Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • A runner wrote that the upper unit of the Asics Gel Sonoma 2 didn’t rub against their skin, thus preventing irritation and blistering.
  • Many consumers stated that this shoe felt great right out of the box; the word ‘comfortable’ was used many times to describe their time wearing it.
  • According to a number of runners, this shoe’s facade was visually appealing.
  • The mid-sole unit was supportive enough to correct supinated foot-motion, a tester noted.
  • The lugged outsole unit was able to provide sure surface traction, which made it easy for many testers to traverse the trails.
  • The rubber compound used in the outsole did not wear off easily, according to those who have tried it.
  • A lot of runners agreed that the price of this trail shoe was affordable.
  • Some purchasers wrote that the Gel Sonoma 2 remained efficient & comfortable when used on the pavement.
  • It felt lightweight, according to reviewers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • After a month of use, a runner noticed that a hole began to form on the lateral front section of the upper unit.
  • The rubber material on the side started fraying, a tester noted.

Bottom line

A lot of trail running enthusiasts were fascinated with the Gel Sonoma 2. They said that it performed well, that its cushioning system was agreeable, responsive and supportive. Appreciation was also given to its design, as well as its trail-ready outsole. Some even said that it worked well on both the trails and the roads. But, according to others, the durability of this trail shoe wasn’t up to the task. Apparently, the outsole and upper easily broke down on them.

Facts

Update: Asics Gel Sonoma 5
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 10.8oz | Women: 9.1oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 33mm | Women: 33mm
Forefoot height: Men: 21mm | Women: 21mm
Brand: Asics
Type: Heavy | Big guy
Width: Men: Normal, X-Wide | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $75
Colorways: Black, Blue, Brown, Grey, Multi, Orange, Purple
Special editions: 1 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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  • The 2nd version of the Gel Sonoma from Asics features a more robust construction that uses high-quality materials. The modern look of this running shoe employs greater reflectivity and a mildly shiny sheen that’s visually appealing. The color schemes that are used to complement the hardy disposition of this running shoe, and it efficiently brings a striking look.
  • The upper unit makes use of mesh and synthetic materials that are tuned to the trail running purpose of the Asics Gel Sonoma 2. It’s breathable, comfortable and secure, though it is more closely knit to prevent debris from entering the fabric.
  • The mid-sole unit utilizes the proprietary technologies that make Asics shoe platforms responsive and efficient. The high-quality foam has bounce-back qualities as well as sure durability for an unparalleled running experience that doesn’t easily break down or lose structural integrity.
  • The outsole unit of this running shoe has a trail-specific design. It uses gripping lugs on its surface to deliver traction over many types of terrain. It’s sturdy and hardy, so it doesn’t peel off easily, even when exposed to harsh and unpredictable surface conditions.

The Asics Gel Sonoma 2 has a standard running shoe length. It adheres to the regular measurements to which most runners are acclimated. Its semi-curved design allows it to accommodate the natural shape of the foot. It has a medium width when in its heel, mid-foot and forefoot sections, so runners with medium-sized feet can fit well when wearing it.


The outsole unit of this running shoe makes use of the AHAR or the Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber material. It’s a highly durable material that delivers protection against wear and abrasion. It doesn’t let debris or friction to cause damage to the sole unit as it acts as the primary defense.

The outsole also has a trail-specific construction. It has aggressive lugs that face multiple directions. They provide grip over a multitude of surfaces. Even uphill or downward traversals are well-supported by an outsole that gives responsible traction.


The SpEVA is a full-length mid-sole unit that gives the runner a plush and comfortable underfoot platform. It is flexible and soft, and it has some bounce-back characteristics that make each step springier and more responsive. It also decreases mid-sole breakdown because of its durable nature.

The Gel Cushioning System is used in the heel section of this running shoe. It is able to attenuate shock when landing the foot on the ground, so it makes each heel strike more comfortable and easier to do. The added heel cushioning in the heel also allows the runner to transition more quickly to the mid-stance.

A mid-foot Trusstic is a molded compound that’s placed right under the mid-foot section. It gives the mid-sole a more contoured shape in order to provide support to the arches. This particular shoe technology is also present in the Gel DS Trainer 24, which is one of Asics' most popular running shoes.


Mesh material covers most of the upper unit. It’s breathable, comfortable and flexible. It’s been knit more closely to prevent dust and debris from entering the interior environment, though the foot remains well-ventilated.

The Synthetic Overlays have been stitched onto the upper unit. They provide security for the foot while also maintaining the structural integrity of the upper fabrics. They work with the lacing system in making the fit more attuned to the preferences of the wearer.

The pull-tab at the heel area makes sure that wearing and removing the Asics Gel Sonoma 2 is easier. The runner would just put a finger on the tab and manage the entry and exit of the foot.
A padded tongue and collar help in keeping the foot in place. A soft inner lining keeps the foot protected from irritation or pressure points that might cause blistering.

Comparison

Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com