I’m usually into more Asics I was very excited.
I’ve heard a lot of noise about the Kayano shoes over the years and they always seem to rank highly when I’ve searched for new shoes for myself. I was looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. So without further adieu, here’s my Kayano 25 review (a little rhyme to start things off!).
Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm
Weight: 385g (UK 11, EU 46.5, US 12)
- Synthetic, two-layer jacquard mesh technology
- External heel counter - Metaclutch
- Insole (sock liner): Ortholite X-40 (6mm foam)
Midsole & Outsole
- Standard Foam midsole at the forefoot and through to the heel
- Gel technology at the heel and ball
- FlyteFoam Lyte at the heel & FlyteFoam Propel at the toe (These two cutting-edge technologies work together to deliver energized cushioning and exceptional comfort from heel to toe.)
- DuoMax technology (Reduces stress on the foot caused by overpronation when the heel rolls inward at the end of a step and supports the foot for a more comfortable running experience.)
- Guidance Trusstic (The TRUSSTIC™ technology supports stable movements by reinforcing the middle part of the sole and preventing the shoe from twisting.)
- Guidance Line (Increases performance by reducing imbalance caused by shifts in the runner’s center of pressure.)
- RHRR Rubber Outsole
Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the weight of the Kayano 25. I knew I would be dealing with quite a hefty shoe after reading a review on the Kayano 24, the reviewer on that occasion had weighed their pair (the same size as mine) and they’d come in at 368g. The 25, however, is even heavier than that, with my pair weighing in at 770g for the pair, that’s 385g each!
I also couldn’t help but notice the level of padding around the collar too. Even knowing these weren’t going to be very minimal shoes I was surprised at the amount of padding on the Kayano 25.
I pretty much (rightly or wrongly) instantly made comparisons between the Kayano 25 and the Nike Epic React Flyknit. They cost the same and have the same heel to toe drop but that is where the similarities end. The Epic React is a lot lighter (260g in my size), a lot more responsive and the upper is far less over the top. There’s a lot going on with the Kayano.
My main dislike with the design of the Kayano 25 is the plastic “Guidance Trusstic”. I usually land on the outer side of my forefoot, but where these shoes have a higher heel it means I land more on the outer midfoot. Which is pretty much right where the Trusstic is.
There’s not much rubber between the Trusstic and the road which has led to me getting some really bad swelling on the outer edge of my midfoot after every single run. On long runs, it’s really quite painful.
I really like the upper on the Kayano 25. It’s a clever design that has almost a triple layering to it. The two outer layers are joined by tiny threads but spaced apart very slightly to allow air flow. It’s hard to know exactly how well this works but I haven’t noticed my feet getting too hot yet.
The inner layer has some funky colors on it and adds comfort to the inside of the shoe.
Around the lace eyes, there’s a sort of plastic overlay to add strength. The same overlay at the toe end as a sort of bumper. I personally think this is a bit overkill with a road shoe. Unnecessary weight.
The laces themselves are decent enough. They're not the awesome thick type like on the Minimus 10v1 but you can't win em all!
The Kayano 25 has a hard plastic, external heel counter. It's very sturdy! I actually really like how well it holds my heel in place, however, I would definitely do without it for the amount of weight it would save.
I definitely prefer the nothingness of the Nike Epic React Flyknit heel.
The collar is very padded which you will either love or hate. It does add a lot of comfort which is great but I can’t help but think some weight could have been saved here as it is very excessive.
As the with the collar the tongue is very padded. Perhaps more than I’d usually like but the plus side of this is I’ve never noticed the laces regardless of how tight I’ve done them up!
There's actually a couple of nice little 'safety’ features on the Kayano. On the toe, there's a sort of scuff bumper. I haven't had the need to use it (which actually makes me wonder if it's totally necessary). But it adds a nice touch to the shoe.
In the heel counter, there's a sort of reflective coating which should help with visibility at night.
The Kayano 25 grips well but because of the lack of rebound and the weight of the shoe, I can’t maintain any sort of pace on long runs. It’s too much like hard work. It’s not even that the force is being soaked up, there’s just nothing there.
These are clearly designed for people who heel strike based on where the flytefoam is built into the sole but I was still expecting them to be good for midfoot or even forefoot strikers. There’s nothing here for forefoot strikers which is a real shortfall!
The insole on the shoe is pretty insane actually. 6mm thick! I’ve run with it in and with it removed and I found the ride a lot better without it in. Unfortunately, because the shoe isn’t designed to be used without the insole the inlay of the shoe doesn’t really lend itself to being used as an insole, which is a shame!
As most people will know already, the Kayano rage is all about support. The Kayano 25 is no different. It’s designed in a way the means you’re less likely to overpronate. Even though I’m a fairly neutral runner I didn’t see this causing any issues as it can only be a good thing.
The arch support is good. Even though I’m used to much less it isn’t too much for me which was a nice surprise.
The heel holds well and adds a lot of support. I don’t know how necessary this sort of level of support is but for those used to it, these shoes will really shine.
The sole on the Kayano is very stiff, it’s definitely not very responsive. I had really hoped for more from this shoe.
With the added arch “Trusstic” there’s very little flex in the shoe at all.
The tread is sort of honey-comb affair. It seems to work very well on the road and looks pretty good too!
