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  1. #1
    Registered User Ratbert's Avatar
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    Default Opinions on Asics trail runners?

    Does anyone have any opinions on / experience with Asics trail runners for backpacking?
    I currently hike with a pair of Salomon Solaris that fit and wear okay, but I know that I can find something a little lighter and more comfortable. I've run in Asics for years and they are my running shoes of choice, so I was naturally looking at their trail runners. Their Gel Trail Attack is only 10.9 oz, but are they too light for backpacking?
    I'm 5'7" and 160 lbs. My "big four" weight is approximately 7 lbs. warm weather and 10 lbs. in winter. Most of my backpacking is done in the North GA mountains and the Smokies. I'm not a high daily-mileage guy, with 15 miles or so being the max that I want to hike in a day.
    It appears that many of you are Montrail fans. Looking at their lineup, the Vitesse looks like a nice shoe ... so does the Hardrock (which REI has on sale thru tomorrow).
    I know I can "buy and try" but any opinions would be welcome.

  2. #2

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    I had a great pair of Asics Gel that lasted a long time. I believe that most major brands are now well made (other than Northface). It is my opinion that fit is by far a more important consideration.

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    Somewhere in the Gear Reviews section are two things that I wrote a while ago called something like "Four Trail Shoe Review" and "Four Trail Shoe Review Part Deux". There is some stuff in there about Asics trail runners. But, to be brief, I like them a lot. The Gel Trabuco is a solid, basic, durable shoe that would be perfect for the AT. The Eagle Trail has better traction, but is less durable. However, I think that I've shredded the Eagle Trails in the past because of having to kick a lot of steps in snow. It may be that on the AT, despite the rugged bed of the trail, the Eagle Trail would last longer. Also, the 1090TR, I think, was a very good shoe as well.

  4. #4

    Default Asics trail runners

    I have hiked over 300 miles in a pair of Asics Gel Trekkers this year. They have held up well and are stable and comfortable. I switched to Asics for hiking after running in them for several years. I tried the Gel Attack, but to reduce the weight, the sole width has been narrowed, and I don't think it would be as stable as some of their other models for trail running/hiking so I now use it as road runner. I also have a pair of Gel trabuco's that have a very sticky sole although I have not tried them out yet.

  5. #5

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    Just use the same running shoes that you use on the street--they will be adequate. Already having a good fit in them is the primary part of your search for trailwear anyway.

    A good friend of mine thru-hiked the PCT and AT in Aasics road running shoes. She went with what fit and they've done her quite well on the trail. She will do the CDT next year in the same shoes. I believe she blows out a given pair a little faster than your average trailrunner, but buying an extra pair is a small price to pay for comfort.

    Nothing is too light for backpacking assuming it fits you well. I've hiked in sandals and now am using Salomon boat shoes, which have just mesh uppers.

  6. #6
    Registered User Ratbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    Somewhere in the Gear Reviews section are two things that I wrote a while ago called something like "Four Trail Shoe Review" and "Four Trail Shoe Review Part Deux".
    Thanks Chris! Just looked up the thread on your two reviews and read through them ... very detailed, objective reports that offer a lot of insight. It also reaffirms my confidence in Asics ... like I said, I've worn nothing else on the road for years.

    Question; do you always pull the factory insoles right away in favor of aftermarket insoles?

    I was in REI today and mentioned to the salesperson that I was looking at trail runners for backpacking and they tried their very best to steer me away. "Maybe for dayhiking they'd be okay, but for any type of backpacking you need BOOTS!" I guess that certain ideas that are taken as gospel die hard.

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    or they get a higher commission for selling a pair of boots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbert
    Question; do you always pull the factory insoles right away in favor of aftermarket insoles?
    I pull the factory insoles immediately and put in Superfeet (the green ones). The only exception is for Brooks shoes, which seem to be set up for higher volume feet. I sometimes use the Superfeet over the factory insoles to get the volume right.

  9. #9

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    I've been using Asics Eagle Trail Gel with green Superfeet inserts for the last year or two - they work very well for me and my only issue with them is that they seem not to grip wet rocks as well as I would like and have experienced with other shoes. Chris' reviews was the reason I tried these shoes sight unseen from Zappos - 'round here no stores carry them. The second pair (III) seems to be holding together better than the first pair (II) - the first pair I shreded the inside heal area of the shoe after about a year of constant use and maybe 300 trail miles.

  10. #10
    Registered User Ratbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    I pull the factory insoles immediately and put in Superfeet (the green ones). The only exception is for Brooks shoes, which seem to be set up for higher volume feet. I sometimes use the Superfeet over the factory insoles to get the volume right.
    Chris, after reading your answer, I yanked the green Superfeet insoles out of my hiking boots and tried them in my regular running shoes, which are right on the verge of being blown out. I was amazed at the extra support, especially in the heels. (I never really saw much difference in my hiking boots with or without the Superfeet, but the Asics show a marked difference)

    I hiked six miles in them yesterday and was very pleased with the way they felt and supported my arches. The increased heel of the insert left me with a blister on the inside knife edge of my heel, but my sock may have just had a little ruck in it. I didn't even feel it until I was practically through hiking and in sight of my truck.

    As Hog On Ice stated, Asics Eagle Trails aren't sold around here in retail stores either. The ones I've found on the Internet at Road Runner Sports are full price, but I may break down and spring for them, as I'm anxious to try them out.

    Thanks to everyone for the good advice.

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