Asics Trabuco Max 2 Long-Term Review

I do not remember when I write some stuff review but last time decided to make an exception. It is because I have a good reason for that, it is because running shoes. During over a year I’ve tested a lot of shoes because I needed something for ultramarathons. Finally found pair which is my favorite since May 2023 and decided to write some words about them. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Asics Trabuco Max 2!

Asics Trabuco Max 2 #1
Asics Trabuco Max 2

First of all, I must mention – this review is not sponsored in any way. It is also long-term review. Most of YouTube or magazines reviewers can test running shoes for maximum few weeks and after that they need to write review. I was able to test them as daily shoes, during few ultramarathons, during summer, autumn and finally winter, so checked a lot of different conditions and possible issues, also in completely different terrain. I bought them because required something comfortable, previously I have used Mizuno Daichi and they were fine, but not for more than 50 kilometers.

Comfort Monsters

Stack height is 38/43 mm so a lot and it’s clearly visible – shoes look like some monsters. Big stack always brings possible issue with stability. I have already had some shoes with this problem and know it can be problematic, including “ankles twisters”: if shoe is big but not stable enough, it can cause serious injury. Fortunately, in this scenario it is not a problem because very wide base. Asics are big, but also stable thanks to this wide platform. Also remember this stack exceeds running limits and in effect you can be disqualified from very big running or triathlon events. Other small advantage – thanks to such big stack I’m taller…

How to say that… They are awesome in term of comfort, of course from my perspective. After last year I can say stack height is not always equal to comfort. For example, there are Altra Via Olympus with 33/33 mm stack, but these road shoes are quite tough and completely different than plushy New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 with 30/34 mm stack. Trabuco Max 2 are in the middle in my opinion. I know some more plushy shoes, but for sure they are not tough and much more comfortable than Mizuno I have used before.

Asics Trabuco Max 2 #2
Still fresh and ready for action

Thanks to this comfort it was also possible to be “braver” especially on descent – with Mizuno, I was afraid about next steps, traction etc. With Trabuco Max 2 I felt like some mountain goat, really – all my “brakes” are gone, I was fast and got ahead of others. This 5 mm drop is great for me, because I have decided to slowly move into even zero drop shoes. I have started with Mizuno with 8 to even 12 mm drops so such change did not devastate my Achilles and I can make transition smooth. Worth mentioning is also shape. Trabuco Max 2 has a “boat” shape with raised front to facilitate foot rolling.

I have flat feet and wide toebox is important for me. During last year I have tested few different shoes and had a lot of issues with blisters even in short distances. For example in Mizuno Mujin or Brooks Caldera 6. Fortunately these Asics are wider and offer some additional space for our toes. It is not something like Altra or Topo, but still beter than a lot of competitors.

These shoes are not the lightest in the market – my US10 / EU44 size weight about 318 g per shoe. It can be an issue for faster, shorter runs, but does not matter in ultra – mentioned comfort is more important. Also, there are similar or heavier shoes without such stack height like Olympus 4, so I think this result is not bad. The funny thing is when we take them first time. They look like heavy monsters, but they are not.

Solid all-rounders

I tested these shoes in many different conditions, on forest paths, park, in the mountains, on rocks, wet and dry grass and I think they are solid all-rounders. About mud: I think there are no shoes which will guarantee traction in such surface, but for sure some of them are better, some worse. Trabucos are fine, in most of situations I felt stable. Also, in term of deep mud, cleaning was not a problem – we can feel additional weight, but just few meters of some tough surface and everything backs to normal state. From this perspective they are much, much better than for example Altra Olympus 4 I have used for few months. Nice on races, but also most of daily workouts because we need to spend less time during cleaning these shoes.

Asics Trabuco Max 2 #3
Trabuco Max 2 after few hundered kilometers

In comparison to shoes with Vibram Megagrip (I used with Altras and Merrells) I have to say I think Vibram is overhyped by marketing and many people, really. Asics does not have any fancy logo on side wall but provides great traction. Unlike Olympus, it does not slide on tiles, so I did not kill myself going down the stairs. About some other stuff: lacing is perfect thanks to small rubber band to hide laces. I do not remember any issues with them. They are also compatible with gaiters and using them is simple and fast. Tongue is fine but can be a bit more comfortable when we use runner’s knot. My ankle was a little tired after running 20 km with such configuration.

I cannot say nothing wrong about breathability – these shoes were great during my 110 km run in the summer and it was terrible hot day (over 32 Celsius). It is also not a problem to use them with standard socks during winter, so balance is fine. Drying during other run with over 10 hours of rain was fine, but I must mention that the insole of the shoe crinkled a bit which caused a rather strange feeling.

Few words about wearing: outsole looks fine after few hundred kilometers in mixed terrain including tarmac. There is one Wipeout in internal side of both shoes, but I think it’s more because my overpronation. Uppers are not bad, but I see first sign of damage in one of shoes and not sure how long will it remain – it is possible winter will kill it. Hells also are wiped but it is normal in all shoes I use. Maybe wrong lacing, maybe wrong fitting but it does not cause any blisters or issues, just looks a bit bad.

Asics Trabuco Max 2 #4
Lacing system and damaged heels

Pricing & Summary

I think the biggest drawback of these shoes is their price. In Poland it was something close to 900 PLN and in many cases, people can buy 2 or even 3 pretty nice pairs for the same amount. They are expensive, but there are even more expensive shoes in the market. I bought them not directly from Asics with lower price and additional discount in some online shop so final price was not so bad.

Overall, I really recommend these shoes. As I mentioned in the beginning, this review is not sponsored, I have bought these shoes because I have decided to try them and after few months I am still very satisfy. Some faster runners will prefer something with less cushion to feel terrain, but for me it is not important, comfort is the most important part, and they offer a lot of comfort. I know last days Asics presented new version, Trabuco Max 3. Right now, it is too early to compare them, based on photos and official data looks like new version is a bit lighter, but there are no other bigger changes. Stack? Not sure because they do not publish such info now. Price again high so I will use version 2, especially because I have second pair I have bought with great price.

Leave a Reply