Grip is very good on the road whether in the wet or dry. I am actually very impressed with how well these shoes grip. It's like the sole is made out of some kind of sticky rubber! I haven’t felt unsteady in the Kayano once, so plus points there.
Fit & Comfort
The fit is good actually, size as expected. I was pleasantly surprised. I have a good amount of toe room and the rest of the shoe hugs my foot. This is something I really like.
They are very comfortable though they do feel strange on my feet because of what I’m used to. That’s not to knock them though if you like traditional running shoes you’re going to love these!
One of the big plus points of the Kayano 25 is that the toe box is a very decent size. The soft fabric ads to the feeling of toe freedom. Of course, it's not a patch on a barefoot/minimal shoe but it's a close second place!
The heel comfort is fantastic on this road runner. Yes, I would take a lot of it away to save weight but as far as comfort goes I can't knock the design.
These road shoes are not designed for speed at all. They perform very averagely for mid-distance runs but become uncomfortable after a while and are tiring to run in. I found they come into their own on runs where I really dialed my speed down. I'm not sure if that's the intention though.
● On road
The Kayano is an out and out road shoe. It grips great on the road, rain or shine!
● Off road
No! Don't go there!
● For speed
No! Just no!
● For distance
Not bad for distance. But I've had to really slow myself down a lot for it.
- Nice upper
- Comfortable over short runs
- Grippy sole
I know these shoes are very popular but I really think there's a lot you could do to save weight on the Kayano whilst still providing support. Please make these lighter!
The Asics Gel Kayano 25 comes off OK but I really wanted better from such a big name.
Perhaps for people who are just getting into running or those who need a lot of support, these would be great but personally, if I had £150 to spend and wanted a traditional running shoe I would buy the Epic React Flyknit instead.
I really think if you're looking for support, it's not always the shoe that needs to support you!
Check out the Asics Gel Kayano 25 at Asics.com!
Asics running shoes and I go back to pretty much when I started running regularly. My second ever marathon in 2011 in Berlin was in a pair of Asics 2160 (the series has since been rebranded to GT 2000).
And it was with excitement that I purchased a pair of Gel-Kayano 18 in Summer of 2012. These were my first "top of the line" shoes and signaled to me how important running had become in my life, as evidenced by higher budget allocation to running gear. I ran the Chicago marathon in them later that year and kept running in them all the way to Winter of 2013 when I retired them after over 850 miles.
They actually didn't really need to be retired. Despite all the mileage under the hood, the shoes still looked (and more importantly, felt) as if they could do another 500 or so miles. But I decided to err on the side of caution and the shoes were subsequently sacrificed to research and dissected. Yes, literally taken apart to study their construction. As early as back then I was a running shoe geek!
I have in intervening years gone on to try many other different brands and types of shoes – again, to satisfy my curiosity – but the association I have of Gel-Kayano with durability and as a daily workhorse has stayed with me.
Over the years I saw new iterations of Gel-Kayano come and go but because I had migrated into less structured and more neutral shoes I didn’t have enough reason to go out and buy a new pair. And frankly, there were just too many other shoes to try!
The more they stay the same
But when the chance came up to test and review the 25th iteration of Gel-Kayano before general release, courtesy of Asics in partnership with RunRepeat, I eagerly accepted, excited at the prospect of revisiting an old favorite and see what the intervening years had to say.
It was kind of like meeting an old friend after many years of absence, I suppose – we all evolve in different ways and sometimes grow apart (I am certainly not the same runner I used to be 6 years ago) but then sometimes surprise ourselves at how little things have changed and take pleasure in old familiarity.
The New Asics Gel Kayano 25
Let's take a minute though, to let this sink in fully: Gel-Kayano 25. I mean, the original Gel-Kayano Trainer was released way back in 1993, before even a good chunk of today's runners were even born, and before brands like On, Inov-8, Newton, Hoka, among others, had even been created!
That a shoe has survived for 25 iterations in this notoriously fickle industry is in itself remarkable. What's also notable, as I'll explain in greater detail below, is the degree of consistency in the shoe, from fit to feel.
If Gel-Kayano had been a person, you could say that the core of the person was essentially the same, but outwardly he or she had become younger, more handsome and attractive! Shame the same rarely applies to actual people!
Such consistency I believe is rare and should be lauded in an industry which seems perpetually driven by the need to tweak and chop and change, often just for the sake of change and not necessarily for the better.
The shoes also appear durable and this should also be recognized where other brands sacrifice durability for lightness and even conspiratorially build-in limited life-span into their shoes.
Sizing and fit
I'm predominantly US 10.5, which in most cases translates to EUR 44.5 and UK 9.5 and that's what I had in Gel-Kayano 25. And they fit as perfectly as I would expect a pair of long-distance shoes to fit – that is, fairly roomy in the forefoot, good locking-in at the heel, and plenty of adjustability in lacing.
And very comfortable. The external heel counter, also used in version 18, provides that locked-in feeling through the use of what's now called Meta Clutch technology and the shoe never felt sloppy.
Slipping them on, Gel-Kayano 25 still have that luxurious plush feeling with well-padded tongue and heel collar. Sure, there are some changes – the memory foam used in the heel for Gel-Kayano 18 appear to have gone, probably to achieve lightness, but the feel isn't too different.
