ASICS Evoride 3 Multi Tester Review

ASICS Evoride 3 ($120)

Introduction

Sam: The Evoride is a light uptempo road trainer. It includes ASICS Guide Sole tech which seeks to improve efficiency by preventing the ankle from flexing up and the toes from flexing down, so a more “rigid” rocker type profile and here without the use of a plate. 

At about 7.6 oz  / 215g (US9), losing over 1 oz / 28g over version 2, it is commendably light and very fairly priced at $120.  With its 32mm heel / 27mm forefoot,  low weight for cushion stack, and rocker type ride put it in the lead pack in its category.

For version 3 the most notable changes called out by ASICS are softer Flytefoam foam and a new softer mesh upper. The stack height and tooling (midsole geometry) and outsole are unchanged.  The softer Flytefoam had me most interested as version 2, while it added more stack, was still a firm and very rigid shoe which restricted its range of uses for me. It just wasn’t much fun to run.

The Noosa Tri 14 shares the exact same midsole and outsole but gets a tri and slightly more performance oriented upper including a gusset tongue. It is also about 0.2 oz / 10g lighter as a result. See our Evoride 3 to Noosa Tri 14 (RTR Comparison Video)

The more daily training oriented and more cushioned Glideride 3 also with Guide Sole has been a pleasant surprise as it too got softer foam and unlike its firm and rigid predecessor gaining not only a more energetic and comfortable ride but some front flex which the prior lacked and needed.  I was curious to see if the Evoride 3 got the same fundamental ride improvements. Spoiler alert. It does! Please read on as the team takes it through its paces.

Pros: 

Shannon/Sam: Lightweight, nimble, relatively flexible with a slight rocker making for an exceptionally smooth ride.

Ryan – Low inertia, quick turnover, smooth and neutral ride

Sam: Big 1.1 oz / weight drop in a US8.5 to a light for stack (32/27) 7.32 oz / 207g

Sam: Significantly smoother, softer and more pleasant fast ride than v2 and now also better suited to slower paces

Cons: 

Shannon: I’ve racked my brain and can’t come up with any nor have any presented themselves in 40+ miles of wear, I love this shoe!!!

Ryan/Sam – Low front stack with frontal rocker thin rubber and soft foam makes toe feel thin

Ryan – Not well suited for non-asphalt running thanks to thin, fairly soft forefoot

Sam: Quite low, pointy and a bit short toe box which stretched/packed in with some use. Sizing up may affect upper hold.

Sam/Ryan: Comfortable low heel collar could dial down plush cushion there for more solid hold as in Noosa Tri 14

Stats

Approx. weight: men’s 7.6 oz  / 215g (US9)  /  women’s oz / g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  Evoride 3  7.32 o z / 207g US8.5 

                              Evoride 2 8.22 oz / 233g (US8.5)

Stack Height: men’s 32 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot :: women’s  heel mm / mm forefoot

Available June 2022. $120 

First Impressions, Upper and  Fit

Shannon: Asics is in a period of redemption right now, and after really enjoying their Fuji Lite 2 trail shoe also with a softer Flytefoam, I was eager to try some of the new road options. Out of the box, my women’s size 8 fit true to size and accommodated an aftermarket  insole very well. I loved the roomy interior of the shoe, and the non-restrictive upper. The forefoot rocker felt a bit awkward just walking around, but as I would come to find out, would have a great feel on the run. The slight stretchiness to the upper material made for a great fit once laced up, and I had no slippage or ill-fit anywhere throughout the shoe. So far so good.

Sam: It was immediately apparent that the Evoride 3 was dialing down all the rigid and firm of its predecessor. The heel counter is clearly more streamlined, likely contributing to quite a bit of the weight loss. It is comfortable but a bit low and over plush for uptempo uses.

Evoride 2                                     Evoride 3

The fit is true to size but only after a few runs to stretch things out as at first try on the front of the toe box felt low and pointy. Fortunately there is now plenty of room but one should not expect a high volume high toe box but one that stretches to fit. 

Ryan:  The EvoRide is a shoe with a lot of ‘step-in appeal’ — it feels pleasant the second you try it on. Its low weight, soft mesh, and plush heel are especially noticed.  The dark blue colorway pairs nicely with its blue/white midsole and light blue outer. 

I have to agree with Sam here, in that I came away wishing that the heel wasn’t so heavily padded. A shoe which thrives on a frontal rocker design means that it will provide a quick transition to the toe off, and therefore will have a proportional demand for lockdown at the heel. In providing such a large ring of padding at the back, the heel felt a touch too ‘floaty’ for my tastes. 

