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Asics Gel Quantum Infinity Review: This Brings Genuine Evolution to Your Runs

Asics Gel Quantum Infinity Review: This Brings Genuine Evolution to Your Runs

The Gel Quantum Infinity shoe is the first ever to have a full-length GEL cushioning.

Running shoes and technology go hand in hand these days. That is true, only if you are a brand that doesn’t still launch every new shoe with a mid-sole technology launched way back in 2013, incrementally updated since, and yet claim to make the best running shoes of all time. But we mustn’t get distracted by frivolity. Because what we have here are the newest shoes by Asics, which could perhaps be their most exciting and revolutionary ever. From the company that has given us the excellent FlyteFoam in multiple running shoes over the past few years, the next big evolution comes in the form of what is called the GEL technology. The shoe in question is the Asics Gel Quantum Infinity and is priced at Rs16,999—in direct competition with the best that Nike has to offer, from the Pegasus, Zoom and VaporMax line-ups. The Gel Quantum Infinity is the latest from Asics’ Institute of Sport Science.

Let us start with the design. These are also some of the most visually appealing shoes from Asics in a long time. Yes, it retains a family resemblance—and you’ll know the brand from a mile away. But the use of the seamless upper is exactly what you expect from a premium running shoe. This is a single piece fabric designed as the upper without any sewing required. Asics calls this vacuum no sew material execution. The materials in use here are quite robust, and don’t lose their shape at all. However, that doesn’t take away from the suppleness, something that you realize much to your delight as you slip your foot inside. Or you could run your fingers on it, to get a better illustration of the smoothness. On the inside, this upper is extremely soft and if you prefer running laceless, you can go right ahead with the Gel Quantum Infinity. A lot of sock-like uppers tend to have slightly coarse inners because of how the upper pattern is, but that isn’t an issue with the Gel Quantum Infinity. There is good ventilation too, which should be handy in the non-winter months.

As a nice touch, Asics have added some graphics on the shoe tongue, inspired by Katakana, a Japanese syllabary. The Gel Quantum Infinity is available in multiple colourways. The Black and shocking orange combination is perhaps the most vibrant while there is the more subdued black and icy morning combination colorway too.

The real tech infusion sits beneath your foot. The Gel Quantum Infinity shoe is the first ever to have a full-length GEL cushioning. This means the same type of mid-sole runs uninterrupted from the heel to toe—this is great, for uniform impact cushioning, feedback and comfort. This GEL mid-sole is created from inert polymers to derive silicone. This was then enhanced in the laboratory to get the balance between cushioning and responsiveness. The GEL under your forefoot absorbs impacts as you make forward movement. The same technology at the back reduces the impacts on the heel every time your foot strikes down. Considering now it is the same material all through, the consistency of response would help runners. The first time you slip your foot in, you will surely notice that little extra suppleness which a foam midsole isn’t able to replicate. But do not for even a second think that this is some wrapping of cotton wool, because as you gather pace, this firms up ever so much for a generous amount of responsiveness. We feel that the Nike React foam with the full-length carbon plate in the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit offers a bit more feedback from running surfaces that aren’t concrete, but on a concrete surface, this is at par. Also, we have seen the longevity of the Nike React foam—something that we will be able to judge the full-length GEL mid-sole only in due course of time.

Look at the outsole, and you will see the design inspiration taken from water droplets and ripples. In fact, the same ripple design is quite visible on the outer of the midsole as well. the Gel Quantum Infinity has a neutral pronation. Interestingly, the offset is 7mm, with the heel height at 21mm and the forefoot height at 14mm—this is lesser than a lot of running shoes that have around 9mm or 10mm offset and should be good for anyone who like a flatter foot positioning. The thing is, and this is us nitpicking faults, the Gel Quantum Infinity aren’t the lightest shoes around and weigh 389 grams. Once you do wear them, they don’t feel heavy, but then again, rivals have shoes that weigh just less than 350 grams as well.

The Asics Gel Quantum Infinity is a blend, a nice mix of conventional running shoe elements such as a generally acceptable design with some high-quality materials, and yet some unique technology. No surprise then, that the Gel Quantum Infinity is considered a running shoe and also a conventional functional shoe when you are not running. The full-length GEL cushioning is truly an evolution over the comparatively incremental updates we have seen with mid-sole foaming technology over time. How well it holds up in the long run, only time will tell. But all the signs are there that this could just be the spark that was needed for some genuine evolution in the running shoe space.

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