The verdict from 15 experts and 100+ user reviews

  • Experts who are already Kayano fans love the 27th iteration. They said: “once Kayano, always Kayano” and that Kayano is an “uncrowned king” of stability running shoes. 
  • Not even one expert has mentioned this shoe as their go-to daily trainer. Seems like a classic isn’t the favorite
  • When strong affection was shown, it was for the whole Kayano family, not this variation in particular. 

Asics Gel Kayano 27 in black

Pros

  • Excellent stability
  • Superb lock-in feel
  • Plush 
  • Comfortable
  • Luxurious feel 
  • Smooth ride 
  • Good for walking
  • Amazing grip
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Not for speed runs
  • Pricey
  • Heavy

Who should buy Asics Gel Kayano 27

This is a stability shoe (for runners who overpronate) made for easy runs and long runs. It’s a premium daily trainer built to last.

Who should NOT buy Asics Gel Kayano 27

Don’t buy it if: 

  • You are looking for a fast shoe. Asics Metaracer is a race-ready shoe. 
  • You’re a neutral runner. That’s when Asics Gel Quantum 90 and Quantum 180 are worth checking out. 
  • You supinate (have high arches). In this case, Nimbus and Cumulus models are recommended. 
  • You’re on the budget. Asics GT 2000 8 is similar to Kayano 27 performance-wise, but better for your pocket. 

Asics Gel Kayano 27 vs. 26: Unnecessarily better

Experts' comments on the update are split in half: “thoughtful improvements” vs. “a few minor tweaks.” Those who tested Kayano 25, 26, and 27 are confident that 27 is the best. 

It’s my impression that Asics has set the bar really high, didn’t screw up with the Kayano 26, so we had a stability shoe people can count on, but which doesn’t need major overhauls. Kayano 27 is a good update if you’re into superlatives and premium prices. Other than that, 26 already does the job and it does it remarkably.  

This was supported with experts’ comments saying that fans of the Kayano 26 will still experience the familiar comfort, cushioned feel, smooth ride. 

On to updates: 

Asics Gel Kayano 27 vs. Kayano 26


What got better

  • Maximum stability
  • Perfect foot lock
  • Gender-specific midfoot support
  • Smoother footstrike
  • Premium feel
  • Excellent traction
  • Highly durable
  • Extra bouncy heel
  • More flexible


What got worse

  • Expensive
  • Average breathability


It has been reported that the Kayano 27 offers a snugger fit. This was considered neither as a pro nor as a con. 

Midsole gender differences: 

  • Softer for women (3mm more foam)
  • Steeper heel drop for women (3mm difference)
  • Women get added support for forward motion, while men have more arch support

Can’t be more stable than this

“My strides do not feel uncontrolled at any point”: that’s how a stability shoe should feel when worn by an overpronator. It’s what the Asics Gel Kayano 27 does perfectly. Smooth ride you can count on. 

Not even one complaint from the experts, praise only: “maximum stability,” “ride is extremely stable and secure,” “impressive protection from overpronation.”

Everyday trainer: running AND walking

This is a good choice for recovery runs, take-it-easy runs, long runs. It also “doubles as a great walking shoe” as commented by experts who tested it while walking. 

Superior foot lockdown

 

Overall? “Nothing slips or pinches.” 

In detail? Your feet won’t “slide around.” Both the upper and the heel were praised for the great lock-in feel. With Asics’ new superfirm heel counter, “slipping [is] not happening.” 

Exceptional durability

Experts have described this shoe as “indestructible,” “top-notch,” and “built to last.” Nothing less is expected from the Asics Kayano family. Those who logged over 100 miles report minimal wear. 

Gel Kayano 27 outsole

Absolutely not fast 

All experts agree this shoe can’t pass as a fast shoe. It’s heavy, clunky, has a lot of support and, therefore, can’t help you pick up the pace. 

Special gender treatment 

You will know the difference only if your shoe size can be found both in women and men charts. Women got a higher heel drop (13mm) and more foam (+3mm), with more support for forward motion. Men’s’ shoes got more arch support. Experts who tried both versions say the difference is noticeable. 

Heel that feels SO good

Landing on the heel, especially at slower paces, feels cushioned, “plush,” and “incredibly jelly and bouncy.” 

Kayano 27 heel design

Exemplary grip 

“You probably will not find a running shoe with a better grip than the Kayano 27.” High level of traction both in wet and dry conditions - guaranteed. 

Classy upper, average breathability

The mesh upper now allows for a more dialed-in fit. It’s dynamic: it adapts to the shape of the foot while running. As one expert described it: “adaptively secures food shapes.” 

While no review mentioned any hot spots, experts weren’t especially enthusiastic about breathability. They said it’s “average” and focused more on the mesh design.  

Kayano 27 upper closeup

It’s a clunker

 

“Heavy,” “not light,” “clunky.” And a few more “heavy” comments. That’s how the weight of this shoe is described by the experts.

Here’s why (in men’s sizes): 

  • Asics Gel Kayano 27 weighs 11.1oz (315g), 
  • The average weight of a stability running shoe is 10.4oz (296g), while 
  • The average running shoe weight is 9.8oz (279)g.

Tip: If you want to experience the Kayano stability in a lighter (9 oz) package, consider the Kayano Lite model.

Fit: true to size, but snug

Kayano 27 fits true to size but feels snugger than previous versions. 

Given that it isn’t as wide as the earlier edition, it suits people with narrow to medium feet better. 

Luxurious feel 

The most frequent adjectives used to describe the comfort and step-in feel of Asics Gel Kayano 27 were “luxurious” and “premium.” The shoe simply feels plush thanks to “exceptional cushioning.” 

The silky-smooth fabric also helps keep rubbing and chafing under control.

Worth the investment

While the price tag is high, those who commented on it said Kayano 27 is worth the money. 

Bits worth mentioning 

  • No gusseted tongue, but no complaints about it
  • Wide option available

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Asics Gel Kayano 27 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 2% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 1% Asics running shoes
All Asics running shoes
Top 2% stability running shoes
All stability running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Asics Gel Kayano 27.
Compare to another shoe:
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com