Asics Gel Tambora 5

8.4
8.4 score
[Editors rating (7.9) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.4)/10

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Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
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Asics Gel Tambora 5Review Facts

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 is a neutral trail running shoe. As part of the Tambora series, it offers a supportive platform to tackle outdoor terrains. It has a lightweight synthetic and mesh upper to allow air to travel in and out of the shoe, keeping the foot cool and dry. The removable EVA sockliner provides soft, irritation-free comfort and can be replaced with a medical orthotic for those who need it. The Rearfoot GEL Cushioning absorbs shock, which is especially useful while going downhill on tough terrain, and creates smooth transitions. The California Slip Lasting helps make the shoe more comfortable, stable, and durable. The Trusstic System stabilizes and strengthens the area under the arch without losing flexibility. The Trail Specific Outsole features lugs that are reversed, which helps with uphill, downhill, and technical traction. Additionally, the grooves were designed to not get filled with dirt when going over mud. If you’re a neutral runner searching for a versatile shoe for your daily runs, the Gel Tambora 5 could be what you’re looking for!

Pros
  • Snug and supportive fit
  • Outsole is thick, flexible, protective, and provides great traction on different surfaces
  • Comfortable cushioning that absorbs shock well
  • Good arch support
  • Affordable price
  • No rubbing or blisters
Cons
  • Sizes run small; potential buyers should consider ordering a half-size up
  • No wide sizes; some reviewers thought the fit was too narrow and/or too tight on the heel
  • Poor grip on wet surfaces
  • Absorbs water in wet conditions
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The trail specific outsole is made of durable rubber. It features reversed lugs to provide great traction and help stabilize the foot while users go uphill, downhill, or on different kinds of trails and outdoor surfaces. It is thick enough to be supportive and protects the foot from feeling objects on the trail. The grooves, which were designed to not get filled with dirt, add flexibility and responsiveness to the shoe, allowing the shoe to bend during toe-offs and to comfortably go over hills, rocks and debris.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole uses durable EVA foam. It has Rearfoot GEL Cushioning to comfortably absorb shock during landings and while going downhill over technical terrain, as well as to allow smooth transitions to midstance. The Trusstic System stabilizes and strengthens the arch without compromising flexibility. The heel-to-toe drop is 10mm, which helps bounce the foot forward and makes sure there is extra cushioning in the heel. The midsole is durable enough to last many miles over rough terrain and responsive enough to give a smooth yet springy ride.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Synthetic and mesh compose the upper, which provide lightweight breathability. Stitched-on overlays provide durability, support, and structure. It has a removable EVA sockliner that provides a soft, comfortable, and irritation-free fit, and can be replaced with a medical orthotic for runners who need one. The California Slip Lasting adds even more comfort and also improves stability and durability. The laces provide a snug fit and the tongue and heel collar are padded for extra comfort and support. The toe cap protects the toe against accidentally hitting objects on the trail, and the heel counter stabilizes the heel. The upper is flexible enough to move comfortably with the foot and its responsiveness allows for a nice pace. It also has 3M Reflective material for visibility in low-light conditions.
Weight
Weight

Weight

At 11.4 oz for men and 9.3 oz for women, the Gel Tambora 5 is about an ounce lighter than the previous edition. The thick outsole and the Trusstic System in the midsole make the shoe heavier. Lightweight materials include the EVA foam and GEL cushioning, the mesh and synthetic upper, the sockliner and the lasting. The shoe is light enough to comfortably be worn on long trail hikes, yet heavy and stable enough to support the foot while going over hills and technical terrain.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 received mostly positive reviews for breathability. The upper has lightweight mesh that allows air to freely travel through the shoe. The overlays do not take away from the breathability. The soft EVA sockliner prevents rubbing or blisters against the stitching of the overlays. Although testers experienced good breathability in hot, cold and windy weather, the shoe actually absorbs water in wet conditions, making it not a good choice for running in humid or rainy weather.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Gel Tambora 5 is a comfortable shoe according to testers. It is flexible and responsive enough for comfortable movement and isn't so heavy that muscles and joints get tired or sore over time. The EVA foam and GEL cushioning in the midsole cushion landings, absorb shock to protect joints, and provide smooth transitions. The laces, overlays, and padding in the tongue and heel collar provide a snug and supportive fit. The toes can move comfortably and push off into the air inside the toe box. The soft and comfortable EVA sockliner prevents irritation. The shoe is a standard medium width, which fits most people. The two uncomfortable aspects of this shoe are that sizes run small, so buyers should consider ordering a half or full size up, and that some reviewers thought that the fit in the heel was too tight.
Style
Style

