I have previously reviewed the Saucony Hurricane 9 and 10 http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/shoe-review-saucony-progrid-hurricane-9-vs-10/ and Saucony has now released version 11. Overall I like the changes to the 11, but this model has even less volume than the 10, which may be a problem if you’ve been wearing this shoe for it’s roominess.
One of the changes I especially like though is a thicker forefoot midsole which is great for added cushioning at toe-off as seen below.
The waist of the 11 is also wider than the 10 providing much better midfoot support and help with pronation.
My only problem with this shoe is how expensive it’s become ($139). Each new version is $10 more than the prior. At this price point the shoe is OK but better designed and less expensive, similar shoes include Adrenaline GTS 9 or Asics 2140. I even prefer Saucony Guide Shoe to this shoe in terms of overall design and fit.
This is the 1st time I have seen this shoe and I am underwhelmed.
One of the things I like most about many Asics running shoes is that they are generally well structured and stable which makes them a perfect choice for many runners. The Gel Frantic on the other hand is anything but. It strikes me as a Nike Shox wannabee in design without any of the rigidity associated with many of the Shox shoes. This shoe rolls up like a ball with very little effort and anyone who pronates at all would be ill-served by this flexible shoe.
In summary, I would probably never recommend this shoe for a serious runner, especially one having foot, knee or iliotibial band pain.
Brooks is staying cutting edge by not changing the shoe, but giving you more color choices instead. They just released two new colors in the Beast model and one new color in the Ariel model. I am a fan of both of these shoes and have blogged about both before: http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/shoe-review-brooks-ariel-old-vs-new/ http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/shoe-review-brooks-beast/. FYI as of today, Brooks does not have all the colors available on their site, so Zappos.com is a good place to go instead.