Asics Gel Kayano 29 Review (2023): Top Pick for Stability?
Published on: 08/25/2022The Asics Gel Kayano 29 is a convincing update to one of the most popular stability shoes. It keeps the stellar support of previous iterations while being more lightweight and responsive.
Discover the latest version in the Kayano line: Asics Gel Kayano 30.
A very good upgrade to the Kayano collection, version 29 is lighter and more responsive shoe while staying as supportive as ever!
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The new Asics Gel Kayano 29 is lighter, softer, and bouncier than its predecessor, setting its sights on competing with the Asics Gel Nimbus range in terms of go-to road running shoes for all types of runners.
Initially designed for overpronators (whose heel rolls inward, pronates excessively, transferring weight to the inside of the center of gravity), the Kayano 29 gives a lot of support through the heel and midfoot. However, it’s also highly comfortable for neutral runners, who will appreciate its softer-than-ever FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS cushioning. 19% lighter than the Kayano 28, the cushioning doesn’t weigh down the Gel Kayano 29, allowing it to be fun and responsive.
The shoe features a redesigned external heel counter and an Engineered Knit upper, contributing to a better fit than ever for the range. Produced sustainably, the Kayano 29 is made in large part with recyclable materials and aims to be an eco-conscious, effective and enjoyable road running shoe for everyone.
Please read our full review of the Asics Gel Kayano 29 for more information.
- Enhanced responsiveness and bounce;
- A bit lighter than previous models;
- Great cushioning for long distances;
- Supportive and well fitting.
- Above midrange in price;
- Very hot / lack breathability.
Asics Gel Kayano 29 Complete Review Analysis
The Asics Gel Kayano, just like all the Gel collections from the brand, has a great reputation for comfort and cushioning on the road. Furthermore, the Kayano line has been designed with overpronators in mind. So it’s ideal as a lightweight stability shoe that you can use almost daily. With a few subtle improvements to make it lighter and bouncier, the Gel Kayano 29 will appeal to a large variety of runners and can become a go-to road training shoe for most.
So, how does the new stability technology deployed by Asics measure up against previous versions? Does the enhanced cushioning help give the Kayano 29 enough lightweight impact absorption to score points with runners looking for a bit more bounce? And should you get the new model if you are an overpronator looking for stability shoes?
Read on to find out all the answers and more information about the new Asics Gel Kayano 29.
The Asics Gel Kayano 28 featured a midsole called FLYTEFOAM BLAST, which is soft and comfortable for road runners. In the 29th model, Asics have upgraded this to FF BLAST PLUS cushioning, which they call their “softest midsole ever.” But extra cushioning doesn’t mean more weight: the new midsole is 19% lighter than its predecessor, and the shoe overall is 4% lighter than the Kayano 28.
It’s now 10.5 oz/299 g for men’s and 9.5 g/275 g for women’s.
What does this mean for comfort and shock absorption? With the addition of LITETRUSS foam, a firmer material that supports the inside of the shoe, Asics have combined a soft landing with some durable and responsive feel underfoot. This leads to a good level of shock absorption without sacrificing support and stability for overpronators.
Another change from the 28 is the new stack height. It’s increased from 23 mm in the heel for the men’s version to 25 mm in the Gel Kayano 29. This hasn’t affected the heel-to-toe drop, which stays at 10 mm, making it a very supportive shoe that’s easy for beginner runners to wear for anything from speed workouts to long runs.
The Asics Gel Kayano 29 looks and feels less bulky than its predecessor. This is possible thanks to new technologies making the shoe lightweight and still keeping the foot stable and running fun. The more energized rebound in the new model can be attributed to the solid rocker that gives you forward propulsion. This is also enhanced by a 3D SPACE construction feature in the heel.
Foot lockdown (upper)
For the Gel Kayano 29, Asics use a mesh upper meant to improve the overall fit, moving with the feet so that it adapts to your gait cycle and the inevitable foot swelling that occurs in the heat or over longer distances.
