Asics Gel DS Racer 10 Review

Asics Gel DS Racer 10

Asics Gel DS Racer 10

I’ve been racing in the Asics Gel DS Racer 8 for several years. I’ve used them for 5k’s, half marathons, marathons and an ultra – it’s pretty much my go-to racing shoe. I tried the DS Racer 9 but never purchased it because I didn’t love the fit. I was curious what Asics would do with the 10, so I decided to give it a try.

DS4

First, I noticed the 10 had a very soft upper. This is always a plus on racing shoes – the last thing you want to worry about is getting a blister or irritation because of an uncomfortable overlay.

DS2

I found the shoe to be an average width and I think it fit pretty true to size. Unfortunately, this made it a little narrow for me. With that being said, I think I could make it work if I had to.

The size 10 was 6.8 oz on scale.

The heel measures 23mm and the forefoot measures 15mm – an 8mm drop.

DS3

I thought the shoe might have traction issues – the bottom was much smoother than previous models. I’ve been able to use the DS Racer 8 on trails but I don’t think the 10 would work effectively. I think these could be used for a 5k, 10 or even a half marathon. I do not think it is a great shoe for a marathon.

Pros:
– comfortable fit
– 8mm drop – similar to many training shoes
– lightweight
– cost – these are available for $81.91 from Running Warehouse

Cons:
– only effective on roads
– very smooth bottom – there may be traction issues
– probably not the best shoe for a marathon

These are also available at Zappos:

Asics at ShopStyle

They are also available at Amazon:

Asics at ShopStyle

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30 Responses to Asics Gel DS Racer 10 Review

  1. Try running Lake Effect next year in the snow in them. That can really tell about the traction. I like my racing flats to have a little more cushion myself.

  2. Those are really light, did you feel you could run long in them?
    Maybe I’ll give Asics another chance one day..

    • Jason says:

      Good question! I’ll have to go back and include that in the review. I don’t think they would be great for a marathon. You could probably do a half marathon in them, but I think they would be best for a 5k or 10k.

  3. Riyaad says:

    D’s racer 10 is brilliant for a 10km race ran good times in it I think half marathon is the limit,although I’m a marathon runner.

  4. Tref Sport says:

    Yes, they are great, but I prefer GEL Kayano more.

  5. Staffan says:

    Hi, could you please ellaborate a bit further as to why you don’t think version 10 is a good marathon shoe, due to the potential traction issue? I have just bought them for running marathon in them 😉 I’m a rather lightweight runner with a marathon PR or 2.57 from last year and I run a lot in lightweight trainer and have ran several marathons in the Asics Tarther (not available in the US) which is neutral and similar in weight to DS Racer 10, with a similar upper but a quite different outsole since Asics regards the Tarther as a transition shoe between trainers and spikes for track running.

    I have only tested them briefly yet but I will do a 22 mil long run in them tomorrow to evalutate them on a long distance training run.
    Just curious…thanks /Staffan, Sweden

    • Jason says:

      Sure. As best I can tell, the Tarther has a good bit of traction in the forefoot. The DS Racer 10 is quite smooth. In fact, I think it would be rather challenging to run in these on a wet surface due to slipping. Separately, the material in the outsole does not feel as durable as past models – I think it would wear quite quickly. I’ve run over 500 miles in my DS Racer 8s but I think the 10s would be limited to a couple of hundred miles. With that being said, if you are lightweight, this may not be as big of an issue (I am 70 kg). Best of luck with your long run – let me know how it goes!

      • Wow, that was fast, thanks! I am 65 kg’s so rather similar to you. Will let you know the outcome of both the long run and the marathon. I agree that the Tarther has excellent traction in the forefoot and that these, the DS Racer, seems different.

  6. Staffan says:

    Hi again, I spent 2 hrs 41 min (36k) in the DS Racer 10 yesterday on my long run. Fit was very good I think. A snug upper fit although I went half a size bigger than my Tarthers but enough room in the toe box. Traction was excellent on dry asphalt but a few small stones got stuck in the drainage holes in the outsole (50% of the run was on gravel road) The feel was very good throughout the entire run and leg fatigue didn’t increase and my legs felt good the rest of the day as well and now the day after.

    The medial arch support was hardly noticeable throughout the run and I think this shoe could be classified as a neutral shoe as well.

    The upper seems quite thin and vulnerable and I agree with you that there might be a durability issue with the thin upper mesh. As with regards to the outsole, it worked excellent on dry ground but you might be right that traction could be an issue on wet surface just by looking at the outsole.

    Stockholm Marathon (Sweden) which is my upcoming marathon may 31st is known to most often be warm and dry (except for 2012 when it was raining, very windy and cold) so wet surface is often not an issue and to sum it up, I think it will work fine for me on race day! Thanks for a good blogg!

