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ASICS Noosa Tri 13 Multiple Tester Review

Matt: The Asics Noosa Tri series, inspired by and for triathlon and Ironman events, has been a longstanding performance running shoe with some of the most bold visual designs. They have generally been geared toward triathlon racing events, usually featuring slightly lighter weight, slightly more aggressive sole designs, ability to wear sockless (usually) and sometimes some mild stability elements. The Asics Noosa Tri 13 keeps some of the essence of previous versions, but evolves very much in line with Asics shoes like the EvoRide 2 (REVIEW) and GlideRide 2 (REVIEW). Featuring a larger amount of midsole, Guidesole technology and a major weight reduction, the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a fast shoe that should be checked out by more than just triathletes.




Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 7.9 oz (men's size 9) 6.5 oz  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Men's 26 mm / 21 mm Women's 25mm / 20 mm
Drop: 5 mm
Classification: Triathlon Racing Shoe / Lightweight Trainer




RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a protective yet fast lightweight trainer featuring an increased midsole height and G-uidesole technology. The upper is bold, secure, surprisingly spacious and work well running both with and without socks. The sole is rockered, with significant toe spring, an improved heel bevel (for Asics) and a sole that works well for both easy and fast running. A shoe that will work as a lightweight trainer for some and a distance racer for others, the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is fast, smooth and ready to go.

David:
The ASICS Noosa Tri 13 is an incredibly fun riding neutral shoe that features ASICS new GUIDESOLE technology. The platform of the shoe is the same as the EvoRide 2 but differs in its upper construction. The upper is lighter with a smoother sockliner as well as a pull tab and a textured tongue to allow for quick donning/doffing. The shoe provides a ride and feel that I'm sure will be appreciated when closing out an Ironman on tired legs.




FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Matt: The Asics Noosa Tri 13 fits me true to size in my normal men's size 10. The upper is extremely comfortable I have worn this shoe sockless for the entire 60 miles of testing. It is very breathable and drains very well (yes, I ran through water to find this out). It is better for warmer weather, as my feet got quite cold during cooler runs (also yes, went to the mountains for this). During hot weather, the upper keeps the feet cool and comfortable. The fit is normal to slightly wider, mostly in the forefoot. The heel and midfoot have a fairly average fit, with a bit more room/anatomic inspired fit in the forefoot. There is a heel counter in the rear, but it is well cushioned by the heel collar and is flexible. The upper is mostly unstructured outside of the ASICS logo around the midfoot and can be folded easily for those wondering how pack-able this shoe is (the sole will NOT fold though, more on that later). I only had a small hot spot on the skin of my lower Achilles tendon on the right. This only occurred over 10-12 miles, so those not conditioned may benefit from some taping on that spot for protection if you are going to take it longer. The tongue is gusseted, is stable and perfectly cushioned. I had no slippage and the laces sit over it perfectly. There is also a pull tab, so Jamie and Triathletes should be happy. The upper is extremely comfortable and outside of the slight chaffing on my Achilles is very good.

David:
The ASICS Noosa Tri 13 fits very true to size for me. The upper has an incredibly soft and breathable sock liner with an upper that breathes and drains really well. There is a pull tab and texture on the tongue to allow for faster donning and doffing of the shoe. The fit is normal width throughout and provides a good hold throughout the foot while still allowing for space for swelling late in a race. The shoe has good lockdown through the midfoot and dorsum of the foot as well. Overall I am very pleased with the upper of the Noosa Tri. 




PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Matt: The Noosa Tri 13 midsole is a bit different from previous models. The Guidesole is the most notable change, providing a significant and noticeable toe spring up front. The sole overall is very stiff and has almost no flex to it. Fortunately the toe spring is very smooth and there is some heel bevel to the sole. The toe spring is a bit aggressive at first, but like others you get used to this and it does provide a really smooth ride especially when running faster. The heel bevel is not nearly as aggressive, providing a slightly smooth but firm landing in the rear. The ride is a bit firmer despite the increase in stack height throughout the length of the shoe. The slightly firmer ride makes this shoe better for uptempo running, longer distance racing or daily training if you are used to lightweight trainers. When the pace picks up, this shoe really comes alive. While it isn't the lightest shoe out there, it can move very well. I have used this shoe for tempo runs, fartleks, long runs, recovery runs and hill repeats. The Noosa Tri 13 has no problem with any of these. The toe off is extremely snappy and the the thicker flytefoam midsole has a firmer responsive feel to it. For many people not used to firmer and lighter shoes, this may be a workout/race day shoe for you. Many people will be able to use this as a 10k to half marathon racing shoe. If you can handle a bit more firm and responsive shoe, this one will take you up to the marathon. I had no trouble with a 14 mile steady state run, but again I like firmer shoes. These is a 5 mm drop in these, which with the significant toe spring was not noticeable to me at all. Durability wise these are doing extremely well. I have 60 miles on my pair with only very mild wear on the posterior lateral heel, so I expect at least 350-500 miles out of these (ie normal trainer).

David:
For being a "run a marathon after you've already destroyed your body beyond belief" type of shoe the Noosa really delivers. The GUIDESOLE technology feels like it takes load off of the calves with the excessive toe spring and the ride stays nimble and light throughout. I was able to run a little slower than marathon pace or more of a tempo/threshold pace in this shoe with decent comfort. The shoe feels good from a perspective of a controlled push and really comes through on tired legs. I wouldn't choose to race in this on fresh legs but it can do really well if raced from the Ironman perspective or for someone looking to have a recreational racing shoe. The volume of the upper is really nice too because it accommodates swelling better than most shoes I have run in. The ride is protective yet firm and snappy in the forefoot. The heel has a decent bevel but is pretty flat in comparison to the toe spring in the forefoot. 


STABILITY

Matt: For a neutral shoe, the Noosa Tri 13 is very stable. The last or shape of the sole is actually fairly wide, providing a stable platform. The Guidesole provides a very guided roll forward that facilitates motion well. The upper, despite having a bit more volume in the forefoot, is very secure and locks the foot down well while still being light. The heel counter and cushioning keep the heel stable, without being too aggressive. Traction on wet ground is decent, but be careful with turning. For those with mild stability needs, the Noosa Tri 13 will provide more than enough naturally. For those that need a bit more, this shoe no longer has a duomax midsole, I am hoping that the DS Trainer 27 looks more like this shoe and those wanting a little more stability may want to wait for that one (hopefully. No promises on what it actually looks like).

David:
Overall the stability of the Noosa Tri 13 is really good for a neutral shoe. The GUIDESOLE provides a snappy but fluid and linear feel to the shoe that does not deviate much with surfaces or terrain. The traction could be a little better in wet conditions but it should do well in most conditions. The upper security is good and should hold up in all of your road running, racing, and Ironman needs. The heel can be a tad choppy at times but otherwise the shoe is incredibly stable and fun to run in. 




THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE
 

      I encourage our readers to read Nathan's and David's Thoughts as a DPT / Footwear Science sections in the Asics EvoRide 2 (REVIEW) and Asics GlideRide 2 (REVIEW)as they both do a great job talking about toe spring and changes in forces/work associated with it. My discussion today is more on the application of this technology to assist with certain impairments. We have discussed previously that toe spring combined with a stiff sole can be beneficial for runners and walkers who do not have enough motion at the metatarsophalangeal (toe) joints or talocrural (ankle) joints. Toe spring acts to replace the forefoot rocker of the foot, a natural mechanism by which the toe joints extend (toes go up) and allow the body to transition smoothly forward. Normally, an individual should have at least 60 degrees of toe extension. You can check this by putting your foot on the ground and lifting your big toe up toward the ceiling (keep the rest of your foot on the floor). Halfway between horizontal and vertical is about 45 degrees, so if you can go past that, you don't have to worry about this. If you do not have enough motion, or have been diagnosed with pathologies like hallux rigidus (complete loss of motion at the big toe), hallux limitus (partial loss of motion at the big toe) or other metatarsophalangeal joint pain or disorders, a stiffer shoe with toe spring may reduce the work and load this area (Sichting et al., 2020; Willwacher et al., 2013; Zammit et al., 2009). This may allow you to continue running as significant toe spring may replace the need for toe extension. A shoe like the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is more unique in that not only does it have a great deal of toe spring, the forefoot is incredibly stiff without the use of a plate. It is known that running at faster speeds requires more work and motion at the MTP joints (Day & Hahn, 2019). The aggressive toe spring and stiffness in the Asics Noosa Tri 13 provides a unique shoe that should work well for those with limited toe motion looking to run fast. I have mentioned in previous reviews that the more aggressive the toe spring, the more suited the shoe will be for faster running. When looking for a running shoe to run faster in, if you have limited toe motion, I suggest finding one with more aggressive toe spring. It is unknown how carbon plates affect toe joints with pathology. However one could hypothesize that it does stiffen the sole more preventing motion. For those that do not want a plated shoe but still want a stiff shoe with aggressive toe spring, the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a great option.

-Matthew Klein PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT

References

1. Day, E. M., & Hahn, M. E. (2019). Dynamic angular stiffness about the metatarsophalangeal joint increases with running speed. Human Movement Science, 67, 102501.

2. Sichting, F., Holowka, N. B., Hansen, O. B., & Lieberman, D. E. (2020). Effect of the upward curvature of toe springs on walking biomechanics in humans. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-11.

3. Willwacher, S., König, M., Potthast, W., & Brüggemann, G. P. (2013). Does specific footwear facilitate energy storage and return at the metatarsophalangeal joint in running?. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 29(5), 583-592. 

4. Zammit, G. V., Menz, H. B., & Munteanu, S. E. (2009). Structural factors associated with hallux limitus/rigidus: a systematic review of case control studies. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 39(10), 733-742.




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: I really like the Noosa Tri 13, but have a few suggestions mostly at the heel. I would suggest using a split Achilles tab as I think that will decrease the minor chaffing I had there at higher mileages. I would also consider adding a bit more heel bevel to smooth out heel landings and create a bit more overall rocker effect. While I like the Noosa Tri 13 as it is, I also think that softening the sole may help reach a larger population of runners. Since the current trend is toward a bit softer sole, this may make this shoe more accessible. Even though I personally like it as it is. Outside of that, I think this shoe is done very well for its purpose.

David:
I really enjoyed the Noosa Tri 13. My main recommendation for this shoe lies within the heel and initial contact mechanics. I think the heel to midfoot transition could be smoothed out a little bit with having the bevel angle sharper since the midfoot region is flat and long until the toe spring. Other than that this shoe is really great and a treat to run in.



WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a lightweight trainer with a very eye catching design, aggressive toe spring, a firmer but responsive ride and an extremely comfortable upper made to be worn sockless. For triathletes looking for a versatile shoe for training and racing, the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is one of the best given comfortable, breathable, relatively foldable upper. The increased stack height, aggressive toe spring and slightly firmer ride make this shoe best for longer distance races and workouts. For those individuals with limited toe motion still looking to run fast, the aggressive toe spring will work very well for picking up the pace. For those wanting some mild stability in a faster shoe, the wider and stable sole will provide enough to keep you locked in for miles. 7.9 ounces for size 9 is extremely light for a shoe with this much sole, so kudos to Asics for taking the Asics Noosa Tri 13 to another level. This shoe is not just for triathletes and for those looking for a versatile lightweight trainer with a comfortable upper and a firmer rockered ride, check this one out.