That said, it’s still a handsome and comfortable upper, despite a relatively pointy shape in the toe box. The mesh is stretchy enough that the shape of the toe box didn’t cause any issues, but it took a few miles to learn my forefoot’s shape. Toe box aside, it fit me true to size lengthwise in my US M9.5.

Midsole

Sam: Evoride 3 has the same Flytefoam in a single density as before but now in a softer and I think more energetic formulation. Beyond softer, ASICS tells us nothing else but a softer foam can also be more or less dense as well and here while not supercritical airy, run side by side with the previous Evoride this is clearly a springier lighter more forgiving foam.

The midsole is now one that I look forward to running on, unlike the earlier Evo’s which were very firm and quite harsh. And better yet, as with the Glide 3, the Evo now has some flex. So we now blend the Guide Sole rocker with some toe off flex so the shoe is more agile, easier to run slow, and snappier when run fast. I did find the front of the forefoot a bit thin. I wonder if the relatively minimal outsole needs more thickness or the front rocker area’s foam needs to “thickened” up a bit?

Shannon: This shoe strikes a sensational balance between light and responsive, yet soft and forgiving. The midsole is neither too much nor too little, but the hits that perfect Goldielocks spot between the two.

Ryan: As Sam notes, there is no doubt that the midsole compound has been heavily tweaked here. That comes as a good thing, since the previous iteration was far too harsh and imposing. I can only imagine that ASICS were keen to accentuate the frontal rocker in last year’s version, but that came with a considerable detriment to comfort and ride performance.

Here, we have a much more pleasant and forgiving grade of FlyteFoam to help make the most of the unique design of the toe off geometry. 

While I wouldn’t describe it as ‘bouncy’ by today’s standards, the softer midsole does a reasonable job of absorbing impact and springing back. The result is a pleasant feeling underfoot with a sensation of low inertia given its weight loss.

The signature characteristic of the EvoRide is its ‘rockered’ toe. Not rockered in the traditional sense,  where the whole midsole takes on a crescent shape from heel to toe, but rather in that the only forefoot of the midsole curves up sharply. This curvature is situated to make for a quick transition up onto the toe. This creates a more abrupt, and one might argue more energetic, final part of the stride, right before leaving the ground. The rockered shape helps to create a larger ‘platform’ for forward propulsion.

While I think this geometry can be helpful at faster paces, it doesn’t work quite as well at more casual ones. That said, the softness of the foam relative to its predecessor makes the rockered geometry less jarring, and more approachable.

One of the larger drawbacks to the EvoRide’s design is a result of its moderate stack tapering off considerably in the forefoot. In order to achieve the upturned shape at the front, midsole thickness is sacrificed, making for a fairly thin feeling at toe-off, which I wish wasn’t the case. This symptom also presents itself when running on uneven or rough surfaces, where the thin forefoot becomes even more apparent.

Outsole

Shannon: At the time of writing this, I’ve got a little over 40 miles on this shoe on multiple surfaces. I don’t see any significant wear on the outsole at this time, which leads me to believe I will get some solid mileage out of this shoe.

Ryan: The forefoot features a fairly traditional helping of rubber, with a ring of rubber around the perimeter which reaches all the way back to heel. A separate but mellow slab of rubber islands supports most of the forefoot, and provides great traction. A small crescent of rubber protects the perimeter of the heel, leaving the exposed part of the midfoot and the area around the heel pocket. All in all, the texture and geometry of the outsole helped to accentuate the shoe’s smooth and laterally-neutral ride

Sam: The outsole and underfoot geometry for sure lead to a smooth transition at all paces for me with that previously mentioned smooth snappy if thin toe off. I wonder what a more substantial, thicker front outsole might do to improve on the thinness felt as it does (in a door to trail context) for the Fuji Lite 2.

Ride

Shannon: I will say that this is one of those shoes that you have to run in to get the real feel for it. Some shoes you can get a solid feel for by simply throwing them on in-store and kicking around a bit, not so with this one. While simply walking around in the shoe I found the rocker type sole to feel a bit awkward, on the run it feels very smooth, light, responsive, cushioned, with nothing to hinder a smooth heel to toe transition. I loved having such a smooth ride at a light weight, and a shoe has really hit the nail on the head when it feels like a natural extension of the foot, as I felt this did.

