Asics 33 DFA Shoe General Info
The 33-DFA is the most minimal and lightest of a new 3 shoe series that aims to revamp the 33 Collection.
The DFA still holds to the philosophies of the 33 collection using Fluid Axis geometry to help the shoe work in unison with the 33 joints of the foot. The partnership presents a shoe with a smooth, comfortable, and natural ride.
The new DFA will offers runners a lower 4mm drop that was not previously manufactured into a shoe in the collection which makes it a more minimalist type shoe than anything once offered.
The DFA features an Amplifoam midsole that takes place of the now dated gel cushioning used. The DFA will replace the Gel-Lyte33 which stopped production at the end of 2014.
Asics 33 DFA Sole Info
The name “DFA” stands for deep fluid axis, referring to the FluidAxis grooves cut into the midsole of the shoe. The system provided the DFA a Nice natural rotation while running which is really nothing new within the 33 collection.
All three shoes that are being offered the M, FA, and DFA all feature a 4mm drop, but what really separates the DFA from the other two shoes is a lower stack height.
A 19mm heel and 15 mm forefoot have given the shoe great ground feel. Although it’s cushioning definitely takes out of the minimal shoe category the flexibility and ground feel do make it awfully close, and could be enjoyed by minimalist runners.
The Shoe has a nice snappy turnover which made it well suited for up-tempo running. I found the heel of the shoe very pronounced which felt awkward to walk in, but while running it had a nice quick forward snap or push as I transitioned through my gait cycle.
The DFA’s midsole is constructed from Asics Amplifoam material. This new foam is one of the new evolutions to the 33 collection. This foam took away the worry of impact which I would not have expected from such a low profile shoe.
The cushioning was soft while keeping the feel of the shoe natural, and Asics makes claims that it breaks down slower than foams of similar density.
Asics 33 DFA Upper Info
The DFA has a seamless upper made from a dual mesh material. Like the FA the upper is highly breathable, comfortable, and flows well with the foot.
A midfoot saddle is incorporated into the lacing system of the shoe which really gave the shoe a nice snug fit. The DFA does not have a heel counter which kept it minimalistic.
However, the midfoot saddle does extended into the heel which provided enough support to keep my heel locked down.
The shoe features Asics natural 33 last which follows the natural contours of the foot. I found the last a bit shapelier than the FA particularly through the midfoot giving it a more glove like fit.
The DFA has a more rounded toe box which is intended to give more room and allow the toes toe splay naturally.
As was the case with the FA the DFA also runs about ½ size smaller which put my toes right up against the end of the shoe.
While it didn’t make the shoe completely unwearable I wasn’t able to fully experience this feature of the shoe, and it limited the distance that I was able to run in them.
Asics 33 DFA Conclusions
The 33-DFA is the lightest member of the retooled 33 collection, and will undoubtedly pick up and exceed where the Gel Lyte left off. While the DFA is slightly heavier than the Gel Lyte 33 its profile and versatility surpass it.
Aside from the fit issue The DFA is a wonderful pseudo-minimalist shoe with enough cushioning for use as a daily trainer and ideal for up-tempo days as well.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of 33 DFA to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.