Facts

  • Discontinued
  • 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.

  • Use

    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
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 10mm
    Women: 13mm

    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.

  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Unknown
Show more facts

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

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 | Frank DuCett

    Over 300 miles and two marathons with my Asics Gel-Kayano 21

    There's not likely a more famous shoe in the world than the Nike Pegasus.

    The original Kayano was designed in 1993 by Toshikazu Kayano of Asics.  This is the 21st issue of the great Kayano.

     

    Safety

    Some makers including Asics, leave out the reflectors to save a dollar or euro.

    This is not the case here as drivers at night should be able to see Kayano runners a kilometer or mile ahead, if the drivers are looking.

    Reflectivity is excellent front and rear.I added the reflective shoelaces for more safety but found no need for adding reflective tape.

    Durability

    I purchased version 21 in October 2015  on sale and with discount points for just under $100.00. Definitely a good buy!

    With over 300 miles of easy road running, including two half marathons, these shoes show about 40% wear,  while cushioning has not changed, as far as I can detect.

    I am fairly easy on the outer soles (bottoms) at 148 lbs. I will say these shoes are more durable than almost any shoe I have owned, very comfortable and long wearing.

    Quality

    The Kayano ride with a little more noise than the Brooks Ghost or Nike Pegasus, but there is something that is felt when you slip into these shoes that cannot be measured.

    There is a sense of confidence that only something of very high quality and design can bring, I call this the "BMW factor."

    Style

    I often run in old cutoff jeans, not being one for style, but people have remarked on these beautiful shoes, more than once and this had never happened before.

    Racing

    For me, I would alternate between the GT and Kayano when training and then bring out the Kayanos on race day. This would limit wear on the Kayanos and keep them around longer.

    These are excellent marathon and half marathon shoes.

    Summary

    I had intended to buy the Asics GT but could not pass up the year-end sale.

    I think that these are perhaps some of the best-built shoes ever made, with quality materials, style, durability and even some unmeasurable qualities, however, the Asics GT 2000 is only a "little bit less" of all these things for a lot less money.

    But if someone were to ask me "What do you want for Christmas", I know what I would say.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 50 / 100 | Karen Samuel

    The Durable Heavy Stability Running Shoes that is Kayano 21

    newer versions of Asics Gel Kayano running shoes which are already out and they are not “light weight” and still remain to be expensive.

    The men and women’s Asics Gel Kayano could potentially be great training shoes and great racing shoes if the price & weight are greatly reduced.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 88 / 100 | Canadian Running Magazine

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

  • 85 / 100 | Solereview

    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.

Show moreless reviews
Apply to become an expert

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.