Sam: The shoe took a few runs to break in and get some flex. After that the ride came to life. The rear part of the Guide Sole kept me aligned, stable and tracking while the front was agile and snappy. The light weight of 7.6 oz with very decent stack of 35mm heel / 27mm keep the Evo light feeling yet protective. Lean into the rocker at faster paces and away you go. The prior Evo’s ride was uptempo but heavier, stiffer, more prescriptive and less versatile that is for sure.The ride now leans up tempo but if you are not going maximal in cushion and want some guided stability with a “half” rocker effect, i.e flex plus rocker for sure they can daily train as well especially if you are a true midfoot striker with pure forefoot strikers maybe finding the toe area a bit thin. 

Ryan: At rest, the rockered toe isn’t all that noticeable, and the shoe feels like a fairly commonplace trainer without a ton of personality. The uniqueness of the EvoRide becomes apparent when you get moving though, as the midsole works to tip you forward and onto your toe, even if you’re jogging at a casual pace which doesn’t warrant such a forward lean.

Frontal rocker aside, the rest of the ride is pleasant, stable, and smooth. There aren’t any odd cutouts or asymmetries in the midsole/outsole to spoil the shoe’s predictable transition. I especially appreciated how well behaved the FlyteFoam reacted throughout my stride. As for stability, the EvoRide felt very neutral during the 80 miles I used it — with enough firmness to prevent any undue lateral roll, but not so much as to feel like my natural pronation was being impeded. While I would reach for a higher stack for longer runs, the midsole here is protective enough for most training runs, with a bit of bounce and a stable demeanor that will be agreeable to most folks.

If you’re looking for a shoe with tons of bounce and propulsion, this isn’t that shoe, but if you want a more traditional ride with some stability, a bit of extra snap off the toe, and a lightweight feel, the EvoRide is worth considering.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Shannon: I’ve got to hand it to Asics as this is one great shoe. Everything from the fit and feel to the ride to the price point is fantastic. I love shoes that are simple and versatile, and the EvoRide 3 is certainly that. It can handle faster days to longer runs, and its outsole does great on harder surfaces to hard packed dirt. I’ll throw it into my rotation of favorites currently consisting of the Kinvara 13, Rincon 3, and Launch 9. If you’re a fan of any of those previously mentioned, give the EvoRide 3 a go, you will not be disappointed.

Shannon: 10/10


Ryan:This EvoRide was a pleasant surprise, as I didn’t care much for last year’s version, thanks to its overly harsh midsole compound. It’s amazing how much some simple tweaks to the density of a midsole can change the characteristics of a shoe. While the especially snappy toe-roll on this nice looking shoe isn’t for everyone, if you’re looking for a tool to tackle some short or medium uptempo training runs, the EvoRide is worth a look.

A pleasant, comfortable, and low-inertia trainer with a bit of a thinner toe and a plusher heel than I’d prefer, ASICS have done a fine job of creating a stable trainer with a bit of a personality twist.

Ryan’s Score: 9.0/10 — Deductions for forefoot midsole thinness, compromised lockdown in the heel, and less protection than competing trainers.

Sam: As with the now softer Glideride 3, the Evoride 3’s new softer more flexible directed ride has finally perfected ASICS Guide Sole away from a dense, rigid, and highly prescriptive approach to a happy medium between a more traditional stable neutral ride and a more modern rocker ride.  

The more mellow and friendly vibe continues with the new stretchier upper and less massive heel counter which, agreeing with Ryan, could use more heel lockdown. 

Not to worry, the colorful Noosa Tri 14 (compared in the video below) with exactly the same midsole and outsole solves the minor upper hold issues with a superior lockdown and slightly higher weight. I also think the toe box could use a touch more height and a more rounded tip (as in Glideride 3) to go with its stretch.

At $120 with its 32/27 stack height and light 7.6 oz  / 215g (US9) weight the Evoride 3 is a very solid value for a state of the art light trainer that focuses uptempo but can also daily train.

Sam’s Score: 9.2 /10

Ride: 9.1 Fit: 9.1 Value: 9.6 Style: 9.3

8 Comparisons 

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

ASICS Evoride 2 (RTR Review)

Ryan M9.5: Last year’s EvoRide provided a similar toe-rocker design, but was too firm, and as a result it offered a harsh and overly-aggressive ride. This year, the EvoRide’s softer midsole has made for both a better-performing ride, as well as a noticeably lower inertia thanks to the midsole’s weight savings.

Sam: 100% Agreed with Ryan and same applies to Noosa Tri 13.

