Asics Gel Kayano Lite
The Asics Gel Kayano Lite is a modern, lighter, and more sustainable take on the Kayano stability collection.
What strikes immediately, besides the flashy colors, is the more streamlined design of the shoe. It weighs 1 oz/28 g less than the Kayano 27, and this is felt, according to the testers. This model is still intended for overpronation, but it offers a more discreet correction: stability is ensured by the wide platform rather than by a hard piece that locks-in the foot in the shoe to prevent it from rolling. According to the testers, this makes the Kayano Lite suitable for more people, including runners without pronation problems.
The sole has a stack height of 31 mm under the heel (33 mm for women), and 21 mm under the forefoot (10 mm heel to toe drop for men and 12 mm for women) but uses a single density foam supplemented by a GEL unit in the front. Cushioning is comfortable overall, but testers noted that the shoe requires a break-in period to really reveal its full potential. Indeed, the platform is firm and rigid at first, but it gets better after a few runs. However, even after that, the cushioning is far from snappy, making the Kayano Lite a shoe primarily designed for daily workouts at slow to moderate speed.
As for the rest, the upper is simple and offers a great snug, plush, and effective foot lockdown. Some runners found the laces and tongue a bit inconvenient, but overall the fit is near perfect. The same goes for the outsole: covered with large rubber pieces, it provides good traction and makes the platform durable. Let's also praise Asics' efforts in sustainability: the upper and midsole mainly use ecological materials.
To summarize, the Asics Gel Kayano Lite is a very good running shoe that offers a stable, modern, lighter, and environmentally friendly configuration. Only its initial stiffness and somewhat dull cushioning disappoint a little.
- Good comfort, efficient shock absorption
- Simple upper that provides great foot lockdown
- Reasonable weight for a stability shoe
- Use of ecological materials in the upper and midsole
- Discreet stability features
- The platform is rigid and requires a few runs to break-in
- Dull cushioning, not very suitable for speedwork
- Tongue and laces not so convenient according to some testers
Model: Asics Gel Kayano Lite
- The outsole of the Asics Gel Kayano Lite features AHAR Lite, a new and enhanced iteration of the famous rubber of the brand. It allows the same level of solidity as the main AHAR but with a much more minimal nature. It helps to decrease the weight of the shoe. This setup gives an effective grip on roads.
- Eco Content Flytefoam is featured in the midsole. It promotes a responsive cushioning but with sustainability in mind: this new foam by Asics turns sugarcane biomass into lightweight cellulose nanofibers.
- Also, the 3D Space Construction is a series of geometric designs that improve stability for the athlete.
- The upper of the Asics Gel Kayano Lite uses a mesh with 80% of Recycled Content Polyester. This simple and sustainable mesh ensures an effective foot lockdown as well as good airflow.
- The 3D printed overlays keep the foot secure and make the shoe more robust by giving structure to the mesh.
- The Heel Clutching System is a special heel counter in resin that comfortably holds the foot to ensure a safe lockdown.
- Finally, reflective materials increase visibility at night so that the runner can stay safe from traffic at all time while running
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Does this model fit true to size?
Yes, we haven’t yet seen comments from athletes indicating that the fit is irregular. Therefore, you can purchase your normal size for running shoes. However, if this your first pair of Asics, it may be a good idea to give them a try in-store to be sure.
Is this shoe adapted if I overpronate?
Yes, this shoe is a stability shoe, so it’s specifically designed to prevent your foot from rolling outwards excessively (pronation). However, it should be noted that stability running shoes are not a better choice than neutral shoes to reduce the risk of injury, according to science.
I weigh 187 lbs/85 kg or more. Are these shoes suitable for me?
Yes, this shoe should be fine, even if you’re a heavyweight runner. Indeed, this model is comfortably padded with a stack height of 31 mm under the heel for men and 33 mm for women.
Is this model a good choice to run a marathon?
First of all, let’s remember that the most important criterion to choose what shoes to wear during your race is your personal experience. If you can run comfortably at your target pace over mid to long distances with these shoes, then it should be all good. Furthermore, its stack height of 31 mm makes it a good option to run a marathon comfortably.
Comparisons – Asics Gel Kayano Lite vs:
Asics Gel Kayano 27
The Lite version stands out in its approach to stability: it offers a simpler and less pronounced configuration. This may not be suitable for runners who want very advanced pronation correction, but overall it’s effective. Also, the Kayano Lite (as its name suggests) is lighter than its cousin and uses recycled materials. See the side-by-side comparison.