The Asics Torana running shoes were kindly supplied to me free of charge by SportsDirect.com to test, and I am grateful to them for this.
Now the first thing that strikes you about these shoes is the colour scheme, it has prompted a very much love it or hate it amongst my friends, me, I love it. I like a shoe that stands out, I am fed up with the stock silverish, whitish, greyish colour most shoes seem to be.
I have used this shoe for about a week, on a variety of terrains hand in a several different weather conditions, and so I feel pretty happy about giving opinions on it.
The shoe is billed as a trail shoe, and it seems to fit into the range where they are designed to allow you to run to the trail, run the trial and then run home. So, from this you can deduce it’s not a fully fledged off road weapon but more a cross over shoe.
So, with this in mind I decided to try the shoe on a variety of routes, firstly I did an off road run which had a long downhill stretch through some woods and a road climb back up. The wooded section is on a pretty good path and the shoes were providing plenty of grip through here, and equally on the road climb back they were giving good support. The only point I would make is that when I did go through a muddy patch the traction was not great, certainly not as good as my full off-road shoe.
Next test was to use them on a canal path, I did this run in the rain and I did expect the shoe to struggle a little if it was muddy. However, on a canal path the shoes were excellent, the combination of cushioning and grip were excellent. Also the road run to and from the canal path was dispatched with ease, and I certainly enjoyed the extra comfort of the Asics shoe over doing the same run in my other trail shoe.
After the encouraging performance on that run, I decided to try man made trail path, well the shoe coped on that with ease, and coming back along another canal path I forgot these were new shoes due to the comfort and grip.
Road running was something I thought that maybe the shoe would do, but not give me the stability of my normal road shoe. I was wrong, it was excellent, whilst I only did about 6km there were a couple of longish hills and at no point did I think I wish I had used my other shoes. I don’t know whether I would do a really long road run in them, but they aren’t designed for it although I reckon they would cope well.
THe overriding thing I have noticed about the shoe is that they feel fast, especially on mixed terrain runs.
For me, these shoes are ideal for canal path, summer trail running and where there is some road work in getting to the off road stuff. I do a lot of runs like that, and I certainly will be using them for those runs.
Would I buy a pair of these, yes, would I recommend them, yes if you do mixed terrain running.