Asics Gel Kayano 24 review
The Kayano 24 is the Subaru Outback of shoes. Not the perfect shoe for any situation, but the perfect shoe for any situation.
OK, maybe not trail running since it is a road shoe, but the 24th edition of Asics’ premium support shoe is well-balanced, even if it is a tad over-engineered.
I had tried these shoes earlier this spring when shopping for a new pair of shoes from Zappos. At that time I chose the Brooks Adrenaline 18, citing the $40 cost difference and a nice update of the GTS 18.
A few months later when trying on more shoes I purchased the Kayano 24 after they had a price drop. I wanted a daily trainer that can make it to 300 miles and this shoe looked the part.
Design of the Kayano 24
I needed a wide version in Asics and always go for the 4E if available.
Asics has been pretty good about offering true 4E widths in their support shoes like the GT-2000s and the Kayanos. The only drawback is the limited color options.
The Silver/Black/Mid Grey theme does have a nice refined look to it. The black accents are handsome and the fabric of the upper has smartly-placed reflective accents nestled throughout and looks pleasing in person.
While silver can sometimes make a shoe look dated, the silver here is mostly a matte finish (that is still reflective somehow) with some tiny shinier trim accents bordering the Asics lines. It’s as if the designer was trying to be edgy in a sneaky way without compromising the Dad look.
The medial side has a very anonymous look to it; noticeably missing the familiar four lines. The light gray rubber on the outsole is a nice touch too, (I am a sucker for light colors on the outsole).
The exterior heel counter has a sleek matte black look to it.
The tiny details in the counter and the Guidance Trusstic System™ are subtle works of art. Again I commend the designer, going the extra mile to add little details like that is appreciated.
The Kayano 24 is comfortable
As the Kayano series has a reputation for using high-quality materials for a premium feel, I couldn’t wait to put these on. The plush collar feels a lot different and feels much better than previous versions because of the rounded-out shape of it - I think the intention was to prevent going too high and irritating the Achilles.
The upper has a mostly seamless feel and stretches nicely to accommodate the foot for all foot shapes/sizes. If you have a high instep or wide foot, this shoe will still fit nicely, as there is plenty of volumes if you need it from the midfoot to the forefoot.
The only thing I didn’t find comfortable is the insole. After being spoiled by the Brooks GTS 18 insole, the Kayano 24 insole feels a bit disposable.
I’m 120 miles into these shoes and I feel like the insole is still not molding to my foot. It also feels too hard and is in contrast with the rest of the shoe’s premium feel. I’ve been using nicely cushioned socks to alleviate these issues with no complaints.
Some have noted how stiff the forefoot is on the Asics Gel Kayano 24. It’s definitely one of the less flexible shoes I’ve run in, but I don’t consider it a bad thing.
As one who is predisposed to metatarsalgia due to flat arches, I appreciate the conservative management of the shoe. It feels like the shoe is gently preventing you from over-extending in any direction as your foot flexes during the transition.
The shoe has nice manners and is perfect for a midfoot-striker. Not sure how it works for heel-strikers but judging by the HUGE heel platform, I assume it was designed for all types of running styles. There is a bit of break-in time (50 miles-ish), but then the shoe really dials in on long runs. The cushioning and support combine to keep your feet and legs feeling good.
The shoe is a tad heavy and if you are rotating this shoe with a more minimal shoe, it will feel noticeably heavier. However, the weight is evenly balanced and after a few miles, I completely forgot about it.
Tip: see the best running shoes.