Asics Gel-Kayano 25 Review

9.6
9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.6)/10


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Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
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The very first Gel-Kayano trainer made an appearance in 1993. Twenty-five years later, Asics introduced their twenty-fifth version, which overshadowed its predecessors. The new Asics Gel-Kayano 25 pulls off outstanding support and ensures excellent grip. In addition, it provides fantastic stability, superb cushioning and it looks great too. Not only did this design quickly became popular amongst people who walk on hard surfaces regularly, but overweight customers and overpronators fell in love with it also.

As a matter of fact, with some of the upgrades, the Gel-Kayano 25 indeed became the greatest long distance walking trainer, at least for the past year. For one thing, the midsole was updated to improve the balance between energy return and cushioning. Featuring new Jacquard mesh material, the upper got lighter and received a new facelift too. The reason behind this upgrade was for the upper to maintain its structure while adapting to the foot.

It is remarkable that a shoe managed to survive twenty-five iterations without changing its consistency. There are many things to love about the new Gel-Kayano 25, and we are about to reveal some more.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  •     Very comfortable upper
  •     Smooth ride
  •     Secure fit
  •     Good stability
  •     Removable Insoles
  •     Excellent support
Cons
  •     Heavy build
  •     A bit on the firm side
Comfort

Comfort

For those who prefer a soft shoe for their long runs, the Gel-Kayano 25 may feel a bit firm and heavy. However, apart from the weight, many runners reported that it feels very comfortable for long runs and walks. For runners who are flat-footed, this model really does the trick when you are running long distance. This benefit comes from the outsole and midsole guidance system and the Dynamic DuoMax technology which is an excellent shock absorbent. In addition to this, the FlyteFoam material applied to the midsole gives the Kayano 25 the ultimate balance between comfortable cushioning and energetic responsiveness with each stride. The upper Jacquard mesh material made this version a bit lighter than the Kayano 24 design, and it adds to the overall comfort by allowing ample airflow.

Many customers were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable this model was from the start and it took little time to fit perfectly to their foot. What is remarkable about the Gel-Kayano 25 is how the cushioning softens the impact while you run or walk. The exoskeletal heel counter hugs the heel nicely while the no-sew underlay gives you plenty of comfort and feels smooth from heel to toes. However, the toe box has been reported to be a bit roomier than previous models. This could be beneficial to some runners, but for the rest of you, we have great news! Probably the most significant part of Kayano 25’s comfort comes from the Ortholite sockliner which was also used in version 18. The insole is also removable, allowing space for orthotics or additional inserts to make this trainer tighter around the toe box.
Fit

Fit

These runners are reported by many to fit as perfectly as one would expect a pair of long-distance trainers to fit. This includes little more room in the forefoot, the heel keeps your feet locked in, and the lacing system makes them easy to adjust. The men's models are available in narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths, while the women's version comes in narrow, medium and wide. One thing to mention is that not all colors come in all width fittings. Another drawback mentioned by some customers is that much like the 23’s, and to a lesser degree the 24's, this version seems a little bit tight. This is where it gets confusing.

Although the updated Gel-Kayano 25 has a standard fit, others mentioned that it is a little wider than the previous Kayano models. However, it is not enough that it would change size for anyone. Due to the flexible mesh upper which provides more room for wider feet, the toe area feels slightly wider than the Gel-Kayano 24 version.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Almost all stability shoes require sturdiness to minimize foot movement. Apart from being more on the firm side, the Kayano 25 still remains flexible enough for long-distance runners. Many runners were still pleased with the smooth heel-to-toe transition the Kayano 25 delivered, even though it’s not the most flexible shoe in the world. In addition, the new mesh upper adds to the flexibility to the design.

Midsole

Midsole

Kayano’s series is famous for the protection and stability they give to the runners. This time around, the Kayano 25 version replaced some of the midsole materials and introduced the Flytefoam compound both in the rear foot and the forefoot. This model is the first in the series where two different foams work together to deliver sufficient stability and protection.

Namely, there is the Flyte Foam Lyte applied to the back of the shoe which adds cushioning to the heel and provides energy return. The other compound, the Flyte Foam Propel, is located in the front and is also used in the Cumulus 20 model. It is a denser foam, supposed to deliver extra responsiveness in a spring-like effect, while also providing excellent shock absorption.

Besides this combination of FlyteFoam incorporated in the midsole, when compared to the 24 version, some runners didn’t feel much difference. It is safe to say that even though the Kayano 25 version still gives a nice spring action, it tends to be more cushiony than springy, but it is comfortable nonetheless.
Protection

Protection

Even though the Kayano 25 is mainly designed for support, some customers agreed that this model provided plenty of protection from short walks to long-distance runs. Since this running pair is made for paved roads and not rough terrain, its protective abilities are limited to injuries that could arise from overpronation. Another protective feature is the highly resilient AHAR outsole, that is designed to keep the runner safe from different types of injuries on the road.
Outsole

Outsole

Featuring the Impact Guidance System (IGS), the outsole of the Kayano 25 model will surely guide your foot with each stride, working on evenly spreading the pressure across the entire shoe every time your foot hits the ground. The outsole is known to be Asics best feature, and in this model, it’s a little more chunky, but provides excellent grip. There is the Asics leading Trusstic system technology applied in the middle part of the sole, which helps prevent your shoes from twisting.

