Welterweight Trail Shoe from Asics. FujiRacer First Look

Asics touts its GEL-FujiRacer as a minimal shoe. But with an 8mm drop and modest stack-height, the runner hits a middle ground between barefoot and beefy. It’s the lightest Asics trail model at under 9oz. per shoe, and its hard outsole, rock plate, and namesake GEL cushioning do a good job of deadening impact on rocks and roots. We had two editors test the shoe for three weeks for this first-look review. —Sean McCoy

The Gear: Asics GEL-FujiRacer (available now, $110)

Where To Test It: Off-road running, singletrack trails and gravel roads.

Who’s It For: Trail runners who want a light shoe with a mid-thickness sole and moderate drop.

Boring But Important: The sole is moderately flexible to allow for natural foot motion but it accommodates heel-strike runners with cushioning.

Important Specs: Weighed in at 8.7 ounces per shoe (men’s size 9). Moderate 8mm drop, from 15mm in the heel to 7mm in the forefoot. There’s a “lace garage” pocket on the tongue to tuck loose ends away (see image at bottom). Drain ports in the sole let water flow out faster if you step in a stream.

Killer! On a few test runs and a hike up a 14er in Colorado, the shoe really absorbed shock from sharp edges leaving my foot fresh after hours of hiking and running.

Flaw: Even with some hefty lugs, the outsole is a little slippery on wet pavement. Its hard rubber does not grip well when wet. Keep it on the trail in a rainstorm and tread cautiously on wet rock after stepping out of a stream. It dried off in two steps back on the trail and gripped like a champ.

First Impressions If you’re looking for a trail shoe that is somewhere between minimal and traditional, this is a good choice. For the minimal runner, it will feel thick under the heel.

Who Should Buy It: This is a shoe for the runner looking for a compromise between minimal and traditional designs for off-road running. It also looks pretty nice (albeit techy) with jeans and is a great hiking shoe. The price ($110) is fair for a quality build that feels like it’ll last many miles on the rough trail.

Contact Brand/More Beta: Asics – FujiRacer page

—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at GearJunkie.com. Photos © Monopoint Media LLC.

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.