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Escape the Matrix with Asics Gel Neo33

January 11th, 2012

Is it The One for you?

We had some fun with the Asics Gel Neo33 (see the Men’s Neo33 and Women’s Neo33), for starters because of its name. It’s certainly not a bad name – it just reminds us of one of our favorite movie characters from a certain blockbuster Hollywood franchise. And as much as we tried, we couldn’t resist comparing the Asics Neo to the character Neo from the Matrix trilogy.

So if you and your friends are dying to know just how well this Asics shoe stacks up against a gun-toting, world-saving archetypal hero, here’s the head-to-head comparo:

Asics Neo vs. Matrix Neo

  • Cool Look: This is a tough one to judge. Matrix Neo looked pretty slick in his Ray-Bans and trench coat. But the Asics Neo is one of the sharper looking shoes in the Asics line, particularly in the Royal Blue/Limeade colorway.
  • “The One”: Matrix Neo was also known as The One. Asics Neo could be known as The Thirty-Three. Therefore, logic clearly dictates that the Asics Neo is much more awesome – thirty-three times more awesome, to be exact.
  • Can Defy Gravity: If we ever have to make our way through a lobby under heavy, automatic gunfire, we’d sure like to have the gravity-defying moves of Matrix Neo. But for those days when we’re just out for a long run or a race, Asics Neo can really help to put a little extra bounce in our step and give us the propulsion we need.
  • Part of a Blockbuster Series: Matrix Neo, with the help of his buddies and some still-impressive special effects, sparked a multibillion dollar, international franchise. Asics Neo isn’t likely to blow up that big, but it’s still part of the growing 33 collection by Asics, which has been earning a lot of new fans and keeping Asics fresh in the marketplace.

Road Test

Outside the Matrix and in the “real” world, the Asics Neo remains a competitor. The shoe offers a snug fit that is unlike most other Asics models. The fit is a boon for runners who like to feel a close connection to their shoes, with that secure, strapped-in dynamic. And the shoe also feels light – much lighter than its 11.5 oz weight (Men’s size 9) would suggest. All testers reported liking the smooth heel-to-toe transition. Unlike the Blur 33, the Neo has a forefoot gel cushioning unit, though this unit is much less pronounced than the one in the Excel 33.

The Verdict

As a running specialty company, we may be a little biased in favor of the Asics Neo. But still, it’s the clear winner in the head-to-head comparison. It’s a good choice for a slightly overpronating runner looking for a responsive shoe that still offers some core Asics technologies, including Gel cushioning, a Solyte and SpEVA midsole, and Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) in the outsole.

If you’d like to partake in the winning, find your size in Men’s models or Women’s models.

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