Comfortable and plush upper
And some features remain the same, including the round laces, which are just elastic enough and of perfect length. Déjà vu.
A big part of the comfort of Gel-Kayano 25 comes from the plush Ortholite sockliner which, incidentally, was also used in version 18 (I had kept the old insoles when I retired the shoes as they were so comfy)and I presume for all other iterations since. Same old familiarity.
I couldn’t really find anything to fault in the fit but, If there is one thing I wish Asics could have improved upon, it's the weight. At 335 grams, the shoe runs a bit heavy by today's standards.
I believe the shoe is also 10-20 grams heavier than other comparable long-distance cushioned models such as New Balance 1080, Adidas Ultra Boost ST, or Brooks Transcend. 335 grams is just 5 grams less than my old Gel-Kayano 18 from all those years ago.
Upper, Midsole, and Outsole
I suppose the one thing that has evolved significantly over past few years is the technology used in producing no-sew uppers and overlays.
While Gel-Kayano 18 had an upper that was sewn together from various components, this latest version, as has the few iterations prior, features breathable two-layer jacquard mesh that gives it a sleek, modern look without turning too many heads.
A sleek, understated, yet modern look
I was also intrigued to see some reinforcement bands on the medial forefoot and along the top on either side of forefoot.
I take this to be part of the Internal Fit System underlay for targeted support without adding weight. This means that the upper effectively consists of two and a quarter layers.
Internal Fit System underlay
The full extent of technology applied really begins to add up once we move down to midsole and outsole, with the use of FlyteFoam, Dynamic, DuoMax, Guidance Trussic System, and AHAR.
To Asics' credit, they have avoided the temptation to label each individual technology as such on the shoe and thus making it look like a science project prototype, and the labeling is minimally and discreetly done. I suppose one earns such right to not have to "shout" after 25 years?
FlyteFoam comes in two forms, the Lyte in the rear foot and Propel in the forefoot. From what I can gather, the Propel is a bit denser and provides a spring-like effect for responsiveness and to aid the gait cycle, while the Lyte helps with cushioning and energy return.
FlyteFoam Lyte in the heel
The Trussic System, Guidance Line, and AHAR were also evident as far back as in version 18, and official Asics website does a good job explaining them, not that long-terms fans of the shoe will need to have them explained.
As ever, it's not enough for shoes to look good and feature all the latest newfangled technology if they don't deliver in the most important area – that is, the ride. Otherwise, it's just a matter of time before they get taken out of the rotation and relegated to casual use or worse.
When I slipped on the shoes and went for a 10 mile run around the neighborhood, my initial thoughts were – wow, déjà vu, that old comfortable sensation of your favorite go-to running shoe was back again, all of 6 years later!
Again, Asics has really delivered in the consistency stakes.
The ride was responsive and cushioned without being mushy. While the shoes never felt overly heavy, they were not light either in the racing flats sense, and Gel-Kayano 25 is best reserved for long slow to moderately paced runs. In short, ideal daily trainer.
A striking (pun not intended) aspect of the shoes is that no matter where the landing is on the foot, whether mid-foot or heel or even on medial or lateral side, the shoes consistently rolled the gait onto the same take-off, in my case off the second toe, a quality I attribute to the Guidance Line.
The "sole" of the machine
This also means that, while rated as a supportive shoe for moderate over-pronators, Gel-Kayano 25 can also be worn by more neutral runners such as myself.
The support provided by Dynmic DuoMax on the medial rear-foot only comes into play when heel-striking, and mid-foot strikers should be able to enjoy the shoe without feeling that it has too much support or that the support gets in the way.
Think of, as you will, the support on these as akin to training wheels on a bicycle – it will only come into play when you need it. It is this quality which I believe makes Gel-Kayano 25 suitable for many types of runners, albeit still with a bias towards the heavier runner or casual runner, given the level of cushioning.
The more that things change, the more they stay the same.
Full kudos to Asics for keeping the essence of the shoe intact over the years while at the same time making concessions to latest manufacturing technology. The fit, the comfort, and the ride are pretty much as I remember them from Gel-Kayano 18. The improvements are there, particularly in the looks, but the development appears linear and planned out rather than drastic or panicky.
Gel-Kayano is, as it has been over the years, a workhorse, a go-to shoe for the casual runner who might only want that one shoe for daily training runs, weekend-long slow distance runs, and racing 10km distances and above, and this 25th iteration is no different.
Similar to comparable shoes such as New Balance 1080, Gel-Kayano 25 is best suited for the bigger, heavier runners who will be able to push the cushioning of the shoes to the limit.
The only minor issue I have is that I can't help but wonder if Asics might not have been able to shave some more weight off the shoes given the advancements in materials science.
The shoe looks and feels well-built and after over 50 miles, other than scuffs on the rigid Trussic insert, there is hardly any sign of wear. I have little doubt that these will be good for at least 1000 miles and more. Yes – the shoes may be a tad heavier than ideal but the flip side is they'll last for years.
Twenty-fifth anniversary is a big one by any measure (as my wife keeps reminding me on our upcoming 25th!) and where other brands might have been tempted into a major overhaul and/or over-engineering, full marks to Asics for keeping the shoe understated and true to its core.
Old time fans of Gel-Kayano will welcome the familiarity, and with its modern looks, there is every reason to believe the shoe might attract new fans too.
