ASICS Gel FujiRunnegade

8.0
8.0 score
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ASICS Gel FujiRunnegadeReview Facts

The ASICS Gel FujiRunnegade is a beast of a trail shoe designed for extreme running and racing conditions. The shoe has a aggressively lugged outsole which grips like claws on many surfaces with the exception of paved roads. This shoe excels in deep mud, snow, sand, loose gravel, and can take on highly technical trails. A fully gusseted upper and built-in gaiter keeps mud and debris from getting in the shoe. Water-resistant upper material also helps keep the foot dry. Extreme trail, ultra, and obstacle course runners will love the durability, comfort, and aggressive nature of this shoe.

Pros
  • Cushioned and durable lightweight Solyte midsole
  • Rearfoot GEL cushioning system for shock absorption
  • Multi directional outsole lugs for superb traction on all kinds of terrain
  • Seamless and water-resistant closed mesh upper
  • Gusseted tongue and built-in gaiter prevents debris from entering shoe
  • Great shoe for cold, snowy runs
  • Affordable price tag
Cons
  • No toe guard
  • Terrain specific
  • Runs small
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The orange-colored outsole of the Gel FujiRunnegade is the shoe’s most defining feature. The deep lugs face in opposite directions to give the shoe superior traction whether going up, down, or just straight across most extreme terrain. The spacing of the lugs keeps deep mud from clumping and collecting on the bottom of the shoe. There is also no chance of small rocks getting wedged between the lugs. On the front of the shoe, the lugs look and act more like claws which allows the runner to dig in and push off with no fear of slipping or sliding. The outsole rubber material is very durable and abrasion-resistant, but flexible enough to keep the shoe from feeling overly stiff.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of this shoe is comprised of ASICS’ Solyte technology which is a durable, lightweight, and responsive foam material. This foam provides just the right amount of cushioning without making the shoe feel overly squishy. A Gel Cushioning System in the heel of the shoe absorbs the shock of impact from hard landings. The gel is a silicon-based material that compresses and expands as needed to give the runner excellent return energy with every step.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of this shoe is made from a closed mesh, neoprene material which is water-resistant and breathable. The shoe is not waterproof, but it does shed water fairly well. Wading through streams will cause the shoe to fill with water. To keep dirt and debris from entering the shoe, a bootie-like, built-in gaiter wraps around the ankle for a sock-like fit. This bootie is only on the top of the shoe and does not extend into the shoe. Most runners loved this unique feature. Two small pull loops on the front and back of the bootie allow the runner to pull it tight and slide their foot into the shoe. Some runners found these loops to be friction points so wearing socks is recommended with this shoe. A gusseted tongue also keeps debris from entering the shoe. A perforated sockliner ads a little bit of cushioning underfoot and also allows water to drain from the shoe under wet conditions.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Weighing in at 9.2 oz for men (size 9) and 7.7 oz for women (size 7), this is a surprisingly lightweight trail shoe. The Solyte material of the midsole is lighter than standard EVA foam, but still provides adequate durability and cushioning. The upper also has minimal overlays and no toe guard which keeps the shoe light and flexible. The lack of a toe guard was a problem for some extreme trail runners who lost toenails due to unexpected encounters with large rocks.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This shoe's breathability is good, but not great. The closed mesh, neoprene upper is meant to keep water out which limits the airflow into the shoe. To avoid overly sweaty feet, most runners wear moisture-wicking socks designed for extreme running. If water does get into the shoe, a perforated sockliner helps the shoe drain quickly. Extreme trail and OCR runners pretty much know that their feet are going to get wet at some point. As long as the runner keeps moving, the shoe will dry fairly quickly.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

This shoe is fairly comfortable. The soft Solyte midsole and gel cushioning in the heel area provide excellent shock absorption for smooth heel-to-toe transitions. The built-in gaiter/bootie hugs the ankle and keeps unwanted debris from entering the shoe. For cold weather runs, the upper material keeps the foot fairly warm and the height of the lugs keeps the runner’s foot off the cold ground. Wearer’s found these shoes to be great for snowy and slushy runs. The shoe is not highly breathable, but breathable enough to keep the feet from getting overly sweaty. It is recommended to wear socks with these shoes as the pull loops for the bootie can cause irritations where they meet the skin. Some runners felt a stiff spot in the heel where the upper fabric and midsole are sewn together. This caused a blister for some. The only complaints of discomfort were from runners who used the shoe on hard pavement. The outsole does not perform well on the open road and provides a stiff and uncomfortable ride.
Style
Style

Style

The Gel FujiRunnegade comes in one color, dark green. The outsole, overlays, and bootie collar are industrial orange, which most runner's found attractive. The upper material has some dark green accents to make the shoe a little more appealing. Some runners felt the shoe had a reptilian look. The heavily lugged outsole makes the shoe look bigger and heavier than it really is. Runners were surprised by the light weight and flexibility of the shoe. This shoe is reported to run small so trying on the shoe before buying is a good idea.
Durability
Durability

