|Weight:||Men: 11.1oz | Women: 11.1oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm|
|Fit:||Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Medium toe box|
|Arch type:||Medium arch|
|Use:||All-day wear | Jogging|
|Material:||Mesh upper, Rubber sole|
|Features:||Breathable | Orthotic friendly | Cushioned | Comfortable|
|Strike Pattern:||Heel strike|
|Foot Condition:||Bunions, Hip pain, Knee pain, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Technology:||AHAR, Flyte Foam, Gel|
|Heel height:||Men: 29mm | Women: 29mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 19mm | Women: 19mm|
|Release date:||Jun 2019|
|Type:||Heavy | Big guy|
|Width:||Men: Normal, Wide, X-Wide | Women: Normal, Wide, X-Wide|
|Colorways:||Beige, Black, Blue, Grey, Multi, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow|
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86 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews
Critical review of the Asics Gel Kayano 26More photos
One of the highest-rated stability shoes of all time is the Asics Gel Kayano 25. Almost everyone knows this shoe. It is the go-to shoe for over-pronating runners. I never tried it, but I bought Its successor, the Gel Kayano 26.
- Use: Daily trainer, stability
- Terrain: Road
- Weight: 304g in EU size 42
- Heel height: 29mm
- Forefoot height: 19mm
With a 10mm heel-to-toe drop from 29mm in the heel to 19mm in the forefoot, this shoe is designed to be a heel-striker.
The shoe has a mesh upper with padded tongue and collar. The mesh is stabilized somewhat by the Asics logo and the toe trim and eye-stay that are made with less flexible material.
The midsole consists of part Flyte Foam, part DuoMax. The heel has a wedge of the famous Asics GEL, and around the arch, you will find some thermoplastic meant as a stability measure.
With a relatively thick outer sole that will last for many, many kilometers, this shoe is a workhorse.
Why I bought the Gel Kayano 26
I had a goal in 2019 of being able to run half a marathon, and I simply couldn’t run much further than 10km before I started getting fatigued and sore in my knee joints.
After having recorded and watched my gait on a treadmill, I was recommended a stability shoe and bought the Gel Kayano 26.
My thoughts on the shoe
Comfort and stability: The shoe upper is very comfortable with a perfectly accommodating toebox. I never experienced any blisters anywhere, and I ran around 12K the first time I tried them.
The shoe is very stable, and I believe that I have this shoe to thank for reaching my last year goal of running a half marathon. In fact, I ran two half-marathons and a trail run of 17km last year.
Even though this shoe is a road shoe, the sole has just enough tread that you can also run on (dry) trails and paths.
All terrain-ish: Due to the tread of the sole, you’re able to take this shoe on dry trails and paths through the woods.
However, the tread-design also picks up some smaller debris and granules on the way. You will quickly find yourself with a muddy behind if you try to transverse muddy terrain.
But on the other hand, the shoe is not intended to be an all-terrain vehicle.
Build quality: I’ve run 333 km (207 miles) in these, and a bit of wear is apparent on the outer sole.
Mostly on the outsides of the heels, and a bit of creasing in the Duomax midsole. But, other than that, these shoes hold up great. I suspect there is at least another 300km of running left in them.
Unsecure fit: Comfortable as it is, I wasn’t able to get a good lock-down of my foot. With an accommodating toe box, I believe it is necessary to get a good lock-down around the midfoot and heel.
But, even when I tightened the laces to the point that felt even a bit too constricting, the shoe could just slide right off and on again without undoing the laces. I believe this is due to slightly too much padding around the heel and collar.
Rough ride: With a 10mm drop and relatively high stack height, the shoe is meant to be a heel-striker. Thus, you rely almost solely on the cushioning of the sole (pun intended), but the shoe does not feel very cushioned at all.
I’d consider the shoe relatively firm and on top of that not very flexible. This means that the shoe feels very flat and that you land pretty hard.
When you land on your heel, the transitioning from heel to midfoot is a bit rough. I believe this is due to the thermoplastic embedment in the arch-part of the sole, not allowing for any flexibility at all.
The transitioning from midfoot to toe is a lot better, however. But generally, it is difficult to get a smooth landing in this shoe.
Also, I found that it feels a bit flat and slow, especially when you compare it to other shoes like Hoka One One’s that have their meta-rocker technology. However, landing on your midfoot helps a bit to soften the landing and the transitioning.
Absorbs water: This shoe is quite horrible in wet conditions. The padding around the heel, on the tongue, and collar absorbs water. This means that the shoe gets even heavier and that it makes squishy sounds when you land.
Aesthetics (The ugly in this case): This shoe looks like something that was designed in the 90s. It is big, bulky and filled with crisscrossing lines of contrast textures and colours. I prefer a simpler, cleaner appearance.
This shoe is a workhorse with great build quality, great fit, and lots and lots of mileage. Due to the tread, the shoe is usable on roads as well as easy dry trails (in my opinion).
It is a very stable shoe that minimizes overpronation. I would consider it being a good option for a medium-to-severe overpronating runner that doesn’t care too much about speed, who needs a daily trainer that will last a long time.
