ASICS GEL-Forte vs. Saucony Stabil CS3 review

ASICS GEL-Forte delivers maximum support to severe overpronators. Saucony Stabil CS3 offers tons of stability, support, and cushioning without being too heavy or clunky.

The ASICS GEL-Forte and the Saucony Stabil CS3 are both motion control running shoes that provide runners who overpronate severely with maximum support.

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Forte and the Saucony Stabil CS3 are very supportive with stitched-on overlays on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoes.

The difference lies in the fact that the overlays are pretty symmetrical on the ASICS GEL-Forte The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com, while the Saucony Stabil CS3 has Sauc-Fit and a large overlay on the medial side of the shoe where support is needed most.

The back of the ASICS GEL-Forte has a Heel Clutching System to really lock your heel down on the running platform, while the Saucony Stabil CS3 offers a Support Frame at the back of the shoe. So you should get a good amount of support around the heel from both running shoes.

Where the toe box is concerned, the overlays on the ASICS GEL-Forte run a little bit more favorable to provide your big toe and little toe with room to move if so needed, so should feel a bit more comfortable in that area than the Saucony Stabil CS3, which has overlays to provide structure on and around the toe-box.

The big difference between the Saucony Stabil CS3 and the ASICS GEL-Forte lies in the midsole. While both running shoes have a medial post to control overpronation, the type of cushioning used makes one shoe more cushy than the other.

The PowerGrid midsole in the Saucony Stabil CS3 provides uniform heel-to-toe cushioning, shock absorption, and centering of the foot, thereby making the Saucony Stabil CS3 feel overall much more cushy – in both the heel and the forefoot – than the ASICS GEL-Forte.

As far as the medial post goes that controls overpronation, the post is quite long in the ASICS GEL-Forte, running from the back of the shoe till past the arch. In addition, the midfoot shank locks into the post on the medial side of the shoe and also a little bit in the midsole foam on the lateral side of the shoe, making the ASICS GEL-Forte a very stable and supportive running shoe.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 also has a firmer piece of foam on the medial side of the shoe that runs almost from the back of the shoe till past the arch. This foam also runs higher than in the ASICS GEL-Forte which has a softer layer of foam closest to the foot, so the Saucony Stabil CS3 should technically provide a stronger degree of pronation control.

However, because the post is much longer in the ASICS GEL-Forte, it cancels out this effect, so both running shoes are equally well-suited to stop your foot from rolling too far inward.

To slow down pronation in the inital stage immediately after heel-strike, the Saucony Stabil CS3 has a segmented and beveled crash pad on the lateral side under the heel. While the ASICS GEL-Forte does not have such a crash pad, it does have GEL cushioning in the heel and segmented rubber lugs under the heel to absorb shock.

But overall, you can expect to get softer landings from the Saucony Stabil CS3 than you would get from the ASICS GEL-Forte.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 also provides full ground contact under the entire shoe and offers a much wider platform to stand on than the ASICS GEL-Forte, so can also be seen as the more stable shoe that is likely to provide you with a smoother transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

The rubber outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Forte and the Saucony Stabil CS3 differ considerably in layout and segmentation. The ASICS GEL-Forte has a more traditional outsole with large rubber compartments that are well-segmented with flex grooves and cuts.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 also has good segmentation going with fan-like flex grooves and blown rubber in the forefoot, which should really help with lateral flexibility. And running shoe lab tests have shown that the Saucony Stabil CS3 is a bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Forte.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Forte weighs approximately 10.8 oz (306 grams) and the Saucony Stabil CS3 for women weighs 9.9 oz (281 grams). The men's versions of the shoes weigh 13.3 oz (377 grams) and 11.9 oz (337 grams), respectively, with the Saucony being lighter.

If you are looking for a motion control running shoe that will satisfy all of your basic needs as a severe overpronator, and prefer a shoe that is somewhat stiff and firm, then the ASICS GEL-Forte could deliver what you are looking for.

And if you prefer a very cushy motion control running shoe that delivers tons of stability and support and a smooth ride, then the Saucony Stabil CS3 might be what you are after.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Saucony

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