Asics Lethal Testimonial 2 Review
The Lethal Testimonial 2 is the classically styled soccer shoe on offer from Asics. While at first glance the Testimonial 2 may come across as your standard classic leather shoe, but if inspected more closely, you will see all of the modern features hiding under an old-school exterior. To put it simply, the Testimonial 2 is extremely comfortable. As you expect from such a traditional upper, the kangaroo leather is very soft and flexible, and molds to your foot beautifully. But that’s not what makes this shoe so unique. Stick your foot in the shoe and you will immediately notice an outsole unlike any soccer shoe on the market. If you have ever worn an Asics soccer shoe, then you will know what I am talking about, but if you haven’t, just imagine the feel of a high-end running shoe. The sole of the shoe actually has a shape, instead of just being flat, giving the shoe an element of support, which is so hard to find in a soccer shoe. There are many reasons for this unique feel, with the first being the 10mm heel gradient. 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 running 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. 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.
As far as the fit of the shoe goes, the Lethal Testimonial 2 offers a fantastic fit. The upper is made from very soft, and very high quality kangaroo leather, which forms to your foot fairly quickly to be honest. There is somewhat of a break-in time, but that is only for the shoe to mold to your foot, but even then you will not have any discomfort. The heel is lined with the same leather finish that can be found on the outside of the shoe, providing a soft feel while also locking you heel in place. Since the Lethal Testimonial 2 is designed to stretch, it allows for pretty much any foot type to have the proper, comfortable fit. If your foot is wide or narrow, you should have no issues here. The sizing is also true. I wore my usual size 9US for review and the fit in the length was perfect, so if you are planning on ordering a pair, I would strongly suggest going for your normal size.
The Asics Lethal Testimonial 2 weighs in at 9.8oz, which is about average weight for most modern soccer shoes, but if compared to some of the classics, like the Adidas Copa Mundial, is actually pretty light. Considering that the entire upper is made from kangaroo leather, including the tongue, it is actually quite impressive in terms of weight. If you are into traditionally styled soccer shoes, a style that everybody should try at least once, than the Lethal Testimonial 2 is one of the lightest on the market.
The stud pattern on the Lethal Testimonial 2 is very unique, and offers something that doesn’t really compare to anything else on the market. The majority of the stud pattern is made up of conical studs, which are scattered all throughout the forefoot and the heel. The heel features five heel studs, instead of your standard four, with the studs on the inside and three on the outside. The forefoot features four closely placed studs on the outside, three running down the middle and three running along the inside. These are the studs that make up the support and stability aspects of the stud pattern. If you have ever seen any of the soleplates from Asics, they are generally made up of more studs than you might normally get in you typical firm ground stud pattern, and they also tend to cover a larger surface area. If you think of a stud pattern in terms of surface area, where the flat bottom of each stud counts as part of the surface area of the entire stud pattern, then you realize how little of you entire foot actually makes contact with the ground when you step down. Imagine the feeling of walking on cement with a pair of cleats on, there is lots of stud pressure and a lack of stability. So by having a stud pattern with more studs, means that you will have a little more stability, which is exactly what you get from this particular stud pattern. You can definitely tell that the stud pattern was designed with hard ground in mind, so if you are going to be playing of harder ground, this is an ideal stud pattern. The second element of this stud pattern is the three bladed studs located right at the toe of the shoe. These studs act as your push off points on the shoe. I am sure that everyone has at one point been told by your coach to “stay on your toes” and that is exactly where these bladed studs are positioned. So, the overall feel of the stud pattern is that of a very stable conical stud pattern with the added grip of a bladed stud pattern when pushing off. I guess you could say that it offers the best of both worlds.
There isn’t much to explain in terms of the touch on the Lethal Testimonial 2. The design of the shoe is simple and classic, and if you partner that design with a quality kangaroo leather upper, you get a touch that is seriously fantastic. If you have worn a classic leather shoe in the past, than the Lethal Testimonial 2 should offer exactly what you would expect, and if you haven’t worn a classic leather shoe before, than you’re missing out. The leather is soft, nicely padded and just the right thickness, giving the Lethal Testimonial 2 a very natural feel. I also really appreciate the leather tongue, which matches the thickness of the upper quite nicely. It is always nice to have a shoe that uses the same material throughout the entire upper of the shoe, so wherever you touch the ball, the feel will be the same. One thing that may bother some is the large fold-over tongue. This is something that personally has never really bothered me, but in this particular case, I can guarantee that it won’t bother you, simply because the tongue is made from such a soft and pliable leather. If you leave the tongue out, it will stay down to an extent, but because of how soft it is, when it does makes contact with the ball, it isn’t even noticeable. If you just can’t deal with the tongue, than it is soft and thin enough to fold under the laces, making the tongue disappear, like it was never there. If you are looking for that classic leather touch, look no further than the Lethal Testimonial 2.
Again, a classic shoe will feel the same almost no matter what. The soft, leather upper provides a nice cushion between your foot and the ball when shooting. There are no shooting gimmicks of any kind, but that sense of having nothing in the way gives the shoe a very natural feel. One thing that some do worry about is the heel gradient, and how it may effect your shooting, but trust me when I say that you will have no issues. If anything, you will notice the heel gradient for the first ten minutes, but once you stop thinking about it, they will feel normal. Like the touch on the ball, the shooting experience that you will have should not be a surprise.
Obviously a nicely padded leather will be more protective than a thin synthetic, so if protection is something that you value, than the Lethal Testimonial 2 is a good choice. It can also be argued that the 10mm heel gradient is a safety element in itself. Not all injuries are caused by other players. The logic behind designing a shoe more geared towards running and providing optimal support, like a running shoe, is tough to argue against. It can also be argued that you cannot predict an injury and it is impossible to say that you prevented an injury because of the shoes on your feet, but it definitely does not hurt to have these features in a soccer shoe.
Any soccer shoe that features a simple design will generally be durable. There is very little that can physically go wrong with the Lethal Testimonial 2, and any issues that you will have will most likely be cosmetic. This is a shoe that you can count on to last well past a season’s worth of play. Like any firm ground soccer shoe, the shoe is designed to be used on firm ground and not artificial surfaces, such as turf or artificial grass. While the shoe will not doubt work on this type of surface, keep in mind that you will severely compromise the durability of the shoe and will undoubtedly decrease the lifespan of your shoe. It is also worth noting that the upper uses a natural leather, which requires some maintenance in order to ensure the longevity of the shoe.
I was very excited to test out the Lethal Testimonial 2, especially with never having worn an Asics soccer shoe before. Asics is a very reputable running shoe company, and I can honestly say that there soccer shoes offer just as high a standard of quality. The Lethal Testimonial 2 is honestly one of the most unique shoe on the market, mainly because it offers to completely different extremes when it comes to soccer shoes. You get a classic kangaroo leather upper, but a very modern soleplate and stud pattern, offering not only great traction and support, but also offering technologies that can only be found on an Asics soccer shoe. If you are on the market for a shoe that is going to offer a quality leather touch, and some very modern technologies that you would like to give a try, than the Lethal Testimonial 2 may be one to take a hard look at. This is also a very viable option for those of you who are still stuck on the Copa Mundial and are looking to try something that it going to offer the same quality touch and fit, with a more modern, supportive feel. This is a seriously nice soccer shoe, and if you have never considered an Asics soccer shoe, it is time that you take a second look.
Comfort/Fit 10 out of 10
Weight 9 out of 10
Traction 9 out of 10
Touch 10 out of 10
Shooting 8 out of 10
Protection 9 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Final Score 63 out of 70 or 90%