The simple but effective Asics Gel Pulse 9 is one of the many running shoes which does not star any marketing campaign but features a solid performance without hype from latest technologies at really attractive price. It is usually hidden behind popular Gel Cumulus 19 and is tipically suggested for beginners although suitable for everyone. There is available a Gore-Tex® (GTX) edition for complicated weather conditions but please note it is around 10% heavier than regular one.
There are many changes compared to its predecessor Gel Pulse 8 and most of them take place in the upper even if it was a pretty decent one, but seems mandatory to change something from year to year in order to justify typical price increase. Most fused overlays have been removed from forefoot keeping only the one in toecap, and multi-layer, open mesh is used offering soft touch and promoting ventilation. Midfoot is now embraced by new fused plastic layer reinforced with classical Asics logo in order to provide a snug and secure fit using custom pressure from central eyelets.
The good thing about not having latest technology in midsole from Gel Pulse 9 is that a runner gets what he/she expects about both reliability and known feelings, something really appreciated by more experienced ones which are, more times than desirable, a little bit confused by annual updates. As summary, midsole is made of well-known SpEVA® with classical Gel® units in both heel (visible from outside) and forefoot for smooth transition and responsive shock absorption. Outsole slightly changes its configuration, very similar to the one available in premium Gel Nimbus 19 featuring wider longitudinal groove (Guidance Line), an inner area of softer rubber to enhance comfort and deeper crossed grooves in forefoot to increase flexibility. As usual in Asics running shoes, more robust AHAR+ rubber is used in more exposed areas for longer durability.