Friday, 17 July 2009

Takin' Asics for a run

Two weeks ago I bought a pair of Asics Gel Trabuco 11 trail shoes. Our ladies team won our category at the Kinetic Urban Adventure last month - we won vouchers for Kinetic's store, so I thought I'd put mine to use to get a new pair of trail shoes.

I've been running primarily in Adidas for many years - about nine years now. Sure, I've played with Salomon and Hi-Tec and various Adidas models but I usually stick with the softer ride of the Adidas Response. The downside to this shoe, which fits my feet well, is that the sole is soft so this model doesn't have great longevity.

One of the benefits of being Gear Editor for Runner's World magazine for 18 months was that I wrote many shoe review guides. My home turned into a running shoe store for a few weeks while I wrote the reviews. Although I didn't run in the shoes, I did try them all on to compare to width, fit, toe box, mid-foot fit, lacing styles and last. Fortunately the sample sizes are usually my foot size.

Shoes really are a personal thing because we all have such different feet - there is no one style fits all; and even within brands, not all styles will suit you.

I like a snug fit, especially around my heel and mid-foot. And I'm quite particular about how the last is sculpted, especially under the arch. The shoes that I've really liked in terms of fit (road and trail) include Brooks, Asics, Montrail and, of course, Adidas. Not all styles, but in general I liked these.

I took my new Asics Gel Trabuco 11 (yes, mens version; my shoe size is just outside of the women's sizing curve, so I have always run in men's shoes) for their first outing a day after I got them. To get the feel I walked around in them for a bit at home. The event was an orienteering colour-coded race, held the weekend before last. The course took me two hours to complete and the terrain was a combination of rocky (very) and grassy.

The Asics feels higher than the Adidas Response, which is a low profile shoe. But the fit is good so my feet did not slide within the shoe and I had not one hotspot nor blister. Just the way I like it. This shoe is also a little less flexible than the Adidas Response, but this could also be because the shoe is brand-spanking new and my Response shoes have done a few hundred kilometres; but I seem to recall even a new Response being quite flexible, moving easily as your forefoot flexes - but remember too that the Response sole is quite a bit softer.

Overall I'm very happy - the outside fabric held up to the abrasion of the terrain, the sole lugs are still intact and my laces stayed tied (I hate laces that loosen!). I'll be running in them tomorrow morning, at the Springbok Vasbyt, which is a trail / dirt road run from the Voortrekker Monument. This kind of run has a more reular cadence than an orienteering event so I look forward to feeling the cushioning over regular terrain.

1 comment:

Ricky said...

Good shoes - however, I have found the soles are a bit slippy on wet rocks (a problem in Cape Town winters) so it will be interesting to hear they work during your Canadian excursion which may be damper than a Gauteng winter. Montrail Mountain Masochists seem to have all that these do + some grip.