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Posts Tagged ‘asics trail running shoes’

Asics Gel Fuji Racer Update

April 12th, 2012

Asics Gel Fuji Racer Men's Trail Running Shoe

The Gel Fuji Racer has been a big success for Asics since its February launch, both in terms of sales and also in helping the brand establish some cred in the stripped-down trail shoe category. We did a full video review of the Fuji Racer, and also covered it in a sneak peek and product review.

Our friends at the website IRunFar.com just completed a review of the Fuji Racer too (check it out here). Their longer-term test shows the shoe holding up well after over 200 miles of rock hopping and slush busting. We’re encouraged to hear such great feedback about this shoe and if you own a pair, we’d love to hear your experience here or on our Fuji Racer comment page.

Matt Running Shoes ,

Asics Gel Fuji Racer – Our Take

February 16th, 2012

Asics Gel Fuji Racer Men's Running Shoes

Our Tweet

Gel Fuji Racer blends racing genes with trail genes to produce a hybrid monster that gobbles up terrain at a terrifying rate.
(View Men’s Fuji Racer and Women’s Fuji Racer)

Big Features

  • Racing Flat Origins: To construct the Fuji Racer, Asics started with elements of its Gel DS Racer 9 and Gel Hyper Speed 5 flats, adding in trail-ready features including a more durable tread material, breathable upper, and outsole drainage.
  • Low and Light: At 8.7 oz for the Men’s version (size 9) and 7.8 oz for the Women’s version (size 8), the Fuji Racer is Asics’ lightest trail shoe to date. And stack heights of 22mm in the heel and 16mm in the forefoot mean that this shoe is low to the ground with only a 6mm offset.
  • Rock Protection: Even though the shoe is light, Asics didn’t skimp on features to keep it durable on the trail, including a forefoot rock plate layered in just above the outsole.

Trail Test

Asics may want us to associate this shoe with the challenging terrain of Japan’s most regal mountain, but this shoe actually makes us think of two other Japanese phenomenons: Godzilla, and the Toyota Prius.

The Fuji Racer is a true monster on the trail, towering over many other trail models past and current to offer good grip, a smooth ride, and plenty of protection. It doesn’t breathe fire, destroy cities, weigh several tons, or take scantily clad women hostage, but the Fuji Racer is a tenacious beast on the trail.

So OK, maybe Godzilla isn’t a perfect metaphor for this shoe. That’s where the Prius comes in. The Fuji Racer is a hybrid any way you look at it, blending road racing flat with trail grip and durability. Like the Prius, the Fuji Racer blends technologies to achieve a very specific goal – in this case, to help a runner achieve speed on the trail.

Whatever it is, how does it run? Every one of our testers found this shoe pretty impressive. The stripped down weight doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite Asics features, including Gel cushioning, Solyte midsole foam and the Trusstic System to maintain midfoot integrity and proper flex points.

The upper is form-fitting and moves well with your foot. The transition is as smooth as you’d expect for a road-derived midsole, and the shoe feels more cushioned than its racing flat counterparts due to the springy lugs on the outsole.

Runners Say

“I like the Hyper Speed feel with increased trail durability. I’m not convinced that the wet-weather traction is entirely dialed in, but that’s a minor issue for a majorly impressive shoe.” – Erik

“Surprisingly bouncy for how low and lean it is. They really nailed the upper – it feels close but not claustrophobic.” – Joanna

“A lot of runners are looking for a shoe that’s comfortable on the trail and the road. The Fuji Racer fits the bill.” – Matt

Matt Running Shoes ,

Asics GT 2170 Trail – Our Take

January 25th, 2012

Asics GT-2170 Trail Women's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Asics’ popular 2170, with a fresh outsole geared for trail duty. This hybrid shoe offers a sticky outsole that can give you just the traction you need off-road.
(View Men’s 2170 Trail and Women’s 2170 Trail.)

Runners Say

“As expected, this shoe still feels just like a 2170 – which is to say, it’s got great comfort, an amazing fit, and a smooth transition. It’s a good option for someone who does a mix of road and hard-packed trail running. But this shoe’s certainly not right for the serious trail runner – the technical features just aren’t there.” – Matt

“Of course the fit and ride of this shoe is great, since it’s on the 2170 platform. I could see a runner who just loves the 2170 buying a pair of these for days when they want to do a little off-roading.” – Joanna

Big Updates

  • 2170 Design Updates: The 2170 trail benefits from the new design of the 2170 road shoe. Asics was careful to innovate without rocking the boat too much in this popular model.
  • Gusseted Tongue Gone: The 2160 Trail had a gusseted tongue to keep out rocks and debris. Customer feedback indicated that feature wasn’t particularly necessary, so Asics went back to a traditional tongue on this model.

Road Test

As you would expect from a comfy road shoe injected with just a smidge of trail DNA, the GT 2170 Trail rides a whole lot like the road version of the shoe. In fact, we’d bet that most runners wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in a blind race test.

That’s a good thing if all you want in a trail shoe is a little bit of extra grip. And we do mean a little bit. The trail-specific outsole on the 2170 Trail is definitely stickier than the road shoe’s outsole, and it adds a bunch of tiny pyramid-shaped grips on the outsole as well. But that’s really the only thing differentiating the Trail from the road version. It’s a great choice for the runner who wants to option to go off-road and feel confident about having a little extra traction. Other shoes in this category worth a look are the Nike Pegasus Trail (Men’s and Women’s) and Brooks Adrenaline ASR (Men’s and Women’s).

For someone who needs a more dedicated trail shoe and would like to stick with the Asics line, there are a few other models to consider. In the support category, the Asics Gel Trabuco 14 (see Men’s and Women’s) still provides plenty of cushion along with a water-resistant, trail-specific upper and a WET GRIP outsole designed to increase traction on wet surfaces.

In the neutral category, the Trail Sensor 5 (see Men’s and Women’s) is Asics’ most high-feature trail shoe. It offers a cushioned ride along with many helpful features for the trail, including a specially designed lacing system, Trail Sensor midsole that adjusts to uneven terrain, and a forefoot rockplate to minimize stone bruising.

Matt Running Shoes , ,