Although it is extremely trendy at the moment to produce shoes that are designed to be natural enough to simulate barefoot running, Asics is a company that bucks this trend somewhat. They base their products on their own scientific research, and decided that what they wish to focus on with the Asics Gel-Excel 33 is combining a light weight with flexibility to the features that you would expect from a long-distance running shoe. This design features a high level of stability, combined with the flexibility and lightness that many runners today are seeking. Upon first examining the shoes, I noticed how flexible and light they are. They have a comfortable fit, due to the various features and design technology built into them.
There are many different features that make the Asics Gel-Excel 33 unique, and somewhat different from other shoes put out by the Asics brand. The design of this shoe is composed of many cutting edge technologies. For example, the midsole of the shoe has a 10mm heel drop, to reduce the pressure on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. It is composed of two different foam materials. The first level is an EVA to provide cushioning and comfort, which you will notice as soon as you slip on the shoes. Under this there is a harder layer of foam, to provide shock absorption for more pressure. This is a material called SoLyte, offering stability to the overall design of the shoes. There's gel inserts in between these two layers of foam in the insole.
When it comes to the upper portion of the Asics Gel-Excel 33, I found that the mesh was tight but extremely breathable. The shoe fits quite snugly, but there is a softness to the mesh that keeps the shoe on your foot and allows your feet to breathe at the same time. Another feature that adds to the overall technology of the Gel-Excel 33 is the heel clutch system. Memory foam is included in this to conform to the curves of your heel and keep it in place, so that you can avoid sliding around or experiencing any discomfort as you run. These features all help contribute to the overall stability of the shoes, which really do feel supportive. It's almost surprising because they are so lightweight upon first examination.
There are many different benefits that have been attributed to the Asics Gel-Excel 33 line of shoes, including the fact that they provide secure underfoot comfort, are extremely flexible for all types of feet, and have a natural feel to them. They are also quite responsive, moving intuitively with your feet as you run. However, on the other hand the outsole is not as durable as it could be, according to some long term reviews. Overall, though, these shoes are considered to be an excellent choice for a neutral runner that wants something light and flexible to get them through training programs, as these are designed for high mileage.