We sent Billy, a member of our running community, RunnerClick Pro, a pair of Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2 to test their performance through challenging winter weather. Read more to see how these stability running shoes held up to several miles in the elements.
I didn't have any sizing issues. I traditionally run a size 8.5, and these fit great right out of the box. It was very comfortable right out of the box with just the right amount of room to not be overly constricting, yet they weren't sloppy either.
The only thing that I found during my runs is after several miles, the upper part of my foot became irritated due to the unforgiving upper of the shoe.
I have been adjusting the laces to see if I can adjust them out to the point of heel slip. The area is sensitive now with these shoes, so I will take a break and continue to see if they can be adjusted or if it just takes time to become a little more forgiving in the upper.
With the first run starting at 20'F, I quickly wasn't thinking of my new shoes and focused more on warming back up. After running a bit, I remembered that my shoes were brand new but felt like I had miles on them already.
As previously mentioned, I did develop a sore upper foot due to the very rigid upper of the shoe; 33 miles wasn't enough to loosen the shoe up, and due to the soreness, I wasn't able to put more miles on these shoes in the allocated time for this review.
I plan to continue using them onshore runs and see if the upper becomes more forgiving over time. The break-in seems unusually long based on most shoes being good to go right out of the box, and after 33 miles, these are still too rigid on the top.
The upper on these shoes is very structured and unforgiving, which irritated the top portion of my foot. I attempted to adjust laces to the point of heel slip to eliminate the irritation. The upper portion is very restrictive, and I still haven't gotten out of the break-in period, which is the first shoe I experienced taking this long to break in.
This shoe utilizes a modest layer of Asics’ FLYTEFOAM Propel technology that runs the entire 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.
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 entire shoe length and 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 an AHAR heel plug. The additional rubber in the heel is excellent 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 designed for road running but provide just enough traction for modest trail running. The strategically placed grooves in the rubber grips slick surfaces, making it an excellent option for slippery sidewalks or other slick surfaces.
The Kayano Lite 2 comes in approximately 2oz heavier than my race day shoes and about 1.5oz heavier than my speed work shoes. These will be in the rotation primarily used when putting on mileage at a slightly slower pace. When running faster, the shoe was underwhelming; I'm not sure if it was just the increased weight or just less of a spring at the back of the stride.
The shoe weighs 10.1 oz with a 10mm heel drop. This is slightly heavier than the majority of my trainers, but the cushion in the sole provides excellent energy, so I didn't notice the extra weight.
In the mileage so far, the tread is holding up very well. I see the tread holding up very well based on its construction, even with higher mileage.
I hope I can finally get through the break-in with these shoes to allow that, but unfortunately, they irritate the foot almost immediately. If I run the next day in any other shoe, I don't have that tenderness that the Kayano Lite 2 creates.
Once that break-in is achieved, I can see this as an excellent high mileage training shoe that will absorb the impact, but for my ultramarathon, I will stay with the Saucony Shift 2 just for that extra spring coming out of the stride.
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.
The closest shoe I could compare the Kayano Lite 2 to is the Saucony Shift 2. The Shift 2 offers a similar amount of cushion with a comparable weight. The Shift 2 does provide a sense of more spring coming out of the stride than the Kayano Lite 2 does.