ASICS 33-FA REVIEW | The Ginger Runner


After years of running, I FINALLY got a chance to review an Asics shoe. When I found out I was going to NY to run the 2015 New York Marathon with Team Asics, they asked which shoe I would like to try (We mutually agreed that I would run the marathon in the shoe of my choice, no matter the brand). After perusing all of their options, I opted to give the 33-FA a shot. It seemed to be the best balance of simple, cushioned, responsive, low drop, flexible and comfy. I have trouble with over-engineered shoes with too much tech and marketing. The 33-FA didn’t seem to go that direction (unlike other Asics shoes) and having been on the market for awhile, curiously flying under my radar, it was a good option.

Well, months later, I am happy to say that the shoe worked out just dandy in both the marathon and in training. It is cushioned while still remaining responsive and snappy when it needs to be. It’s comfortably wide and flexible in the upper. Really the only major issues came with the shoe’s weight, the insole being a bit too dominant, and the ankle collar allowing for a bit too much give when navigating tighter turns.

Overall, I’ve had a very positive experience in the shoe and would definitely consider this Asics’ version of the Saucony Kinvara. Have YOU had a chance to run in the 33-FA? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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Train Hard. Race Harder. Party Hardest.
This product was provided by Asics. All opinions are my own.


Placeholder says:

fa? first ascent?

marksilver2 says:

GR – Great review (as always)! Have you tried replacing the insole with something thinner/lighter? If so, how did the shoes feel with a different insole?

WestHam66 says:

I’d give that color scheme and overall design a 5/5….

Hornet Games says:

pleeeeeeease do a review of the puma ignite v2. Quality video as always

Ethan Wilkie says:

PlllllllZZZZZ review the new Nike free rn distance its like nikes version of the clifton/kinvara

Diego Doyle says:

Excelent review but like Jordan Wright said “the DFA 33 is lighter, cheaper and…” well… “better looking” (i don’t think so).

John Weber says:

just bought a pair of these and agree with you on the thickness of the insole. Have you ever run in these without an insole? A thinner replacement insole? Any suggestions appreciated.

Aleck Wong says:

You get frisky on your runs? Lol. Great review.

Victor Acosta says:

I have one pair and I hate the lack of ankle support. Tried to run some track series (1000m at 3:30min x K) and feeling is that you do no have control over the shoe. Fail. Better a Noosa tri or a ds racer or even ds trainer.

Alfa Romeo says:

So you’re saying the Clifton is better?
Which ones can challenge the Clifton? And not a challenger AR ?

Jeff Iosa says:

Just got a pair of these in the mail today and went on a short run. Felt a lot of discomfort. I’m not totally given up on these but let’s just say I came home and ordered another pair of NB 1080’s.

Marcelo Campos says:

Ethan, great review!! But let me suggest the next Asics to be reviewed: Super J-33 V2. Is lighter the 33-FA, a bit of pronation support and was the shoe the IRONMAN World Champion, Jan Frodeno, was using this year to beat everyone! Looking foward to see this shoe! Keep the great reviews!

jagnoor singh says:

hey could you please review the underatmour speedform fortis?

filoIII says:

What is the diff ‘tween this and the Nimbus?

Jamjw 56 says:

just bought a pair of brooks adrenaline gts16 been love’in them. i think you should give them a try, and maybe a review

Nick Wilkerson says:

I’m a neutral runner. The nimbus 17 is my favorite shoe to run in. I’ve put over 100 miles on the shoes and it still feels great. You should do a review on them. I wanna see your opinion.

Zach McCluskey says:

I totally agree — under-appreciated shoe. I use it for my easy road runs and long training runs. The upper is extremely comfortable and breathable and the cushion is just right. The weight is an issue for me too. If they were a little lighter, they wouldn’t feel so clunky when moving faster. I guess that’s how Asics gets you to buy their other shoes though. I have the gel-hyperspeeds for speed work and racing, and they are fire.

Tony Kellogg says:

I have all 3 models of the 33 series in my “toolbox”. 33-DFA, 33-FA, and 33-M. I switch between them throughout the week for my runs. Love them. Best shoes for mid-foot runners.

Brian Chang says:

ASICS Dynaflyte!!

madcowk says:

I’ve had to retire my 33-DFAs because they have this little gap in the sole (can see those FAs have it too) that gets little pebbles stuck in it all the time. Mostly just annoying but sometimes painful and requires stopping to dig out the rock.

James Ambrocio says:

are the Innov8 shoes good for their price?

Ilias Ant. says:

Kinvara 7 review on the way ? Damn, i didn’t even put 100km on my Kinvara 5s.

