Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2
The upper is lightweight and breathable and provides excellent flexibility and movement without the need for heavy synthetic overlays. Plus, 80 percent of this upper is composed of recycled materials, so you can feel good about your investment! It has a full rubber outsole, a FLYTEFOAM midsole, and just enough gel cushioning to keep your gait cycle comfortable and bright.
Below, I wanted to dive into all of the advanced features that make the Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2 a truly unique stability running shoe.
FLYTEFOAM Propel technology in the midsole
Modest gel cushioning for added comfort
Grippy rubber outsole is great for slick sidewalks
Great for short tempo runs or long distances
Wide toe box
Breathable mesh upper
Heavier than excepted
Minimal stability features in the upper
What makes the Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2 unique is that the midsole is light and responsive, yet is built for those that need stability. Often, stability shoes are clunky, and built with carbon plates and guide rails to adjust your gait to take pressure off of your joints.
This shoe utilizes a modest layer of Asics’ FLYTEFOAM Propel technology that runs the full length of the midsole. This foam cushioning is lightweight and responsive and perfect for long distances or shorter, snappier runs. I also love that this design boasts a small dot of gel cushioning on the ball of the big toe for effortless toe-offs and supportive landings.
What makes this stability shoe stand out from the pack is the addition of the Guidance Line Technology built right into the midsole. Instead of utilizing stiff guidance plates, the cut of the midsole is designed to move with the shape of your foot and give you extra support where your unique stride needs it most. This midsole runs like a neutral running shoe with the hidden support of a stability shoe.
The outsole of this Asics shoe is lightweight but boasts the overall durability that can withstand hundreds of miles together. It is composed of Asics proprietary AHAR rubber that runs the full length of the shoe that offers a light and bouncy finish that is ideal for running on hard surfaces.
What makes this design a little bit different is that it provides a boost of durability with the addition of an AHAR heel plug. The additional rubber in the heel is great for heavy heel strikers or heavier runners that need a little extra boost of durability in the heel.
The lugs on the outsole of this design are shallow enough for gym workouts or running on sidewalks, but provide just enough traction for modest trail running as well. The strategically placed grooves in the rubber really grip slick surfaces, making it a great option for slippery sidewalks or other slick surfaces.
The upper of this design is composed of 80 percent recycled materials that you can feel good about. It is composed of a lightweight layer of mesh that contours to the shape of your feet and provides excellent breathability. It also boasts an Ortholite insert that helps to move sweat up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry when running in hot temperatures.
What I found unusual about this stability trainer is that the upper feels more like a neutral running shoe. It is free of heavy cushioning and synthetic overlays that provide extra stability on the top of your foot. The upper only offers a little extra support along the medial side of the foot, and the laces help to further lock the shoe in place. It also provides a rigid heel counter that also provides extra padding that offers a smooth and comfortable ride.
Stability shoes are often reserved for those with a heavy gait cycle, or for those with pronation issues. While this shoe certainly helps to accommodate those that need a little extra help through their gait, it is more approachable for neutral runners as well. There are quite a few neutral running shoe fans that found that the performance of this shoe was fantastic, and worked quite well as a daily trainer.
What I love most about this stability trainer is that it is built to tackle just about anything. Often, bulky stability trainers are only equipped for tempo runs or long distances. However, the Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2 has a speedy and lightweight frame that is ideal for most runs. Whether you are looking for speed or distance, this shoe is up for the challenge. The design of this shoe also makes it a great option for HIIT training or weight lifting in the gym as well.
Overall, this shoe runs true to size. If you are a size 8 in other Asics training shoes, the same can be said for the Gel Kayano Lite 2.
What runners love most about the fit of this shoe is that it provides your feet with excellent lockdown that is flexible and versatile, yet boasts a slightly wider frame that gives your toes plenty of natural toe splay. If you can, I suggest heading down to your local shoe store to take them for a test run before you make your purchase.
What I love about Asics is that if you are a part of their VIP family, you have the option of trying these shoes for up to 90 days to see if they are the right fit for your running style. If you don’t feel like they are quite right for your running style, you can exchange them for something else, and the exchange process is super easy.
As it stands right now, there is only one color option available but that is likely to change in the future. The only color option available is a basic black with sharp red accents on the upper and outsole. While the color options are limited, I feel that the bland and red design is unique and different. It walks that line between sleek and neutral with a slight pop of color to keep things exciting.
I also love that the overall silhouette is slim. The heel collar and tongue boast a low profile that sits low on your foot, which looks sleek and modern and also boosts your full range of motion.
It’s important to note that this shoe is one of the more expensive options in the Asics lineup. When compared to other stability shoes out there on the market, the price is pretty competitive. If you can swing the slightly higher price point, this is a shoe that will hang in there for the long haul.
The durable upper and reinforced rubber outsole is able to tackle hundreds of miles before they start to show any real wear and tear. They may be slightly more expensive than other training shoes out there on the market, but the overall durability makes them a really excellent value.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
While this difference adds about an ounce in overall weight, it creates a more lightweight and effortless stride that feels like a neutral runner but performs like a stability shoe in evening out your gait cycle. The changes that are made are slight, but make a world of difference.
It’s a great option for nice and easy tempo runs, performs well on race days, and it’s even a shoe that you can wear while working out at the gym. It boasts a high level of durability making it ideal for long distances or heavy-set runners, and clocks in at a slightly higher price point that is well worth the investment.
If you want a pair of running shoes that offer unique stability features that still give you the freedom to switch up your workouts as needed, I highly suggest giving the Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2 a look.