Asics Gel Sonoma 2 Review Facts
The Asics Gel Sonoma 2 is a sturdy trail shoe that’s both highly functional and visually appealing. It’s designed to do what any reputable trail shoe would do — that is to keep you comfortable and protected from the elements so that you can trek through the great outdoors. It’s not an overly complicated shoe. It provides what’s necessary without adding any extras that would only add weight and bulk. It has a medium profile and it’s lighter in weight than most trail shoes. The Gel Sonoma 2 resembles a road shoe in many respects, but don’t be deceived by its friendly looks. Take a good look at outsole and you’ll get a better sense of how tough it can be. Considering it’s attractive price tag and the essentials that it offers, the Gel Sonoma 2 is the type of shoe that could inspire your avid road runner to hit the trails once in a while.
The Gel Sonoma 2 features Asics AHAR
technology. AHAR stands for Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This specific rubber compound is a durable component that is highly resistant against your normal wear & tear. The outsole also includes multi-directional lugs
so that a runner receives adequate grip and traction, no matter how uneven or challenging the terrain may be.
The midsole unit is an Asics Speva midsole, which is a technology that is found in many of its road shoes. Speva midsoles incorporate 3 density layers with each one serving a specific purpose. For instance, one layer is meant for cushion while another is meant for durability and responsiveness. The midsole also includes Asics iconic gel inserts
which are located in the front and rear. The gel inserts are an addition for added cushion and comfort for these specific locations. Asics’ Trustic system is also included as an arch support base.
The top part of the shoe is composed of synthetic overlays and a mesh upper. In this version of the Sonoma, the fibers are more finely knit than in the prior version, making the perforations more microscopic in size. This helps to prevent small fragments from penetrating through the shoe’s interior. Despite the smaller openings, however, the meshing material remains highly breathable.
The men's version of the Gel Sonoma weights about 10.8 ounces while the women’s weighs just a tad above 9 ounces. Not a shockingly light weight shoe, however, many runners are able to appreciate it for not being another heavy clunky trail shoe that slows you down. This resonates with the company’s special focus on keeping a lot of its running shoes as light as possible.
Despite the closely knit fibers, this shoe still remains very breathable. The mesh material is scattered throughout the shoe with small openings that encourage a steady supply of airflow. This minimizes the amount of humidity
in the interior which translates into having feet that stay cool, dry, and perfectly comfortable.
The Gel Sonoma 2 proves that comfort can be simplified with just a few essential components. The midsole offers a specific density layer for cushion
. The gel inserts are also an addition for maximizing the level of softness in specific regions while the breathable mesh upper works as the shoe’s ventilation system to keep conditions healthy and free of any moisture.
With the 2nd version of the Gel Sonoma, it’s tough to tell the difference between a regular Asics running shoe and this model. The only giveaway is the lugs which stick out from the outsole unit. Aside from that, this could pass as an imposter road shoe. Users appreciate the shoe’s deviation from a standard trail
look in favor of the more road-like appeal. As far as color schemes, there are plenty to choose from — bright color hues as well as earth tones, that stay true to the outdoor theme. For example, there’s a bark/orange/black color option which has a beige-like earth tone accentuated with a bit of orange trim.
This shoe maintains its durability where it really counts, such as on the inner part of the outsole. Adding to its durable functionality is the AHAR rubber outsole which carries added protection on the spots that get pounded the most. The shoe’s midsole sustains its durability through the implementation of a specific density that is meant for this purpose alone. Unfortunately, for this version of the Gel Sonoma, durability has been inconsistent. Several users have noted that the upper unit of the shoe is subject to quicker wearing down than on other parts of the shoe. Additionally, the outer edges of the outsole tend to wear out faster than in other parts of the shoe.
There is no shortage of protection. You have multi-directional lugs on the outsole that serve to keep your feet steady and stable no matter how unpredictable the terrain may be. The tightly knit mesh acts as an effective barrier against small flying debris while at the same time not having to sacrifice its breathable aspects. The gel inserts enhance protection for your joints so that landings are softer. And as a safety feature, reflective strips can be found on the outside for added visibility in low light conditions
We have mentioned earlier how Asics Speva Midsole contains several densities into a single midsole unit. In this case, the Gel Sonoma 2 gets its responsive features from one of the density layers that has been specifically inserted for this purpose. The other 2 density layers are for cushion and durability.
