Strengths: Attractive, quite light, excellent fit, good cushioning, great responsiveness, available in 2 width fittings.
Weaknesses: Poor heel tab design for supinators, very inflexible, outsole wears too quickly.
Overall: As someone with a supinating left foot and neutral right foot, these seemed perfect. I’d got on really well with the apparently unsuitable GT-2110, and seeing these described as a neutral equivalent meant they were as good as sold! They fit brilliantly and look great. They are also light, well ventilated, with very good cushioning (particularly in the forefoot) and superb responsiveness. Unfortunately, they are very tightly fitting around the heel tab area, and this meant that the inside rear of my supinating foot is forced against the top of the shoe, causing pain after 3 or 4 miles. This is very disappointing in a shoe which is meant to be designed for supinators and neutral runners. There was no such problem with my other (neutral) foot. The other problem with these shoes is that they are very inflexible and to me felt almost like having two planks of wood under my feet. Other issues with the shoe are that the outsole appears to wear quicker than other Asics models, although apparently made of the same AHAR+ material, and the “space trussic” is vulnerable to letting water in. I’ve seen them priced at anywhere from £31 to £85 and are currently available in two colourways in this country, as well as a wide fitting version, which for some reason comes in a different colourway. I would only recommend these to neutral runners (not supinators) who need very little flexibility in their shoes. I have marked them for value based on a £50 price tag.
'THE T-SHIRT THAT DOES ALL THAT A T-SHIRT REALISTICALLY CAN!'
Strengths: I'm a great fan of Adidas clothing, and this T-shirt (specifically designed for running) from the premium Adistar range is no exception. The fit is excellent in terms of length and chest size, although I found myself having to move up a size from my normal Adidas size! From a cosmetic point of view, the designs are great (with the trademark "3 stripes" less conspicuous) and match with other products in the range (I have matching shorts and jacket) which look neat and co-ordinated. The fabric is very lightweight and breathable, and allows great freedom of movement (thanks to "Formotion" technology apparently), despite being closer fitting than some shirts. I was concerned that the thin fabric could tear easily, but a collision with a gatepost, whilst grazing my skin, left the shirt totally unscathed. The ClimaCool sweat-wicking and ventilation is as good as any other shirt available. Washing (and especially drying) couldn't be easier. The design really does seem to reduce odour, despite my cynicism. There is no chafing, and it remains comfortable throughout runs of all distances and in all conditions, especially the treadmill - the acid test!
Weaknesses: The price is an obvious drawback, but as with other items, the T-shirt can be found cheaper by shopping around or buying last season's colours. In very wet/sweaty conditions it clings a bit more than the Nike Sphere Dry shirts. There seems to be quite a lot of seams and stitching, which is no doubt required by the design, but has personally caused no problems. Available in fewer variations/colours than other T-shirts, and this season's bright green offering will certainly make you stand you out from the crowd!
Overall: If you're serious about running and looking for a premium product from a top brand that does all you'd hope for, and maybe more, this is it. Looks good, fits well, has matching products and performs excellently in all areas. It is one of the most expensive T-shirts available (at full price), but look around. I have around ten running t-shirts, and this one gets more than its fair share of usage!
'A TOP PRODUCT. CAN BE EXPENSIVE, BUT LOOK AROUND!'
Strengths: The Nike name inspires confidence and length of the t-shirt is proportional to the chest size for an athletic build (unlike many!). The fabric is superb, and seems to be at least as comfortable as most other t-shirts in all conditions, and it feels and looks like a quality item. The Sphere Dry design achieves its aim of avoiding the t-shirt clinging by creating air space around you, and wicks sweat superbly. The designs are subtle, but attractive. I haven't suffered any chafing, although I'm not generally prone to this anyway. There have been no problems with the material plucking, even after safety pins removed, but I haven't used mine for an extended period yet.
Weaknesses: The price (at £25+) is a bit on the expensive side, although I bought my current season t-shirt from TK Maxx (couldn't believe the running goodies they had in there!) for £15. Mine has a "double collar" which does make the neck area seem slightly heavier after a while, compared to similar shirts. There is also a plastic insert built into the back of the shirt, which resembles 2 interconnected holes the size of hole punches. This appears to be more for appearance than performance. It is slightly heavier than similar t-shirts such as the Adidas Adistar/Response.
Overall: Looks great, feels excellent, and fits perfectly for me in terms of length and fit. Does the job in terms of wicking sweat and avoiding cling. Beats a cotton t-shirt by miles (needless to say!). Made by one of the best sporting brands. Despite the minor drawbacks mentioned, I'd fully recommend it, and wore it for my last race (picture shown, above right)!
