Asics 33-DFA

8.2
8.2 score
Runnerclick score (8.2)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Asics 33-DFA Review Facts

The Asics 33-DFA were released to fill the gap left by the Gel-Lyte 33, which was discontinued in 2014. This shoe features a combination of technologies that have resulted in great reviews for their performance as a low drop road running shoe. With a good combination of cushioning, responsiveness, lightweight and promotion of midfoot strike, this shoe is perfect for runners who are thinking of transitioning to barefoot running. The FluidAxis geometry technology provides the support you need in literally each one of the joints of your feet. These shoes are great for daily runs and training sessions, and they are very flexible and provide good traction.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very flexible
  • Good cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Good comfort
  • Promote a midfoot strike
  • Low drop
  • Good traction
Cons
  • Heavier than similar shoes
  • Not very durable
  • Tricky sizing
  • Lacks breathability
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 5 hours analyzing a total of 550 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I am an avid runner with regular, normal running style and I also do triathlons. These shoes are fit just for that. They are just running shoes. They are not uncomfortable and they are not anything out of this world. They seem to run a little small but nothing too awful. They are an OK shoe.
  • If you have high arches and narrow feet, these are the shoes for you. I love the colors they offer too.
  • These shoes are deceiving. They felt small and I thought that they were going to rub my pinky toe off. However, while I wore them, I would adjust the laces. They stretched as I ran and I had no issues. They are really lightweight and flexible. I would suggest going a half to full size up.
  • I only bought these because I loved the color and style. I ended up really liking these and they have helped me with my overpronation. I run an average of 12 miles a week and these have not disappointed. The have a great cushion on the outside part of the foot and great arch support. They have not given me any blisters or pain which is great. The whole shoe is really flexible and lightweight. It is a proper shoe and I recommend them.
  • I not going to recommend these for actual distance running because they are really just a normal shoe. I They look great for casual wear and have a very moderate cushioning to them and ample support for my daily walks with the dog. They feel nice with my pronation though.
  • I like that these are true to my size. They have great support all around and have great cushioning . These are my go to running and gym shoes. They have super support in the arches and feel light as a feather.
  • Although these shoes don't have the stability I need for a running sneaker, they are really comfortable and they have became my casual. They have a great style and I love all the bright colors.
  • I am a half marathon runner and I use these for the training and the competitions. They are affordable and really hug my feet when I am running.
  • I love the color on these, I bought the orange. They are really light and have a good stability to the, they are stitched right and I had no hot spots or rubbing. I am happy with the comfort as well. I do recommend getting a half size bigger.
  • I am a Asics fan all the way. These shoes have made me even more so. They are really light so it made me question the durability but they have held u well to my beatings. These shoes also have a great support to them and carry me through all my runs injury free.
  • This shoe is great and absorbs all the impact of my runs. The inside is super soft ad comfortable and keeps me from having any sort of fatigue. I was not happy that I had to return them for a larger size, they were way off.
  • If it is toe space that you are looking for, then definitely get a half to whole size bigger. They aren't very supportive in the arch either. However, They are so soft and cushy on the inside and the upper part of the shoe is to die for. These shoes feel like pillows on your feet.
  • I was looking for a more sturdy shoe but these are cushion all over. They are great for pronation and to my accessory navicular bone, which is nice. They have a removable sole so I am able to use my orthotics with them. They are very light and have a great flexibility to them. The color is also really nice.
  • These were great and the cushion held up to my distance. For so much cushion, they are extremely light. I was really happy with the all over functionality of this shoe. I highly recommend it.
  • These sneakers were made for people with a narrow toe box. Other than them being really narrow, they are a great shoe. They are perfectly lightweight and very flexible. I really enjoy them for running.
  • These shoes give all the support I need while I am on my feet all day. Everything about the shoe is great: the comfort, the style, the cushioning and the flexibility. Everything is in the mid range and that makes it a very supportive shoe for me.
  • I did experience a bit of pain with these at first but they are a much lower heel profile than I am used to. They are super cushy on the inside but the foam like material does feel a bit cheaper than expected.
  • These shoes breath but not as much as I would like. Also, the arch support is lacking a bit so the stability for my running style is off a bit. I do enjoy how soft and cushy they are and how well they work for my walks. They also have a nice hard grip to them, which I really like.
  • These shoes are beast and are easily my favorite of all time. They are everything you need in a shoe: stability, flexibility, durability and freaking comfortable. They are so soft on the inside, it is incredible. I am so happy with these shoes.
  • These could be a bit more supportive but I like them. They are really flexible and light, which I really enjoy. I did have t exchange for a larger size.
  • My feet swell when I run so I bought these a size larger. They are such great runners. They are really airy and they keep my normal heel pain at nonexistent status. I an use these all day and have no issues. They are really light as well and that keeps my ankles from fatiguing. These are just a great shoe.
  • This shoe isn’t bulky but it isn't as light as I thought it would be. These are awesome, flexible and comfortable shoes for runners. I recommend them. They also fit great to my size foot.
  • I ordered these a half size up after trying them on in the store. They go great with everything and are really comfortable shoes. I use them for my casual tennis shoes.
Negative
  • The sizing on these is not right. I hate when I have to send things back because the company changes specs. If it says 12 why is it a 9?
  • They have a super crowded toe box and are different from the other Asics in sizing; they run small. They have no heel support, they just collapse. The only thing they have going for them is the style, they look nice.
  • These were really uncomfortable. They were too tight and it sucked. I always buy Asics at 10’s. These were more of an 8.
  • Out of all the Asics I have owned, which is a lot, these are the worst. They did something different. I feel like I am wearing a narrow freaking Nike. Horrible change Asics.
  • These should be put in for false advertising. Nothing about this shoe is for real runners. They are tight all over with a even smaller toe box ad they are really heavy for a running shoe. I ended up returning them asap.
  • Narrow, Narrow, Narrow. Also, did I mention these shoes were narrow? They were the most uncomfortable and narrowest shoes I have ever tried on. They do look nice though.
  • I was highly disappointed. After only a little use, the heel collapsed. I was upset that I had only had these a couple weeks and they rendered extremely uncomfortable.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 550 reviews we found in total, 14% were negative, and 86% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of this shoe has been designed to provide good traction and support where you need it the most. The Asics High Abrasion Ruber (AHAR) compound used in the outsole provides extended durability and good traction. Harder than other rubber compounds, it keeps those high abrasion areas in good shape for longer. The lug distribution in the outsole follows the FluidAxis technology that provides anatomical support to each of the 33 joints of your foot. The Flex Groves follow the same geometry promoting a better and more natural support for extra responsiveness. The outsole of this shoe is definitely one of its strongest features.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

