Men's ASICS® GEL-DS TRAINER 18 :: Crank up your performance in the men's ASICS® GEL-DS Trainer 18 with the one-ounce weight loss! Pick up your running pace with an improved fit and less slipping thanks to the foot-hugging Heel Clutching System™. Enjoy less irritation and an overall more comfortable run with the new seamless upper. Run worry-free rain or shine with the ideal traction of the ASICS® WET GRIP® Outsole! 9.1 ounces
I've been running in Saucony Kinvaras for the last couple of years to get back to more natural running, and I recently started wearing them a little more loosely laced (quit using the extra loop at the top), and I think this led to an Achilles tendon injury above my left heel). After a week or so off with lots of cold treatments, I tried Pro-Tec Athletics Achilles Tendon Support System and a pair of DS Trainer 18's (what I used to run in before switching to the Kinvaras), and the combination worked beautifully.
The DS Trainer 18's are a great improvement over the previous editions. They have a roomier forefoot, better forefoot cushioning (not necessarily softer, but better distributed), better heel impact and better transition. So you get a more structured and better-cushioned foot plant and transition than that provided by the Kinvaras (which is where I felt the Achilles pain), more elevation in the heel to help de-stress the Achilles, and better forefoot cushioning, too. The best parts are that you still have a pretty light shoe (just few oz. more than the Kinvaras) with good road feel and toe-off, so I can still keep my mid-foot strike/stride.
The lime-green color and black stripes are pretty hard to take; but I don't really care what they look like, personally. I just know that my Achilles tendon feels OK again, while running and after the run, too. I strongly recommend the Pro-Tec Support System (bought through RoadRunners'), too. A great, inexpensive solution for Achilles pain.
Best DS Trainer in over 10 years !!!
Love this new version of the DS trainer !!! Not too crazy about the lime green but real runners are more focused on the ride than the color. In my opinion the DS 18 is the best update since the DS trainer that was released around 1996 or 1997 which was version 4 or 5 I believe. I have run in every single version since, and always long for the same kind of ride as version 4 or 5. The 18 is similar in every way except one. The front soles back in the mid 90's were a softer compound and currently shoes are being released with more carbon in the sole for longer wear. I personally prefer the softer compound in my front soles for better push off. As you can tell, I am a fanatic about my running shoes and a fanatic about DS Trainers. I just ordered another pair of the DS 18 from Road Runner Sports !!! Great price too !!! (Probably because no one wants the lime green) Remember, it's the ride, not the color !!!
KC Runs with Indy Runners
1000% better than the 17's
Wow, I can't say how happy I am. I've been running in DS Trainers for the last 15 years. The iteration that was the 17's were awful. They were heavy, too much shoe, ridiculous heel flap/retaining mechanism. Most of all, they just felt spongy and non-responsive. Over built for sure.
The new 18's: Back to its' roots. Super fast, responsive, light, mild stability. All around awesome. The weight is perfect at the 9oz mark. Fast enough for races and enough meat underfoot for all training. I wouldn't want them any lighter, or heavier.
I'll be stocking up on these in case Asics feels the need to make these a tank for the next model.
The only drawback, very minor, is the toe box could be a touch bigger. Once I put over 100 miles on them they felt great- so maybe this is a non-issue. Maybe drop the heel toe drop a tad too from 12 to 6?
Great job Asics- please don't make these tanks again.
Toebox is too tight
I've run in these for almost 200 miles now. The outsoles are showing showing some wear now, but the shoes don't feel like they'll need to be replaced soon.
I never owned v.17, but the weight of v.18 is definitely not noticeable during long runs.
The main problem I have with these shoes is the toebox. As Leaks mentioned, it's too narrow. (My feet are normal width.) This was especially true when the shoes were new, but even after breaking them in they pinched enough to cause a corn to develop on the toe adjacent to my right foot's big toe.
Toebox aside, the DS Trainers still have a snug fit. I tried going 1/2 size larger in the store, but they slid around my feet a little, so that was no solution. I think Asics is just going to have to widen v.19, or come out with an "E" width version of v.18 for people with normal feet.
Oh, and I also think the bumblebee color scheme is ugly, but there's no accounting for taste.
Most Excellent Update
These shoes are bright, hence the Most Excellent and not just Excellent in the title. I wear a size 9 and my Gel-DS Trainer 17 weighed 10.65 ounces new and this pair is 9.80 ounces. The shoe fits the same as the previous generation and seems to have the same level of cushioning as well as ride height. I wrote a fairly negative review of the Gel Cumulus 14 because the update made them noticeably narrower than the Cumulus 13. This update Asics got right. With my eyes closed I cannot tell the difference between the two generations.
These will be my marathoning shoes for Boston Marathon this year, after completing 18 consecutive Bostons my legs will not let me run more than a half marathon in my Gel DS Racer 8. I did run a fall marathon in the Trainer 17s without a problem and expect the 18s to be padded enough for the distance.
My only concern is the durability of the new upper design. Those black stripes are structural.
Close, but no cigar
I had to re-order the shoe because my usual size 12 didn't fit well (cramped toe box, and a little short). I was encouraged when I tried on the 12's because the shoe was lightweight and didn't seem clunky.
When I received my 12 1/2's I went for my first road run, a 4 miler. About 2-2 1/2 miles into the run the bottom of my right forefoot started burning (one of those infernal hot spots that seem to plague me when I try to wear the newer Asics training shoes). The left shoe was great.
I thought maybe the problem was caused by a new shoe product. I tried another 4 mile run 2 days later. Same problem, at about the same distance.
