This time taking its DNA from the ASICS Gel Fujilyte trail shoe and giving it a brand new 2020 update.
Worn by legendary trail runner and ASICS Athlete Xavier Thevernard on his UTMB OCC win in 2016 - the only athlete to have Grand Slammed the UTMB by winning all races in the series - then it can't be that bad.
The design and detailing is very much ‘like for like' on the new ASICS FUJITRABUCO Lyte. How much and what has actually changed to the shoes? I took them out for a test drive in the mountainous technical terrains of Brecon Beacons in Wales to check out it.
A windy, damp and misty December Welsh morning as we approach Pen Y Fan's Storey Arms carpark. This is actually perfect conditions when in the mountains of Wales. The terrain here is varied from loose rocks, mud and undulating surfaces with scenic access to ridge lines.
The experience of slipping the shoes on for the first time was very familiar, the 'Standard' width of the shoe felt similar to the ASICS FUJITRABUCO Pro, so there was no issues with getting going in them.
The lacing pocket on top of the tongue, as seen from it's predecessor as well as the ASICS TRABUCO 7, has been retained, which is great news for runners like me whose laces falls apart every 10 minutes. Also, to be able to tuck away the laces reduces getting branches or twigs caught avoiding a performance of your own stunts on the trails.
Once out on the trail, it was a smooth ride all the way, a very smooth ride. The control and responsiveness from the multidirectional lugs worked quite well on the loose stones and leaping around on the slippery rocky surfaces, no issues there.
Feet are going to get wet with this shoe as there are no Gore-tex model announced as yet, however, the shoe is very breathable and does a great job at draining water. The soles are designed with lots of tiny holes that go all the way through the sole to help with the drainage. The cushioning on the ankle does a faultless job of keeping debris out, a problem I think that was reported from the FUJITRABUCO7s.
- Lightweight and responsive weighing in at only 270g
- Flytefoam system for cushioning, no ground feel when on the more technical trails
- Highly breathable, does a great job of keeping the feet cool
- Flexibility, stiffness in the shoe, will take a few goes to get used to
- Grip not aggressive enough on mud that gets stuck in-between lugs
Having spent sometime in the shoes on the varying terrain, I've got to admit that it wasn’t what i expected at first when unboxing. I got ahead of myself with the name 'Lyte' and expected a shoe that was to be much more minimal. Gone is the Gel cushioning, replaced by the FLYTEFOAM midsole and with the light weight mesh upper, which gives the shoe a similar weight as the ASICS FUJTRABUCO Pro of 270g (Mens).
So it wasn't the lighter trail shoe I had hoped for, but after taking it for a run out, it didn't disappoint at all. The shoe is very responsive even on the more technical terrains and the bonus of being a light trail shoe, its fast. Going down descents in any new shoe, I'm always very cautious, but as you can see from the video, it does fly.
One major problem I did have was with the ASICS Grip, loose mud does get trapped in between the lugs. With it being so low and non aggressive, it does flood the grip and cause you to run mud on mud with no traction. The same issue that was with the FUJITRABUCO Pro. For the more aggressive lugs, I would opt for the ASICS FUJITRABUCO 7 or hold out for the imminent release of the 8s.
Besides from that, my overall verdict is, I'm a fan. The shoes held up in the December weathered technical trails. It’s a speed trail shoe and it does perform very well along with it's control and grip. I pretty much rate trail shoes I review by whether I can trust them for the 'big and scary' races. And if asked whether I would take this out to run a mountain race in, the answer will definitely be a "Yes..... as long as there isn't any loose mud on the terrain".
I’m a size UK 7 / EU 40, have narrow feet and pronate. Items in this Kit Review the 'ASICS FUJITRABUCO Lyte, Directorie Blue/Shocking Orange, Standard width' was gifted by ASICS Europe.
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Trail runners who want a lightweight shoe with excellent grip will appreciate the FUJITRABUCO™ Lyte shoe from ASICS. This updated version has the flexibility and traction you need to speed through challenging terrain.The new...SHOP NOW
Retail Operations Technical Advisor from London
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