Asics Gel Kayano 25 Review Facts
Today we’re reviewing another model from our list of flat foot running shoes. Although they’ve never enjoyed the same popularity as some of the top running shoe brands, Asics enjoys a reputation as one of the best running shoe manufacturers with their consistent design quality and reasonable prices. Many consumers seek out this manufacturer’s products because they appreciate their high-quality build and excellent performance and don’t mind the shortcomings they may have in terms of style or weight. In particular, those who seem to most appreciate products from Asics are runners who struggle with injuries or gait abnormalities, with the Gel Kayano 25, in particular, providing excellent supportive features for those who experience overpronation during a typical running session.
The Asics Gel Kayano 25 features an outsole design with a visually distinctive appearance. The numerous hexagons forming a honeycomb pattern somewhat resemble a shallower tread pattern to traditional trail running
shoe designs, most notably toward the forefoot. This helps to ensure the runner has just enough of an improvement in traction to maintain a stable grip on the ground without inhibiting their speed. This honeycomb pattern is then broken up with long vertical grooves accented by several horizontal grooves. This is a design feature intended to provide additional flexibility to the Gel Kayano 25’s underfoot, which helps to improve energy efficiency and comfort.
Much of what makes the Asics Gel Kayano 25 an interesting pair of running shoes can be found in its midsole. It is manufactured primarily from FlyteFoam, a form of EVA cushioning that weighs roughly half as much as standard running shoe midsole material. The rear portion of its midsole is made up of this lighter material, with the forefoot being mostly comprised of a version of FlyteFoam that offers greater bounce and feedback to impact forces. This may lead some wearers to feel increased efficiency when striking the ground with the front of their feet, although the high heel drop provided by this midsole still allows rearfoot strikers to run normally without experiencing pain. As its name implies, these shoes also feature gel cushioning around the rear and front of the foot, ensuring either method of ground striking will be met with comfort and support without adding too much extra weight.
Although the midsole of these Asics running shoes are perhaps the most impressive from a technical and a design standpoint, the upper portion of the Gel Kayano 25 offers similarly impressive features. Some relatively standard design elements include a seamless construction and multiple perforations for the purpose of improving breathability
. Other than these, Asics takes things a step beyond the ordinary by including an exoskeletal heel counter for rearfoot support and a style of mesh that conforms to the wearer’s foot for a tight yet comfortable fit. The only disappointing thing regarding this shoe’s upper is the fact that it doesn’t look as visually appealing as other high-end running shoes, such as those designed by Nike or Adidas.
The average weight for a single Asics Gel Kayano 25 running shoe is just under 12 ounces. This is heavier than the average weight of a casual running shoe, which would ordinarily weigh anywhere between 7 and 10 ounces. It isn’t clear what particular section of these shoes weigh them down the most; it’s more likely that all of the combined features contribute equally and one part doesn’t disproportionately weigh down the rest. While this heavier weight can be construed as a negative, it helps that it’s all distributed evenly and effectively. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be noticeable for the vast majority of runners but those who ordinarily run in extremely lightweight minimalist shoes will likely need to adjust.
The FluidFit technology used to create this shoe’s upper provides two key benefits: breathability and comfort. While the comfort is guaranteed by the form-fitting style of construction, the breathability is managed through the placement of several small holes that allow air to enter and leave the inside of the Gel Kayano 25. Another feature added to this shoe’s upper for the purpose of providing adequate ventilation is the Ortholite sock liner. This feature is primarily intended to provide additional orthotic support but it comes with the benefit of excellent moisture management and airflow accommodation. Thanks to these two elements, these Asics runners manage to keep the wearer’s feet cool and dry despite having a higher than average weight.
Due to the fact that Asics
places a clearly significant amount of emphasis on functionality in the design of their Gel Kayano 25 running shoes, it may come as a surprise to potential customers when they see how much design effort and resources were placed into providing superior comfort as well. Much of the comfort that is experienced when wearing these shoes can be attributed to its supportive aspects such as the rear heel counter, the FluidFit upper, the Ortholite sock liner, or the Guidance Trusstic midfoot system. However, other elements that ensure these shoes feel pleasant on the wearer’s feet include a dual-density midsole with ample heel elevation and some extra padding around the shoe’s tongue and ankle collar.
Although Asics is far from the ugliest in terms of running shoe fashion, their sense of style can’t hold a candle to the most popular brands. It’s painfully evident when looking at the average Asics shoe that function clearly takes priority over form. An effort is made to dress up the Gel Kayano 25 a little, which can be seen from the multiple color options and the prominent display of the Asics logo on the side. However, many of the colorways for these shoes look drastically unappealing and the entire design tends to look far too busy to be stylish, especially in regard to the underfoot. Again, these aren’t nearly as ugly as something from New Balance or Skechers, but it is also very far from being as appealing as the average Adidas product.
In order to provide customers with the maximum possible level of satisfaction, Asics designed their Gel Kayano 25 with exceptional durability. For example, the material used for the construction of this shoe’s outsoles is known as AHAR, short for Asics High-Abrasion Rubber. This material is designed in-house and can withstand an impressive amount of abuse, making it perfect for running on a variety of terrains. Even the upper portion of the Gel Kayano 25 with its predominantly mesh construction ensures a higher than average degree of resilience thanks to the multiple reinforcements built into it. As a result, runners can expect these shoes to last them for multiple seasons, provided that they avoid excessively dangerous environments and perform regular maintenance on them.
