Asics Reviews — June 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Asics Lethal Tigreor 5 Review

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When I first saw the Tigreor 5 in person, I couldn’t believe how unique the design was for these particular cleats. If you look at Asics as a company, especially there running shoes, it is easy to see that they are a very forward thinking and very innovative company as far as design goes, but the Tigreor 5 is on a whole different level. When you first slide the Tigreor 5 on your foot, you immediately notice that this is unlike any other shoe on the market. Asics uses the Tigreor line as a test bed for new innovations, and everything on the boot is not gimmicky, making very large claims to enhance performance, but instead are innovations backed by proven technologies from the running shoe industry.

The first big reason why these shoes are so unique is due to the 10mm heel gradient, found on most Asics soccer shoes. What the heel gradient does is provide a 10mm lift in the heel, putting you in a more forward leaning stance. This is exactly something that you would get in almost any soccer shoe on the market, and the science behind it makes total sense. Asics viewed the soccer shoe as not only something to provide traction and a quality of touch on the ball, but also to provide support, and a shoe that is geared towards running over long periods of time. The concept is very simple, and it seems so obvious, but most of the soccer shoes being released these days offer next to nothing in terms of support. The heel gradient also puts you in a more athletic stance, a stance that is proven to be more efficient in reducing the amount of stress placed on your hips, knees and ankles.

Most of the injuries that occur in soccer are over-use injuries, so any precautions that can be made to help reduce the risk of injury is welcome. Keep in mind that the 10mm heel gradient is more or less the norm for your average pair of running shoes, so don’t be under the impression that you are going to feel like you are wearing high heels. With that said, you can feel a difference when you wear the Tigreor 5 for the first time, but it isn’t something that is going to throw you off when playing, and you soon forget about it after 15 minutes or so. What also contributes to the comfortable feel, is the EVA foam midsole that runs from the heel to the mid-foot. Again, the concept comes from a running shoe, where the midsole provides additional cushioning, which in turn reduces the amount of stress on you joints, as well as offering plenty of comfort. Everything works and feels great, offering a feel that only an Asics shoe will provide. There is a difference between the shoe being comfortable at rest, and the shoes being comfortable when running. Having the EVA foam midsole, labelled as Solyte, makes for plenty of protection for your feet, even when playing on very hard ground. I wore these shoes on very hard ground surfaces and had no issues with discomfort at all.

As far as the fit of the shoe is concerned, I would again classify the fit as “unique”, but in a good way. You’ll notice immediately how heavily padded the heel and ankle collar area is, allowing for a very soft, and very secure fit after break-in. The upper is made from a high quality kangaroo leather upper forefoot, and a synthetic mid-foot. The shoe itself is a little on the stiff side from brand new, and some break-in time is definitely required before the shoes start to feel like they are “your shoes”. I had no issues with discomfort during the break-in time, as well as no issues with blisters or rubbing.

One of the unique features on the boot is the support strap located on the inside of the boot. The support strap is essentially a strap located inside of the boot on the outside of the mid-foot, running from the bottom of the foot, all the way until level with the rest of the lace holes. If you look at the outside of the boot, you will notice that the place on the shoe where the third lace hole from the top would normally be is not there, that’s because the lace hole is on the support strap. This means that when you pull the laces tight, this strap wraps perfectly around the mid-foot, securing your foot in place. If I have one complaint about the boot itself, it is the mesh tongue. I am generally not a fan of the mesh tongue, and while the one on the Tigreor 5 is not a bad one, I still would have liked to have seen a leather tongue. The shoe fits fairly wide overall, but with that said, will suit nearly any foot type. The heavily padded heel will form to your foot over time, locking your heel in place very nicely. The mid-foot, forefoot and toe box seem to fit fairly wide, so unless you have extremely wide feet, you should fit in the Tigreor 5 very comfortably. Sizing is a little off on the Tigreor, where I found myself going up half a size to ensure the proper fit in the length. Where I would normally wear a size 9US in the majority of shoes on the market, I needed a size 9.5US for a perfect fit in the length. The Tigreor 5 is extremely comfortable overall, and offers some extras that you can’t get from any other shoe.