Style

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 has a nice look that appeals to most people. The main color is a darker, more neutral color, which appeals to people who don't like bright shoes, and the accent color is brighter, which appeals to people who like brightly-colored shoes. The men's shoe comes in black with a white logo and blue accents with a yellow outsole, or dark blue with a red logo, outsole and accents. The women's shoe comes in black with a silver logo, pink accents, and an orange outsole. The shoes have 3M reflective material to help runners be visible early in the morning, in the evening, or in the fog.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Gel Tambora 5 has excellent durability. The thick outsole was designed to go on trails, which means it can go up or down hills and over objects without the lugs losing traction or the outside edges wearing down. The grooves were desigend to not get mud stuck in them, which also helps with durability. The midsole's EVA foam and GEL cushioning are very durable and can last for hundreds of miles before they start to wear down or lose their responsiveness. The Trusstic System also improves durability because it helps the shoe maintain its structure by supporting the arch. In the upper, the mesh, overlays, and sockliner can last a few hundred miles before starting to wear thin, and the California Slip Lasting is stitched directly to the midsole for improved durability.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 offers great protection. The outsole is thick and protects against debris and objects on trails, and provides great traction to protect against slipping. The midsole uses standard EVA foam as well as the silicon GEL cushioning for maximum shock absorption, which protect joints. The upper has mesh for breathability, which protects against the heat, and the synthetic overlays protect against wind and cold. The heel counter and California Slip Lasting protect the ankle from rolling. The toe cap protects the forefoot against injury on rocks and objects on the trail. The reflective material protects runners by making them visible to cars. This shoe is not protective against wet weather.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This shoe allows runners to move comfortably and have a smooth ride while going on hills and trails. The outsole is flexible, allowing the shoe to move with the foot as it goes over hills and objects on trails. The midsole's foam and cushioning absorb landings and bounce the foot back into the air to make the next step easier. The upper's mesh and synthetic materials move easily with the foot, and the sockliner and lasting give a customized fit that is both comfortable and form-fitting. The drop promotes forward momentum and the weight makes the shoe easy to carry.
Support
Support

Support

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 offers a good amount of support for neutral runners. The sole unit picks up the foot off the ground and provides support under the foot. The Trusstic System helps stabilize the arch and is ideal for runners with medium or high arches who do not need additional support from insoles or arch supports. In the upper, the overlays, tongue, and collar give support to the top of the foot, and the lasting and heel counter support the rear and midfoot. Reviewers said that the shoe has good arch support and a snug and supportive fit.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Gel Tambora 5 is a trail running shoe. Testers used this shoe on light or technical trails, uphill, downhill, and on and off roads. Its lugs allow users to go over hard surfaces like gravel or roads or softer surfaces such as trails and paths. Its lightly flexible grooves allow runners to go up or down hills and over technical terrain. Testers found that it does not work well on wet terrain or in wet weather, or on slippery terrain such as ice or snow.
Price
Price

Price

One of the biggest pros of the Asics Gel Tambora 5 is its affordable price. At its initial full price, it was around 20% cheaper than the average running shoe. The shoe has been out a while now, so not all sizes are available, and some retailers are selling the shoe for as low as half the original price. The Gel Tambora 5 is a great deal because although it lacks the extra stability required by over-pronators, which would make it cost less, it is supportive enough for neutral runners to go over trails, and has good traction over a variety of surfaces, which normally adds to the price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Gel Tambora 5 comes with a Trail Specific Outsole and reversed lugs that give users a secure footing. Runners can go on roads, trails, paths, uphill and downhill without having to worry about slipping or sliding. The lugs make it easy to push off and land and allow runners to maintain a good pace for long distance runs. Some testers noted that the shoe has poor grip on wet surfaces. The lugs were not designed for snow or ice, so runners may experience slipping on those types of surfaces.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This shoe has a light amount of flexibility for comfort and responsiveness, but is mostly stable to allow runners to go on trails. The outsole has grooves that allow it to lightly bend with the terrain. The midsole's foam and GEL cushioning bend to match the bottom of the foot as it lands and pushes off again. The upper provides a soft lining that forms to the top of the foot and the overlays bend just enough to allow the foot to move forward, backward or side to side while still remaining stable.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As a neutral running shoe, the Gel Tambora 5 lacks the extra stability required for over-pronators, but still offers a good amount of stability in order to prevent injuries while going over trails, uphill and downhill. The thick rubber outsole stabilizes the bottom of the foot and the Trusstic System stabilizes the arch in order to prevent the ankle from rolling too far. The lasting and heel counter stabilize the midfoot and heel.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 has a heel height of 22mm and a forefoot height of 12mm, giving it a drop of 10mm. This is close to the standard 12mm drop. A 10mm drop promotes forward momentum, which helps improve responsiveness and makes the ride more smooth. It also takes strain off the Achilles heel and distributes cushioning throughout the shoe, with extra padding in the heel to absorb shock and help runners with conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Removable EVA sockliner provides soft comfort and can be replaced with a medical orthotic

  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning for improved shock absorption

  • California Slip Lasting adds comfort and stability

  • Trusstic System provides stability and strength under the arch without losing flexibility

  • Trail Specific Outsole has lugs that are reversed for traction on hills or different types of terrain

  • Mesh and synthetic upper for lightweight breathability

  • Rubber outsole

  • 10mm drop
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Asics Gel Tambora 5 has many features that make it a good choice for trail and off-road runners. It has a great price and good cushioning, responsiveness, shock absorption, breathability, and traction. It has just the right amount of flexibility and is neither too light nor too heavy. It has a good level of stability and support that allow users to go on uneven terrain smoothly and without injury. Possible ways to improve include offering wide sizes, making the shoe water resistant instead of water absorbent, and improving traction on wet surfaces. The Gel Tambora 5 is a good choice for neutral runners who want to be able to go off-road on their daily runs. Mild to moderate overpronators will want a stability level trail shoe and heavy overpronators will need a motion control trail shoe.