Had to return the shoes. Maybe it's not a design problem. Maybe just one defective shoe?
The colorway makes me eyes burn but...
I run between 55-80 miles a week. This is a great shoe that I can recommend for a rotation. I would not recommend running in this daily as there is great cushioning but not enough for daily high mileage runs. The front toe area seems to wear a bit quicker than I would like. I also find my big toe feels a bit cramped in the upwards direction. Nonetheless this is a very nice shoe that does a great job of providing a fast feel with excellent arch support which was exactly what I was looking for in this shoe.
DS Trainer getting back to old days
This is my 2nd pair of the 18s, reminds me of the old days pre 10s which I usually wore. Been running in Asics since the old Tigers back in 1974. These are comfortable and have had no problems with shin splints. I have average everything but the Nimbus/Cumulus did not seem to work well for me. Only complaint is the flat shoelaces, they keep coming loose, not in the knot but in the lacing and drives me crazy. Have reverted to finding old shoes with round laces.
1974 Asics dude
Now this is the DS Trainer I remember
I've been a DS Trainer user for a few years now as I've found them to be the perfect balance of structure and lightness. Last year's 17 version deviated from that. Not only was it heavier but the sizing was too small so I was ready to look elsewhere for a shoe I could both train and race in. This year with Version 18 Asics went back to true sizing and shaved some weight off and voila, it's a great shoe again!
Back to it's origins
I have worn DS Trainers on and off for over a decade. The 18 is nice recovery after the 17 which was way too much shoe. After running in the 16 I sent the 17 back the moment I tried them on. The 18 is back to the original intent of the DS Trainer. Relatively light weight with mild stability. Feels like a wider toe box than the 16. Haven't run much in them yet but first impression is very positive.
New Orleans, LA
Great performance stability shoe
I am an avid marathon runner avg 40 -50 miles a week.I was running in a non cushioned, non stability shoe, and I was having a lot of injuries. This is why I switched shoes, so far feeling much better because of the performance of this shoe. Will be running races in ds racer, looking to qualify for Boston for my 4th time.
Munroe Falls, OH
Wow that feels gooood!
I used the Gel DS Trainer 17 and liked them for any length of run. Ran a marathon in them as well. When I first put the 18 on my thought was "ah those feel gooood!" I like the changes and look forward to wearing out this pair. I rotate through 3 pair of shoes at any given time and these are my mid to long distance trainers.
Another great version of the DS Trainer
I love this shoe! Plenty of stability and gel cushioning in a lightweight trainer. I use this shoe when I do speed work and I also use it to race half ironman and ironman distance races. I order a half size up, remove the insoles, and use my orthotics with this shoe. I just ran 18 miles in them yesterday and they performed perfectly.
A Racing Shoe Too
Ran in these at the Charleston Half this past weekend - no blisters, adequate protection from the pavement, yet supportive and light enough for the longer distance races. Finished 2 mins under my projected time; I thought it would be the ugliest looking shoe out there during the race, but I was wrong!
Good, not perfect
Not quite as comfortable as the DS Trainer 17. I actually had to go up a half size in the DS 18 to find room for my pinky toe. Not a deal breaker, but I do have to tighten the shoe quite a bit more now to stay locked in. Overall a good shoe. I plan on buying either the newer version or the new DS Racer as my next training shoe.
No give for wider feet
Ran competitively throughout high school and college. Have run in previous generations of the DS Trainer. Having a wide foot, I found that the toe box would stretch a bit to accomodate my foot. That won't happen with the DS Trainer 18. Those black stripes are structural. No give at all. Would be nice if RRS offered this shoe in a wider width.
Good support, reasonable weight
I use the ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 18 for longer runs and speed work. It has a good amount of cushioning, but is not so heavy as to impact speed workouts. It's a comfortable shoe that didn't require much break-in time. I've not purchased this shoe previously so I can't address durability.
Keeps gett better
These are my 47th pair of DS Trainers---first impression over the 17s is positive. Round laces are back! Haven't liked the flat laces since they started using them. Didn't have any problem with 17s weight, but the 18s just feel lighter. I'm looking forward to hitting the road with them
Better than last model trainer
After break in these are my training shoes. Much better than last years model and lighter than I expected Great traction and side wall stability. Super color, great eye catcher on and off the road. Very good in my ultra trainings. Very Chic
Steve the Ultra
By now, I'm a pretty loyal Asics guy. These shoes seem like a good beginner's shoe. They are fast and make me want to go running. They saw me through my first half marathon and here's hoping they take me the full 26 miles.
Matty C Matty Do
Comfortable, light trainer
This is my second pair of DS Trainers and I love them. They're a good blend of trainer and racing shoe - light enough to race in, but adequate support for everyday training runs. Very comfortable.
Hard ride in the forefoot
The toe box is narrow and stiff. The ride is hard, it's NOT a natural, confortable feel when running. I would not recommend this shoe if you're a competitive runner and prone to injury.
Run with the Best
Good Ultra Shoe road or trail. Had to order a full size larger to get comfortable. Not a stable as older Trainers. Bring them back.
Steve the Ultra Man
This shoe is outstanding. Great stability, comfort and lite-weight! Ran a half marathon and they were incredible.
I run 65-70 miles a week and this shoe is great. It has great support and yet is comfortable and fast.
Light weight, great cushion and feel.
Great for longer run.
Great 'Fast' shoe for all events. Cost can be $20-30 LESS.
Mens ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 18 Running Shoe
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