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Road Running Shoes • July 12, 2018

ASICS GEL Kayano 25 Performance Review

Asics GEL Kayano 25

The Good

Thomas: The Kayano 25 didn’t “wow” me out of the box, but I heard more “What are those? They look cool.” comments when I was wearing them. It might have helped that the pair I tested look very patriotic and it was around the 4th of July. It has to be the best looking Kayano ever.

Besides the looks, the Kayano 25 feels comfortable from the moment you slide it on your foot. The upper’s mesh breathes well, and the padded collar around the ankle gently keeps your heel in place. A large TPU (plastic) overlay provides the structure behind the heel counter. The TPU cup is there to help steady your ankle as part of the motion control in the Kayano 25. The tongue is unnoticeable, and the lacing is standard. I had no heel lift, so I did not need the extra lacing holes.

The 10mm drop midsole on the K25 has a lot of ingredients thrown in. It includes two different density FlyteFoams, GEL, and a “Guidance Trussic System” aka a TPU plate in the midfoot to create rigidity. On the outsole, you get tougher high abrasion rubber in the heel and softer blown rubber in the forefoot. The Kayano 25 has plush Ortholite footbeds, such a nice upgrade from the flimsy thin white things.

What happens when you put all of these items together in a daily trainer? You get a plush shoe with a very comfortable ride despite all the motion control features. The forefoot is flexible and soft on landing but still has enough spring to give you some energy through your stride. I am a midfoot striker, so the rigid heel did not come into play for me. Overall, I enjoyed the easy miles I put in on the Kayano 25.

Meaghan: The last ASICS Kayano I had on my feet were a pair of 21’s back in 2015. We’re now up to the 25, but like riding a bike, the latest version has a distinct feel. They fit well – snug and secure through the midfoot with a roomy toebox.  They’re designed with a super plush sockliner and relatively stretchy upper. The upper has a lot going on, from the jacquard mesh to the reinforced vamp, I was surprised to find they breathed at all. But, they do.

The midsole also has a lot going on. It’s designed with Flytefoam, some gel in the forefoot and heel, along with a bunch of stuff to add support. The shoes feel soft underfoot, but are firm out on the run.  The gel in the crash pad and forefoot have a nice bounce and seem to relieve some of the initial impact on landing and toeoff.

I also have to note the look of these shoes. While I typically hate ASICS (they look like they’re stuck in the 80’s), I am digging the latest version of the Kayano. I think it helps they “hid” some of the gel that was showing in the midsole of previous models.

Shop ASICS GEL Kayano 25

GEL Kayano 25

The Bad

Thomas: Holy crap! The Kayano 25 is a heavy shoe. My size 10.5 weighs 12.4 ounces / 352 grams! This makes the trainer feel a little stompy on longer runs. Doing striders (100-meter pick-ups) in the Kayano 25 wasn’t ideal. Between the extra weight in the trainer and the softness in the toe, it wasn’t easy to feel fast. This shoe is more of a cruiser than a speed shoe.

In the next Kayano, I’d like to see a little more structure on the medial side of the upper. While the shoe fits well, it could still use some sculpting over the arch to help lock in the upper.

Meaghan: There is absolutely no reason why a women’s running shoe should weigh nearly 10 oz. NONE. Why are there so many layers to the upper? Why do we need that bulky external plastic heel counter? Why is there so much unnecessary cushioning around the collar and tongue? Oh, and how about the ELEVEN different cushioning, foam, support and gel systems in the midsole? I’m not kidding. There are 11. Someone at ASICS, please, help the Kayano out. I understand this is a support shoe, but for goodness sakes, there’s gotta be a better (lighter) way.

Also, these shoes land real hard. Slappy, if you will.

Shop ASICS GEL Kayano 25

ASICS GEL Kayano 25

The ASICS GEL Kayano 25 Conclusion

Thomas: This trainer beat my expectations. I enjoyed the miles I put in with the Kayano 25. Typically I like a more straightforward design with fewer parts, but all the parts that come together in the K25 work well with each other to provide real comfort on a stable platform. The shoe is mighty durable and should last for many miles. The $160 ish price tag puts the Kayano 25 on the more expensive side of the market, but if you need a stability shoe that you can rack up miles in comfort, than it may be worth it.

Meaghan: While I give ASICS a hard time for the weight of the Kayano 25, it’s not all bad out on the road. It’s a generally comfortable shoe and will definitely last for hundreds on hundreds of miles. As a neutral runner, I lean towards softer cushioning and support but if you need the extra stability, I might give them a go.

Shop ASICS GEL Kayano 25



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Trudy says:

    Which shoe do you recommend over the ASICS

    1. Thomas Neuberger says:

      Does it have to be a stability shoe or just any shoe in general?

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