In recent years, Asics expanded from its core road-running models to offer a few trail-worthy shoes. The GEL-FujiRunnagade (available spring 2015, $100) is a definite departure from the pavement and into the deep muck of off-road running.
I had the chance to examine a pre-release pair last month. The shoe was light, flexible, solid-feeling, and equipped with large tread.
Its roots come from the footwear category built for fell running, a British discipline focusing on the ascent of large hills (fells) and running on muddy, soft, variable off-trail terrain.
It’s one of our favorite types of shoe, and we were happy to see Asics hopping on the fell wagon.
I squeezed into a pair and went for a brief jaunt inside the demo venue. There was no mud and no fells, but it was the best I could do on short notice with the prototype shoe.
In addition to the big tread and flexible sole, the shoe has a tight-weave mesh upper and a neoprene “collar” on the ankle to keep out debris. A “GEL Cushioning System” in the heel is made to absorb impact.
The women’s edition (pictured below) weighs 7.7 oz. in sample size, the men’s is 9.2 oz.
We’re looking forward to hitting the trails and “fells” soon in this fun new shoe. It comes to market at retailers nationwide next spring.