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ASICS Noosa Tri 14 Review: Sockless Wonder
By Senior Contributor David Salas, Chief Editor Matthew Klein and Contributor Ryan Flugaur

The ASICS Tri Noosa has always been a fun shoe both with colorways and experience. The 14 continues to deliver with a slightly softer FlyteFoam midsole and upper update. The shoe remains incredibly lightweight and provides a solid forefoot rocker for a nimble feel throughout. The Noosa 14 is certainly a relevant player in the non plated performance trainer market. 

ASICS Noosa Tri 14
Price: $129.95, Coming Soon
Weight: 7.6 oz, 215 g (men's size 9), 7.1 oz, 201 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 26 mm / 21 mm
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Lightweight Trainer / Triathlon Racing Shoe


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is a lightweight shoe for those who want an upper comfortable enough to handle sockless wear and the versatility to handle moderate mileage, workouts and racing. A rockered forefoot and mildly rockered heel combined with a stiffer, but plateless ride allow for daily miles for those who want a little less shoe and workouts/racing for those who want to pick up the pace. The slightly firmer ride makes the shoe feel snappy underfoot and the lighter weight of 7.6 oz makes it easy to turn the legs over in. A comfortable, breathable and cushioned upper provides a comfortable fit in both wet and dry environments. The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 returns lighter, faster, and is still an excellent option for those who want a flashy shoe that can handle training and racing.

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is a relatively firm riding training shoe that can do a little bit of everything. The lightweight, rockered design, and solid responsiveness create a very fun and exciting combination for the runner. The shoe can go both fast and slow and provides a lot of versatility for use. The streamlined upper locks the foot down well and also provides a very comfortable environment for both wet and dry conditions. The Noosa Tri 14 is a very good example of a non plated performance trainer that some may even be able to reach for on race day.

Ryan: The Asics Noosa Tri 14 is a versatile training shoe designed to handle a variety of runs ranging from easy pace to tempo work. The 7.6 oz weight feels light when picking up the pace while the firmer Flytefoam midsole creates a smooth ride thanks to the well-done heel rocker and toe spring. Despite being designed for the triathlete population, the Noosa is a well-fitting, comfortable, fun shoe that can cater to all runners.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 fits me slightly short in my normal US men's 10. The fit is slightly snug throughout the length of the shoe, but the upper does stretch a little. The upper is a comfortable mesh that feels great against bare skin. This is one of the few shoes I would suggest running sockless in, which also makes it fit more true to size. The inner liner is seamless, with a large amount of padding against the foot. There is a solid heel counter in the rearfoot, but there is enough heel collar cushioning I did not notice it. Those who are sensitive to counters should still approach with some caution. The tongue is fully gusseted and hugs the foot. Outside of the ASICS logo and the heel counter, there is little structure to the upper. However, combined with the performance fit and material from the tongue, it hugs the foot well enough that I did not have to lace lock the shoe with or without socks. This is an excellent option if you are looking for a sockless shoe, particularly for triathlon racing. I have worn this shoe all day after showering and had no blisters and done up to 10 miles without socks. The only minor issue I had was a small blister at the end of my first toe due to the slightly short fit after wearing them and walking around for 12 hours. This is secondary to the slightly shorter fit, so finding optimal sizing is key.

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The fit of the shoe is normal width throughout the full length of the shoe to perhaps a tiny bit narrow. This is more due to the performance fit and good lockdown throughout though. The mesh material itself is incredibly comfortable and breathable throughout. It has a small amount of structure to it, but still relatively seamless and breathable. There is a heel counter present, though padded enough to not provide any irritation. The upper itself is a relatively simple upper, but is integrated really well throughout the full length of the shoe.

