The Gel-Kayano is one of the longest-standing Asics models, and for its 30th iteration, it got a makeover. Still a stability shoe, designed to give runners who overpronate some extra guidance, it’s lighter and more adaptable than ever.
Category: Stability high cushioning
Men’s: 303 g (10.7 oz.)
Women’s: 263 g (9.3 oz.)
Stack height: 30mm
Stability shoes sometimes get a bad rap as being clunky or heavy, but newer models are challenging this notion, and the Gel-Kayano is no exception. As a typically neutral runner, I found the Kayano to be a smooth and bouncy ride. I’d happily wear this shoe on a recovery day (and my legs would thank me).
The upper is an engineered mesh made of 75 percent recycled materials, making this a great choice to lower your personal carbon footprint. It’s also an excellent choice when it comes to comfort. This upper feels very similar to the upper of the new Gel Nimbus 25–breathable and comfortable, while ensuring your foot stays locked down.
The midsole is a combination of a few different technologies. First, you’ve got the piece that makes the Gel-Kayano a stability shoe: the brand’s 4D Guidance System. The sculpted midsole provides lateral compression (ie, on the outside of the foot), and the medial foam (on the inside of the foot) guides the foot to its best position upon landing. This means the foam moves with and responds to your foot and only provides correction when you need it, as opposed to forcing your foot into one particular position.
This new guidance system is what makes the shoe so special. As a neutral runner, I can find stability shoes to feel too built-up, and my foot feels stuck where it doesn’t need to be–but that isn’t the case at all with the Kayano.
The main cushioning is the FlyteFoam Blast+, a super light and bouncy foam. Coupled with PureGel under the heel (which you can no longer see, but it’s still there), the Kayano provides an excellent ride.
The outsole is a classic high-abrasion rubber, which has held up very well in all of my Asics shoes. The outsole offers durability in areas of high wear and blank space elsewhere (to save weight). Traction is excellent.
For the neutral runner or overpronator, the Gel-Kayano is an excellent choice. It’s a reasonably light, snappy shoe with plenty of cushion underfoot. For me, it’s perfect for a recovery-day run, but this shoe could certainly be used for a long run or for a harder effort on the road. Beyond its smooth ride, the 4D guidance system can help clear up issues like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and bunions. If you’re looking for some extra support, give the new Kayano a try!