This shoe comes with a dual-layered midsole. A Solyte material that is up to 30% more durable than regular EVA and SpEVA midsoles from Asics, is layered up with the AmpliFoam material for enhanced cushioning. The dual-layered midsole promotes a more natural and flexible movement of your foot because it follows the FluidAxis technology that mimics the natural movements of your foot while running and walking. This shoe is good for running short and medium distances. The foam is very responsive to the shape of your feet and very resilient to the impact and use of the shoe. Your underfoot will be protected and comfortable for longer.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the shoe is not very breathable, but it is very flexible. The closed mesh upper allows your feet to breath well when performing short runs, but not so much when performing more demanding runs. On longer runs, your feet will sweat more and the moisture will accumulate inside the shoe ultimately causing discomfort. The closed mesh was designed to protect you from the elements during your runs. These shoes feature a round and wide toe box for a more natural position for your toes. The very flexible upper is capable of adapting to the shape of your feet with ease and comfort. It allows a more comfortable fit for enhanced responsiveness.
Weight
Weight

Weight

One of the down points of the Asics 33-DFA is that it weighs more than other similar shoes. The average weight for the men’s shoe is 292 grams (10.2 oz.), while the average weight for the women’s shoe is 274 grams (9.6 oz.) They still are considered lightweight shoes as they weigh less than 300 grams. However, there are plenty of other shoes in the same category that are lighter than this one. Due to their weight, we recommend this shoe as a training or walking shoe rather than as a racing shoe.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The closed mesh upper provides optimal breathability to a certain point. When running during short periods of time and performing not very demanding runs, the breathability is okay. When you take these shoes to perform a more intense runs or use them for an extended period of time, their breathability often decreases rapidly. The close mesh does not promote good ventilation, so the more you sweat, the more moisture gets accumulated inside the shoe. When running long distances the chance of getting blisters and hot spots increases.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

These shoes can be very comfortable or very uncomfortable depending on how they are used. As mentioned earlier, the breathability of the shoes can be compromised when running long distances and during the performance of intense activities. Opinions are divided when it comes to the flexibility of the shoes. They are very flexible, so much that they can feel too soft and squishy. The cushioning is good in the midsole thanks to the AmpliFoam layer. The support from the base of the shoe is also very good. These shoes provide a good fit thanks to the overlays in the upper.
Style
Style

Style

This is a good looking shoe. They carry the style that characterizes Asics, simple but powerful. The look of these shoe has been improved by its successor. They come in different colors for both men and women. However, the shoe has been discontinued, so it can be a bit tricky to find the right color and the right size.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The durability of the shoe is one of its weaker points. Reviewers have stated that it starts breaking prematurely. Many reviewers stated that the heel counter is the first thing to fall apart, followed by other various parts of the shoe. However, there are parts that do provide durability. The AHAR rubber compound is very durable and provides good traction. The Solyte midsole is more durable than regular EVA and SpEVA ASICS midsoles. Unfortunately, overall, the components of the shoe do not stay together as long as you would like to.
Protection
Protection

