After years of not wearing Asics, 2023 has seen the company come back strong with an impressive lineup of shoes, including the Asics Superblast, Gel-KAYANO 30, Gel-CUMULUS 25, and Gel-NIMBUS 25. Today, let’s dive into the Men’s Trabuco Max 2, a trail shoe that has been making some waves.
First off, in terms of looks, the Trabuco Max 2 is really second to none – if you like vibrancy. The core color on each of their 4 colorways is deep navy or black, and the accents are some combo of yellows, oranges, and reds. The women’s version comes in two colors and adds a more violet main colorway and blue accents. They really pop!
I also really like the topographical additions on the toes. It just looks like it was meant to handle some vert. Love it.
We did not experience the V1 of the Trabuco Max, so keep that in mind if you are looking for comparisons between the two.
The upper is quite fine – a breathable mesh made from 50% recycled materials. It took a few lacing tries to get the right fit, but once I got the lock right, we were off and feeling good.
It holds the foot pretty good – which is important with such a high stack height. All the cushion in the world isn’t worth its weight if your feet aren’t locked down.
It has been mostly breathable for me but still with enough structure to keep things aligned. It’s really comfortable which is important for a heavier shoe that is designed for comfort over PR’s. The heel collar is pretty thick – again a testament to comfort.
The Midsole is really the bread and buter of the Trabuco Max 2. You don’t stack trail shoes high without a desire for a cushioned ride on the trails – and that is what this has been delivering for me thus far. It is one of a few trails shoes I have tried in 2023 that have me planning out trail runs as opposed to road runs. They just beg to be ran in.
I pulled these straight out of the box and went on a 7.5 mile run on day one. The midsole blend really created an amazing feel on the foot. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, this felt more like a cushy road shoe than one for the trails. However, depending on what type of runner you are, that can be a good or a bad thing. I know some runners really like to be supported but demand / desire a little more trail feel. You definitely won’t get that in the Trabuco Max 2.
But if you are into the cush, you should love these. They are soft and bouncy and have a stiffer rocker sole to help propel you forward through toe-off. Considering that the weight is pretty high (my Men’s 12 was pushing 12 ounces – ASICS calls it “lightweight” but I don’t), it’s not the fastest of transitions, but you can definitely feel it. It actually makes the weight a little easier to take as a result and I found it efficient than you’d expect from a hefty shoe. Impressed.
As for the outsole, the Trabuco Max 2 impresses with its durability and grip. It’s cool to look at (not that anyone will really be doing that), and the multidirectional lug pattern in the “AsicsGrip” rubber compound seems solid for most runs. It does feel a tad bit softer to the touch, so time will tell on how it will last. But for someone like me – an average trail runner – I don’t anticipate this being an issue.
For a stack height of 43mm (we think the women’s is a 42mm) there’s obviously going to be a lack of groundfeel – as previously mentioned. I found the fit while running only a tiny bit unstable, but really handled the terrain well overall. I was expecting a lot more instability but was pleasantly surprised. I think at least part of the stability is a wider base to keep things feeling solid.
The Trabuco Max 2 is a winner and is becoming my go-to trail cruiser. I have maxed out at a 10-mile distance, but I honestly can’t wait to put these to the test on longer distances. One of the first things that goes for me on longer trail runs are feet comfort, and these feel like they could be in it for the long haul. They aren’t gonna be for those desiring a sleek and light fit (duh), but are definitely something for those who need cushion and comfort for more average and steady runs.