Asics Gel Scout General info
I enjoy running on trails when I have the opportunity. I was therefore excited to review the Asics Gel Scout. To be sure, I am only a casual trail runner. So, my review will come from that perspective.
Asics Gel Scout First impression
Out of the box, the Gel Scout looks like a fun shoe. A layer of black mesh overlays a bright blue layer of mesh, and with accents of orange and lime-green, the Scout is a nice looking shoe.
I was surprised by the flexibility of the forefoot of the Scout. I find a flexible forefoot gives a shoe a nice, easy transition—and this is true of the Scout as well. I can understand that on technical trails, a runner may want more rigidity to provide a more stable platform. But the trail surfaces I run are mostly crushed limestone, dirt and grass. Therefore, the comfort I find in a flexible forefoot doesn’t present a problem.
Side-to-side, the Scout is more rigid, which is what I expect from a trail shoe — again, the idea is to provide a more stable platform. But I would not recommend this shoe for an overpronator. Though overpronators often do well in laterally rigid shoes, the flexible forefoot might present an issue. A neutral pronator, on the other hand, will find a good combination of ease and security on the trails.
The heel counter is firm, and I have no reason to believe heel fit will be a problem. Like the Gel Nimbus, Asics puts generous amounts of foam in the ankle collar, so I expect the Scout to also have a luxurious feel.
Asics Gel Scout Sole unit
The outsole features aggressive lugs, which are essential for traction on the trails. On the run, the Scout performed well — I did not experience any slipping or loss of traction. Again, keep in mind, the trails I run are not extremely technical. But for crushed limestone surfaces and dirt trails, the Scout possesses sufficient traction.
Asics cushions impact-forces with its patented Gel system. And like the Nimbus, the Scout has a very soft feel to it. I suspect the soft feel will be a matter of personal preference. For runners who prefer a lot of ground feel on the trails, the Scout will not be a good fit. But for novice or occasional trail runners, who might still be adjusting to rugged surfaces, the Scout may be an excellent choice. The Scout will also be appropriate for any trail runner looking for soft cushioning, regardless of experience.
A rock plate provides some protection from the lumps and bumps of the trails. And when combined with the Gel in the midsole, the Scout provides plenty of insulation from rocky surfaces. Of course, someone who appreciates ground feel will feel totally disconnected in the Scout. But for the beginner, the Scout will help make the trail running experience an enjoyable one.
Asics Gel Scout Upper
The upper is very light and airy. That is because of its dual mesh construction. A layer of padded mesh is wrapped by a thin screen mesh. As I said above, a layer of foam is also found in the ankle collar. All of this padding gives the Scout a plush and pampering feel on the foot. The laces are anchored in the screen mesh, which allows a more adaptive fit when lacing.
In all of these features, Asics is going for comfort, and in that sense, the Scout is a complete success. The foot feels locked down, but it is also extremely comfortable. So comfortable in fact you might even forget you are running on trails. Again, this type of comfort will not appeal to all trail runners, so before a runner picks up the Scout, it is imperative the runner knows exactly what he or she wants in a shoe.
Asics Gel Scout Opinion
As an occasional trail runner, I find the Scout to be a good fit. Though I appreciate ground contact, there are times I don’t want to think about the surface, so that I can take in the beautiful scenery. I can do that in the Scout.
In fact, the Scout rides almost like a road shoe: flexible forefoot, soft protective cushion, plush upper. For certain runners, the Scout will sound like the ideal trail running shoe. But for others, the Scout will be a complete miss. Much of shoe selection depends on getting the right shoe for your preferences, and this is no truer than with the Scout.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel Scout to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.