Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

ASICS Noosa Tri 16 Review
By David Salas, Matthew Klein, and Andrea Myers

The ASICS Noosa Tri series has been a successful lightweight trainer that caters to both runners and triathletes. The shoe has a slim and lightweight design with smooth transitions on fatigued legs with consideration for quick donning and doffing of the shoes. While attempting for many years to have an upper that worked for sockless running as so many triathletes need during transitions, may prior versions came close but didn't quite make it. Version 16 comes in as the most nimble version that keeps weight low, increases the stack height and creates one of the most comfortable uppers in the series that finally works for sockless running. 

ASICS Noosa Tri 16
Price: $140 at ASICS
Weight: 7.6 oz, 215 g (men's size 9), 6.5 oz, 185 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: M: 34.5 mm / 29.5 mm; W: 33.5 mm / 28.5 mm 
Drop: 5 mm 
Shoe Purpose: Triathlon Specific Lightweight Trainer/Racer

Pros: Lightweight yet comfortable, versatile
Cons: Volume and midfoot can be snug for some


The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a lightweight training shoe for both running and the triathlon. A softer upper, slightly snugger fit and well-cushioned FF Blast+ midsole are some of the changes seen in this complete overhaul. A new upper finally works best for those running sockless with good against skin comfort. A more rockered profile makes this comfortable for easier efforts while the moderate stiffness and continued lightweight give it the versatility needed to accomplish faster efforts. A great option for those wanting a lighter shoe for training or those wanting a non-plated, non-super foam for longer racing, the Noosa Tri 16 returns more aggressive and finally appropriate for sockless wearing.

SIMILAR SHOES: Brooks Hyperion, Hoka Mach 6

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 fits me short in my normal men's US size 10. Without wearing socks, it fits more true to size with a normal to slightly snug, performance fit. The volume throughout the length of the shoe is slightly low especially across the toes. The upper mesh does have some stretch to it, so there is mild adaptability. The toe does taper, but fortunately this is offset by the mild stretch of the mesh. The forefoot is normal to slightly snug. This transitions into a slightly snug midfoot with a well-gusseted, thinner tongue. The gusset helps secure the foot so I did not have to lace lock or even tighten the laces that much. The heel is slightly snug with a decent amount of heel collar cushioning/padding. There is a stiffer heel counter that is offset by the padding. Those with extremely sensitive heels will not do well but I have not had much issue due to how much padding there is in the back. I have not worn socks at all with this shoe and this is the first Noosa that I have been able to only wear sockless without issues. I have not had any major hotspots running up to 10 miles except for a minor one on my left heel (that has the more prominent haglund deformity). That occurred only on the first run and has not been an issue since then. It fits better without socks, so those wanting to have socks should consider a half size up. Those wanting a shoe that can handle sockless running should definitely take a look. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 fits true to size in my men's 9.5. The width of the shoe throughout is of normal width. The volume through the midfoot and lacing system can be a little bit snug, though the dimensions of the shoe are made pretty well. The upper material is comfortable and soft, though breathes well. The material also holds its structure well with turning and uneven footing. There is a decently stiff heel counter, though there is enough padding around it that it did not provide me any irritation. There is also extra material both on the tongue and on the heel to help with quick donning and doffing of the shoe when you are in quick transitions for triathlons. For me, I do not find that I used the pull tabs, though in those situations perhaps I would. I really enjoyed the upper, though I would like to see a little bit more volume through the midfoot, as the laces were a little bit tight near the ankle crease.

David's Typical Size: Men's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit David well: Nike Vomero 17, Saucony Ride 16, Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Shoes that have fit snug: HOKA Arahi 7
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon Aero Glide

Andrea: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. The large toe spring makes the toe box feel slightly short, but I did not experience any toe irritation associated with this. The toe box has just enough width that I did not experience any pressure on my 1st or 5th MTPs, and I found the midfoot and rearfoot to be of normal width. The gusseted tongue integrates nicely with the upper and has the same midfoot wrap feel that I love in the Novablast 4. The upper is breathable and lightweight, which I have appreciated during a couple weeks of 80 and 90 degree temperatures here in CT. It was easy for me to lock my foot down in the shoe without overly tightening the laces. The rearfoot has a rigid heel counter in the lower half of the heel and a flexible upper half. The heel collar has ample padding, which contributed to a secure and comfortable heel hold. I found the fit to be comfortable and I did not really notice the shoe on my foot while running, which is always a positive sign.

