Asics DS Trainer 18 Tester Diary

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By Matt, Running Warehouse Shoe Tester

Those of you who follow me a little too closely (hi there, stalkers!) will know that I’ve been a big fan of the DS Trainer series for quite some time. It’s basically been my go-to shoe for several years now (with some brief trysts in the Mizuno Wave Elixir as well).

Right now I’m testing out the latest (and loudest, in terms of color) Asics DS Trainer 18 and have found a lot to like so far:

  • Long Haul Comfort – I’ve taken this shoe on two 10 milers already, and didn’t have a single blister or bit of soreness.
  • Excellent Upper Fit – I was one of the folks who never really warmed up to the heel clutch collar in the last two versions of this shoe. The return to a “normal” heel collar is a welcome addition for me, and helps to make me feel just a bit more at home.
  • Transparent Control – I think Asics has a winner on their hands with the Dynamic DuoMax support system. It’s never intrusive but provides me with the touch of support I like, especially on longer runs.

I was expecting to be able to notice the lower weight of the DS Trainer 18, but so far it feels nearly identical to the prior model to me. Heel striking is comfortable in the shoe, but for my preferred midfoot strike, I’ve been experiencing a bit of scuffing in the heel as I land. That certainly can happen with higher offset shoes, though I didn’t notice it on the last DS Trainer and it hasn’t happened in the Elixir, with its 13mm drop. I’ll get some more runs in and see whether it’s a shoe problem or a me problem.

Last week I checked in with Kaitlin in our retail store, who’s also testing out the shoe for an upcoming video review. She’s struggling a bit to find the latest DS Trainer’s sweet spot. She’s felt beat up more than expected after longer runs of over 10 miles in the shoe. But she did agree that the upper has a pretty nice fit throughout. Stay tuned for our final thoughts on the shoe after we rack up more miles this month and next!

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