Adam Miller says:

New Balance are updating their 1080 to fresh foam. Get on that


can you do the brooks glycerin 13 plz thankyou

Corps says:

Hey Man I’d love to see a Brooks Launch 2 review, I used to run in the Kinvara but this is pretty much my go to shoe now days. Would love to hear what you think

Ray Wagner says:

My 2c – I own (and run in) the ASICS 33-DFA, Saucony Kinvara 5s, and ASICS 33-FA. The condensed version of the back story on that is that I like to rotate 3 pairs of shoes when training for a marathon and have a separate pair for racing only. I trained for MCM last year in the 33-DFAs, Kinvara 5s, and Brooks PureFlow 4s. While training, I noticed that of the three, I enjoyed running in the 33s the most. I actually developed blisters and hot spots when running long distances in the Kinvaras, and the PureFlows were just too stiff and stacked for my liking. The only drawback I found with the 33-DFAs was that they were a little too thin underneath for longer training runs. So I purchased the 33-FAs based on the fact they had a little more cushioning (and if Ryan Hall endorsed them, they must be good, right?) To make a long story short I did a couple runs in September and October in the 33-FAs to get used to them and raced MCM in the FAs. They produced a very plush cushioned ride and my feet and legs felt great afterwards. Definitely looking for a second pair! They are $56.88 at Running Warehouse as of this posting and still have a good selection of sizes left – just only one color style though.

Daniel says:

I’m 16, how do I start running

Steven kim says:

Great review Ethan! Just two quick questions for you or for anyone else running in these shoes, how is the tow box and the sizing of the shoes? Just curious if the tow box is as good as Altras or at least close to them. Thanks bud and continued success!

Jordan Wright says:

Looks like the DFA 33 is lighter, cheaper and better looking. I wonder where they go wrong.

Pedro J. says:

what about the new asics META?

Christoffer Andersson says:

hey man I got 2 decide between asics flux 3 or asics columbus 18, wich one of those would you recommend?

would really appreciate ur answer! 🙂

Adam Marshall says:

I really like the 33-FA, glad to see you enjoyed it too.  I thought that’s what I saw you wearing in your NY marathon video.  I’ve run in both the DFA and FA, but not the M.  From what I can tell (from my own running and reviews online), the FA seems to the highlight in this line-up.  The 33-DFA felt like it had more than a 4mm drop to me.  The heels kept dragging, or at least I was way too aware of them.  Plus the DFA isn’t a one-piece glove-like fit like the FA.  Despite the soft heel, I found the FA to be more of a secure fit mid-run.  After having both pairs for a while, the DFA wore in nicely and I ended up using it as shoe to wear around during the day, but I thought the FA was great right out of the box.  The only other issue was sizing, as it’s not consistent among the line-up.  For the two I’ve worn, the DFA is size-accurate, while the FA is a tad tight.  I went a 1/2 size up and it fits great.  Other than that, both have great toe boxes, plenty of stretch to the material.  I wore the FA almost exclusively as my mid-week alternative to my HOKA Cliftons while training for my first ultras last year.

pure says:

Hey ginge! Great video as always, but I’ve been wondering, as the winter season is approaching, will you be doing a video about winter gear, and winter tips to keep you warm, safe, and in shape? Thanks 🙂

Robert Morales Javier says:

Awesome Review ! 😀

Benoit Leboeuf says:

I love Asics I used to be NB shoes but Asics tend to keep their line model longer so you can buy the same model over and over.

Sophie Kristiansen says:

Thanks for this great review. I’m currently in Nike Free 3.0 and wayyy overdue a new pair. I love the flexibility and natural feel + the low heel to toe drop of the ones I have, but as I’m moving up to a much longer distance, I’m looking for something very similar but with more cushioning. Nike Free 5.0 didn’t work for me at all! Do you think that this will be a good pair for me? Any other recommendations?

mbudlich says:

why do you cut every time?. annoying….

Adam Couchman says:

You get frisky on training runs?

lerianchan says:

OMG— finally realised why i like this guys reviews……. he looks like Dr House….

La Femme Bionique says:

Really cool channel, I just discovered it! 🙂 I subscribed and will follow your videos! You rock.

32SpokesMTB says:

since getting myself used to the roomy toebox and awesome minimus last of the original NB MT10. I have gone though a peregrination of trying to find shoes with a similar last and toebox, based on this video review I just pulled the plug on the 33-DFA I found on sale in amazon:

This will be my first experience with Asics, but you got my expectations high on the 33 series! I.e. Awesome review as usual!

Robert McDonald says:

Would love to see a review on the Asics Gel Nimbus and Gel Cumulus!

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