Fast and Fun: ASICS Fuji Lite 2 Review
TAYLOR: For a company whose bread and butter is running, ASICS sure has lacked in the trail department since, well… forever. Because of their track record, most consumers won’t bat an eye. That said, the last two ASICS trail shoes that landed on my doorstep had me impressed, and that has nothing to do with the low expectations from the jump. ASICS is stepping out of its comfort zone with the Fuji Lite 2, a neutral trail runner that’s more exciting than past brand offerings.
TAYLOR: I’m going to come right out of the gates and say it: the Fuji Lite 2 is a super solid all-arounder. It’s equipped and ready for anything, from buffed to moderate trails, easy days to slamming singletrack, all in just about any condition.
Comparable shoes are some of the more lightweight, faster fan-favorites on the market. Think your Brooks Catamount, Skechers Razor TRL, Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270 and adidas Terrex Speed Ultras of the world. Even with all of those trail beasts out there, I’m grabbing the versatile Fuji Lite 2 (9.9 oz for a men’s 10.5) for most of my runs. If you’re already a modern-day ASICS fan, you’ll like the Fuji Lite 2. If you’re not an ASICS fan, I’m willing to bet you’ll become one after taking it for a spin.
The shoe itself is of simple composition. I mean, just looking at it makes you think of a standard road shoe. There’s nothing super fancy going on, but it’s a simple shoe that runs well.
The engineered mesh upper is similar in quality and comfort as one would expect from an ASICS road shoe. It’s even composed of recycled materials – something I’ll always give big kudos to. Thomas says that all the sustainability in the world doesn’t really matter if the shoe sucks, and I agree. This one doesn’t suck.
A light and breathable outer mesh is met with another layer underneath to keep out debris and provide more structure to the shoe. The combo brings a comfortable feel and tucked, trimmed fit as opposed to the traditional generous fit from an ASICS shoe. It’s similar to the Terrex Ultra but with a more accommodating feel because of the materials used. Both the toe-box and midfoot are much more secure than any previous ASICS trail runner. I found a tiny bit of movement in the heel, but it was a quick fix with some alternate lacing.
Similar to the Trabuco Max, the Fuji Lite 2 gets a fast feel from the midsole compound and geometry. A tapered toe provides a psuedo-rockered feel through each step. It’s a super smooth sensation from ground to toe-off that’s only embellished by the newest formula of Flytefoam. The density is fairly moderate, maybe a touch firm but softer than something like the Salomon Sense Ride 3. It’s a well-balanced combo with a cushioned sensation, some ground feel, and a lively ride.
A 4 mm drop (30 mm heel to 26 mm toe) is perfect for nearly every trail and keeps the toe spring going through every stride. The Fuji Lite 2 is equally fun and performance-oriented over gravel roads and pavement. This shoe, along with the Hoka Challenger ATR 6, is one of the best options for a door-to-trail runner.
Similar to the Trabuco Max, the Fuji Lite utilizes the ASICSGRIP outsole. Simply put, it grips everything very well. Most of the outsole is covered with rubber and 3 mm lugs. Based on my test runs, it’ll last a long while too.Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Men Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Women
TAYLOR: PTS (puffy tongue syndrome) strikes again, this time more subtly. While smaller than the Trabuco Max, the Fuji Lite 2’s tongue is noticeably puffy and kind of annoying. The mesh hangs loosely around the tongue, and the laces themselves end up as a ball of yarn. They’ll end up slipping out of the lace garage system, which makes it more like a parking ramp with the car in neutral. It also just looks a little funky.
A heads-up if you have a narrow heel or narrow foot in general, as the heel collar is pretty low for a trail shoe. And for those of you that teeter between shoe sizes, I’d suggest going up a half size as they seem to run a little short.Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Men Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Women
TAYLOR: ASICS trail stonks continue to trend up with the addition of the Fuji Lite 2. It’s a highly versatile shoe that has the ability to conjure your inner trail Samurai. Whether you’re pounding out some gravel path repeats or going for a long run on singletrack, this shoe is ready for it all. It could handle upwards of 50 milers on smooth to moderate terrain but definitely shines brightest in the smaller double-digit runs and trail marathons.
You can pick up the ASICS Fuji Lite 2 for $120 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Men Shop Fuji Lite 2 – Women
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