Asics Gecko XT

6.6
6.6 score
[Editors rating (6.6)] = Runnerclick score (6.6)/10

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Editor rating: 6.6 / 10
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Asics Gecko XT Review Facts
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With the introduction of Asics’ Gecko XT, comes the introduction of its revolutionary new outsole material: GeckoTrac. This rubber is extremely grippy and durable and will help maintain a great level of traction, even on wet surfaces. Although this trail shoe lacks the appearance of a rugged trail runner with its smaller lugs, it is up to the challenge of carrying you over smooth to moderate trail running terrain. The Gecko XT offers a neutral trail running shoe featuring a clean seamless construction and secure fit. These shoes feature an anti-gravel comfortable tongue that will keep debris out, all while offering a breathable lightweight mesh upper design. With additional features such as a lace garage and Rock Protection Plate, the Gecko XT is engineered to be an impressive neutral trail shoe. Asics durable FlyteFoam makes up the midsole of this shoe and gives it a cushioned, yet durable feel. With its sleek silhouette and option of several different colorways, they will not only perform well on some trails, but they will look great while doing it. 

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight mesh upper is breathable and allows drainage
  • Rock Protection Plate prevents injury to feet from sharp underfoot objects
  • FlyteFoam midsole is durable and lightweight
  • Lace garage to store laces after tying
  • Large toe box to prevent toe bang
  • GeckoTrac outsole is super-grippy
  • Comes in an array of colorways
Cons
  • May not have enough support for technical trail running
  • Requires a longer break-in period
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Asics unveils a new compound on their Gecko XT trail running shoe called GeckoTrac. This new outsole material is made up of carbon rubber, which is a very durable type of rubber. GeckoTrac is Asics’ stickiest outsole yet and is designed to help you gain traction on even the most technical trail. Unlike many trail running shoes out there, the Gecko XT does not have highly aggressive lugs. Rather, the underside of the shoe features polygonal reverse grippy lugs that are engineered to help you grip well even on wet surfaces or steep declines. The lightweight GeckoTrac material will help you traverse through varying kinds of terrain without compromising durability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

This sneaker’s midsole features Asics FlyteFoam which is a foam engineered to include strong fibers that are designed to keep the midsole from sagging or breaking down too quickly. This lightweight foam contributes to the lightweight feel of this trail shoe. It also delivers a good amount of responsive cushioning. One of the most impressive features of the Gecko XT’s midsole is the Rock Protection Plate that rests between the midsole and the outsole on the forefoot. This pliable yet sturdy addition to the sneaker’s makeup acts as a barrier against hard rocks and irregular underfoot surfaces that you may encounter on the trail. The footbed of this shoe is also cushioned and is complete with a soft textile top for added comfort.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Asics constructed the Gecko XT’s upper using a seamless construction in order to prevent irritation within the sneaker. The breathable mesh material making up the upper allows for air to comfortably enter and exit the foot chamber while also enabling the shoe to drain quickly and efficiently if they were to get wet on the trail. The sneaker also boasts and anti-gravel gusseted tongue designed not only for comfort but also to prevent dirt and debris from entering the shoe. Additionally, the lacing system is completed with a lace garage where you can store your laces after tying, eliminating the danger of them getting caught on trail hazards. The toe box of the Gecko XT is roomy and prevents toe bang on steep descents. The shoe also features synthetic overlays over the midfoot and forefoot for added protection and durability. At the heel, you will find a thick heel cover which protects the comfortable padded collar and helps to keep your foot from exiting the shoe.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Trail shoes tend to land in the heavier-than-typical-running-shoes category but because the Gecko XT is made using a seamless mesh upper and FlyteFoam in the midsole, it is a fairly light trail running sneaker. The men’s version weighs 10.2 ounces while the women’s weighs 8.4 ounces.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

When it comes to trail running shoes, breathability is pretty important. However, many trail shoes are built up so heavily that sometimes they can be hot boxes for sweat. Because the Asics Gecko XT is made using a lightweight and breathable mesh material, it is surprisingly durable, yet breathable. It allows excellent airflow as well as drainage in case you come across any mud puddles or streams.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Comfort isn’t much of an issue when it comes to the Gecko XT. With their seamless constructed upper, they help you stay comfortable and irritation-free. The heel cup is generously padded, helping to prevent blisters while the insole is covered with a soft textile material to aid in comfort. The shoe’s gusseted tongue keeps it in place and helps to prevent the tongue from slipping down into the shoe and gives the shoe more of a bootie-like feel. Your toes won’t be cramped in the Gecko XT because Asics made sure there was room enough for them to splay naturally and will keep them from cramming into the front of the shoe on steep descents.
Style
Style

