Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo

Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo
Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo, the color I wanted

When I went sneaker shopping two weeks ago, I discovered the Asics Japan shoe line. They were specifically made for marathon runners. I was intrigued.

Let me tell you that I absolutely abhor going into a department store to find shoes⁵, even if it’s a high-end store like Sogo. In fact, don’t go to Sogo. You’ll save money by going to regular shops. For sneakers, I recommend the Gongguan area (公館站)¹, which has got at least a dozen different sneakers, carrying everything from Nike to Acupuncture².

Update: I’ve worn them for a full day and you barely notice that you are wearing any shoes. They are extremely light. I’d like to get a small scale to see how many grams they do weigh. I’m pretty happy with my purchase.

Asics Marathon Sortie Magic Japan Duo
Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo, the color I bought

I found the design of these shoes very interesting. They were flat soled, a better interpretation of what Nike is trying to do with their Nike Frees. I actually found a store carrying the Nike Frees in Taipei, after having found none everywhere else. Unfortunately, the models looks pretty bad. They aren’t like the ones on the website.

Back to the SM Japan Duos. Another thing I noticed at Sogo was their price. They were quite expensive, at around $180. In Taiwan, there aren’t many sneakers that cost so much since they are mostly made here. Top end running shoes from Asics and Mizuno will cost you at most $120. In North America, the same shoes will cost at least twice as much. I saw the Gel Kinsei 2 shoes selling for $250.

The girls at the shop weren’t very helpful. They tried their best, but didn’t speak the language well and said that they couldn’t order my size in. This was after I had tried on a US size 9.5. I usually wear 10.5 or 11. The shoes themselves were different looking. They were a darker shade with a metallic red wave logo. They are extremely light. They practically weigh nothing. I don’t think that Nike makes anything as light as these.

Once again, I forgot to mention that I was trying to find some blue sneakers. I love blue and it’s my favorite color. My Nike Airmax 360 are denim colored⁴, which I really like. For the life of me, I couldn’t find any blue shoes, except some New Balance sneaks which were too powder blue for my taste.

Onitsuka Tiger Roppongi, the shoes I bought
Onitsuka Tiger Roppongi, the shoes I bought

Bummed, I decided to try out some Onitsuka Tiger shoes, a lifestyle line from Asics. A pair of golden rod shoes hit my fancy. After I tried them on, they looked pretty good. The girls liked them too, but they’ll say thumbs up to anything.

I left the shop wondering about the SM Japan Duos that weren’t available in my size. I was a bit annoyed that I had found a pair of shoes that I liked but that they weren’t available in my size and couldn’t be ordered in.

After researching the model online, I didn’t find out much. It took me a few different tries before I found out that yes, indeed, they were made in Japan and available for the Asian market. Unavailable in the US or Canada. I found three different colors. Two white based and the reddish color that I liked. I paid no heed to the other colors and tried to find out more about the red colored ones.

One thing I made certain of is my shoe size in Japanese size. That would just eliminate some frustration and make things quicker. For the record, I’m a 28.5. It took quite a few times before I found enough information. The shoes were classified as for “elite” runners. They have flat soles and are extremely light.

I tried to find them, but hadn’t really made that much of an effort until today. I was thinking about ordering the on the internet³, but I lucked out and found a shop near Gongguan which had both newer models in stock. They were the white models, one with blue streaks and one with red streaks. The darker colored one was nowhere in sight. I was told that the other model was an older one from last year. After looking around a bit, I came back to the shop that had them and tried them out some more. I bought the pair with blue streaks. They look pretty good and are very light.

Although initially my plan wasn’t to use them for running, I plan on using them sometime this week. I’m just curious on how they feel. My other running shoes are Asics Gel Kinsei 2s from last year. They’ve probably upgraded the models since then, but I don’t really care about that. I tend to wear a shoe until it brakes.

