Known most for excelling in the running shoe market, Japanese brand Asics have released a number of impressive football boots this year and the model leading the charge is the DS Light X-Fly. While there are two models of the shoe, one coming in a full kangaroo leather upper with the other featuring a synthetic upper, we take a closer look at the latter in our Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review. Thanks to Melinda for making this review possible.
For review, I received the Flash Yellow/Deep Blue/Neon Orange colorway. It should be noted that there is currently one other colorway available coming in a predominantly matte black along with green and white detailing. While I feel that the alternate colorway is class personified, the yellow schematic comes across as garish and much too loud. With that said, it is simply the colorway I am not a huge fan of rather than the design and build of the boot itself.
Although it might be hard to believe, this colorway is actually brighter than online images suggest. Some of the luminosity and vibrancy is lost as dirt and mud takes its toll, but that is something I welcomed as it took some of the edge off a nigh blinding color scheme. One other thing to note, the Flash Yellow is actually much more of a vibrant green, so do not expect these boots to complement the Borussia Dortmund kit very well.
Focusing more on the detailing of the X-Fly, the build and general look of the boot is quite similar to the adidas F50 adiZero MiCoach. The boot, bar the blue detailing, mostly consists of one of two greens, with a slightly darker green being complemented by a lighter green with extra sheen that features around the laces, the heel counter, and where the soleplate meets the upper. There are then flashes of blue and orange, including multicolored studs, which round off the design of the boot.
As aforementioned, while I am admittedly not a huge fan of this particular colorway, I do believe that Asics have found a good balance between modern and heritage with the design of the DS Light X-Fly MS.
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I prioritize a boot’s comfort over everything else. On top of that, you will know that I am not easy to please, so when I give an 8.5/10 for this category, it is no mean feat.
I came into this part of testing with low expectations as I have had painful encounters with synthetic boots in the past. Wearing the X-Fly in training straight out of the box was an incredible experience however, and one in which I was thoroughly impressed. The micro-synthetic leather molds to your feet instantly, something usually only associated with full leather materials, so you can expect a seamless breaking in period with absolutely no hot spots.
The lining around the heel and ankle area has an almost plush feel to it, thanks to the slightly coarse suede used. The reason I describe it as being coarse, a word that typically has a negative connotation attached to it, is that it provides for great traction and prevents any unwanted movement in the heel region. Staying on the topic of the heel region, the ankle is significantly lower cut than many boots on the market. Whether or not you prefer lower cut boots or not, the tight snug fit that is provided by the DS Light X-Fly is a joy, particularly the locking effect that occurs around the ankles.
In regards to sizing, I wore my typical US10.5 for this review, and found that while the fit was more or less true to size, there is a little bit of wiggle room that some may not like, so if you prefer a tighter fit, you might consider ordering down half a size.
Unlike many of its competitors currently on the market, the Asics DS Light X-Fly MS does not really boast any performance enhancing features worthy of noting, and ironically enough, that actually contributes to a boot that performs admirably well.
Touch: Although kangaroo leather is credited with offering the best touch out of any material in regards to football boots, the thin micro-synthetic upper used for the X-Fly offers a fantastic touch that rivals that provided by any other synthetic or leather boot. The ultra thin upper truly does make for a barefoot like feel, and because of the lack of material separating your foot from the ball, bringing the ball down from Xabi Alonso-esque passes is something you’ll hope to do more often when sporting the X-Fly.
Kicking: Striking the ball, whether it is clearing the ball out from the backline, playing a simple one two with your fellow midfielder, or volleying home past the keeper, is arguably the most important aspect of the Beautiful Game, and the DS Light X-Fly MS performs well in this aspect. Going back to the barefoot feeling provided by the thin upper, this comes into play once again as you can really strike the ball without worrying about too much material being between your foot and it. The low profile centered lacing system stays out of the way while also allowing for a large ball striking surface on the instep. So without professing to contain any power or kicking technologies, due to the sheer simplistic and thin nature of the upper, kicking in the Asics DS Light X-Fly MS is an experience that won’t let you down.
Traction: Utilizing a soleplate similar to the SprintFrame that features on the adidas F50 adiZero, the traction you get while wearing the X-Fly is superb. The conical studs vary in length with the back studs measuring in as the longest while the front ones are the shortest. This is noticeable, or not that noticeable rather, when compared to a boot that features studs all of the same length, because the shorter studs in the front help alleviate the pressure that inevitably comes with repeatedly running on harder surfaces. The longer back studs on the other hand allow for great penetration of the ground, whether it be a soft or hard surface. One final thing to note is how flexible the soleplate is. It flexes with your foot and makes for a natural feel, something that is definitely noticeable in the heat of battle.
Weight: The official listed weight of the Asics DS Light X-Fly MS is 6.2 ounces, firmly placing it in the higher echelons of speed boots alongside the PUMA evoSpeed, the adidas F50 adiZero, and the Pele Sports Trinity. This weight feels about right when wearing the shoe as well as when simply holding it, and while I am more of a substance over weight sort of man, it does feel great when you hardly notice you have anything on your feet during an intense and exhausting 90 minutes.
Despite a lack of extras, namely a string bag, the DS Light X-Fly MS makes up for it with seemingly infallible durability. Other than the general look of use and wear, Asics have come up with a boot that has arguably unparalleled sturdiness. Unlike adidas who encountered problems with the SprintFrame studs falling off or Pele Sports with the Trinity’s upper splitting from the soleplate, the DS Light is on course to last well over two seasons, with no durability issues to report as of yet.
What makes this extraordinary durability even more worthy of praise is the price Asics are currently selling the DS Light X-Fly MS for. While the average high-end speed boot will set one back by $200 USD or more, the X-Fly has a current MSRP of $170, and in this market riddled by inflated prices, a boot that is $30 less than its competitors and is likely to last at least twice as long deserves to receive some plaudits.
Total: 23.5/30 or 78%
1. Comfort: The Asics DS Light X-Fly MS is one of, if not the most comfortable synthetic boot on the market. The micro-synthetic leather will start molding to the contours of your feet from right out of the box, and will only continue to become more form fitting as time passes.
2. Performance: From it being very light weight to featuring a ultra-thin upper that provides for a great feel of the ball, the X-Fly MS will not you down on the field.
3. Durability: Asics obviously prioritize making a shoe durable and long lasting, and due to meticulous production, they more than deliver with the unyielding DS Light X-Fly MS.
1. Design: The one area during testing that Asics didn’t blow me away, I feel that the Japanese manufacturer could have produced a better color scheme than the Flash Yellow/Deep Blue/Neon Orange. The predominantly black colorway previously mentioned is evidence of that.
I was admittedly skeptical coming into this review, not sure if Asics could produce a speed boot that could truly contend with the heavyweights that currently litter and dominate the market. Following extensive testing, I gladly concede that I mistakenly and erroneously doubted the running shoe company. In short, I believe that the Asics DS Light X-Fly MS could measure up to and surpass even, many, if not all other speed boots out there, and for that, Asics should be commended.