Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9

There are few companies in the running shoe market that outperform Asics. Boasting longevity in their business, with over 60 years in operation and providing high-quality manufacturing, Asics are at the top of the running shoe industry, combining performance with durability and comfort to provide runners with some of best shoes available today. The Gel series is Asics most popular series, and among this series is the Gel Noosa Tri. The Gel Noosa Tri series has only been around since 2001 (to great acclaim), but when Asics comes up with a new twist on their most popular series, runners always take notice. The Gel Noosa Tri series is designed to hold up under triathlon conditions, and it seems Asics delivers with every single line. But does the ninth iteration of the shoe hold up? Let’s look at some of the improvements in this edition.

The Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9 continues the reputation this line has for durability and dependability. While designed with triathlons in mind, the Tri 9 is adept at a number of running pursuits, including everyday training. Its vivid style is eye-catching and kinetic, complete with a glow-in-the-dark coating on the heel for heightened visibility in low-light conditions. The shoe itself is made of high-quality components. Its open construction upper provides comfort and protection while guaranteeing the foot is well-ventilated during a run. The midsole of the Tri 9 is a lightweight foam unit that’s responsive and helps runners naturally move through the gait cycle and provides a springy toe-off. And of course, Asics’ signature Gel Cushioning System is also included in the front and rear of the midsole for additional cushioning. Made of Asics’ durable AHAR (High Abrasion Rubber), the outsole is resistant to wear and tear, while its Wet Grip technology provides a great grip even on slippery and wet surfaces. Overall, the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9 is a solid update to one of Asics’ most popular lines of shoes.

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Where to Buy
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Pros & Cons
  • Supportive, responsive, and cushioned midsole
  • Durable outsole that also provides excellent grip on the road and wet surfaces
  • Creative design that stands out on the road
  • Built for triathlons but can be worn as everyday trainers
  • Cons
    • Slightly pricey
    • Could use more breathability in the heel section
    • The bold design might not be for everyone
    • Key Features
      As with most Asics shoes in the Gel series, the Tri 9 features Asics’ High Abrasion Resistant Rubber on the outsole. This rubber provides excellent durability and protection, and runners would be hard-pressed to find other runners that don’t appreciate the outsole of an Asics shoe. This compound is second to none and guarantees an outsole that will hold up under tough conditions. The forefoot also features one flex groove that goes all the way across the outsole. Considering that the shoe is meant for triathlon competition, the durability and long-term performance are more important than a flexible shoe that provides a runner with a strong push off for speed. To compromise and make up for the lack of flexibility, Asics utilizes DuraSponge in the outsole for additional cushioning that gives the runner a comfortable push off. The forefoot of the outsole is soft and the shoe springs to life when going through the toe-off of the gait cycle. Asics also uses their WetGrip technology, a mix of natural and inorganic materials that come together to provide the outsole with better grip that helps prevent slippage on wet surfaces.
      Like the outsole, a lot of old favorite elements are featured in the outsole for the Gel Noosa Tri 9. First is the Gel cushioning system, a technology that absorbs the impact of the foot when striking the ground and providing the runner with a comfortable, protective, and supportive ride.

      The Gel technology is located in both the forefoot and the heel of the midsole. In the middle of the midsole, you’ll find the Dynamic DuoMax Support System. Like the Gel, the Dynamic DuoMox Support System is designed to provide the runner with a comfortable, protective, and supportive ride. The midsole unit is made of a lightweight material that lessens the overall weight of the shoe and provides a very responsive ride. The Solyte portion of the midsole is a full-length foam that gives the midsole a second layer and enhances cushioning, support, and stability.
      Asics uses an open mesh upper with a seamless construction. The open mesh allows for great ventilation into the foot chamber to keep the foot cool and dry. The seamless construction reduces the chances of irritation and blisters and fits nicely around the foot after lace-up. Since these shoes are designed for triathlon athletics, Asics has opted to use elastic laces for easy removal and retrieval.
      The shoes weigh 9.9 ounces/281 grams, which is about average for a triathlon shoe. The weight mainly comes from the high abrasion rubber on the outsole and the heel overlay on the upper. Considering the durability and protection that the shoe provides, it’s a testament to Asics that the shoe doesn’t weigh more.
      With its open mesh upper, runners can expect great breathability from this shoe. While the paint design may look like an overlay that provides little to no breathability, it’s all part of the open mesh and has plenty of room to breathe. The sock liner helps keep the foot dry and airy while the upper is comfortable but not suffocating. The only issue with breathability is the overlay around the heel of the foot, which is somewhat lacking in breathability.
      Considering that the Gel Noosa Tri 9 was designed for triathlon events, comfort is extremely important. These will be the first running shoes you put on in these events, assuming you don’t bike in them and bike with clip shoes, after spending hours swimming and biking. And then you’re going to run for at least two hours--and sometimes double or triple that. Your whole body will be aching, and your feet and legs will be especially sore.

