Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Edit - 01/07/2019
The Kayano 26 is now out. The main changes from the Kayano 25 model include:
- Sculpting of rearfoot gel for better impact absorption
- New contoured sock liner for an improved underfoot feel
- The fit of the upper is fairly fitted compared to previous model
- Weight has decreased by 11g to 315g
- More shoes have subsequently been released that are similar to the Kayano 26
As a result, the PowerKnapp Rating has improved slightly to 75/100
Asics and I go waaay back. They were my first ever running shoe brand and I always remember them for being durable and versatile when I was first training. In shops, it's a reliable go to shoe and very common brand to find. Over the years people have criticised the shoes generally for being weighty, a bit lack-luster when it came to feel and simply lack of the brands innovation. But in recent years, they've really tried changing up, developing a whole new cushioning system FlyteFoam, taken their Gel Tech to another level and introduced totally new range of shoes to attract new audiences and offer entirely new feels and concepts. The Kayano has been a long standing model for the brand, so how has this shoe benefited from the big changes the company seems to be making?I went to my local Runners Need Port Solent store to find out!
Weight: 326g (Size UK8)
Stability: Maximum Support
Durability: High (~450 miles)
Stack Height: Medium - 28mm (Heel) - 18mm (Toe)
Fit: Perfectly Average
PK RAVES SCORE: 71/100
Similar Shoes: New Balance 940v3
- Not very friendly on the pocket in terms of price
- Size range is excellent for small and big sizes
- A bit weighty compared to other shoes on the market
- Good stack height for the long miles
- Fit is perfect - couldn't fault it.
- Offset is a bit high for some
- A rather unique shoe, filling a niche that few other brands have pursued
Cushioning and Fit:
The Asics Gel-Kayano 25 is one of the highest cushioned shoes for a maximum stability shoes on the market. Period. And this has been the case for sometime. The foam in Asics runners has evolved from 'Solyte' and 'SpEVA' to Fluidride, and, now, to a whole new platform of foam based cushioning - FlyteFoam. Asics wanted to shed weight from their shoes but were persistent to keep their signature and superior cushioning - Gel Tech - but it was heavier than foam based technology. So that's where FlyteFoam has come in, keeping their shoes feeling soft, but lighter. FlyteFoam has subsequently evolved further into FlyteFoam Lyte and FlyteFoam Propel, both of which can be found in the Kayano 25. The former is simply a lightweight, but slightly firmer variety and the latter a more responsive, soft, bouncy and lighter version with a higher energy return than the standard FlyteFoam. This combined with the Gel Tech (which is still arguably the best shock absorber on the market) in both the heel and forefoot, you are never short of cushioning! The Gel in the forefoot has actually been reduced from previous models due to the massively improved quality in the foam cushioning. However, with the dual density support system as well, you've got four different foam densities under the foot, showing off a huge range of technologies, but can be seen as a bit OTT and fussy in feel.
The fit, as said in the Quick Stats, couldn't be more average, not unlike the NB 1080v8. It's not big or small, wide or narrow. It's slap bang in the middle of the running shoe world in terms of sizing, meaning most runners will be able to slip these on no problem. However, they don't have additional widths, so if you have particularity wide or narrow foot, this may not be the best option.
The Kayano is of a dying and increasingly rare species of Maximum Support. Providing some of the best ankle stability for heavy pronators. The IGS (or Impact Guidance System), consists of four main technologies to help control excess pronation. This includes a sturdy Heel Counter to keep the heel in check, the Trussic System on the bottom to stop the shoe twisting, the Guidance Line to encourage optimal heel to toe transition and, most significantly, the Dynamic Duomax - a dual density foam which is firmer and the inner side of the shoe, preventing compression of the foam and rolling in of the foot. But due to the denser foam, like all support shoes with this system, it adds to the overall weight of the shoe, making the Kayano the heaviest shoe so far that we've reviewed at a modest weight of 326g per shoe, making it the lightest Kayano yet.
Due to its well-above-average cushioning, it doesn't feel as supportive as it is in reality. Trust it, it will give you the guidance your foots been looking for.
Stack Height and Offset:
The Kayano has a fairly generous offset, on the higher end of the spectrum, with a heel-to-toe difference of 10mm. The heel does compress more upon impact due the pliability of the Gel, but the stats still hold true. The Stack Height, like the NB 1080v8, is pretty standard, with your feet sitting safely on an average of 23mm of cushioning across the whole sole!
Surfaces and Durability:
The Asics Kayano 25 is built primarily for road. Like normal, by all means take it off road, but the shoe isn't designed to take grit nor the mud, so to get the most out of this shoe, keep it to the road. The durability of the Kayano is high. Built for longevity, the Kayano will safely get through the 400 mile mark comfortably.
So, the Asics Kayano 25 maybe a heavier shoe on the market, but you do cash in on having one the most cushioned support shoes going. But, to be fair, it is the lightest Kayano yet, and, although subtle, the support is undeniable. It rides smooth, comfortable and surprisingly spacious compared to previous models. So if your feet like that extra matting of pure comfort and 'squidgy' feel, but also need the guidance, the Kayano could be a great option.
You can check out the Asics Gel-Kayano25 at the brands website here:
Got any suggestions for shoes you'd like us to review? Send in your ideas :D