Asics Lethal Stats Review
The Lethal Stats from Asics is one of the best options for around that $100 mark, on the market. Like the Lethal Tigreor 5 from Asics, the Lethal Stats is in that stand-alone category, where it doesn’t really compare to anything else currently on the market. I would classify it as the less “extreme” version of the Lethal Tigreor 5, which is not a bad thing at all. The shoe itself is very comfortable, offering an upper using a combination of kangaroo leather and synthetic materials. The kangaroo leather is soft and flexible, spanning the better part of the forefoot, with the rest of the shoe from “Ryno Skin”, which is a leather-like synthetic. The heel and ankle collar are lined in a soft suede material, and thick, elasticated bands on either side of the tongue hold your foot in place very firmly, especially for a leather shoe. One of the major features, and also one of the most unique, is 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 Lethal Stats 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.
The fit of the shoe is also fairly unique. Once you give the shoe a couple of hours or so to fully break-in and soften up, the fit is very comfortable. The leather forefoot forms very nicely to your foot, giving you that custom feel. The fit through the mid-foot is definitely on the tighter side, but this is mainly due to the elasticated bands on both side of the tongue, that wrap all the way the foot. This makes the tongue sit snugly against your foot, even without the laces tied, and does apply slight pressure to the inside and outside of the foot. It gives the shoe somewhat of a strange feeling at first, and I did have some very minor on and off discomfort for about the first hour of use, but this was more of a getting used to period, rather than actual injury causing pain, such as a blister. I also found the elastic bands to provide solid arch support as well, but I’m not entirely sure if this was an intended feature. The shoe itself is definitely not overly wide, but most wider footed players should have no issues with fitting comfortably in the Lethal Stats. The shoe, even though it does feature a partly synthetic upper, does have some stretch to it, so don’t worry if the shoe feels slightly too tight from brand new. As far as sizing is concerned, the Lethal Stats fits very true to size. I wore my usual size 9US for review, and the fit was perfect, so if you are looking to order a pair, I strongly recommend going for your normal size.
The Lethal Stats weighs in at 9.4oz, which is about average weight for a shoe of this type. The shoe overall, feels very balanced and in comparison to other shoes in this weight range, feels much more solid in terms of construction. The tight fit through the mid-foot also makes the shoe feel slightly lighter than it normally would, simply because the shoe hugs your foot very closely, so there is that 1 to 1 response time when you move your feet.
The stud pattern used on the Lethal Stats is very unique, and is also very good. It uses a combination of different shapes and formations throughout, to create the best possible grip depending on the situation. If you take a look at the pictures above, you’ll notice that there are two different colors of studs, depending on the colorway of course, but in this case is yellow and black. The black studs, which come in a variety of what I would classify as hybrid studs, which is pretty much a rounded blade, if that makes sense. These studs are much larger than the yellow studs, and act more as support studs, giving you as much stability as possible by having as much surface area in contact with the ground as possible. This is why you see five studs spanning the outside of the forefoot alone. The yellow studs, all conical, are much smaller in terms of size, and are positioned more aggressively. The ones located in the forefoot are placed in two triangular formations. This allows for maximum ground penetration, because you have 6 studs, all of which are fairly narrow and will easily penetrate, in the push off point in the forefoot. In the heel, there are two yellow studs, one which fills in as the forth stud in your standard heel stud pattern, with the fifth acting as the extra stud slightly towards the middle of the heel. These two studs are there mainly for the purpose of stopping as quickly as possible, which makes sense because you will be stopping on two studs as opposed to one. So, it all makes sense in terms of how it is designed, but how does it work. The simple answer to that question is that it works great. Asics is truly making some highly innovative stud patterns that really do work. What I really love about the Lethal Stats stud pattern is that it provides tones of straight grip when pushing off for a sprint and changing direction, but still manages to maintain a solid amount of freedom of movement, in terms of twisting and turning when your foot is planted. Overall, like the Lethal Tigreor 5, the Lethal Stats offers one of the best stud patterns on the market for use on firm ground surfaces.
Like a lot of the other models from Asics, the Lethal Stats offers an upper that uses both leather and synthetic. The forefoot of the Lethal Stats features premium kangaroo leather, with a solid amount of natural padding to it. Definitely not a thin feeling leather, but neither is the Ryno Skin synthetic. The synthetic has somewhat of a leather-like finish to it, and while not as “cushioned” feeling as the leather, still has somewhat of a padded feeling to it, giving the shoe a very solid touch on the ball. I wouldn’t classify the upper as bulky by any means, but it does have some substance to it, something that I would compare to a traditionally styled soccer shoe. The tongue is very unique in that it is neither mesh, leather or synthetic, but is instead an elasticated band. It wraps your foot very tight, with no wrinkling or excess material between your foot and the ball. It is the thinnest area of the shoe, but definitely not barefoot feeling. Overall, the touch on the ball is very good, especially for those of you that like a very solid leather feel.
Striking the ball in the Lethal Stats is about what you would expect. The upper has enough bulk to it where you can still feel your foot making solid contact with the ball, but still offers plenty of padding for a very solid feel. The slightly off-center lacing system gives you cleaner striking surface through the “strike zone” of the shoe which is nice. For me, the real reason why I like the feel when striking the ball in the Lethal Stats is how solidly the shoe fits. Your foot does not bobble around in the shoe when making strong contact with the ball, which is great. Overall, striking the ball in the Lethal Stats feels very good.
Like I have described, the Lethal Stats does not leave you exposed on the field. The natural padding of the leather, partnered with the strong Ryno Skin upper, gives you plenty of protection over the foot, should you get stepped on. There is also a very solid, internal heel counter, providing plenty of protection from kicks to the back of the foot. Another form of protection that many might overlook is the injury prevention features of the Lethal Stats, 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 Lethal Stats are proven to help reduce stress on your joints.
The Lethal Stats is a very well constructed boot. The Ryno Skin upper is not only there to provide extra support and stability, but also is incredibly tough. The soleplate and studs are all one-piece, so very little can go wrong with this shoe. The kangaroo leather is very high quality, and I can just see this shoe lasting a long time. Keep in mind that the Lethal Stats does feature a natural leather upper, so some maintenance is required to keep the shoe in optimal condition. Also keep in mind that the Lethal Stats was designed to be used on natural grass, or a firm ground surface. Use of any firm ground soccer shoe on artificial surfaces will have a major impact on the durability of your shoe, and will surely shorten its lifespan.
If you’re into trying something different, then you have to try an Asics. The Lethal Stats combines a quality fit, a solid upper and fantastic traction, all in a package that costs very little. Regardless of the price, this is a very good shoe and is easily on of the most technologically advanced on the market. I am all for innovation and soccer shoes, and Asics is one of the leaders in terms of bringing new technology to soccer shoes, making shoes that quite simply work. For the price, the lethal Stats is a great option if you’re looking to try something completely different than you ever have before, and I guarantee that it is a change that you will be glad to have made.
Comfort/Fit 10 out of 10
Weight 8 out of 10
Traction 10 out of 10
Touch 8 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Protection 8 out of 10
Durability 9 out of 10
Final Score 61 out of 70 or 87%