Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: Asics Gel Kayano 14

I have been running in the ever popular 2000 series from Asics for over 10 years. Last year I switched models. After a long winded bout of ITBS last year and the realization that despite whichever model I was wearing I was wearing the uppers through faster than the life of the shoe, (it was the same spot everytime; the right foot by my big toe where the toe cap met the fabric) and they were only lasting 250-270 miles. So after some consultation I moved from 2120s to the more solid Asics Gel Kayano.

Having got closer to 350 miles through rotating two pairs of “13s” I was looking forward to trying the new and improved “14s” and so with 100 miles or so on my first pair here is a short review.

The Kayano falls under Asics “Structured Cushioning”, that is it provides support to pronators, like myself, without that clog like feeling that you can get with motion control or stability shoes. There is a noticeable improvement in the ride over the 13s; the heel gel pad is 25% larger than its predecessor and is combined with a resin plate that prevents over compression in any particular heel strike area. Asics have loaded up this shoe with their proprietary Solyte across the midsole and the last (the yellow thing in the picture) which provides a good trade off between weight and bounce and the heel offers a special molding fabric/material that is designed to stretch to fit your foot without pinching or binding.

So enough of the technical blurb, how do they work? Well there is a noticeable improvement over the 13s, the 14s offer a significant improvement in cushioning without going all mushy in both the heel and especially the midsole; the 13's felt "flat" in the forefoot after a couple of hundred miles so we'll see if that happens here. It feels like that the support is, well, just a little more supportive; that is you get the feeling that you feet are tracking on rails rather than flailing about like an over talkative semaphorist! The heel fit is snug and overall the shoes provide a comfortable fit with no tight spots, the toe box is roomy and as per usual I got these a half size up. The shoe comes in three colors, the following are the mens choices; dull as you like blue and white, racy red and silver (pictured above) and my favorite, being the conservative soul (no pun intended) I am and just in time for the Olympics the newly introduced Gold and Silver. Available across all sizes, several widths and in a ladies variant the only real downside is the RRP of $135, although you can shop around and get them a bit cheaper. I picked mine up from for around $110, I am a member of RoadRunners so after my fifth pair of shoes in a 12 month period I get a $100 voucher and with the membership discount it pushes the average price down to below $100 a pair; which is about the same price as the 2130s.

So two big toes-up from me, right now I am just about to introduce my second pair into alternation and hope to retire these at around 350 miles.

I have a bunch of other reviews to write up: Salomon XT Wings (100 miles), Ultimate Direction Wasp hydration system and RecoverEase if anyone has a burning need for one over the other just leave a comment and I’ll get it done.


  1. Recover Ease for me!! I bagan my trial on Sunday. They sent me enough for at least 10 days. How great is that!!!

  2. That is an expensive pair of shoes! But if they work well, then it's worthwhile -- injury prevention is always worth the price up front rather than the price to fix it.

  3. Great review! I wish more bloggers would do things like that. I am in the process of trying to figure out which shoes to get. My Mizunos are wearing out way too fast.

  4. How many series will this shoe go?
    Great shoe from what I hear. -Well worth the money.
    I wear the Nimbus for a road shoe and have become a diehard Asics fan.

  5. What the heck is this Recover Ease everyone keeps talking about (I should click the link, eh? LOL) I've seen it pop up a couple times in some blogs.

    Those are some expensive kicks, but I knew you'd have a discount in there ;-)

  6. great shoe review! i'd definitely be interested in a Recover Ease review too... about the rain, i came to LA in April, 2005. It was raining as the plane was landing.... lol. Maybe I am due for another trip :)

  7. I am on my fifth pair of running shoes, all from different manufacturers, all but one are stability shoes, so I am fascinated by your review :-) Could be a sixth different manufacturer!! LOL! I have heard such good things about Asics.

    Have you considered replacing the insoles? That's always the first thing I do with my new kicks. I easily get upwards of 450-500 miles on my shoes with very little noticeable wear. I wonder what that says about my stride? Non existent? ROFL!!!


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