ASICS GEL KAYANO 25 - SHOE REVIEW
byBRIAN METZLER| May 18th, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What's New with Asics Gel Kayano?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Asics Kayano
- About the Author
Twenty five years of the Asics Gel Kayano is testament to the solid place in running history for this solid training shoe from one of the leaders in running. Our guest reviewer Brian Metzler, takes a run in the latest release and shares his thoughts on the Asics Gel Kayano 25.
The Gel-Kayano is one of running’s all-time shoes, the go-to everyday training shoe of a generation of runners.
The celebratory silver-anniversary edition retains the smooth-riding, max stability demeanor and plush interior feel of previous models, but it also gets some welcomed, next-level enhancements.
WHAT'S NEW WITH ASICS GEL KAYANO 25
The most obvious new feature of the 25th edition of the Kayano is the vastly updated engineered upper that offers a fast and clean appearance while functionally enhancing the fit and ride of the shoe.
The all-way stretch Jacquard mesh is very breathable and adapts to a foot’s specific shape and movements while also adding to the shoe’s lateral and medial support. The most dominant new update to the shoe is the firm external heel counter that wraps the rear of the foot for a locked-down snugness that anchors the foot to the shoe throughout the gait cycle.
The new heel-clutching system, improved upper and slightly wider toe box allow this version of the Kayano to fit a wider range of foot shapes than previous editions. The padded heel collar, soft, thick tongue, seamless interior and extra-cushy sock liner make this one of the comfiest pair of long-distance kicks you’ll ever find. In short, the Kayano rides like a luxury SUV, not a sports car—but that’s a very good thing.
What the Kayano lacks in agility, it more than makes up for in reliable stability. Thanks to the reinforced undercarriage and heel, the ride is unflinchingly stable but the three-layer midsole make it consistently smooth, too. Although it feels almost underwhelming at first, once you settle into a groove of a long run you’ll feel the subtle softness and long-wearing comfort mile after mile.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR
Stability-seeking runners looking for a durable everyday training shoe will love this shoe. It’s one of the most stable high-mileage shoes available, but it also rides quite well and is chock full of creature comforts.
PROS AND CONS OF THE ASICS GEL KAYANO
The combination of an absorbent, high-impact foam and a lightweight, super-responsive foam sandwiched around packets of GEL in the lateral heel and midfoot give the Asics Kayano 25 the ultimate balance between comfortable cushioning and energetic responsiveness as it rolls through each stride.
The Kayano 25 is about a half-ounce heavier than the Kayano 24 and a tad hefty compared to other everyday stability trainers on the market. It isn’t adept at running short, fast races or up-tempo workouts, but that’s perfectly OK given its long-haul comfort and smooth-riding consistency.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of "Running Colorado's Front Range" and the co-author of "Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running" and "Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner."