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Asics Gel Kayano 29 Performance Review

Asics Gel Kayano 29

The Asics Gel Kayano 29 is the latest addition to the year of Asics (unofficially). Asics Running is operating at an extremely high level in 2022. From it’s super bouncy marathon racing shoe the Metaspeed Sky+ to the plush daily trainer Gel Nimbus 24, Asics released a bunch of hits (and spoiler alert…more are on the way).

I’m talking about the type of shoes where readers DM to tell me how much they love them. I’ve gotten a lot of thank yous for my Asics reviews this year. Which is why I’ve started calling this the year of Asics. But no year at Asics would be complete without a Kayano release.

For most people, it’s the Asics shoe they know best. That’s understandable considering it’s been around 29 years. For those that need extra stability, it’s a reliable running shoe they’ve likely turned to many times over the years. This year, Asics tweaked the Kayano in several ways. Is the new Asics Gel Kayano 29 an overall improvement and one of the better stability shoes on the market? Let’s find out.

Asics Gel Kayano 29

Release Date: August 2022

Price: $160

Weight: M 10.5oz, W 9.5oz

Drop: 10mm (15mm forefoot, 25mm heel)

Sizing: True to size

Buy Men's at id4Shoes Buy Women's at id4Shoes
  • Rundown: The Asics Gel Kayano 29 is a comfortable, reliable, and super stable daily running shoe. Just know the cushion takes time to break in.

Pros

  • Comfortable Upper
  • Outsole
  • Stability

Cons

  • Cushion Break In Time
Asics Gel Kayano 29 Outsole

Pros

Comfortable Upper

Following in the footsteps of the Gel Nimbus Lite 3 and various other Asics models this year, the upper is soft, comfy, and well-padded. It’s an engineered stretch knit that Asics used on several other models as well. In each review, we’ve mentioned those uppers’ comfort. Whoever at Asics chose to use this fabric across multiple models deserves a raise. I have to imagine they’re selling a bunch of shoes in stores just based on try on comfort.

Putting on the Asics Gel Kayano 29, you’ll sink into the heel collar’s foam and feel the thick, padded tongue mold to the top of your foot. The sides of the upper softly hug the foot so you feel supported but have the wiggle room a good running shoe needs. And while the regular Kayano 29 isn’t wide, wide footers shouldn’t worry…the Kayano 29 is available in regular, 2E, and 4E widths (links below). Asics took care of the wide footers with the Kayano.

Outsole

Like the outsole on the Gel Nimbus 24 and Gel Nimbus Lite 3, this Ahar+ outsole hardly shows wear. Look at the picture above. If not for the dirt you’d wonder if I’d run in them at all. Asics outsole durability continues to be impressive.

But, where the Asics Gel Kayano 29 outsole outshines the Nimbus line is the wet traction. Mud and mildew were no match for the Kayano 29. It just powered through. Pairing this kind of traction with the Kayano’s stability system means sure footed landings every time.

Stability

Speaking of stability, the Asics Gel Kayano 29 uses Asics’ LITETRUSS system. It’s a stiffer foam at the heel and midfoot sculpted in a way that guides the foot through a more efficient toe strike. With the way it’s implemented, especially on the medial side of the foot, overpronators get the help they need.

For those that don’t need the extra stability, the LITETRUSS system won’t affect your mechanics. However, you’ll get a better, plusher experience going with the Gel Nimbus 24. Instead of a stability post you’ll get more FF Blast+ in heel to cushion your landings. Keep that in mind if you prefer neutral shoes.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Lite Truss System

Cons

Cushion Break In Time

Let me just say that I love FF Blast+. The layer of FF Blast+ is what makes the Asics Glideride 3 one of my favorite shoes of the year. But, the FF Blast+ implementation in the Asics Gel Kayano 29, especially when paired with the LITETRUSS at the rear end, just takes extra time to soften up. Whereas most Asics shoes are super soft right out of the box, the Gel Kayano 29 takes a few runs to start feeling plush.

This shouldn’t be a big problem for those that need the stability the Kayano 29 offers. I wanted to mention it in case you feel a little jipped after that first run…I know I did. If you keep running in them, the cushion breaks in nicely and feels plush upfront. Will it ever be as plush as the Nimbus line? No. Though the shoes feature similar stack heights, you’re trading some of that sweet FF Blast+ foam for stability features. That has a negative effect on overall cushioning.

It’s not a dealbreaker, but something to remember as you slip the Kayano 29 on for those first few runs.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Materials

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Summary

The Asics Gel Kayano 29 is the flagship Asics stability shoe and it delivers just that, top of class stability features. On top of the impressive stability, you get an extremely comfortable upper and an outsole that’s going to last as long as you need it to. Just remember that the cushion needs some break in time so the FF Blast+ can liven up and the LITETRUSS material can better mold to your feet.

8/10
Total Score

Pros

  • Comfortable Upper
  • Outsole
  • Stability

Cons

  • Cushion Break In Time

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