Review: Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Written by

Olivia Yoder

Ultrarunner, personal trainer and soccer coach.

This expert review is written by

Olivia Yoder

Ultrarunner, personal trainer and soccer coach.
Lives in Marietta, Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and dog. Olivia is a personal trainer and soccer coach. She has been running for 10 years and competes in various distances. For the past few years she has been concentrating on the ultra distances.

She never would have thought that one sport would change her whole outlook on life like running has.

Weight

We usually consider 10 ounces a "medium" weight for a running shoe: less than 10 and we are entering the lightweight category and above 10 the shoes start to be heavy.

Heel-to-toe drop

Heel drop is the measurement in mm of the difference between the height of the heel and the toe of the sole.

A lower drop (0mm - 5mm) promotes running on mid-foot and fore-foot, while higher drops (8mm - 12mm) are more traditional and meant to support a heel-striking gait.
Expert score
8/10

Quick overview

Best for
Regular training, long, slow training runs
Terrain
Best for moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, through creeks and streams
Grip
The Gel Trabuco 9 provides excellent grip and traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Average Traction
Provide Traction
Cushioning
The Gel Trabuco 9 offers just the right amount of cushioning
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Weight

10.3

 oz
292 g
Heel to toe drop
Drop

10

 mm

Pros and cons according to our running expert

Pros and cons according to our running expert

  • Soft breathable mesh upper
  • Multi-directional lugs
  • Rubber toe rock protection
  • Stones get caught in lugs
  • Toe area slightly too roomy

Our verdict

The Asics GEL-TRABUCO 9 is an all-around solid trail shoe. It brings all of Asics’ signature traits and packs them into a trail shoe. This shoe helps you take on the trails with ease but makes sure you have all the comfort, durability, protection you need.

Introduction Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Lace

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 – Lace

The Asics’ GEL-TRABUCO 9 is one of the best trail shoes I have tried in a while. Most trail shoes have a reputation of being on the bulky side but the GEL-TRABUCO is constructed differently.

It delivers high-end comfort and lightweight materials that won’t weigh your feet down. Rugged and comfortable are two words that are used to describe this shoe.

The upper of this shoe is not like your typical trail shoes. The reimagined upper is one of the modifications made to this shoe from the GEL-TRABUCO 8.

Other updates to the shoe would be FLYTEFOAM midsole, GEL technology, DUOMAX support system. ASICS GRIP rubber outsole,3D print overlays, and lastly, a rock protection plate.

This shoe weighs in at 9 ounces for women and has an 8mm drop. That’s around 1 ounce less than the previous model. The heel stack is 34 mm and the forefoot stack is 26mm.

This trail shoe will cost you around 129 dollars. It’s not the most expensive trail stability trainer and it’s not super budget-friendly either.

To me, this is a fair price considering the comfort and durability this shoe offers. I have run close to 100 miles in them and so far there has not been any indication of wear.

The Asics Gel TRABUCO 9 is the updated version from previous models. If you are looking to upgrade your current ASICS trail shoe, then I would highly recommend making the switch to the TRABUCO 9.

There have been some pretty significant changes from the GEL TRABUCO 8 to 9. The biggest change is the upper. The previous versions offered an upper that was more like a hiking boot.

The upper upgrade is sure to not disappoint. ASICS also has the GEL TRABUCO 9 G-TX.

This is the same shoe as the Gel TRABUCO 9, except that it’s complemented with a Gore-Tex rubber outsole to help keep your feet dry.

Cushioning Type
The Gel Trabuco 9 is a perfect mix of... Read more responsive and plush: good shock absorption
Responsive
Plush
Cushioning Amount
The Gel Trabuco 9 offers just the right... Read more amount of cushioning
Little cushioning
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
The Gel Trabuco 9 has a good mix between... Read more flexibility and structure
Rigid
Flexible
Stability
The Gel Trabuco 9 offers great stability for... Read more runners who needs the most support for
Not particularly stable
Very stable

Impressions Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Toe+Lateral

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 – Toe+Lateral

When I first opened the box I was pleasantly surprised with the orange, turquoise, and magenta color scheme.

