I have wide feet, so when I'm in the market for a new pair of sneakers my choices are somewhat limited. For the last several years, I've purchased New Balance sneakers exclusively, because at the time they were the only company that I was aware of that offered sneakers in wide widths. My girlfriend recently informed me that Asics also offered wide sneakers, and since she was very happy with the last few pairs of Asics that she owned, she suggested that I check them out. When I found a really good sale on a pair of Asics Gel Evolution II sneakers online, I decided that I might as well give them a try.
When they arrived, I took them out of the box looked them over. The first thing I noticed is that they're very light when compared to my old sneakers. The uppers are mostly made of mesh fabric, and the soles looked fairly comparable to most of the other sneakers I've owned, with the exception of the color and tread pattern. There are a fair amount of "shiny" leather (or plastic?) trim pieces across the upper portion of of the shoes, which I wouldn't necessarily choose to have, but I can live with them.
OK, now it was time to put them on. Since I ordered them online, I was not able to try them on first, so I was a little worried that there might have been a bit of a size variance between the two different brands. However, I was happy to find that these fit me just as well as my old New Balance sneakers. In fact, these actually seem to fit better. When I first put them on and tied them up, I didn't feel like I was wearing a pair of sneakers. Instead, they felt almost like I had just put on a second pair of socks. They fit very snugly around my feet, without being too tight anywhere. I liked that snug fit because eliminated any chance for the usual blisters that I seemed to get whenever I used to wear a new pair of sneakers for the first time. The gel insoles felt nice, but initially they didn't seem to offer too much support in the arch of my foot. I mentioned that to my girlfriend, but she said that it always seemed to take her a couple of days wearing her shoes before the arch support became noticeable. I'm happy to say that the same thing happened with my sneakers too after a few days.
So far I've worn these sneakers on several long walks, as well as just in my general daily life, and I'm still extremely happy with them. They're still very comfortable and feel great on my feet. I'm looking forward to wearing them for several months to come, and seeing how well they fare as they age. It's still to early for me to say whether or not I'm going to choose Asics over New Balance in the future, but it's definitely nice to know that there's more than one good choice for me out there.