Verdict from 82 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer has generous cushioning which keeps the feet comfortable, several have shared.
  • Having these kicks allows the wearer to tap into the casual style of the 90s, many have cited.
  • Many enjoy the rubber midsole that functions as a shock absorber with every step.
  • The Gel Kayano Trainer features a flexible, rubber outsole that provides foot stability, a handful have shared. 
  • A few wearers say that these kicks fit great on their feet.
  • The Kayano Trainer is breathable, according to some reviewers.

2 reasons not to buy

These shoes are slightly expensive.

  • The materials of the Asics Gel Kayano Trainer aren’t top-notch, a sneaker enthusiast comments.
  • There are a handful of complaints about the shoe being narrow.

Bottom line

The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer is a heritage-inspired sneaker with a style that still appeals to modern-day sneaker wearers. The looks are still the same as the original model, but it has received material upgrades to fit contemporary fashion.

Asics designers did great at combining materials to create an interesting shoe. From its running roots, it’s ready to rock the streets with plush comfort. All of these features come at a slightly expensive price.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

Asics Gel Kayano Trainer is a shoe available in men's and women’s sizing. They generally run true to size.

With a lace-up closure, the shoe has a snug fit. Asics uses the True Fit platform which allows buyers to use other brands’ sizing as their reference to ensure that the pair they’ll order has a good fit.

The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer is a shoe that fuses classic design with modern upgrades. Basing the same tooling from the original model, the shoes are constructed with high-quality pigskin suede with an outer rubber shell reinforcement and molded midsole for a genuine street-style vibe. This sporty pair works well with shorts and jeans.

Sneaker reviewers were particularly fond of the comfort brought by the Asics Gel Kayano Trainer. The combination of mono sock and a reasonable amount of cushioning gives the wearer all-day comfort.

The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer is a classic silhouette first released in 1993. It was designed with the needs of high-performance runners in mind. It was named after its designer, Toshizaku Kayano. According to the Japanese footwear designer, he was sent to the USA after the company rejected 30 sketches.

Asics wanted him to work with the Product Marketing team. The shoe’s final design was drawn on a napkin during a late dinner with his team. The model was inspired by the stag beetle’s sturdy armor shell. It manifested in the form of molded upper side panels that improve stability and the rare horn designs that can be found on the outsole. To further improve the support and comfort of the shoe, it had a mono sockliner and a rearfoot protector.

Even in modern times, the legacy of the Gel Kayano Trainer thrives continuously. The original version has achieved iconic status with its ageless appeal. Various Kayano iterations have been made, all thanks to new technologies and multitudes of material and color combinations. All Asics Gel-Kayano Trainer models provide shock absorption through its gel-cushioning, protection from the armored shell upper, and improved ankle support with its mono sock.

The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer was also used as a canvas for collaborations. One of them is the collaboration with Porter—a bag manufacturer in Japan. The collab was inspired by a military bomber jacket.

  • The Asics Gel Kayano Trainer can be seen in colorways that are eye-catching. One example is the “Flash” Pack, which are accented with purple and aqua colorways.
  • Asics paid tribute to the Gel Kayano Trainer on its 20th year by offering the Gel Kayano 20th Anniversary Pack. It includes the retro of the 1993 version and a brand new Gel Kayano 20 in a special colorway.
  • Other versions of these shoes include the Gel Kayano Trainer EVO and Gel Kayano Trainer Knit.


How Asics Gel Kayano Trainer ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 13% sneakers
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Bottom 15% Asics sneakers
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The current trend of Asics Gel Kayano Trainer.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.