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The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

Most Affordable/Beginner-Friendly Trail Shoe

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 95% 95%

Best Application:  Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Mesh Upper

Midsole: GEL® Technology, EVA Midsole, ORTHOLITE™ Sockliner

Outsole: AHAR®

Weight: M – 303g, W – 252g

What we like: Sufficient Traction, Comfortable, Budget-friendly, Beginner-friendly, Delivers A Stable Ride, Well-cushioned, Has Wide-width Option, Versatile

What we don’t like: Upper Not As Breathable, Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Price: $70

The Asics GEL-Venture 7 is a trail shoe with the friendliest price on our list. Its features are straight-forward when it comes to performance. However, it will likely won’t disappoint you when it comes to comfort. If you’re looking for an entry-level trail shoe with a price tag that’s hard to pass up, you can list the GEL-Venture 7 as a top choice.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Trail Shoes of 2020

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 95% 95%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 85% 85%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 75% 75%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Reliable Grip and Traction

Comfortable

Offers A Stable Ride

Has Performance-focused Features

Has Wide-width Option

Cons

Narrower Than Other Trail Shoes

Not Very Versatile

Doesn't Drain Well

Best Application: Running On Soft Ground, Slippery Running Conditions, Highly Technical Terrain

Upper: SensiFit™, Welded Upper, Anti-debris Mesh, Lace Pocket, Quicklace™

Midsole: EnergyCell™+, Molded OrthoLite®

Outsole: Contagrip® TA

Weight: M - 320g, W - 280g

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Amazon.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 95% 95%

Pros

Sufficient Traction

Comfortable

Budget-friendly

Beginner-friendly

Delivers A Stable Ride

Well-cushioned

Has Wide-width Option

Versatile

Cons

Upper Not As Breathable

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Best Application:  Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Mesh Upper

Midsole: GEL® Technology, EVA Midsole, ORTHOLITE™ Sockliner

Outsole: AHAR®

Weight: M - 303g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Supercross - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Foot Protection 85% 85%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 65% 65%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 85% 85%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Speedcross-like Traction

Comfortable

Affordable

Wider Forefoot

Cons

Ride Is Not Very Stable

Best Application: Occasional Trail Running and Hiking

Upper: Ripstop Fabric, Protective Toecap, SensiFit™, Welded Upper, OrthoLite® Diecut

Midsole: EnergyCell

Outsole: Contagrip TD, Chevron Lugs

Weight: M - 310g, W - 260g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 75% 75%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 75% 75%

Pros

Comfortable

Delivers A Stable Ride

Above-average Protection

Responsive

Cons

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Clunky Shoe Shape

Best Application: Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh, GaiterTrap, FootShape Toe Box

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™, StoneGuard™

Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber, TrailClaw™

Weight: M - 298g, W - 247g

The Best Trail Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 90% 90%

Pros

Lightweight

Versatile - Can Be Worn on Trail and Roads

Comfortable

Breathable Upper

Designed for Speed

Cons

Thin Toe Bumper

Not Suited for Technical Trail

Doesn't Lock the Foot Down

Best Application: Road/Trail Running

Upper: Perforated Mesh, Synthetic Upper

Midsole: Zoom Air Units

Outsole: Trail Lugs

Weight: M - 291g, W - 232g

The Best Trail Shoes: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Foot Protection 90% 90%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Generous Cushioning

Improved Grip

Breathable

With Wide-Width Options

Enhanced Durability

Efficient Stride

Cons

Slightly Narrow

Heavier Compared To Other Trail Shoes

Best Application: Long-distance Trail Running/Hiking (50 miles and above), Ultra Distances

Upper: Open Engineered Mesh Construction

Midsole: Reinforced TPU midfoot overlays, Oversize EVA Midsole, CMEVA Foam

Outsole: Vibram® Megagrip

Weight: M - 306g, W - 261g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Caldera 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 75% 75%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 70% 70%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Breathable

Enhanced Durability

Door-to-trail Ready

Cons

A Bit Expensive

Can Only Handle Moderately Technical Terrain

Best Application: Daily Training/Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking/Running

Upper: Mesh Upper, Synthetic Overlays, Lace Catch

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA

Outsole: TrailTack Sticky Traction

Weight: M - 283g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Moosejaw.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Better Traction and Grip

Durable Outsole

Roomy Forefoot

Better Ground Feel

Cons

The Ride Can Be A Bit Unstable

Can Handle Moderately Technical Trail

Takes Awhile For Sweat to Dry After A Run

Best Application: Daily Runs or Hikes on Moderate Terrain

Upper: Footshape, Gaiter Trap

Midsole: Balanced Cushion

Outsole: Trail Claw, DuraTread

Weight: M - 312g, W - 266g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

A Good Crossover Option

More Protective

Cons

Not Very Stable

Grip is Good for Moderate Terrain

Best Application: Daily Trail Running/Hiking

Upper: Internal Saddle System, Cordura Mud Guard

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA, Built-in Rock plate

Outsole: TrailTack Rubber

Weight: M - 303g, W - 269g

Sometimes, all an athlete needs to frolic in the great outdoors is a straight-forward shoe without all the frills. Of course, those shoes still have to be equipped with all the technologies necessary for a confident run, but bells and whistles are simply not always needed for a brief run or a leisurely hike. If this sounds like what you need, you may want to check out the Asics GEL-Venture 7an uncomplicated trail shoe and our top pick for the Most Budget-Friendly Trail Running Shoe on our list.

