ASICS Gel-Pulse 14 Protects Your Heel When Running

Last updated on February 16th, 2024

Gel-Pulse 14 toebox

The ASICS Gel-Pulse 14 is an appealing shoe that offers a comfortable fit and provides neutral support. It has a decent feel underfoot, although it's not exceptional. Its main advantage lies in its durability, especially for those who tend to strike their heel while running. The gel midsole pad and rubber outsole pad contribute to this. However, if you're looking for shoes that offer superior cushioning or speed, there are other options available at a lower cost.

If you possess a neutral stride and desire a stylish and cozy shoe for regular wear and intermittent short runs or walk-runs, consider purchasing Pulse. This shoe is ideal for novice runners who push off directly from the toe instead of leaning inward (overpronation), as well as for individuals who tend to land forcefully on their heel. Pulse boasts a midsole filled with gel and a robust rubber heel pad outsole.

If you prioritize speed or run long distances, this shoe may not be the best choice for you, particularly if you require a shoe that provides support to prevent injury.

The Pulse, priced at $70, features a gel pad in the midsole of the heel and a substantial landing pad in the outsole of the heel, providing enhanced durability for walking and running with heel-strike.

If you're only looking for cushioning in the heel, Pulse may be a suitable option as it lacks the necessary support to combat overpronation often associated with a heel strike.

The Pulse shoe has a weight of 8.6 ounces in women's size 8 and 10.6 ounces in men's size 9. This is slightly heavier than the GT-2000, which is more stable and weighs half an ounce less.

Gel-Pulse 14 midsole

ASICS provides more cost-effective options for neutral running shoes, offering superior cushioning and speed, making this shoe not particularly impressive.

ASICS provides superior neutral running shoes at a more affordable price, making it a better option for both cushioning and speed. The shoe itself is not of poor quality, but there are better alternatives available.

To provide a comparison, I will be examining Gel-Pulse and Gel-Excite, two models from ASICS that have little difference in price. In terms of velocity, I will be comparing Pulse with the Gel-DS Trainer, a discontinued model that can still be purchased online at a reduced price.

To begin, the Pulse model incorporates the older Amplifoam midsole, whereas the Gel-Excite model utilizes the Amplifoam Plus version, which is specifically engineered to offer a softer and more long-lasting experience. Additionally, the Excite shoe boasts a thicker midsole. If you are seeking a cost-effective option with ample cushioning, it would be more logical to opt for the Excite model, which is $14 more affordable and provides superior cushioning.

If you require a cushioned surface for your heel to land upon, opt for Pulse.

Excite, on the other hand, lacks the same level of grip and durability as Pulse, resulting in a less resilient outsole.

Pulse boasts a more slender midsole compared to Excite, instilling in me the desire for it to possess the characteristics of a swift shoe akin to the Gel-DS Trainer. After having utilized it for multiple interval sessions, however, I discovered it to be rather unremarkable in performance.

The DS Trainer provides a more enjoyable running experience and gives the impression of being faster. The DS Trainer 26, the previous model before being discontinued, is priced at $130 (only $60 after discount). However, since it is now two years old, you can easily find it at a discounted price of 50%. Moreover, opting for the DS Trainer 26 will give you a livelier shoe.

If you're looking for shoes that provide great cushioning or speed, Pulse may not be the best choice. However, if you're drawn to its aesthetic appeal or find it comfortable to wear, it's still a decent option.

Gel-Pulse 14 quarter

Select Pulse if you possess a foot of average size with arches that are neither too high nor too low; it offers slightly greater padding than the DS Trainer and a better connection to the ground than what you can experience with Excite. Additionally, this shoe serves as an excellent option for substituting the insole with orthotic inserts.

Choose Excite if you desire extra comfort and have a medium arch. Excite provides the sensation of having a heightened arch, even though the insoles remain unchanged. The dissimilarity lies in the shape. Pulse appears to have a flat construction, a more linear and broader outline at the bottom of the shoe. On the other hand, Excite is curved or slightly curved and has a narrower base. The upper part of Excite embraces and secures the narrow midfoot, providing substantial support through tightly fastened laces to maintain the arch. Personally, I find it to be particularly supportive for the inner arch.

Adidas Duramo offers a long-lasting and affordable shoe option.

