Asics puts this shoe in the neutral trainer category with a 29mm heel stack height and an 19 mm forefoot stack height which gives you a 10mm drop.
This 29 mm heel starts getting into the high-cushioned category, as seem with some of the Hoka and Altra brand shoes. However, the added amount of foam in the shoe for this taller heel results in an average weight at 10.7 ounces.
If you’re looking at other high priced daily trainers known for some cushioning, try the Saucony Freedom ISO, Nike LunarGlide shoes. If you want an extra serving of cushioning in an Asics’ shoe format, check out the Asics GEL-Nimbus line of shoes.
Asics Gel Flux 5 General Info
Asics placed this shoe at hard to beat $80 price point, low enough to make you think twice before trying other Asics shoes.
Considering the predecessor, Asics GEL-Flux 4, had a $100 MSRP and was already made for price conscious runners, you can tell Asics is honing in on that market. Looks like they’ll have even more attention to this line with the new style and material choices in the shoe.
This new GEL-Flux 5 is very unique when compared to the GEL-Flux 4. The GEL-Flux 5 has a newer upper with fewer sewn parts, better breathable materials, softer overlays, and new colors. The sole was also totally redesigned with a new pattern, new materials, and a new structure for guidance/stability.
I was a little underwhelmed putting these shoes on for my first run, but they stood up well on the 10 miler and seemed to fit in well with the Asics family. I just wanted to learn more about how they compared to the other Asics shoes, and if they were really worth it.
Asics Gel Flux 5 Sole Unit
It’s the Asics GEL-Flux 5, so let’s talk about that GEL!
This “gel” which is more of a dense rubber than the gel packets you consume in a race, is added in the shoe’s sole to reduce shock when landing. It’s focused mostly in the heel, which makes this shoe look appealing to heel strikers. I’ve been much closer to a forefoot striker, so this added shock absorption was lost on me. If I did try to heel strike, it seemed well equipped to take the shock.
The rest of the shoe’s midsole material is their SpEVA foam which is a mix of standard EVA foam and rubber ball material that results in a claimed 20% better rebound than EVA alone. No use of their newest Flyte Foam that’s used in shoes like the Dynaflyte, so it seems like the GEL-Flux 5 is not seeing the latest and greatest tech. Sitting on top of all this foam is a standard Ortholite liner that’s highly durable and comfortable.
The outsole of the shoe is a pretty standard layout of rubber outlining the heel leaving exposed form beneath the heel to reduce weight, and more patches of rubber beneath the forefoot for durability and traction.
What’s somewhat unique to the GEL-Flux 5 shoe is the dimpled rubber pattern that resembles a 3D sinusoid plot. It probably adds a little smidgen of extra grip to the shoes and makes the sole a little cooler looking. First time I’ve seen something like this used on a sole. Asics also employs the use of high carbon rubber in high wear areas of the shoe to improve the life of the shoe.
The overall use of foam, gel, and stabilization plates in this shoe make it a durable platform for running on, with enough comfort that nothing stands out as phenomenally great or terrible.
Asics Gel Flux 5 Upper Info
This updated upper design adds some style to the design and makes the shoe look much more fresh than the predecessor.
The toebox area is the most breathable with a mesh fabric going around the front of the shoe to the sides. The material transitions into what I would call a poor choice in fabric design. This fabric patch style resembles rejected army camo, and take away from the look of the shoe while also providing almost no function. Maybe this is where the “flux” comes from since the side fabric is pretty inconsistent? I can’t get too disappointed at the fabric styles, since the rest of the upper comes together pretty well.
The lacing setup is standard and simple. Laces go through reinforced sections of the fabric upper which are heat formed or sewn onto the upper for a lighter and cleaner look than adding plastic reinforced eyelets. The tongue is relatively thick and keeps the top of your foot happy on runs.
Your heel fits into a standard looking and feeling section of fabric and foam with enough support that you can jam your feet into the shoes without unlacing them with minimal worries the heel will collapse.
Asics Gel Flux 5 Conclusions
I’m mildly impressed with what Asics got away with in just an $80 shoe.
The shoe has a good feature set and low-risk choices for a decent performing daily trainer. The upper is comfortable, unlike other budget-conscious shoes,and the sole is fairly durable.
Overall, I think this shoe gives you a pretty good value and should be considered for entry level runners looking for a low-price point starter shoe, or experienced runners who just seem to burn through shoes and want a neutral shoe to eat up some miles.
We purchased a pair of Asics Gel Flux 5 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.