We’re in between seasons (Summer & Fall) so that usually translates to a lull in shoe selection till the new releases drop in the coming months. In a change up from the usual brands that are featured at The Runner’s Gait, we’ve actually brought in a pair of Asics.
The Asics Hyper Speed 5 (HS5) is not a new shoe and is in fact, being replaced by the Asics Gel NoosaFast. But quality transcends time and though we might be late to the party, the HS5 definitely deserves a look at.
At 195g for a US8.5, this is a pretty light shoe. It is going to fit in some where between the flat out racers (A5, RC1600) and the lightweight trainers (Kinvara 3, Adios 2). The HS5 is similar to the very popular New Balance RC1400, both in terms of it’s weight and usage as a race-trainer.
While it has a heel drop of about 6-7mm putting it on par with many of the racers currently on offer, the SpEVA midsole provides the HS5 with a substantial amount of cushioning and good energy return. I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the fit as well as the responsiveness of the shoes while I took them for a quick spin on the treadmill. The cushioning of the HS5 was more plush than I was expecting but took nothing away from the good sensations I was getting from this pair of shoes.
Fit-wise they are true to size and have a slightly wider toe box (for a racer/LT). The breathable mesh upper is not as fancy as some of the newer shoes, utilising some traditional looking overlays and stitching, but is very comfortable. The heel cup provides a nice amount of support and I didn’t experience any heel slip during my 2mins on the treadmill.
One of the features that has been a source of debate among users of the HS5 has been the vented Magic Sole. Triathletes and runners with a high sweat rate rejoice! Designed to improve breathability and let any water/sweat drain out of the shoe, step into a puddle and surprise surprise – water goes in too!
The HS5 is a neutral shoe and those grey coloured bits help to improve torsional rigidity (similar to the adidas Torsion system). It has Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) in the heel area and Wet Grip outsole for improved traction on wet surface.
The last Asics shoe I used was the DS Trainer 9 back around 2005 and the HS5 is a nice departure from the usual Asics shoe in the market that are usually loaded with cushioning and support features, plus a fairly hefty price tag. If you’re looking for shoes that can take you through to those longer races or a solid lightweight trainer for speed work, the HS5 will fit into your shoe line up very nicely. The HS5 is not the most high tech shoe available but it is a simple shoe that works very well. Pete Jacobs (2012 Ironman World Champ) and Ryan Hall (fastest American marathoner) have used the Hyper Speed 5, so it can’t be too bad!
It’s a bit of controlled aggression for when you need to go fast without beating your feet up.
The Asics Hyper Speed 5 retails for $159 and is available at The Runner’s Gait.