THOMAS: When you think about classics, certain products come to mind: Levi’s 501s, Chucks, Harley Davidson, Ray-Bans, even Beanie Babies (maybe not a classic, but you’ll get it in a second). In the running world, you’d have to put the ASICS GEL-Kayano on that list.
A little 90s trivia– Beanie Babies and the OG GEL-Kayano both hit the USA in 1993. One of those is still around and can be sold for $160. The other I’m holding onto cause someday they’ll be worth a fortune, according to the Beanie Babies Beckett guide. Also, quick shoutout to Dr. Dre’s “Chronic” that topped the Billboard charts that year. Dre spoke the truth: It ain’t nuthin’ but a GEL thang.
THOMAS: If you’re looking for some classic stability in your life, look no further than the GEL-Kayano 27. This has to be one of the most stable heels in the game. Between the Dynamic Duomax™, the gender-specific Trusstic system (TPU shank visible on the outsole), and the external “heel clutch” (TPU heel counter), the back end of this shoe has a foundation that could have kept the Leaning Tower of Pisa from getting its “lean” on (note: if you’re mixing sizzurp you’re out of luck). I don’t need stability, so the platform is a strange sensation for me, but this shoe won’t allow your foot to land any other way than flat.
Not needing stability, you might think I would hate this shoe, but for reviewing purposes, I actually enjoyed my miles in the GEL-Kayano 27. Mostly, I like the feel of the FlyteFoam in the forefoot. As rigid as the caboose of this shoe is, the forefoot is flexible and the cushioning gives the right amount of softness under the palm of your foot. Sort of a Jekyll and Heel personality. I almost forgot about the GEL! You can see the GEL in the heel. I can’t see the GEL in the forefoot, but ASICS says it is there. I trust them, cause ASICS loves itself some GEL. While I can’t tell if the GEL does anything, it is there to help mitigate shock and vibration through your stride.
The midsole is finished off with an outsole of AHAR® (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) that feels smooth underfoot while maintaining a high level of traction.
Following the lead of the midsole, the engineered mesh upper of the GEL-Kayano 27 is soft and flexible over the toes and more structured in the heel. The puffy tongue and well-padded collar of the Kayano 27 add to the overall comfort. The mesh breathes well and the fit is solid. No heel lift even with a heel that has no give.Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – MEN Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – WOMEN
THOMAS: All this GEL and Trusstic, heel clutch, etc., starts to add up. My size 10.5 weighs 11.9 oz./339 grams. That’s not light. While we’ve seen ASICS start trending away from the multitude of technologies in its shoes, the GEL-Kayano 27 still retains a good amount of “stuff.” Hopefully, we will see a “Lite” treatment of the Kayano as we did with the GEL-Nimbus. The price point on the K27 is at $160, and while we’re getting used to higher-priced trainers, that isn’t chump change.Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – MEN Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – WOMEN
THOMAS: I said it at the start: If you are looking for a stability trainer, the GEL-Kayano 27 should be on your list to try. The shoe is a classic. When it comes to comfort the upper delivers, and the overall quality of the build is above average. I’d recommend the Kayano 27 to the runner that is looking for stability in a durable daily training shoe. Lace these up, bump some early 90’s West Coast hip-hop, and you’ll be doing all right.
*Usage of “the chronic” may vary by user, BITR neither endorses nor not endorses any participation in such activities.
You can pick up the ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 now for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – MEN Shop ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – WOMEN