Asics Fuji Lite 2 Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: March 2023
The Asics Fuji Lite 2 is a trail running shoe that offers comfort and responsive cushioning for all terrains.
Among the new releases of Asics this year, the Fuji Lite 2 is one of the most exciting surprises. It’s a good mix of comfort, responsiveness, lightness, and versatility for all your trail runs.
The FlyteFoam cushioning is one of the highlights of this trail shoe. The new midsole incorporates organic fibers to be more sturdy and sustainable. The generous stack of the shoe (30 mm under the heel, 26 mm under the toes) and its low drop (4 mm) provide a smooth and nimble ride.
The Asicsgrip outsole is the second strong point of the Fuji Lite 2. The rubber and its 4 mm lugs deliver incredible grip on terrain as diverse as forest paths, dirt roads, rocky trails, or even asphalt.
The shoe’s upper sizing is standard. It translates into an engineered mesh made from recycled materials. It’s good to see that the brand has taken a decidedly eco-friendly turn with this series, though a lot still has to be done (like most brands, Asics is committing to carbon neutrality only by 2050). Nonetheless, it’s a good step that environmentally conscious runners will appreciate.
Overall, the consensus among runners is that the ride of the Asics Fuji Lite 2 is genuinely and surprisingly fun with a lightweight feel. The only doubts concern the very technical terrains where the stability of this Asics shoe could be an issue.
Please read our full review of the Asics Fuji Lite 2 for more information.
- Soft and responsive cushioning
- The effective outsole grip on most terrains
- Durable design with recycled materials
- Lightweight shoe
- Versatile configuration
- The tongue is too large and not integrated, allowing stones to enter the shoe
- The stability is not always optimal on challenging trails
Asics Fuji Lite 2 Complete Review Analysis
Expectations are high when the inspiration for a shoe comes from the Hinoki cypress tree from Mount Fuji, the highest point of Japan!
In recent years, Asics had lost the confidence of trail runners, who preferred (often rightly) other brands more innovative for trail running. With the Fuji Lite 2, the Japanese brand comes out of its comfort zone and returns with a shoe quite surprising, combining versatility, lightness, balance, grip, and responsiveness.
It also shows innovation by adopting eco-design principles to reduce waste and carbon emissions, a practice that’s still far from being the norm for trail running shoes or even road running.
In short, on paper, the Fuji Lite ticks a lot of boxes. Does this shoe live up to its ambitions of unwavering grip on all terrains and in all conditions? Will it propel Asics to the forefront of trail running?
Let’s find out.
Grip and durability
The Asicsgrip rubber is one of the two major highlights of the Fuji Lite 2 (patience for number two), the one that grips you throughout the run. Unveiled in the spring of 2021 by the Japanese brand, this new outsole technology is a little gem of grip, stability, and sturdiness, wrapped in a case of flexibility.
The rubber covers the entire outsole. Combined with the arrow-shaped lugs, it offers an incredible grip for better traction on a wide variety of terrain: trails, gravel, soft ground, and even asphalt. Some runners are eager to test them on easy snow paths to see how the shoe fares.
Also, the grip and stability of the balance effectively the flexibility and responsiveness of the midsole. The combination of the two offers a harmonious unit unanimously appreciated by the testers.
Runners emphasized the shoe’s great traction on both dry and wet surfaces.
Finally, the only downside noted by some runners with this near-perfect outsole was a lack of stability on really technical terrain (e.g., narrow ridges) or steep and rocky descents.
The second big highlight of the Fuji Lite 2 is the midsole. The new FlyteFoam cushioning concentrates softness, lightness, and energetic bounce that pleasantly surprised the testers.
Asics opted for an eco-friendly design with the integration of organic fibers in its midsole (at least 10% recycled cellulose nanofibers from sugarcane waste). They add a nice touch of resilience and lightness to the foam.
The thickness of the sole (30 mm and 26 mm under the heel and forefoot, respectively), as well as the low drop, provides incredible lightweight cushioning and smoothness without impeding forward propulsion. It means the cushioning is most effective on rugged trails, extended descents, and even on roads. Runners felt that the shock absorption was very good. They were able to run for miles with their legs (almost) fresh!
In the end, the midsole of the Fuji Lite 2 is an outstanding balance between comfort/responsiveness and lightness/stability.
In the areas of improvement expressed by testers, they would appreciate even more stack under the forefoot and more protection underfoot with a rock plate to allow them to tack more technical terrain.
Lastly, testers also wondered about the durability of the foam because of its softness. Let’s reevaluate in a few months!
Foot lockdown (upper)
Engineered mesh upper
The upper of the Asics Fuji Lite 2 also features an eco-design using recycled materials for the engineered mesh. The Japanese brand opted for a dual-layer configuration with a light and breathable outer mesh and an inner underlayer for reinforcement in terms of structure. The result of this combo is a pleasant feeling of comfort and a well-fitted foot lockdown, which reminded testers of the best Asics shoes. The double-layer also contributes to the overall excellent durability.
With a weight of 9 oz/255 g for the men’s version and 7.9 oz/224 g for the women’s version, the Fuji Lite 2 is one of the most lightweight trail shoes at the moment.
The Japanese brand decided to go for the below options in terms of features, with some better received than others.
- a lace pocket that allows runners to tuck in their laces and run worry-free
- a spacious toe box, in a standard way
- a well-placed, rigid toe bumper to protect your toes
- finally, a non-integrated and bulky tongue, which was almost unanimously decried by trailers because it opened the door for small stones to enter the shoe and disrupt them
Finally, some runners felt the lockdown of the Asics Fuji Lite 2’s upper was insufficient on very technical trails. It’s especially the case for runners with a narrow foot as the heel collar is pretty low. Others feared cold feet in winter because of the airy mesh.
The two words that came up often in the sensations described by the testers are “surprising” and “fun.”
Surprising are the smoothness, bounce, and responsiveness of the FlyteFoam midsole. Sprinting uphill becomes almost a pleasure!
Fun because of the lightweight and peppy nature of the shoe that delivers an impressive ride, especially on dry trail surfaces and moderate trails where the Fuji Lite 2 reveals all its potential.
In short, the Asics Fuji Lite 2 is precisely the kind of shoe that makes you feel like you’re running faster (and makes you want to run faster) in all conditions. And, who wouldn’t want such a good ego boost like that?
The Asics Fuji Lite 2 is a surprisingly fun and fast shoe for trail running that is lightweight and flexible, comfortable, and responsive. Its versatility allows you to tackle fast runs and long distances alike. It’s particularly suitable for fast daily workouts like fartlek on trails or dry terrain and for short runs where you can go all in!
Overall, the Fuji Lite 2 is a clear win for Asics. And we hope this sparkly and innovative shoe will reconcile the brand with runners who jumped ship or never really trusted it for trail running!
|Heel stack height||30 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||26 mm|
|Weight (men)||255 g/9 oz|
|Weight (women)||224 g/7.9 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||4 – Bouncy|
|Distance||Mid, long, ultramarathon|
|Workout||Competition, daily runs|
Did you know?
Since 2017, we have analyzed hundreds of trail running shoes and every month thousands of runners trust us to find the perfect pair!
Discover our 2021 trail selection here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This shoe runs true to size, both for men and women.
This trail shoe is lightweight and responsive with super comfortable cushioning. It makes it a good option for ultramarathon running. The only limitation is the stability, which some testers found insufficient on very technical terrain. It makes it most suitable for moderate terrain. So it’s up to you, depending on your preparation and the shoe feels during your runs.