Asics

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

Design (2.5/5)

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

 

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Comfort (8.5/10)

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Performance (8.5/10)

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Value (4/5)

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Conclusion:

Design: 2.5/5

Comfort: 8.5/10

Performance: 8.5/10

Value: 4/5

Total: 23.5/30 or 78%

 

Positives

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.

Negatives

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.

Asics DS Light X-Fly MS Review

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.

Asics Lethal Stats SK Review

The Asics Lethal Stats SK is a moderately priced boot with some interesting technologies added in that you don’t see on your every day pair of soccer shoes. They have a 10 millimeter raised heel, and a very interesting stud configuration, suggesting that they are not your average soccer shoe. They are certainly unique, but are they worth a place in your kitbag?

Whatever else might be true about them, the Asics Lethal Stats SK is a pretty unique boot. It has the raised heel that no one other than Asics employ, and the stud configuration does not look like anything else you see on a pair of firm ground shoes. Overall, this was a pair of shoes that surprised me in both good and bad ways, fitting for a pair of shoes that has both strong positives and negatives.

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Also, one note for our Asian readers at Soccer Reviews. The Asics Lethal Stats SK bears a strong resemblance to an Asian exclusive boot called the Asics Lethal Sniper. From what I have seen of the Sniper, they have the same stud configuration, and are made of the same material (ExSkin). There are some differences, but the two boots do seem quite similar. I would love to know how the two boots compare, so if there are any Asian readers out there who have used the Lethal Sniper, I would like to hear about it.

Design- These have a bit of a plastic look to them, but the colors go nicely together. There are also limited colorway options and few endorsed athletes. 2.5/5.

Red is one of my favorite colors, so I was inclined to like these. The red stands out, but it is a dark enough red not to be overly flashy, and lacks the “in your facenes” (for lack of a better word) of Nike’s “solar red” or Adidas’ “infrared.” Still, the Lethal Stats SK are bright enough that there is no way that you would get lost on the pitch wearing them. The red also looks very good against the silver Asics logo and meshes well with the black accents and soleplate. The boot does have that plasticy gleam to it that you do not see in a leather, so if that is something that bothers you, do take note. I also tend to really like the multicolored soleplate, though this is not really visible in game.

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Yes, I wear green socks with red boots, I have no shame.

Asics do have a few endorsed soccer players, but to the best of my knowledge, the vast majority choose the Lethal Testimonial or Lethal Tigreor. Wearing the same boots that professionals wear is not a high priority for me, but if it is for you, then consider the lack of professional endorsements for the Lethal Stats a negative. A more important negative to me is the lack of colorways. There is a version of the Lethal Stats with a Kangaroo Leather forefoot that comes in black/yellow and white/yellow colorways, but red is your only option for 100% synthetic. Conversely, if you want leather, predominantly black and white boots are your only options. If there is a colorway there that you like, then this should not be a problem for you.

Ball Shoe

Comfort- The upper is a little stiff coming out of the box, but the sole is very comfortable 8/10.

In the interest of getting the elephant out of the room, the 10mm heel gradient has mostly a positive effect on comfort. It can feel a little awkward for the first couple wears, but I noticed that it only felt awkward when I was actively thinking about how awkward it might feel. Once I started playing a little and my mind was otherwise occupied, I did not notice the heel gradient. However, the heel gradient has a huge impact on comfort. Particularly, if my muscles had yet to recover from a previous game, I found that the soreness I would experience just sitting was actually reduced while in the Lethal Stats. I certainly do not claim the Lethal Stats have healing powers, the pain returned once I took them off. I think the lack of pain was a combination of lesser joint stress and my mind being distracted from the soreness. However, no boot other than the Lethal Stats has given me this effect.

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No other ten millimeters on a boot have gotten quite the same level of attention.

The Asics Lethal Stats SK also seems impervious to stud pressure. Not only did I not notice any stud pressure playing on natural surfaces, but after walking through a parking lot to retrieve a ball, noticed I felt no stud pressure on the asphalt surface either. Surprised, I even tried running on the paved surface, and there was still no stud pressure. I am not sure if it is the stud configuration or the padding in the midsole, but whatever it is, Asics have done something right.

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Though there is no stud pressure, the insole is nothing special.

