New this year, Asolo has invigorated their trail running lineup with two new designs: the Dominator and Predator. I first reported on these shoes last year at Outdoor Retailer and saw them as a great improvement over previous designs. The proof would come on the trail as I took these out for a little dirt time.
Asolo Dominator Features:
- Microfiber upper with nylon mesh for breathability.
- Velveteen lining for added comfort.
- Propulsion anatomic footbed.
- Propulsion Plus™ technology offers controled flexibility, support and shock absorption.
- TPU dual-density sole support.
- Propulsion 1000 outsole.
- 13.00 oz
- MSRP: $124
Asolo Dominator Trail Running Shoes Review
With a slew of trail running shoes in the hopper this Summer, I was glad to add the Asolo Dominator’s into the mix. Having tested two previous Asolo trail running shoes, I was interested to see how the new Propulsion system improved their performance. Looking it over, Propulsion Plus looks very similar to Salomon’s AC Skeleton design with a supportive skeleton-style system that’s the hub of the midsole.
Slipping these on, the uppers wrap comfortably around my feet for a snug fit. With my narrow feet, however, the lacing nearly maxes out when used with my typical ultralight socks. With a more midweight sock, this is mitigated. The overall profile is anatomically-correct for improved feel. I appreciate the non-overbuilt uppers that are supportive, but not bulky and thick to impede breathability. I do wish that the shoes had either gusseted tongues or a scree guard as trail debris made its way inside fairly regularly.
On the trail, the traction provided by the Propulsion 1000 outsole is superb both up and downhill. I do wish they had a little better toe-off traction for a tad better forward motion, but I do run on loose and rock trails that give fits to even the best shoes. Trail protection is good, but might be a little numb as trail feel is a bit compromised. I think the culprit is the extra-firm midsole which does deliver a fairly firm ride. If you need a more cushioned ride, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you are keen on support and traction, these shoes should fit the bill.
At 13 oz, the Dominator’s are a tad on the heavy side for racing, but should be OK as trainers or even light hikers.
- Smooth, even lacing pull
- Comfortable out of the box
- Maintains great breathability
- Very supportive design overall
- Excels as a light hiker
- Fairly firm cushioning
- Toe-off traction is lacking
- Needs a scree guard or gusseted tongue
Bottom Line: Asolo Dominator Trail Running Shoes
These are definitely the best trail runners I’ve tested from Asolo, but they do have a fair amount of improvements that should be made before I’m completely stoked. The Dominator’s offer a firm, but supportive ride with comfortable uppers that breathe well, so slip them on and give them a whirl for yourself and decide.