Most people spend a ton of time at a barbecue or on the beach throughout Memorial Day Weekend. But I spent much of mine wear-testing a new training shoe from Asics.
The Irvine, Calif.-based athletic brand has a strong foundation in run. However, the label also has several sneakers that fitness-focused consumers could benefit from wearing in the gym. The brand’s latest style, built for rigorous cross-training workouts, is the Weldon X.
In three days I put the shoes through three different workouts, starting with cardio- and agility-focused training on my local high school football field (and its bleachers), followed by one day of high-intensity interval training in the gym and another of heavier lifting.
Although this shoe differs greatly from any of Asics’ run offerings, you could easily sprint in them or do short runs pain-free. The Weldon X boasts several of the brand’s proprietary cushioning compounds underfoot, including its popular Gel technology in the forefoot and heel, a FuzeGel midsole, and its lightweight and spongelike Solyte material also in the midsole.
But the combined technology does not make the shoe overly plush. Instead, it provides enough cushioning to run comfortably as part of an overall fitness routine without sacrificing the firmness needed for heavier lifts.
The Weldon X traction story is also worth noting. Its AHAR Plus outsole boasts an atypical lug pattern equipped to grip any surface you’re working out on (I started on a turf football field a day after it rained — admittedly not the best time to train outside). That level of grip did not change later when I hit the damp bleachers to run or the following days on the gym floor.
Arguably the shoe’s best asset for HIIT training is its weight. The Weldon X, according to Asics, weighs 7.7 ounces in men’s sizing. But when elevating for moves like box jumps or lateral jumps over a bag (a move I borrowed from MMA legend Bas Rutten), you’d question if they even weighed that much.
The shoe also did not disappoint during strength training. I really noticed its stability when I performed a standing shoulder press, where I thrusted a weighted barbell above my head from a standing position. With this move, even at a low weight, I noticed I often move my feet. But in the Weldon X, I found that my heel stayed in place and that I could easily force my forefoot into the ground, keeping me from shuffling my feet mid-press.
The women’s colorways of the shoe arrived in stores and online via asics.com on June 1, followed by the release of men’s sizing. The Asics Weldon X retails for $110.