* * * * *

[¹]: It’s basically a student ghetto. Located between the Taida (NTU, 國立臺灣大學) and Shida Gongguan (NTNU, ) campuses, the area has some great deals on sneakers and books. Probably other things, but those are the shops that I noticed. There are also quite a lot of unfriendly foreigners there. Out of 13, only one nodded to say hello. It’s like being back home!
[²]: I was actually surprised to see two or three shops stock Royal Elastics. I know of one model that I liked, but I was a man on a mission. And that mission was finding Sortie Marathon Japan Duos from Asics. Damn the rest to hell!
[³]: Lucky I didn’t, because my initial estimate was size 28 and they barely fit me. 28.5 fit like a glove.
[⁴]: These Nikes are shit to run in, as I discovered at my expense when I started raking up the miles. They weigh 120z and look good. However, I pierced the air compartment in 2007 when I stepped on a thumbtack left on the floor by a Kindergarten kid. Since then, they have been making annoying swishing sounds. It’s been a few years and now both air chambers are pierces. I’ve started walking around a lot more and it’s become an annoyance.
[⁵]: […] or anything else for that matter. Department store and shopping drain my life away. I feel like some Twilight-like energy vampire sucked my life away. It’s a wonder why my wife and other women love it so.


14 responses to “Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo”

  1. Mervin Avatar

    Hi Range,

    How did you find the Sortie Duo as a running shoe? I am wondering if you could help me, as I might be going to Taipei on business next week,

    1. Do they have Sortie Supermagic 2

    2. What is the name of the store where you found them? is it far from the subway?

    3. You mentioned Sogo, available there?

    I found the shoes in Korea, but they didnt have my size (i assume its 285). Would love to try them out first before buying, as opposed to ordering online. Price was about the same, approx USD 180.


  2. range Avatar

    Hi Mervin, yes they do have a few models at Sogo, which is at the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station.

    However, near Gongguan MRT, there is a place on Tingzhou Rd, near the Crocs store, that has a lot of Japanese Asics. They have all sizes and have a 15% rebate on the MSRP. Although, I noticed that they didn’t have that many Japanese models, they did have Sortie Marathon Japan Duo, which I bought.

    I think Sogo had Supermagic 2, but I’m not sure of the sizes they had. They tend to have smaller sizes. I checked my size vs the Japanese scale and asked for the right size that way.

    1. Mervin Avatar

      Hey, thanks for the more detailed info above. Will try to check it out.

      Did you wear the Duo on a run? How was it?

  3. range Avatar

    I have. It’s surprisingly comfortable, though I still have some Gel Kinseis to go through before I start using Sortie Marathon. It goes with the philosophy that less is better. There aren’t any fancy soles and stuff on this shoe. It’s extremely light, you barely notice them on your feet.

    However, since the two new models are white, they can get dirty quickly, especially if used for running.

    1. Mervin Avatar

      Went to both the shops you recommended Sunday morning, came to Taipei for 24 hrs for a short work trip.

      Didnt find what I wanted near the Crocs store, although they have really cheap Mizuno Idaten.

      Sogo had more models, but they have the smaller sizes 😦
      Not too bad of a selection, and again seem Mizuno shoes are cheaper than the Asics, about 20% cheaper for top of the range Ekiden and Wave Universe models.

      Anyways much thanks for the recommendations.
      Happy running.

      1. range Avatar

        Hi Mervin, sorry that you didn’t find them. I’ll try posting an address as well as a photo of the shop for other shoppers who are interested in the Japanese Asics. I understand your frustration. I did all of the sneaker shops on Ting Zhou St. to find them. There were about a dozen.


  4. Banciu diana Avatar
    Banciu diana

    Hy my neme is Diana.I would two pairs by adidas asics sortie marathon size 39 no matter the colour. we found like models anywhere on the net.I do athletics and this shoes are very good for me.please help me and to tell me how much. thanks and good bye

  5. range Avatar

    Hi Diana, these shoes are available at the downtown Sogo store, at Zhongxiao-Fuxing. They have many sizes, I suggest you try there.

  6. range Avatar

    BTW, this is in Taipei, Taiwan.

  7. olasonn Avatar


    Do you know of any online stores in Japan that ships Asics shoes to Europe?

  8. range Avatar

    Hi, I just quickly checked and a good hint would be to try Yahoo shopping, or Google shopping.

  9. Nike Year of the Tiger Classic Cortez « memoirs on a rainy day Avatar

    […] design of the Classic Cortez shoe reminds me of the Asics Sortie Marathon Duo that I got last year, as well as the Onitsuka Tiger Roppongi that I got about the same time. These […]

  10. nguyen vk Avatar
    nguyen vk

    do you know what’s the name of the Asics model in black/red/gold ?
    Thaaaaanks 🙂

  11. range Avatar

    The name is: Asics Sortie Marathon Japan Duo

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