Strengths: Attractive design, no lace "loops", small weight reduction (13% according to Asics). Generally comfortable fit, as always with Asics. Good, hard wearing outsole.
Weaknesses: Not as cushioned, slightly narrower than GT-2110, SoLyte midsole seems to be less durable. To me they seem less stable and flexible. £5 price increase on GT-2110 RRP.
Overall: Curiosity got the better of me, and despite my reservations, I decided to give these a try! They are more attractive than their predecessors, and although the "standard" blue/white colours are a bit bland, alternative colours can be found at SportsWorld (grey/gold/black) and Intersport (white/lime green). Now, what matters! They are slightly narrower than the GT-2110, but this makes them noticeably less comfortable to me. The shoe features the SoLyte midsole, which although making the shoe slightly lighter (not noticeable, and not important as this is a trainer after all), seems to contribute to an unwelcome loss of cushioning, although this may suit lighter runners. My experience with the Kayano is that this midsole is less durable than the Speva midsole. The lack of flexibility (presumably!) caused the middle of the soles of my feet to hurt. The RRP has increased from £80 for the GT-2110 to £85, although some stores have increased their discounted price by £10, typically from around £60 to £70! Overall, I wouldn't recommend them.
[Update 09/06/07] This review won me another pair of 2120s...Runner's World are clearly unbiased! I decided to step up half a size on the size I'd previously used in the 2120 and in other Asics shoes (including the 2110). I have found that the length difference is far less noticeable than with other models, and the extra width makes them similar to other models (especially the 2110), therefore more comfortable. My advice would therefore be to try half a size above your normal Asics size if buying this shoe (in my case the same as my Nike size). I still don't rate it as well as the 2110 though.
Strengths: Very comfortable, well cushioned, stable, supportive, hard wearing etc, etc.
Weaknesses: Nothing to moan about.
Overall: These shoes have been brilliant, just right in every way, and my performances in these compared to other shoes have shown it. The fit (most importantly!) is perfect, in common with all Asics shoes I've tried. The cushioning is just right for me as well. I have had no unexpected wear problems at all. It could be a good time to buy these as they have been replaced by the GT-2120 which reviews suggest may not be as good, and are cheaper than previously. I have tried the 2120s on, and they certainly seemed firmer straight away, so I didn't buy.
Weaknesses: Awkward "two piece" sole, strange "pointed" toe box.
Overall: As a "born again" runner, I have been disappointed by Nike's shoes, which to me seem worse than those of the late 80s! The Perseus 3 looks great, but I found the pointed(!) (rather than rounded) toe box made the shoe feel tight, particularly against my little toes. The cushioning, although reasonable, wasn't as good as I expected, and the "two piece" sole, whilst making the shoe flexible, certainly wasn't to my liking. I won't be using these long enough for the "squeak" mentioned by others to have chance to appear!
Strengths: Well cushioned, attractive shoe, great fit, lighter weight than previous versions.
Weaknesses: Not as good overall as Nimbus 7, or as well cushioned. Has annoying "dot" which rubbed against my toe, making them unsuitable.
Overall: My relationship with the Nimbus 8 was a very brief one. They are not as good, particularly in cushioning terms, as version 7. However, the problem here was the daft "dot" reflector on the end of the shoe, which exerts pressure inside the shoe. I like to leave a smaller gap than some runners at the end of my shoes, and on one foot the underside of the "dot" chafed my toe. My advice would be to give these a miss if you can feel the "dot" with any toe. Value is based on a price tag around £70-75.
Strengths: Nice design visually. Very good cushioning.
Weaknesses: Sewn in tongue, very poor insole design, laces that come undone very easily, seriously lacking in flexibility.
Overall: Unless you have high arches you may need different insoles, as they have sharp edges that may dig into or chafe your feet. I have normal arches, but require a cushioned shoe as I have a neutral running action and feel impact more than I used to! You may need to give these a miss if you aren't heavy due to the lack of flexibility which makes running even harder work and can cause injuries. I'm 12 stone, so not particularly light and really notice this problem. I've marked them for value based on a retail price of £45-£50...don't pay more than that for them!
[Update 24/03/07] I've now tried these shoes with several different insoles, and they still cause blisters and irritation to my (normal) arches. Unless you are a high arched "plodder" (are there many?!), I would avoid this shoe and ignore the hype!
Weaknesses: Lost cushioning very quickly making them unusable.
Overall: I bought these two months ago and they were great to begin with. I set two PBs in them almost straight away. After about 200 miles at most the midsole went hard and other problems developed. They had been cared for properly and there was hardly any wear to the sole. I stupidly decided to give them one last 10km run before returning them, to doubly check they were faulty, and my legs still feel battered a week after. I was allowed to exchange them, and got another pair of GT2110's, which are a great trainer.