I would, however, not recommend running longer than 20K in these shoes, since the cushioning is relatively firm.
This is probably a general downside of being a stability shoe: it is difficult achieving both stability, cushioning, and flexibility in the same shoe, and the Gel Kayano 26 leans heavily towards being a stability shoe.
My PB’s in the Gel Kayano 26
5K: 24:34 - 10K: 51:08 - 21,1K: 1:50:15 - Max distance: 22,3K
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
I enjoyed this shoe. I'm probably going to to keep training in these for a while before I switch to something else.
ASICS has been doing stability right for a long time with the Kayano, and the GEL-Kayano 26 is no exception.
Although it lacks top-end speed, the ASICS GEL Kayano 26 can serve as an ideal every day shoe for training or racing from 10K to the marathon.
Even with the significant changes, the GEL-Kayano 26 remains a good candidate for runners needing & wanting a medium level of guidance to offset any pronation.
- The Asics Gel Kayano 26 is a running shoe that’s designed to heighten performance on the roads. It is also an update to a well-established series of stability running shoes, taking the lead as one of the industry’s go-to products that function against the progression of overpronation.
- The visible and mechanical changes take the form of the zigzag pattern of the GEL® shock-attenuating technology in the heel for aggressive impact mitigation. This GEL® configuration is a sign of reverence to past Gel Kayano models like the Kayano 16, which also employed the discernible wave-like structure of the GEL®. This current-day embodiment of nostalgia is a tribute to the Japanese wisdom of ‘respecting the past in creating the new.’
- The 26th iteration of this family has an open-weave upper that moves away from the uniform sipes of the Gel Kayano 25 model, as well as an increase in natural reflectivity which makes it quite visible to anyone.
The Gel Kayano 26 was constructed using the standard measurements. When it comes to size, consumers are welcome to get a pair using their usual sizing expectations. It is worth noting, however, that trying on the shoe first before making a purchase can drastically ease any doubts about an off-putting in-shoe experience.
Widthwise, this Asics running shoe is available in Medium and Wide variants for both men and women. Those who have medium or broad foot dimensions are welcome to acclimate themselves in the shoe-wrap.
The AHAR® or Asics High Abrasion Rubber is used as the layer of protection for the heel section. The durable construction of this material helps in extending the life of the midsole foam. It also lasts long as it resists abrasion caused by surface contact and continued use.
DuraSponge® is a spongy version of the AHAR® compound. It is used for the forefoot section of the external pad. Such a placement assists the heightening of the cushioning quality of the platform, particularly when it comes to the toe-off phase of the gait cycle.
Flex grooves line the surface of the outsole. These shallow trenches are meant to make the midsole adherent to the natural movement of the foot, bending in cadence with the heel-to-toe transitions.
The base of the Asics Gel Kayano 26’s midsole is made up of the FlyteFoam® Lyte. This aptly named piece has a lightweight build, but it isn’t flimsy. It’s tasked with delivering quality cushioning, even after many uses. Lyte is made up of organic nanofibers which are friendly to the environment.
A concentration of FlyteFoam® Propel graces the forefoot section. This feature has a bouncy configuration that allows it to energize the forefoot lifts. Its malleable nature works with the blown rubber outsole and the FlyteFoam® Lyte in providing invigorated steps.
The GEL® shock-mitigating technology is wedged into both the forefoot and heel of the platform. These silicon-based portions are designed to absorb the force generated by the foot-strike, then transfer the energy to the foot, allowing for a cycle of energetic forefoot lifts and smooth landings. The visible zigzag that makes up the heel GEL® is touted to amplify the absorbing capacity.
The Dynamic DuoMax™ is a dense foam in the midfoot of this stability running shoe that’s meant to support the arch and prevent it from buckling or overpronating during the run or when standing idly. This stability mechanism fundamentally averts injuries brought about by anatomical deviation or irregularities in gait.
The Trusstic System™ is a thermoplastic layer that sits between the midsole and outsole. This midfoot add-on bolsters the structural integrity of the cushioning system while also acting as a foundation for the tendons and muscles of the underfoot. Such inclusion prevents fatigue or tendon inflammation due to straining.
The Impact Guidance System® links the technologies of the midsole together without sacrificing flexibility and the natural capacity of the foot to move. No part of the platform hinders their counterparts.
The ComforDry™ X-40 is a removable sockliner that offers extra cushioning for the foot. This lightweight insert has antibacterial and anti-moisture capacities to prevent odor and sweat-retention.
Serving as the exterior of the Asics Gel Kayano 26’s upper unit is the jacquard mesh. This cloth-like material offers flexibility, a form-welcoming fit, and breathability through a set of tiny and gaping ventilation holes.
The FluidFit™ construction is composed of stretchy fibers that adapt to the motion of the foot as it gears itself for each takeoff. It is even made seamless to provide a non-irritating wrap.
Printed overlays reinforce the structure of the upper, sustaining its upright form and saving it from looking soggy over time. These synthetic layers also help the traditional lacing system in giving a locked-in fit.
MetaClutch™ is an exoskeleton that rests on the back of the façade. The purpose of this feature is to help the fabrics in holding the foot in place and maintaining its steadiness.