David:
The ASICS Noosa Tri 13 is versatile shoe that many can find a spot for in the rotation. For me I really like it as a daily training or long run shoe that can handle a little uptempo if needed. For some the shoe will also double as a racing shoe either at the end of an Ironman or for the regular population looking for a shoe that has a protective and traditional feel yet a very light and snappy toe off as well. The shoe is a neutral riding, stable, and quick transitioning trainer/racer that will do well in a large variety of situations.



GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Matt
Fit: A (Extremely comfortable fit. Worn sockless for all miles with only mild chaffing after +14 mile run. Great fit, good security, heel counter flexible but not too stiff)                     
Performance: A- (A great lightweight trainer. A slightly firmer ride with aggressive toe spring makes for an efficient and fast ride for longer workouts. The firmer ride is versatile enough for a variety of workouts and a little easier running. however the heel is a bit stiff and could use a hair more bevel) 
Stability: B+ (Very stable for a neutral shoe. Wide base, firmer ride and aggressive GUIDESOLE keep the foot moving forward. Those with mild stability needs will do fine here) 
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Toe Spring is set up very well in this shoe. This should work very well for the individual with stiff toe joints looking to run fast. Heel bevel needs to be increased for heel transition) 
Personal:  A (This is my kind of shoe. I love being able to wear this sockless and have a lightweight trainer that can do everything) 
Overall: A- (Excellent upper and faster ride makes a great performance lightweight trainer that should work for long distance racing and training for many people. Also those colors are awesome)              


David
Fit: A (Really comfortable and breathable upper that can accomodate swelling after long efforts, reinforced just enough without being too involved for a potential racing shoe)                    
Performance:  
A- (Heel can be a tad clunky but the midfoot forward transition is fun, fast, snappy, and the midsole is protective but firm enough to feel responsive for uptempo efforts as well) 
Stability: B+ 
(For a neutral shoe that can double as a racer the shoe is very stable throughout. Heel could be improved to make mechanics smoother but otherwise very solid. Traction on wet surfaces (especially for Ironman) could be improved) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  A-
 (There is a lot going on here, but done really well. The upper is integrated very well and in tune with being a performance like upper that still feels good with daily efforts. The GUIDESOLE is also integrated really well. The heel is the main thing that takes away from the transitions) 
Personal:  
(I like the Noosa Tri 13. I'm not doing any Ironmans anytime soon but the ride is really fun, firm yet protective, and the upper is just darn cozy. I keep wanting to reach for it) 
Overall:  A- (There is a lot going on in this shoe but ASICS does a really good job of integrating all of the elements into a neutral performance shoe that can double as a daily trainer and an uptempo shoe or long distance racer)         

DOCTORS OF RUNNING Q&A POST-REVIEW



Editor Matt Klein takes a few minutes to answer some social media questions on the Noosa and go a little more in-depth on the Noosa!

Interested in shopping ASICS Noosa Tri 13? Check out Fleet Feet here: Men's / Women's
Using this link helps support our work at Doctors of Running! Thank you so much.
  

FURTHER READING

Asics EvoRide 2 - Same platform with a different upper for everyday road running
Nike Alphafly - High tech alternative for bounding down triathlon courses
Saucony Kinvara 12 - Classic lightweight trainer from Saucony goes back to its roots for '21.
Asics GlideRide 2 - Mile crusher with Guidesole technology for longer training efforts. Companion shoe?

Recently at Doctors of Running
361 Fierce
- Brand new both at DOR and in general for 361, a lightweight, firm trainer
Podcast Ep. 38: What is a Carbon Fiber Suspension Shoe, with Inventor Lenn Hann

North Face Vectiv Infinite Review - New ultra distance trail runner
February Round Up: Latest Articles and More at Doctors of Running
Podcast Ep. 37: Sharing Our Favorite Race Day Memories
On Cloudventure Peak - Lightweight trail racer with expert grip

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up. IG handle @kleinrunsdpt

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at ASICS for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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