The ASICS GEL-Venture 9 has arrived and since we got a pair in stock we had to review its features and get a close up look. The ASICS GEL-Venture series started almost a decade ago when the Japanese brand decided to come up with a performant trail shoe for the neutral runners at an affordable price under $100, much like Colombia Fairbanks low,  Nike ‘s Juniper or New Balance Nitrel series.  With almost every year having a new edition coming up, this shoe has improved steadily and earned its place in this niche of the footwear market. The 9th iteration of the shoe arrived at the beginning of 2023 and, as we expected, it is the best so far. While it is $10 more expensive than its predecessor it is a surely improved shoe with a better fit and added traction. 

How They Fit

The pair we got on our hands was the sheetrock and sun peach which was one of the first for this model. The shoe feels very sturdy out of the box and quite lightweight for a trail shoe, weighing just over 12 oz for size 10.5. They fit true to size with a roomier toe box which is a step up from version 8. If you’re not sure about your ASICS size you can check out this chart.

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The upper of the ASICS GEL-Venture 9 features a mix of mesh and synthetic materials with a design focused on improving foot lockdown and protection. The front mudguard is higher than the 8th version which raises the toe box for more room for your feet. The side synthetic overlays cover more space for this version which helps this shoe provide a better lockdown and stability which is much needed on an uneven terrain. The base mesh is lightly padded which adds some cushioning in the front area but it takes away from the breathability of the shoe. We quickly concluded for your ASICS GEL-Venture 9 review that wearing these in hot weather may not be ideal. But this shoe was built for trails and hiking so this type of mesh surely adds durability and some protection. The cushioning around the heel area and tongue is similar to its predecessor for excellent off road comfort.

Sole Unit

The sole unit of the ASICS GEL-Venture 9 is made of the new AMPLIFOAM midsole with GEL cushioning in the heel area. The AMPLIFOAM midsole has a lower density which makes it lightweight. It provides excellent cushion and energy return while keeping its shape and some degree of sturdiness that fits very well the trail shoe genre. The midsole has a new look and a higher stack in the heel which helps with a smooth heel to toe transition. Like the Lyte Classic and the Quantum 180 it features a removable Ortholite insole which adds to the cushy feeling you’d expect from a pair of shoes from this brand. For this edition ASICS changed the outsole pattern to one that has bigger logs. This surely improves its traction off roads. Because of the way the sole unit is set up ,the cushion and support of this shoe is best experienced when on uneven surfaces. However, it is still a good all around shoe like its predecessors.

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Bottom Line

To conclude our ASICS GEL-Venture 9 review, this is an excellent option for neutral runners in search of a budget trail running shoe. It is an excellent all around shoe that works best for trails and hiking but it can also be used in the gym or for slow, short runs. It offers a great alternative to the more expensive trail runners like the Salomon Speedcross 3 and the Nike Pegasus Trail models.