This technology, called Engineered Stretch Knit, is also made from at least 50% recycled materials. That’s great to see from a big brand like Asics, although the shoe is not yet carbon-neutral. While the precision fit is excellent, some runners report the upper to be a little tight. Luckily, the Gel Kayano 29 also comes in Wide Fit, which should be your choice if you know you usually buy shoes for wider feet.
Finally, the consensus around breathability is not favorable. The upper is great at keeping your feet “locked in” the shoes. However, it feels thicker and warmer than other road running shoes. So, although the Engineered Knit upper scores points for stability and foot lockdown, you should test it in warm weather to see if it doesn’t cause your feet to run too hot.
Grip and durability (outsole)
Asics continues to improve its GEL technology cushioning with every new shoe in the Gel range. It contributes to keeping the new Kayano 29 shoe lightweight while creating a fun ride. But how durable is this shoe, and how is its grip in various types of weather?
The outsole durability has been tested by a few runners, who all rave about how the shoe looks after many miles. It promises at least 500 miles on the road, which would be great for any comfortable running shoe.
The AHAR+ outsole also has a decent grip on wet pavement. Moreover, the LITETRUSS foam and construction design have been deployed to increase stability. It also creates an efficient toe-off that adds that extra bounce we’ve already mentioned. The flexibility improves slightly with each new model. Asics seems to be on the way to redesigning the Kayano line for the better.
When we reviewed the Asics Gel Kayano 28, we remarked that its classic reputation rested on it being a reliable, “nothing special” shoe that continued to be relatively clunky. The Kayano 29 does a giant leap forward, offering stable and energized running and improving massively on flexibility and bounce. In other words, this is not your dad’s Kayano anymore – it’s a shoe built to attract a wide range of runners and delivers a fun and much-improved ride.
The toe-off has been enhanced with Asics’ LITETRUSS technology, giving the shoe a rocker feel that pushes you forward. The medial support and midfoot integrity of the Kayano 29 help overpronators stay stable, while neutral runners will find a decently supportive ride.
Cushioning is excellent on the Kayano 29, thanks to the lighter but softer new FF BLAST PLUS foam. Finally, the redesigned external heel counter adds even more stability for the foot upon landing, which is a big plus for neutral and overpronating runners.
Although there’s little scientific evidence to be certain, the Asics Gel Kayano 29 could potentially be helpful for long-distance road runners looking to avoid common injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and other issues.
They are also ideal for those looking for everyday training shoes with a more responsive feel underfoot than you average stability model. But don’t wear them on very hot days, or you’ll feel the heat from the shoe’s main upper material not allowing enough breathability!
Overall, Asics has made impressive improvements in weight, feel, and responsive rebound for the 29th iteration of the Gel Kayano. The new stability shoes are closer than previous models to neutral runners but will still provide a stable running experience for overpronators (as the Kayano range was designed to do).
Thanks to incredible new tech, including the FF BLAST PLUS cushioning and the LITETRUSS design, the Asics Gel Kayano 29 provides a stable ride that also gives you a little bounce. Using a good proportion of recycled materials shows the brand’s commitment to reducing waste and carbon emissions, which will also be good news for more eco-conscious runners.
|Heel height||25 mm|
|Forefoot height||15 mm|
|Weight (men)||299 g/10.5 oz|
|Weight (women)||275 g/9.7 oz|
|Features||Wide feet, Heavy runner, Recycled materials, Eco-friendly|
|Outsole||ASICS High-Abrasion Rubber (AHAR)|
|Midsole||FF BLAST PLUS|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Reference: Asics's official site
Comparisons – Asics Gel Kayano 29 vs.:
Asics Gel Kayano 28
Upgrading to the Kayano 29 will give you a pretty different experience. Not only is the new Asics Kayano a more lightweight, bouncier, and fun stability shoe than its predecessor, but you can tell that Asics is looking to redesign the popular range to appeal to a wider audience.
The Gel Kayano 29 is the brand’s dedicated shoe for overpronators. Still, it’s streamlined and responsive enough to suit any runner looking for a stable and energized running experience – from shorter to longer workouts.