The Gel-Sonoma 6 is a well priced shoe offering many of us all we need to venture off-road. The changes to this model over the v5 are significant. The new Sonoma is built on a new last which has a wider toe box and the upper has been designed to fit better across the midfoot and heel. It also looks better we think.
The Gel-Somona's midsole has not changed. It features the brand's AMPLIFOAM™ midsole, a soft riding low density compound, good for soaking up rough terrain. The foam is known for it's longevity. There's a slo a small Asics gel pad in the heel for additional shock absorbion.
While this model lacks some of the higher tech elements of the brand's most expensive models such as a rock plate found in the Gel-Fujitrabuco Sky model, the reality it, most of us need an off-roader for long weekend runs perhaps so we use them more as a good second pair or a 'handy to have'. That makes the Sonoma all we really need.
The re-worked breathable synthetic upper fits better than ever
The synthetic heel counter is snugger and holds the heel well and the upper also has a synthetic toe surround, rather than a bumper which will add to the durability, as do the moulded overlays across the saddle of the foot.
There is also an Ortholite insole which adds a lot of comfort and will mould to your foot. It will also dry quickly if shoes get wet.
We think the shoe is not only very functional, it's also a good looking model. The shoe is tough and should stand up to the challenges of the trail well.
A no nonsense solid rubber outsole is nice and aggressive. The multi-directional lugged design is good enough to offer decent traction on a wide range of surfaces. Great for muddy paths, stony tracks and wet grass.
For the majority of us, just looking for an off-road shoe for those days off the concrete, the Gel-Somona 6 will tick a lot of boxes. A shoe for everyday training now comes with a better fitting upper and wider toe box. Soft riding to soak up the elements and with a good grip, the shoe is also agressively priced. Asics pitch this model as 'a versatile offering that's functional for trail runs, light hiking, and other outdoor adventures' - we'd say that's about right.
For alternatives, check out the Brooks Cascadia or the Mizuno Daichi.
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