Check out the Asics Gel Kayano 25 at Asics.com!
If Nike has Pegasus, Asics has Kayano. Now on its 25th version, the Kayano series continues to amaze runners with its performance and design.
I must admit that the Kayano 25 is also incredible.
What’s new with the Asics Gel Kayano 25?
The biggest update in the Kayano 25 is can be seen in the midsole.
The shoe features the new cushioning foam from Asics - FlyteFoam Lyte and FlyteFoam Propel. These two foams are designed to deliver bouncy cushioning that would last miles after miles.
Technologies and design
- Jacquard Mesh – The Jacquard mesh material provides exceptional fit while delivering maximum breathability. It conforms to the natural shape of the foot for a more comfortable wrap.
- Internal Fit System – Compose of no-sew internal overlays which offer structural support in the upper. It also offers added flexibility and enhanced fit.
- Meta Clutch Technology – The heel counter is designed for enhanced support and fit in the heel area.
- FlyteFoam Propel – The bounce and comfortable cushioning is provided by this technology. It is lightweight compared to traditional midsole foam while increasing overall durability.
- FlyteFoam Lyte – A midsole foam designed to deliver responsiveness all throughout the gait cycle. It aims to provide a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
- Dynamic DuoMax Support System – A technology designed to reduce overpronation. It aids the foot as it moves, resulting to a smoother running experience.
- Guidance Line and Guidance Trusstic System – Both technologies are fused as one to improve gait efficiency and midfoot support.
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning – Specifically placed in the medial side for impact absorption. It also gives added responsiveness in every stride.
- AHAR – The Asics High Abrasion Rubber provides durability to the outsole, especially in high-wear areas. This carbon rubber material is strategically placed in the heel area.
- DuraSponge outsole – It is a blown rubber compound specifically placed in the forefoot area of the outsole. It gives added cushioning and flexibility.
Performance of the Asics Gel Kayano 25
Aside from the good-looking design, the Kayano 25 also delivers an impressive performance on the road. The mixture of the FlyteFoam Propel and the FlyteFoam Lyte is a victory because it indeed delivers a very responsive cushioning.
As I run, every step feels so bouncy and protected. The midsole cushioning feels so light and very durable.
The performance of the outsole also deserves a special mention. The durable sole unit delivers good amount of traction on various paved surfaces. It also helps me stand out even on wet/slippery running conditions.
Fit and durability
The Asics Gel Kayano 25 is true to size. I usually wear thin socks and the shoe fits perfectly. The heel and forefoot offer a very snug fit while the toe box is roomy enough for my toes to splay. Overall, the fit of this shoe is truly remarkable.
When it comes to durability, just like most of my Asics shoes, the Kayano 25 is an outstanding pair. I have been wearing the shoes for several miles already and the shoe still looks fantastic.
The outsole material does not rip off and the upper still looks new. I know the shoe is expensive, but I think others won’t mind the price tag because they can absolutely use the shoe for months and months.
Comfort and breathability
When it comes to comfort and breathability, the Asics Gel Kayano 25 is truly remarkable.
Aside from being lightweight and seamless, the jacquard mesh material has enough perforations that allow air to pass through efficiently. It provides my foot a very cool, sweat-free environment.
The overall design of the shoe is meant to deliver unmatched comfort. The internal linings, fit, and cushioning are very comfortable. Overall, I like the coziness of the Kayano 25 than the Kayano 24.
- Good-looking design
- Comfortable and responsive cushioning
- Offers notable amount of stability
- Upper provides breathable coverage
- Impressive fit from heel to forefoot
- Tractions works well on both dry and slippery surfaces
- Expensive shoe
- Lacks flexibility
The daily running routine.
I think this shoe is really great! Thumbs up to Asics for this wonderful Kayano version.
So this is the Asics and I’ll try to give you an insight into them before you splash your hard earned cash on a pair.
I have a pair of Kayano 22 that I’ll use as my reference point along with some other similar shoes to give you an idea of how the 25 shape up. Let’s start with some technical information so you can see what we’re dealing with here.
The Kayano offers arch support for overpronators through the dynamic duo max support system. They have a drop height of 10mm and a weight of 11.85 ounces or 336 grams. The midsole consists of three different types of foam, Flytefoam Propel, Flytefoam Lyte and Spevafoam 45, which together provide bounce, continuous cushioning and a soft, slipper-like feel.
The new Ahar Plus outsole claims to be 50% more durable than the standard Asics sole. The upper consists of the Fluidfit upper with an Ortholite sock liner that is somewhere between a flyknit and a mesh upper. For more on the technical aspects of the design see here.
Lots of colour options available here for men (top) and women. I am testing the glacier grey/black option here and I really like it.
It is a bit more restrained than some of Asics other offerings. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of their previous syles have had a bit on an 80's feel to me but these feel bang up to date.
How do they feel?
So that is the technical bit out of the way. The big question is how do they feel and perform and are they an improvement on previous versions. On the first try, they felt really comfortable. They were soft and cushioned and there was no rubbing at all.
The toe box was wide without being loose and there was no squashing of my little toe which sometimes happens. The upper is light and flexible around the middle and front of the foot but they do feel quite warm compared to a light weight racer.
The ankle cuff was beautifully padded to give a cosseted feel that gripped well but without being restrictive. The external heel counter held the back of my foot in place perfectly even though I could not really feel it.
