Two steps forward, One step back
Over the past year, ASICS has looked to create their own version of elite series models with the launch of the with the launch of their Pro model series. This started with the X Fly Pro, which was a complete overhaul of the X Fly series and offered some key advancements. An example of this being their AI-designed soleplate. Given how long the DS Light Acros series has been around (about 3 years), it was time for an upgrade of its own. The DS Light Acros Pro is an evolution of the series, but not a revolution. While some fine additions have been made, the overhaul is not as drastic as it could have, and maybe should have been.
ASICS’ pride and joy with many of their football boots has been the excellent fit. The X Fly Pro is also an excellent fitting boot, so the onus was on the Acros Pro to deliver similar results. The Acros Pro manages to achieve this with little to no issues, impressing in how natural the boot fits on feet. The Acros’ trademark AcrosFit makes it’s return and does a solid job of keeping the foot locked into the boot, no matter the direction the foot moves.
Perhaps it is surprising to some to know that the Acros Pro makes for a solid speed boot because of this lockdown. It is not on the same level on a Speedflow, but given the expectations for an ASICS’ speed boot, it does very well. Again, this is very helpful when changing direction and the boot does not feel like it shifts around the feet. While of the things that is great about the AcrosFit is that there is good lockdown found in the forefoot as well, which is often ignored by other boots. It is appreciated since this is one of the parts of the boot that sees the most action on the ball.
The way the laces are set up means that the boots can fit a variety of foot types and even some wider footed players will not any issues with this boot. It also has to be acknowledged that ASICS included the always-appreciated secondary upper lacehole so that a runner’s knot can be done in order to add extra lockdown in the heel is needed. The heel itself also has plenty of cushioning and is comfortable, especially since it has a brushed liner.
There are drawbacks though, and this is where ASICS probably should have made some changes. For one, the upper is a bit too stiff out of the box and while the break in time is not long by any means, it could be better. Since this boot is the Pro model, normally it is expected for the upper material to feel more premium because of the extra cost. This is not what happens here, and it seems like not much thought was put into the design of the upper itself.
Secondly, while there are lot of cross patterns across the upper to help given some extra grip, but they do not help when the AcrosFit grids on the boot are smooth instead of continuing the pattern on top of the AcrosFit material. It makes the cross patterns almost feel like an afterthought. ASICS is well known for their technology in their running boots and even with their football boots they tend to pack a lot of tech in. However, this is not the case with the Acros Pro as not enough experimentation has gone on with the upper.
As far as sizing, definitely go true to size. While in the past many ASICS boots have run long, this is not the case with the Acros Pro. Do not go a half size down otherwise the toes will be far too cramped in the boot.
Touch and Dibbling
Even though the upper has the AcrosFit located on most of it, the upper is still surprisingly thin and the touch is reminiscent of other speed boots, like the synthetic variations of the Mercurial series. It is because of this that there is a good “sense” on the ball when playing and there is not much cushioning to get in the way of the touch on the ball. It is thin and crisp on the ball.
The grid patterns on the boot do get some action when dribbling. That is, provided the dibbling is done with the outside of the foot. This is because this is the only part of the boot where the AcrosFit structure does not get in the way of the pattern. And it works well! This part of the boot is soft and responsive that it does seem like the boot would almost be improved in some ways if the AcrosFit had not been added to the upper of the boot.
Still, the boot is good enough when it comes to the touch and dribbling. There are no distractions, and the boot performs well overall. There is just that feeling that the boot could be so much more, and it would be nice to see an update in the future. Again, the boot is not a bad choice, and it certainly performs well enough not to disappoint.
Shooting and Passing
The thinner upper also means that like other speed boots, there is a nice ping when shooting the ball. Having that AcrosFit pattern does not mean it is that noticeable when hitting the ball. Maybe it is a placebo effect because of the raised AcrosFit cage, but it does feel like there is also a little bit extra added when hitting the ball in the boots. This means that striking the ball feels just that bit nicer than the typical synthetic speed boot.
This goes for long passes when the ball is hit with power as well. When it comes to short passing, the boot feels more like a typical synthetic boot unfortunately with not much noticeable effects on the ball. Not to be too hard on the boot, but again that criss-cross pattern would go a long way towards making the boot feel more unique if it was all over every part of the upper. It would have also added some extra grip, too.
This is not to say that the boot performs poorly in wet conditions as it was good enough. But it could have been so much more. It is average in the rain whereas a little tweaking could have made it excellent. Still, it is not a bad boot if it is all power, all the time.
The Acros Pro has the same fantastic soleplate that is found on the X Fly Pro. Here is some of what was said about the soleplate in the review for those:
“But the surprising thing as that I don’t remember seeing AI and algorithm-based tech being used in their running shoes as much but this seems like a well taken risk. There is no heel lift in the rear of the boot as is found on other ASICS boots. Instead, there is a visual slope that can be seen where the soleplate meets the upper on the profile view of the boot. Because of this the boots feel more natural to run in than other boots, which just have a straight line from the heel to the toe box on the part where the soleplate and upper meet. Sure, sometimes you’ll find an upward curve like is found on the X Ghosted, but nothing as well though out as what is seen on the X Fly Pro.
This means that the actual profile of the boots is made in to work in conjunction with the soleplate itself, which I would argue helps improve grip since it takes into account the body mechanics when running.
There is also a ton of stability on the soleplate because of the design. This stability means that the soleplate provides terrific support in spite of the fact of how thin it is. There is not as much springback as you might find on other speed boots, but it is still there and noticeable. The mesh on the soleplate works surprisingly well in that you do not notice that the soleplate is not one solid piece. Maybe ASICS can make this stiffer, but I quite like how it is now.
A key component for grip is the studs of course. And the shape and design of the “Accelerator Stud System” on the X Fly Pro are fantastic and are probably my favourite thing about the boot. No matter the surface, no matter the conditions, the studs gave tons of grip without preventing me from pivoting or making sharp cuts. This is where Mizuno falls behind with its Morelia Neo soleplate. The little indentations found on each stud on the X Fly Pro allows you to get grip in any direction.”
It is really good.
Versus the X Fly Pro
If the choice is between these two boots, go with the X Fly Pro as the leather and MOISTect material make for a nicer upper. If leather is not an option, the Acros Pro is good enough, especially with the same, excellent, soleplate.
It is difficult to give full backing to the Acros Pro. It is a good boot, but it could have been a great boot. The soleplate is brilliant, but the upper could have been more. In spite of that, it was a good boot to review and hopefully in future ASICS can improve on what is a promising design. A few changes here and there would give ASICS a boot that could give other speed boots some competition, which is always welcome.
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