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7.9 oz. (227 g) for a US M9,
6.9 oz. (196 g) for a US W8
Men: 27 mm in heel, 22 mm in forefoot (5 mm drop)
Women: 26 mm in heel, 21 mm in forefoot (5 mm drop)
Triathlon training runs
FlyteFoam Blast midsole, engineered mesh upper, AHARPlus outsole, GuideSole technology
LINDSAY: Step aside, Van Gogh. The Asics design team is here with its very own spin on post-impressionism. The Asics Noosa Tri 15 features bold colors with energetic and expressive stroke patterns, much like Van Gogh’s artistic style. It sure is eye-catching, and while I thought it was just too much at first, I have really grown to love this style.
Looking back through the previous versions of the Asics Noosa Tri, eccentric colorways seem to be a common theme, and I respect the lineage. While the unique design has remained a constant, this shoe has seen a serious glow-up since version 12, and if you haven’t tried one since it was renamed from the GEL-Noosa Tri then it’s time to get back on that horse.
There were definitely not as many changes coming from the 14 to the 15; you still get that high arching heel counter with no pull tab (which packed its bags, went through mitosis, and moved to the… tongue? Still not sure how I feel about this but more on that later). The 15 features a bit more FlyteFoam Blast with more curvature from toe to heel for better transitions. The tongue is still average cushion but very soft against the ankle and doesn’t hit as high, so there’s no rubbing. Asics also added a little more lace security at the top loop for those aggressive shoe exchanges that must be happening in triathlons (I wouldn’t know).
Enough with the compare and contrast essay. Let’s get into what’s working with the Asics Noosa Tri 15 and what would fit better in one of Van Gogh’s psychotic episodes.
ALEX: I came to the Noosa Tri 15 with a love for the previous iteration of the shoe and was turned on to the line by fellow reviewer Matt Kucharski. Long has the Noosa served as the weird flamboyant uncle of the Asics extended universe. The current version continues with its fun, flashy and in-your-face appearance, but this time with decidedly more Asics-forward branding across the mid-upper and toe box (rather than Noosa Tri displayed prominently in the front with no Asics logo in sight). I put in close to 200 miles on the Noosa Tri 14, so I was excited and a little nervous to see if this gave me the same feeling of a bouncy, light everyday trainer I could also take to the pool.
LINDSAY: I’ve been loving Asics’ new engineered mesh uppers. Especially the minimalist tongue that’s soft and contours the ankle. Beautiful. The high heel counter is not really noticeable, per se, but it does add a bit of stability to the shoe and reduces any excessive ankle flexion. While it’s not the most breathable upper, it’s not warm or heavy either, and it’s got a style that will bring out the artist in you.
The curved midsole foam really gives this shoe that ideal rocker feel when transitioning on each stride. It felt smooth, bouncy, and comfortable. That, in addition to the Guidsole technology, allows for an easy forward roll. The Asics Noosa Tri 15 is a bit heavier than the 14 (I’ve never worn the 14, so I can’t give a subjective opinion), but I do know Asics added 1 mm of foam to the midsole on the 15. I love everything about this midsole, so I think those who have worn both would agree it’s a welcome 0.3 oz.
The outsole material on the 15 is the same AHARPlus outsole as the 14, but it looks much different. Now with a solid piece on the forefoot and split pieces on the heel, I feel like this works better with the roads and a smoother ride compared to previous grid designs. Equally durable but less “clunky” on the roads.
ALEX: Consistent with previous versions of the Noosa, this shoe is very light and very breathable (great for the swampy summer season in the mid-Atlantic). This is one of the few performance running shoes that you can go sockless in; I don’t think I’d do it for a serious run, but it is convenient for cruising around and running errands (or when your toddler doesn’t give you an opportunity to grab socks before heading out the door.
The upper material also dries quickly, so if you do get caught in the rain, it’s unlikely you’ll suffer trench foot. After switching these into my rotation for the past few weeks, I’ve found the Noosa Tri 15 to be best for shorter runs at easy or tempo paces. Asics continues to wow on the appearance front by delivering a multi-colored midsole that evokes childhood memories of sticking a bunch of different starbursts together to make a mega starburst.
LINDSAY: Unfortunately, I do think the eccentricity of the colorways limits the audience that this shoe would appeal to. There are no solid colors so perhaps even just a black/white option in the future could bridge that gap for those of us less adventurous in style.