There was no slipping and my foot felt really secure. I opened the box, stuck them on and ran five miles with no discomfort and no marks anywhere on my feet afterward. I am a UK 10.5 in pretty all running shoes and the fit here was consistent with that. So far, so good.
The Kayano is a solid, well-built support shoe designed for long, steady runs. If you are looking for something for a 5K blast look elsewhere.
However, if you are looking for something to rack up some training miles or a half or full marathon they will be perfect. The array of foams making up the midsole mean cushioning is great with no aching feet at the end of a long run.
I am a forefoot striker and I really appreciated the gel technology in the forefoot when running hard downhill. The shock absorption here was as good as anything I have tried. Heel cushioning is slightly less important to me but was definitely there and welcome on longer runs.
The further I went, the less I noticed the weight and the more I felt the support. The guidance line across the sole prevented any roll over and helped me to keep good form throughout. It was never intrusive or uncomfortable as support shoes sometimes can be.
What about underneath?
The sole has a complicated grip pattern that works with the most grip and AHAR PLUS compound where you need it most. I tried them on wet and dry pavements, some well-packed trails and a few rooted, woodland paths.
Grip was excellent so I was not concerned about wearing road shoes on a trail. The outsole is so tacky they even squeak when I change direction on pavements which I have never heard before.
The transition between surfaces was never a concern and the ride was particularly good when running downhill due to the forefoot cushioning. I am a fan of soles that roll up to cover the front of the shoe and this was present here. This is an early review so I cannot confirm this but the sole looks as though it will be durable.
training shoe that stays comfortable throughout long runs and fit well straight out of the box. It has all of Asics latest technology giving you reliable, unobtrusive support and the cushioning needed to prevent aching legs and feet.
As a forefoot striker, the Flytefoam really does its job, especially on downhills. I found it difficult to press on in the 25 so they would not be my choice for short, fast runs. But for long, steady runs over a variety of terrains or if you just want to give your feet a bit of pampering they are spot on.
Check out the Asics Gel Kayano 25 at Asics.com!
Asics is one of the leading brands with it comes to running shoes.
Below is my review of the Asics Gel Kayano 25 (men’s version).
The design of the Asics Gel Kayano 25
The upper of the Gel Kayano 25 has a seamless construction. It uses a jacquard mesh upper for breathability and comfort. Along with the FluidFit technology, the upper conforms to the natural shape of the foot for a more customized fit.
The FluidRide, FlyteFoam Lyte, and the FlyteFoam Propel work together for a more protective yet stable midsole cushioning. These techs aim to deliver responsiveness and stability for a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
For maximum support and stability, the shoe uses the Dynamic DuoMax Support System. It allows runners to survive miles of running without feeling fatigue.
In the outsole of the Kayano 25 is the Asics High Abrasion Rubber Plus (AHAR+). It is a durable rubber formulated for durability and traction. This outsole material works well on varied paved surfaces.
Comfort and breathability
A round of applause to the Asics Gel Kayano 25 for being one of the most comfortable and breathable shoes to date. The shoe has a lot of perforations in the upper, pretty the same with the Brooks Ravenna 9.
Both shoes offered a great amount of in-shoe comfort and the mesh material delivered a breathable foot coverage. Nothing more to say; I’m blown away by its breathability and comfort.
Performance of the Kayano 25
The Kayano 25 is a reliable stability shoe; thanks to the Dynamic DuoMax System which reduces overpronation. It provided the foot with a very stable platform while running on the road.
The performance of the shoe is comparable to the Air Zoom Structure 21, a stability shoe from Nike. They both provide a good level of stability, but, the Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 is more affordable than the Kayano 25.
The midsole of the Asics Kayano 25 offered a comfortable and durable underfoot cushioning. It absorbed shock during impact and offered added stability for long-distance runs. At first, I felt the cushioning to be less flexible but, after a few miles, it showed its true performance.
Given all these positive comments, I think it is really obvious how happy and satisfied I am with my purchase.
The Asics Gel Kayano 25 has a standard running shoe length and width. It wrapped my foot comfortably. Everything was on point, from the heel to the forefoot. There was also enough room in the toe box for my toes to wiggle.
Wide-footed runners should give this running shoe a try since it is also available in wide width for both men’s and women’s versions.
As mentioned in my other reviews, I truly admire Asics for making durable running shoes. Nobody beats them when it comes to durability.
The Asics Gel Kayano 25 is as durable as the Cumulus 20. I’ve been running in these shoes for more than a month already, and it shows no significant wear. The upper is still sturdily attached to the other parts of the shoe, and the outsole is still reliable.
- Stable ride
- Breathable upper
- Impressive traction
- Comfortable cushioning
Asics Gel Kayano 25 is a wonderful stability running shoe. Two thumbs up to Asics for this successful update.
I highly recommend this shoe for runners who are looking for a durable and reliable road running shoe.
The longer the run, the more likely I am now to use this Kayano. I just feel that after a few hours of running my feet get tired as I lose running form, and that's when I prefer a shoe with support.
When choosing a shoe for long distances, I go for the well-cushioned ones. Kayano fits into this category.
For years, basically the past 15 years I have been doing and still do many of my long runs in Asics Gel Nimbus. Nimbus is another well-cushioned shoe by Asics but a neutral one. I am a neutral runner and hence never really even thought of buying a support shoe until I tried this Kayano.
