The trail-racing shoe scene has by no means been more healthy, with main launches just like the Nike Ultrafly and Adidas Terrex Agravic Velocity Extremely becoming a member of the fray in latest months to compete with the likes of the Hoka Tecton X2 and Saucony Endorphin Edge.
All these sneakers use cutting-edge tech from the best carbon plate running shoes for the roads, and include eye-wateringly excessive costs. Nonetheless, one trail-racing shoe that bucks this development is the Asics Fujispeed 2, which is cheaper than its rivals, and but nonetheless delivers a fast journey aided by its carbon plate. It’s one of many best trail-running shoes accessible for shorter race distances, though I’d select a comfier choice for ultra-marathons.
Asics Fujispeed 2 Evaluate: Value And Availability
The Asics Fujispeed 2 launched in Europe in August 2023 and prices $160 within the US and £160 within the UK. That worth is just not precisely low cost, however given that the majority path super-shoes with tech like carbon plates value £200 or extra, the Fuji Velocity 2 is a little bit of a steal.
How I Examined This Shoe
I’ve run simply over 30 miles (round 50km) within the Asics Fujispeed 2, most of that on dry forest paths, with some highway sections and occasional forays on to muddy single-track trails. I’ve achieved runs at a mixture of paces, with one onerous 10-miler and an extended hills session, plus a few simpler runs. I didn’t check the unique Fujispeed, however I’ve examined a number of different path super-shoes, together with the Nike Ultrafly, Hoka Tecton X2 and Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra.
Design And Match
The Asics Fujispeed 2 has a lot in frequent with the Asics Magic Speed 3 highway shoe, which I’m a giant fan of. It has a full-length carbon plate working via the rockered midsole, which is constructed from FF Blast+ foam. This isn’t Asics’ finest foam, which is the bouncy FF Turbo materials discovered on the Superblast and Metaspeed Sky+ sneakers, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a light-weight and springy foam that’s agency sufficient to be fairly steady when off-road.
Asics hasn’t confirmed the stack top, however to my eye it’s fairly excessive on the heel, most likely above 35mm. The heel-to-toe drop of 5mm has been confirmed. There are small sidewalls of froth your foot sits inside so as to add stability, nevertheless it’s not as deep a “bucket seat” design as on different sneakers just like the Adidas Terrex Agravic Velocity Extremely.
The woven higher has a bolstered part working across the entrance of the toe field and the collar of the shoe is effectively padded so as to add consolation and maintain the again of your foot securely on the run. The shoe has a gusseted tongue and a lace storage, together with a pull tab behind the shoe.
Asics makes use of its personal Asicsgrip materials for the outsole of the shoe, reasonably than outsourcing it to a model comparable to Vibram. The three-pronged lugs have chew on gentle floor, however aren’t that deep and the Fujispeed 2 is finest suited to dry, onerous trails.
At 9oz/257g in my UK measurement 9, the Fujispeed 2 is gentle for a path shoe, particularly contemplating that it has a excessive midsole stack. It’s the lightest path super-shoe I’ve examined, and has a slender design that makes it really feel agile. The draw back of this form is that the match could not work for everybody. I’ve a slender match and was effective with my regular measurement, however the Fujispeed 2 is much less roomy within the toe field than most path sneakers. This design additionally reduces stability on tough downhills, in distinction to the vast touchdown zones you could have on sneakers just like the Nike Ultrafly and Adidas Terrex Agravic Velocity Extremely.
Most of the path super-shoes accessible are geared in the direction of ultra-marathons, and meaning they typically don’t really feel that quick while you first pull them on. This isn’t the case with the Fujispeed 2, and its tight match additionally provides it a racier really feel than different path sneakers.
The journey is nice when shifting at velocity. The rocker is clean and, whereas the midsole foam is just not particularly bouncy, there may be propulsion off the toes from the plate when you’ve rolled via onto your forefoot.
I did a one-hour development run on the paths, growing my coronary heart price over the course of three 20-minute increments, and averaging slightly below six minutes a mile total, and the Fujispeed 2 felt implausible. It’s not explosively springy, however it’s simple to maintain your cadence excessive and switch your legs over as a result of it’s nimble and light-weight.
That nimbleness was evident after I did a hill session within the shoe, working six three-minute reps. Whereas different choices just like the Hoka Zinal 2 are lighter, the Fujispeed 2 manages to really feel agile whereas having a better stack for further consolation and bounce. It doesn’t have as a lot consolation as others, although. The FF Blast+ midsole, mixed with the carbon plate, creates a firmer really feel than you get from the Nike Ultrafly, Hoka Tecton X2 and Adidas Terrex Agravic Velocity Extremely when shifting at slower speeds.
I’d fancy racing as much as marathon distance within the Fujispeed 2, particularly on well-maintained, flatter trails the place your velocity can be excessive all through. For longer occasions, or runs with sections on tougher, jagged floor and steep descents, I’d want the added consolation of the Ultrafly or Agravic Velocity Extremely, and the Disappointed and Nike running shoes are extra steady when touchdown on uneven floor.
I’ve been working in dry situations and thus far have had no considerations in regards to the grip of the Fujispeed 2. The lugs most likely received’t chew deep sufficient for actually muddy occasions, however they will deal with the odd boggy patch and persist with rocks and roots effectively. The shoe is snug for lengthy stretches on the highway as effectively.
Is The Asics Fujispeed 2 Price It?
The Fujispeed 2 is not only a extra inexpensive various to the brand new breed of pricey path super-shoe, I’d say it’s most likely the most effective racing choice for most individuals tackling shorter off-road occasions. It’s quick, it grips effectively on quite a lot of terrain, and it has sufficient cushioning to push onerous for a number of hours on undulating routes.
Over longer distances, or when on rockier trails with steeper climbs and descents, the added consolation of sneakers just like the Nike Ultrafly or Hoka Tecton X2 comes into play. I’d say these sneakers have extra stability than the slender Fujispeed 2 when working downhill, the place the Saucony Endorphin Edge additionally feels extra dependable, because of its width.
The Adidas Terrex Agravic Velocity Extremely is one other robust choice for any distance, so long as you get on with the aggressively rockered design. It’s bouncier than the Fujispeed 2 and has a large forefoot so as to add stability, however the gentle foam and slender rear and midfoot of the shoe received’t work for each runner on technical trails.
All these are significantly costlier than the Fujispeed 2, nonetheless. Until you’re a long-distance mountain runner then the Asics shoe will most likely serve you simply in addition to, if not higher than, a speedy off-road choice.