Andrea's Typical Size: Women's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit Andrea well: New Balance Beacon v3, Brooks Hyperion Max, Topo Cyclone 2, Nike Vaporfly 3, Altra Via Olympus 2
Shoes that have fit snug: Saucony Kinvara 14 (length and toe box width), Altra FWD Experience (length and width), Hoka Cielo Road (toe box width), Saucony Endorphin Speed and Pro 1-3 (length)
Shoes that have fit large: Adidas Boston 12 (length), Adidas Adios 8 (length)

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Just okay
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: No
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Somewhat
How Flexible is the Shoe: Moderately Stiff
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Yes
Recommended for Haglunds: No
Recommended for Sockless: Yes
Durability Expectation: Above Average


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a lightweight trainer that has versatility from training to faster workouts. Those who want a faster, non-plated, non-super foam shoe for racing may also be interested in this shoe. The midsole features full-length FF Blast+ that feels slightly firm, well cushioned and snappy underfoot. There is plenty of material underfoot with a taller but not maximal stack height of 34.5 mm in the heel. This provides a protective feel that is still light at 7.6 oz for men's size 9. There is a 5mm drop that is somewhat noticeable. This is offset by the solid heel and forefoot rockers. The heel transition is fairly smooth small to medium-sized, centered heel bevel. This transitions into a stiffer but quick transitioning midfoot. The forefoot features an early rocker which combined with mild flexibility makes for a smooth and easy forefoot transition. This transition changes depending on the speed. At easy paces it feels comfortable and slightly soft. At faster paces, it feels snappy and quick. The Noosa Tri 16 can do both easier running and faster workouts. I have done 10 mile longer runs, fartleks, hill repeats and tempos in this shoe. While not the fastest shoe compared to super shoes, it still responds well and feels great running fast. Even during shorter repeats it felt great.

For those reasons, the Noosa Tri 16 is clearly a lightweight trainer that can be a do it all training/fast shoe for those who want something light but do not want a super foam or plate. The added bonuses are that the traction and durability are excellent for me after 30 miles, with no wear on the outsole to be seen. I have run tons of miles over wet pavement and never slipped. I would keep this shoe mostly for road surfaces but it can do softer surfaces for short periods. So despite the lighter weight, this shoe should last a long time.

David: I have always been a fan of the Noosa Tri series and that continues with this model. The Noosa Tri 16 has a very light weight and nimble field to it. From the 15th iteration of the shoe to the 16th iteration, the shoe was updated in the midsole. The Noosa Tri 16 now uses FlyteFoam Blast + and gives a slightly softer and bouncier feel that the previous versions. This is certainly evident at the toe off phase of gait. I found that the change in foam did enhance the long distance usage of the shoe. In the previous model I was hesitant to run longer than 13 miles, though I feel I can take this updated model up to 20 without major issue. I had a very smooth experience at a 12 mile effort already. The shoe does have a gentle a rocker design, though does have some flexibility through the forefoot that allows for a more natural feeling transition in that region. 

Outsole traction is good and I had no issues with gripping road or runnable dirt. The heel bevel was done well and I did feel that there was a good transition through initial contact, though the midfoot does have some exposed midsole in the form of a midline groove. This did have some collapse in the foam when running, and I do think it would benefit from being filled in a little bit along the medial and lateral aspects to prevent a slapping and collapsing sensation. This is me being picky though. I did really enjoy that shoe overall. The forefoot transition has a slight rocker to it with moderate flexibility. I found that I really like the shoe daily paces to uptempo paces. The shoe does lose a little bit of pop with top speeds, though this would be an excellent training companion or "everything" shoe.

