Sunday, March 4, 2012

Asics Gel Fuji Racer

For over the past two months I have been transitioning to trail running on weekends to get some gut busting hill climbs in to really pick up my speed for road racing, plus it is cool enough to get a change of scenery out on the desert mountains in South Phoenix. My shoe of choice has been the Brooks Cascadia which has a great design and really protects your feet from rocky terrain. 

I was researching my next pair of trails shoes when I came across this video review from Runner's World of the Asics Gel Fuji Racer. articularly of interest are the holes in the out sole to easily allow the extraction of water. You don't always need water proof materials to keep your feet dry, in fact sometimes it works against you as in hot weather when sweaty feet end up swimming with no venting capabilities.

Asics Gel Fuji Racer

While on a hike in the Grand Canyon my limited rock skipping prowess left my feet in a wash, but since the material breathed so well, my feet were dry in no time. Of course now there are hydrophobic treatments like the ion-mask™ technology used by Magnum boots that doesn't effect the venting capability of the footwear, while keeping water out. It has been tested and proven to work, but we will have to see when put to the test of 110+ fahrenheit  when the sweat rolls down into your sock. These are conditions where you definitely need the help of evaporation or moisture-wicking to dry things up.

As common sense can tell you, gravity can be a great force in draining any unneeded water. A lot of clothing and gear are designed with holes at the bottom of key pooling areas for this vary purpose. Clearly Asics designers caught on to this concept along with the driving force of the foot when running as an added push to get the wet out. While draining rain water is not a pressing issue in the Arizona desert, it is great to see that different innovations are being put to work for those trail runners that come across rainy weather or an unintentional dip into some water that simply couldn't be helped.

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