ASICS GEL-Venture 4 Review Facts
Asics is a household name when it comes to athletic wear and gear. In terms of running, as an extremely popular shoe brand, they are well known for their quality trainers around the world. The Asics Gel Venture 4 is the fourth model of Asics’ Gel Venture series. The Gel Venture series is known for being a lower cost option, in a market full of high priced running shoes. The Gel Ventures don’t skimp on quality and offer a great deal of value for their price tag, including good cushioning, a mesh overlay that allows breathability, and a durable design for all terrains. The Gel Venture 4 has a lot to offer and is worth looking into for a decent pair of durable trainers.
The outsole of the Gel Venture 4 is made of AHAR
, or Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This rubber is designed specifically to withstand the hard impact of the trail. In addition, the outsole features gripping strips, which are designed to help traction when moving up and down inclines. With these components, the outsole of the Gel Venture 4 is geared towards trail and offroad running
, though the features offered certainly will not hinder roadrunners, and is an overall solid piece.
The midsole is the layer located between the outsole and the inner sole. The midsole is widely seen as one of the more important parts of the shoe, as it is responsible for absorbing shock and returning energy. The midsole of the Gel Venture is made of an Ethylene Vinyl acetate. This material is touted for being durable, and retaining its form after repeated use, meaning it is durable. Also, true to its name, the Gel Venture 4 features gel cushioning at the back of the shoe near the heel. The goal here is to minimize shock and keep the foot comfortable during every stride. Overall, the midsole of the Gel Venture 4 offers decent features and comfort but could be a bit better in terms of energy return.
The upper refers to the part of the shoe that wraps around the top of the foot and secures the foot in place. A good upper will allow flexibility while still protecting the foot, and also be breathable. The upper of the Gel Venture 4 is made of a mesh which is common in Asics running shoes
. The mesh is very breathable and allows for good circulation. There are also overlays tied to the shoelaces of the Venture 4, which tighten the upper or loosen it according to the laces, which creates a snug comfortable fit. Overall, the upper of the Gel Venture 4 is comfortable, breathable, and flexible, though notably a bit lacking in the flexibility department. That said, the upper is an overall strong component of these shoes.
Weight may not seem a significant aspect of a shoe, but it certainly plays a role in running. Heavier shoes tend to offer more cushion, but less of a natural range of motion, while lighter shoes
tend to offer a more natural range of motion, but less protection from injuries. The Gel Venture 4 weighs in at 10.7 ounces for men and 8.7oz for women, which is right around what is to be expected for this type of trainer. It falls in the spectrum of not too heavy, but not too light either. The weight of the Venture 4 raises no issues and is to be expected for a shoe of this type.
Breathability refers to the circulation of air within a shoe. This is important because bad circulation can cause sweaty and cramped feet, and at worst, blisters. Luckily, as mentioned earlier, the Gel Venture 4 is a fairly breathable shoe. This is due to the ventilation offered by the mesh design of the upper which allows a good amount of air to enter the shoe. So again, the Venture 4 certainly is a fairly ventilated and breathable shoe, although not the best.
Every runner should know the importance of comfort when considering a new shoe. It is important to remember that a shoe will likely be worn for many miles, so any discomfort will definitely last a long time. With that said, luckily the Gel Venture 4 is a fairly comfortable shoe. The gel cushioning
of the midsole helps contribute to this, as does the material of the midsole. Additionally, the snug fit and circulation offered by the mesh upper add comfort as well. The only major gripes with the comfort of the Venture 4 has been with the insole, which some have complained is not flexible enough. The insole can be replaced, and for many it was fine, but it is important to note these complaints. Overall, however, the Gel Venture 4 is a comfortable shoe.
Asics tends to offer a brighter style and combinations of colors. The Venture 4 has a clean looking design and is offered in a myriad of men’s and women’s colors. The Venture 4 is probably more difficult to use as an everyday shoe due to its lack of discreet and plain colors, which is an area where competitors sometimes have the edge. Overall though, the Venture 4 is decently stylish and features a good range of colors for all.
