8.8

Asics Gel Kayano 28

(1 user review)

$159.95


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The Asics Gel Kayano 28 is the star of comfort and support despite a bulky design.

8.8Overall score
A good support shoe that comes with an updated softer and more flexible design but remains heavy

Asics Gel Kayano 28 Review Analysis

The Kayano is one of the oldest shoe collections, and it's still kicking! While its clunky build is an oddity in 2021, the Asics superstar still enjoys a strong following among runners who like a sturdy and classic support trainer. If you run comfortably in neutral shoes, you can stop reading: the Kayano has nothing for you. If you need support, the Kayano may be a good option. Let's dive into it.

Cushioning and Ride

With this 28th version, the Kayano boasts a more modern and simpler configuration. The stability features (Trusstic plate, Dynamic DuoMax) are more discreet. The K28 relies more on ground contact rather than mechanical guidance to support the foot. It does this by using a wide and comfortable platform. According to testers, this approach is also noticeable underfoot with softer cushioning. Flexibility is also better under the forefoot for a snappier toe-off. This comfort level is even more surprising since the stack is not that high, with "only" 23 mm under the heel and 13 mm under the forefoot. Let's note that the cushioning is gender-specific with a higher heel stack height and lower forefoot stack height, which effectively translates into a higher drop. We would be curious to know why there's such a difference. Asics could certainly provide some data, but you can bet none of it would be from a good old randomized controlled trial. Anyway, we digress...

The midsole uses the brand's latest foam: FlyteFoam Blast. This new technology, more responsive and lighter, also equips the little carbon-plated gem of the brand, the Asics Metaspeed Sky. It replaces FlyteFoam Propel, which was getting old. While the cushioning is softer in terms of ride, some testers regret a decrease in bounce compared to the Kayano 27. Regardless, the K28 remains true to itself: it's a shoe that offers comfort and stability for long runs.

The foot support remains effective even if it's more discreet, according to users. Fans of the collection who are mainly looking for stability should be satisfied.

Foot Lockdown

The mesh upper gets the same treatment as the rest of the shoe with a more streamlined design. The famous exoskeleton (frame) is smaller and lighter even if the TPU heel clip that complements the heel counter remains prominent. However, despite this upgrade, the K28 remains heavy with 305 g/10.8 oz (so only 10 g/0.4 oz less than the previous model). Still, like other Asics running shoes, the Kayano 28 provides an impeccable and comfortable foot lockdown that also has the merit of being spacious to accommodate wider feet.

Grip and Durability

Finally, the outsole changes little and still features a good dose of sturdy high abrasion rubber (AHAR+) with a segmented design to combine flexibility, grip, and durability. Runners didn't have anything negative to report here, and you should even be able to venture out on easy dirt roads if you feel like it.

The Consensus

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 is the queen of support and delivers a classic, comfortable and stable ride for longer distances. As we said in the introduction, it's only relevant for athletes (beginners and experienced) looking for a reliable model with optimal support with its high price and heavy weight.
Comfort
9
Durability
9.5
Value for money
8
Design
8.5
PROS
  • Comfortable foot lockdown
  • Softer cushioning than before
  • Smooth ride overall
  • Effective and relatively discreet foot support
  • Improved design: simpler, less bulky
CONS
  • Heavy weight (over 300 g)
  • The cushioning is not very responsive despite the new FF Blast foam
  • Some testers noted that the medial support walls (DuoMax) were uncomfortable at times

Technologies

Asics Gel Kayano 28 front view

Outsole

Asics Gel Kayano 28 AHAR outsole

  • The outsole of the Asics Gel Kayano 28 uses AHAR+, a carbon rubber famous for its resilience to run on roads without the sole wearing out too quickly. It also delivers an effective grip, even on wet roads.

Midsole

  • The midsole of the Kayano 28 features the new Flytefoam Blast technology: a lightweight foam that disperses shocks and increases the rebound for a comfortable and responsive ride.
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System : a stability feature with medial sidewalls to guide the foot and avoid overpronation.
  • GEL: an Asics flagship technology that consists of silicon-based units that absorb impacts for plush landings. There’s on under the heel and another one under the forefoot.
  • Space Trusstic aims to guide the foot while improving the sturdiness of the midsole for better durability.
  • Impact Guidance System (IGS) claims to ajust the center of foot pressure upon landing to improve stability.

Upper

  • The Asics Gel Kayano 28 features an engineered mesh upper that gives a comfortable and secure foot lockdown while offering a good breeze, especially when you push yourself.
  • The Heel Clutch translates into a TPU clip that acts as a heel counter to comfortably hold the foot.

Asics Gel Kayano 28 review support running shoe

Model: Asics Gel Kayano 28

Facts
Terrain

Road

Heel to toe drop

10 mm

Heel stack height

23 mm

Forefoot stack height

13 mm

Pronation

Weight (men)

305 g/10.8 oz

Weight (women)

271 g/9.6 oz

Release year

2021

Cushioning
Bounce (1-5)

2 – Low

Softness (1-5)

4 – Soft

Use
Distance

10K, Half marathon, Mid distance, Marathon, Long distance

Speed

Slow, Moderate

Workout

Daily running

Comparisons – Asics Gel Kayano 28 vs:

Asics Gel Kayano 27

Overall, the 28 version is an improvement over the previous model. For example, the cushioning is softer and the platform more flexible. The use of FlyteFoam Blast improves the underfoot feel even though testers noted a decrease in bounce. Also, the K28 is a bit lighter and has a sleeker design with a smaller exoskeleton and more discreet stability features that are just as effective as in the past. See the side-by-side comparison.

Asics Gel Nimbus 23

See the side-by-side comparison with our comments.

Asics GT 2000 9

See the side-by-side comparison with our comments.

Photos: Asics Gel Kayano 28

FAQs

Does the Asics Gel Kayano 28 fit true to size?

Answer: Yes, this model fits true to size. Therefore, you can buy your usual size for running shoes. Nonetheless, if this your first pair of Asics, it’s better to test them in-store to be safe.

I have overpronation. Are these shoes good for me?

Answer: Yes, the Kayano 28 is a stability shoe, so it aims is to prevent excessive pronation. Nonetheless, there’s no scientific evidence that stability shoes are superior to neutral shoes to reduce the risk of injury, so it’s a matter of experimentation. If you feel like you need more support, you can give this shoe a try and see if it helps.

Is the Asics Gel Kayano 28 adapted for people who are heavy?

Answer: The Kayano 28’s stack is relatively thin despite appearances, with 23 mm under the heel and 13 mm under the metatarsals. Thus, it may not be suitable for everyone. Nonetheless, overall, the shoe offers good cushioning to support heavier runners with its comfortable and stable midsole.

Is this shoe a good choice to run a marathon?

Answer: This Asics running shoe is versatile enough to suit different types of distances. We especially recommend it for long distances like the marathon. However, the cushioning is not exceptionally responsive, so it’s not the best option if you plan to set a new PB.

1 review for Asics Gel Kayano 28

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  1. Runner’s Lab

    A good support shoe that comes with an updated softer and more flexible design but remains heavy.

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