ASICS Gel Trabuco 9 Review

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Trailer runners often have a reputation of being a little heavy and bulky, but the ASICS Gel-Trabuco 9 is built a little differently. It is composed of lightweight materials that won’t weigh your feet down on those long runs, but packs in high-end cushioning, motion control features for uphill and downhill climbs, and plenty of traction on the outsole for enhanced stability on even the most difficult trailheads.

This shoe boasts a low profile that sits fairly low on your foot for a heightened range of motion and has sleek styling that is offered in punchy color options. If you are a runner that likes to take your workouts off of the sidewalks and onto the trails and need a little extra comfort and stability, this is a really great model.

Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the features that make the ASICS Gel-Trabuco 9 a really great trail running or walking shoe that you can wear all day long.
ASICS Gel Trabuco 9 Review Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Not as heavy as most trail runners

Low profile

Deep lugs for excellent traction

3D print upper is breathable and promotes lockdown

GEL cushioning absorbs impact to protect joints

Cons

Slightly expensive

Narrow forefoot

The toe box is too wide for some

Key Features

Key Features

MIDSOLE

ASICS is making quite a bit of waves with their advanced FlyteFoam technology, and it is showing up in almost all of their stability trainers. The ASICS Gel Trabuco 9 has a midsole that is composed of a thick and durable layer of Flytefoam cushioning that runs from the tip of the toes all the way through the heel. The heel is also reinforced with GEL cushioning that helps to absorb the impact when running on hard surfaces and is kind of your joints.

What I love most about this trail runner is that it also boasts DUOXMAX support in the midsole. Sandwich between dual layers of Flytefoam, you will find DUOMAX cushioning. This plate works like a sponge to give your foot extra support whether you overpronate or underpronate. It works to provide just a little bit of extra support where you need it most, as well as guiding your foot into a nice and easy gait cycle.

UPPER

One of the biggest updates made to the GEL Trabuco 9 is the completely redesigned upper. It is composed of a 3D print mesh material that really hugs your foot for a secure fit that won’t shift around as you scale rocky and uneven terrain. This mesh material is incredibly lightweight as well as breathable and works to lift hot air up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry.

When running on uneven trails, it is super important that your shoes boast a wide toe box to allow your feet to naturally splay for added stability. While this toe box is is fairly wide, there are some runners that feel that it is just a tad too wide for their feet.

Additionally, this design has a slightly narrow forefoot without a lot of room to make micro-adjustments in the shallow lacing system. While this shoe works for most, it’s important to note that it may not be right for others. I suggest trying it on first at your local shoe store before you take the plunge!

OUTSOLE

The style of the outsole is where this shoe really shines. The deep lugs on this shoe do not make it a hybrid trainer that transitions easily from sidewalks to trails. The deep lugs on the outsole are designed for even the most difficult trails, but it may be a little awkward on sidewalks or on the treadmill. It is composed of ASICS proprietary ASICSGRIP Technology that is much softer than your average hiking boot. You will be able to scale most rocky terrain without losing any stability.

What I also love about this outsole is that it hosts an interior rock plate that guards your feet against rocks. If you have ever hit a jagged rock in a basic pair of trainers, you are quite familiar with the mysterious bruises that appear on the underside of your foot. This rock plate protects your feet against those evil jagged rocks that appear out of nowhere, giving you the freedom to pick up the pace without losing stability or traction.

STYLE

Personally, I love the sleek style of this running shoe. Overall, it has a fairly muted basic color palette that is accented with sharp and punchy colors so that other runners can see you coming. It is offered in basic black with the option of orange and blue accents, or electric yellow accents.

What I also love about the styling of this shoe is that while it behaves like a killer trailer runner, it doesn’t look like one! It boasts a low profile that sits a little bit lower on your foot, and the lugs are modest enough that they won’t add to the overall bulk of this shoe.

PERFORMANCE

For runners (or walkers) that like to venture off of paved walkways and sidewalks, this is a great option. While other trail runners are often heavy and a little awkward, this shoe is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. It weighs in at just over 10 ounces, making it one of the lighter trail runners out there on the market. The deep lugs are soft to the touch that are able to really grip the rocky ground under your feet, and the addition of the rock plate protects your feet on difficult terrain.

While it works great on trails, it is also a great option for heavier runners, or for those with pronation issues. The DUOMAX cushioning system works to deliver the right amount of support where you place the bulk of your weight while you run, whether it is on the inside of your foot or the outside.

PRICE

Overall, the price tag of the ASICS Gel Trabuco 9 runs pretty par for the course. It isn’t the most expensive trail stability trainer out there on the market, but it isn’t exactly budget-friendly, either. The deep lugs make this shoe a little bit limited in terms of versatility, which means that it may not be a great choice to wear at the gym or when running on sidewalks. However, if you prefer to stick solely to the trails on your runs, this shoe is well worth it!

It’s important to note that while this shoe is built for trails, it is also a great stability trainer. It boasts high-end features that help to support and comfort your foot, as well as help with pronation issues. When you start to dive into the realm of stability shoes, the price tag is often bumped up a bit. Taking into consideration that the ASICS Men's Gel Trabuco 9 is a lightweight stability trail runner, it breaks down into a great value!
Comparison to Previous Versions

Comparison to Previous Versions

There have been some pretty big changes made between the ASICS Gel Trabuco 8 and the 9. The most notable change between these two shoes is the complete redesign of the upper. The previous versions of this shoe boasted an upper that is more like a hiking boot. While the stiff upper of previous versions provided runners with excellent stability, it was incredibly stiff and did not let your feet breathe at all. At the end of a run, users were often left with hot, soupy socks.

The updated version ditches the stiff synthetic upper in exchange for a 3D print upper that contours to the shape of your foot for a lightweight yet secure fit. This dynamic upper is not only more breathable than previous iterations, but it also allows for more movement and flexibility in your feet. When your toes can naturally splay and flex inside of your shoe, it heightens your overall stability and connection to the trail ahead.
Verdict

Verdict

If your main jam is trail running, the ASICS Gel Trabuco 9 is one of the best trail runners currently out there on the market. What I love most about this updated design is that it essentially drops all of the stiff and heavy features found in previous interactions and crafts a more dynamic and lightweight running shoe. In fact, the latest version of the GEL Trabuco is a full ounce lighter than other iterations of this shoe!

It does have a few drawbacks that are worth noting, however. While a wide toe box is good for trail running, there are some users that found that the toe box is just a little too wide, and found their toes swimming at the end of the shoe. Also, it isn’t as versatile as some of the other trail runners out there on the market.

The deep lugs can really lock you down to some pretty uneven surfaces and give you a better ground feel, but it’s not ideal for sidewalks. However, if you scoff at the thought of running on sidewalks, this shoe is well worth the investment!