ASICS GEL KAYANO 26 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | JUNE 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Asics GEL Kayano 26?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Asics GEL Kayano 26
- About the Author
The Asics Gel Kayano is a tried and trusted style, a cornerstone in running shoes for those runners who over-pronate. The most recent edition has three key updates keeping this classic shoe at the front of the running game!
Our guest reviewer Brian Metzler, takes a run in the latest release and shares his thoughts on the Asics Gel Kayano 26.
The top-of-the-line GEL Kayano continues to take runners to their running goals with comfort, style and support.
Now in its 26th edition of the ASICS GEL Kayano, this tried and true high-mileage training shoe remains one of the best-selling shoes on the market and one of the most comfortable and secure.
WHAT'S NEW: ASICS GEL KAYANO 26
The new Asics GEL Kayano 26 has been overhauled with three major changes to create a softer, more comfortable experience.
First: The rearfoot GEL cushioning capsule has a more aggressively sculpted shape to improve shock attenuation. Second: ASICS has added lighter midsole foams in the heel for a springier sensation when the foot hits the ground. Third: The cushy EVA sockliner has been countered for an improved underfoot fit and feel.
The ASICS GEL Kayano has long been one of the best-fitting and most comfortable everyday running shoes for overpronating runners with low to flat arches.
With a padded interior, soft, wide tongue and new sculpted footbed, the fit of the ASICS GEL Kayano 26 is better than ever for narrow to medium-width feet. (Additional widths are available for runners with wider feet.)
The GEL Kayano 26 feels luxuriously comfortable at first step-in and after several miles out on a run. The dual-density midsole offers ample cushioning, responsiveness and stability for long runs, as well as moderately fast tempo runs and interval sessions.
The ride is extremely stable and secure, but not at the expense of being overly controlling or inflexible as can be a tendency in supportive running styles.
The 26th edition of the Kayano is also great for durability. The outsole features high-abrasion carbon rubber in the heel for durability and a lighter, blown rubber compound in the forefoot for responsive cushioning, agility and flexibility.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
The ASICS GEL Kayano 26 is a perfect choice for mid- to high-mileage runners who appreciate a plush feel, soft cushioning and are looking for reliable support. The inherent stability of the Kayano 26 comes from ASICS’s Guidance Trusstic System under and a contoured, a sturdy heel counter and dual-density midsole that helps mitigate excessive torsional rotation. For this reason the ASICS GEL Kayano has always been a key style for over-pronators.
Although it lacks top-end speed, the ASICS GEL Kayano 26 can serve as an ideal every day shoe for training or racing from 10K to the marathon.
PROS AND CONS OF THE ASICS GEL KAYANO 26
Pros: Asics GEL Kayano 26
Weight! The Kayano 26 is about a half-ounce lighter than the previous version, thanks to an updated jacquard mesh upper and Flytefoam Propel cushioning technology that have been added to this edition.
The upper is especially nice because it maintains its structure by adapting to the shape and volume of a runner’s foot throughout a stride.
The multifaceted cushioning in the Kayano 26 is where it shines. The midsole includes the combination of the largest GEL units of any ASICS stability shoe, a dual-density foam midsole and the newly enhanced sockliner.
Cons: Asics GEL Kayano 26
There’s not much not to like about the Kayano 26; it's continued popularity is proof of that. The biggest tradeoffs are that it’s a little bit heavier than some contemporary training shoes and it carries a higher price tag than many shoes.
However, those are small prices to pay if you need a stability shoe that's going to serve you and your training well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”