Asics Gecko XT
The Gecko XT does much well not little outstanding. They are well-rounded shoes that are among the better shoes for everyday use. The feel and fit are just what a person who wears a ‘normal’ width shoe typically associated with major brands want.
Those used to shoes having a wider toe box with a more accommodating fit will find the Gecko XT uncomfortable and too snug. The following ratings were given to the shoes in a review based on a ten-point system: Agility (7), Comfort (7), Protection (8), Security of fit (7), Speed (6), and Responsiveness (7).
Many people appreciate what the Asics Gecko XT has to offer. The neutral trail shoe construction, relatively lightweight nature, and appealing design are features most appreciated. Features that caused some concern are a narrow fit, smaller-than-usual sizing, and a water-retaining interior chamber.
The introduction of the Asics Gecko XT is an introduction of a revolutionary outsole material called GeckoTrac. It is an extraordinarily grippy and durable rubber that helps maintain traction, even when surfaces are wet.
- Agreeable for long run sessions
- All-weather grip
- Excellent all-around protection
- Lace garage
- Protective plate between outsole and midsole
- Smooth, clean design
- Under cushioning is responsive and comfortable
- Upper contains mesh material
- Lack of protection in the upper
- Runs a half size small
- Sole makes squeaky noises on smooth surfaces
They seem small. The smaller lugs cause a lack of appearance as a rugged trail runner. The shoe is capable of carrying a runner over smooth to moderate trails. GeckoTrac is a rubber compound used for the Asics Gecko XT outsole unit.
Carbon rubber, conventionally considered to be a durable material, is used to make the outsole. It is meant to protect the platform from the trails abrasive nature. The polygonal shaped gripping lugs provide traction, especially when running on uneven terrain. The angular protrusions make navigation upward and downward less cumbersome.
Asics tells us the organic fiber in the FlyteFoam retains the shape better and responds quicker than standard midsoles. It delivers responsive cushioning. The Rock Protection Plate is an impressive feature that rests between the outsole and midsole on the forefoot.
Many decent fitting uppers are available. Very few have the lace garage feature. It is not an essential feature, but it is nice to have. A shoe would not be purchased based solely on the lace garage. It does, however, make the shoes stand out a bit.
The upper design uses seamless construction. It is considered very comfortable and works well. It is secure without being too tight. Thin, resilient mesh allows the shoes to drain well after being soaked. A gusseted anti-gravel tongue prevents debris and dirt from entering the upper and provides a comfortable fit. The upper hugs the midfoot loosely and offers sufficient room for the toes.
For the most part, the upper is comfortable. Reviewers experienced no irritation or rubbing from the midfoot forward. Materials used in the heel cup caused some rubbing. The shoes fit people with a standard shoe width very well.
They may seem a bit restrictive in the forefoot of those who need a shoe with a wider toe box. The heel has an external heel counter. Some reviewers thought the fit of the heel is too wide. The convenient lace garage on the tongue seems a bit thin, making it difficult to get the laces tight. When lacing is mastered, the shoes fit comfortably.
The well-padded, seamless upper makes the shoe a bit warm but provides much comfort. Inability to get the laces sufficiently tight to lock in the heel and the loose heel are the biggest complaints. The quality of the fit varies depending on the type of shoe the runner is accustomed.
The lacing system cannot lock in the heel properly when lacing to the back eye. Using the ‘Runner’s lock’ causes it to be too tight. When the lacing is right, a secure fit is accomplished. A cushioned footbed provides additional underfoot comfort. The midsole has a textile top for maintaining a smooth in-shoe feel.
The overlays help keep the foot from sliding to the sides and provide adequate security on rough terrain. A full rubber outsole, firm midsole, and flexible rock plate make the shoe protective underfoot.
The shoe is relatively responsive, but the weight keeps it from feeling like it. When pushing during a run, the shoes can keep up and are surprisingly quick. The breathable upper is where the shoe struggles. It does not provide as much lateral protection. The upper does better than most lightweight shoes because it has more padding. The toe bumper adequately protects against minor bumps.
The basic material of the Asics Gecko XT upper unit is a breathable mesh. The construction is partially closed to prevent debris from getting into the foot chamber. It still accommodates environmental air for ventilation.
The thick heel cover along with a padded collar keep the foot in place. Thin synthetic overlays are used to reinforce the forefoot and midfoot sections. They are inconspicuous add-ons that protect against abrasion and deliver a secure fit.
Interior walls of the Gecko XT are lined with a soft fabric. It hugs the foot and gives irritation-free support. A gusset tongue remains in place and prevents trail rubbish such as small pebbles from infiltrating the shoe.
Some feel the grip is impressive. It shines on a dry hardpack and rocky and sandy trails. The shallow lugs cause the shoes to struggle on muddy and wet trails. Typically, a shoe that is comfortable on the trails and has an outsole that is not overly aggressive is a competent trail shoe. These shoes struggle on the roads.
GeoTrack is a lug pattern that reverses lugging for grip on the surfaces of uphill and downhill trails. Reviewers describe the grip as standard. It performs well on smooth trails but falters a bit over technical terrain with mud, roots, and rocks.
The small lugs have a nearly flat appearance. No special rubber ingredient makes the grip better than other trail shoes. The combination of the outsole, rock plate, and midsole foam create a ride that is smooth but firm with decent grip.
They are not fast in short races. The shoes shine in longer distances where speed, cushion, and comfort are all of importance. They accelerate when needed and feel at home when pushing the pace. Most testers found the shoes to be adequately agile. It does not have a tread pattern that is overly aggressive and is not a mountain shoe but can handle steep switchbacks and dance around rocks.
* Breathable, lightweight mesh upper allows proper drainage
* FlyteFoam is durable and responsive
* GeckoTrac rubber outsole provides grippy trail running experience
* Lace garage prevents laces from catching on hazards along the trail
* Rock Protection Plate protects forefoot from sharp rocks
Various features and techniques are incorporated. Some work as intended, others fall short. The shoe is a road to trail shoe incorporating features typically found in more refined trail shoes such as the rock plate and lace garage.
Some features would improve the shoe such as a reinforced upper and some four-mm lugs on the outsole. Other shoes in the price range provide a slightly better grip and much better upper protection.
Asics took a big step forward with the Asics Gecko XT. They incorporated FlyteFoam that has proven popular in Asics road shoes for its responsiveness and smooth ride. Those attributes provide sufficient cushioning for long days while retaining a smooth ride.