41 best Asics trail running shoes

Based on reviews from 53 experts and 28,281 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Asics trail running shoes. Updated Oct 2019.

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Asics trail running shoes

As one of the trusted brands in terms of performance shoes, Asics is frequently dominating more or less 100,000 shoe reviews with their top-of-the-line running range. With their dedication to running, the brand has come up with the best Asics trail running shoes for varied terrains. Asics also created trail shoes for hiking, adventure racing, trekking and cross-country activities among others.

Finding the best Asics trail running shoes

best asics trail running shoes
Best Asics trail running shoes - December 2018

Trail running shoes have special characteristics that differentiate them from road running shoes. The best trail shoe should be durable, grippy, and stable. In finding the best trail shoes from Asics, one must consider these following factors:

  • Aggressive lugs. One of the main elements of a trail shoe is the high level of grip and traction for varied trail surfaces. As opposed to road shoes, you need to prioritize an aggressive treading pattern if you want to conquer more rugged trails, like stony paths and mountain ranges. However, you can also choose a tamed outsole for running on off-road routes and even pavements. The best Asics trail running shoes do have great versatility for runners to enjoy varied terrains.
  • Durable build. The protection and performance on the trail rely on the shoe’s outsole; thus, it only makes sense to take that part into account when picking the best Asics trail shoes. Asics has quite a few outsole materials innovated to improve trail performance, such as the AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) outsole and the DuraSponge sole technology.
  • Foot protection. Protection should not be compromised for performance or design. Choose the best Asics trail shoes that can offer better underfoot protection against trail irregularities and impact forces. There are outsoles with premium cushioning to reduce the pressure from shock or trail-specific plates to keep debris from bruising your foot.
  • Great design. Trail shoes are believed to be bulky and ugly, but the best Asics trail shoes have better designs for casual and professional runners. You can expect appealing platforms that either camouflage on the trail or pop out with bold colors. Even if you are running on mud, you can still make a statement with aesthetically-appealing shoes from Asics
  • Waterproof coverage. Waterproof properties are not incorporated in every trail shoe, but having such features does make a difference when you are running on trails. With the possibility of mud, snow, and rain, you need to keep your foot comfortable and dry throughout the run. Look for waterproof features, such as Gore-Tex technology (GTX) to allow better protection against the elements and debris.
  • Affordable price. Asics trail shoes are more affordable compared to other trail running shoes. Though Asics shoes belong to the cheap running shoe category, the shoes still offer impressive durability, protection, grip, and stability.

Notable technologies of Asics trail running shoes

Asics trail running shoes are more affordable compared to other brands, but it does not mean that runners are receiving less from Asics. The best Asics trail shoes are packed with the following materials and technologies:

  • Gel cushioning system - The rearfoot gel cushioning is specifically designed to attenuate shock during impact. It encourages responsive and smoother transition while giving the foot additional cushioning for comfort. This gel cushioning is present in most Asics running shoes.
  • Trail-specific outsole - The best Asics trail running shoes have trail-specific outsole design to deliver enhanced grip on varied surfaces. The reversed lug pattern offers traction on both uphill and downhill runs. The lugs give runners more control while navigating the rugged terrain.
  • AHAR outsole - It is the acronym for Asics High Abrasion Rubber. The AHAR material is specifically placed on high-wear areas for durability. It also enhances traction without affecting flexibility. Asics trail shoe with AHAR outsole can survive long-term off-road running.
  • Lace garage  - Lace garage is commonly found in the best Asics trail running shoes. It keeps the laces secure and prevents the laces from getting into the way while running. Lace garage is considered by some trail runners as one of the best trail shoe features.
  • Gore-Tex membrane - Popular trail shoes from Asics have waterproof counterparts and these shoes are using Gore-Tex membrane to keep the shoe warm and dry. The GTX material does not affect the shoe’s breathability and flexibility.  If your location has regular rain showers or snowy weather, it is wise to use GTX running shoes to keep performance, comfort, and protection top-notch.

Popular Asics trail running shoe models for men and women

Men’s and women’s Asics trail running shoes are popular because they are affordable, durable and high-performing. Listed below are some of the popular Asics trail shoe models.

