by Rafer Dannenhauer, Marathon Sports staff member
I feel particularly qualified to review the Asics Gel-Pursue 2, because I ran last year’s model into the ground! So far this shoe has far exceeded my expectations. After about 50 miles of running, including a 5K road race, a major improvement of note has been the introduction of an engineered mesh upper, with the removal of some seamed overlays, making for a much simpler, more trimmed-down fit. No bells or whistles to this shoe, which is a good thing.
This shoe is not going to feel like clouds or pillows, like its higher-cushioned big brother, the Gel-Nimbus 17. But that’s the whole point. With a responsive ride like this, it’s important to remember that softness does not equal cushioning. Instead, this shoe gives the wearer a great feel for the road underneath him.
In contrast to last year’s model, which tended to taper at the toe box, the Pursue 2 opens up in that area, thanks in part to the engineered mesh upper – a really nice touch.
This shoe is a great choice for injury-prone runners, as the slight stiffness through the midfoot will provide a bit of pronation support without risking over-correction. The 10 mm heel-to-toe offset is relatively high, which will take stress off over-taxed calf muscles and achilles tendons. All this comes without sacrificing lightness, as the Pursue 2 weighs in at 10.7 oz (men) and 9.7 oz (women).
At $109.99, the Pursue 2 matches up nicely with similar shoes from other brands – closest comparisons are the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, Brooks Defyance 8, and Saucony Ride 8 (all priced at $119.99). The Pursue 2 is the simplest shoe of its class – which might not make it the choice for shoppers who get excited about the latest and greatest materials and fabrication techniques – but for those of us who just like to wake up and go running, the Pursue 2 comes in at a reasonable weight and price point, with a beautiful feel that will help the miles fly by.