Kayano 25 looks sporty, also maybe a bit chunky, like a proper running shoe. Not super fashionable, not a delicate racer but just a good generic running shoe. There are many different colours to choose from which is a good thing for those (like me) who think the colour of their trainers matters.
The top on the outside is completely seamless. On the inside, only the tongue and the back cushioning are stitched to the main carcass. On the outside of the heel, there is a plastic cup that not only gives the shoe a bit different look but also makes it more stable.
In the picture below you can also see a plastic support in the midfoot.
As said, there is a lot of cushioning under the entire foot. The shoe feels slightly harder than ASICS Gel Nimbus. At first, the inner sole under my forefoot did feel a bit formless but after having run a good 30 miles in them they had shaped after my own feet.
Nimbus is perfect from day one and from there onwards it wears out. I felt the opposite with Kayanos, it takes about 50 -100 miles to really make them mine but then they last for long.
Also, the back part of the inner collar of the shoe is quite well cushioned which probably is the reason I haven't had any problems with blisters or chafing in my heel. The upper edge of the heel doesn't carve in (some other brands’ models do) so there is no pressure on the tendon.
The outer sole, the base of the shoe, is quite wide making the shoe robust and stable. I do understand that there are much more slender shoes available but if they are as stable as this I am not sure. Having run in Nimbus all these years has made me feel at home also in this very similar Kayano.
The upper part of the shoe, made of two layers, is very breathable. I do, however, think it is not quite as breathable as the one in Nimbus 20 in which I can feel the wind. It hasn't been cold yet since I started running in these shoes so unsure if they will feel cold in the winter.
The upper part of the toe box is quite roomy. I have rather narrow feet so for me, this is just a tad too wide which probably means they're just the right width for most of the people.
About the heel drop. Heel drop refers to the difference in height from heel to toe, inside the shoe, i.e how much higher your heel is compared to your toes. In women's model of Kayano 25, the heel drop is 13 mm which is very big, and I have come to like it more and more.
There are people who like a big heel drop whereas others want to go for a smaller drop. Right or wrong, I feel less pain in my Achilles tendon when running in a shoe like Kayano. It may not be a cure for my pain that fortunately comes and goes but it makes running much more pleasant.
Not once did I think about my feet or shoes when running a double marathon in Kayano 25. It says a lot about a shoe and how it fits me. Luckily the surface on the route wasn't too uneven otherwise I probably would have got a few blisters as my narrow feet would have slid sideways inside the shoe. I am extremely happy with my Kayano 25.
- Cushioning under the entire foot
- Stable, supported, good for a really long run
- High heel drop (if you like it)
- Correct sizing
- On the heavier side (but so are all cushioned long distance shoes)
- Slightly formless sole under forefoot when new
- High price
So, when I read that you should rotate your running shoes, that was too good an opportunity to miss. I went for a second pair of 1260s.
But, on that particular day, in that particular shop, they weren’t available in my size. Luckily for me, a helpful sales assistant pointed me towards the Asics Gel Kayano 21 and a friendship began that’s still going strong.
I’m now on my third pair, the 25s, having also had a pair of 23s, and they continue to please.
I started running to lose weight. And, as a heavier runner pounding pavements, the cushioning provided by the 25s is appreciated.
They feel comfortable on the feet and easy on the legs. These work effectively over the range of running that I do. Like so many things that are just right, you don’t appreciate the cushioning of the 25s until it isn’t there.
Some of my less successful purchases definitely place more strain on the soles and calves when used over similar terrain at similar paces.
So, over time, Gel Kayanos have become my running shoes of choice for longer easy training runs (up to 2 hours), and for HM races.
Most recently I ran the Great Birmingham Run (HM) in the 25s. Unfortunately, this year’s race was cut short, but the 25s were very comfortable over the reduced distance of 11.1 miles, and felt very secure in the damp conditions.
My 25s aren’t the lightest pair of shoes that I own. But, as a 51-year old whose current goal is to run a 100 minute half marathon, comfortable injury free running is key.
And, I don’t notice a significant change in pace when I wear my lighter shoes. But, I do notice a reduction in comfort.
On the subject of injuries, I probably got rid of my 21s too soon, after only 500 km. Although I was a heavier runner then.
I suffered an Achilles injury whilst on holiday. And so, with one eye on the weight of our suitcases, I left my 21s behind.
However, the physio who treated me was of the opinion that the injury was more likely due to upping the elevation gain on my runs too quickly on holiday.
My 23s lasted almost 900 km before I began to feel that they were no longer maintaining their high standards. And, the latest 25s, after 100 km, are now bedded in, whilst looking like new. Well almost.
With reference to Figure 1, the sole is beginning to show signs of wear after circa 200 km. But, there’s still plenty of stiffness, and I’m confident of plenty more kilometers including races being run in this pair.
Figure 1: Sole
I have changed the size that I buy. The 21s and 23s I bought were UK 11. The 25s I wear now are UK 11.5.
Going up half a size has meant the shoes remain comfortable for those days, those runs, when feet seem to “grow”, without the shoes ever feeling lose or insecure.
I’m a great fan of no-tie laces and replace the supplied laces, most recently with Vitty’s variant, and they help the fit.
