Monday, February 19, 2024

ASICS FujiSpeed 2 Review: a fast, nimble, and versatile "speed" trail runner!

Review by Jeremy Marie

Asics Fuji Speed 2 ($160/180€)


In the world of trail running, Asics is best known for its iconic Trabuco (RTR Review), now in its 12th iteration r. An all-purpose, rather heavy model, very traditional in a way, but still a safe bet. 

Asics does not have a very "technical" or "high-performance" image in trail running.  Yet, the Japanese brand has an Elite trail team, led by Maude Mathys, as well as a certain Dorian Louvet, a former Koh Lanta competitor and Xavier Thevenard, for example.

Similarly, on the equipment side, there are quite a few performance-oriented models, in particular this Fuji Speed 2, an almost complete redesign of the first version. Designed to go fast on technical terrain, the Fuji Speed 2 is lightweight, dynamic precise yet comfortable thanks to the combination of a carbon plate and FF Blast + midsole foam. It's a bit like squaring the circle.

I had mixed feelings about the first Trabuco Max (RTR Review), my most recent trail experience with the brand, so I was curious to see what this new model had to offer.


  • Good compromise between dynamism and comfort

  • Lightweight, protective, suitable for both short and long distances (up to 60-70k, reasonably)

  • Versatile, impeccable ASICSGrip traction.

  • Stable, especially at the front.


  • The fit is a little long and narrow in the front.

  • Cushioning feels a little firm, probably due to the position of the plate close to the foot.

  • The tongue needs a lot of attention to avoid wrinkles.

  • Less stability at the heel


Sample weight 263g/ 9.27oz (44.5EU / 10.5US)

Stack : 35 mm heel/ 31 mm front( 5mm drop) 

$160/ 180€ Available now

All RTR Reviews HERE

First impression, Fit, Upper

When you open the box, there's no doubt that the Asics Fuji Speed 2 is made for swallowing trails at high speed. The choice of colors, the racy look of the shoe, the lugs, the thin upper and the lightness of the shoe despite its seemingly high stack clearly mark the model's destination.

The upper is made of very fine, airy, supple woven mesh. Despite its thinness, it seems quite resistant, which surely explains its slightly rough appearance despite its suppleness. The minimal TPU stone guard at the forefoot offers little protection.

There are numerous overlays on the sides to add structure and support to the foot, assisting in this effort by the slim, gusseted tongue.

While the tongue holds in place very well, I found it particularly difficult to position: it easily forms folds, which are quite tricky to remove. Apart from this flaw, once in place, it doesn't move at all and protects the foot well from the pressure of the laces.

The laces (shown above) are very thin and rough, very similar to those found on the MetaSpeed Edge, for example, or the Alphafly. This may seem surprising on a trail shoe, but it works very well in the field: the lacing is secure, doesn't require much adjustment and provides excellent foot support.

I like the elastic strap in the middle of the tongue, which allows you to secure the laces. Simple and effective.

At the rear, the Fuji Speed is much more "built", in stark contrast to the slimness of the front. The heel cup is generously padded, as is the foot collar. The result is quite comfortable, and effective: the heel is cradled and doesn't move at all, while maintaining comfortable contact with the Achilles tendon. The loop here makes putting the shoe on easier, and is practical without being essential, as the opening is generous enough to slide the foot in without difficulty.

Once the shoes are on, the racing character of the Fuji Speed 2 is quickly apparent. The fit is fairly narrow, and seems a little long. The toebox isn't very wide, but offers just enough space. Its slightly too pointed shape is nevertheless far from conforming to the natural curvature of the toes, which is rounder. It's a rather surprising choice.

The overall shape is rather slim, but I didn't experience any real discomfort or pressure points. It's just that the fit doesn't follow the shape of the foot, and I find myself straddling the line between a shoe that's narrow but close to the foot and stretchy, like the Slab Pulsar for example, a real beast of a shoe but less comfortable and narrower than the Fuji Speed 2, or a  model that's more concerned with comfort, like the Pegasus Trail for example.

It took a few outings and a little more mesh flexibility for me to feel a little more at ease, without the shoe ever really "disappearing", to use the usual expression. Be that as it may, the shoe remains comfortable, and perhaps this compromise between performance and comfort will pay off once I'm on the move.


The midsole is made up of a thick layer of FF Blast+ foam into which a carbon plate is inserted along the entire length of the upper part (close to the foot). This stabilizes support on the 35mm of foam in the heel, and provides a good deal of dynamism and support to the front support, as well as guiding the foot's roll a little on this model with its 5mm drop.

The switch to FFBlast+ foam is one of the new features of this second edition. It's the same foam found on the Magic Speed 3, of which this Fuji Speed 2 is the trail alter ego. This foam provides a good deal of rebound and complements the carbon plate well, while remaining fairly stable and predictable. The sole rises a little on the sides of the foot, like a bucket, to cradle the foot better.

This feels quite rigid on the first few strides, which is a little surprising given the thickness of the foam and its softness to the touch. The carbon plate close to the foot is probably not unrelated to this feeling.

The good news is that this impression quickly disappears after the first few kilometers, and we arrive at a compromise between firmness, rebound and foot protection that I really appreciate.


The profile of the 4-5mm studs is designed to be versatile, and that's precisely what I found during my test run. As the testing season's conditions were quite changeable, I was able to run on a variety of ground (earth, gravel, stones, roots) that was successively dry, wet, soggy, muddy, snow-covered and icy.

In all these conditions, apart from the thickest mud, the sole and above all the ASICSGrip rubber provided impeccable grip. Vibram soles are often singled out for praise, but for me, ASICS has a formulation that stands up to comparison in terms of grip without the Italian brand's slightly dry, slappy and firmer feel. The trihedral shape of the studs is effective, even on slopes, with the obvious drawback of mud performance, as with all generalist trail shoes.

