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Review: Asics Super J33


With natural running in full-swing, it’s time for Asics to reaffirm the position as one of the leading manufacturers in the world. It would be reasonable to suggest their first attempt at natural running fell short of the competition and consequently failed to deliver the positive impact they were hoping for. Simply put, the Gel-Hyper33’s dimensions didn’t do enough to differentiate between a conventional mileage trainer and a natural running shoe.

It’s important to clear up a few myths when it comes to natural running shoes, it’s often thought that less is always more but this isn’t always the case. When it comes to feet, too little can be as harmful as too much. Every runner has varying strengths and weaknesses in their foot, which means there is no such thing as a miracle shoe. It’s important to find a shoe which offers the heel elevation, support, cushioning and fit that works for you.

A key feature to the Asics Super J33 is the revolutionary FluidAxis™. This innovative technology helps to maintain a more natural alignment as the foot goes through the Gait-cyle. The deep flex grooves have been designed to complement the natural movement of the foot, in particular the Subtalar Joint. Built with the mild to moderate pronator in mind it makes an excellent choice for those looking to add a natural running shoe to their collection.

The axis of the Subtalar Joint moves during running. With pronation it moves inwards (medially), and with supination it moves more towards the outer edge of the foot (laterally). By applying a force more in line with the axis, greater support can be obtained to the foot. The FluidAxis™ is designed to line up more with the medial Subtalar Joint axis, meaning greater pronatory support can be obtained. Although a new innovation in footwear, modifications to orthotics following this principle has been published both in the UK and USA (Harradine et al, 2008 and 2011).

First thing you notice when you put the Super J33 on is how it hugs to the foot. The toe-box cradles the forefoot to provide the quintessential fit with a seamless upper. As you take your first steps you feel the responsive nature of the shoe coming through the forefoot, baring resemblance to a racing flat but with added stability from the FluidAxis™.

Like all natural running shoes it’s important to build the miles slowly, we started with a 3 mile easy run but found the Super J33 suitable for longer distances too. Our wear testers found they were able to use the shoes for a variety of workouts including fast tempo run, longs run and even interval sessions. The only knock, we found on warmer days or during treadmill workouts your feet can become quite hot due to the welded overlays, aside from that, they are fantastic shoe.