While the soleplate is ready to go, the Lethal Stats SK have a surprisingly stiff synthetic upper that requires some break in. Starting out, these are a little tight in the midfoot, but if you do not have wide feet this should not really be too big of a deal for you. If you have wider feet I would also recommend not threading the top lace hole until the shoes have broken in a little. Players with narrower feet will find the break-in process a little less painful, but I would still recommend not wearing them straight into a game. The touch on the upper is really bad until these soften up, and while the comfort level might be alright, the performance level will not. I would also recommend taking a little while to get a sense of how the heel gradient affects you.

As far as sizing goes, these might fit a little tight initially, but they have a surprising amount of stretch to them for a synthetic. I ordered a half size up, and while it made for a smoother break in process, I could have possibly gotten away with my regular size. You should consider going a half size up, unless you fit extremely small in your normal size.

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The fit in these is fairly pre-set and it is pretty wide. I have a foot that is narrow in the heel and wider in the forefoot, and I found these a little cramped in the toes but a little sloppy in the heel. If you have a wider heel, I think you will like these a lot, but the way the lacing does not allow me to get a great fit back there. If you have 2E feet or wider, you probably need something with more room, but if you’re on the wider size of normal in both the forefoot and heel, you will probably find these to be very comfortable. However, because I do not think the fit will work for many players, I had to mark it down.

Performance- The biggest plus, traction, only exists when the ground is hard. Considering their general bulk, the lack of protection for the metatarsal is disappointing. 6/10.

As I noted above, the 10mm heel gradient has less of an effect on performance than I at least initially thought. It may have had some minor effects on my gait every now and then, and there was probably a psychological effect on my aim. However, I think it was mostly that I was more conscious about misses than I would be normally and not anything about the boots themselves. That said, I did have one or two days wearing the Lethal Stats where it felt that my aim was a little off. I think the effect was psychological, because it was not his was not a consistent thing every time I wore them.

rsz_shoe_in_grass

The biggest selling point of the lethal stats is the traction that the boot offers, particularly on hard natural surfaces. This is a great stud pattern on frozen ground, as the studs generally sink in well and then release immediately, providing extremely good traction. Unlike most of the people I was playing with, I had complete confidence in the cuts and turns that I made on the hard surface. In the Lethal Stats I had absolutely no concerns about stability, something that does not always happen for me when I play out in the cold. However, on softer, muddy ground the Lethal Stats performed worse than the average pair of FG shoes. While soft ground shoes are ideal for muddy pitches, when it is only a little wet, most firm ground shoes perform quite well. However, in the case of the Lethal Stats, this is not the case. Mud seemed to cake far too easily to the soleplate and the cleats became extremely heavy and awkward after less than half an hour. Overall, considering the superb frozen ground traction and lack of stud pressure on hard surface, I might even go as far as to suggest the Lethal Stats are really hard ground cleats that work on firm ground, and not true firm ground cleats.
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The touch on the Lethal Stats SK is pretty good. The Lethal Stats SK are made of a synthetic material called Ex Skin. It is thicker, and once it breaks in it is pretty soft. While it would never be mistaken for leather, the Ex Skin still has many similar properties, avoiding the kind of layered feel that can make your touch feel a little awkward with some lower end synthetics. There is also a version with a kangaroo leather forefoot, which would likely offer an even better touch. While I have not worn the leather version, I have considerable faith in the quality of Asics K-leather based on other Asics shoes I have had experience with.

The Lethal Stats SK offer a good amount of protection in most places. They have a good heel counter, and the Ex Skin is thick. However, Asics have done something fairly unorthodox with the tongue, as it is made of a light mesh. Asics claims that this tongue gives the shoe a lighter weight and allows for better ventilation, and while those claims may be true, I unequivocally wanted a thicker tongue. I was fortunate not to get studded on the top of my foot, but it would have hurt quite a lot if I had. To me, it makes little sense to create a boot that is otherwise so protective, yet leaves the metatarsal so vulnerable.

rsz_mesh_tongue

Shooting in these is kind of a mixed bag. I noted the accuracy issue above, but the mesh tongue (pictured above), makes for an odd lace strike. The boot mostly has the heritage feel, but off the tongue, it feels very minimalist. I felt the combination was a bit unsettling, but some might like it. The other thing to consider with shooting is how well the stud configuration aids you when keeping your plant foot stable, and quite frankly, the Lethal Stats do not offer all that much in that area. With proper form, you can still shoot well, but these are not going to be the most forgiving if you slip a little when you shoot.

rsz_top_view

I would also like to note that I discussed some of the therapeutic benefits in the comfort section, but I would imagine these have spillover benefits to performance as well. Less tired muscles means more stamina, and players who are injured less get to spend more time on the game and practice field. Though I do not have the medical experience to assess that claim fully, my experiences with the Lethal Stats suggest those claims are highly plausible. Because I cannot be sure about this effect, I did not included it in my performance score.

