Who should buy the ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX

Whether you're old or new to the trail running scene, the fifth version of the ASICS Gel Sonoma GTX is a value-oriented option, just as much as it is to those who want a:

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX ASICS logo

Who should NOT buy it

If you want a spacious toe room for your wide feet, the ASICS Gel Venture 5 is a better alternative to the Sonoma GTX. And if you don't mind spending a few bucks for that easy on and off minus the annoying noise, you can look into the ASICS Trabuco Max.

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX ASICS

The Sonoma 5 GTX's waterproofness makes it perfect for winter

When it comes to the shoe's impermeability, the reaction has been rather mixed. There are some who claim that water seeps through a specific spot in the shoe, making their feet cold and wet. However, most of the comments were leaning towards the ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX being a great waterproof running shoe. Here are some of their remarks: 

  • "Gore-Tex makes a big difference on wet grass mornings"
  • "[I] was able to step into small puddles without getting any water in the shoe." 
  • "Gore-Tex keeps me dry" 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX gore-tex running shoes

And for winter runs? It's been A-OK! "Gore-Tex works! Feet are warm at 13-degree Fahrenheit," this is one of the comments from a tester who's already clocked up a lot of miles in his pair during winter. A runner who lives in Virginia, where wet, cold, and damp winters are, happily shares that this shoe is great in such an environment because it keeps the foot insulated. 

Overall, the general verdict on the shoe's waterproofing suggests that as long as you don't run through deep puddles or through streams, you don't have to worry about wet feet. 

A supportive neutral shoe

If there's one thing about the ASICS Sonoma 5 GTX that runners are crazy about, it's the stability it offers (and hey, it's a neutral running shoe!) To put it in perspective, a trail runner leaves this comment: "It's nice to have a stable runner with great lateral stability." He says he uses his pair to jog with his dog. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX neutral running shoe

Another expresses, "It's easy to walk and run with fantastic support." Another adds, "These are great!!!" as he uses them for his 10-mile walks daily, claiming it keeps his feet and legs steady and supported. 

Comfort: Runners just can't agree on this

One of the testers dubs the Sonoma 5 GTX a solid shoe that "makes you want to move" as soon as you put them on. According to him, there's "virtually no break-in period" in this trail runner as it's immediately comfortable. And a couple more runners agree to this. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX cushion

However, a huge part of the comments also reports that the shoe is stiff AF; it's downright uncomfortable. "Took about 50-60 miles before they started to feel ok to run in," is one of these comments.

Sticky even on challenging surfaces

Reviews on the shoe's traction go from "good grip" to "awesome traction." On snow, rain, mud, and loose stones, it generates a tacky grip that keeps runners anchored. Even better, the outsole also absorbs impact, excitedly shares one critic. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX traction

Runs small 

Almost everyone in the review section agrees that the ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX is not true to size. "It was smaller than usual," "Sizing is on a different scale," and "Sizing was way off," are some of the statements from frustrated ASICS fans. According to them, it's tight; some of them couldn't even use the shoe! 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX fit

It's also not easy to put on as it's very tight around the ankles. However, it's not all bad. Those who have gone half a size up found the fit perfect. Those with narrower feet, on the one hand, also find the fit very supportive. 

Toe box receives a boo from wide-footed runners

The shoe's toe box is kind of pointy and has a tapered shape, which makes it tight for those with bigger feet. One of them states, that the fit is extremely tight; it rubs their toes to blister. Another wide-footed trail running expert observes that when his toes slide forward during downhills, they get "painfully squeezed" in the Sonoma GTX. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX toe box

You can't be stealthy in the ASICS Sonoma 5 GTX

"Crinkly" is how disappointed buyers describe the annoying sound this trail shoe makes. They explain that it sounds like there's tissue paper inside the shoe. "Clicking noise" is also what another reviewer hears from the shoe. In this Sonoma GTX iteration, there's "no sneaking up on anyone," because it's so darn noisy. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX heel

Their suspect? The Gore-Tex upper. It's plasticky to the touch that makes a noticeable sound when the runner is in motion. 

Cheap for a waterproof shoe

On average, waterproof trail shoes retail for $152. Meanwhile, waterproof running shoes, on average, costs $149 a pair, making the ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX (at $100) VERY affordable. And if there's one thing trail running enthusiasts agree on, it's that the shoe has excellent value for money. 

ASICS Gel Sonoma 5 GTX waterproof

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Women 12.1oz
Drop: Men 8mm
Arch support: Neutral
Base model: ASICS Gel Sonoma 5
Update: ASICS Gel Sonoma 6 GTX
Collection: ASICS Gel

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
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.