33 users: 4.4 / 5
2 experts: 77 / 100
Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 3.9oz / Women 3.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men 4mm / Women 4mm
Arch support: Neutral

Verdict from 9 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • Cushioning and shock-absorbing features are achieved by the Solyte midsole.
  • This shoe is very lightweight.
  • The upper adapts very well with the foot’s movement, according to most runners.
  • Some runners were impressed by the improved transition in this model.
  • A large majority of runners loved the way the Piranha 5 encourages speed and efficacy.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The price of the Asics Piranha 5 is slightly higher compared to other shoes of the same type of performance and quality.
  • It is mainly limited to racing in shorter courses unless the runner is a full-blown minimalist runner.
  • Some runners complained that the Piranha 5’s durability leaves so much to be desired.

Bottom line

The Asics Piranha 5 is flat out a racing shoe. It is about a few millimeters from becoming a true barefoot shoe and has next-to-nothing arch support. On the plus side, barefoot runners can use the shoe as a long-distance option due to the “sufficient” cushioning.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

  • The Piranha 5 unveils several changes that should make it even better than before. As with almost every release of this line, the upper gets a slight revamp. Gone are the synthetic overlays, except in the forefoot. The upper is a near seamless one with printed overlays. This modification allows the upper to really mold to the runner’s foot. Since this is an almost seamless upper, it greatly reduces the risk of hot spots or irritation in the interior.
  • Fans of the Piranha series will notice that the heel is very flexible this time around. Only a small tab sitting on top of the sole holds the heel in place. This is a change that should delight most minimalist runners.
  • Lastly, the outsole gets a thorough makeover. There are presently hard and plastic lugs as opposed to pure rubber in the previous version. It does not make the Asics Piranha 5 a trail shoe, but the lugs make running on asphalt enjoyable.

The fit and sizing of the 5th installment of the Piranha are regular. As with most pure flats, this has a snug fit from the heel to the forefoot. The toe box offers just enough room for the toes to splay. Runners with average or narrow foot should be able to get the most out of this fit. Available widths are D and B while sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.

Asics’ proprietary DuoSole is an extremely light rubber with adequate durability. It is one of the biggest reasons why the Piranha 5 is an ultra-light shoe. There are numerous hard, plastic lugs in the forefoot for added bite on different surfaces. In comparison, the Saucony Kinvara 10 makes use of a modified ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) in its outsole.

The very popular Solyte midsole is the main component in this area. This is slightly firmer than some of Asics’ foams, which makes it an ideal platform for faster and more powerful takeoffs.

The upper is also ultralight and breathable. There are printed overlays for lightweight support. An industrial-grade sockliner provides enhanced comfort in the shoe.

Size and fit

True to size based on 19 user votes
Small (0%)
True to size (95%)
Large (5%)
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How Piranha 5 compares

This shoe: 79
All shoes average: 86
58 99
This shoe: $100
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 3.9oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
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.