I very rarely pick a running shoe based on style/colour, brand/model, and price. I’ll take whatever colour is available. But, I struck lucky with my 25s. The black styling is timeless, and so far wearing very well.
Figure 2: Timeless styling: Still looking good after today’s HM
Figure 3: Flying Feet Photos, Guaranteed with the ASICS Gel-Kayano!
The Asics Gel Kayano has stood the test of time, and I haven’t been disappointed with the newer versions of the shoe. It’s a go-to shoe for longer training runs, and for 10 k and HM races.
It wears well, and if rotated will last you for a good distance. I’m certain I’ll be buying them again.
Good to know
- The Gel Kayano series from Asics brings out their 25th-anniversary edition, which includes novel features and technologies to offer a luxurious running experience. One of the updates in this iteration a newly-sourced, dual-layer midsole. The improved FluidRide technology made up the major part of the shoe's midsole. It provides more stability and added underfoot cushioning for a more comfortable ride.
- Another update is the upper section which now features a Jacquard mesh material. It provides a more adaptive and breathable coverage to the foot.
- While most of the technologies of the Gel Kayano 25 were taken from the previous version, this shoe aims for an all-new level of cushioning, protection, and stability that is an upgrade from past releases.
Runners will find the Asics Gel Kayano 25 as true-to-size, based on its standard running shoe length and sizing. With its anatomical shape, the shoe guarantees a secure fit. The Gel Kayano 25 will accommodate any foot volume, as width profiles are available in medium and wide for both the men’s and women’s versions.
Compared to the regular Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR®), the AHAR® PLUS outsole material is twice as much durable. Its structure comprises a sponge-like consistency, which makes it lighter and more flexible than conventional rubber. Regarding performance, the AHAR® PLUS allows the shoe’s high-wear zones withstand impact and stress, by instilling a level of toughness that is usually present in vehicle tires.
Meanwhile, the blown rubber DuraSponge® covers the rest of the shoe. The material is inherently softer than the carbon rubber AHAR®, making it ideal as a supplementary underfoot cushion and protection beneath the midsole.
As a stability shoe, the Gel Kayano 25 features a crash pad beneath the heel area. This unit works by slowing down the rate of pronation, thus encouraging a smoother and more natural transition.
The forefoot and rearfoot areas of the midsole utilize Gel® technology, which is known for its shock-absorbing capability and promotion of an efficient gait cycle. The material is a silicone-based gel that capably incorporates the impact from the strike and disperses it evenly across the foot, for a resilient and responsive cushioning.
Like most Asics running shoes, the Gel Kayano 25 employs the Impact Guidance System (IGS®) to produce a seamless turnover. The IGS® refers to a design methodology that involves the use of Guidance Line®, a vertical flex groove that shifts the center of pressure to reduce the imbalance.
The Guidance Line® is supported by the Trusstic System™, a structure that develops foot stability by providing torsional rigidity. Trusstic System™ delivers a unique shape that enables it to move according to the foot’s motions.
Another supportive element of the Gel Kayano 25 is the Dynamic DuoMax® system, which equips the shoe with a wedge unit that reduces overpronation. The Dynamic DuoMax® enlists the help of a dual-density midsole to maintain stability, and this comes in the form of the FluidRide®.
The FluidRide® foam makes up the bulk of the Gel Kayano 25’s midsole. This material combines the responsiveness of a SoLyte™ and the lightness and durability of a SpEVA™. The result is a cushioning that improves running performance, because of an efficient rebound and toe-off cycle that helps reduce muscle strain.
The most significant addition in the Gel Kayano series is the FlyteFoam® technology, compartmentalized into FlyteFoam® Lyte and FlyteFoam® Propel. The forefoot area has the Propel, which supplies extra bounce so that toe-off is even springier. Conversely, the rearfoot has FlyteFoam® Lyte that permits the heel area to stay lightweight, thus reducing the impact during landing.
To enhance its bounciness, the Gel Kayano 25 has the OrthoLite® X-40 as its insole. This sock liner has a unique formulation that gives it a high-rebound quality inside a thin yet cushiony package.
The Gel Kayano 25 welcomes the use of Jacquard mesh in its upper. This material is stretchable and adaptive, which allows it to wrap around the foot comfortably for a snug and secure fit. The mesh engages the FluidFit® technology for responsive foot movement and enhanced running efficiency.
Internal underlays are found beneath the mesh. These units provide targeted support while also sustaining a flexible upper with an accurate fit.
Meanwhile, at the heel area is the Meta Clutch™ technology, an exoskeletal counter that endorses a precise heel fit. The Meta Clutch™ is assisted by the Personal Heel Fit (PHF), which is a double-layer of a memory foam lining that aims to cushion the collar.
Similar to many other Asics shoes, the Gel Kayano 25 also uses the Discrete Eyelet™, a portion of the lacing system that permits the shoelaces to have separate eyelets rather than a single connected one. The Discrete Eyelet™ reduces and disperses tension usually brought by tightening the laces.
The 25th release of the legendary Asics Gel Kayano model comes in several special versions. These running shoes, which comes in a different special feature, count on the Gel Kayano 25’s premium and stable ride.
Asics Gel Kayano 25 SP
Asics manufacture a special seasonal pack of the Kayano 25. Available in both men’s and women’s versions, the Asics Gel Kayano 25 SP is inspired by the natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis also called Northern Lights. This special edition running shoe gives runners energized underfoot cushioning and unmatched comfort.
