This is a fabulous shoe for triathlon athletes, barefoot runners, and everyone else with neutral to low-stability needs. ASICS highlights it for 10K, which is about the furthest I enjoyed running in this shoe. As a fast shoe it shines in speedwork and races but is comfortable for average-paced mid-distance runs as well.
If you don’t want everyone looking at your feet, avoid this shoe. Runners with high support needs should try the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 with its similar quick transition, instead. This is not a shoe for variable weather conditions or surfaces other than road and track.
The Noosa Tri is now even lighter, softer, and more geared toward racing than previous models. Race or no, it’s simply a fun shoe to wear!
Similar shoes in terms of “rockered” ride include the half-plated Magic Speed, also from ASICS, and the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20, a heavier shoe with more arch support. Saucony Kinvara, HOKA Mach 5 are also similar.
At $130 USD the Noosa Tri sits right between ASICS Novablast and EvoRide models. ASICS Novablast ($140) is an upgrade with its FF Blast+ midsole (softer and springier), while the EvoRide ($120) has the same sole unit as Noosa but a traditional upper in material and appearance. Go with EvoRide if you want the fabulous underfoot experience of Noosa but not the wild print!
Opening the box I was giddy with excitement to pull out this fun palm-tree printed shoe splashed with my kids’ school color (purple) and my college alma mater’s (red) that’s also in our little Iowa town, with the added touch of my all-time favorite indigo.
This was the second pair I opened, actually. The first was an equally intriguing (but no indigo) Safety Yellow/Soothing Sea colorway that I knew right away would need to be a half size bigger.
This shoe fits a half-size small. I received these the same day as ASICS GT-2000 11, and the difference was that for the Noosa Tri I knew I needed a bigger size immediately, while I wore the GT-2000 for a few runs before deciding to send this one back as well.
As a fun life side note, my husband ordered the Noosa Tri 14 in purple/red (Lavender Glow/Soft Sky) for our 15 year old for Christmas, so we had the same shoes to run in together between her cross country and track seasons.
She typically runs in Adrenaline (and needs the stability) but says that Noosa is “definitely lighter” and is nice for a change. I encouraged her to wear them for an early indoor meet (800 m. and 1500 m. races) where they were not allowed to wear spikes.
The engineered mesh upper has been revamped but maintains its fun early 2000 print and breathable, smooth (for barefoot running) wrap around the foot.
The update brings a higher heel piece to hold onto along with a generous, easy-to-hook loop on the tongue to slip the shoe on quickly. Two lace options come with the shoe. Keep the traditional laces in, if you prefer, or switch them out for wiry-strong laces with toggles that quickly cinch tight and cut down on time and hassle for putting on; the latter come in the box.
I did all of my running with socks on, but when I slipped it on sockless I loved the velvety feel so much that I wore them around for a few hours!
A semi-gusseted tongue secures and cushions the foot nicely in the shoe together with a great heel lock and moderate heel counter. This is a very quality upper with its seriousness masked by its party-out-front appearance 😉
I was not a fan of regular FLYTEFOAM™ from ASICS until this shoe, but the Noosa Tri 14 has shown me that it isn’t the foam’s fault. The build and materials maintain the impressive energy return that Noosa Tri has become known for, with the same sole unit as the last model.
Noosa offers a light and low-effort ride.
FLYTEFOAM™ is firm enough that there’s some support underfoot even though the dual density midsole with medial post was removed in this version of the shoe’s midsole.
My foot wanted a bit more support when running over 5-6 miles, so ASICS marketing this for a 10k/Olympic distance triathlon (as highlighted on the sock liner) is right on, in my opinion.
The outsole was the biggest issue in the 14 (and 13) as there’s little grip to offer traction with less-than-perfect conditions or surfaces.
AHAR high abrasion rubber covers most high-contact areas, but there is nothing protecting the midsole material in the center heel and midfoot.
Worn for speedwork, road races, triathlons or regular running, the Noosa Tri 14 is sure to please. The semi-soft, responsive midsole is firm enough to bring light stability and rockered to grant quick propulsion into toe-off.
Speed and short to mid distance runs round out this shoe’s sweet spot. Wherever you go wearing any of the tactfully in-your-face color combos you’re sure catch a few double takes. These shoes may very well bring home a PR for you as well.