Many of us are reluctant to buy the more expensive running shoes when shopping, opting for the more affordable models ( GT 1000 or GT 2000 ) and are left wondered how much better we could run with a real top-of-the-line model such as the Asics Kayano.
I will attempt to help you discover if the Asics Kayano 24 is worth the 30% higher price than the GT 2000 5.
This is not a review or comparison about the newest or most stylish, it is about value and performance and what we get for the much higher price.
Both models are from Asics, a company founded in 1949 and today there are more runners at many of the world's major races wearing Asics than any other brand.
Asics GT 2000 5 (left) vs. Asics Kayano 24 (right)
Both the Asics GT 2000 series and Kayano versions are "stability road running shoes" that are well engineered and of high quality. Both models are well tolerated by most neutral runners in addition to those in need of a little stability.
Stability is provided by having a higher density foam on the medial side of each shoe to help "stabilize" your foot by limiting how much your foot rolls inward with each step.
However, the Gel is what makes these shoes work, Asics Gel distributes the forces of landing away from your foot, not straight back at your foot but more to the sides.
There is also a piece of plastic located at the arch on the bottom of each shoe in both models that Asics calls the "Guidance Trussic System" added for stability by minimizing torsional twisting.
Guidance Trussic System for GT 2000 5 (left) & Kayano 24 (right)
So each model has stability features, like guardrails on a mountain highway, they are there if you need them but not affecting your ride otherwise.
The GT and Kayano shoes are for medium arches and not for flat feet, some ads state medium to high arches. GT and Kayano lacing system use independent eyelets for comfort especially if you tie your laces tight.
The heel area of these models have AHAR (Asics High Abrasive Rubber) which is harder and longer wearing than the (DuraSponge) softer and quieter rubber used up front, both rubber compounds are very well suited to their intended uses.
Heel Area for the Kayano 24 & GT 2000 5
Each of these two models uses different foam, the GT uses their best EVA foam and the Kayano uses their newest FlyteFoam that is claimed to be 55% lighter than standard EVA foam.
Both models continue to rely on the silicone-based gel for serious cushioning.
Midsoles of Kayano 24 (above) & GT 2000 5 (below)
The weight of these two models was a surprise, the Kayano weighs more than the GT! I weighed these shoes several times and even inspected for rocks or perhaps mud on the Kayano to make sure of an accurate reading.
The GT 2000-5 weighs only 368 grams and the Kayano 24 weigh in at 372 grams! The Kayano has a new type of mesh that is a bit softer and compliant than the mesh on the GT.
The Kayano also has a more plush collar and slightly softer sock liner/insert. The Kayano 24 has an excellent exoskeletal structure on the outside of the heel to keep your heel from slipping, it works a little bit better than the GT.
The trademark Tiger Stripes have been removed from the medial sides of the Kayano.
There seems to be no difference in performance between the two models, they ride the same, look alike and I cannot feel any difference between the two models on my daily easy paced 5-mile runs.
I bet that if I used the GT on one foot and the Kayano on the other I would not notice the difference, however other people might.
They are both purposeful and well-designed shoes with cushioning that is actually better than the charts indicate due to the way the Gel acts when you run.
I recently completed the U.S. Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton, Ohio with shoes lighter than I should have, and this was a mistake for me, I really missed the cushioning provided by the heavier models such as the Asics GT, Brooks Ghost or even the Brooks Revel. Visions of the Brooks Glycerin kept running through my mind (Christmas is coming).
These are both great shoes with the highest quality materials and workmanship and with the same strengths of durability, comfort, and performance.
Both shoes also share the same shortcomings of being a little stiff for some runners, and perhaps a little heavy for some and too narrow in the forefoot for me.
The Asics Kayano 24 is a testimony to the fact of how difficult it must be to make a shoe that is better than the GT 2000 5, more money can be spent, but try as they do they cannot get a better mesh, foam, gel or rubber than what is used in the GT.
Thanks for stopping by, now go run!