The Asics Gel-Noosa Tri is a triathlon shoe through and through. For those that don’t know, Noosa, on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, hosts a race each year. This race, and the Great Barrier Reef, inspired the funky colours for the shoes. Triathletes like to be noticed, and no one will miss you wearing a pair of these.
Coming from the Asics stable, this is a quality running shoe, with all the features you’d expect from Asics’s many years at the top supplying the likes of Emma Snowsill and Tim Don. The Gel-Noosa Tri is a lightweight running shoe, weighing in at just over 600 grammes a pair.
On heel strike you can feel the effects of the gel, providing a responsive spring. Although lightweight, there is a surprising amount of support around the heel and mid-section. The forefoot area is lighter on the padding, and heavier runners will likely feel much more of the road.
As far as stability goes, the Gel-Noosa Tri is really aimed at those with a neutral footstrike, so heavier overpronators are not advised to run long distances or train heavy miles in these shoes – but that is not their purpose. This is a triathlon race shoe, those needing more support should still train in more supportive shoes and race in these – certainly for Sprint or Olympic distance races. The occasional tempo run in your race shoes will always be welcome. For lighter runners, this may well do as an all time trainer and racer.
The removable insole is light and comfortable, and is well ventilated: a characteristic of the whole shoe. The toe box top allows air in and out, and when running without socks, this will help to keep your feet cooler and dryer. The soles provide plenty of grip on-road, coping with twists and turns and changes in direction always feeling secure underfoot.
Whilst we are on the subject of running without socks, the shoe initially felt as though they were going to be abrasive on the heels. Far from it, in fact. Having kept padding down, the inner surfaces are comfortable against the skin with no noticeable problems. There was perhaps a little vertical heel movement, but that’s something that could be reduced with alternative lacing.
The shoes come with standard laces as well as elastic, and we tested the shoes with both options. I was initially surprised that there was no heel loop to tug the shoe on, but in reality, once the elastic laces are in, it is very easy to jump into these shoes in transition – even with sweaty feet. The tongue is sewn in most of the way up, so you don’t have to worry about this in transition either.
Overall, Asics have put together a comfortable and lightweight race shoe for triathletes. When your legs are giving up on you, you want to know your shoes will not add to the problems, and in testing, there was nothing to complain about.
With fantastic colours, including Scotchlite for night time reflection, you’ll be the talk of transition with these on your feet, from sizes 5-13. The price, however, might put you off at a RRP of £85.