Don’t Run…Fly!

Women

What do you look for in a running/triathlon shoe? Is it purely about comfort and choosing a shoe to suit the distance you plan to run? Or is there more to it and does it come down to the technology used and the construction? Is it about the heel drop and the weight of the shoe? Or is it about the style of the shoe; the colour and what’s currently “in running shoe fashion”? These are some of the questions I asked myself when I received my latest assignment – to road test the new Women’s ASICS® DynaFlyte ™ 2 running shoes.

For me, it’s about comfort – I don’t want unnecessary rubbing that might cause blisters, especially over long distances. It’s about the fit and the feel – I want the shoes to fit properly so that I can run long distances without issue and without fear that it might cause injury due to forcing a different running style or foot strike. Secondary to comfort, and fit and feel, like most triathletes, I also like to look good during training and racing. So a stylish shoe, that’s bright and colourful, is a bonus.

In the past, I haven’t worried too much about the weight of the shoe – I’ve gone with what was recommended at an ActiveFeet fitting years ago (when I was first starting out in triathlon). And while my training buddies have tried other shoes, and coaches and training clubs have recommended this brand or that, I’ve stuck with what I know works for me – ASICS®. I’m an ASICS® girl. I have run in ASICS®  for years and haven’t felt the need to change because “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”       

Now, while I’ve run in ASICS for years, I’ve run in a heavier model – ASICS® GT-2000, which weighs about 329g. The ASICS® GT-2000’s were initially recommended to me for extra support and stability. So, I was a little sceptical to try a lighter, neutral shoe. Would this mean less support? Would I be able to run longer distances (think: half and full marathon distances) in a lighter shoe with, perhaps, less support?

But I was pleasantly surprised.

DynaFlyte ™ 2 Women’s – A lightweight, durable, neutral trainer

Dubbed as the “go fast” training shoe, the latest DynaFlyte ™ model – DynaFlyte ™ 2 – is said to be lighter (about 20g lighter) than the original DynaFlyte ™ model, which was released in 2016. It’s also said to have a ‘revamped adapt mesh upper material’, which according to ASICS®, this is meant to allow the foot to breathe better in the shoe.

A light yet cushioned and supported shoe? You’ve got my attention.

NB: While I wasn’t able to compare between the original model and the DynaFlyte ™ 2 – I haven’t tried the original model – I was very excited to road test the shoes when they arrived in the office.    

Out of the Box

The first thing that got my attention when I opened the box was the colour – bright blue! That would certainly stand out in the crowd at any fun run or triathlon event. I love bright colours, so I was very excited about this. According to the ASICS website the shoes also come in black and a combination of black/hot pink/Persian jewel – so you’ve got choices! I was also instantly impressed with how good the shoes look, overall – they don’t look bulky, and the shoelace eyelets are nicely discrete. And they’re light – at 204g they’re a lot lighter compared to what I’m used to. This got my attention. But would the shoes pass the run test?

The Fit and Feel

As soon as I put on the shoes, they instantly felt good – ah, that new-shoes feel. Despite being light, they felt super comfortable and cushioned underfoot – almost bouncy, like walking on clouds. I felt that the shoe upper hugged my feet comfortably, without being too tight, and the discrete eyelets dispersed the lace tension, enhancing the upper comfort and fit – the shoes didn’t feel too tight up top when laced up normally. Also, there was a generous amount of room in the toe box meaning my toes didn’t feel squashed, and the width of the shoe was spot on too – you want a little bit of room to move in a running shoe. Overall, the fit and feel were excellent from the first wear. It was time to test them on the road.           

The Comfort Factor

My first road test was an eight-kilometre lunchtime road run (think: a harder surface compared to softer trails).  I was curious to see what the shoes would feel like pounding the pavement. I’m excited to report that I quickly forgot I was wearing new shoes – not something that typically happens with new runners. They definitely passed the comfort factor. Tick! Also, despite these being a neutral runner, I felt supported throughout the run, all without the extra bulk that typically comes with more supportive shoes. I am sold. They felt responsive and stable, which is largely because of the FlyteFoam Midsole Technology used in the shoes. I felt like the shoes absorbed most of the impact and shock of running on the road well. The Seamless Construction of the shoes meant no internal rubbing. I also tried the shoes barefoot (during a treadmill run session) and still, no rubbing. These shoes maintain the comfort factor both if you’re wearing socks or if you’re barefoot – perfect for Sprint or Olympic Distance Triathlons where you might not wear socks (for a speedy T1).   

NB: If you’re worried about running in a neutral shoe, the DynaFlyte ™ 2 runners come with a removable Ortholite Sockliner. This can be removed, so you could swap it over for an orthotic for added support.

