Weighing in at 11.8oz (men's 9) And featuring a sleeked down silhouette, the Gel Foundation isn't as built-up as some of the other styles in this review. It nonetheless provides superior medial support for severe overpronators.
If you've worn Asics in the past, the fit and try-on feel of the Foundation 8 should feel similar. The heel is fairly snug and is lined with Asics' PHF (Personalized Heel Fit) memory foam—a huge plus if heel slippage is an issue. True to its reputation for attention to detail, Asics makes its shoes on width-specific lasts, so the PHF heel will cradle the foot differently on a men's D width than it will on a men's 4C width.
By locking down the heel so securely, Asics was able to eliminate much of the overlay and support across the upper of the shoe, thereby lessening the chance of any hot-spots or irritation from an overly supportive upper. This expanded volume throughout the midfoot and upper proves valuable if you're using your own orthotics, which don't always fit perfectly into your new shoe.
Along with a secure heel fit and minimalist upper, the gel-cushioning crash pads in the heel and forefoot give the foundation a resilient try-on feel, and prove ultra-responsive on longer runs—a very important feature for runners looking to soften the ride on their runs, or who tend to hit the pavement harder than most.
The main support features of the Gel Foundation 8 are two: First is the Trusstic system that extends through the mid-foot and acts as a "bridge" between the heel and forefoot. Along with providing the Foundation 8 with structural integrity and aiding the foot through the load phase, the Trusstic system eliminates weight by sculpting out any unnecessary materials.
Working in conjunction with the Trusstic system is a Duomax support system. The Duomax is a dual-density midsole component that slows the degree and velocity of pronation, giving over-pronators solid support where they need it most.
The Gel Foundation 8 isn't a radical departure from Asics' well-known stability linchpins, the Kayano and 2100 series. Rather, it's the next degree of support if you love the fit and feel of Asics, but need medial support. The bigger difference is that it’s build on a straight last.
[Editor’s note: Our capable editor-at-large for footwear Jeroen van Geelen owns Total Running, one of the more important running and triathlon retail establishments in The Netherlands.]