In terms of durability, it's also very good, with no signs of wear after almost 100 km.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

As I mentioned earlier, the first few strides are a little unsettling. Between the shoe, which seems rather narrow and doesn't conform well to the foot, and the firmness of the sole, it took me about thirty kilometers to better appreciate this model.

The upper and sole need some time to soften a little and really “open up” to provide a joyful experience.

I didn't appreciate the Trabuco Max's overly pronounced rebound at the time, and I find that the recipe of foam and plate works much better here. You stay in control even on fast descents, provided the terrain isn't too rough. Here, I think, we've reached the limits of carbon plate shoes, most all remaining  rigid and inflexible. Or maybe I'm at the limit of my ability on this type of terrain, which is also possible. In any case, it won't be the most accessible model for this type of course.

For the rest, however, the Fuji Speed is particularly efficient. The midfoot attack is to be favored, overcoming the slight instability of the heel and rapidly compressing the foam and "loading" the carbon plate. The result is particularly easy foot roll and highly efficient propulsion.

I really enjoyed this type of ride in the Scott Ultra Carbon, and here we're clearly at a much higher level of dynamism...and almost 50g less weight per shoe.

Forest paths are a real pleasure to gobble up, and the shoe encourages you to increase your pace. Healthy handling, responsiveness, grip and lightness make this shoe a real thrill. As is often the case with this type of model, the rider's commitment is rewarded by even more efficient propulsion: the faster the pace, the greater the return.

The Fuji Speed also proves highly effective on hills: thanks to the carbon plate, its propulsive effect is even more impressive.

Despite its racing orientation, I don't think this model should be reserved for the fastest runners or races. I took it on a 2h30 trail jog without a hitch, without feeling like I was bumping into the shoe. So it's also perfectly suited to training sessions for runners looking for a lightweight shoe with grip, capable of responding to the demands made on it. 

What's more, the lifespan seems to me to be excellent: sole and upper show no signs of wear yet. Enough to pay for the 180€ price tag - which nonetheless makes it one of the least expensive carbon plated trail shoes  on the market.

Score: 9 / 10

Ride (50 %) : 9.2 Fit(30 %) : 8 Value (15 %) : 9 Style (5%) : 9

Score de fun


4 Comparisons

Link to all RTR reviews: HERE 

Scott Ultra Carbon RC (RTR review)

The Scott is said to be the Ultra version (it says so right on it!) of the Fuji Speed 2. Heavier, thicker (sole and upper), more robust. The foam used also has less rebound. In short, two very different shoes for very different uses, which could be completely complementary, and which are similar simply because they have a carbon plate.

Salomon Pulsar Pro (RTR Review)

A model very similar to the Fuji Speed 2. Fitted with a "fork"type plage and foam with similar properties, the Pulsar Pro is a little more cushioned, but a little less dynamic. More stable, its fit is much better, but it loses the grip game. It will be a little more versatile, but the Fuji Speed 2 will be more dynamic, more playful.

NNormal Kjerag (RTR Review)

The Kjerag has a more traditional, classic design, but stands out for its excellent stability thanks to a firm platform and wide forefoot, highly resilient foam and excellent grip thanks to its Vibram outsole. It is, however, less cushioned than the Fuji Speed 2, whose outsole offers comparable grip but with more pronounced and more versatile lugs. The Kjerag performs well on technical terrain, and at slower paces in ultra trail running for example, when the proportion of walking increases thanks to its lower stack and wider sole.

Nike Terra Kiger 8 (RTR Review)

The Terra Kiger has become overweight with each successive model, and I didn't really appreciate the last model I tested (the 8). The Zoom Air cushioning in the front created unpleasant pressure points underfoot, the non-existent grip on wet terrain and the weight of 300g for limited cushioning mean that there's no comparison between these two models.

Available at ASICS HERE and at our partner


Some colors €180 €138with TaxSave €42

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Tester Profile

Jeremy MARIE, French, 44y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90 kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120 kms, Some shorter more mellow races (Saintelyon 45 kms, Ecotrail Paris 45 kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running, but not many road races. Also active cyclist and 70.3 Ironman. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km. He has an un-official marathon PR of 2h54 (solo) and 10K PR of 36’25. He does few timed road races.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Anonymous said...

Bonjour Jérémie!
Merci pour ce test d'une grande précision.
J'ai pu tester les fuji speed 2, et je les trouve effectivement incroyables sur les portions roulantes, les single et les descentes relativement techniques mais je suis plus réservé dans les montées assez raides où je trouve que la rigidité du carbone "fatigue" davantage les mollets. J ai eu la même sensation avec les vectiv sky.. d'où ma question : est ce une sensation très personnelle ou as tu ce genre de retour autour de toi?

Jeremy said...

Merci d’avoir lu ce test. Je n’ai malheureusement pas pu avoir accès à des montées très raides pendant ce test. Je les ai trouvées très efficaces dans les montées modérées à raides (celles où l’on peut toujours courir disons), où justement le carbone permet d’aider un peu à grimper (on applique une grosse force dessus en montée, avec un retour équivalent). Sur une autre paire avec une plaque carbone (les Scott), j’ai trouvé que cela aidait pas mal quand même, en limitant un peu la fatigue justement. Mais peut-être faut-il aussi un peu plus se laisser porter par la chaussure et ne pas faire comme d’habitude. Donc globalement, j’ai plutôt l’impression d’être aidé dans les bosses - mais peut-être n’ai-je pas essayé sur des pentes aussi raides que toi ?

Anonymous said...

Ok merci pour la réponse! Il est vrai que les sensations diffèrent beaucoup d'un coureur à un autre. Bonne continuation