ALDREN: All I can think of is how my body has been on cruise control for the past few months. Throwback to last June when I hit 7 miles a week to the next month, ramping it up to 60. No significant injuries, the pain only I’ve been feeling has been mental, and all my runs thus far have been more or less pretty chill. For that entire time, I’ve had the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 with me.
Last year, ASICS altered one of the most legendary stability shoes in running history. The Kayano Lite took a modern take on the traditional type of stability while still providing a balanced ride. Updating to the GEL-Kayano Lite 2, a lot of the same technology is returning to the second version. A much wider base, FlyteFoam Lite midsole, recycled upper — basically the same shoe as last year with some minor tweaks. But that doesn’t mean I’m upset with a re-release of the same shoe. As long as it gets me through the runs, I’ll be satisfied.
ALDREN: The GEL-Kayano Lite 2 is no longer just a stripped-down version of the Kayano 28. Now, it offers its own style while retaining the Kayano legacy. It does continue to have a more eco-friendly touch that ASICS has pledged to continue in all their running shoes. The GEL-Kayano Lite 2 is made with an upper consisting of more than 60% of recycled material, and the primary material of the shoe is around 30-50% recycled material. This, along with the Nimbus Lite 2, is leading the way in sustainability in daily trainers.
My favorite part about the first iteration of the Kayano Lite was the midsole. Unlike the Gel-Kayano 28, the FlyteFoam Lite doesn’t have the softest ride. Instead, it provides a much smoother roll, somewhat similar to the HOKA Arahi 5. The wider base allows for an even distribution of pressure when going through my stride. The larger surface area creates the non-intrusive type of stability in the Kayano Lite 2. Without the need for any medial posting or guide rail, the geometry of the GEL-Kayano Lite 2 prohibits my feet from overpronation. There’s no major pop or energy return when landing, but pair this up with the GT-2000 10, and you’ll have a solid ASICS rotation.
The upper provides the typical ASICS fit. The Kayano Lite 2 runs snug from heel to toe, and at around 100 miles in the Kayano Lite 2, the upper has retained that security. The Kayano Lite 2 also provides a softer step-in feel due to the softer liner around the heel and tongue. There is no gusseted tongue, but ASICS added a reflective strip on the tongue to allow for a better lockdown. They’ve also added slightly more infusing around the toe box so that the forefoot doesn’t overstretch.Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Men Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Women
ALDREN: For a short answer, this shoe gets hot — like, really hot. While I don’t mind a black shoe, personally it feels like it attracts a ton of heat. The GEL-Kayano Lite 2 has two major hot spots. The entire sole of my foot felt like it was slowly getting baked on my afternoon runs.
The other major hotspot was around the toe box. Since there’s more infusion around the upper, the narrow forefoot area kept my toes crammed. Sure this pain went away eventually but it’s still a bother.Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Men Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Women
ALDREN: One of my favorite shoes from last year has returned without too many changes. The Lite series continues to be at the forefront of innovation with ASICS, and anyone that needs a touch of stability in their life should check out the GEL-Kayano Lite 2. Without needing a firmer post on the medial side, this shoe still provides a stable ride.
I recommend this shoe for someone looking to get into running and isn’t certain about what they need. The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 is that solid daily trainer that can handle various paces at all distances.
You can pick up the ASICS Kayano Lite 2 for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Men Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Women