Asics Roadhawk FF
In the early 90’s when running shoe brands were really ramping up on technology and line segmentation there were two brands that really had mind share with runners who were running for speed. Nike was THE brand of course. They were the most innovative and shoes like the Air Mariah and Sock Racer were just a couple of their many go fast shoes. Asics at the time had a number of racing flats that people loved and came out with the Gel Lyte and the Gel DS Trainer to compliment those racing flats on the training side. Asics rarely missed a beat with those shoes and their updates. The minimalism craze woke a number of brands up and seemed to put Asics on defense. While Saucony capitalized with Kinvara the DS Trainer became somewhat heavy in feel and the Gel Lyte went through change after change until finally just going away. They introduced the 33 line but it didn’t go anywhere. In the events I analyze the Asics share which remains at the top has been dwindling and it’s all due to Lightweight trainers. Brooks, New Balance, Saucony and Adidas continue to put emphasis on the lightweight category and Asics was going through an identity crisis.
That’s why when I saw the Roadhawk FF I had to give it a run. Speed and Versatility is what Asics promises with the shoe.
Weight Men’s: 8.6oz
Weight Women’s: 6.7oz
Midsole Drop: 8mm
Midsole Stack: 19mm/11mm
Other Shoes that match functionally:
New heel construction for Asics. It works great on the Roadhawk FF. It’s secure and low on the heel at the same time. It feels really good.
Hoka brought this back to shoe construction and it’s good to see others use it. By wrapping up the sidewall of the shoe your heel sits deep in a cradle. Even though there is no physical posting to support your foot, you get functional support from the cradle and that feels good.
Years ago when Nike asked me to describe what made Asics shoes so good I said “Attention to detail”. This $100 shoe looks much more expensive because they put as much attention to this as they do the Kayano. It’s’ simply a well crafted shoe.
The value put into this shoe is outstanding. The fit, feel and functional design for $100 is a huge value.
It’s not really the foam I don’t like. In fact this foam on the Dynaflight feels great. This foam on the Roadhawk feels really firm. I like firm shoes but what I think Asics needs to do is determine a feel they want from FlightFoam and stick to it. When a shoe says FlightFoam you should have an expectation and that expectation should be met.
I think the firm feel has more to do with the rubber than the foam. This rubber is down right hard. It’s so hard it clicks on the road while running. I’m a quiet runner most of the time. Not with this darn clicking sound though. Click, click, click.
I’m clearly not getting the point across. These feel great in the store but they flatten out fast. There are more dynamic feeling insoles on the market and many brands are finding they develop their own better feeling insoles.
It’s great to see Asics back in the game of lightweight with a legitimate shoe. The Roadhawk FF at $100 is a huge design and feel success. If you are a huge Asics fan you’ll like the feel of this shoe. If you are looking to save some money the $100 and the functional support will satisfy two needs. You’ll receive $160 attention to detail at $100.
If you are looking for a soft ride pass on this shoe. It’s not soft which is not bad but if you have to have soft you’ll be disappointed.