Asics Gel-FujiRacer 3

8.0
8.0 score
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Asics Gel-FujiRacer 3Review Facts

The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 is a trail running shoe with a seamless construction and an aggressive lightweight sole that provides improved traction from previous models.  Asics brought out all the stops with this racer, including use of their well-known Trusstic System, Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System,  perforated sock liner and an improved water drainage system, allowing for breathable and lightweight trail racing.  Let’s take a closer look at the Gel-Fuji Racer 3 and what makes it a great trail running shoe.

Pros
  • Although this is a trail running shoe, it can be used for running on all kinds of surfaces. 
  • This shoe uses a lightweight foam in the midsole called Solyte, which is lighter than EVA or SpEVA foam.
  •  AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) provides extra durability and cushioning.
  • There are ports on the sidewall that help clear any water you might bring on while running on the trail.
  • There is a flexible plate underfoot that keeps sharp objects at bay.
Cons
  • You will likely need to order a shoe half a size larger than your normal shoe. 
  • These shoes may feel a little flat in the front, but they will loosen up after a couple of runs.
  • Although you can still purchase this shoe in many locations and online, it is now discontinued.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 features a rubber TrailSpecific Outsole with reversed lugs. It has been designed to be aggressive and lightweight, as well as to promote traction while running down (or up) the trail. The trusted Trusstic System, that has now become so popular in many Asics designs, helps to reduce the weight of the outsole but still allowing the shoe to retain its structural integrity. Asics also utilized the AHAR, which is the acronym for Asics High Abrasion Rubber. It has been strategically placed in high impact areas of the racer in order to promote exceptional durability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 uses Solyte Midsole which is lighter in weight than EVA or SpEVA midsoles used in other Asics shoes. In fact, it is approximately half the weight. This material was developed when Asics blended special thermal plasticity elastomers and strengthening agents with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). The result was this lightweight sponge-like material with an incredible mechanical strength. The name “Solyte” is a blend in 3 parts: So Light,
Sol Light (meaning sun light) and Sole Light.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper consists of a 2 layer mesh that combines to keep the debris from coming in, while still allowing your foot to breath. The overlays are sturdy and long-lasting, but do not seem to effect the flexibility or weight. Careful though, because the upper may feel a little tight across your foot if you don’t consider getting a half a size larger than your normal.
One thing I am really excited about is the Lace Garage. You can tuck your laces into this pouch and, when you are running, you don’t have to worry about having to stop to tie your shoe or having your laces get caught on anything.
Weight
Weight

Weight

This shoe is considered fairly lightweight, especially when it comes to trail running shoes. The men’s shoe weighs 8.9 ounces, while the women’s weighs 7.5 ounces. Asics shoes continue to get lighter as they release updates and new versions. Shoes like this Gel-Fuji Racer 3 are lighter weight than other models despite being a slightly larger shoe. This is due to the advanced technologies in the foam, as well as being due to the lighter mesh upper with the overlays that are not made of traditional plastic materials.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Another attribute of the Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 is the breathable perforated sockliner that optimizes moisture drainage and improves breathability. Runners report that the shoe is so breathable, they could actually feel the wind coming through the shoe.

Because the previous model was breathable too, runners complained that the shoe took on too much water on the trail. So, Asics came up with an update for this shoe to fix the problem. The Gel-Fuji Racer 3 has a flexible footplate underfoot that stands up to sharp objects but still allows the forefoot to bend freely. The footplate helped to close the drainage holes in the sole where runners felt moisture was coming in. But because the foot can still bend freely and there are ports on the side wall, your foot acts as a pumping system to help clear any water you might bring on.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Many runners report these are some of the most comfortable shoes they have ever owned. Even those with a wide foot say that this shoe gives them plenty of room but still allows them to feel secure. The Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System helps to absorb and distribute shock during impact, giving you a more comfortable run. A more comfortable run often equals a longer run. Comfort is also provided by the flexible plate underfoot. It protects your feet from sharp objects on the trail but doesn’t leave your foot stiff. Flexibility + Protection = Comfort. Some runners report really liking the fact that this shoe offers cushion but not too much. When runners bought this shoe in half a size larger than their normal, they were more comfortable.
Style
Style

Style

The upper looks similar to the original Gel Fuji-Racer, but it has been updated and redesigned with sturdy mesh overlays that allow for flexibility as well as support. The colors and design of the Gel Fuji-Racer 3 include the multicolored Dark Charcoal/Sharp Green/Coral version and the Navy/Silver/Lime Punch version. A popular Men’s version is the red/black/silver. In fact, these are now difficult to find.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 is light yet durable. The durability is enhanced through AHAR. As stated above, it is the Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This durable rubber has been placed in high wear areas of the outsole, which is critical for long-lasting wear.

It is worth noting that Asics does not recommend placing these shoes in the washing machine. Several runners have reported that these are, in fact, durable enough to wash in the washer without consequence; however, Asics suggest that the shoes should be cleaned with warm water and a gentle cleanser.
Support
Support

Support

As with any shoe, it is important know your specific style of running so that you can choose a shoe that will help protect your foot. The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 is designed for the runner who is already running with a neutral pattern. The arch support also does not appear to be enough for flat feet. Although, these shoes aren't made with ankle or arch support and the soles are not super thick, the runner with an average foot will be surprisingly comfortable on any rocky trail.
Price
Price

Price

Originally, these shoes were $100. However, because this shoe is now discontinued, runners can find these at discounted prices in many locations.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Thanks to the TrailSpecific Outsole, this shoe can take on a variety of terrain including technical rocky trails. To get the best life out of your shoes, make sure to keep these on the trails. Some asphalt and pavement is fine, but as with all shoes, keep them to the surfaces they are intended for.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The heel of the Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 has a drop of 8mm. This shoe features a F.A.S.T. Drop. It is similar to the geometry seen in racing flats, with a low heel-toe differential, reducing midsole weight in order to improve economy and encourage faster running.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

•Breathable Perforated Sockliner reducing moisture inside the shoe

•Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System for optimal shock absorption, reducing stress on your foot

•Trail Specific Outsole designed with reversed lugs, providing up and downhill traction on all types of terrain

•Solyte Midsole material helping to keep this shoe light but maintain comfort and durability

•Rock protection plate that provides protection against stone bruises but still allows your foot to bend freely.

•Seamless construction that reduces the potential for irritation and friction caused by traditional stitches and seams

•Lace Garage which serves as a pocket for the laces so they can be tucked in and unexposed

•AHAR in high wear areas for maximum durability
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Since January 2014, the Asics Gel-Fuji Racer 3 has been considered a great choice for a trail running shoe, because it offers both flexibility and protection. It’s hard to beat the update that was made from the Racer 2 to the Racer 3 to close the drainage holes in the sole, making it more difficult for the runner to take on as much moisture underfoot. The genius is that it it still allows the runner to easily drain the water while running, with the pumping action of the foot. Because of the excellent quality and the comfortability of this trail running shoe, most wearers report they will buy this shoe again when the time comes. Luckily, due to the high durability, they wouldn’t have to worry about it anytime soon. However, since this shoe has been discontinued and is now in limited supply, if you love this shoe, you may want to stock up!