The Longer Run Test – I felt like I was flying

OK. So the shoes work for a shorter run (<10km). But how would they go during a longer run? To test this, I wore the shoes during a half marathon (21.2km) – Run Melbourne. Like the shorter run, I felt stable, supported, cushioned yet lightweight – I felt like I was flying! Outside of the expected soreness and discomfort, you might feel after running 21.1km; I didn’t feel any other pain like calf pain for example. My feet didn’t hurt or burn – I experienced this once when I ran more than 20km in new shoes – the bottoms of my feet felt like they were burning. I didn’t experience this in the DynaFlyte ™ 2’s despite only having done a handful of runs in them leading into the half marathon. The shoes worked. Tick! I even managed to walk away with a sneaky little half marathon PB – very happy. What’s more, I pulled up better than expected after the half marathon. To do with the shoes? Not sure. But I’m thinking, running in a comfortable pair of shoes that fit well and feel good – that surely aids faster recovery!   

Final Verdict

I am sold. I’m really impressed with the DynaFlyte ™ 2’s – finally, a lightweight shoe that’s stable and comfortable. I’m really excited to run in a lightweight shoe that provides me with the support that I need without being bulky. I really did feel like I was flying during the half marathon. Next stop, Ironman Western Australia. I can’t wait to wear my new kicks in the marathon portion of the Ironman.

Men

This time last year we reviewed the Asics DynaFlyte. It was an entirely new shoe, from the ground up, for Asics and one, which, we felt, was a big step forward. Fast-forward twelve months, and we are reviewing the DynaFlyte 2. A year on, has there been a significant change in the DynaFlyte? Well first off, we absolutely loved version one, so much so that it really became our go-to trainer for most sessions. Having said that it’s always a nervous time when you test the new version of a product you have loved in the past.

As seems to be the case with most shoes we test nowadays, upon opening the box, we were greeted with a pristine pair of black runners. Our test model were black with a white heal cup, which is quite striking. You can also get black with an electric blue heal cup, which looks seriously cool.

Let’s get into the difference between version one and two – in short, there isn’t a lot of difference, but what they have done are definite improvements. Basically, the upper has been changed. It’s still a seamless mesh upper, but now it somehow feels like it moulds to your foot better and supports you through the stride in a better way. Also, the toecap is softer and internal now, rather than external, which is nicer aesthetically more than anything. The other noticeable thing about the upper is that it breaths better. Over a number of runs varying from five to 15km, it was noticeable that the shoes were cooler than the first edition. These are all quite nice little improvements without detracting what we loved about the original DynaFlyte.

Looking at the sole, and as far as we can tell there is no change here. Everything looks and feels the same as the original. They still use the FoamFlyte technology from the first edition, which is apparently 55% lighter than the EVA foam previously used. And the shoe is light, – very light at 250g, which is about 20g lighter than the last model. As the sole hasn’t noticeably changed, we can presume this is down to the redesigned upper.

One of the great things about the DynaFlytes are the inners – silky smooth, and one of the most comfortable shoes to run in without socks. We were very relieved to find that the latest version has retained that feature, making it close to the perfect triathlon shoe.

Well, we couldn’t just look at this pair of shoes – we had to take them out for a few kilometres. Having put about five weeks of running into the DynaFlyte 2’s it’s really just like being reacquainted with an old friend. Everything is pretty familiar. While the overall fit is slightly changed, for the better, the run itself is pretty much the same. It’s like running on clouds. Your foot never moves in this shoe, with the great heal cup that seems to mould to, and hold, your foot with just the right amount of firmness to the light mesh upper that provides support but allows your foot to spread naturally. Couple that with a sole that both absorbs a great deal of shock and gives a little back, the DynaFlyte can pretty much handle any distance or session. Our longest run was only 15km this time around but was fine, whether the session was a speed session or and long slow run. If you like to run the same shoe for racing and training, then this is a fantastic option.

Overall, the DynaFlyte 2 is another well thought out shoe from Asics and builds on the reputation of the first edition. So, if you are in the market for a good, lightweight, neutral trainer, jump into a pair of these.

ASICS® DynaFlyte ™ 2 Women’s and men’s

Women

Men

Weight:

204g*

250g**

Heel Height:

19mm

25mm

Forefoot Height:

11mm

17mm

Heel Drop:

8mm

8mm

$220 AUD

asics.com/au

_________________________________

Text by: 

AT’s Margaret Mielczarek reviewed the Women’s ASICS Dynaflyte 2

The Test Lab reviewed the Men’s ASICS Dynaflyte 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the mailing list

Enter your details below to stay up to date with whats going on.