Comments: I bought these shoes to train up for my first 50k and 50 miler. The trails near home have some very rocky sections, so I wanted something with good protection. Also, training in the winter, I wanted shoes that would drain and shed mud well. Also, being able to run on asphalt to the trails would be a bonus. These shoes turned out to be a winner on all these counts. I have been very happy with the traction in all conditions. I barely feel the sharp rocks I step on, but there's enough feel for the trail to give me good control. While I have been extremely pleased, there are a few things that could be improved. First is the color scheme. First run I took them straight into the mud to try to improve the look. After a few runs they eventually got dirty enough that they are almost bearable. (Of course this is personal preference). Secondly, the durability of the uppers is not great. There is a soft inner mesh and a coarse outer mesh. The outer mesh is not very flexible. Early on I noticed a gash in on the side of the shoe near my big toe. I thought I had clipped a branch or something that tore it. But the same exact tear developed on the other shoe. It is at the flex point in the shoe. The material is firm and brittle so it broke rather than flexing well. Also, because they have the outer mesh for protection, the inner mesh was made to be much thinner than in a typical shoe. This may not be a problem for most people, but I am a mild "big toe lifter". I was wondering why some of the brand new socks I bought wore out at the big toe in one 20-mile run.
From: Homer, Norther California
Comments: It's love at first run. I picked these up last weeked on a trip to the US, had them shipped to my hotel. As usual my experience with RW was flawless, it's 6X in 2012 I've purchased from RW and everytime I've been very happy. Where to start. They run roomy for a 10. I was previously running in a Size 10 Cascadia which I found a bit tight on the toes, a 10 here fit perfect, lots of room for toe splay, and no bumping on steep downs. The fit was excellent, these are my first Asics, I normally run in Saucony or Brooks, and found the fit as good or better than my Triumphs. I'm a neutral runner, and I find any arch support hard to adjust to, these came in perfect. My first run was a 29m hilly trail run it also was snowing (better than the rain they predicted). The traction was better than I expected with no noticeable slippage I can comment on. I did take it easy on slick rocks, but not many shoes would accomodate for slick rocks with snow anyway. I left this long cold run with my feet/ankles feeling great. I've been suffering through some PF lately and was fearful at this distance it would be ugly, it feels better today than any other run in a long while. Styling is good, my running partner liked it more than I do, but frankly I don't care for any styling, I'm more a functional/comfortable person. It could be hot pink for all I care. Overall this is a winner in my eyes. I'm now praying Asics keeps true to form with this shoe for years to come because I've finally found the trail shoe I need. I liked it so much I've signed up for my 2nd Ultra in the spring of 2013.
From: Ron, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Comments: At 12 ounces, I was a little skeptical, but the shoe got great reviews, so I gave it a try. It's unique for a trail shoe because there are few that can effectively run on the road and then tackle really muddy, hilly, rocky, technical terrain equally well. The thin mesh wrapping outside of the shoe does a great job keep leaves and sticks from grabbing. The flexibility in the forefoot is good considering the rock plate. Traction was fine in deep mud and the grooves were able to shed it later in the run, too. The lace tab feature at the top of the tongue is cool but it isn't very durable - have a couple of holes already with only 50 miles on them. So far very happy with the shoe. It has a Nimbus sort of fit, which is pretty generous width and depth-wise. For those of us with wider feet we have few options in the trail world and this is very good one.
Comments: When I got them in the mail, I really liked the bright orange on blue. Your computer screen won't capture how nice and bright it is.
The important part is how they run. I took them on a muddy, technical, 11 mile run. I forded deep creeks several times. They were stable, sticky, and the water left as fast as it entered (which is instantly).
Because of the lower heel to toe drop, they accommodate a midfoot strike well. They also climb and descend as well as any shoe I've owned. The firm cushioning makes the shoe responsive and comfortable, an important balance to consider in a trail shoe. The full contact bottom resembles the Cascadia and I would say that this shoe is a slightly beefier version of that iconic shoe (however, the upper is crazy breathable for such tough out sole...like a pair of cj-7s for your feet).
Lastly, they look even better with some mud on them and I can't wait to take them out again :)
From: Josh, Blacksburg, VA, USA