Review | Running Warehouse

Asics Gel DS Trainer 17 Product Review

Short Take

You: "I pronate a little, but I want a fast, responsive daily trainer." Asics: "We built a shoe for you. It’s called the DS Trainer 17."

Big Updates

  • Redesigned Asymmetrical Lacing: The DS Trainer still has an asymmetrical lacing system, with a design that is not as curved but more off-center than the previous version.
  • Redesigned Clutch Collar: One interesting feature of this shoe is the independent clutch collar that cinches the heel by tightening the upper laces. It’s been redesigned slightly in version 17 to be a little sturdier.

Road Test

The DS Trainer 17 is more of the same. But it turns out that “the same” is pretty darn good. From our testing, we think runners who liked the DS Trainer 16 will cozy right up to this shoe.

Testers repeatedly mentioned that the DS Trainer offers one of the best blends of cushioning and responsiveness you can get in a running shoe. It still feels aggressive - more aggressive than some lighter and leaner models out there, in fact. That said, even though the DS Trainer was one of the pioneers in the slimmed down trainer category, it's now about an ounce heavier than many of its closest competitors. Don't let the weight deter you though. This is still a nimble trainer and a great choice for racing and speedwork as well.

One polarizing feature of the shoe is its clutch collar system, which is designed to allow custom adjustment of the heel collar by tightening the laces. Some testers paid no mind to this feature, and didn't feel that the heel was too tight or too loose. Others just couldn’t feel locked in place enough with this design, and one tester actually felt too anchored in. We won't be surprised if Asics returns to a more traditional heel design in future versions of the shoe.

Overall, the upper offers a comfortable, close fit. Testers found the updated asymmetrical lacing easier to work with than the curved lacing in the last model.

Runners Say


Very nice fit throughout the midfoot, but I had a bit of a hotspot at the base of the tongue where it’s sown to the rest of the shoe.


Love it love it love it. My one complaint is that the heel fit is just OK. If Asics went with a more traditional heel collar next time out, I wouldn't be mad.


Good shoe, but I would like to see the next one slimmed down and lighter, like the DS Trainers of the past.