 km on these suckers.
So we’re comparing two apples and one orange.
Places to look
As you can see this is the most obvious thing that’s going to do the 18’s in and that’s not unusual for me. My big toe just loves to pop out the top and say hello in so many pairs of running shoes I’ve had over the years. If it’s got this sort of mesh upper it’s a short term shoe for me. I think the 19’s and trail runners are constructed similarly so they might suffer the same fate. This isn’t specific to Asics or all that hidden so let’s move on.
Heel of sole
The heel should always be looked at closely as it’s a sign you’re over-striding, landing on your heal and putting yourself at risk for injury. I used to have more of an issue with this but as a shoe reaches it’s end of life some wear here is expected and as long as it’s not excessive it’s not a cause for panic. I don’t have a whole lot of wear here but there is a logo that says AHAR. You can see that’s a little worn but not terribly on the oldest 18’s if you’re a heel striker I’d monitor this one closely, if it’s gone completely you probably need a new pair. This logo is not on the trail runners. See large graphic below row three
This is where the most wear is visible on my sneakers but as you can see it’s not a whole lot more sever on one side than the other. The word GEL is visible on the inner front of the sole. Even though my 18’s are done this is still visible. If the GEL was there and now it’s gone completely consider replacing. In general if you have a lot more wear on one side than the other you might want to consider a stability shoe as it can mean you’re a pronator. Row 1 and 2, this is also proof that I have and you can fix your form since in the distance past all my wear was on the outer edge of the forefront.
General sole condition
This might be the best indicator of signs of wear in asics running shoes but don’t worry I’m about to get specific about all that. It seems that in the Cumulus line at least has darker sections of tread applied to a white or lighter main foam sole. At the edges where wear occurs the tread wears down to nothing and even starts to wear the white or in this case pink foam. If you see that happening on your Asics shoe it’s probably time to buy a new pair.
Uptick in toe
Maybe you’ll just have to believe me on this one but as any running shoe ages the toe starts to point up as the sole sort of let’s go. I think you can see it in this picture but you can tell/ feel it in real life. It definitely helps to have a new shoe to compare it to.
Gel pockets in sides
On the outside of the sole there are some gel pockets visible on the cumulus sneakers. The picture might make it seem a bit more pronounced compared with real life with the angle but it does seem there is a slight difference in the hight of the back and front pockets. If yours look wall and truly deflated buy and new pair.
Not a reliable sign of wear: sole thickness
The sole of the new trail runners is certainly the thickest probably mostly due to design but the oldest 18’s seem to be thicker than the newer 19’s. So don’t hold yours up to a new pair on this fatcor alone and decide if it’s time for a new pair.
I love it when brands put obvious wear indicators on their shoes and it seems Asics isn’t one that does that. Handy for tiers handy for running shoes too. What brand do you run in? What are your go to signs it’s time for a new shoe?