ASICS Noosa Tri 14 

Sam: The Noosa Tri 14 has an identical midsole and outsole but a different upper.  The heel hold is superior in the Noosa Tri 14 and overall has superior lockdown especially at the heel with its higher elf shaped achilles collar and through the inclusion of a gusset tongue. Noosa’s toe box has higher vertical volume but less stretch. Its smoother denser mesh is not quite as comfortable but more performance oriented. The Noosa Tri is a few tenths of an ounce heavier and costs $10 more but the superior more performance oriented fit outweighs those negatives for me as in such a platform I will be focused on up tempo and not more mellow fitting (Evoride 3) uses.

Watch Sam’s Comparative Review Evoride 3 to Noosa Tri 14

ASICS Glideride 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: Take the Evoride 3 give it more stack height of FlyteFoam Blast+ and Propel, include a hardened foam plate and give it a similar upper mesh with a somewhat more rounded toe box and Guide Sole tech and you get the Glideride 3. It leans more trainer than uptempo shoe and has a more exciting dynamic and responsive ride. It is $30 more and does weigh 2 oz more but overall is more versatile and exciting if your need is for an all arounder.

Saucony Kinvara 13 (RTR Review)

Shannon: I wouldn’t hesitate to use either of these for a faster day shoe. They are both lightweight with not a lot of bells and whistles. Where the biggest difference comes in is I do feel the ride of the EvoRide 3 to be smoother and somehow almost less fatiguing due to the rocker geometry of the midsole. The Kinvara is overall a much more flexible shoe, but by no means did the EvoRide feel overly rigid to me. Notably, I need a women’s 8.5 in the Kinvara for a comparable fit to a womens 8 in the EvoRun.

Hoka Rincon 3 (RTR Review)

Shannon: The ride of these shoes is very similar in my opinion. The most notable difference to me however was a more snappy, responsive feel to the Evo. I also liked the ample volume within the shoe and stretchy upper that allowed my foot to move more freely in the EvoRide 3 vs Rincon 3.

Brooks Launch 9 (RTR Review)

Shannon: Two quite different shoes with similar intended purposes. Again, the EvoRide 3 to me just has such a smooth ride from heel to toe, that in a way it just feels like such a “relaxing” shoe to run in despite being in that lighter weight, quick category. Again, lots of forefoot flexibility is not the name of the game with the EvoRide, so if that’s a feature you prefer, reach for the Launch.

adidas Adizero Adios 6 (RTR Review)

Sam: Also a more uptempo oriented trainer, the Adios 6 uses a plastic Torsion plate for its stability and propulsion. Yet more stable, firmer at the heel, with a more cushioned and dynamic forefoot (Lightstrike Pro over Lightstrike) it is about an ounce heavier, priced the same, and has a more aggressive outsole.  The Evo has a more pleasant ride on the way to achieving the same stable uptempo missions with the Adios yet more stable, snappier, and with a superior upper with plenty of hold everywhere and more than adequate toe box room. 

Nike ZoomX Streakfly (RTR Review)

Ryan M9.5: While both the Streakfly and the EvoRide are both well suited for shorter, uptempo training runs, it will probably come as no surprise that the Streakfly performs better overall thanks to its ZoomX midsole. The Streakfly is far bouncier and more forgiving, with an even quicker turnover than the EvoRide. While the Streakfly is marketed as a racing shoe and the EvoRide is not, I’d still consider the Streakfly to be more of a high performance trainer than a racing shoe, because of its lack of stiffness.

Comparing the uppers, the ASICS is more plush and comfort-focused, while the Nike is more weight conscious, although still very comfortable. I strongly prefer the lockdown that the Nike provides.

The Streakfly sticks to a more conventional geometry, and does not rely upon a frontal rocker geometry as does the EvoRide. The ASICS wins on stability, since the un-plated (Pebax midsole shank aside) ZoomX is much more lively and willing to roll in any direction you steer it.

Sam: 100% agree with Ryan. The Evoride 3 plays in the same up tempo sandbox, and gets close, but there is nothing quite like the soft and springy oh so light and cushioned ride of the Streakfly. Evoride will have advantages in lower cost, greater stability and more directed ride, as well as expected greater outsole durability.

Tester Profiles

Shannon is a Colorado native currently residing in Northern California. NorCal is nice, but Colorado has her heart. Having run competitively for around 20 years, she was a 7x All American at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, was a 2x member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team, 2x winner of the Mt. Washington Road Race, and was 3rd at the 2014 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championship. Her favorite shoes currently include the Hoka Torrent, Saucony Kinvara, and Brooks Launch, and her favorite runs include anything that goes uphill. 

Ryan: A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he has solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K with 10K’s close to 30 minutes and in 2021 set a marathon PR of 2:27 at the Maine Marathon.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

The Evoride 3 is expected June 2022

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’

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