Value-At their price point, the Lethal Stats are an extremely competitive boot, but perhaps a risky choice 3.5/5.

The boots do not come with any extras thrown in, but then again, I am not sure that any shoes around US $110 MSRP really do. In that price range, they are certainly a competitive pair of cleats. I am sure there are players who would prefer something like first takedown of a big three silo, or one of Diadora’s cheaper shoes. That said, the Lethal Stats SK offers a package that is competitive with the best of these boots and clearly better than the worst. I do not think these are a pair of boots for everyone, but I definitely think they are a pair of boots that some people will really enjoy. Though durability is a bit difficult to predict as I have not used these boots for more than a few months, I have yet to notice anything that would give me concern about durability, and synthetic boots tend to hold up well if made well (and Asics boots are generally made well).

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All you get with the Lethal Stats is the box.

Another thing to consider is the price of the Lethal Stats relative to the Lethal Tigreor and Lethal Testimonial, both of which also have the 10 mm heel gradient. If you are curious about how the heel gradient would affect you but do not want to risk US $150 on the chance you might like them, the Lethal Stats (especially on sale) represent a great opportunity to try them out. That said, if end up deciding the heel gradient is not for you, you could find yourself in a position where you have recently bought a new pair of boots that you do not like to play in. That risk is why I cannot give these full marks for value.

Conclusion- These are by no means a must buy, but they are certainly an interesting pair of boots that might appeal to some people 20/30.

When I think about whether I would recommend these boots to another person, one of the first questions would be to ask them about their playing style. While I understand players do not necessarily fit into moulds, the more your game relies on your ability to run non-stop, the more you are going to like them. Tricky dribblers and power players are going to be the people who will get the least amount of value from these boots.

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Additionally, I think these boots would serve a few non-players well. While I have never been a referee, I think that the high quality traction and ability to make quick starts and stops would be ideally suited to that position. I do occasionally serve as a coach for youth teams, and now that my pair of Lethal Stats have broken in well, I think they would make a great pair for the purpose. They are also a good pair of “recovery” cleats, if you are trying to ease back in to playing after a joint injury, or want to have a pair to switch into a couple times a week to spare your joints a bit of wear and tear.

Overall, the Lethal Stats SK are a unique pair of boots, but certainly not a must have. They are a boot I do recommend, but with careful consideration about how they would suit your game and the pitches you play on. I am not a huge believer in the whole idea of “boots by position,” but certain cleats are certainly better for some styles of play than others. There are some people out there who will find the Lethal Stats a good purchase. Before you buy, think for a while as to whether you will be one of those people.

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In summary:

Positives:

1. Traction on hard ground: If you live in an area where you are often playing on hard dry pitches, the Lethal Stats might just be a godsend.

2. Joint relief: I can say these are some of the easiest boots on my joints that I have ever worn.

3. Value: In terms of MSRP, the Lethal Stats is comparable to the second tier releases of the big three companies, and is competitive in terms of quality. Considering that the sale price of this boot is closer to $75, it is practically a steal.

Negatives:

1. Mesh tongue: The mesh tongue really does not fit in with the rest of the boot and negatively impacts protection and shooting.

2. Unsuitability in the rain: When it gets wet out, the traction benefits are negated.

Have any of you tried the Lethal Stats SK? What about the Kangaroo Leather version of the Lethal Stats? How did your experiences compare to mine? What about the Asian exclusive Lethal Sniper? Let us know in the comments below.

Asics Urban Treadmill Viral

While we’ve seen some arguably ‘weird’ virals in the past, including a recent Warrior one, the running company Asics has delivered an absolute winner with its Urban Treadmill video.

 

 

Featuring the Asics Lethal Tigreor 5 IT football boot, this advertisement is genius and creative. A part of the Asics: Stop at Never campaign, a man runs on literally an urban treadmill with his football. Cones, fire hydrants, and even a chicken are amongst the obstacles standing in the man’s way to scoring a goal.

The video is extremely innovative, funny, and also somewhat lifelike in the sense that that player is the amateur honing his skills on his neighborhood street. The player aspiring to reach the professional player. That player is you.

What do you think of the Asics Urban Treadmill viral? Leave a comment below.

Asics DS Light X-Fly

Asics releases its latest football boot, the DS Light X-Fly in both kangaroo leather and synthetic uppers.

