Compared to the competition of running shoes for men, the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is a durable and supportive shoe that provides a stable platform ideal for longer runs. This model offers a substantially firm yet reasonably responsive cushioning, though some may find the 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and stiffness a little overly built and sluggish. Although we wish these features came at a slightly lower cost and weight, this well-built running shoe has durable materials and it will work great for fans of Asics or those wanting a stable and supportive feel. We also appreciate this classic design is still a desirable model in the running community.Editor's Note: We updated this individual gear review on March 6, 2022, to include new elements and information to assist your decision-making.
Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable upper
Cons: Heavier, expensive, some may find this model is overbuilt
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Asics Gel-Kayano 28
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|Pros||Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable upper||Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight||Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper||Responsive, light, fast affordable||Responsive cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, durable|
|Cons||Heavier, expensive, some may find this model is overbuilt||Minimal support and stability||Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole||Minimal support, lacks cushioning, lacks outsole rubber||Loose heel cup, support under heel lacking|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable upper blended with a durable outsole that emphasizes stability and durability||Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper||These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upper||A model that makes you feel quick, fast, and light that provides maximum energy transfer and forward-momentum||A rockered design with responsive cushioning keeps legs feeling powerful and fresh into longer efforts|
|Rating Categories||Asics Gel-Kayano 28||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 4||Saucony Kinvara 12||New Balance Fresh F...|
|Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (20%)|
|Lateral Stability and Support (15%)|
|Specs||Asics Gel-Kayano 28||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 4||Saucony Kinvara 12||New Balance Fresh F...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 9.5)||11.1 oz.||8.3 oz.||8.1 oz.||7.7 oz.||9.4 oz.|
|Heel to Toe Drop||10 mm||8 mm||5 mm||4 mm||8 mm|
|Midsole Material||FLYTEFOAM||PWRRUN||PROFLY||PWRRUN||Fresh Foam|
|Sole Rubber||AHAR||XT-900||Rubberized EVA||Foam with rubber inserts||Ortholite|
|Upper Material||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Mesh||Synthetic, mesh|
|Width Options||Normale, wide, extra wide||Normal||Normal||Normal, wide||Narrow, normal, wide, extra wide|
|Sizes Available||6 - 16||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15||6 - 20|
Our Analysis and Test Results
After testing this model in our men's running shoe review, we were impressed with its overall support and stability. Its firm but ample cushioning creates stable ground contact while maintaining relatively good responsiveness. Asics did a great job choosing durable materials that give us more confidence that this shoe may last longer than some lightweight trainers in today's market.
This model is fairly pricey, but it comes in a unique aesthetic and has some cool features, such as a gel cushioning that helps balance out the overall stiffer platform. The shoe felt slightly overbuilt on faster runs, and we wished there was less rigidity at times. Overall, we think this shoe will be great for those looking for a classic design with tons of support and stability.
Cushioning and Landing Comfort
Cushioning is firm but substantial and leads to a feeling of stability and support through the heel and midfoot. There is a bit more give in the forefoot, which helps initiate good energy return into the next footstrike. Often the cushioning felt a bit stiff and rigid, and we wouldn't mind loosening it up to feel slightly more flexible through the midfoot.
Landing comfort sometimes felt a bit rigid for our preference, but we realize that some may enjoy this feature. Each footstrike felt well-grounded and precise and had a supportive stiffness through the heel and up into the knees. Users who want a bit more rigidity should find their landings supported and comfortable. Asics claims that this design will work well for users who overpronate.
The Kayano 28 has moderate responsiveness for a more traditionally designed shoe but lacks the springy response found in some of the other trainers in today's market. This contender is definitely a more classic design, and those hesitant to step into today's trends should find this model familiar.
Due to the overall rigidity and higher heel drop, there is less ground feel, and we sometimes wished our calves and Achilles tendons were more engaged. Luckily, this shoe is still fairly lightweight, given all the heavy-duty features.
This upper is made from durable but comfortable materials, which we enjoyed for its classic feel. We experienced no blisters or hotspots and had a great experience through long runs. Like other portions of this shoe, we sometimes felt the materials were slightly overbuilt. If these were reduced, the upper might be a bit more formfitting, which we prefer. Due to these materials, the shoe is less breathable and takes longer to dry than other lighter models we have tested.
The Kayano has substantial heel and arch support thanks to the Ortholite Last and redesigned external heel. As with the rest of the design, we think this is a great upper for those that prioritize durability, stability, and overall comfort.
Lateral Stability and Support
Excelling in this category, we were impressed with the Kayano's amount of lateral stability and support. We think this is the defining feature of this model and would recommend it to anyone with pronation problems. With a more traditional 10-millimeter drop, there isn't a ton of ground feel and sensitivity, but this helps keep the heel planted and reduces stress through the lower legs and knees.
Coming in at 11.1 ounces in a men's size 9.5, this shoe is a bit on the heavier side compared to the rest of the lineup. Due to the more substantial materials and stability features, this shoe will always tend to be heavier than many of today's all-around trainers that emphasize lightweight springiness and flexibility. We think the added weight certainly comes with some tangible benefits, though, like the durable upper and outsole and overall supportive feel. If support and stability are your priorities, we do not think the weight is something to be concerned about.
Should You Buy the Asics Gel-Kayano 28?
Great stability and support help round out a very classic design. Users searching for a shoe with a more substantial and supportive feel and the associated durability should give this shoe a serious look. The upper is comfortable, snug, and well designed. Some users may find some of the added features on this model to be a bit overkill, but those users that have pronation issues or need the stability could end up loving this shoe. If you're a fan of Asics shoes and you are interested in updating, we do not think you'll be disappointed.
What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?
The award-winning Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 is worth considering. This shoe has an overall high score compared to the competition, thanks to its responsive cushioning, breathable upper, and lightweight design. We think it's a well-rounded option for various running endeavors.
— Matthew Richardson
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