Asics Gel-Kahana 7
The Gel-Kahana 7 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail running shoes for 2023.
I find this shoe to be extremely comfortable with a generous toe box, but they are falling apart after less than 300 miles. Considering the price.
- Generous toe box
I almost love this shoe!
I have used the Asics Gel Kahana 7's for trail running and hiking and they have performed splendidly.
I have run on very steep dirt trails that would test the traction capabilities of any trail runner and this shoe held strong. They are equally good on the uphills and downhills.
I'm 6 feet, 185 lbs and I run around 8:30 pace when on trail. The shoe is comfortable and there is ample room in the toe box. I generally wear a size 13 EE and in this shoe I did purchase a 13 EEEE which may explain the extra room.
Overall, I was very pleased with the performance of this shoe as a trail runner. It felt light and secure (I use a heel lock in my lacing) while still providing good ventilation for my feet. The Kahana 7's have served me well for over 100 miles of trail running.
I have also used this pair of shoes for almost 200 miles of hiking and backpacking. When backpacking, my packs range from 25 lbs to 45 lbs. The strengths that presented themselves running also showed up when using this shoe hiking. Traction is superb. Ventilation is adequate and they are comfortable even while hiking with a heavy pack.
All is not perfect with the Kahana 7's though. After having used them for under 300 miles, they are shot. The cushion in the forefoot has broken down to the point that I don't like running in them and if I hike for more than a few miles my feet get fatigued.
I just completed a two-day, 25-mile backpacking trip with a pack weight of 23 pounds (without water) and by mile 8 I was wishing that I had purchased new shoes. Not only has the sole lost its supportive properties, but the uppers are tearing in two spots and the soles have lost a section of rubber in the same spot on each shoe. (See pics below.)
Tear in the upper.
Another tear in the upper and you can see that the toe cap is starting to pull away.
Each shoe has lost a triangular section of the black rubber.
Overall, I have enjoyed these shoes and I would recommend them to someone who is only going to use them for hiking. I think they would hold up quite well to day hikes while carrying a light pack. They certainly provide excellent traction and they are comfortable. And, with a price point below $100 (I paid $85) they are cheaper than some of the other options.
The only real con that I have regarding these shoes is durability. At just under 300 miles, they are basically dead. I could continue to use them with the tears and the missing pieces of sole, but the lack of support in the forefoot is unacceptable.
So, at $85, is it OK that they lasted 300 miles? Most runners and backpackers expect to get 500 miles from a pair of shoes. The Saucony Peregrine 7's are a very popular trail shoe and they cost $120. Let's say that you are able to get 500 miles out of a pair of Saconys. That would break down to 24 cents per mile. The Asics at $85 and 300 miles break down to 28.3 cents per mile.
So even though they haven't lasted as long as I'd hoped, they aren't too bad of a value based on their affordable price. Will I buy them again? Not right now. I'm going to try something else to see if I can get equal comfort and longer life out of another shoe.
Thanks for reading and maybe I'll see you out on the trail!
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85
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Historic Range: $59.47
Reviewers Paid: $85.00