Asics Gecko XT

7.2
7.2 score
(TheGearHunt) score (7.2)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 7.4 / 10
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Asics Gecko XT Review Facts

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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Agreeable for long run sessions
  • All-weather grip
  • Durable
  • 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
Cons

 

  • Lack of protection in the upper
  • Runs a half size small
  • Sole makes squeaky noises on smooth surfaces
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole is intended to be the main attraction. It features ‘GeckoTrac’ and ‘Asicgrip.’ Asicgrip is proprietary rubber developed to provide superior grip. The outsole of the shoe has reversed tread and lugs.

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.
Midsole

Midsole

Asics’ FlyteFoam is featured in the midsole. The shoes are the first Asics trail shoes to incorporate the FlyteFoam midsole. There are more pros than cons. The midsole is very responsive and has decent cushioning but is also heavy and stiff.

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.
Upper

Upper

The first thing a consumer notices when unboxing the shoes is the lace garage. Salomon trail shoes have used the feature. The lace garage stores the shoelaces after tying. The lace garage hides excess portions of the shoestring. It prevents a shoestring from unraveling during a running session. It is a reviewers’ favorite part of the upper.

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.
Weight

Weight

It weighs 10.2 ounces. It is heavier than other shoes. The cushion and comfort make up for the weight. Due to the weight, the shoes are not fast. The foam contributes to a lightweight feel of the shoe.
Breathability

Breathability

The thin mesh material of the upper is breathable. It dries quickly after becoming wet.
Comfort

Comfort

In general, the shoe is considered to be comfortable. The cushion is neither very soft or firm. It is decent if not remarkable. Reviewers found the cushioning to be acceptable but had room for improvement. Those who are fans of highly cushioned shoes will likely not find the shoes to be very comfortable. More cushioning would make them more comfortable.

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.
Style

Style

The Gecko XT is a 2018 Asic model. Most are satisfied with the cushioning system. The Gecko XT is crafted for those with neutral pronation. The breathable upper has a weave that is semi-taut. The design maintains ventilation while protecting the interior of the shoe from abrasion and debris.
Durability

Durability

Thanks to the Asics’ FlyteFoam, the ride is firm, and the cushion lasts all day. The shoe performs better than it feels at first. Retaining its shape makes the shoe more durable. A durable carbon rubber layer serves as the outsole unit. It is intended to prevent debilitating effects caused by continual use from gnawing the platform. Gripping lugs heighten the traction over various terrain.
Protection

Protection

The forefront features a rock plate for protection. A small amount of material reinforces stress points where the midsole and the upper meet at the base to provide some protection. The shelter is adequate for well-groomed trails but not technical trail runs.

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.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Gecko XT utilizes FlyteFoam. It is foam designed to offer excellent responsiveness and bounce regardless of the distance. While the shoe is responsive, the forefoot has a rock plate that gives the shoe firmness.

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.
Support

Support

Synthetic overlays provide a secure fit and reinforce the facade. FlyteFoam hands the underfoot cushion. The full-length material offers responsive steps and lightweight support. A Rock Protection Plate is located between the midsole and outsole to protect the foot from rough terrain and trail debris.

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.
Terrain

Terrain

The shoes were designed for various terrain. With its responsiveness, smooth ride, excellent grip and comfortable upper, the shoe is best for long all-day runs. The grip is a feature that causes a difference of opinion among reviewers.

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.
Price

Price

The MSRP for the Gecko XT is $120.
Traction

Traction

The main features are the ‘Asicgrip’ and GeckoTrack.’ As the names indicate, they have to do with tread and grip. Asics developed a proprietary rubber blend that promises to provide high grip without compromising durability.

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.
Flexibility

Flexibility

They can also feel very stiff. Eliminating the rock plate would decrease the weight and make the shoe more flexible. When it is initially put on, it feels comfortable but not fast. It is not fast in the way shoes are traditionally thought to be fast.

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.
Stability

Stability

Asics proprietary foam is fused with the last with a technique known as SPEV 45 that provides additional cushioning. Strong organic fiber integration prevents the midsole from quickly breaking down or sagging. The Rock Protective Plate is placed between the midsole and outsole. It is a barrier against abrasive elements on the trail and irregular surfaces.
Drop

Drop

The shoes have a heel to toe drop of six-mm.
Key Features

Key Features

* Anti-gravel tongue keeps debris from the foot chamber
* 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
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Great features are incorporated into the midsole and upper of the Gecko XT. In the end, the shoes fall short of their intended purpose as a trail shoe on the toughest trails. The Gecko XT is an attempt by Asics to create a real trail shoe.

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.