Ryan: The Asics Noosa Tri 14 fits true to size in my men’s size 9 but like the Noosa Tri 13, the upper fits slightly snugger providing a more “athletic” feel. Having slightly wider feet, I typically prefer a wider toe box but the upper stretches slightly to help accommodate my foot. Unlike Matt, I always choose to wear socks in my running shoes but with the Noosa Tri 14 I typically wore an ultra-light cushion sock as that felt the most comfortable. I also swapped the shoelaces out for the bungee laces that come with the Noosa. I typically prefer laces with all my other shoes but appreciate the ease that the bungees offer for taking the shoes on and off. The heel counter is fairly firm and wraps around the posterior (back) aspect of the shoe. It is well padded, and I experienced no issues with rubbing or irritation. The tongue is gusseted with a small amount of padding helping improve protection over the dorsum (top) of the foot. The tongue has a loop to help pull the tongue up when putting on the shoe. This is a nice feature and I use the loop much more often than I would have expected.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 features a lightweight, firmer underfoot ride with a high toe spring. The ride is firmer and snappy, providing a slightly stiffer ride with easier miles and a responsive ride when the pace picks up. There is no plate in this shoe, but the sole is rigid. The high toe spring smooths some of this out at the forefoot, making for a fast roll forward once you hit the front. There is a small posterior lateral heel bevel. Initially, heel landings feel stiff, but as the Flytefoam midsole breaks in, the transition improves, especially with faster paces. Although the heel-toe drop is only 5mm, the aggressive toe spring and mild heel bevel make this less noticeable. The Noosa Tri 14 feels light on foot and doubles as a lightweight trainer and workout/racing shoe. The cushioning is on the firmer side, so those that like that will be able to do longer miles. For me, the firmness made this great for moderate-length runs and workouts. I have done intervals, hill repeats and a moderate (6 mile) tempo run and these have felt great. The ride is especially snappy when the pace picks up, making the Noosa Tri 14 a great weekly alternative to doing workouts in carbon-plated racing shoes or a racing option for those who don't want a soft/unstable/stiff super foam shoe.

Doing longer efforts have been a little challenging as I have gotten used to more cushioning in footwear, but those used to less shoe will do well here. The durability has been above average in this shoe. Despite my usual mechanics, I have yet to wear through the additional outsole pieces. This is fairly good for me after 35 miles, so I expect a higher number of miles out of this lightweight trainer compared to others.

The ASICS Noosa Tri 13 really impressed me so I was looking forward to 14. The Noosa Tri 14 lived up to the hype. The Flytefoam midsole still leans on the firmer end but does feel a tad softer than the 13. This did balance out the transitions for me even more and create a more fluid ride throughout the platform. The toe spring is definitely noticeable in the forefoot, but feels much less abrupt than before. The heel bevel in the heel is not overly exaggerated, but enough to get the job done. The result is a nice and lively forefoot rocker that really keeps the runner feeling nimble. The shoe does not feel overdone in any way and performs really well at a large variety of paces. I have been able to run both slow and fast in this shoe and it provides great simplicity and liveliness. The Flytefoam midsole still gives a traditional EVA feel to it but the rest of the shoe provides an excellent performance weight and geometry to bring this shoe to life. Even with the absence of a new generation midsole or plate the Noosa Tri 14 still provides an incredibly vibrant experience.

I will say however traction is not the greatest. On road situations the Noosa 14 does just fine but I have found that the shoe can be a little less trustworthy in off road or trail conditions. Even on wide runnable dirt the shoe still doesn't feel quite right underfoot, but it does a decent enough job. On the road this is a hard shoe to beat for the category. Overall, this is a really well done performance trainer that can handle a little bit of everything and shines at long tempo efforts or controlled uptempo paces, though can still run slow comfortably as well.

Ryan: The Asics Noosa Tri 13 was one of my favorite stable/neutral trainers from last year so I was excited to try out this year's model. The 14 retains many of the features I enjoyed in the 13 but the Flytefoam EVA midsole feels slightly softer underfoot. Despite saying this, the midsole is still quite firm, helping to create a smooth toe off thanks to its pretty significant toe spring. Be aware, this will hold your toes in a small amount of extension making the shoe feel slightly shorter. The heel bevel creates a soft landing leading to a smooth transition to the forefoot and the upper does a good job securing the foot and providing a snug fit.  

The Noosa 14 is a versatile shoe that feels great running a variety of paces. For me, it feels best at Tempo speed but has no problem picking up the pace for faster interval sets. I was surprised just how snappy the shoe felt when speeding up. Long runs are no issue, and I was able to perform multiple 12-mile runs. The versatility of the Noosa makes it a good choice for daily mileage for some but also a neutral/stable, non-plated race shoe for others.  