    Staffan

  7. Thank you Jason, my PR is 2:57:02 from november in ideal running conditions. I am in much better shape now, my intervals are faster, I just ran a 37:15 PR 10k on a quite hilly course. Dream goal is 2:50 but that will require ideal wheather conditions and finding a good group of runners to go with and a good day when it comes to fuelling, hydration and running form and bla bla bla… 🙂

    2:50-2:55 is definitively achievable even if the stars do not align 🙂

  8. Franck X says:

    Gents, many thanks for your input. I am considering buying the Racer 10 to shave a few minutes off my recent PB and I may buy them. In you opinions would they be OK for a slight supinator – underpronator? Many thanks.

  9. Normally I would hesitate to recommend a shoe with pronation support to someone with supination but I think the DS Racer is very close to being neutral, the arch support was hardly noticeable during my long run this weekend so I also think it would work fine. Neutral Asics alternatives with a similar weight would be Asics Tarther or Asics Hyperspeed (slightly more of a race shoe, lighter).

  10. Franck X says:

    Jason, Staffan, thank you. I have also tried a pair of Hyperspeed 6 today which I really enjoyed but I am just concerned about what you just said earlier Staffan, it is more of a shorter distance racing shoe, and would it provide sufficient cushioning for the full distance compared with the DS Racer. I have only run marathons in trainers and light trainers and I am looking at beating my 3h15 at the end of May in Edinburgh UK. I am 68/70kg. Thanks again for your valuable input. Franck

  11. Staffan says:

    Franck, you are racing the weekend before me, good luck with shoe choice and final preparations for your marathon! I will do my best to break 2:50 in Stockholm on may 31st. It will be the toughtest I’ve done and will require perfect conditions but I ran 24k in race pace 4 min/km), tough but manageable.

  12. Christopher says:

    I just completed the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati wearing the DS Racer 10’s. I weigh 155 and finished in 3:05:51. They held up just fine for me. I had 75 miles on my pair prior to the marathon. I don’t run in them all the time as i mix in a couple of other brands with more weight and cushioning. I would highly recommend them for a marathon but encourage an adjustment period. I transitioned to them from the Mizuno Wave Sayonara. My sense is that if you are coming from a 10/11 ounce shoe it might be too much of a shock – transitioning from an 8 ounce shoe is perhaps more manageable.

  13. Staffan says:

    Hi again guys, I can happily report that I totally smashed my earlier 2:57-PR in the Asics Stockholm Marathon in Sweden may 31st, running 2:50:43 and 142:nd place in total wearing my new DS Racer 10.

    Race started out with rain and wet surface but I had no traction issues whatsoever. Never actually thought about the shoe or the feeling of the shoe during the entire race, they just worked one hundred % throughout! Extremely satisified with both the race, the fit, comfort and support of this shoe!!!

  14. Staffan says:

    Thanks Jason!! I ran a very even race, the 5k splits didnt vary much at all during the 5km, less that 20seconds, the final 10k contains a high bridge an an uphill climb towards the finish there I lost about 40 seconds but I really ran at the top of my performance and I am really pleased!!

    Results:
    http://results.marathon.se/2014/?content=detail&fpid=list&pid=list&idp=9999991386F5940000056083&lang=EN&event=STHM

  15. emmahagqvist says:

    Hi, some good information about the DS racer 1o. I am now using GelLyte 33 for 10-25 k runs, which I love. However after 4 months they fabric are torn and I got them replaced by a new pair. I would like a complementary shoe which are neutral but a bit more stable (I learnt that the Lyte33 was more of a training shoe that is not supposed to be used for everyday running).
    What are you thoughts? Are the 33 and racer 10 to similar? Any other recommendation? Found that Asics seems to fit my foot the best (also the pearl Izumi but other shoes are often to narrow).
    /Emma (also from Sweden)

    • Jason says:

      You may want to try the GelExcel33 3 – I enjoy Asics as well and I think it would be worthwhile for you to look at these!

    • Hi Emma. I agree with Jason. The Excel33 is a bit more stable. You might also want to try the new Asics SuperJ33, a bit more stable in the upper, although a friend of mine really didn’t like it…

      With a complimentary shoe, do you mean a daily Trainer or a shoe for racing? If you want to look at other brands, the Saucony Mirage might be of interest too. The DS Racer is quite different from Lyte, firmer in the cushioning, a more snug fit, feels much more “race”.

  16. emmahagqvist says:

    Thank you. As a complementary I mean something a bit different than the lyte33, perhaps not for racing. The Lyte33 has a very soft sole and only 6 mm drop. I like the shoe but if I do long runs or run several days in a row my feet get very tiered, especially the arch of the foot. They are not made for marathons and ultra-marathons and I need somethings fore those long runs.

    I have small hobitfeet, that is UK3-3.5 but very wide and high arch. It makes difficult to find shoes. The sacony is to narrow, the mizuno i tried also. have Pearl Izumi trail shoe, and am thinking I could try that, but it is very neutral (0 cm drop)

  17. emmahagqvist says:

    I see I was not very clear, I run 4-5 times a week 10-15k, about 56 km. So I like to be able to use two different types of shoes, the Lyte to make my feet stronger and something which is more relaxing for the feet but still is neutral, light and comfortable enough to do ultra.

  18. These look great! I tried Asics several years ago and wasn’t a big fan. I may have to give them another shot!!

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