When I first saw the Asics GEL-Quantum 360 marketed after Outdoor Retailer, I was super interested in how the shoes might perform and how they would translate within the current market. While gel has always been an Asics bread-and-butter from a cushioning perspective, this full outsole design was definitely an interesting gamble for the shoe. We got our chance to take it for a spin and are back to report.
To kick this off, let me say that back in the day Asics used to be my go to brand. This is of course before I started working across multiple brands and looking everything on the market, but they have that following and loyalty. The difference I find with the GEL-Quantum 360 is that it is a departure from what was so prototypically Aspics about their other shoes. Nobody picks up this shoe and says oh that looks like an Aspics and if you took off the logo, it might be even more challenging, so it’s definitely its own breed. When I first opened the box I had some immediate visceral reactions about the shape of the shoe itself and I can dive into that more as I break down the components.
Construction: The Upper
Before we get too deep into the materials of the upper, let’s talk about the overall shape. The shoe overall is incredibly narrow and the toebox on here is almost pointed, which goes against everything we’re consistently preaching when it comes to toesplay and maximum comfort for the front of your foot. Now the materials itself are great, the entire upper is ultra thin and very breathable. Aspics has incorporated their trademarked FluidFit mesh plus stretch reinforcement, making it really designed to fit your foot well. It is no sew and features no other molded overlays, so its super light up top.
It also features a heel clutch system which is designed to hold you in place. I found this worked very well and kept the foot secure throughout. I did find this ran a bit narrow as well and have noted others complaining of a little biting on the sides of the heel. The inner also features a premium sockliner designed to hold you in place and also increase breathability.
The midsole is composed of Asics Solyte material which is really a combination of EVA and SpEVA. This is designed to be lightweight and provide enhanced cushioning. The GEL-Quantum 360 also of course features gel in both the front and rear of the shoe to help reduce shock and impact during landing and toe-off. To me, this immediately starts moving the target consumer to the recreational level. A focus on heel strikers and aiding in transition usually equates to the general consumer market.
The outsole is smattered with AHAR, a fancy name for Asics own blend of high abrasion rubber. This rubber is placed in strategic locations across the sole which tend to need more durability. It also features a new system they call Trusstic which is designed to reduce overall weight while also helping it retain a high level of structure.
Style and Aesthetics
I tested the Hot Orange and Blue model and the first time these went on my foot the brightness of the shoe definitely jumped out at me. As it turns out the color almost glows in the dark and I’m not sure if that’s intentional, but it definitely catches the light and increases foot visibility while you’re outside. The contrast against the blue gel bottom is nice as well. I do think the bottom is a little too rugged in the profile and prefer the Kayano styling better though. They do have a ton of colorways to choose from for both men and women, so no complaints here at all.
I have to admit after quite a few run tests in the GEL-Quantum 360, I am a little confused by them. The shoes themselves are very comfortable on the foot. The Gel mid and outer make it definitely cushy and allow for a fairly smooth ride. The upper is light, flexible, breathable, and holds you well. My frustration comes more from the fact shoe doesn’t necessarily feel consistent from top to bottom. Overall, the shoe itself feels heavy to me (almost 12oz for a size 9) and I think given the lack of material in the upper this is primarily due to the mid and outsole. This definitely leads to a little more of a heavy foot sensation especially at distance.
If I step back though and look at the potential target market, this shoe hits very well in a recreational 9 to 12 minute mile type runner range as its really just slow comfort. For me this is also a sub 13 mile shoe because if I went much more, my lower legs would suffer. I didn’t necessarily dislike it however, I just found myself continually thinking about the shoe and I think this is mostly due to the weight underfoot.
I did have concerns about the narrowness and especially the toebox and while the shoe still to me feels like it’s profile is a little narrow, the amount of flexibility in the upper definitely makes up for any toebox worries. I definitely sense that feeling of pushing over the edge on the outside of my foot and note that I have a very regular neutral width and arch, basically very regular feet. So if I experience any sort of hangover up top, it is very odd for me and noticeable Again, I wouldn’t say it was a bad run, I just feel like I’m running in something that feels more like a prototype and is partially done. I feel like it’s a bit of an experiment.
After thoroughly reviewing the Asics GEL-Quantum 360, I am left a little wanting. I feel like I have tested a shoe that is representative of what might be coming in the future from Asics. They overlaid a light, super thin, flexible upper on a heavier high cushioned mid and outsole. The mid and out are plus and the you get solid traction, but it still feels a little Frankenstein-ish right now. Again, the shoe is worth a run to see how it feels and I think folks with narrower feet will probably find it a little more appealing. I personally look forward to the next generation of the shoe because I feel like they’ll be making updates that will bring it into a more cohesive place and hopefully, they will lighten it up a bit as well.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 11.9oz (size 9)
- Drop: 10mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $170.00
- Available: Now