Asics Gel Venture

The Asics Gel Venture is now on its 6th version. The shoe features a breathable upper coverage, responsive cushioning, and durable outsole. What is impressive about this shoe version is the excellent traction it delivers for varied surfaces. Thanks to the trail-specific outsole and AHAR material that also gives the shoe durability. The Asics Gel Venture 6 is one of the affordable trail running shoes available in the market to date. It is available in standard medium and wide width options.

Asics GT 2000 Trail

The latest version of the GT 2000 Trail model, the Asics GT 2000 7 Trail, is equipped with the latest midsole technologies for a more responsive and stable ride. The new version continues to deliver the same level of grip and comfort. Some of the technologies incorporated into the shoes are the SpEVA Foam, FlyteFoam Lyte, AHAR, DuoMax Support System, and Impact Guidance System technology.

Asics Gel Scram

The Scram is the most affordable trail running shoe from Asics. The latest version of this model is the Scram 4. The shoe offers a good balance of protection, traction, comfort and cushioning. Both the men’s and women’s version of the Scram gained positive feedback from users. To provide runners with stable and grippy performance on the varied trail, the shoe makes use of gel cushioning, trail-specific outsole, and reinforced toe cap.

Asics Kahana

The Asics Kahana 8 is a reliable trail shoe from Asics designed for overpronators. The shoe has a heavy construction but it is durable, grippy and supportive. For unmatched stability, the shoe makes use of the DuoMax System, Trusstic System, and Rearfoot Gel Cushioning.

Asics Gel Sonoma

The men’s and women’s Asics Sonoma 8 is another affordable trail shoe from Asics. It is designed for neutral runners and is packed with great technologies for a satisfying performance. The SpEVA midsole delivers responsive cushioning while the AHAR outsole gives durability and traction. The Sonoma 3 has received mixed feedback from its users but it is worth trying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest trail running shoes from Asics?

The Scram 4 is the cheapest running shoes from Asics that is made for off-road running. The Asics Gel Scram 4 offers a good balance of protection, comfort, and grip.

What is the best Asics trail running shoes?

The Gel Venture 6 is the best Asics trail running shoe. It has a cheap price tag but the performance is impressive. It has a durable design with reliable grip. The men’s and women’s Asics Gel Venture 6 is available in different color options.

Do Asics manufactures waterproof shoes?

Yes, Asics manufactures running shoes that are waterproof. These shoes make use of GTX membrane to keep the shoe dry on wet running conditions. The GTX element is lightweight and breathable. Some Asics waterproof shoes are meant for road running while others are for trail running.

Can I wear my Asics trail shoe on the roads?

Yes, Asics trail shoes are also suitable for road running, but be aware that trail shoes are heavier and less comfortable because of the protective elements added into the shoes.

What is the most expensive Asics trail running shoe?

The Fujitrabuco 6 is the most expensive trail running shoe from Asics, but with a retail price of $130, it is still considered as affordable compared to other trail running shoes. The shoe is designed for neutral runners.

Can I wear my Asics trail shoe on a treadmill?

Yes, you can wear your trail shoe on a treadmill as long as they don't have studs in it. However, since trail shoes are typically heavy, you might end up feeling fatigued. If you want to use a trail shoe, opt for a much lighter version which also offers flexibility and comfortable cushioning.

Does Asics trail shoes run small?

Asics trail running shoes deliver a decent, comfortable fit. They run true to size, but it is still advisable to try the shoes first before purchasing them, especially if it is your first time to buy Asics shoes. If you prefer a roomy toe-box, then maybe you should consider going half-a-size up.

When is the best time to replace from Asics trail running shoe?

According to some running experts, running shoes (both trail and road shoes) should be replaced between 300 to 500 miles. Even if your Asics trail shoe shows no significant issues after 500 miles, you should replace it with a new one. For lightweight and competition running shoes, they should be replaced anywhere between 200 to 300 miles.

15 best Asics trail running shoes

  1. Asics Gel FujiTrabuco 7
  2. Asics Gel Venture 6
  3. Asics Gel Venture 5
  4. Asics Gel FujiTrabuco 6
  5. Asics Gel Scram 3
  6. Asics Gel Sonoma 4
  7. Asics Gel Fujirado
  8. Asics Gel Kahana 8
  9. Asics Alpine XT
  10. Asics Gel Venture 7
  11. Asics GT 2000 6 Trail
  12. Asics Gel Scram 4
  13. Asics Gel Sonoma 3
  14. Asics Gecko XT
  15. Asics GT 2000 7 Trail
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

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