Andrea: I was excited to finally test the Noosa Tri 16 because I have heard the guys here at DOR rave about them for the past few years, but I had never tried them. One relatively consistent issue I have had with ASICS shoe is the large toe spring sometimes results in too great of a reduction in toe box volume, causing pain and irritation on the dorsum of my toes. It became clear on my first test run that this would not be an issue, and I have really enjoyed getting miles on the shoe. The 5mm drop, well designed heel bevel, early forefoot rocker, and large toe spring all combined to make this shoe work well for midfoot landings. I often find that shoes with very early forefoot rockers make me progress through stance phase too quickly because I land right behind the apex, but thankfully that is not the case in the Noosa Tri 16. I tested the shoe on several easy runs, as well as at threshold pace and strides. The shoe felt well suited to each pace and its light weight makes it a great choice for a non plated performance trainer. I found the FFBlast+ to provide plenty of underfoot protection without feeling soft. At easy paces, the shoe feels protective and cushioned, but as I picked up the pace, the shoe becomes more responsive and the rocker becomes more apparent. My longest run in the shoe was 8 miles, but I would not hesitate to take it longer in the future. For me, this shoe works best for regular easy runs and easy runs with strides or pickups, but I could see this shoe being a great do-it-all shoe for some runners. 

The high amount of rubber coverage of the outsole resulted in good traction on wet roads and on a dry dirt trail. I have 30 miles on my pair and there is no visible wear on the outsole. I would expect higher than average durability out of the Noosa Tri 16.

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a neutral shoe with mild guidance methods. There are some mild sidewalls in the midfoot but are fairly minor. The midfoot is narrowed with a medial taper. This offsets any guidance from the mild sidewalls but midsole stiffness and central groove keeps this solidly neutral. There is mild sole flare at the heel and forefoot. The lateral flare is more prominent in the forefoot which does help the transition off the first toe. The forefoot is slightly more stable due to the flare and slightly wider shape. The good forefoot rocker also helps keep a solid transition forward. Overall, the Noosa Tri 16 is solidly neutral at all parts of the shoe, but is also not unstable. 

David:  The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 would fall into the stable neutral category. The shoe has a decent amount of sole flaring around the platform with some gentle sidewalls through the midfoot as well. The upper also has great security throughout, despite being a tad tight on the dorsum of the foot at the ankle joint. The outsole traction is good and trustworthy for most situations. The foam is a tad softer than previous versions and I did notice a little bit of collapse in the midline of the shoe through the midfoot where the groove is. I do think I'd like to see that filled in a little, though otherwise I am quite happy with the shoe from a stability standpoint. 

Andrea: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a neutral shoe that borders on stable neutral for me. The laterally biased forefoot sole flare felt like it helped me load my 1st MTP better than other shoes. The early forefoot rocker and large toe spring provide plenty of assistance into push off, although the level of assistance is reduced by the somewhat flexible forefoot. The wider forefoot platform extends all the way to the midfoot and lends some stability to midfoot landings. The well fitting upper does an excellent job of securing the foot in the shoe, which was particularly noticeable when running on a dirt trail. 

Runner's 101: How Do Socks Impact Shoe Fit?
By Matthew Klein

One of the reasons I like sockless running is that it has been an easy way to create more room for my toes. As someone who really got into running during the minimalist phase, having a wider toe box has always been something I preferred. Going sockless was an easy way to get a little more room in shoes that back then often had narrow or tapered toe boxes. Fortunately, in today's footwear realm, the front of shoes have been getting wider (for the most part) and toe box tapers seem to be less aggressive than they once were. That side, I still like to see if shoes can handle sockless running because it is one less piece of gear I need to worry about and gives me a little more room.

While there is frequent discussion on how the upper and shape of a shoe impacts fit, how your sock choice impacts fit is often not discussed. The thickness of the sock will make a shoe feel more cramped by altering the available volume, width and length within the shoe. Thicker socks will make a shoe fit more snug whereas thinner socks or no socks will provide more room. This concept can also be used to modify the fit of a shoe for you. If a shoe is slightly too wide, thicker socks may be better to offset that. If something is too snug, a thinner sock will be a better option to try to get the shoe to work. Not all shoes work well going sockless, so the Noosa Tri 16 is a rare shoe this can be accomplished in to provide more room.


Matt: The Noosa Tri 16 is the best version I have tried so far as it the first one I have been able to run in sockless without issue. The weight has stayed light while the cushioning has continued to improve while not losing the snappiness that allows it to move at quicker paces. My major suggestions are to add a bit more midfoot width and a little more volume to the forefoot. The midfoot width will make the shoe a little more stable. The forefoot volume will make the shoe feel slightly less tapered/short, which may be helpful with going sockless over longer efforts. Outside of that, this is a great update.