My only issue with the Noosa 14 is the outsole traction. I frequently run on gravel paths and wet pavement during the summer and snow covered roads in the winter. This makes outsole grip important throughout the year. The Noosa 14 provides very little traction, and I would frequently feel my foot slipping from under me as I pushed off. If you plan on performing most of your running over gravel, wet, or snowy surfaces you may need to look elsewhere, otherwise reserve the Noosa 14 for your road training days when traction is less important.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is not a stability shoe, but a stable neutral shoe with some guidance elements. There are no traditional stability methods. However, there are mild sidewalls in the heel and the last/shape is inherently wider. The firmer overall ride also creates a more inherently stable platform. The large forefoot rocker and wider shape up front provide some facilitation for forward motion. Those with mild stability needs or neutral foot mechanics will do well here, while those who need more may need an orthotic or another option. Overall, this shoe provides mild guidance that has worked well for me over moderate mileage runs.

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is a neutral performance trainer and does not have any specific stability features. With that said it does a pretty good job throughout integrating some stability. The geometry and firmness of the shoe hold its geometry well and does seem to keep a sense of being grounded throughout the whole ride. There are some sidewalls created by the midsole that help provide a small amount of guidance while transitioning into the midfoot as well. The outsole does not provide the greatest traction though off of road and I did notice myself slipping a tad and not fully trusting the shoe when in dirt situations. For being a lightweight neutral performance trainer the Noosa does a pretty good job and I can't be mad with the results.

Ryan: The Asics Noosa Tri 14 comes with no true stabilizing components, but thanks to its geometry still provides a stable/neutral ride like that of the Noosa Tri 13. The firmer midsole doesn't feel mushy underfoot and the full contact outsole creates a large landing platform. The sidewalls are also built up helping keep the foot pointed forward. Even with the bungee laces, the upper does a nice job keeping the foot secure and I had no issues with my foot or ankle slipping in the shoe. The Noosa 14 should work for those runners that prefer a neutral shoe as well as those runners with mild stability needs.


Why Matt Klein Loves Sockless Running
I often reference sockless running, with little explanation as to why. It is fairly obvious that I am one of the odd people that doesn't always wear socks. Sometimes, it is nice to be able slip a pair of shoes on without the extra effort of putting socks on. While I test shoes without them, the majority of shoes I use socks in due to upper designs. It is rare that a shoe works without socks given the high number of overlays, inseams and various other upper elements that can easily rub and cause friction/blisters.   

The real reasons I test this is that going sockless can change the fit of the shoe and triathletes often go without socks during races. Socks add another layer upon the foot, decreasing the volume and width of a shoe depending on the sock thickness. I generally prefer extremely thin socks for this reason. Going without them can also create extra room. Triathletes are increasing in number and a common question I get from them is "Can I transition out of the water without socks in this shoe?"

In order to create a shoe that can handle sockless wear, there are a few things that are necessary. The inner liner must be seamless so nothing can rub on the shoe. Additional cushioning is needed to both hug the foot but also cushion it from any harder pieces in the upper. The upper needs to be breathable to address any sweat from the feet. This is important as additional moisture may increase the risk of friction and blisters. One of the last components is that the person wearing them needs to have experience with sockless wear. Regardless of how nice the upper is, going sockless will create some pressure on the skin. The skin, like any living tissue, can adapt to pressure or forces place upon it. Guitar players are inherently aware of this phenomenon given the calluses that form on their fingers. People that run barefoot are an even better example as the bottom of their feet may callus to provide additional protection and friction resistance from the ground. Every shoe fits every foot differently, so some degree of skin resistance to blister is necessary with any shoe regardless of the upper design. The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 addresses many of these elements (except the last one) and is an excellent choice for a runner wanting to experiment and experience this.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 has evolved into far more of a racing/workout shoe than its predecessor. It has been fun to get faster workouts in this shoe. My only suggestion is to be cautious with the aggressiveness of the toe spring. While a significant forefoot rocker is required to address the stiffness of the sole, the toes are held in a decent amount of extension. This also shortened the fit for me. It would be great if ASICS could maintain the forefoot rocker while reducing the angle of extension the toes are held in (toe spring). This will make the shoe accessible to a larger population, as not everyone has that much mobility in their toes. 

David: My main recommendation for the Noosa would be in traction. The shoe is so streamlined and excels in nearly all categories except for traction. The AHAR rubber does a decent enough job on road-specific situations, though struggles in pretty much everything else, including fire road. Creating just a tad more of a lug or even coverage, in general, would probably do the trick. Other than that I am very happy with ASICS Tri Noosa 14.

