Asics Gel DS Trainer VII £79.99

Posted: 15 June 2000

This model may still be available on clearance. But we've reviewed a newer version since we published this.

A new name and a new upper for this classic racer/trainer (see last year's review below). The midsole and outsole are ostensibly exactly the same, though the moulding seems to be slightly different as the foot sits higher off the ground than before. This adds a little more cushioning, but slightly reduces ground feel and stability. The upper now has a more open mesh but keeps its great fit.

Sizes (m) 6-13, 14 (w) 5-11
Pros Lighter; more stable base of support
Cons None
Evaluation Over the last few years the DS Trainer kept its fast, flexible feel but became heavier and heavier. Now Asics has bucked that trend and made the latest model a better version of the lightweight shoe that it was originally. The individual changes to the shoe are relatively minor, but they add up to a more responsive – and more stable – ride in a shoe that’s over 30g lighter than its predecessor.
Most noticeably, the midsole has lost some fat, so the foot sits lower to the ground. That makes it more stable and flexible, reminiscent of the DS Trainer of two years ago. Also the upper has shed most of its heavy leather overlays, which reduces weight and gives a less restrictive feel (the fit is also broader, which helps). Other changes: the plastic stability shank in the midfoot has been extended slightly, and the forefoot outsole divided into independent segments. The long second-density medial post which is at the heart of the shoe stays the same – that’s one thing Asics knows better than to change. In other words, this is a sensitive and successful upgrade. The DS Trainer was in danger of becoming just another fairly light all-round trainer – now it’s back as the fast-paced category leader.
Evolved from DS Trainer
In short The DS Trainer has always been a great fast-paced shoe, and now that it’s lighter and sleeker, it’s in its best shape for years.
Recommended for Lighter, faster runners looking for an unusually light and stable everyday shoe; stability-orientated runners who want a second shoe for racing and faster-paced training

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Asics Gel DS Trainer

Discuss this article

does any one know a website that still sells this shoe? everyone article or thread people have wrote have all said this shoe is amazing and i want in on the action!
Posted: 28/08/2003 at 10:16

Hi Jimbo

i got my pair from the sweatshop site but this was a few months back so you could give that a try x
Posted: 28/08/2003 at 22:34

Get a copy of Runners World and I'm sure you'll find a ad with these shoes on offer, with web site address or phone number.

I've got some too, can't remember where from now though!
Posted: 28/08/2003 at 22:55

you should give a try at !
I have tried this shoe and trully is great both for training and racing!
Posted: 29/08/2003 at 02:40

just tried and they dont do this shoe anymorewhere can i get
Posted: 29/08/2003 at 10:49

you can get the ds trainer from

there good, i got mine from there. Bit uncomfortable first few times. excellent now though.
Posted: 13/01/2004 at 23:18

jimbo, the ds trainer vii has now been replaced by the ds trainer viii, then the ds trainer viii in a new colourway, and I have just seen the ds trainer ix, so most retailers wont have the ds trainer vii in many sizes any more, Im afraid.

The ds trainer viii is quite different to the vii model, and the ix model seems to be carrying on from the viii (all these roman numerals- confusing!)

If you would like me to check Sweatshop's stock for the vii, let me know what size you are and Ill see whats left? (Im assuming you are a male jimbo, by the way!)
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:09

Boo hiss!
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:20

to what, jon?
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:21

The fact that the ix's carry on from the viii's

I thought Asics would at least continue their tradition of fart arsing about and totally reinventing their shoes each year!
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:24

they looked slightly less firm than the viii's, but definitely not the same as the vii's. having said that, I only had a quick look at them, never tried them on or anything, so they could feel great? Im sure jon will have a pair of them on his feet at some point, in the interests of research, that is
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:26

Posted: 14/01/2004 at 10:28

the updated shoe suites the mild overpronater alot better, and is lighter so its suitable for racing and fast paced training for lighter, quicker runners.
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 12:53

But my moans about the shoe were related to fit. Has this problem be addressed? The vii's wer magnificent.
Posted: 14/01/2004 at 12:54

my vii's are on the way out, and with the races I got planned over the coming months I need to replace/upgrade.

I would like vii's as they are tried and tested, but if the ix's are to suit mild overpronators alot better then these may be even better... however I try to follow the "if it ain't broke" rule of thumb in this respect, especially as the wrong trainers are always an expensive buy.

Anyone got anymore comments from having tried both the vii's and later versions of these trainers?

Anyone happen to know if there are a pair of vii's looking for a home - size Euro 44?

Posted: 15/02/2004 at 09:51

Anyone else find these shoes too firm - I've had 2 pairs now (first pair fell to bits so got a free replacement) and I'm going back to Nike Skylons.

If you want to run in something with no cushioning you may as well run in flats.
Posted: 15/02/2004 at 17:57

I too am on the look out for VII's - they are tried and tested to every distance up to the marathon. I find the VIII's a significantly different mould which causes friction and blisters 4 miles into a run.
A Compeed does help, but the discomfort on finishing yesterday's Sidcup 10 means I am not looking forward to longer distances with this shoe.

I think the only action would be to plead with Asics themselves although I don't hold out much hope.

Posted: 16/02/2004 at 10:14

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