As a company renowned for creating highly functional and fashionable athletic footwear, Asics’ FuzeX running shoe was released with considerable fanfare. Excitement ensued when customers learned that Asics implemented experimental materials in an innovative way in order to redefine their running shoe design. The use of special FuzeGEL, in particular, has been praised as game-changing by some. Asics set out to fuse gel and foam materials in order to bring about an entirely new experience to runners, hence the name of the FuzeX. However, is this gel-cushioned neutral running shoe really all that different from its competitors?
As with most footwear developed by this company, the FuzeX is composed of AHAR, or Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This harder material is primarily located near the heel and on a solid horseshoe-shaped rubber section around the forefoot. Near the center, softer rubber lugs are used to provide some extra traction on the underfoot without leaving anything desired. Another quality of the FuzeX’s outsole that comes highly praised by runners is its durable and wear-resistant properties made possible through the use of smart materials. No noticeable slippage has been reported by customers, even after running in these shoes for quite some time. This was all made possible without weighing down the shoe too much by the selective use of AHAR on key areas that are susceptible to the greatest damage.
The core conceit for this Asics running shoe can be observed in the midsole. A novel blend of dual density foam
and Gel has been implemented in the heel and midfoot of the FuzeX. This material is referred to by Asics as FuzeGEL and it provides a sensation when worn that emulated some of the most high-end footwear products. At its core, Asics utilitized firmer SOLYTE foam to form a cradle around the heel. This works to provide runners with exceptional stability during a typical stride and will especially thrill heel strikers. Because of all these changes made to Asics’ midsole design and construction, runners will have a hard time finding any other running shoes that offer a similar feeling as the FuzeX in the same price range.
The upper portion of the Asics FuzeX
provides a fit that is both snug and supportive in a way that makes it viable for some forms of trail running. Wearers of these shoes appreciate the impressive amount of stability granted by their uppers, both on the open road and while running on non-technical trails
. A dual density mesh supported by welded on overlays was used to accomplish this feat. An included heel cup provides a surprisingly solid amount of support for such a lightweight shoe. Additional positive features of the FuzeX’s upper include a comfortably padded tongue and heel collar, terrific rearfoot shock absorption, and Asics’ trademark Comfordry sockliner. This isn’t a typical sockliner as it provides runners with greater rebound properties in addition to fantastic moisture management. Runners worried about how the sockliner will affect these shoes’ breathability have nothing to worry about.
With all of the expectations associated with trail running, it can be difficult to make a trail shoe that meets these needs while weighing a reasonable amount. The Asics FuzeX weighs around 10 ½ ounces; this is seriously impressive for running shoes in general, let alone trail runners. Despite these shoes not quite being at the same level of quality as some heavy-duty trail shoes, it’s still surprising that Asics managed to keep the weight of these shoes so low. Seasoned runners may pick up on some of the ways this was accomplished, such as how the Fuze spaces out parts of its outsole to provide more coverage with less material.
Despite the absence of any noticeable hot spots on the Asics FuzeX, many runners have expressed the opinion that this shoe’s breathability leaves a little to be desired. At the same time, trail worthy
running shoes are known for featuring a design that sometimes emphasizes protection or comfort at the cost of breathability. Because the upper portion of the FuzeX has to withstand certain conditions, some runners may feel that the somewhat disappointing breathability is an acceptable trade-off. However, it’s important to note that runners found the Comfordry sockliner in the upper to provide excellent resistance from moisture that would develop from its lackluster breathability.
The fantastically soft cushioning
and highly stable ride of the Asics FuzeX has driven many customers to sing its praises to all who will listen. The combination of gel and foam technology has definitely paid off in this regard, as comfort for a runner’s heel is exemplary on the upward spring and remains consistent throughout the landing. While the proper fit of the toe box fit will ultimately come down to personal preference, this shoe’s toe box feels well padded for the vast majority. However, the most impressive aspect of the Asics FuzeX’s comfort is the fact that they received a Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Asics continues to deliver in the style department with this interesting looking running shoe. It's clear to see that the FuzeX was designed with the intention of looking drastically different in comparison to other shoes from Asics’ product line. The use of sleek lines and fantastic color schemes add to the beauty of these shoes. Eight different two-toned color choices help to suit the tastes of most runners in a manner that is captivating without coming across as overly dramatic. The badge signifying that this shoe incorporates FuzeGel technology is small enough to not draw too much attention, which is another nice benefit to its style.
Out of the many positive qualities that runners mention for the Asics FuzeX, durability is one of the most highly mentioned and praised. In an age where poorly made trail runners are manufactured to last as long as a New Year's Resolution, it's refreshing to still be able to count on a solid pair of Asics. Runners report very little wear after miles and miles of mixed trail and road use. The upper showcases a similar level of resiliency with its ability to withstand scratches and exposure to water. Additionally, the AHAR outsole material hits the ground with full contact without leading to a significant amount of wear.
