Asics Gel Trabuco 13 Review

Asics Gel Trabuco 13 Review

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The Asics Gel Trabuco 13 has been designed with three objectives in mind: support, traction, and protection. The goal was to provide runners with the best trail-ready shoe for their money.

The next generation of the Gel Trabuco 12 WR, Asics has improved not only several features on this model, but it’s now lighter as well. This shoe is trail-ready, without sacrificing comfort or fit.

Asics Gel-Traduco 13

Asics Gel-Traduco 13

In terms of support, the shoe was designed, for both women and men, for runners with an over- to severe overpronation and, as a result, it offers good stability through its DuoMax technology, which allows your feet can better distribute the force of impact encountered during running.

In terms of cushioning, this shoe lives up to Asics’ standards. The Gel technology is probably one of the top reasons why runners are interested in this shoe, and with good right. This shoe comes fully-equipped with carefully-placed Gel silicone units in both the forefoot and in the rearfoot that reliably absorb shock. The Gel in the rearfoot provides extra stability, and the Gel in the forefoot supports your forward propulsion, improving your performance while helping to prevent injury.

Additionally, parting ways with the SpEVA midsole of its predecessor, the Gel Trabuco 13 now has Solyte, which (despite being a cheesy play on words) continues providing top-notch cushioning in the midfoot, but now at a lighter weight.

But good cushioning is what you expect from any non-racing running shoe—most of all from an Asics shoe. What makes this shoe stand out, though, is its special trail design, with different technologies all focused on providing you with optimal and adaptable traction and protection.

The Gel Trabuco 13 has a Trail Specific Outsole that gives you optimal grip for off-road running, as well as uphill and downhill running. The WET GRIP Outsole provides additional traction in wet conditions through its composition of synthetic and organic materials.

This shoe also puts a large focus on protection. It comes equipped with a special Rock Protection Plate in the forefoot, which protects your feet from rocks, branches, and other sharp objects you might encounter through your run. And the shoe’s tongue prevents gravel from sneaking its way into your shoe.

The Gel Trabuco 13 likewise protects itself with Asics High Abrasion Resistance Rubber (AHAR). You’ll find this carbon rubber in the outsole area, where your shoe endures the hardest impact with the ground, thereby increasing the durability of the shoe.

Plus there are some “nice-to-haves.” It comes with the ComforDry Sockliner, which has anti-microbial properties, keeping your feet cooler and dryer (which is just technical talk for less sweaty and smelly).

This shoe also comes with a pocket in the tongue, so that you can tuck away the laces, preventing them from snagging on branches or other objects during your run.

Asics Gel-Traduco 13 Black/Red

Asics Gel-Traduco 13 Black/Red

We were lucky enough to have a representative from Asics in our office today, and so I was able to get the scoop on the upcoming version, the Asics Gel Trabuco 14 (available this fall).

First of all, the shoe will be lighter: 365g in men’s, 300 in women’s. This is accomplished in part by the extension of the Solyte-55 throughout the entire length of the foot, offering runners lightweight, superior cushioning from the front of the shoe to the back.

Additionally, the Asics Gel Trabuco 14 will have an external heel stabilizer, which replaces the Asics Gel Trabuco 13’s current heel cap. The result is the same great fit and hold, but now at a lighter weight.

Finally, the new Gel Trabuco 14 will have the Asics integrated lacing system, which wraps the upper more closely around the foot, providing a secure, comfortable fit.

There are even a few extras, such as BioMorphic Fit, Personal Heel Fit (PHF), removable inserts, and 3M™ Reflectors.

I tried digging up some dirt on this shoe, but it was hard to find. People seem genuinely impressed with the traction of the shoe, the fit of the shoe (true to size), and the durability. One reviewer even mentioned that, although Asics doesn’t market this shoe for motion control, it was the best motion control shoe the reviewer had found yet.

Only one reviewer (a true enthusiast, running 60-90 mile weeks) had something negative to say. This reviewer said that the traction in wet conditions was not optimal, specifically during stream-crossing and thereafter.

Overall review: For over- to severe overpronators who are looking for a hardcore, durable trail-running shoe, the Gel-Trabuco 13 is a good choice, and if you wait a few months, you’ll be able to get the better-fitting, lighter model.

This post was brought to you by Pamela Taylor at, Europe’s new online running specialty shop, who will offer the Asics Gel Trabuco 14 in September 2011.

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