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Deep Dive: Asics Noosa Tri 13

Noosa fans will notice a rather dramatic update from the 12 to the 13.

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Review Rating


Lucky 13? Asics substantially altered the Noosa Tri, charging the now-rockered ride with Guide Sole technology and a greater stack height so it runs like a carbon-less super shoe that rolls you right onto your toes.


Perky snappiness makes them fun

Runs like a carbon-less super shoe

Firm yet energy-returning midsole


Instability of a dramatic rocker

The look might be too much of a statement for some





Review Rating

Fit: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ | Cushion: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Performance: ★ ★ ★ ★

Asics Noosa Tri 13: The Basics

The Noosa Tri 13 is more rockered than its predecessor and now uses Asics’ Guide Sole technology with a lower drop but greater stack height, moving from what had been stack heights of 20mm and 12mm to 25mm and 20mm. That changed geometry positions the shoe for up-tempo speedwork or racing, and the cushioning keeps them comfortable for a wide variety of distances. The Noosa 13 runs like a carbon-less super shoe, performing best at a quick clip. It features a firm yet energy-returning midsole and an early rocker that almost immediately rolls you forward from the stance phase into toe-off, making for an energetic performance. These are best for higher-cadence runners who enjoy their natural turnover and quick feet.

RELATED – Spring 2021 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Running Shoes

Asics Noosa Tri 13: The Good

These lightweight trainer/racers are well suited for tempo work or racing half to full marathons. The gusseted tongue was appreciated by our testers, as was the stretchy engineered mesh. Some of the testers used the shoes without socks and there was universal appreciation for the comfort and security of the upper fit. The seamless one-piece upper’s lack of hot-melt overlays, which had caused blisters in past Noosa models, especially when worn with bare feet, also got the nod of approval. The fit is true to size. Remarked one tester, “Because it looked like just a statement shoe I was surprised how well the shoes felt running. They were a fun ride.” Another said, “They look like someone melted a box of tropical colored Crayola Crayons on them!”

Asics Noosa Tri 13: The OK

The combination of rocker and higher stack height made for some instability and lack of responsiveness. The test team didn’t find the Noosa cornered well, making it a less versatile shoe. Fortunately, the Noosa 13 still performed under most training and racing situations, likely due to the wider platform, neutral design, and firmness of the FlyteFoam midsole that managed to provide ample cushioning when compressed under one’s weight. Testers reported that the shoes performed better at a faster clip, possibly due to the toe-spring of the rocker. 


The use of Guide Sole tech with a higher stack height—which was increased by almost a full centimeter over the previous model—and a wider platform changes the dynamic of the Noosa. Now, especially because the aggressive early rocker action, the shoe typically assists in an almost immediate gait flow from rearfoot to roll-through. The action is dramatic enough that the performance may allow you to match the dramatic statement of the upper appearance. As such, hardcore Noosa fans will notice the shift in the update from the 12 to the 13, even though the shoe retains its loud statement appearance and, in keeping with its tri heritage, comes with a quick lace option. 

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