Each running shoe brand is known for its own distinctive characteristics. And each runner’s feet have their own characteristics, too. It can sometimes take time to figure out which brands match up best with your feet and your running stride.
In this article, we’re going to give you everything that you need to know about two major running shoe brands—Saucony and ASICS—so that you can figure out which of these two brands is best for you.
If you like high-tech, cutting edge design, Saucony is likely the brand for you. They are a well-known company that’s been in existence for a long time, and they’re known for their unique technology.
Their shoes cover a wide range, and are good for anyone and any level of ability, from walkers to elite runners. They’re especially known for making track and cross-country spikes. One bit of technology that is especially popular is the different types of foam in their shoes and custom-style fit insoles.
ASICS, on the other hand, is known for their GEL cushioning. It’s a go-to brand for many new runners who aren’t actually sure what to get. This Japanese shoe company is particularly known for its snug midfoot fit and effective heel lock.
Saucony and ASICS shoes fit very differently, so you’ll definitely need to decide what kind of technology you want in your shoe and where.
Saucony is known for their light and breathable uppers. Their new upper construction is called FORMFIT, and it’s designed to fit your foot like a sock: nice and snug while providing gentle support.
They also have started melding the overlay tech known as FlexFILM to the upper. The process makes the shoe lighter and you won’t have to deal with pesky rubbings that can sometimes lead to blisters.
As we mentioned above, ASICS has a pretty snug fit in the midfoot and heel, so you’ll want to make sure that you go at least a half size up. The toe box for ASICS can also run small. But they’re known for FluidFit, an elastic and non-elastic mesh system that holds your foot in place.
Saucony now has a new technology that puts another layer of cushioning nearer to where your foot sits in the shoe. Because it’s that much closer, it means that it won’t hurt as much to pound the pavement, especially on longer runs.
The technology is known as PWRRUN, and the idea is that you should always get an amazing energy return, no matter how little or how much you’ve worn the shoes.
They also have a Powergrid+ technology, which helps you feel less of an impact when you land because it’s spread over a grid of holes, which is a wider surface. In other words, if you’re looking for comfort and cushion, Saucony has you covered.
On the other hand, ASICS is known for its gel technology, using small bits of gel in the forefoot and heel of your midsole. The idea is that this will help to reduce heel striking if you’re prone to that.
The foam technology that ASICS uses is called Flytefoam, which also comes in a light version that is around half of the industry weight standard. This allows ASICS to make a super light shoe that still has plenty of foam life.
Saucony is known for sleek designs, and its outsoles are no exception. They have a reputation of being lightweight if you’re looking for a nice, light shoe. Plus, they often have XT-900 carbon rubber compound in the heel to give you traction and durability.
ASICS uses a Trusstic system to split the forefoot and rearfoot, which helps to prevent twisting. These split outsoles are made of AHAR or AHAR+, which also give you great traction and durability like Saucony’s XT-900.
Now that you have a good idea of what the shoe looks like and how it might fit on you, here are some other considerations to keep in mind.
Saucony is known for having durable shoes thanks to the rubber outsoles. If you want an estimate of how many miles you can get in them, you’re probably looking at around 400 miles, which is right in the middle of the typical 300-500 miles for running shoes.
In the past, ASICS shoes tended to be lighter, which could impact their durability. But as with any company, they are striving to correct that. ASICS notes that you can probably get between 450-550 miles in their shoes.
In other words, according to ASICS, their shoes are somewhat more durable than Saucony suggests, if you compare the upper end for ASICS—550 miles—with Saucony’s 400 miles. However, they are pretty even if you take the lower number.
ASICS has used gel for over 30 years for good reason; it’s been successful time and time again. Because the gel is placed in the forefoot and rearfoot, your foot gets extra cushioning every time you hit the pavement. If you want a shoe with gel cushioning, you have to go with ASICS. And even with the excellent cushioning from the gel, ASICS still are known for a fast, responsive feel. They are cushiony without being cushy.
On the other hand, Saucony is known for having cushioning that holds up mile after mile and doesn’t break down. Since their cushioning is closer to your foot than other running shoe brands, you might want to try Saucony if you want a super comfortable ride. Two of their best are the Hurricane and Triumph.
Overall Fit and Comfort
Saucony has been a popular running shoe brand for decades, just like ASICS. What it comes down to is what technology you’re looking for. ASICS is the king of gel. It’s been known for that cushioning for years.
Saucony is more cutting edge and tries new things. The brand is definitely tried and true, but the elements in a particular shoe might be something new. If you like being the first to try something, Saucony is the better shoe for you.
ASICS is known for having lightweight shoes that do not have very slanted soles. This design makes it easier on you when you run, which is what ASICS emphasizes in its focus on flexibility and comfort.
Finally, ASICS is known for fitting your foot snugly. Some people like that because their feet don’t move around. But if you need a wider toe box, or if you just want some breathing room, ASICS is probably not the shoe for you.
Saucony and ASICS are about even in average price. If you look at all of the running shoe brands, Hoka One One is the most expensive and Skechers are the least expensive. Saucony and ASICS are right beside each other in the lower end.
That means that you’re looking at a $120 average price for Saucony and ASICS, and $150-ish for higher-end shoes. There isn’t much difference in average price for these two shoe brands.
However, depending on the shoe that you want to buy within a particular brand, you might see a greater variation between the two brands. You’ll want to look online and go to a running store nearby to compare prices and see if both brands really cost about the same amount.
In the end, you can’t go wrong with either brand because they both make well-known and respected shoes. If you’re looking for new technology and a sleek design, go with Saucony. And if you need track or cross-country spikes, Saucony’s your brand.
However, if you love ASICS’s gel technology and like a tighter fit, it’s the better shoe for you. It’s also a brand that is commonly available and is used by runners and walkers alike. If you want a padded yet responsive feel, you’ll love ASICS.
As the joke goes, ASICS is prescribed as often as physical therapy for overpronators. Although ASICS makes a great shoe for any runner, they’ve won many awards for their shoes that help overpronators.
It ultimately all comes down to you and what you’re most comfortable wearing. That’s why it’s great to go to a running store where you can get fitted and try out different brands and compare how they feel.
If you have to purchase online, make sure that you’re able to return the shoes in case they aren’t a good fit. Or be willing to sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. At the end of the day, it’s about getting a shoe that fits you well!