These Asics running shoes don’t devote too much effort into providing their shoes with protective capabilities. To be fair, there certainly are aspects of its design that protect wearers from many forms of injury, such as their highly resilient AHAR outsoles. However, the primary goal in designing the Gel Kayano 25 was to provide support rather than protection. These aren’t trail shoes and won’t be able to handle trail running environments, but they are designed to protect the wearer’s feet from injuries that could come about from gait abnormalities like overpronation. Keeping this in mind will help wearers to feel a greater degree of satisfaction with these running shoes.
It’s important for any running shoe meant to be worn by serious runners and trainers to provide a fast response time with each step. In order to provide this in their Gel Kayano 25 shoes, Asics added a number of features to its bottom half. The AHAR outsoles come with the natural responsiveness provided by rubber, giving it a feeling of bounciness not entirely unlike a basketball. Building off of that strong foundation is the dual density midsole, made entirely out of lightweight and surprisingly pliable FlyteFoam technology. Despite having a significant increase in material towards the rear, these midsoles ensure that energy produced with every ground strike the wearer makes is absorbed and then explosively released.
The one aspect of these Asics running shoes that is bound to have the most impact on wearers is its ability to provide excellent foot support. The Gel Kayano 25 was specifically designed to address pronation issues and features a heel cap and truss system to prevent them from occurring or causing long-term damage. An internal sock liner designed by an orthotics manufacturer also provides significant supportive benefits, as does the tight-fitting upper which ensures these other elements perform as intended and aren’t rendered useless due to the wearer’s feet shifting inside the shoes. As a result, runners who are concerned about the way they run will definitely appreciate the features present in the Asics Gel Kayano 25.
Despite having a subtle tread pattern and being made from highly abrasion-resistant rubber, the outsoles of these shoes are not designed to handle the kinds of environments encountered during trail running or hiking. Furthermore, the high heel drop makes the Asics Gel Kayano 25 even less viable for this purpose since the wearer won’t experience the right balance in order to properly make their way up and down steep inclines. However, these design elements make these Asics running shoes a fantastic choice for any other form of running terrain, ranging from man-made surfaces such as asphalt and cement to more natural terrains like grass or dirt.
Due to the work of popular brands like Nike and Adidas cranking out new shoe models every six months at under $100, the running shoe industry is saturated with dirt-cheap and mediocre products. On the other hand, Asics designed these shoes with a greater degree of care and with more impressive features to enhance its functionality. Because of this, these shoes do cost quite a bit more than the new average price, but this increased initial investment is more than justified when considering how long these shoes will last and how comfortable they will feel for the runner every step of the way.
The outsoles of the Asics Gel Kayano 25 were made from rubber, which is a standard move for decently made casual running footwear. However, something that is less traditional that can be seen with this model is the use of a honeycomb-style tread pattern, which results in a greater degree of traction than runners may be used to. Fortunately, this isn’t so severe of a feature to detract from runners achieving faster running speeds; it’s just enough to ensure that the supportive aspects of its design are able to perform their intended functions and correct gait abnormalities.
It’s a fact that every running shoe struggles to strike the ideal balance between flexibility and stability since too much of one will inevitably result in a lack of the other. The way that Asics attempts to provide their Gel Kayano 25 with flexibility involves adding some shallow flex grooves to the underside of its outsoles and using dual density materials for its midsoles. Because of this, the different layers that make up the bottom half of these runners are able to shift and bend naturally and prevent the wearer from feeling trapped in excessively rigid foot coffins.
In order to offset the flexibility of the Gel Kayano 25, Asics implemented a great deal of stability-related features. These go hand-in-hand with their supportive design elements which means that they tend to place much more emphasis on stability than flexibility. The upper portion has a tight fit and heel cap meant to prevent slippage up top, and the nature of its dual-density midsole ensure that greater density is present in key areas for even greater control. The most notable aspect of this design philosophy by far, however, is the Guidance Trusstic System placed in the Asics Gel Kayano 25’s midfoot for the purpose of pronation correction.
The difference in elevation between the heel and forefoot of the Asics Gel Kayano 25 is around 10 millimeters, which is well within the average drop for running shoes such as these. This allows the wearer to comfortably strike the ground with their heels, especially since some gel has also been added to this shoe’s midsoles for even greater cushioning. That said, these shoes can still be comfortably used for forefoot striking since the same gel material is also present near the front of the shoe.
- Asics High-Abrasion Rubber outsole for durability
- FlyteFoam midsole for lightweight responsiveness
- Comfortable gel cushioning near the heel and forefoot
- FluidFit upper material ensures tight yet breathable fit
- Ortholite internal sockliner for added support
- Heel counter for rearfoot stability
- Guidance Trusstic System for overpronation correction
Asics has a following of dedicated customers who will choose their products above all competitors. The reason for this is simply that they know how to make comfortable and high-performing footwear, and the Gel Kayano 25 is proof positive of that fact. Sure, they may weigh a bit more than usual and have a somewhat tacky sense of style; however, none of that comes at the expense of these shoes’ ability to attack any casual running surface with the intensity of a professional athlete or marathon runner. Customers interested in supportive footwear, especially if they struggle with overpronation, will love these Asics running shoes.