Protection

This shoe does not provide much protection for your feet. Reviewers stated it feels too soft and squishy. The protection against debris you may find on the road is minimal. The shoes have no toe caps. As the shoes promote a midfoot strike, they do provide an element of protection to your knees and hips. A midfoot strike reduces the impact on your knees and hips by distributing the energy from the landings. The FluidAxis technology promotes anatomic support to the 33 joints of your foot for a more natural movement.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The flexibility of this shoe makes them very responsive to your natural movements. The upper really adapts to the shape of your feet and the midsole to the movements you make. Floating straps integrated into the lacing system are meant to provide a great fit for enhanced responsiveness. The good traction on the outsole makes them very responsive when running on asphalt and other flat and even surfaces. The Solyte midsole provides good control and performs as if the shoe was minimal shoes. As a neutral running shoe, it promotes a natural strike.
Support
Support

Support

This shoe has been designed to provide a neutral support. Underpronators can also wear these shoes comfortably. Reviewers with flat feet have said the Asics 33-DFA are supportive and comfortable when performing short runs and walks. The shoe has been designed to follow the natural shape of your feet and promote a natural gait cycle. The shoes guide you to run on the ball of your foot for enhanced efficiency. The FluidAxis technology they feature provides anatomical support to your foot. The 33-DFA comes from support the 33 joints of your foot by the Deep FluidAxis technology.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is great when running on the road, tracks and even light gravel. The traction on paved roads is good and decreases the more you run on loose terrain. Even when running on wet roads, these shoes manage to provide good control due to the good traction. The 33-DFA are meant to be worn for walking, running and training rather than for standing for long times. The support and cushioning work the best when you run on flat and even surfaces because of the low drop. Recommended shoes for training in the gym and walking.
Price
Price

Price

One of the best things about these shoes is that they are very affordable. You can get them for under $100. The average price is $90 USD. The shoes were discontinued a while ago, so you can get them only exclusively online. It seems that there is still a good stock of these shoes. However, you get what you pay for. It's worth evaluating whether the "pros" outweigh the "cons". Have in mind that the price may vary depending on the size of the shoe you are looking for.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The AHAR rubber compound in the outsole provides enhanced durability and also good traction. The Asics 33-DFA will provide the best traction on paved surfaces. The lug pattern that follows the FluidAxis geometry makes the shoes grip the ground and allow for natural foot movement as well as enhance traction. The traction is strategic - they provide anatomical support to your feet and the outsole is more flexible in the midfoot area rather than in the forefoot area. This type of traction makes for better take offs .
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The shoes are very flexible - maybe too much for some runners. The shoes do not need any break in period before taking out on your first run. The outsole is very resistant but very flexible, so the shoes feel more like a very protective sock. The way the shoes are designed to be more flexible in the midfoot rather than in the forefoot is an issue for some runners as compared to other shoes. It might take some time to adjust to this different type of flexibility. It is worth noting that due to the midfoot flexibility, these shoes may cause pain in the plantar fascia for some users.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The stability of this shoe comes mainly from the FluidAxis technology in the midsole and outsole. That technology provides anatomical support to the 33 joints on your foot. Due to the flexibility of the shoe, the shoes are not very stable though. The heel counter is not hard. The stability of the upper comes from the welded overlays. The ComforDry sock liner provides some stability for neutral runners and it’s removable so you can change it to an insole of your choice for enhanced stability. The shoe has been designed to be minimalistic. The low drop and the technologies incorporated in this shoe make them good for people with flat feet.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of a shoe is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe. The Asics 33-DFA road running shoes have a 4 mm drop. The heel height is 19 mm for men and 15 mm for women, and the forefoot height is 14 mm for men and 10 mm for women. The drop of these shoes promotes a midfoot strike that will help keep your knees and hips more protected. It also increases the efficiency of your run.
Key Features of the Asics 33 DFA
Key Features of the Asics 33 DFA

Key Features of the Asics 33 DFA

• Solyte midsole
• Deep FluidAxis midsole and outsole technology
• ComforDry Lasting
• AmpliFoam midsole layer
• AHAR rubber compound
• 4 mm drop
• Removable insole
• Natural 33 Last
Bottom line
Bottom line

Bottom line

This shoe is good for runners who are looking to transition to a midfoot strike but don't want to sacrifice comfort. This shoe is not the lightest ones in its category but it is light enough to promote faster and more comfortable runs thanks to its responsiveness and cushioning. The overall protection and durability are well below average, so in order to get the best life of these shoes, we suggest keeping them on the roads and sidewalk. This shoe provides good traction on smooth surfaces such as pavement and track.

The Asics 33-DFA is comfortable enough for short distance runs and training sessions. They do not perform well on long runs. They offer support for neutral and under-pronators and also do very well for people with flat feet. If you are looking for a minimalistic-like shoe with cushioning and a low drop, this might be the shoe for you. Some runners had issues finding a proper fit and size, so we highly suggest you try them on before purchasing them. There has been an update, so if you are interested in the updated version of these shoes, definitely check out the Asics 33-DFA 2 review.