Shoe Reviews

Asics TartherZeal 3 and Tarther Kainos 3 review


This is a tough review for me, not because I didn’t like the shoes, they just weren’t the right tools for me. Trust me, I wanted them to be. This time, it was the runner, not the shoe that fell short. The TartherZeal 3 and the Tarther Kainos 3 had me feeling like a poseur, a fraud, a phony. Running my regular routes in these shoes seemed aggressive. They’re  fine-tuned racing machines; Lamborghinis to my Volkswagen running style. My fast miles in these shoes were in the high 7-minute range as I was recovering from a little PF. Honestly, high 7s are my fast miles even when I’m healthy. The Tarther flats are from Japan and only available through Running Warehouse. Tarther Kaino 3 Neon Orange / TartherZeal 3 Red and Gold

Tarther Kaino 3TartherZeal 3The Good

These are two similar shoes, the TartherZeal 3 is slightly more traditional with stitched on overlays vs the Tarther Kainos welded overlays. The shoes are direct imports from Japan, so no half sizes. I went for a size 11 over my normal size 10.5 and the shoes fit just fine. The uppers breath so well I could feel wind gusts through them. Both shoes outsoles are the same. Small teeth like blown rubber cleats on the mid to forefoot of the shoe. The cleats are so aggressive they turned my basement’s carpet into velcro. I walked over a yoga mat and the nubs tore chunks out. The TartherZeal 3 weighed 6.35 oz (size 11) and the Tarther Kaino 3 weighed 6.85 oz (size 11). I think there might be slightly more cushion under the mid foot in the Tarther Kaino that adds the weight. These shoes deliver the fast feel with a 7mm drop.

Tarther Kaino 3

TartherZeal3The Bad

These are sports cars built for speed, not comfort. If I could blaze a sub 3-hour marathon, they might offer enough cushion and support for me. The shoes felt mighty stiff and unforgiving on my Plantar Fascitis. My stride seemed “slappy” in the shoes.

Tarther Kaino 3

TartherZeal 3Conclusion

I felt really self-conscience in the shoes. Almost like, showing up to prom with a girl you know is out of your league. These shoes are for the track stars, cross country champs, and sub-three-hour marathoners. Not me. The TartherZeal 3 were my favorite of the two. I love their classic looks and 49er’s red and gold colors. I might even pull them out for a 5k in the future.


Road Trail Run reviewed the other Asics exclusives from Japan – LyteRacer RS4and Skysensor Glide 3, “my first runs in these make them easy to figure out: light, fast, well cushioned, capable shoes”


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