ASICS Trabuco Max 3 Review

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Introduction

ASICS has always had a special place in my heart. They were my go-to road brand of choice. For trails, I have only tried out the ASICs Gel Trabuco 9s. I was curious to see how these felt compared to the Trabuco 9s.

I can say, without a doubt that I loved the Trabuco Max 3s.

They have a lightweight feel to them but offer the full amount of comfort and coverage. You’ll notice right away how effortlessly they absorb anything put in front of them and how easily they can maneuver over rocky landscapes.

Coming in at 9.4 oz for the women’s and 10.5 for the men’s puts the updated version slightly heavier than the previous model. Hearing from people, this is not noticeable at all. They have a stack height of 42 mm in the heel and 37 in the forefoot. The heel drop is 5 mm which helps make this trail shoe a stable one. It’s a great choice for the runner who has a neutral foot strike.

Asics is known for its running shoes so it’s not a surprise that they are making great trail shoes. The Trabuco Max 3 has a ton of technology packed into them.

You’ll see that they have ASICS GUIDESOLE technology, that is said to help conserve energy. FF Blast PLUS technology cushioning, which helps to create a softer landing. Looking at the outsole they have ASICS GRIP, which helps with durability.
Like a lot of brands, they are on board with helping out with the environment. At least 50% of the material in the main upper is made out of recycled materials to cut carbon emissions and reduce waste.

They will cost you $160, which is a pretty penny to pay. Nowadays, that’s the going rate for most trail shoes. Do I think that’s a reasonable price? I would say it’s comparable and ASICS did do a great job making a well-constructed and durable shoe.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Impressions

Putting them on for the first time, they did feel pretty firm and it was like I had a platform shoe on. I had a friend comment on how they made me taller when I wore them. Sometimes, a high stack height makes me a little uneasy for a trail shoe.

If I had to pick I would pick a trail shoe with a more ground feel to them. I am deathly afraid of rolling my ankle and at first, this is what kept running through my head before actually taking them out for a test run. Right off the bat, my first run wasn’t anything crazy and I could feel how stable they were.

All my initial thoughts were cleared up but they did still feel very high. I have run different distances in them and concluded that I don’t let myself reach my top speeds in them and I can attribute that to a fear of rolling and ankle in them.

Ideally, they are perfect for long ultras where I am not pushing the pace or I have been loving them for our family hikes in the spring-like weather. Due to them being so high I have been able to hike through some fairly deep muddy puddles without getting my feet wet.

This is the third version of the Trabuco and not much has changed from the 2 to the 3. The midsole has stayed the same with a slight change in the upper. Visually it’s hard to tell them apart.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Protection

Protection wise they cover all areas. The high stack height of 43 mm protects you from everything that gets under your foot and returns a good portion of the energy you put into it.

The rocker helps you to roll over everything which helps you to have that confidence to take on the downhills without the pounding force you typically find with other trail shoes.

They have a technical mesh upper that helps secure your foot, allowing you to confidently navigate the varying terrain. It also helps improve breathability, keeping your feet from feeling uncomfortable or overheating.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Durability

I have worn these for all sorts of efforts. From runs on snowy, rocky, wet, and muddy terrain to miles of hikes on gravel paths. I have not noticed any extremely viable wear and tear.

It handles rough mountain terrain very well but I don’t think this would be my go-to for an ultra, at first. I could see starting with a more cushioned / low-to-the-ground trail shoe and once I neared the end of an ultra where my pace is teetering walking then I might switch to these.

I love them for hiking and walking so I would wear them for any distance that I wasn’t planning on running at my top speeds the whole time. The firmness and high stack height just make me uneasy on more technical courses.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Responsiveness & speed

When pushing the pace on trails, I had a hard time feeling confident enough to reach my fastest speed. They do not offer enough ground feel for me not to think the worst about rolling an ankle. This doesn’t mean I couldn’t go fast in them but I wouldn’t run at my top speeds. Going downhill on really rocky parts, I found that they felt bulky, and hard to place my feet with confidence.

I took them out on various courses and had no problem with grip. The outsole is covered in ASICSGRIP, which is a material that helps to increase traction for uneven surfaces.

When you combine that with the Guidesole™ technology you’ll feel how effortlessly your foot is propelled forward which makes it easier to run farther and use less energy.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Comfort and fit

Overall they are very comfortable shoes. It’s a shoe that needed to be broken and like I mentioned before I would get a half to a full size bigger.

With the big midsole, they look like they would be very cushioned but they have a firm feel to them.

Lacing them up you’ll get a nice locked-down fit that secures your foot into place nicely.

Asics Trabuco Max 3 Conclusions

The demand for high-quality trail shoes has become more prevalent among all brands. Asics has stepped up to meet those needs.

The Trabuco Max 3 is their most cushioned trail shoe to date. It’s been my top choice for hikes and exploring the woods. You’ll notice their high-quality protection and comfort each time you lace them up.

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