Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ASICS Noosa FF Review-The Firm. Asics Revamps the Noosa

Article by Peter Stuart

The Noosa FF ($139.95) is the ASICS triathlon long race shoe. This version seems to be a pretty substantial revamp of the Noosa series which has featured very bright colors. The Noosa FF incorporates ASICS new FlyteFoam, the Gel of prior Noosa is gone. It  loses some weight coming down to about 8.9 oz/252 g for a men's size 9, 7.9 oz/224 g for a women's size 8. The stack heights are 18mm in the forefoot and 28mm in the heel according to Running Warehouse.

Upper and Fit: 
The Noosa FF fits like a glove. They may run a tiny bit short, so if you're on the fence I'd size up. They're a good, fast looking shoe. The Asics logo is different than you see on most Asics shoes. 
The materials are plush and comfortable. 
There's a decent sized toe-bumper 

and, what I suppose makes it a triathlon shoe is a pull tab on the back. 
The Noosa is geared towards sock less wear and is comfortable on the foot with or without socks. 

Midsole and Outsole:
The midsole is Flytefoam, which is best explained by Asics--"Constructed using groundbreaking midsole foam developed in the ASICS Institute of Sports Science, FlyteFoam® technology isn’t just a little bit lighter - it’s remarkably 55%* lighter than the industry standard. Midsoles constructed with FlyteFoam® tech aren’t just super lightweight, either: They benefit from organic “super fibers” that bounce back into their original shape in the space of each stride, providing perfect adaptive cushioning from the start of your run to the finish. This engineered resilience also makes midsoles with FlyteFoam® technology far more durable than their predecessors, so your body benefits not only from an elite level of cushioning, but elite cushioning will perform at its peak longer and stronger than ever before."
For all of the marketing speak, the Flytefoam actually feels like it does pack a nice responsive punch. More on that in the ride section. 
The Outsole is made of 3 different rubber compounds, AHAR (High Abrasion Rubber), blown AHAR and a Wet Grip Outsole intended to keep traction going in wet conditions--whether rain or water poured over the head at water stops. 

The Noosa FF is a mixed bag for me in terms of ride. They are FIRM, FIRM, FIRM and pretty stiff too. Each run I've done in them, I've wanted to turn around during the 1st mile to trade out to a softer shoe . I'm happy I've continued to run in them. Once I get used to the firm and stiff ride, the Noosa is a pretty enjoyable shoe. There are certain tempos (largely when I turn on the gas a bit) where I can really feel the FlyteFoam kick in and I get a noticeable energy return from the road. I've done tempo runs, long runs and easy runs in them and they definitely feel best at speed. 
Overall I like the Noosa for tempo work, but I don't love them. Noosa FF is a good looking, good fitting, and decent feeling shoe if you don't mind a firmer ride. I'm hearing good things about the Roadhawk FF , so that might be a good alternative although it to is fairly stiff according to Sam's RTR review

Noosa FF vs. Nike Zoom Fly
Both of these are pretty stiff, firm and unforgiving. They are not dissimilar rides. The Noosa fits my arch a little better, and they're both worth checking out. 
Noosa FF vs. On CloudRush
Both are very firm, Noosa is a little more forgiving
Noosa FF vs. DS Trainer 22
The DS Trainer is a mess. The tongue is too short, the laces are barely long enough to tie. That paired with being about 1/2 size short and a stabbing pain in the arch with every step makes the Noosa a no-brainer. 
Noosa FF vs. Skechers Razor
Razor is less stiff, less firm and more fun to run in. 

Peter's Score Score 8/10
-1 for lack of versatility 
-.5 for being heavy for a race shoe
-.5 too stiff!

Also see RTR contributor Derek Li's in-depth review of the Noosa over at his Running Commentary site here

The Noosa was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review. I tried them when I compared them to the Asics Dynaflyte. The Noosa was too hard and firm for me, the Dynaflyte was much softer more flexible and enjoyable shoe to run in.