I’m not overly picky about colors but I do appreciate some bright hues when picking out a trail shoe. They make me want to put them on and get out in the woods.

I was very impressed with just the overall quality of the shoe. Everything I would look for in a trail shoe was found in the ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9.

The first time I laced this shoe up was for a 10 hour trail race. It was a 4-mile loop that covered all types of surfaces.

These surfaces included paved roads, fire roads, gravel paths, steep uphills, rocky downhills, and mud. The day of the race was around 60 degrees and overcast.

The course was dry, except for a few spots that were swampy with extra thick mud.

When I initially put them on I was surprised with how plush the midsole felt. This comfort comes from the FLYTEFOAM midsole that’s partnered with GEL technology cushioning in the heel.

A few other things I noticed right away before taking them on a run was the secure feeling around the midfoot due to the 3D overlays as well as the roomy toe box.

One feature that most of my previous trail shoes didn’t offer would be the foam on the inside of the midsole. This is ASICS DUOMAX.

It’s a support system that creates a more stable ride, the position of the foam on the medial side of the midsole, that offers a firmer thickness that helps the foot from rotating inward too much.

When I was waiting to start the race, I met another woman who had the same shoes and exact socks like me, so we started to talk before the horn blew.

She told me that it was her first time back on the trails since she broke her ankle a few months back.

It was her first time ever wearing the shoes too. She explained that she purchased them because she was looking for a neutral shoe that would ensure her stability.

The race started and we parted ways. I ran back into her around mile 25. I wanted to know what she thought of the shoes so far.

She said she had no major complaints about the comfort of the shoes and I agreed.

There were two minor dislikes and that was the toe box gave you just a little too much room and that stones were getting stuck in the lugs on the bottom of the shoe.

These were my complaints too! I continued to wear these until mile 32 and then switched over to my older trail shoes to finish out my 40 miles.

I decided to change because of the thick mud you would run through towards the end of each loop. I just couldn’t handle the layered muck on my shoes.

I think I was a little grumpy by mile 32 as well, so that definitely played a role in the switch. Towards the end of my 32 miles, I did take notice of the lack of responsiveness I felt.

I would recommend using these shoes for daily training runs on trails or grass. If we are talking about races then I would say, use them for a race that is marathon distance or under.

I think anything past that I would want something a bit more cushioned. A great choice would be the ASICS TRABUCO MAX.

When you look at this shoe it looks very similar to the ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9 but when you really study it, you will notice that the TRABUCO MAX has a big stack height.

Because of this high stack height, rocks and tree roots will feel nonexistent and be better absorbed by the midsole.

I think the way the ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9 handles all different terrain is first class. Like I mentioned earlier, this race was a loop that covered all types of surfaces.

I had no problems other than on the steep downhills. Because of the roomy toe box, I did have my toes jam into the front of my shoes. It wasn’t terrible but definitely noticeable.

The trails on this particular race had exposed tree roots, rocks, and steep hills. The TRABUCO 9’s handled all the different obstacles with ease.

The improved lug pattern made trekking uphill not as painful and made going downhill on technical terrain less stressful. I didn’t have to worry about the shoes losing traction.

This shoe is not like typical trail shoes. Here are the main reasons I personally think this trail shoe is a winner. It is built a little differently.

It is made with lightweight materials that won’t weigh your feet down. The new updated upper is very breathable and promotes a secure locked down feel.

They offer high-end cushioning with their FLYTEFOAM midsole and GEL technology. Both of these were felt each time I have run in them. And lastly, the ASICSGRIP rubber outsole.

This outsole had a unique lug pattern that I felt very secure wearing and wasn’t afraid of slipping.

Protection Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Closeup

The ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9’s offer everything you need to make your foot feel protected. I will start with what the outsole offers.

The lugged outsole pattern displays ASICSGRIP rubber that includes the uphill and downhill lug pattern that is sure to provide you with the utmost traction when dealing with slippery or technical terrains.