      If you want a shoe that is comfortable, the Gel Noosa Tri 9 hits the mark. The upper conforms nicely to the top of your foot after lace-up while still giving your feet plenty of room to breathe. The comfort level of the Tri 9 really shines in the midsole and outsole. As mentioned, the midsole and outsole are soft and springy, which reduces the shock of impact on a runner’s feet and legs during a run. After performing in a triathlon, reducing the amount of stress on the feet and legs is a must.
      These shoes are meant to stand out, and the style and effort put into them by Asics are absolutely incredible. While they won’t be everyone, since they are maybe a little too flashy and busy, they will certainly turn some heads. The glow in the dark heel is a nice touch that adds to the overall style of the shoe. Each shoe features at least three different colors that all blend together to create a graffiti-like pattern. Some more modest runners might off-put by the design, but for others who can appreciate the kinetic design, this is a unique and a strong selling point.
      Built for triathlons, it’s obvious that these shoes are meant to last. Asics does a great job in creating an outsole and a midsole that holds up for long periods of time. These shoes will easily last up to 300 miles, and most likely even further. The High Abrasion Resistant Rubber on the outsole, the multiple layered midsoles, the seamless upper, the IGS, and everything else Asics has put into this shoe gives it a long-lasting durability that runners will appreciate. But its durability really starts with the midsole and outsole, and Asics nails both components in the Noosa Tri 9.
      The High Abrasion Resistant Rubber on the outsole ensures that the sole of the runner’s foot is well protected from the road and harsh elements that can be found there. The outsole and the midsole work together to keep the foot from feeling the shock of impact from footfall. Another common feature that is prevalent in the Gel Noosa Tri 9 is the Asics Impact Guidance System. This helps disperse the pressure on the bottom of your foot as it strikes the ground. Also returning is the Asics Propulsion Trusstic System, a plastic shank on the outsole that channels energy to encourage forward propulsion. This mimics the functions of the foot’s ligaments, which helps shock absorption through heel strike, which helps provide forward propulsion.
      The Gel series is absolutely aces in delivering responsiveness. The Gel strategically placed in the midsole is meant to be felt underneath the foot, and while it may not be as prevalent as it is in other Gel shoes, runners will know that it's there as they feel the squish in the midsole, both in the forefoot and heel, when the foot makes contact with the ground. This can also be felt in the spring when begin to take our next stride. While the shoe isn’t as flexible as one may prefer, it’s tough to complain with the overall responsiveness of this shoe.
      The midsole of the Tri 9 provides supreme support. The Solyte full-length foam and the Dynamic DuoMax Support System in the midsole keep the foot stable and supportive. It’s a shoe meant to provide stability, especially in the midsole area. Many neutral runners were thrilled at the amount of support the shoes provided despite the relatively light weight. However, this is not specifically a support shoe and those with flat feet or suffer from overpronation may need to add additional insoles that address these issues.
      There aren’t many triathlons run on trails, which means these shoes are meant for the road. That said, they will hold up on well-designed light trails. The Wet Grip outsole provides great grip on any surface, including wet surfaces. You can take these shoes out on the road in light rain or after a heavy storm and run comfortably without suffering from a slip-up.
      While not the lowest-priced trainers on the market, for the reputation Asics has as making some of the most comfortable running shoes on the market—and that these are meant for triathlons, which translates to durability—the Tri 9 is only slightly more expensive than similar shoes in its class. This means that for just a little more, runners can rest assured that they have purchased shoes that will hold up to the rigors of the road and long runs.
      The outsole of the Tri 9 offers excellent traction, particularly on traditional paved running surfaces. Made of High Abrasion Resistant Rubber and featuring WetGrip technology, runners can take a ride in a pair of Tri 9’s without worry of slipping or losing grip on the road.
      Listen: there is only one flex groove on the outsole, which doesn’t particularly lend itself to a great amount of flexibility. However, the highly breathable, open mesh upper is still relatively flexible. Besides this, for maximum toe off a stiffer outsole is much better than a particularly flexible shoe. Outside of this, the comfort of the Tri 9 is found in its well-constructed midsole, not its particularly flexible overall design.
      With a 10mm drop, which is standard for most running shoes, the Tri 9 is best and most stable for neutral runners. Those with fallen arches or suffer from under- or overpronation will not be provided the stability they require with this trainer. However, neutral runners will find the overall stability of the Tri 9 just right.
      The drop of the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9 is 10mm, which is standard for running shoes. Those looking for maximalist or zero drop shoes aren’t going to find what they’re looking for here.
      Key Features
      •Impact Guidance System

      •Gel Cushioning System

      •Wet Grip outsole provides great traction on wet surfaces

      •Breathable and comfortable open mesh upper

      •Glow in the dark heel

      •Made from highly durable materials

      •Can lace-up quickly and easily
      Bottom Line
      If you’re a runner that competes in triathlons, then you won’t go wrong with the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9. This shoe is built specifically for triathlon competition and holds up extremely well in those conditions. The durability, comfort, and support of these shoes are also top-notch, which leads one to suspect that even those looking for a solid everyday running shoe would also appreciate a pair of Tri 9’s. Asics continues to hit the mark with their gel series, and while its price tag might be a sticking point for some, the shoes are well worth the investment. If nothing else, you’ll look good on the road and have plenty of fellow runners asking, “who makes those?” while they watch as you disappear into the distance ahead of them.
      Where to Buy
      By Jeremy Lambert
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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