Ryan: The one aspect that could be improved in the Asics Noosa Tri 14 is the outsole traction. This is especially apparent under the toes where I frequently felt my foot slipping. While with road running this is less of an issue, I wouldn’t choose to take the Noosa 14 trail running anytime soon.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is a neutral performance/lightweight training shoe for those wanting a shoe to wear sockless, workout or race in. The firmer Flytefoam midsole is snappy underfoot, which combined with the aggressive toe spring makes for a fast ride when the pace picks up. The shoe moves quick enough that it is a solid option for those that want a lightweight and snappy shoe that does not have a plate or an unstable superfoam. The upper is comfortable enough to handle sockless wear, making it an excellent shoe for triathletes to train and race in. It does feel a little short, so those wanting a closer fit will enjoy it. Those who can handle firmer rides and a high toe spring may find that this shoe can handle some mileage/daily training, but it excels best when moving fast during workouts or races.

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 14 is a neutral performance training shoe that is traditional in some ways and innovative in others. The midsole is a traditional firmer riding EVA but the rest of the shoe follows solid new-generation integration to create a lively ride. The toe spring up front, streamlined upper, and balanced transitions create a very lively ride that feels good both slow and fast. For those wanting a shoe that can turn up the pace for workouts or even racing in some situations can look into the Noosa Tri 14. For me this is a great long tempo or long run shoe, but could easily be a daily trainer or racer for some.

Ryan: The Asics Tri Noosa 14 is for the runner that prefers a slightly firmer midsole and enjoys a rockered ride. The key advantage of the Noosa 14 is its versatility performing well during a variety of paces. If someone is looking to only purchase one shoe, the Noosa 14 makes a great option as it can be used effectively for training runs, interval training, and as a comfortable non-plated race shoe. Don’t let the Noosa being a “TRI” shoe scare you off from trying it.


Fit: A- (Seamless comfortable upper that works for sockless, but slightly short from aggressive toe spring)
A- (Firmer lightweight trainer with aggressive forefoot rocker. Works for those who can handle lightweight trainers and workout/races for triathletes and those not wanting a carbon plated super foamed shoe)
Stability: B+ [Stable Neutral] (Mild guidance methods will work well for those with neutral/mild stability needs. Rearfoot bevel could be a bit smoother)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+/A- (Solid upgrade dropping the weight while improving underfoot cushioning and not making shoe mushy. Excellent upgrade of upper to allow better sockless wear. Toe spring is still a bit more aggressive than it needs to be)
Personal: A- (One of my favorite lightweight trainers right now. I take this with me after work and it is easy to slip on without needing socks. 
Overall: B+/A-

Fit: A- (Good streamlined upper that locks down well and shaves off a lot of weight. The tongue can be a tiny but clunky but otherwise a great upper.)
A- (Really lively and nimble ride from heel to toe. The shoe is incredibly light and still responsive for the category. Traction could be better.)
Stability: B+ (Traction throughout could be better and the amount of exposed foam could be filled a tad to round out the shoe stability wise)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (I like the direction/hybrid of taking familiar midsole ingredients but providing relatively new experiences with the ride of the shoe)
Personal: A- (I am really enjoying the ASICS Tri Noosa 14. The only thing that is deterring is the instability in off road conditions, but otherwise I love the ride.)
Overall: A- (Really well done performance trainer keeping the weight down and balancing simplicity and innovation)

Fit: A-
(Secure and comfortable upper that fits slightly snug. I appreciate the tongue loop for ease of putting the shoe on and off)
Performance:  A-/A
(A versatile shoe that performs well during a variety of paces. Slightly limited with its poor outsole traction over gravel and wet surfaces.)
Stability: B+
(Stable/neutral trainer with no true structural components. Still provides a stable ride for runners with neutral to minimal stability needs) 
DPT/Footwear Science: A-
(Firmness of the midsole and secure upper creates a snappy shoe to be used for a variety of runs from race to recovery)
Personal: A
(I typically prefer a softer midsole; however, the Noosa 14 provided a fun, comfortable ride that will remain in my rotation for tempo, interval, and easy day mileage. Bonus points as I enjoy the bright colors and crazy design.)    
Overall:  A-
(Overall a well done, versatile shoe. May be a good option for runners looking to purchase only one shoe for all their training/racing needs)     


ASICS Noosa Tri 14
Price: $129.95, Coming Soon

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at ASICS for sending us a pair.  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 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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