Built for speed, these carbon-plated Asics Fujispeed 2 trail shoes are surprisingly versatile and keep your feet cushioned and comfy even over multi-terrain 20km efforts.

Asics has designed the Fujispeed 2 as a fast off-road shoe, with an improved mid-sole and a full-length carbon plate. Lightweight uppers and FF Blast Plus Foam in theory combine to create a lightweight and responsive trail shoe, but is it one of the best running shoes and as fast as Fuji says?

Men’s Fitness verdict

These versatile mud-slingers cope well with wet, gnarly and muddy terrain and stay comfortable over long distances, though they don’t quite have the top-end performance for racing.
  • Comfortable and well cushioned
  • Sheds mud and water quickly
  • Copes well with varying terrain
  • There are cheaper alternatives
  • A lighter, grippier shoe might be better for racing

How we test the best running shoes

Our testers put each shoe through their paces over a mixture of distances and paces to see where they excel, and clocked up significant distances in each one to examine how they wear over time. Each reviewer focused on speed, stability and comfort during test runs, while also assessing the effectiveness of any high-tech features on offer. Their detailed reviews are sure to help you choose the right running shoe for you.

A worn pair of Asics running shoes
The Asics Fujispeed 2 offers good grip on wet, muddy terrain

Asics Fujispeed 2 design

My first impressions of the Asics Fujispeed 2 were that they fitted true to size and were comfortable, with no rubbing seams. This is a flat, solid off-road shoe, neither heavy nor light. As soon as you walk around in them you can feel there is very little in the way of cushioning, but that’s what you want with a pair of fast trail shoes. They have a full-length carbon plate which on harder ground should help boost your speed.

My first test was on a five-mile trail run along a river path and up a hill into farm fields. The shoes coped well in the sticky mud on the paths, and through the wetter muddy sections. But over ground rich in clay the going got slippery, though the lugs on the Fujispeed 2’s soles stayed relatively mud-free.

These off-road Asics were comfortable enough over roads, but on my first run they were noticeably harder on my feet on the short road sections. Fast trail shoes like these will never give you the same level of road comfort as a well cushioned pair of dedicated road shoes. Good trail shoes give you close contact to the ground, as well as stability and speed over rough terrain. Some can be used more on the roads than others, and I’d say that after bedding then in the Asics Fujispeed 2 is fine for changing terrain, including road.

Asics Fujispeed 2 comfort

These shoes felt so comfortable, I had no problems with five-mile trail runs, even without wearing socks. They’re ideal for longer runs, too, I’d recommend them for anything up to an off-road half marathon. For anything longer, especially if you’re looking at an ultra, I’d look at options with more build-in comfort and cushioning, such as the Hoka Speedgoat.

Half-way through an 11-mile run there were sections where the river has flooded and stretches of path were ankle-deep in cold water. I found the webbed upper of the Asics Fujispeed 2, which lets water in quickly, also works well to dispel it as I ran. So although my feet remained damp, they weren’t sloshing in water.

Should you buy the Asics Fujispeed 2?

For me these Asics off-road shoes are a good multi-purpose option. They’re good for varying terrain, and are ideal for longer off-road adventures. However, for some they might not the best shoes for cross-country racing. They are fast, though, and the 4.5m lugs give good grip over most surfaces.

I’d take them racing over courses that are dryer and less challenging, where they’d be fast and reliable. On more challenging courses you’d probably want a pair of cross-country spikes. Or you could try the Innov-8 mudtalons, which I think perform better than spikes with their 8mm lugs covering the whole sole.