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Asics Gel Pulse 12 Review Analysis (2022)

Asics Gel Pulse 12

Last update: June 2024

The Asics Gel Pulse 12 is a good running shoe that’s affordable and reliable for daily workouts.

The Consensus

8.8Overall score
Good running with a comfortable cushioning and a sturdy build for daily runs
While the Nimbus dominates the top of the Japanese brand’s range (in popularity), the Gel Pulse reigns unchallenged on the more affordable models. At $100 (base price, quickly reduced during sales periods), it represents a value for money that’s hard to beat.

Its main asset is the ultra-resistant AHAR rubber outsole that easily lasts several hundred miles. The Gel Pulse is therefore ideal for daily runs and especially long ones. The grip is also excellent, including on wet pavement, as noted by several testers.

Cushioning is more basic with AmpliFoam, Asics’ mid-range foam (sorry, no Flytefoam here), and a Gel pad under the heel. The result, while not stunning, is more than decent for a comfortable ride. On the other hand, the shoe is stable, which will reassure runners (overpronators or not) who prefer a well-structured platform. However, this version 12 follows the new direction taken by the P11 with a thicker sole (31-mm stack height under the heel) at the expense of weight: 11 oz/312 g for men and 9 oz/255 g for women, which is rather heavy.

The fit of the shoe is the main negative point: several runners found the Gel Pulse 12 too narrow. The previous model suffered from the same problem, which obviously has not been corrected.

In summary, the Asics Gel Pulse 12 brings few modifications compared to the 11th model, which marked a major overhaul of the series. The result is a reliable and affordable shoe—a good choice for daily workouts.
Value for money
  • Good comfort
  • Effective and stable cushioning
  • A sturdy shoe built to last
  • Budget option
  • Narrow fit
  • Heavyweight and bulky design



  • The outsole of the Asics Gel Pulse 12 is equipped with AHAR Plus, a robust carbon rubber under the heel made to withstand wear on the roads to keep the shoe longer. It also promotes good grip for enhanced traction especially when it rains.
  • AHAR has a sponge-like texture for a softer feel under the forefoot.
Asics Gel Pulse 12 rubber AHAR outsole


  • The midsole relies on Amplifoam, a soft yet dense foam to be more solid (it doesn’t collapse easily). It offers a plush and stable ride.
  • Also, the Rearfoot Gel cushioning pad positioned under the heel enhances impact absorption.
  • The Guidance Line is a unique flex groove that allows the shoe to bend and adapt to your movement for a comfortable and fast ride.
  • Finally, the Ortholite sockliner improves step-in comfort.


  • The Asics Gel Pulse 12’s upper is an engineered mesh that promotes a secure and comfortable foot lockdown while letting the foot breathe.


Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop12 mm
Heel stack height31 mm
Forefoot stack height19 mm
Weight (men)312 g/11 oz
Weight (women)255 g/9 oz
FitNarrow feet
Release year2020


Softness (1-5)3 – Moderate
Bounce (1-5)2 – Low


OutsoleAHAR, AHAR Plus
MidsoleAmplifoam, Rearfoot Gel, Guidance Line, Ortholite
UpperEngineered mesh


SpeedSlow, moderate
DistanceMid, long, half marathon, marathon
WorkoutDaily runs

Reference: ASICS’s website

Comparisons – Asics Gel Pulse 12 vs.:

Asics Gel Pulse 11

Asics has already thoroughly redesigned the Pulse series in 2019 with the 11th model, increasing the stack height for a more comfortable ride. The Pulse 12 builds on this new foundation with a similar configuration without much change. Let’s note that the drop is higher though with 12 mm compared to 8 mm before.

Asics Gel Nimbus 23

The Nimbus offers a similar configuration, but with a more premium build. For example, there is Flytefoam foam instead of Amplifoam and two Gel capsules instead of one. On the whole, runners find the Nimbus more comfortable with its wider fit suitable for more runners. However, there’s quite a difference price-wise, with the Nimbus costing about $80 more than the Pulse. Is it really worth the difference? We don’t think so. See the side-by-side comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Asics Gel Pulse 12 fit true to size?

Yes, this model fits true to size. Indeed, we haven’t yet seen reviews from athletes indicating that it fits too big or too small. Therefore, you can order your normal size for running shoes. However, note that the Gel Pulse 12 is a bit narrow, so it may not be suitable for athletes with wider feet.

Is this shoe recommended for runners with overpronation?

Yes, this shoe should be suitable for everyone. Indeed, it’s a neutral running shoe. As a result, its goal is to suit all athletes regardless of their pronation type. Although it’s naturally stable, it’s not equipped with support features to prevent overpronation. In any case, let’s note that there’s no scientific evidence that stability models are superior to neutral shoes to prevent injury.

Is the Asics Gel Pulse 12 a shoe for heavyweight athletes (198 lbs/90 kg or more)?

Yes, this model is fine independently of your weight as it features a relatively high stack height.

Is this model a good choice to run a marathon?

This Asics road shoe is sturdy and comfortable with a rather thick sole, making it suitable for long distances. Therefore, it’s a good option for marathon running even if its heavy weight is not ideal for speedwork. If the goal is to break your PB, then a racing model would be more appropriate.

Is this model waterproof?

These shoes are available in two versions: regular and Gore-Tex (GTX). The regular version is designed to avoid small water infiltrations and dry quickly. The Gore-Tex version offers more advanced protection that keeps your feet dry even in heavy rain. However, the Gore-Tex version is more expensive, heavier, and less breathable.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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