Weight

The Tigreor 5 weighs in at a slightly below average 9oz. Considering how much shoe that you actually get, I was fairly surprised that the shoe weighed so little. This just shoes that you don’t have to strip of a shoe of everything just to bring the weight down. Like I have said before, I would much rather have a shoe that weighs 2oz more if it means that you are going to get a better quality product. Not a single element on the shoe was sacrificed, which is great.

Traction

There are plenty of unique stud patterns out of the market, but unique doesn’t always mean good. The Tigreor 5 uses a stud pattern unlike anything else on the market, and is one that you really can’t compare to anything that is currently out there. The latest trend with stud patterns is “less is more”, which can be seen with the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII, The Adidas stud pattern, as well as the Pele Trinity, which are all great stud patterns.

The Tigreor 5 goes somewhat in the opposite direction, offering a firm ground stud pattern that uses more studs than you might be used to seeing. The reason for the extra studs is simple, more studs equals more penetration points, which in turn leads to better traction. Obviously the studs themselves as well as the placement of the studs plays a large role in the overall functionality of the stud pattern as a whole, but what I can tell you is that Asics got it right. The stud themselves are all the exact same shape, all being conical studs. The studs themselves have a smaller diameter fro the simple reason of better, or easier, ground penetration. The placement of the studs is fairly scattered, so referring to the pictures above may give you a better idea of the stud pattern than this explanation will. Starting at the heel, there are five conical studs, with the one extra stud being placed on the outside of the foot, mainly for extra support. The forefoot features four stud running along the inside and outside edges of the shoe, all unevenly spaced out, with two support stud running down the middle. At the toe, you find five more studs, all closely bunched together, acting as a pouch off point for acceleration.

So how does the stud pattern work? The simple answer is that it worked amazingly well. There are plenty of great stud pattern out there that work great on of firm ground, but when it comes to playing on hard ground, generally they tend not to perform nearly as well. The Tigreor 5 is different in that it provides maximum grip on pretty much any type of natural surface, besides soft ground of course. The layout of the studs is undoubtedly the best that I have ever used for stopping and starting. Changing direction at speed feels incredible. I don’t think that you could slip in these shoes if you tried. Running suicide sprints feels almost unfair, simply because the studs grip so well that you need very little time to decelerate, or at least less time than you would need from other firm ground stud patterns. All I have to say is that if you are playing regularly on hard, or firm ground, and are looking for the best possible traction, the Tigreor 5 would be a very good choice.

Touch

The Tigreor 5 uses very high quality materials, and is available in both a leather and a synthetic version.The leather version, which is the one that we’re talking about, features a kangaroo leather forefoot and toe area, with a synthetic mid-foot. The leather on the shoe is very high  quality and has nice thickness to it, allowing for a nice padded feel when touching the ball. I definitely would have liked to have seen a little bit more leather used on the boot, but at least what is there is very high quality. The amount of leather is very similar to the amount that you would get from the F50 adizero from Adidas. The mid foot uses a mix of synthetic leather and standard synthetic, and the overall feel is not as padded. The inside of the foot offers a much thinner feel than the leather at the front does, but it seems to flow pretty nicely. The transition between leather and synthetic is not dramatic as one might expect, and for that reason, I like the touch of the Tigreor 5.

Keep in mind that the overall feel of the shoe is not that of a full leather soccer shoes, and like the rest of the shoe, there is just a lot going on. Another thing to note is the tongue, which is a thin mesh. I am generally not a fan of mesh tongues on soccer shoes, but I can tell you that this is one of the better ones, and it goes nicely with the shoe. With that being said, I still would have preferred a leather tongue, but maybe that’s just me. The tongue offers zero padding, giving you somewhat of a barefoot feel when touching the ball with the top of the foot or juggling. To sum up the touch of the Tigreor 5, there are essentially three different feels that you will get depending on what part of the foot you are using. The front of the shoe offers a soft leather touch, the mid-foot offers a firmer synthetic feel and the top of the foot feels closer to being barefoot. It all seems to work well together, and overall I liked the touch on the ball in the Tigreor 5.

