Trail runners wanting a versatile and quick shoe for daily mid distance mileage over all types of terrain.
Runners that like a highly or softer cushioned shoe.
The Fuji Lite is Asics lower stack agile daily trainer that feels more at home during faster paced training or shorter races but also proves to be a great daily trainer as well especially door to trail.
This version features top to bottom updates that are focused on making the shoe more versatile, nimble, and connected to the ground. FlyteFoam Blast replaces FlyteFoam used in versions 2 & 3 which hopes to soften the ride but also make it a bit spicier.
The outsole continues to use the same tried and true AsicsGrip compound but with a lug layout similar to the Trabuco, which should broaden its ability to grip any surface with confidence.
A Jacquard mesh engineered upper has an open design making it light and breathable and the cool part is that its made from 50% recycled materials.
The upper fit perfect and in length and volume and easily adjustable giving a a glove like fit.
On trail I was really pleased with how the shoe handled anything I threw at, and how connected I felt. This gave me the confidence I needed to really push not only myself but also the shoe to see what both are limits were. I really love this shoe over technical trail particularly narrow single track with a lot of ascending and descending.
The Fuji Lite 4 is super nimble and grips so well that it not only makes running these types of trails possible but super fun as well.
However, once I jumped into a bit more rocker and challenging trails the absence of a rock plate was evident as I felt the jab of sharper and defined rocks more than I wanted to.
At first glance the shoe appears to not a have a toe bumper as it blends in with the shoe nicely. The semi-rigid cap wrapped my entire 5 phalanges before terminating along the lateral side of my foot.
The cap did a fantastic job of armoring the front of my foot against all the trail nasties.
The outsole is thin and open exposing midsole foam which could potentially cause some premature wear , but with approximately 70 miles of wear they show nothing outside of normal wear and tear.
The engineered mesh of the upper, albeit thin, is super tough and highly abrasive resistant showing no signs of giving up, and believe me I have tried.
Additionally, there are several thin welded overlays that give structure to the shoe but also reinforce the upper mesh in some high wear areas.
To sum up the upper in one word they are bomber no worries about durability here.
From my first outing in the Fuji Lite 4 I am continually impressed with the ride of this shoe.
FF Blast is a fantastic foam in that it has the perfect blend of responsiveness and resilience and it really highlights how this shoe as it is built for speed. The shoe has a noticeable bounce at foot-strike that shines when you hammer down and push the pace on runnable trails.
ASICS Grip really also lends a helping hand when it comes to the responsiveness and speed of the 4. At first glance the 4mm lugs don’t look aggressive but they manage varying terrain and elevation extremely well.
This reliable traction gave the confidence to push my speed when I wanted to but also scramble across some pretty challenging terrain without worry of losing footing.
The only downfall I found was the shallower lugs don’t seem to shed mud very well especially the thick clay we encounter in Colorado, but I have yet to find a shoe that manages muddy clay like a champ.
The durable mesh upper has the right amount of pliability to it that it forms really well to my foot.
The lacing system uses a unique combination of traditional eyelets vertical webbing and topographic laces. This really allowed me to customize how I laced up favoring movement where I wanted it and tension where I didn’t, and once I found my sweet spot it holds with very Little to no need for readjustment.
Overall, the shoe runs true to size with a little bit more volume in the forefoot that allows for adequate splay.
For years the Saucony Peregrine has been my gold standard for shoes in this category and to which I compare all others.
Over the years I have run in many that were good but not as good and even a couple that came close but never a shoe that I considered myself reaching for over the Peregrine until now.
The versatility and nimbleness of the Fuji Lite 4 make it a fun shoe to run in and one that has the cushion, traction, and responsiveness to make it very adaptable to a variety of runners.
The Fuji Lite 4 has quickly become a go to shoe for me for daily trail miles because of the light and lively ride they provide, and would also be one of my top choices to lace up in for a race up to marathon distance.