The lack of a heel pull tab hasn’t been nice for my cuticles, either. This shoe is geared towards triathletes who need a quick transition into and out of these shoes, but I just don’t see where the logic is behind taking the heel pull tab away. Adding the tongue pull tab is also a mystery to me, but I think that’s more naivety than anything. On the point of transition efficiency, bungee laces would also be prime in this setting rather than standard laces. (Sidenote: I see them on the shoe in some of the photos, but it’s unclear whether that is a choice for purchase — it could be a cool add-on).
Final thought: the placement of the outsole also promotes a more supine footstrike, so if you overpronate, this may not work for you.
ALEX: I wanted to love the Noosa Tri 15 and make it a primary non-plated trainer in my repertoire, but I’m sad to report my infatuation has waned, and I think my critique falls in two major camps; performance and aesthetics. Let’s talk performance first. I logged close to 50 miles in the shoe of varying distances and paced runs. While with the 14, I felt confident in what I could handle (almost anything) and had a similar bouncy experience, my time with the Noosa Tri 15 varied wildly.
From the specs, it doesn’t appear on the surface that anything about the foam changed, but the 15 consistently felt flat and sluggish, which was strange given how light the overall package is. While some outings felt pretty good, I just stopped having fun with the shoe. Initially, I thought this maybe had to do with breaking the shoes in a bit, but I found that sluggish feeling continued. I do feel that for runs in the two to six mile range, you may not notice this as much, and therefore the Noosa 15 could be better suited for the light, easy days.
My second critique cuts deeper, as style in running is on an equal playing field for me with substance. Why I fell in love with this line in the first place was its unapologetic silliness and a crazy shoe that seemed to stand alone in Asics’ offering. In this go-around, I didn’t receive pink bungee laces along with the standard ones (maybe I’ll get some aftermarket), and the Noosa Tri logo has been moved to a small space on the heel while the traditional ASICS logo now dominates the side and forefoot of the shoe.
Asics has also introduced the Color Injection pack for multiple models in the line this year, which has given a Noosa-style makeover to the likes of the Nimbus 25 and the Novablast 3. While this move has absolutely created consistency across the product line, it does feel as though something special has been taken from the Noosa Tri.Shop Asics Noosa Tri 15 - Men Shop Asics Noosa Tri 15 - Women
LINDSAY: This shoe is not meant to be ignored. It’s built to stand out in color and comfort, and I think it nails both regards. As I finish up some edits on this review, I’m coming off an easy recovery run post-speed day where I just didn’t think my legs were going to work (IYKYK). Fortunately, the comfort and bounce of the Noosa Tri 15 really helped to get the wheels turning, and it ended up being an enjoyable run. At $130, this is a shoe I would recommend getting into your rotation, and definitely don’t pass it up if the colorways are not entirely your style. From one picky shoe buyer to another, I promise, it grows on you.
ALEX: If you’re someone who’s looking for the loudest footwear that is definitely going to get some comments, you can look no further. The Noosa Tri 15 is still a bright, light, fun shoe that fits the bill for daily training at lower mileage. The improvement to the tongue materials has increased breathability both with and without socks. For longer runs, there are probably more forgiving foams, and I know I’ve certainly been ruined by the proliferation of plates in non-racing shoes.
From a style standpoint, Asics should absolutely keep the bold ideas and continue to experiment with multi-colored midsoles, but it would be great to have a colorway or two that would coordinate with anything in my wardrobe, and please bring back the Comic Sans Noosa Tri across the toe box. This may be a shoe I continue to return to and reserve the ability to change my mind on with some more miles in.
You can pick up the Asics Noosa Tri 15 for $130 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.
Lindsay is an optometrist by day and runner by… all other hours. Originally from south Florida, Lindsay started running with Believe Run Club when she moved to Baltimore and the rest is history. When she’s not running or fixing eyeballs, you can find her exploring with her dog, Iris, or grabbing a beer with friends.
All-time favorite shoes: Asics Novablast, Saucony Endorphin line, Nike Vaporfly NEXT%More from Lindsay
Alex is a former spy and current cyber threat intelligence analyst who runs with the Faster Bastards. Originally from Detroit, Mich., he has embraced the lovely grittiness that may be his forever home of Baltimore, as well as its unique accent. Alex is a devotee of counter-culture studies, ’80s horror films and innovative sportswear fashion. Alex is committed to promoting advancement in running lifestyle and culture within Baltimore and beyond.More from Alexander