In addition to this, a rock protection plate helps the outsole protect the foot. The next area that offers protection would be the midsole.

This shoe has ASICS advanced FLYTEFOAM technology. The midsole is composed of a durable layer of FLYTEFOAM that runs from the tip of the toes to the heel.

The heel also offers additional protection with GEL cushioning that helps to absorb the impact when running on various surfaces.

In between the layers of the FLYTEFOAM, you will find DUOMAX cushioning. This plate allows for your foot to have even more support and also guides your foot into a pleasant gait cycle.

The last area where you will find protection is the upper. It is composed of 3D overlays that really allow them to hug your foot and keep them in place.

The mesh material is lightweight and high quality. The mesh is very breathable. It works to take hot air up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry.

The box area has a little rubber rock protection piece that goes across the toe box. Being a seasoned trail runner there is nothing more annoying than unexpectedly kicking a rock.

Rockplate
The rock plate in the Gel Trabuco 9 provides... Read more great protection from sharp rocks on the
Not present
Solid protection
Lugs
The Gel Trabuco 9 provides excellent grip and... Read more traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Provide Traction
Water resistance
The Gel Trabuco 9 offers great water... Read more protection. Not completely waterproof but
Poor
Water Resistant

Durability Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Medial Side

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 – Medial Side

I have run many miles in the ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9’s. So far, there has been no sign of wear and tear. This is looking at the shoes visually.

I do think that the outsole and upper will outlast the midsole. I think the midsole has a good chance of becoming less responsive before any actual wear signs will occur.

The rugged outsole will 100% take on any terrain. I have no doubt when wearing these shoes in very technical terrains, they can and will handle all surfaces.

I would wear this shoe for a long ultra race if I had to. I would not be worried, but if I could pick another shoe I would.

I would pick a shoe with a higher stack height that offers a more cushy midsole. It is comfortable and does offer a great deal of durability.

Responsiveness & Speed Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Heel

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 – Heel

On trails that I could run on these shoes handled themselves very well. They felt lightweight on my feet, which was a major plus. I felt stable and connected with the ground.

I have done some speed training in them on flat dirt surfaces and I feel fast in them. There is nothing clunky about them for a trail shoe.

I don’t think I was hitting my fastest speed in them because my training has been mostly to increase my mileage. I have been putting in many slower-paced miles.

When I do pick up the pace and I’m toeing off in many types of terrains, I do notice that the shoe does help propel me forward. I feel safe and confident in these shoes.

Comfort and Fit Asics Gel Trabuco 9

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 - Top

Asics Gel Trabuco 9 – Top

The comfort and fit of these shoes are very pleasing to wear. Like I mentioned, the first time I took them out for a run I ran 32 miles in them without any major discomforts.

They fit true to size and I didn’t run into them being too tight if I wore a thicker sock. I really liked this trail shoe for its updated upper.

It offered great protection without making it feel like a hiking boot. This shoe felt like a road shoe with just added trail shoe features.

Around the midfoot, it did feel narrow but the toe box gives you plenty of room for your toes to splay out when striking the ground.

Sizing
The Gel Trabuco 9 has average sizing: buy the... Read more usual size
Buy size smaller
Buy size bigger

Conclusion Asics Gel Trabuco 9

The ASICS GEL TRABUCO 9 offers great comfort and stability. It doesn’t excel in one area but it’s reliable and will get the job for you on different types of terrains.

My favorite feature of this shoe would be the deep lugs. A downside would be they do make the shoes not as versatile though.The deep lugs are softer and allow you to really grip the rocky ground.

It wouldn’t be a shoe that I would wear to the gym or run on the sidewalks. But, if you’re just looking for a trail shoe then this pair would be a fantastic choice.

I love the updated design of the upper that gets rid of the stiffness and makes the upper lightweight and breathable.

Two other features that I enjoyed were the slightly elastic shoelaces and the shoelace pocket on the tongue. These were bonus features that I think add to the finished product.

This shoe is an overall top-of-the-line trail shoe that I would suggest to anyone who is looking for something fresh.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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