The AHAR material has excellent abrasion resistance properties and provides great cushioning. Due to this excellent feature, the shoe is durable and is great for long-term use. Although there might be other benefits from it, the outsole also adds to the weight of the design. The hexagon shaped pattern on the bottom ensures a stable grip for the runner which together with the vertical and horizontal grooves adds more flexibility, improves comfort and enables energy return.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The responsiveness on the Kayano 25 mode comes mostly from the bottom half of the shoe.
Strategically placed, the FlyteFoam material in the midsole is super responsive and together with the Gel packets in the lateral heel and midfoot, bring about a perfect balance between enjoyable cushioning and energetic responsiveness every time your foot hits the ground.

Many runners reported the ride to be responsive and cushioned, even though energy return is not the main focus of this version. The reason for this is the heavier weight, which according to some customers, make the Gel-Kayano 25 an ideal choice for daily, slow to moderately paced runs.
Stability

Stability

When it comes to stability, nothing has been changed compared to previous versions. The Kayano series is known to provide a stable platform that together with the upper offers great stability to runners who need guidance. Speaking of which, many customers were happy to say that this Guidance Trusstic system is a remarkable aspect of the Kayano 25. They reported that no matter where the landing was on the foot, this model kept on rolling the gait onto the same spot. This technology makes the Kayano 25 an excellent stability running choice for overpronators. In addition, the Gel-Kayano 25 features the largest Gel units of any Asics stability shoe, which has proven to be a great benefit for larger runners.

Support

Support

There are so many aspects of the shoe that work perfectly together to provide the best foot support. Asics designed the Kayano 25 not only for the comfort but their intention was for the new model to be more supportive than their 2000 series. While being rated as a supportive shoe for moderate to severe overpronators, the Kayano 25 version slowly became a staple in everyone’s cupboard. It is suitable for every type of runner, starting from the heavy runner to the more neutral or casual runner.

The Kayano 25 model draws its support mainly from the Dynamic DuoMax applied to the medial rearfoot. Furthermore, the heel cap and the Trusstic system prevent pronation issues from occurring, while the orthotic insole adds to this model's supportive capability. Also, the upper allows for self-adjusting fit, which can prevent your feet from shifting inside the trainer.
Upper

Upper

Most customers agreed that the updates on the Kayano 25’s upper, brought about better comfort and tighter, yet more comfortable fit compared to its predecessors. While being similar to the Kayano 24 version, the Kayano 25 design received a new upper with thinner overlays, which means there is more space in the forefoot and the toe box. This updated model features a breathable Jacquard mesh in two layers, which made the Kayano 25 version lighter, more flexible and super comfortable. Die-hard fans of the 24 model, didn’t really notice much of a difference in the upper. In addition, there are some reinforcement bands on the medial forefoot and along the top on both sides of the forefoot.

The minute your foot slides in the Kayano 25, there is a luxurious plush feeling, enabled from the well-padded tongue, Ortholite sockliner, and the heel collar. The laces are round, long and elastic enough to give you a customized fit.
Weight

Weight

Weighing just under 12 ounces, the new Kayano 25 is about 0.5 ounces heavier than the 24 model. Weight is essential for long-distance runners and sprinters, and for today’s standards, this model is a bit on the heavy side. This is possibly due to the FlyteFoam material applied to the midsole, but since this very foam is the main reason you get a better performance-feeling ride, you are more likely not to feel a lot of difference.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Finally, we can come to a conclusion about the Kayano 25 version. Who is it good for? Where do you wear it? What are the changes that have been done?
Overall, it is safe to say that this model is suitable for runners seeking stability, great support, comfort and a pair of trainers that will last them a long time. It’s probably one of the most stable high-mileage shoes available on the market since its release, a year and a half ago.
Much like the New Balance 1080, the Gel-Kayano 25 style is best suited for heavier runners and moderate overpronators. The negative aspect of the trainer is its weight, which some customers found to be an issue for long-distance runs. On a positive note, the Kayano 25 is a well-built design and hardly shows any sign of wear even after extended usage.

So, what are the technologies applied to the Asics Gel-Kayano 25?
Starting from the Dynamic DuoMax support system, the Kayano is certain to deliver stability and increased platform support. Furthermore, the Guidance Line midsole technology enhances gait efficiency through the vertical and horizontal grooves on the honeycomb-like tread pattern. In addition, the Impact Guidance system technology is applied to increase the foot’s natural gait, while the Guidance Trusstic system technology enhances walking efficiency while promoting mid-foot structural integrity. Last but not least is the FlyteFoam Propel technology that brings about energy return and bounce thanks to its unique compound.

There is a great number of positive feedback about the Asics Gel-Kayano 25. This only shows that this model has proven to be satisfactory amongst runners, validating that its stability, support, and comfort are worth the price to be able to enjoy a long and flawless ride.