Durability

This shoe is extremely durable. It is designed to take on harsh conditions and tough trails. The material of the upper is snag resistant and can hold up to rough brush and ragged obstacles. The lugged outsole is made from a soft, yet durable rubber that can take a beating and keep going. The biggest weakness of the shoe is the open road. The lugs were not designed for extended friction on asphalt and concrete. Runners looking for an on-and-off road shoe will be disappointed with this shoe’s road performance.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The most protective feature of this shoe is the midsole. The Solyte midsole and gel cushioning in the heel area provide excellent shock absorption. The foam cushions the foot and also prevents injury from any sharp terrain. The heavily lugged outsole also provides protection to the runner by ensuring a safe and confident run. The lugs keep the foot just high enough above the rocky terrain although small rocks may find their way in between the midfoot area lugs where the space between the lugs is the greatest. The sock-like bootie around the ankle does an excellent job of keeping debris out of the shoe. There were no complaints of having to stop and empty rocks or dirt from the shoe. Some runners were disappointed by the lack of a toe guard. With the exception of the tread that covers the very front of the shoe, there is nothing to protect the wearer's toes from hard bumps and thumps along the trial.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Solyte midsole and gel cushioning make the shoe fairly responsive. The midsole has some return energy and silicon material in the heel compresses and expands as needed. The outsole has some flexibility which helps the shoe feel nimble and agile on the trails. Trail running does not require a super springy ride, but a shoe with no energy return can quickly feel like a brick.
Support
Support

Support

The upper provides most of the support to the runner. The durable neoprene material keeps the foot solid and centered in the shoe as the runner moves through the running cycle. The lacing system can be loosened or tightened as needed for a comfortable fit. The upper bootie offers some support, but is more for keeping debris from entering the shoe. The outsole and midsole are designed to provide a strong and balanced landing which means less chance of tripping or falling.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is meant for extreme terrain. The outsole and upper are designed to shed mud to keep the shoe light. The outsole lugs face forward and backward to provide good grip and traction in any direction. The upper bootie protects the interior of the shoe so the runner can power through sand, mud, rocks, leaves, wet grass, and anything mother nature can think of. This shoe also excelled in snowy and slushy conditions. Do not use this shoe on paved roads. The design of the lugs will make the shoe feel stiff and uncomfortable.

This shoe is also a favorite with obstacle course runners. The outsole is tough enough to take on most obstacles and the upper holds up fairly well to to going over concrete, wood, and other rough surfaces. Runners who use mainly their feet for rope climbs may want a shoe with a more durable upper, but the FujiRunnegade held up fairly well to abrasive rope material.
Price
Price

Price

The retail price of this shoe is $100. This is a fairly good price compared to other sililar extreme trail shoes. Runners may be able to find an even better bargain as the FujiRunnegade 2 has been released which often puts the original model in the sale bin. Be sure to try on the shoe before buying as it is reported to run small. Sale shoes can usually not be returned.
Traction
Traction

Traction

This shoe is designed to provide exceptional traction on extreme terrain. The outsole lugs can take on almost any outdoor challenge. The lugs point forwards and backwards which means the runner can fly up and down steep hills with little worry of sliding or tripping. A claw-like section in the toe area helps runners scramble through muddy and wet conditions. Concrete and wooden obstacles were also no problem for this shoe. When it comes to road running, leave these shoes at home.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The midsole of this shoe is fairly thin, 11 mm at the heel and 5 mm at the forefoot, which allows the shoe to flex as needed. The spacing between the lugs on the outsole also allows the shoe to bend and move with the runner’s foot. Runner’s reported a smooth and powerful feeling run with every step.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Gel FujiRunnegade offers adequate stability for extreme trail running. The midfoot cushioning provides good arch support supports and a comfortable and stable ride. The gel cushioning in the heel allows soft landings and extra cushioning and support for runners prone to rolling ankles. A 6mm heel-to-toe drop keeps the foot low to the ground and offers just enough stability to keep the foot moving forward in a natural motion.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe features a 6mm heel-to-toe drop. This drop is good for forefoot and midfoot strikers. Because trail terrain is varied, a lower heel drop helps keep the foot more balanced and injury free. Runners need to be able to go with the flow of the land and avoid putting on the breaks as much as possible.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

Aggressively lugged outsole offers superior trail traction
Durable and cushioned midsole
Rearfoot Gel cushioning for comfort and smooth heel-to-toe transitions
Seamless and water resistant upper
Built-in gaiter prevents debris from entering shoe
Gusseted tongue for additional debris protection
Perforated sockliner drains water quickly
Low 6mm heel-to-toe drop for stability
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The ASICS Gel FujiRunnegade is a rugged and durable shoe that thrives in some of the worst running conditions. The unique design of the shoe allows runners to slog through mud, hurl themselves over obstacles, and climb a treacherous mountain trail. Debris doesn’t have a chance of getting into this shoe which means you won’t have to stop in the middle of a race to empty rocks and dirt from your shoes. A cushioned midsole keeps you close to the trail and also provides adequate comfort and stability. Runners who like to push it to the limit will appreciate all this aggressively lugged trail shoe has to offer.