SportsTech

Asics fuzeX: Its bounce comes at a hot cost

The fuzeX has an 8mm heel drop, making it more suited for runners who need more stability during the gait cycle, such as those with high-arch feet.
The fuzeX has an 8mm heel drop, making it more suited for runners who need more stability during the gait cycle, such as those with high-arch feet.PHOTO: ASICS

Featuring fuzeGel, a lightweight mid-sole developed by the Asics Institute of Sport Science, the Asics fuzeX running shoe is said to be able to provide runners with a smooth and comfortable gait by absorbing shock upon impact and transferring that energy to the forefoot area to propel liftoff.

Unlike many running shoes that are aimed at either shorter, quicker workouts or heavy mileage running, the fuzeX seeks to be the running shoe for any distance, according to its makers.

However, it is not for all runners. The fuzeX features an 8mm heel drop - the difference between the heel height and mid-foot height. This makes it more suited for runners who need more stability during the gait cycle, such as underpronators (those with high-arch feet) and neutral runners.

A clean-looking molded mesh upper gives it a trendy look. I liked the blue/orange colour combination of the review unit, which I think goes well with jeans.

However, I found the fit to be really tight. If you have wide feet, you might want to consider a half size larger, as the toe box is narrower than usual. On the plus side, the heel counter provides plenty of protection to the ankle - great for those who have previous ankle injuries, like myself. The shoes fit better without socks. But if you are not wearing socks, the mesh upper's interior feels a tad rough.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $179

    MATERIAL: Asics' proprietary fuzeGel midsole with molded mesh upper

    WEIGHT: 285g (US 9, Men)

  • RATING

  • DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

It took three 2.4km runs before the shoes felt comfortable. Once they were broken in, I could wear them (without socks) to malls and hawker centres without any issues.

I noticed the shoes always felt "springy" during my runs and walks. But the rebounds felt more apparent when I land on my heel rather than my forefoot.

The biggest problem with the fuzeX is its poor ventilation. My feet felt warm just 1km into my runs. It might be great for those jogging or walking in cold weather, but it could be an issue in Singapore's humid weather.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: The Asics fuzeX might provide you with plenty of energy rebound, but its lack of ventilation might be a problem for some.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'Asics fuzeX: Its bounce comes at a hot cost'. Print Edition | Subscribe