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Road Running Shoes • May 28, 2021

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 Performance Review

~ asics gel-kayano 28 - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.9 oz. (309 g) for a US M9.0
  • 3D Space Construction provides a personalized fit for both men and women
  • Name a more iconic duo than ASICS and GEL
  • Call Elon! This FlyteFoam is about to Blast!

ALDREN: I don’t know about anyone else, but I rely on a lot of consistency in my life. Whether it’s school, work, or relationships, any change to my day-to-day life forces me into a gut-wrenching anxiety attack.

This may come as a shocker, but I have been going through the wringer lately. With a small sense of security in my life, one thing has kept me stable this spring – the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28. The staple in the ASICS stability stable, this newest version has been fully revamped from heel to toe and I am all for it. With a much more flexible forefoot, locked-in heel counter, and FlyteFoam Blast midsole, the GEL-Kayano 28 has a working capacity ranging from the high-mileage runner to the Wellness Wednesday walker.

asics gel-kayano 28 - below

The Good

ALDREN: As I mentioned, I’m in major need of a hug. And while physical contact makes me very uncomfortable (even before COVID times), the secure sensation that the GEL-Kayano 28 provides is the next best thing. After a glowing update in the GEL-Kayano 27, ASICS improved on an already reliable stability trainer. 

ASICS cleaned up the upper in this update. From the TPU heel counter, to the midsole, the GEL-Kayano 28 looks a lot more sleek. Instead of a motion control brick on your foot, this legendary stability trainer feels a lot more like a running shoe. 

With this iteration, the biggest change has to be the midsole. In 2020, we saw the introduction of FlyteFoam Blast in the Novablast v1: arguably the most unstable, yet bouncy daily trainer in the running scene. FlyteFoam Blast has replaced the FlyteFoam Propel in the midfoot of the Kayano to create a more soft and flexible stride. Along with the DynamicDuomax found in the rearfoot, a firmer EVA to create a post-like stability, and ASICS’s iconic GEL molded into the heel and forefoot, the GEL-Kayano 28 is a top cushioned stability trainer comparable to the Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 and Saucony Hurricane 23. ASICS has also kept the Trusstic System. However, instead of layering it on the bottom of the midfoot, ASICS has sandwiched in between the two different midsoles. We’re looking at a 10 mm offset (23/13) for the men’s and a 12 mm offset (25/12) for the women’s. 

The last major update is the lowered TPU heel counter. This reduces the amount of over-structure in the shoe without downgrading the stability. Finishing off the underfoot feel, you will find full rubber coverage of AHAR+, ASICS’s high abrasion rubber that applies a ton of grip to the ground. 

Taking a look at the upper, ASICS has introduced the 3D Space Construction: a gender-specific biomechanical tuning within the formation of the shoe. I can’t speak for the female side, but the GEL-Kayano 28 retains a snug, yet balanced feel. ASICS is pretty well known to have a thicker liner around the heel and tongue, and all this allows for a softer feel around your feet.

Shop Kayano 28 – Men Shop Kayano 28 – Women asics gel-kayano 28 - tongue

The Bad

ALDREN: Since ASICS did trim the GEL-Kayano 28, there is a lot less lateral platform from a bird’s eye view. This means that there is less ground contact when your foot impacts the road. A much wider base has been more prevalent in stability shoes as seen in the ASICS Kayano Lite and HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5. Even the ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 had a slightly wider base. Bring that back please. I appreciated the detail.

Other than that, I enjoyed almost every mile in this and I am gearing up to get more in.

Shop Kayano 28 – Men Shop Kayano 28 – Women asics gel-kayano 28 - outsole

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 Conclusion

ALDREN: I didn’t fall in love with the GEL-Kayano 28 in my first run (granted, I’ve been dealing with some plantar issues so my feet are inflamed). However, the more mileage I got in this stability trainer, the more I began to appreciate that stable platform and flexible midsole. It applies enough cushion for recovery runs without feeling like there’s a lot between your foot and the ground. If you ran in last year’s version, I can guarantee you will love this update. 

You can pick up the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 June 1st at $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Kayano 28 – Men Shop Kayano 28 – Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. bill says:

    I was hoping you would say you disliked the Kayano 27 because i have one and hate it. The GT 2000v8 is a much better shoe than the Kayano 27. So you have me wondering – is the ASICS GT 2000v9 a better shoe than the Kayano28? The plot thickens…

      1. Bill says:

        I wanted to see if I got that profile picture too if I was called Bill.

  2. Aldren Biala says:

    I’ve rarely ever come across a shoe I “dislike” but the Kayano 27 was still pretty reliable. Especially since it was a major update just fit wise from the 26. The Kayano 28 has updated to appeal to more modern runners but keeping the necessary amount of stability for those who have been in the same shoe for the past 28 years. It all also comes down to personal preference and I at the end of the day prefer a squishier shoe as you can see in the Top Stability Trainers

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