ASICS debuted the fuzeX collection this spring to show off their new proprietary cushioning system, FuzeGEL. Fusing Asics long favored GEL technology with EVA, the goal was to make a later and more responsive cushioning system.
Brooks did this years ago with their BioMoGo midsole material, and by ridding the shoe of GEL pods, and instead fusing the materials together, the idea is that you get a lighter weight cushioning system with the same resiliency of GEL.
While this idea works in theory, Asics did not build seemed to skimp on state of the art materials for the rest of the shoe, creating a somewhat sloppy fit and a high weight.
ASICS FuzeX Lyte General Info
The FuzeX is a brand new line from Asics, combining fuzeGEL foam and seamless uppers designed to compete with lightweight cushioning bestsellers such as the Saucony Kinvara, Nike Lunartempo, and New Balance Zante.
I get the idea that in the Asics line, the FuzeX shoes were designed to take over the abandoned slot of the 33 series of Asics shoes which are now looking more maximalist.
The most attractive thing about the FuzeX Lyte is the price tag, and at $85 one can afford to buy a trainer that may not have as much durability as say, a $140 Gel Nimbus.
Unboxing the FuzeX Lyte for the first time, I was pleased by the simple looks and a no-frills upper with welded overlays.
Trying them on I first noticed the nebulous fit, one that seemed to lack in the mid-foot while slightly tapering in the forefoot.
The cushioning seemed light and responsive, that is until I tried it on next to the Saucony Kinvara 7 or the Nike LunarTempo.
ASICS FuzeX Lyte Sole Unit
As mentioned before, the FuzeGEL is really supposed to be a game changer for Asics, a company that seems to have rested on its laurels rather than try and keep up with the EVA wars that other shoe companies are taking part in.
The result is that Asics finds itself behind the ball, especially in the area of creating lightweight, well cushioned shoes.
Nowhere is this more evident than Asics attaching its iconic use of the term Lyte (first coined in ’92) to a shoe that doesn’t even break ten ounces. Comparitively, the Saucony Kinvara weighs in under nine , and the LunarTempo under eight ounces.
My first several runs in the FuzeX Lyte felt decent, but the cushioning seemed uninspired compared to competitor’s shoes.
The AHAR outsole is plenty sticky and wear resistant however, weight saving gaps in the entire outsole easily collected large rocks and the segmented/ gapped nature of the outsole was noticeable while running.
The stack height is overall fairly moderate, and the 6mm heel drop is a nice departure from Asics more traditional trainers.
The transition is decent throughout foot strike and this is a trainer that works well for heel strikers to forefoot strikers.
I found that throughout the mid-foot area I was wanting for a bit more cushion, and the FuzeGEL seemed to compress the more I ran in the shoe.
ASICS FuzeX Lyte Upper Info
The FuzeX Lyte fits true to size and the fit is wide through the forefoot and tapered through the toe box. This was definitely a point of contention, and negated any faster paced running.
The rest of the upper is fairly simple with dual density mesh being lightly supported by welded on overlays. The heel cup is overbuilt, especially for a supposedly lightweight shoe. The tongue and heel collar are well padded.
ASICS FuzeX Lyte Conclusions
It is not clear at this time whether or not Asics investment in FuzeGEL will pay off. On one hand, the idea has been tried before, most notably by Brooks.
However, their Durasponge blown rubber outsole material, used in the GEL-Hyper Speed is an even more responsive combination of EVA and blown rubber.
The greatest disappointment of this shoe is the weight, as this doesn’t live up to the name and lineage of the GEL-Lyte III, my very first running shoe 26 years ago.
Aspects of this shoe that definitely need to be changed include the fit of the upper, cushioning to weight ratio, and the rigid heel cup.
Otherwise, the price point is incredible. However, I’d rather pay an extra $20 for a state of the art, lightweight running shoe that competes with others in its class.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of FuzeX Lyte to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.