Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$160
Weight
Men: 10.9oz
Women: 8.9oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 8.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The FluidFit® upper makes use of multi-directional stretch mesh and reinforcements to provide a glove-like coverage.
  • An exoskeletal heel counter keeps the rear of the foot in place, preventing accidental shoe removal.
  • The shock absorbing nature of the gel-like unit in the mid-sole was appreciated by many runners.
  • Over-pronated foot motion is staved off because of mid-foot stability mechanisms.
  • Durable rubber technologies make the outsole of the Asics Gel Kayano 21 formidable against wear and tear.
  • The sock liner gives additional underfoot cushioning while also bringing moisture management.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The Asics Gel Kayano 21 has an expensive price.
  • A few runners noted that the interior lining tore apart after a few months.

Bottom line

High-tier technologies make the Asics Gel Kayano 21 a solid option for those who want to run in a comfortable and efficient way. Stability and support are given to the wearer because it has systems that balance out the running gait. Fluid motion on the roads are given in droves by this shoe.


Rankings


Ratings

4.5 / 5 based on 1600 ratings

5 star
74%
4 star
12%
3 star
7%
2 star
4%
1 star
4%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

83 / 100 based on 16 expert reviews

  • 89 / 100 by RunRepeat • Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

    These are excellent marathon and half marathon shoes.

  • 50 / 100 by RunRepeat • Karen Samuel • Level 1 expert

    I have worn these running shoes for some of my training and my feet always feel fresh after running in them. These are durable running shoes and are great for training, but too heavy and bulky for races.

  • 88 / 100 by Canadian Running Magazine • Canadian Running Magazine • Level 5 expert

    This shoe is the definition of stability that will work very well for most over-pronators.

  • 85 / 100 by Solereview • Solereview • Level 5 expert

    The Kayano marches further into softer cushioning territory, leaving older Kayanos and even the Nimbus behind. Upper material selection and design is similar to the previous, except that the fit runs slightly snugger on sides.

  • 85 / 100 by Runner's World • Runner's World • Level 5 expert

    The 21 is the lightest Kayano yet with better cushioning, thanks to a new two-layer midsole foam design.

  • 65 / 100 by Canadian Running Magazine • Canadian Running Magazine • Level 5 expert

    While this update works for some, we found ourselves looking back to previous editions.

  • 90 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Jon Ober • Level 4 expert

    The biggest update is in the heel, dubbed the “Heel Clutching System”. Gone is the hardened plastic under mesh and replaced is a plastic frame.

  • 90 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Believe in the Run • Level 4 expert

    The Asics Gel Kayano 21 is a solid, durable trainer.

  • 90 / 100 by Salt Marsh Running • Jason Saltmarsh • Level 4 expert

    No blisters, no foot pain, and a shiny new PR with a BQ on top.

  • 90 / 100 by Holabird Sports • Greg Jubb • Level 3 expert

    The thing I like about this shoe...the responsiveness of this model compared to previous models.

  • 87 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Connor • Level 3 expert

    With a firm stable feel, testers felt that even when fatigued, their gait continued to feel efficient stride after stride.

  • 76 / 100 by Shoe Tiles • Shoe Expert • Level 3 expert

    It isn’t a fast shoe by any means, but it can take a beating and keep on ticking.

  • 60 / 100 by The Running Shoe Review • Nick • Level 3 expert

    The shoe is cumbersome, and far more expensive than is justifiable. It's also very stiff.

  • 100 / 100 by Fix My Walk • Mike Stone • Level 2 expert

    In my opinion, the Kayano is the best model and it is must have shoes for overpronators and people with flat feet.

  • 90 / 100 by Run Rest Repeat • Kit Jonathon • Level 1 expert

    Thankfully my panic was unfounded. Not only did my foot slide comfortably in but I’ve had no issues while out running either.

  • 86 / 100 by Runners Need • Sam • Level 1 expert

    The ride is softer and plusher than its predecessor. The pronation control elements of the shoe do their job with subtle effect and there is less overt stiffness about the ride than in most support shoes.

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Updates to Asics Gel Kayano 21

  • Though it has an expensive price, the Asics Gel Kayano 21 brings high levels of comfort, protection and stability to the runner. The materials and components that are used here are all efficient when it comes to making the overall experience an enjoyable one. It even has an appealing design that caters to modern runners and those who want a visual endearing running companion to take them through the races.
  • The Kayano 21 has an upper unit that’s comfortable and secure. A glove-like fit is afforded to the wearer because this shoe uses a mesh material that is able to stretch to multiple directions. Essentially, the cover system is capable of making the coverage feel snug, but not too tight as to be uncomfortable. A mix of fused and stitched-on overlays assist in making the fit as customizable as possible.
  • The mid-sole unit uses a full-length foam that has reliable bounce-back mechanics. It enables the foot to lift more efficiently during the toe-off phase, essentially propelling the runner forward with energy. Stability is given to the mid-foot area via a dual-density foam that acts as a foundation to the arch. Shock is absorbed by the Gel® Cushioning System in both the rear and the front of the platform.
  • The outsole uses two different rubber technologies that work in tandem to make the tread as efficient as possible when tackling the asphalt. Durable and long-lasting, they dole out their purpose of protecting the sole unit and giving traction with sureness.

Asics Gel Kayano 21 size and fit

The Asics Gel Kayano 21 has a standard running shoe length. The sizing scheme for this shoe is adherent to the regular measurements for men and women. The available width is medium, so it accommodates those with medium sized feet. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curvature of the human foot.


Outsole

AHAR® or the Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber is a durable material that’s placed in critical areas of the shoe where wear and tear are most likely to occur. It resists damage brought about by friction and continued use. It even gives reliable surface traction.

The DuraSponge® is blown rubber placed in the forefoot section. It adds a bit of cushioning and durable protection, making the forefoot striking and liftoff more comfortable.

Flex grooves allow the platform to be more forgiving to the natural movement of the runner’s foot. They flex accordingly when the foot is ready to toe-off.


Midsole

The FluidRide® features bounce-back mechanics and cushioning, which are very important when it comes to taking each step. The springy nature of this mid-sole unit allows the foot to move more efficiently through the gait cycle, even allowing the toe-off to be more enabled and effective.

The Dynamic DuoMax™ Support System is a stability mechanism that uses a dual-density foam placed in the mid-foot area of the Asics Gel Kayano 21. It holds the arch in place, preventing any unfavorable inward rolling of the foot during the gait cycle.

The Gel® Cushioning System is made up of a silicon-based unit that is able to absorb shock during the landing phase. In this running shoe, both the forefoot and rear benefit from this add-on, which makes each step more comfortable.

The ComforDry™ X-40 Sock Liner adds a bit more cushioning and rebound to the immediate underfoot. It is able to manage moisture responsibly, thus keeping the platform dry and cool.


Upper

The FluidFit® uses multidirectional stretch mesh to wrap around the foot with ease. It doesn’t feel stiff or firm against the skin, so it fits like a glove.

The overlay system of the Asics Gel Kayano 21 uses stitched sections and parts that have been fused with the main fabric. They connect directly to the lacing system and adjust accordingly when the shoelaces are manipulated.

The Heel Clutching System™ is an external heel counter that supports the rear of the foot by keeping it in place. It is helpful when it comes to preventing wobbliness and shoe removals.