Reviews You Can Rely On

Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Review

A very comfortable stability shoe that works for neutral runners as well
gearlab tested logo
Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Review
Credit: Asics
Price:  $160 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Asics
By Nathaniel Bailey ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 25
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 4.0
  • Stability - 20% 9.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 3.1

Our Verdict

The most stable option in our lineup, the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 packs a thick chunk of cushioning with modern stability features that are nothing like the stability shoes of the past. Some neutral runners might enjoy the lateral stability that this shoe brings, and the comfortable upper makes it a good choice for longer runs. We wish it was a bit more responsive, but think this would be a good choice for many runners looking for a supportive daily trainer. All that cush does come with a weight penalty: this is the heaviest shoe in our current lineup.
REASONS TO BUY
Very stable
Good cushioning
Comfortable upper
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Unresponsive

Compare to Similar Products

 
asics gel-kayano 30
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $160 List
$119.95 at Amazon
$139.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$169.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$140 List
$139.99 at Amazon
$135 List
$135.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
58
73
73
70
68
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line Comfortable stability in a friendly package, ideal for those in need of a daily trainerA daily trainer that can handle most runs, the Novablast 4 is fun and extremely comfortableAn all-around standout that can handle easy days as comfortably as hard workoutsBouncy, responsive and well-cushioned, this shoe is performance-oriented but still versatileA daily trainer that blends comfort and versatility at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Asics Novablast 4 Saucony Endorphin S... New Balance FuelCel... Puma Velocity Nitro 3
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
6.0
8.3
8.0
8.5
8.0
Responsiveness (25%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
7.5
7.0
Stability (20%)
9.0
7.0
5.7
4.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.5
6.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
3.1
5.9
7.1
8.8
5.3
Specs Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Asics Novablast 4 Saucony Endorphin S... New Balance FuelCel... Puma Velocity Nitro 3
Sizes Available 6 - 16 US, regular & wide 6 - 15 US, regular 7-15 US, regular 7-16 US, regular & wide 7 - 14 US, regular
Style Stability Daily/cushioning Plated daily Daily Daily
Measured Heel Stack Height 40 mm 43 mm 38 mm 36 mm 39 mm
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 10 mm 7 mm 6 mm 5 mm 10 mm
Plate Type None None Nylon None None
Rocker Angle 22.0 deg 22.5 deg 25.0 deg 19.5 deg 18.0 deg
Rocker Apex Location 70.75% 66.53% 67.74% 62.18% 66.67%
Measured Weight 11.45 oz 9.76 oz 9.73 oz 7.98 oz 10.07 oz
Upper Stretch knit Engineered woven/knit Engineered mesh/knit Engineered mesh Engineered knit
Midsole FF Blast + Eco FF Blast + Eco PWRRUN PB FuelCell Profoam
Outsole AHARPLUS rubber AHAR Lo Rubber Rubber PumaGrip
Heel Tab Type None Finger loop None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

For a long time, stability shoes relied on stiff medial posting and other now archaic approaches to stop the natural movement of “over-pronators.” In keeping with improving guidance on running mechanics and movement, the Gel-Kayano 30 has shifted towards providing both lateral stability and medial stability through less-intrusive approaches. We love that.

Performance Comparison


asics gel-kayano 30 - the gel-kayano 30 provides good stability that can be enjoyed by a...
The Gel-Kayano 30 provides good stability that can be enjoyed by a wide range of runners.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


With 40mm of FF Blast + Eco under the heel and 30mm under the front, the Gel-Kayano 30 is clearly a maximally cushioned stability shoe. A lot of stability shoes in the past have been overly firm, but not this one. While the foam feels firmer than some others, it still feels smooth and absorbs impacts very well.

The wide landing base and heel bevel of the Kayano provide a smooth impact that supports the foot without intrusively forcing it to roll forward. The side walls along the midfoot aid in that endeavor, but don't cause cramping.

We found the forefoot cushioning to be solid, and didn't have any issues with rock strikes or bottoming out. Really, the Kayano performed extremely well in this category, especially for a stability-oriented shoe. Typically, we don't enjoy long runs in this type of shoe because they tend to be overly stiff and firm on landing. There were no such issues here.

asics gel-kayano 30 - the kayano 30 doesn't shy away from a thick stack of well-designed...
The Kayano 30 doesn't shy away from a thick stack of well-designed cushioning.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Responsiveness


As you'd expect from a stability oriented, well-cushioned shoe, the Kayano isn't responsive. This is a great daily trainer, perfect for logging miles at up to about marathon pace. Still, while it can handle threshold efforts, we prefer something with a little pop. We love how good (and unintrusive) the stability features are on this shoe, but we think a bit more rocker would do wonders to give this shoe better responsiveness. It's not bad, but it's not an inspiring ride either.

We'd like a bit more pop out of the Kayano, but for an easy-day shoe, it's great.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

Stability


The stability features are impressive on this shoe. Asics new 4D Guidance System follows current best practices on motion guidance, and gives the Kayano a very approachable fit and feel while also allowing for significant lateral and medial support.

The extremely wide base provides plenty of stability, while the foam formulation under the arch gives good support without feeling unnatural. For that reason, we think this is a shoe that many neutral runners would enjoy, particularly over the course of a long run when fatigue sets in, and mechanics start to break down. We enjoyed it on our easy days, when our legs were beat and the help in maintaining good mechanics was appreciated.

asics gel-kayano 30 - the wide base provides a lot of lateral stability.
The wide base provides a lot of lateral stability.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

Upper Comfort


The Kayano 30 has a simple and plush upper with a lot to love. The mesh does well during hot days, breathing easily and leaving the feet relatively dry. The tongue is lightly padded and prevents rubbing from the laces. The material around the heel cup is soft and prevents abrasions. We found the toe-box to have enough room to allow our foot ro relax, but not enough that we were sliding around. Lockdown is excellent from toe to heel.

asics gel-kayano 30 - the upper is plush and breathable. we found it to be very supportive...
The upper is plush and breathable. We found it to be very supportive as well.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

Weight


Unfortunately, this is the heaviest shoe in our test. While it's comfortable and cushioned, we think a little weight reduction would go a long way in improving how responsive the shoe feels. The Kayano 30 weighs 11.45 ounces per shoe for a men's size 10.5, which actually didn't feel all that heavy until we started to pick up the pace. Still, that's not an insignificant amount of weight to be lugging around.

asics gel-kayano 30 - the tradeoff of the thicker cushioning and other features is a...
The tradeoff of the thicker cushioning and other features is a pretty hefty shoe.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Should You Buy the Asics Gel-Kayano 30?


If you're a runner seeking stability and are okay sacrificing some responsiveness for support, this is a good pick. We think some neutral runners will enjoy it; the Kayano is a genuinely good shoe, not just a responsive shoe. While we'd love to see some weight reduction and a bit more pop, it will work well for many runners as a daily trainer.

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is another stability shoe that provides good support. We think it's a better all-around shoe, but slightly less comfortable than the Kayano. If you're comfortable without the stability-focused design, the Hoka Clifton 9 provides a wide base and ample cushioning that makes it feel very stable.

Nathaniel Bailey