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Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Review

A comfortable upper blended with a durable outsole that puts an emphasis on stability and durability
Asics Gel-Kayano 28
Photo: Asics
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Price:  $160 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable upper
Cons:  Heavier, expensive, some may find this model is overbuilt
Manufacturer:   Asics
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 15, 2021
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 7
  • Responsiveness - 25% 4
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 6
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 4

Our Verdict

The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is a durable and supportive shoe that provides a stable platform ideal for longer runs. This model provides a substantial firm but reasonably responsive cushioning, though some may find the 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and stiffness a little overly built and sluggish. We wish these features came at a slightly lower cost and weight, but we recognize that this shoe is well built with durable materials. This will work great for fans of Asics and those wanting a stable and supportive feel. We also appreciate this classic design that is still a desirable model in the running community.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Asics Gel-Kayano 28
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
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$159.95 at Amazon
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Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
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Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable upperResponsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweightLightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upperResponsive, light, fast affordableResponsive cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, durable
Cons Heavier, expensive, some may find this model is overbuiltMinimal support and stabilityLess responsive, lacks rubber outsoleMinimal support, lacks cushioning, lacks outsole rubberLoose heel cup, support under heel lacking
Bottom Line A comfortable upper blended with a durable outsole that puts an emphasis on stability and durabilityExcellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upperThese lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upperA model that makes you feel quick, fast, and light that provides maximum energy transfer and forward momentumA 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%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
Responsiveness (25%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Upper Comfort (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Lateral Stability And Support (15%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Weight (15%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
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, we were impressed with its overall support and stability. Firm but ample cushioning creates stable ground contact while maintaining relatively good responsiveness. Asics did a great job of choosing durable materials that give us more confidence that this shoe may last longer than some of the 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. On faster runs, the shoe felt slightly overbuilt, and we wished there was less rigidity at times. This shoe will be great for those looking for a classic design with tons of support and stability.

Performance Comparison


High stability and support is provided in this classic model.
High stability and support is provided in this classic model.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

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.

Stable cushioning with a 10mm drop leads to comfortable footstrikes...
Stable cushioning with a 10mm drop leads to comfortable footstrikes that are easy on your lower leg muscles.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Landing comfort as well sometimes felt a bit rigid for our preference, but we do 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.

Responsiveness


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 is definitely a more classic design, and those that are hesitant to looking step into today's trends should find this model familiar.

While not as responsive as some of today's models with lighter...
While not as responsive as some of today's models with lighter, springier foam, the Kayano does a good job of blending stability and reponsiveness.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

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 still is fairly lightweight, given all of the heavy-duty features.

Upper Comfort


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's classic upper design that is well built and durable.
The Kayano's classic upper design that is well built and durable.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

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.

Durable outsole material with substantial arch support.
Durable outsole material with substantial arch support.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Weight


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.

Value


While we liked the Kayano 28, we feel that some of the materials and features could be scaled back a bit to provide a livelier feel by weighing less. This price may be a bit on the high side, given the overall weight, but if your priorities align with this model, we think you would be impressed with the value. If you are a fan of Asics shoes, you know they excel at providing great durability, and this model is no different.

Conclusion


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.

A classic refined model which will provide you with miles of...
A classic refined model which will provide you with miles of reliable stable running.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

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