The Asics Gel Venture 7 is a good trail running shoe for someone looking to cut their teeth on trail running. The price is right and the features are exactly what you need for short to mid-distance runs (5-8 miles). I really don't feel like it is meant for much more than that. As a mid-distance trail trainer, it is perfect.
Who should buy the Venture 7
The Asics Venture 7 is for beginners who are looking for a lightweight and affordable trail running shoe that works best for short-distance runs.
Who should not buy the Venture 7
Look away if you:
are an experienced runner who wants a long-distance running shoe (the FujiTrabuco 8 is a sturdy trail shoe built for high-mileage runs)
need an airy shoe for longer, hotter runs (the Asics Frequent Trail is praised by runners for its breathability)
True to size
Little to no break-in
Narrow toe box
The shoe fits true to size
The shoe sizing is true to fit. I wear a medium, size 9.5 (US Men´s)
The Asics Gel Venture 7 has a narrow toe box
The toebox on the Venture 7 is a bit on the narrow side for me. This criticism is common for me when it comes to trail shoes. I am partial to a wider toe box with more room to move. That said, the snugness of the shoe didn't turn me off entirely. If you like a trail shoe with a narrow toe box, this shoe is for you.
Solid lockdown on foot
The lockdown on the lace cage of the Venture 7 is a force to be reckoned with. The burly design and structure with multiple anchor points really give the Venture 7 over-the-top security, and this adds to the responsiveness and cornering ability of the shoe.
The Venture 7 is responsive
The cushioning on the Venture 7 is appropriate. It sits just right in this reviewer's opinion, not too rigid but not too soft.
I liked how responsive the Asics Venture 7 is. I felt like I got a good energy return on my runs in these. The trail was easy to feel in the Gel Venture 7.
What strikes you right off about the Asics Venture 7 is how unbelievably comfortable the shoe is. The sidewall of the upper is cushioned appropriately and wraps the top of the foot very snuggly. The lace cage and flat laces secure your foot smoothly with even distribution of pressure.
The Asics Venture 7 is ready to go out of the box
I liked how the Gel Venture 7 was ready to run without any adjustment period. It was supple and pliable from the get-go, not leaving me with hot spots or abrasive areas.
The sole of the Venture 7 is designed with multi-directional V-shaped lugs that offer a great source of traction. On the varied surfaces I tested this shoe on I was not let down one bit. The Venture 7 performed on everything from gravel pedestrian paths, forest service roads, and even semi-technical dirt single-track.
The Venture 7 doesn't weigh you down
At 10.7oz/303g, the Venture 7 shockingly feels light for a trail shoe (trail shoes have an average weight of 10.4oz/296g). The weight was one of this shoe´s crowning glories. The Venture 7 will not leave you feeling like you are loading down the trail in a heavy hiking shoe.
The Venture 7 runs hot
One thing that I am constantly let down on with trail running shoes is the tendency to overstuff the cushioning. The Gel Venture 7 is no exception to this. The heel collar, sidewalls, tongue, and even the roof of the toe box are packed full of padding. While this might seem like a good feature if one is out tackling the wilderness, it really only results in overheating of the foot.
A steal of a bargain
The Venture 7 has a lot of solid features, and despite itś few shortcomings, is a steal of a bargain. While shoe brands like Nike, Hoka, Altra, and others are pushing the $200 price point for their latest models, a savvy running shoe consumer can likely snag a pair of the Venture 7 for $70.00.
My name is Sean Kiffe. I live with my wife and three daughters in Missoula, MT where I teach middle school science. I am primarily a trail runner but also dabble in road events occasionally. Currently, I am working my way into ultra distances and will be doing my first 50K and 100K trail races this season.