Asics Gel-Kayano 29 Review
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Asics Gel-Kayano 29
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$140.00 at REI
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$140.00 at REI
|Pros||Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable upper||Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight||Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper||Responsive, fast, lightweight, affordable||Stable, supportive, comfortable upper|
|Cons||Heavier, expensive, some may find this model is overbuilt||Minimal support and stability||Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole||Minimal support, lacks outsole rubber||Stiff, heavier, less breathable|
|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||This affordable ultralight model allows for maximum turnover which provides a snappy and quick feeling||If you're looking for a supportive and stable shoe with a comfortable upper, this is the model for you|
|Rating Categories||Asics Gel-Kayano 29||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (20%)|
|Lateral Stability and Support (15%)|
|Specs||Asics Gel-Kayano 29||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 9.5)||11.1 oz||8.3 oz||8.0 oz||7.3 oz||10.4 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||10 mm||8 mm||5 mm||4 mm||12 mm|
|Midsole Material||FF BLAST+||PWRRUN||PROFLY+||EVA||EVA|
|Sole Rubber||AHARPLUS||XT-900||Rubberized EVA||Rubber||Rubber|
|Upper Material||Engineered knit||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered Mesh||Mesh|
|Width Options||Normal||Normal||Normal||Normal||Normal, Wide|
|Sizes Available||6 - 16||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
After our testing period, it quickly became clear that the Asics Gel-Kayano 29 is one of the most traditionally-designed running shoes in today's market of high-tech materials and modern designs. We think it's smart that Asics re-designed the Kayano with a newer foam material that is slightly lighter weight and more compressible than previous versions while keeping the design familiar enough to those who don't need the latest trends in the market.
Runners who don't want or need added stability may find this model slightly too firm or rigid compared to some of today's softer foams. This model lacks the latest rockered sole trend that can help provide a more smooth transition to your forefoot when pushing off the ground. The upper is classic and comfortable, although we feel some weight could be saved by reducing the amount of material. However, it's clear that durability is still a priority, and this is a great option if you're looking for a durable daily trainer that's great for all-around use.
Cushioning and Landing Comfort
The cushioning has improved on the Kayano 29 over previous versions thanks due to a claimed lighter-weight foam that is a bit softer and more compressive than in the past. This foam has a slight give once pressure is applied to the footbed, but doesn't compress much beyond that, maintaining a firm, stable platform compared to other shoes in our review.
The landing comfort sometimes felt a bit rigid for our preference, but we realize that some may enjoy this feature. Each foot strike felt well-grounded and precise and had a supportive stiffness through the heel and up into the knees. Users who want or need a bit more rigidity in their shoes should find their landings well-supported and comfortable with the Kayano. Asics claims that this design will work well for runners who overpronate.
The Kayano 29 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 with this shoe, and we sometimes wished our calves and achilles tendons were more engaged. With its more traditional design, the Kayano tends to have a flatter ground feel compared to the trending rolling effect found on a lot of models today with rockered sole designs. Luckily, this shoe isn't prohibitively heavy even with the added durability.
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 Litetruss Construction. As with the rest of the design, we think this is a great upper for those that prioritize durability, stability, and overall comfort. If you are looking for all-day comfort, we would highly recommend this upper.
Lateral Stability and Support
Excelling in this category, we were impressed with the Kayano's 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 heel-to-toe 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. We noted that Asics claimed a 10-gram (0.35-ounce) weight savings when compared to the previous Kayano 28, but our test model showed no weight savings and still came in at the same 11.1 ounces.
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 this weight is something to be concerned about.
Should You Buy the Asics Gel-Kayano 29?
Great stability and support help round out a very classic design with the Kayano 29. 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 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 3 is worth considering as a great daily trainer. It has an overall high score compared to the competition, thanks to its responsive cushioning, breathable upper, and lightweight design. If you're looking for something with a fairly similar design to the Kayano, the Brooks Adrenaline 22 has excellent support and stability in a slightly lighter and more responsive design.
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