Asics is one of those firms that makes trail shoes that are very similar to its road models. The original Eagle Trail
was more an off-road version of the Gel Nimbus
than an out-and-out trail shoe. The new Eagle Trail is still a protective shoe, and while it’s not a fast mud scrambler, it’s certainly an improvement.
Visibly, the most obvious improvement is the outsole. It now has deeper, multi-directional lugs. These are set in different directions to – theoretically – offer improved braking and climbing potential. Practically, the new Eagle Trail grips far better in the mud than its predecessor.
The improvements go further than new tread, though. Asics has added a trail-specific version of the Impact Guidance System (IGS) that it uses in its top-end road shoes. This smoothes the heelstrike, and guides the foot through to toe-off. There’s also a two-layer midsole. Asics says that splitting the midsole horizontally provides the heel with some independence from the forefoot. Allied to the shoe’s low profile and a cradle around the heel, this provides extra stability on the rough, ever-changing terrain you find in the UK.
The new Eagle Trail is a big improvement on the previous model. It grips better and feels more responsive, but still retains its superior cushioning and protection
Try it on if you liked
Asics Gel Eagle Trail (£85); Brooks Trespass