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Runners looking for a reliable pair of shoes that will offer them protection from the elements will appreciate the FuzeX. Thanks to tough AHAR material on the outsole and a weather resistant upper, these shoes literally and figuratively have you covered. In addition to the elements, these Asics running shoes provide protection from common running injuries through their excellent support for the heel and strike zone. When combined with a solid feeling grip, these features work to ensure safety even while running on intense trails. This protection is backed by the American Podiatric Medical Association with their endowment of the Seal of Acceptance onto these Asics shoes.
Thanks to the innovative synthesis of old and new designs that went into this running shoe, an astoundingly responsive and accurate ride can be felt while they are worn. The Asics FuzeX has a layout that feels forgiving to runners who may not yet have a perfect gait by endowing them with enough confidence to push through each step. In particular, rearfoot shock absorption was well balanced and not too intense, which helps to eliminate any potential inhibitors for these shoes’ responsiveness. While running, even more so while trail running, it can bog down the experience having to keep an eye out for debris or other road hazards. Thankfully, the FuzeX is responsive enough to make this an afterthought.
The Asics FuzeX was designed for the purpose of working with instead of against the runner. The more lightweight cushioning system is able to avoid sacrificing support through the use of resilient gel thanks to the implementation of new technology. The aforementioned horseshoe-shaped rubber under the heel joins with the midsole in order to provide shock absorption, another helpful aspect. Asics
has been known to keep their designs very secretive, which would explain how they are able to provide such an unparalleled level of support in their shoes.
The versatility of these running shoes is made possible through the materials used for their construction. Consequently, the FuzeX is perfect for a wide variety of running environments, from standard concrete and asphalt fare to some non-technical trails. The high abrasion rubber used to reinforce the outsoles was originally conceived by Asics with tough terrain in mind. Gone are the days when a dangerous or demanding run required the use of a bulky, heavy shoe; With a well-rounded step and forgiving give, runners are finding these shoes to be a great fit for a surprising amount of environments.
Asics originally priced these shoes so that the widest possible group of runners and physical fitness enthusiasts could experience their fascinating new technology. With Asics’ foray into dual material midsole design, the consumer ultimately wins because they receive a powerful product at a comparatively low price point. When breaking down the technology and expert-level design that went into the FuzeX, customers tend to walk away with the satisfying feeling of getting their money’s worth.
As part of their goal to create a highly functional and durable running shoe, Asics designed the FuzeX to offer exceptional traction. One way in which they accomplished this was through the use of small AHAR lugs along the outsole’s center. Stability related features such as a heel cradle also improve a runner’s grip, since it allows them to exert full control over every movement. Finally, an impressive durability ensures that all of these features will remain effective, even after using the Asics FuzeX over hundreds of miles.
There’s a delicate balance that needs to be struck between flexibility and stability in a running shoe. It can be very difficult for a manufacturer to design a shoe that doesn’t tip too far in one direction or the other. Asics is one of the few companies that manage to toe this line with grace, thanks in part to the amazing technology implemented in the FuzeX. The much-touted FuzeGEL technology allows these shoes to provide the cushion and responsiveness expected from a shoe with much more stability. However, thanks to this feature and extra flex grooves along the outsole ensure that these shoes provide flexibility without sacrificing control.
While the Asics FuzeX manages to provide a comfortable amount of flexible give, a competent level of stability is also guaranteed in its design. This is the main selling point of Asics’ FuzeGEL technology; the innovative combination of foam and gel bring out the best aspects of both without any of the shortcomings. In addition to this impressively designed midsole, a tight-fitting upper and highly grippy outsole bring home the fact that these shoes guarantee full control during a run.
While most running shoes of its kind, even other Asics running shoes, have a heel drop of around 9 or 10 mm, the FuzeX bucks this trend by making their heel elevation difference closer to 8 mm. This may not sound like a significant change but the way it improves transitioning and striking is significant and immediately noticeable. While it may take some time for runners to adjust, the end result is well worth the effort.
- FuzeGEL technology provides equal flexibility and stability
- Seamless upper construction ensures comfort and protection
- SOLYTE heel cradle enables stability without excessive weight
- AHAR outsole is durable with excellent traction
Asics has pulled off the impressive task of innovating without simply resting on their laurels. With a Seal of Acceptance from the APMA, it’s clear that this lightweight trail runner is something truly special. The FuzeX is rugged enough to take on the longest of runs and supportive enough to endow runners with the confidence to strike the ground before them with intensity and purpose.