Available February 2016 – Fuzex MSRP $110.00, Fuzex Lyte MSRP $ 85.00
ASICS is bringing two new shoes to market. Usually I am excited when ASICS makes a brand new shoe, but my enthusiasm is tempered with the Fuzex and Fuzex Lyte. The Fuzex is a well-executed shoe in both specs and appearance. And as a daily, neutral trainer it compares favorably with the Brooks Ghost and Saucony ride 8. The Fuzex Lyte seems like a misnomer. Sure, technically it’s lighter than the Fuzex, but just barely, so why the Lyte name? Let’s get into the shoes and see what’s good and what could be better.
What I like:
1. Both shoes are being built with a new midsole which fuses an EVA foam with ASICS GEL to produce FuzeGEL. This means there are no inserts of Gel, but rather, the amount of GEL found within the midsole is consistent throughout the shoe (Brooks did the same thing when they mixed their DNA with BioMoGo foam). The result is getting the cushioning and durability benefits of the GEL, regardless of where you land on the shoe. Thus, heel, midfoot, and forefoot strikes get a similar underfoot feel. This has worked great for Brooks and I hope the performance is similar for ASICS.
2. An 8mm heel-toe offset is used on both shoes and the stack heights (midsole thickness) are the same. The offset is 2mm lower than what is found in most traditional ASICS shoes and should result in an even smoother ride than what ASICS is known for. Also, I think people can easily switch between shoes within a 4mm offset range. This means someone with a 12mm offset shoe is likely able to run in this shoe without any transition time issues and a person in 4mm or 6mm offset shoes can go up in offset to mix-up their experience.
3. The Fuzex is a good looking shoe. I think it has a great contemporary look. Maybe not as good looking as the New Balance Zante, but it’s still a nice looking shoe.
4. The $85 price of the Fuzex Lyte is fantastic. Even though I think it needs a different name than Lyte, the quality of materials and construction should have this shoe at $100. So if Runner’s World doesn’t list it as a Best Buy, they are missing the boat.
What I don’t like:
1. The Fuzex Lyte weighs too much. It may have been considered light 8 years ago, but now the weight is pretty normal. So while it’s not a heavy shoe, it does disservice to the heritage of the Lyte designation. The ASICS Gel Lyte III was my favorite shoe in 1990 and it was light for its time. The name went away and was brought back in the late 90s as a neutral counter part to the DS Trainer and it was a light shoe. In 2012, the Lyte designation came back in the form of the Gel Lyte33. Advance four years to 2016 and the Fuzex Lyte is about 2 ounces heavier than the average weight of the three versions of the Gel Lyte33. So I say again, the shoe weighs too much to be designated as “Lyte.”
2. The Fuzex Lyte is is not an exciting looking shoe. The materials are fine and there are some good colors, but the whole package is a bit off for me. It has a basic look, which some people like, but getting back to the Lyte name, this shoe should be more ground breaking with its appearance (think above mentioned NB Zante).
Preliminary Tech Specs
Fuzex & Fuzex Lyte- Stack height: 24mm heel, 16mm forefoot, 8mm heel-toe offset
Fuzex – Weight*: 10.4 oz (men’s size 9), 8.4 oz (women’s size 7) *Provided by manufacturer
Fuzex Lyte – Weight*: 9.9 oz (men’s size 9), 8.2 oz (women’s size 7) *Provided by manufacturer
Fuzex Competing Shoes
Fuzex Lyte Competing Shoes