Shooting

Striking the ball in the Tigreor feels great. It has such a solid construction due to the soleplate, giving the shoe plenty of stiffness for striking the ball. There aren’t any kind of shooting gimmicks on the boot, but the feel that you get is still great. The heavily padded ankle area makes for a very solid lock in the heel, which in turn makes for a shoe that feels for sturdy when striking the ball. One thing to talk about is the heel gradient, and any concerns with how this will affect your strike on the ball. I personally had no issues when striking the ball in the Tigreor 5, and to be honest, the heel gradient, while it is something uncommon in a soccer shoe, is something that nearly every other shoe that you wear of the field has. The way that I look at it is that you can strike the ball just fine in a pair of running shoes, so having the same heel gradient in a pair of soccer shoes should, and is no different.

Protection

As I have already mentioned several times, the Tigreor 5 is a very solid feeling shoe. The leather upper will offer some protection should you get stepped on, and there is plenty of extra padding around the ankle area, more than any other shoe on the market. Keep in mind that there is a thin mesh tongue, which means that there isn’t much in the way of protection higher up the foot, should you get stepped on. Another form of protection that many might overlook is the injury prevention features of the Tigreor 5, which is the 10mm heel gradient, as well as the EVA foam midsole. If you have reoccurring joint injuries, whether it be an ankles, knees or hips, the features in the Tigreor are proven to to help reduce stress on your joints.

Durability

The Tigreor 5 has phenomenal build quality. Obviously when you are looking at a top end soccer shoe, quality is expected, but some brands just seem to have higher build quality than others. Many would consider Mizuno to be one of the top dogs when it comes to quality, and I would put Asics right up there with them. The Tigreor 5 is very well put together and everything just comes together very nicely. I am 100% confident that the Tigreor 5 will last an entire season’s worth of play, and is one of few shoes on the market that seems like it would last a long time. Keep in mind that the upper features natural leather, which means that some maintenance is required to keep the upper in optimal condition. Also keep in mind that this shoe is designed for use on firm ground, meaning natural grass only. Use on turf, or any other type of artificial surface will have a major impact on the durability of the shoe.

The Verdict

The Asics Lethal Tigreor 5 is honestly one of the most unique shoes on the market. There is really nothing else on the market that compares. For those of you that are interested in the latest and greatest in terms of technology and soccer shoes, the Tigreor 5 will deliver. It offers a very solid fit, a unique soleplate, including the EVA midsole and 10mm heel gradient, one of the best firm ground stud patterns on the market and a unique touch. While I don’t think that this is a shoe that will appeal to everyone, if what you read sounds good to you, than you will most likely love the Tigreor 5. For those of you that want something truly unique, take a good look at the Tigreor 5.

Comfort/Fit10 out of 10
Weight8 out of 10
Traction10 out of 10
Touch9 out of 10
Shooting8 out of 10
Protection9 out of 10
Durability9 out of 10
FINAL SCORE63 out of 70 or 90%

6 Comments

  1. Josh – I enjoy your reviews here and on youtube. I’ve had the electric blue synthetic version of this shoe for over a year and think the quality and features are great. Problem is I’ve got narrow feet, and I’ve had a difficult time managing blisters / calluses while wearing this shoe (trying different socks, tape, etc.). Do you have any suggestions for a more narrow-fitting shoe? Mercurial Vapor is sometimes suggested as a boot for narrow feet. Do you recommend that one or have any other suggestions? Thanks!

    • That’s not a normal issue to have. It sounds to me like your shoes might be too big for you, that’s why your foot is sliding around so much. If the shoes fit snug length-wise, and you tie them tight enough, your foot will rarely slide around.

      • Josh – Thanks so much for your fast response. I checked out your video on shoe fitting, and it looks like the shoes are *way* too big for me. Time for me to go shoe shopping.

  2. Josh,
    Could you review latest Asics Lethal Tigreor 7 please? I would I like to know how Lethal Tigreor has changed, and how sizing is. Thank you!

  3. Josh, I have a question on how sizing goes. On your Youtube, you said go true to size, and then in your written review, you said go a half size up, so I’m a bit confused. If I prefer very snug fit, go true to my normal size, if I prefer a bit more comfortable fir, go a half size up? Is that what you meant?

    • They definitely run half a size small. In the video, the shoes weren’t broken in and I was expecting them to stretch. After testing, they didn’t stretch as much as I thought and found that going half a size up was much more comfortable.

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