by Erin Engelson, assistant marketing manager

I am a simpleton when it comes to running – I’ve been wearing the same shoes for years, just throw on a t-shirt and some basketball shorts, no GPS, no gadgets, no agenda. I run so I can tune out.

When I was asked to wear-test the brand new Asics Gel-Quantum 360, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Asics has created an enormous marketing campaign around this shoe and I was hoping the shoe’s performance would meet and exceed all the hype – but I didn’t have high hopes.

I was pleasantly surprised.

There are a few things about this shoe that make it super comfortable: 360 degrees of gel make it Asics’ most cushioned shoe ever. That gel is topped by a cushioned sockliner, giving the shoe an ultra plush feel when you first put it on. Additionally, it has a slightly narrow heel which makes you feel locked in – something I really love in my running shoes.

Although technically a neutral shoe, the Quantum offers a really stable ride thanks to a full-length trusstic system; it was certainly enough support for my overpronated footIMG_2075, but wouldn’t be overwhelmingly stiff for a true neutral runner.

The shoe features a seamless upper – ‘asymetrical fluid fit,’ they call it. Basically it offers a sock-like fit that is snug and secure where it needs to be (midfoot) and open where it needs to be (toe box).

Now, the drawbacks: extra cushioning generally means extra weight. This is certainly the case in the Quantum, which weighs in at 11.9 ounces for men and 9.9 ounces for women. It’s definitely heavier than I’m used to and probably heavier than I’d want in an everyday trainer. If you’re looking for a fast-feeling shoe, this probably isn’t your guy.quantum

BUT, if you’re looking for a shoe to mix into your everyday lineup with some extra cushion – perhaps a shoe for the day after a hard workout – the Quantum fits the bill. I’d say it takes first place in its category – it’s firmer and more responsive than the Adidas Ultra Boost [available in Boston & Wellesley], and a little smoother than the Mizuno Wave Prophecy.

The Asics Gel-Quantum 360 is available in our Boston and Wellesley locations. Stop by and give it a try – I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!