Asics Gel Kayano 25 OBI
In this shoe, the Kayano 25 receives a stylish and premium upgrade. The shoe has a redesigned upper - it is made of a knit material and inspired by a kimono belt. The Kayano 25 OBI still uses the notable FlyteFoam Propel and FlyteFoam Lyte for durable and responsive cushioning. Delivering an all-day comfort, the shoe features a street-ready look. It is also versatile enough to perform well as a gym shoe. The shoe is sold at a very expensive price.
Asics Gel Kayano 25 Lite-Show
The 25th version of the Asics Kayano received a Lite-Show treatment in this Kayano 25 Lite-Show version. As part of the Lite-Show collection, the shoe helps runners remain visible during low light runs. This premium road running shoe comes with an iridescent 3M coating for increased visibility. This Lite-Show running shoe is more expensive than the regular Kayano 25 version but it still continues to deliver the same reliable, premium ride.
Asics Gel Kayano 25 X Mita
Mita Sneakers have a collaboration again with Asics and produced the Kayano 25 x Mita. The shoe features the same level of cushioning and packed with technologies used in the legendary Kayano 25. It also showcases branded sole detailing. The shoe has an outer color palette to pay homage to Mita’s signature style.
Asics Gel Kayano 25 NYC
The Kayano 25 NYC is a special edition running shoe designed for New York City Marathon. This shoe has a special NYC marathon upper but has been geared up with the Kayano’s ultimate cushioning for a responsive and stable ride. The Kayano 25 men’s and women’s running shoe is available in an exclusive colorway.
The Asics Gel Kayano, named after its designed, Toshikazu Kayano was first released in 1993. The Kayano is a flagship model for high-mileage footwear. Below the history of the Asics Gel Kayano:
1993 - The shoe was originally called as Asics Gel Kayano Trainer. The original version features the skeletal logo stripes, which offers support. The Gel materials in the midsole, Theta Gel (heel) and P-Gel (forefoot), delivering responsive underfoot cushioning. The upper of the shoe was made of Coolmax material with synthetic suede.
1995 - The 2nd version was no longer called “Trainer”. It utilized the newest Gel technology from Asics and the overall fit was also improved as compared to the original version. The version was also sold at a much lower price.
1996 - The latest version featured several updates. The 360 degrees of 3M reflectivity was added to the upper of the shoe. It still uses the P-Gel in the forefoot and the Theta Gel in the forefoot was renamed as T-Gel. It also used the Extended Trusstic System which gives the foot stability.
1997 - The fit and upper design of the 4th version was modified but provided runners with the same amount of cushioning and stability.
1998 - The 5th iteration of the shoe was lighter than the previous versions. The shoe was approximately 370 grams.
1999- The 1999 version of the Asics Gel Kayano introduced the Impact Guidance System which is designed for stability.
2000 - The first version that was designated the VII version number. The Kayano VII was significantly lighter than the older version.
2001 - The design of the shoe was focused on the movement of the foot. The shoe features the lateral rearfoot flex grooves for smooth heel-to-toe transition.
2002 - Nothing significant was changed, but the shoe became an ounce heavier than the previous model.
2003 - The version featured the Biomorphic Upper Fit, which also resulted in a weight drop.
2004 - The Kayano XI offered runner an enhanced upper, with more reflectivity and bigger stripes.
2005 - Several new technologies were introduced including the Solyte and Space Trusstic System.
2006 - The Kayano 13 featured a lighter upper design with an increased level of cushioning. These updates were made to provide runners with unmatched comfort.
2007 - The Asics Gel Kayano 14 featured the new heel fit with the same level of cushioning and stability.
2008 - The price of the 2008 version ticked up and it featured a new midsole design.
2009 - The Kayano 16 introduced the Guidance Line, a vertical groove to enhance the gait cycle.
2010 - The first Kayano version that is available in black color.
2011 - The upper of the shoe was modified and a significantly lighter version was released.
2012- The 2013 release featured a softer cushioning with seamless overlays. It delivers more comfortable and smooth in-shoe feel.
2013 - Special colorways and limited edition packs are made available to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kayano.
2014 - The running shoe featured an updated upper and enhanced midsole. It was still offered at an expensive price.
2015 - The upper of the shoe was updated as well as the cushioning and fit. The version was well-received by many runners.
2016 - The 23rd version used the new FlyteFoam cushioning, an innovative midsole technology that is more responsive and lighter than the regular EVA foam.
2017 - The Kayano 24 featured the same midsole and outsole material but with an updated FluidFit mesh upper.
2018 - The Asics Gel Kayano 25 introduced the new midsole technologies - FlyteFoam Lyte and FlyteFoam Propel.
The Asics Gel Kayano is a very popular running shoe model. On its 25th anniversary, the model showcases significant improvements from top to bottom. The designers modified the shoe and incorporated several technologies to make the running experience more satisfying.
The Kayano 25 is the result of Asics’ extensive research. Asics managed to create innovative technologies without compromising performance and durability. It never fails to give runners the much-needed stability and responsiveness.
The 25th iteration of the Kayano is very different from the original 1993 version. It goes beyond expectation.
How Gel Kayano 25 compares
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