It’s a rare treat to have a trail shoe that communicates effectively with the ground, regardless of how quickly it changes through the trail. The Gel Sonoma 2 happens to be the type of shoe that makes transitions between road, trail, and other surfaces seem like a piece of cake.
The Gel Sonoma 2 offers moderate amounts of support, vertically and laterally. We are mostly familiar with hearing about shoes that offer support for overpronation but not under pronation, or supination
. Unlike in over pronation
, where the foot rolls too far inward, under pronators tilt toward the edges too far and don’t roll enough inward as they land back on their feet. As a result, under pronators have a tendency to wear off the outer edges of their shoes. This could be part of the reason why users have reported issues with the edges of the outsole wearing off too fast.
Nevertheless, it is structurally evident how this shoe addresses under pronation as the outer edges of the outsole are thicker than the rest of it. This maintains a greater degree of protection and helps to prevent the runner’s foot from rolling too far outward and encourages it to roll further inward.
The Gel Sonoma 2 is a versatile trail shoe that’s mature enough to handle anything that mother nature throws at it, whether it be mud, rocks, logs, or any other debris. It also helps that its road-like feel and responsiveness make for quick and seamless transitioning between flat and technical terrain.
There is quite a varying price range for this shoe. In Amazon price ranges between the high $30s to the high $80s. Pricing will depend on style, size, and availability. Pricing is one of the highlights for this shoe. It won’t set you back an entire mortgage payment. And considering it’s attractive pricing, this shoe makes a great choice not just for avid trail runners but for anyone considering getting out into mother nature once in a while.
This shoe gets its grip and traction from the AHAR outsole and the attached lugs. The lugs are designed in a more complex manner and point in different directions, not just front and back. This enhances the shoe’s traction features so that it’s prepared to keep your footing stable throughout an ever changing terrain. The thick rubber outsole ensures enough grip to be able to handle wet surfaces as well.
A flexible trail shoe is not always possible. This category is usually focused on delivering tough structural components that are protective and durable. As a result, such materials are usually less malleable than the ones found on their road counterparts. The Gel Sonoma 2, however, manages to implement flexibility where ever it can. We’ve previously discussed the multi density Speva midsole which specifically contains a density unit which contributes to a flexible midsole. And when you combine a flexible density with a responsive density, the result is a shoe that lets you attack the trails with greater enthusiasm.
The Gel Sonoma 2 is a mid stability shoe that offers the right amount of balance, neither too high nor too low. It’s not so high that you’ll feel like you’re on stilts and not so low that you’ll feel rocks rubbing up against soles of your feet, which can be an alarming feeling if you’re not used running over hard terrain. This type of structural balance that makes the Gel Sonoma 2 a great choice for runners looking for the well-rounded trail running experience.
The forefoot height measures 21 mm for both men and women. Heel height measures 33 mm. This translates into a 10 mm offset for both genders. As we have mentioned, it’s a mid-stability shoe and the heel to toe offset translates into an evenly distributed landing. There might still be a small tendency to heel strike but it won’t be as dramatic as it would in a shoe with a higher offset.
•Asics SPEVA midsole
•AHAR Outsole: Asics High Abrasion Rubber Outsole
•Gel inserts on forefoot and rear
•Designed for under and neutral pronation
While not the perfect running shoe, it’s a bit tough to hate on the Gel Sonoma 2, especially considering what it’s worth. It may not be the most durable trail shoe in the market, however, its good enough for the casual trail runner. The Gel Sonoma 2 is like your good down to earth friend who you see from time to time. You may not see this friend often but you know they are there to lend an ear or a helping hand whenever needed. Similarly, you can count on this trail
warrior to keep you safe, protected, and comfortable during those times that you decide to go for a run and get some fresh mountain air. For what it costs, the Asics Gel Sonoma 2 is worth adding to your running repertoire.