The ASICS Gel-Excite and Gel-Contend, Adidas Duramo, Ultrabounce and Runfalcon, Brooks Trace, Nike Renew Ride and Winflo, and the Brooks Launch are all examples of comparable footwear.

Unveiling the box, Pulse presents an appealing appearance. When tested, the fit and sensation were average - neither thrilling nor accompanied by any discomfort.

I initially had great expectations for the first trial, but it failed to impress me with its lack of responsiveness and bounce. After covering a distance of over 50 miles, I can barely detect the presence of the final flex groove beneath my feet; it gives off a somewhat fragile sensation.

Typically, I can fasten the laces without any major discomfort. However, I can foresee that the combination of a thinner tongue and thin laces may create areas of irritation for runners who prefer a tighter fit.

Gel-Pulse 14 upper

The jacquard mesh upper has been artfully crafted to provide ample airflow and a comfortable fit for a wide range of foot shapes. It allows for unrestricted movement.

Comfort is ensured with a slight cushioning around the heel, while a slender heel counter adds a hint of support.

Similarly, a slender toe protector safeguards the front of the toes (although it may not be ideal). Following a distance of 50 miles, I noticed a depression in the toe protector just above my largest toe caused by the force exerted during toe-off. This observation does not imply that the toe protector is long-lasting.

The size is accurate.

Pulse's tongue is lightly padded with small holes that allow for better airflow. Overall, the shoe provides moderate breathability.

The slender strings tend to press into the foot when tightened for a snug fit. On the other hand, Gel-Excite boasted laces that were of average width and had a softer texture.

The sole source of reflection is found in the glitter that sparkles within the cushioned heel.

Gel-Pulse 14 outsole

Pulse features an enduring AmpliFoam™ Midsole that offers a gentle touch. This advanced foam surpasses the outdated EVA and is slightly more supple than the standard ASICS Flytefoam (excluding FF Blast, FF Blast+, or Turbo). As a cost-effective foam, Amplifoam performs admirably, providing a comfortable sensation without being excessively soft, while also delivering moderate durability and overall comfort.

The shoes lack both responsiveness and bounce.

The heel of the shoe contains GEL® Technology, which aids in shock absorption. Additionally, there is a subtle Guidance Line® that extends along the front part of the outsole. This line assists in transferring force from the outer side of the foot to the inner side as you move forward.

This shoe offers a good level of flexibility with a few grooves that allow for easy movement. The outsole has a decent amount of cut-outs, providing better grip compared to the Gel-Excite.

The midsole is encased in a layer of ordinary rubber that forms a shield around the outer heel, the side of the midfoot, and three separate pads in the front of the foot. Although most of the areas prone to heavy wear are covered in rubber, there is a possibility that it could wear out in the front of the foot where the midsole is exposed and lacks much height.

The heel drop is 10 mm.

Gel-Pulse 14 heel

The main advantage I see in Pulse is its use of a gel-pad in the heel and a durable rubber outsole, which effectively absorbs the impact on the heel. Unlike cheaper running shoes, Pulse lacks a sense of overall stability, making it more suitable for walking rather than running. It may also be a good option for novice runners who are gradually increasing their mileage.

While this shoe has a pleasing appearance and can be worn for casual activities, it doesn't rank as my top choice within its price range. There are superior alternatives available that offer greater comfort, longevity, or are specifically designed for speed.

  • Price: $70
  • Style: 1011B491.801 (Asics)
  • Color: bright orange / black
  • Usage:
    • interval short runs
    • walk-runs
    • new runner
  • Constructions & Features:
    • heel drop: 10 mm
    • Weight: 300 g/10.6 oz
    • neutral support / extra cushion
    • Designed For Neutral and Underpronation
    • fully engineered jacquard mesh upper to improves breathability
    • sockliner with the solution dyeing process to reduce 33% water usage and 45% carbon emissions
    • Rearfoot GEL™ technology to improve impact absorption and creates a softer feeling at footstrike
    • at least 20% recycled materials in upper
    • AMPLIFOAM™ cushioning technology to improve durability at softer densities
    • AHARPLUS™ heel plug rubber for improved durability
    • gel midsole pad and rubber outsole pad
    • small holes on tongue for better airflow
    • cut-outs on outsole for better grip
Gel-Pulse 14 heel tab