First Impressions

Out of the box, the über lightweight feel of the ASICS Gel-Lyte33 2 was immediately evident. Once on, their comfort reminded me of a well-worn pair of slippers, very comfortable, no breaking in necessary. The synthetic and mesh uppers were immediately responsive. The soft cushioning underfoot, the spacious toe box, a locked-in heel, and secure mid-foot had all the creature comforts for my size 11.5 US feet. Then I saw its signature, a deeply carved vertical flex groove on the outsole.


The Gel-Lyte33 2 is engineered to improve your running form. Turns out that vertical flex groove is designed to improve the efficiency of your stride. Using fluid axis technology, the shoes side to side responsiveness helps your foot freely rotate while you run. As a result, form improves and a more natural motion unfurls. Prepare yourself for an adjustment period. My center of gravity shifted, and my balance points rotated. My feet muscles were being used in new ways. I was definitely feeling fine motor foot muscles awaken. My calves and shins were also affected. The harder the terrain, the more difficult it was to adapt. Especially with no socks, you can really feel the ground. The midsoles have a soft pillow – like feel.

At some point, on every run, I would break through and embrace the feel of my clearly altered gait. The more I ran with these shoes, the shorter the adjustment time became. Once there, an effortless stride, especially at higher speeds was there to be had. Like an “aha” moment, “natural running” became a whole new experience. I was lighter on my feet and more in sync with the terrain. Quite unexpectedly that nagging pain in my calf just disappeared. I was consciously and subconsciously coordinating my gait in what really did feel like a more natural motion. After my runs, my legs felt refreshed. The calf pain stayed away, my joints and muscles felt great.

Weight: 17.0 oz. per pair
Drop: 6 mm
Materials: Polyester mesh and synthetic textile uppers, silicone-based cushioning, rubber outsole


The ASICS Gel-Lyte33 2 has a very light, airy comfortable feel. Due to the axial geometry of the shoe design, these shoes demand an adjustment period, which can be a bit of grind. With patience, once you break through, the lightweight and exceptional feel promotes a harmonious stride with improved mechanics. At this point, the overall fit becomes excellent with no hot, only sweet spots.

Final Verdict

The ASICS Gel-Lyte33 2 is an ultra-lightweight and fast running shoe with a minimalist feel. My preferred surface was hard packed dirt trail. These shoes, however, require some time commitment for your foot to adapt. Once fully adjusted to the biomechanical shift in gait, these are a great shoe for short to medium fast runs. For under $100, these are a healthy and refreshing alternative.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to ASICS for providing product for this review.