Style

On the whole, trail running sneakers can sometimes scream “I’M MEANT FOR THE TRAIL” with their big bulky lugs and overdone uppers. This is not the case with the Gecko XT. Thanks to the sneaker’s super-grippy GeckoTrac outsole, the lugs are not overly aggressive and the upper isn’t chock full of unnecessary bells and whistles. Rather, the sneaker boasts a rather sleek and attractive design and comes in an impressive array of colorways to choose from.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Thanks to the durability of Asics’ FlyteFoam, the midsole of this sneaker is amazingly durable. The fibers incorporated into this foam keep it from sagging or breaking down quickly, no matter what kind of trail you throw at it. The enforced heel cup will also help the shoe maintain its shape and helps add to the sneaker’s durability. Although the shoe does not feature overly-aggressive lugs like many trail running sneakers, they are made of a durable rubber material that should withstand a large number of trail runs. The synthetic overlays that run over the midfoot and forefoot of the shoe will also aid in durability. Around the outside of the shoe, directly over the midsole, you will also find a synthetic overlay which not only protects the midsole from further wear, but it will also help the sneaker’s durability score.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The most impressive protective aspect of the Asics Gecko XT is the Rock Plate Protection System infused into the sneaker between the midsole and the outsole. This rock plate is designed to help protect your foot from harsh underfoot terrain while allowing the shoe to flex an appropriate amount. The outsole of the sneaker includes a toe cap that will also aid in protecting your feet from jagged rocks as well. To prevent ankle injury, the enforced padded heel cup will help keep your ankles supported and protected. With that said, the upper as a whole does not offer a ton of protection due to its lightweight seamless mesh design, but its outsole is pretty protective.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The revolutionary FlyteFoam material that makes up this sneaker’s midsole is remarkably responsive, given that it is not incredibly thick. The lightweight, fiber-enforced foam will help you absorb an amount of shock and will return to its engineered shape efficiently. The non-aggressive grippy lugs that make up the shoe’s GeckoTrac outsole will also help to propel you over rocks and harsh terrain responsively.
Support
Support

Support

The Gecko XT offers support in the heel with the reinforced heel cup and padded collar. Both of these features will keep your heel supported and help reduce the chance of ankle injury. The synthetic overlay placed over the midfoot will also aid in support by keeping your foot in place. With a gusseted tongue, giving the shoe a bootie-like fit will also help to keep your foot supported during trail runs.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is designed to be a trail running sneaker, however, some users have commented that it lacks the stability and support needed for extremely technical trails. With the Rock Protection Plate, roomier toe box, and grippy GeckoTrac outsole, you should be able to maneuver through smoother trails easily or even take them on the road.
Price
Price

Price

If you are looking to add another sneaker to your collection and are wanting one that would help you on trail runs, then the Gecko XT will not hurt your wallet immensely. For the price, and for the added trusted name of Asics, these sneakers are a great deal.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Although the Gecko XT does not feature overly-aggressive outsole lugs, it does boast Asics new GeckoTrac grippy rubber outsole. This revolutionary rubber is designed to be super-sticky on both wet and dry terrain and will help you achieve excellent traction. The lugs, especially on the forefoot, will aid in helping you ascend and descend with ease. The GeckoTrac rubber will also help you maintain your footing in wet running conditions. However, it has been noted by some users that they would prefer larger lugs for more technical trail running.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Through the combination of the lightweight GeckoTrac outsole, FlyteFoam midsole, and mesh upper, this trail running sneaker ends up being more flexible than some in the same category. The most impressive feature aiding in this shoe’s flexibility is the Rock Protection Plate located between the midsole and outsole at the forefoot. This Rock Protection Plate is made of a bendable material which is designed to flex accordingly with underground conditions. This is very important when it comes to trail running since a sharp rock and a stiff shoe could result in slipping.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Trail shoes, by nature, tend to be on the stable side because you need to have a solid shoe under you when you are traversing the possibly treacherous trails. The Gecko XT is engineered to be a neutral shoe or one that will help those who tend towards supination. They don’t offer a whole lot of stability for those who may have ankle concerns or are over-pronators. If you are looking for a decent trail running shoe and don’t have feet issues, then these should work just fine. However, if you need a more stable sneaker, these might not be for you.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Gecko XT has a heel to toe drop of 6mm, which is decent for a trail running shoe. However, if you need a little more heel support or springiness, you may want to consider a sneaker with a larger drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- GeckoTrac rubber on the outsole provides a very grippy trail-running experience
- Lace Garage keep laces out of the way and prevents them from catching on trail hazards
- Anti-gravel tongue helps keep debris out of the foot chamber
- Lightweight mesh upper is both breathable and allows for proper drainage
- Rock Protection Plate between midsole and outsole protects the forefoot from sharp rocks
- Larger toe box gives your toes room and prevents toe-bang on steep descents
- FlyteFoam midsole is both responsive and durable to prevent wear and tear of the shoe
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Trail running shoes tend to be more specialized in terms of what you need when trekking through mud and rocks. While the Gecko XT is a decent trail shoe, it does lack a few features that some avid technical trail runners may be looking for. The outsole’s GeckoTrac rubber technology is certainly grippy, but the smaller lugs may not be very useful on extremely technical trails. Because the sneakers' upper is so lightweight and airy, it does not offer the support some trail runners may need. With that said, if you are looking to run on smoother, well-groomed trails, the Gecko XT is certainly an acceptable option. However, if you are planning on scaling tall rocks and traversing through various trail situations, you may want to consider more supportive trail runners. In the end, these shoes come with the trusted Asics name and enough features to carry you through smooth to moderate trails at a price point that won’t break the bank. So if you want a nice-looking mild-trail running sneaker and have no foot concerns, then it won’t hurt to try out the Gecko XT.