ASICS Gel-Sonoma 3 Trail Running Shoe Review

ASICS Gel-Sonoma 3 Trail Running Shoe Review

With the hiking season coming up soon, I purchased a pair of the new ASICS Gel-Sonoma 3 trail running shoe. I’ll be honest, I largely picked this shoe because I knew I wanted ASICS trail running shoes at I thought the colorway of this new show was pretty sweet. I do more of a casual hike in a trail running shoe than I do actual trail running, so to test them out me and the fiancé headed up to Red Butte Canyon above Salt Lake City on an unseasonably warm March afternoon.

Quick Review of What I Liked About This Shoe:

  1. Tread/outsole – Tons of thick, wide treads with downhill angled heel
  2. Support – Felt like there was lots of padding around the ankles (I have bird legs) and the outer sole was super sturdy over rocks
  3. Toughness– The Gore-Tex upper felt durable and strong
  4. Fit– Felt right in all areas, and I have a pretty average foot
  5. Looks – I love orange, so the orange colorway was money. The white was pretty dirty after the first hike, but that’s the point of hiking, right?
Check out the Gel-Sonoma 3

Tread

Tread of Gel-Sonoma 3 trail runnigns hoe

Had to take advantage of the great backdrop for a close-up of the shoes

The lugs of the outsole were surprisingly large and tough. It felt sort of strange walking on the pavement with them at the trailhead, but once we got on the dirt I really loved the tread. My last pair of trail shoes were worn out from wearing them around the house so a solid sole was a nice surprise. We did a steep face with a combo of loose dirt and boulders, and I never found Gel-Sonoma’s struggling for traction. The heel has a downhill angled tread for your way back down the mountain. I’ve never hard shoes with this feature before and I have to say I’m a big fan! The outsole really is the primary difference in a trail running shoe.

Support

I think this was one of my two favorite features of the Gel-Sonomas. When walking over sharp rocks like in the main image of this post, I couldn’t feel the edges or small rocks like I have in shoes in the past. Keeping my feet protected helped me avoid fatigue. After the first 5-mile hike of the year, my feet weren’t sore that night or the next day. The Gel-Sonoma also has a lot of ankle padding for a low-top shoe and I have skinny ankles. My achilles felt hugged and protected the whole afternoon.

Toughness/Quality

The upper is made out of Gore-Tex ,which is just about as strong as you can get. Like I mentioned before, the tread was really thick and should be able to take a lot of wear. I would say these were just what I was expecting in this department. They aren’t hiking boots, but they are a lot tougher than typical running shoes.

Fit/Comfort

These bad boys have a few comfort focused tech features. First is the ASICS classic GEL heel padding, and second is the Ortholite sockliner and insole. I’ve owned a few ASICS running shoes in the past so the GEL padding was nothing new. But the Ortholite liner was pretty awesome! It was really comfortable and felt like I had been wearing them for weeks the moment I put on the Gel Sonomas .

Appearance

I bought the White/Silver/Hot Orange colorway which is the loudest color available for this shoe. This is really an opinion but I loved that these shoes looked unique, more like road running shoes than the typical earth-tone boring trail shoe. Like I said in the intro, the white got pretty dirty after the first hike, but who cares?! I don’t know if I’ve ever worried about how clean my trail shoes are. If you’re not a fan of the white and orange, there is your typical gray and black color to chose from.

Summary of the Gel Sonoma 3 Review

A great trail running shoe at a great price. I would recommend this shoe to anyone who’s looking for a rugged pair of athletic shoes. I’ll probably use these as my camping shoes this summer too. While they aren’t going to be used for competitive trail running races or multi-day backpacking, they are great for the average off-roader! Bravo ASICS.

Check out the Gel-Sonoma 3

 

5.3
OVERALL SCORE
Value: 9.0
Appearance: 9.0
Toughness: 9.0
Traction: 10.0
45 user votes x 5.2
Great trail shoe at a great price! Much better looking than other trail shoes.
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COMMENTS

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  • comment-avatar
    Steve 11 months

    FYI – If the pics you posted of are the shoes you tested, those are NOT the GoreTex model. They do indeed offer a “GTX” model, but the one you (presumably) tested isn’t it.