This Asics Coach Is the Greatest Cut price in Operating at Simply $100

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Running trends, whether it’s towering max-cushion trainers or ultralight minimalist sneakers, come and go, but Asics GT-1000 12 is proof that one niche always remains: the dependable workhorse trainer. Compared with flashier models in the Asics running shoe lineup and among competing brands, GT-1000 might seem a bit boring. But this venerable shoe has a legacy that stretches back decades, and it’s still one of Asics’ flagship running sneakers.

For beginners or anyone in need of a pair of training shoes, Asics GT-1000 12 offers solid performance at a very attractive price point. It’s comfortable and stable with a great fit, and it’s suitable for both fast and slow paces. In other words, it checks many boxes for not a lot of money.

Overall Impressions

I'll level with you: The GT-1000 12 isn’t the most exciting running sneaker on the market today. There’s no superfoam, carbon fiber plates, or other fancy technology inside this shoe. It won't blow your mind with its responsiveness or cushioning, but it will keep your feet comfy and stay out of your way. For many runners, that’s paramount.

Fit and Feel

Asics GT-1000 12’s upper provides a snug, no-nonsense fit that never loosened or felt sloppy during my testing. I never needed to use a lace lock on either foot, and the padding around the ankle collar and heel felt plush against my feet. I also loved the design of the toe box: My toes had plenty of room to spread out, and the spacious design contributed to the shoe’s stable ride (more on that below).


Cushioning-wise, Asics GT-1000’s midsole took the edge off my footfalls but never felt particularly bouncy or soft. I didn’t mind it on shorter runs, but on longer efforts I did wish for more cushioning. To me, GT-1000 just doesn’t feel as fun to run in as well-padded trainers like New Balance 1080.

Asics GT-1000 12 is well-cushioned but won't weigh you down.

Michael Charboneau


The GT did, however, feel especially flexible. The shoe really surprised me with the way it curled under the balls of my feet as I moved from landing to toe-off. At the forefoot, the midsole is thin and flexible, and that helped the shoe achieve really smooth transitions with each step. When I tested it against the Nike Winflo, this streamlined forefoot construction emerged as a key point of difference: While both shoes felt similar in terms of cushioning, Asics GT-1000 was noticeably more flexible in the forefoot. In addition, the LiteTruss worked as advertised. I could feel a touch of support under my arch, but it never seemed overly intrusive or blocky.


While it might not be the softest on the market, GT-1000 felt stable, even on steep hills and broken sidewalks. The wide forefoot and LiteTruss midsole design certainly contributed, as did the robust heel counter (a stiff layer in the upper that supports the back of the foot) and generous padding around the ankle collar. All these features combined to create a planted, secure ride, and I never worried about rolling an ankle or wobbling in a corner. The GT-1000 also has a generous rubber outsole, and it served up lockdown grip on dry and wet pavement and packed trails—I never once felt a slip during my test runs.

Specs Pros Cons

Weight: 8.3 oz


Midsole can feel a bit lifeless

Stack Height: 32.5 mm (heel), 24.5 mm (forefoot)


Price: $100

Lightweight and flexible

Key Features and Tech

The GT-1000 line is one of Asics’ “Legends” shoes: key models, like the Gel-Kayano and Gel-Nimbus, that have been around for decades and form the core of the brand’s running shoe lineup. Asics GT-1000 traces its roots back to the 1980s, although it didn’t acquire its current name until 2012. More recently, there are several key changes across GT-1000 10, GT-1000 11, and GT-1000 12.

“From the 10 to the 11 had a pretty big progression,” Asics Performance Run Category Director John Ealy tells Men’s Journal. “It added a new technology called LiteTruss.”

LiteTruss is a layer of firmer foam in the midsole that supports the medial side of the foot “to help guide your foot through pronation,” says Ealy. It helps counter overpronation, where your foot rolls too far inward during your stride. It’s a similar concept to the medial posts used in older stability shoes, but it’s a much lighter foam, so LiteTruss feels less intrusive and more forgiving.

Asics GT-1000 12 is over an ounce lighter in men’s sizes compared with the eleventh iteration.

Michael Charboneau

“Traditional stability shoes feel kinda firm and stiff,” says Ealy. "This gives you the experience of a soft, comfortable ride but still gives you that secure pronation control.”

In addition to LiteTruss, Asics GT-1000 features EVA-based FlyteFoam cushioning in the midsole and Gel—a soft, gel-like cushioning material—in the heel.

Related: We Tested Dozens of On Running Shoes. These Are the Best

The 12th iteration of the GT-1000 is a mild update. It maintains the same midsole as the 11, but Asics swapped in a new streamlined engineered mesh upper with fewer overlays. The revamped upper received some tweaks for comfort, including a new “lean-back heel” shape that’s designed to prevent irritation at the back of the foot and make the shoe easier to get on and off. The 12’s upper is both more breathable and lighter than the upper used on 11, and that contributes to significant overall weight savings: The GT-1000 12 is over an ounce lighter in men’s sizes compared with the 11th iteration.

Asics GT-1000 12 features EVA-based FlyteFoam cushioning in the midsole and Gel—a soft, gel-like cushioning material—in the heel.

Michael Charboneau

Who It’s Best For

Asics GT-1000 12 is an everyday training shoe. It offers a relatively stable, moderately cushioned platform, and especially considering its low weight, it’s quite versatile.

“To me, it’s just the do-it-all kind of shoe,” says Ealy, “you can do speedwork, long runs, easy runs, walking.”

Add in its low price point, and the GT-1000 makes a compelling offering for young runners and beginners just getting into the sport. It’s an approachable shoe that’s capable and comfortable, although those qualities also make it a great choice for veteran runners who need a dependable trainer to add to their rotation.

Final Verdict

For an affordable, versatile everyday trainer, Asics GT-1000 12 is a strong contender. I see this being a great first shoe for new runners who aren’t sure what kind of running experience they want. The GT-1000 doesn’t mess too much with your stride or try to juice each step with space-age foams and plates. Instead, it gives you a comfortable, stable ride that allows you to figure out how you like to run—and enjoy it once you have more miles under your belt.

$97 at Amazon$100 at Zappos$100 at Asics

Why You Should Trust Me

I’ve been testing and reviewing outdoor and fitness gear since 2018 for a variety of publications, including Runner’s World, InsideHook, Gear Patrol, and more. Running shoes is the category I’ve written about the most, and I’ve tested dozens of shoes over the years, including several pairs from Asics. To get more context for this review, I also spoke with Asics Performance Run Category Director John Ealy about the design of the current GT-1000 and how the line has evolved over the past couple generations.

My Testing Process

I tested my sample pair of Asics GT-1000 12s over the course of two weeks and racked up 20 miles on them during that time. The GT-1000 is a road shoe, so I mostly ran on pavement, but I did include segments on hard-packed trails as well. I ran a variety of routes around Los Angeles, where I live, including up and down steep hills, quick jogs on city streets and sidewalks, and one longer effort along paved and packed dirt urban paths. I ran in both dry and wet weather, always in mild temperatures (in the 50s and 60s—typical for L.A. winter). Finally, I compared the GT-1000 to the Nike Winflo 10, a similar entry-level trainer, by running with a GT-1000 on one foot and a Winflo on the other.

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