Durability is a big factor when looking at any new trainer. Bad durability will lead to worn out shoes, and another trip to the store to purchase a new pair. The Venture 4 is a very durable shoe. The AHAR rubber
of the outsole is one thing that contributes to this, as is the midsole material. They both are long lasting, and resistant to repeated use, even on rougher terrain like trails. Another contributing factor to this durability is the gel impact absorber located near the heel. The Venture 4 is an overall durable shoe
, that should last a long time regardless of the terrain.
In terms of protection, The Gel Venture 4 is quite good. It is designed with trail use
in mind, so the outsole is equipped with very protective rubber that is resistant to hard impacts that can occur. The upper is also a solid mesh construction, offering protection for the top of the foot as well. Overall, the Venture 4 is a trainer that offers good protection.
Responsiveness refers to the ability of a shoe to return of energy whenever it impacts the ground, or essentially during each step of running. A good energy return promotes a better stride and in turn, more efficient running
. The responsiveness of the Gel Venture 4 is not exceptional, but not a downside either. The midsole material, while effective in protecting from shock, is not the best at energy return when compared to other midsole materials, such as Phylon. The responsiveness of these Venture 4's is decent, but definitely not their strong point.
The Venture 4s offer good support throughout the shoe
. First, the midsole in tandem with the gel near the heel area contributes to this by protecting the foot from ground impact. The upper also provides good support, with its snug fit and the way it wraps around the foot. Support is definitely a solid feature of the Venture 4.
The Gel Venture 4 is suited for most runnable terrains. The Venture 4 is actually a trail oriented shoe, and runners who use it on trails or rougher terrain are sure to find it well equipped to handle them. The Venture 4 can also be used on road surfaces as well with little to no consequence, but it is worth noting that the shoe is geared a bit more towards off-road. The Gel Venture 4 should be usable in rain as well, but is not waterproof
, so caution should be exercised.
Price is another very important facet when considering any pair of shoes. The Gel Venture 4 shines here, being significantly cheaper than most options for running trainers on the market. The Venture 4 is a great value
choice, as it still offers good quality and design despite being cheaper than most shoes.
Traction of running shoes refers to its ability to grip different surfaces. The traction on the Gel Venture 4 is very solid and is aided by the grips located on the outsole. Notably, the Gel Venture 4 offers better off-road traction than most other trainers, due to its design in the outsole, but also offers arguably less road traction than most trainers. This is again due to the design of the Venture, orienting more towards a trail or off road running shoe
Flexibility is key in protection from twists and potential strains, and in facilitating good movement. The Gel Venture 4 is a decently flexible shoe, though this is another aspect where it does not particularly shine. This is in part due to the strength of the outsole and midsole and their durability, which takes away a bit of flexibility from the shoe overall. The upper does add some flexibility, with its mesh design allowing it to twist and turn. Overall, the Gel Venture 4 isn’t amazingly flexible but isn’t terribly unyielding either.
A shoes' stability is indicative of how well the shoe supports a runner’s natural steps, which is useful in preventing injuries. The Gel Venture 4 offers great stability, stemming from its strongly designed midsole and outsole. In particular, the gel near the back of the shoe provides great cushioning with every step and stride. This, combined with the snug fitting upper, make for an overall stable shoe.
The drop on the Venture 4 is 10mm. Drop refers to the height of the heel, from the ground. A 10mm drop is probably to be expected for a shoe like the Venture 4 and falls right in line with the average running trainer.
• Mesh upper with ventilation
• Gel cushioning at the back of the shoe near the heel
• AHAR outsole, with grips for traction off road
• Durable and usable in most terrains
• Gel cushioning reduces shock impact
Overall, the Asics Gel
Venture 4 is a very solid shoe that offers great value for its price tag. It is trail oriented, but can definitely be used on road surfaces as well. Equipped with a very durable outsole, and solid midsole, the Venture 4 should last for a good length of time as well The Venture 4 is a good choice of shoe for anyone looking to get into running
. For those seeking a solid trainer at an affordable price, the Gel Venture 4 is definitely a shoe to look at.