David: My main recommendation for the ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is to clean up the fit through the midfoot a tad. The upper is comfortable and secure, though I do find myself trying to ease the pressure on the dorsum of my foot than I am trying to find a good lockdown. The lockdown is great, and the volume there could be increased a tad. The other thing would be to play with the outsole a little pattern a little. I like the midline groove though I do think filling in the sides would make for a smoother midfoot experience when loading it.

Andrea: I have greatly enjoyed testing the Noosa Tri 16 and do not have many recommendations to improve it. The only minor thing I would recommend is to increase the length of the shoe slightly to make up for the reduction in forefoot volume due to the toe spring. Otherwise, this is a great performance trainer at an even better value.


Matt: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a lightweight training/workout shoe for someone who wants a moderately cushioned, slightly firmer/snappier riding shoe for easy runs to faster paces. This shoe will do great for those who want a lighter/nimble shoe that balance cushioning and versatility into faster efforts. It is also a great race option for those who do not want a super foam or plate but still want something quick. The transitions are smoother than ever but those with neutral mechanics will do best. This is the first version I can completely suggest going sockless in, so triathletes practicing or performing their transition between wet and dry efforts should have no problem with this great upper. Those who do not like socks will also find a great option in a shoe that can handle a variety of efforts. 

David: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is a lightweight running shoe for someone who wants a nimble experience with moderate cushioning. This shoe will serve as an excellent training companion for a racing model. The shoe also has no plate and will work for those that are sensitive to having those in shoes. Those looking for a shoe that can do a little bit of everything will find that this shoe performs quite well. 

Andrea: The ASICS Noosa Tri 16 is lightweight performance trainer that feels particularly suited to midfoot landings, and at $140, is an incredible value for its versatility. This shoe could fill the roles of daily trainer, performance trainer, and racer if someone wanted to keep things simple and/or has a limited budget. It is also a great option for those who want a slightly lower stack shoe (crazy that a shoe in the low 30mm range in the heel is lower stack, but here we are in 2024) and/or a non-plated shoe. A bonus is the unique and eye catching colorway of this shoe, which I have enjoyed. Kudos to ASICS for making such a versatile, light weight, relatively inexpensive performance trainer.


Fit: A- (Comfortable, slightly snug upper that does great with sockless running. Does run slightly short, although better without socks)
A- (Versatile from easy runs to workouts. Snappy and mildly firm but well cushioned. )
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Neutral but not unstable. Midfoot narrows but offset by central groove and slightly stiff midsole)
Value: A ($135 is a great deal for this highly durable, comfortable shoe with a solid amount of versatility)
Personal: A- (The first shoe I can trust completely for sockless running. Plus it is comfortable, snappy, lightweight and does a great deal)
Overall Design: A- 

Fit: A- (great fit throughout, though volume through the midfoot could be increased a little bit more to decrease pressure on the dorsum of the foot)
Performance: A 
(lightweight and versatile for a large variety of uses, daily training to potentially long distance racing for some)
Stability: A- (Stable neutral for me throughout the platform and experience, though midfoot region does have a little bit of collapse on the platform)
Value: A (Can do everything you ask of it and should last pretty well)
Personal: A (This will be a shoe on my feet for long runs and workouts for some time)
Overall Design: A-/A 

Fit: A- (Sufficient toe box width, length feels a little short due to toe spring, but no resulting toe irritation. Secure midfoot fit, similar to Novablast 4.)
Performance: A 
(a shoe that can handle any pace, feels light on foot, and has excellent traction)
Stability: A- [neutral] (Borderline stable neutral for my mechanics, well done laterally biased forefoot sole flare for those of us who need a little help loading the 1st MTP. Pleased that the early forefoot rocker and large toe spring worked well for midfoot landings.)
Value: A ($140 for a shoe this light and that can handle any pace is a phenomenal value.)
Personal: A (The shoe lived up to the DOR hype :) It definitely has a place in my rotation now.)
Overall Design: A-/A


ASICS Noosa Tri 16
Price: $140 (coming soon to RW)

Shop Men
| Shop Women

*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Naked Belt The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist.
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


 Newton CF1 Carbon Racer | Review
 Newton Running releases their first super shoe.

 Asics Magic Speed 4 | Review
 Asics revamps the shoe with a super max stack.

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running


Check out the Doctors of Running Podcast to find more reviews, interviews, and running features from the team.

Visit our Podcast Page
Find us on Apple
Find us on Spotify

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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we 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.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at

Asics Magic Speed 4

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>