Grip & Foot Protection

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

The Asics GEL-Venture 7 has been designed with an outsole that’s specific for the trail. The lugs that make up the tread pattern are multi-directional in order to provide both uphill and downhill traction. However, unlike the Salomon Speedcross 5, the lugs are not deep enough for this purpose. The outsole works well for flat surfaces, but you may want to rethink using this trail shoe if your run or hike involves a steep ascent or descent.

In terms of underfoot protection, you will get most of this through the midsole and outsole. Unlike the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 that has a built-in rock plate, you’ll have to rely on the amount of material in the midsole and the thickness of the outsole for protection. There is about 10mm of material for the forefoot and 20mm under the heel. The outsole is made up of a durable rubber called AHAR. Combined, both materials serve as a moderate shield from common underfoot dangers. On the other hand, you may need to avoid sharp objects because the amount of material isn’t enough to offer maximum shielding.

The upper adequately protects the top of your foot. Although it is mostly made up of mesh, it has been reinforced on the outside with thick synthetic overlays. The upper prevents tiny particles from getting inside the shoe, and while it is not waterproof, your foot is somewhat protected from liquids as the overlays are made of synthetic leather.  

Durability

The rubber on the outsole is called AHAR, which is short for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Interestingly, AHAR is made from reinforcing materials combined with the same substance used to make car tires. It has twice the abrasion resistance compared to regular outsole materials, so don’t be surprised if it takes awhile to notice signs of wear and tear on the bottom of the Asics GEL-Venture 7.

Stability

The construction of the Asics GEL-Venture 7 is supportive enough to grant a decent amount of flexibility on the forefoot. However, because of its rigid construction, the heel and the arch hardly flex. This promotes a stable landing. Couple that with a wide enough forefoot platform, and you have yourself a trail shoe that could be at the top of the list when it comes to stability.

Comfort & Fit

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

There is enough cushioning on the heel to make your trail run a comfortable one. After all, the heel on the midsole does have the Asics Rearfoot Gel Technology which reduces impact during the heel strike stage of the gait cycle. The same technology also makes it possible for you to hike for longer periods of time with sustained comfort.

On the inside, the Asics GEL-Venture 7 has the Ortholite X40 sock liner. It is the first thing your foot comes in contact with. It was designed to deliver long-term cushioning. Because of its form, the fit and feel of the inside of your shoe will be consistent. It has been secured to the shoe’s platform with a mild adhesive, so it stays in place even when you’re stepping on rocks or uneven surfaces. However, the adhesive is mild enough that you can remove the insole to wash and dry if you want.

Because of the synthetic leather overlays, the upper may not be as breathable as the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4. If you’re in a colder area, the Asics GEL-Venture 7 will do a good job of keeping your foot warm. However, if you’re running or hiking in warm or hot weather, you might want to rethink using this shoe if you want footwear that’s highly breathable.

Size-wise, this shoe is great news for runners and hikers who have been wearing wide width trail shoes because the GEL-Venture 7 has wide size options for both men and women. Male runners or hikers can choose from a standard fit (D) and an extra-wide one (4E), while females have the option to go for the standard fit (B) or the wide (D). 

Versatility & Value for Your Money

The Asics GEL-Venture 7 is our top pick for the best trail shoe with the friendliest budget price tag. Although it’s not a trail shoe that can tackle terrain that’s highly technical, it’s still a great entry-level option that can be ideal for your daily trail runs, hikes, or even daily training. It has the right features for those tasks, but it’s not supportive enough for long-distance trail running. If you need a trail shoe that can go the distance, you could check out the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.

Interestingly, plenty of users have used the GEL-Venture 7 for different activities, not just running or hiking. Most have used their pair for walking through parks, jogging on the pavement, and even for work, proving that the GEL-Venture 7 is very versatile. If you use your pair for different activities, plus trail running, it’ll be great value for your money, as you don’t have to swap your trail shoes for regular running shoes. However, when you use it off the trail, the shoe isn’t going to perform as you expect. 

Additional Features

Because the insoles are removable, custom orthotics can easily be inserted inside the shoe. Those with arthritis, flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and other podiatric problems who have already been using medical orthotics can easily insert them into the GEL-Venture 7.

The Bottom Line

The Asics GEL-Venture 7 is a promising trail shoe that can appeal to both beginner and seasoned runners. It may not have most of the supportive features for a long-distance trail run nor the grip like the Salomon Supercross, but the price tag is hard to beat, especially when all you want is an entry-level trail shoe that can start you off with trail running or hiking.

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