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Asics, while known primarily for its running and volleyball shoes, is also a player on the football market. It is particularly popular in Japan and Italy, with players such as Antonio Di Natale sporting the company’s trademark kangaroo leather boots. Its latest release(s), the Asics DS Light X-Fly K and synthetic, offers players supreme comfort without sacrificing weight.

asics-ds-light-x-fly-yellow-flash-deep-blue-neon-orange asics-ds-light-x-fly-black-silver-deep-blue

Designed for ultimate fit, comfort and ball touch. The DS Light is a lightweight cleat with a traditional feel. The finest kangaroo leather available is against your foot from the tip of the toe to the back of your heel. No other soccer shoe combines this feature for comfort on a super-light weight speed shoe. The X-Fly K gives the best of both worlds and is built with the precision engineering and quality that you expect from Asics.

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Specs:

  • External Heel Counter: yes
  • How Attached To Upper: Cemented
  • Insole Material: EVA foam
  • Insole Removable: yes
  • Lacing: Central
  • Outsole Material: TPU
  • Primary Upper Material: Kangaroo leather
  • Weight: 7.2 oz.

What do you think of the new Asics DS Light X-Fly football boots? Would you be interested in purchasing them; why or why not? Leave a comment below.

Wiki(Boot)Leaks: Mini Edition

This one is just short and sweet and despite its length, I’m sure you’ll find the leaked photos to be great! Hey, some photos are better than no photos, right?

Mizuno Wave Ignitus II

Yes, a new colourway! About time too. The Wave Ignitus range is highly underestimated and one of our favourite boots without a shadow of a doubt. This Purple/Gold/Black colourway is slightly bold and adventurous, but it’s not an eyesore anyhow. Stay tuned for Ben’s review that’s just around the corner.

Mizuno Morelia Neo

We still don’t have any of the details and specifications about Mizuno’s new Neo line, but we have a sneaky suspicion that it is their attempt to rival adidas’ SL line and Nike’s Elite range. You can count on us to unveil the unknown though.

Asics Streal 361 Pro

Asics’ new speed boot! We currently know nothing about it, but rest assured that we’ll keep you updated when we hear more about this over the coming weeks.

We said it was short and sweet for this week, and we hope you enjoyed the very few boots we have on show here. Unreleased boots are a little tight to come by at the moment, but we expect that to pick up come December. What one is your favourite and why?

Asics Lethal Tigreor & Stats

One of the less known (or bought) brands of today, Asics, have just released two great boots and you guys are getting all the lowdown of it right here, from us! It seems that Asics are attempting to challenge the market dominators of adidas and Nike – especially with their Lethal Stats release. 

First up is the relatively known Lethal Tigreor in its brand new Black/White/Pacific Blue colourway:

 

This is the Tigreor’s fourth incarnation and there is no doubting its quality or classic design – especially with the failsafe colourway. The upper consists of a soft and supple kangaroo leather which provides great comfort, as a leather boot always has that advantage over boots that utilise a synthetic upper.

The Tigreor’s cushioned midsole is constructed with SoLyte technology for increased comfort and stability. Its moulded studs also allow for a quick acceleration – something not many leather boots can claim to provide!

 

The PU (polyurethane) outsole utilises the HG10mm heel gradient that allows you to find that speed injection whilst minimising any stress on the legs.

To coincide with the Lethal Tigreor, Asics have ventured into the speed department with the release of the Lethal Stats SK:

 

Its upper is composed of a premium, lightweight microfiber synthetic leather with its unique EX-Skin lightweight microfiber synthetic for a comfortable and protective fit. I must admit, the Metallic Red colourway is a sign of class and it really sets the Lethal Stats aside from its more favourable competitors.

Much the same with the Tigreor, the Stats sport the same midsole; a reoccurring factor it seems of the latest boots from Asics. Perhaps this is the start of something successful? Its specific stud pattern also allows for sharp movements and quick acceleration when it’s most needed.

 

The Stats’ outsole is identical to the Tigreor with its PU build and HG10mm heel gradient. It’s also worth mentioning that these only weigh 8.6 oz too!

Well, that’s it for you guys! What do you think? I personally love the Lethal Stats and I hope it can make a name for itself. Also, a big congratulations to Ben for achieving that one thousandth post and to all the fellow team members that help make Soccer Reviews what it is. However, it’s the readers that are fundamental, so a big thanks to you all! 

 

Asics Lethal Tigreor - Black/White/Pacific/Blue

Asics Lethal Stats - White/Black/Wattle

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