Asics Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT Review Facts
Since 1993, Asics’ Gel Kayano line has earned a solid reputation as serious running shoes that put speed and style above all else. And its one that they’ve kept throughout a number of different releases. With their Trainer Knit models, they’ve now proven that they can also hold their own when it comes to knit upper designs. This mid-top, or MT, version comes with a sock-like upper that fits right over the ankle. Many who have purchased this shoe are amazed by the added comfort and flexibility, yet find that it doesn’t compromise on stability in any way. All that said, this particular model is not a best-selling item. Not everyone is a fan of how they look, and their color options are extremely limited. And as a result, there are not as many reviews to be found about this particular shoe as there would be for other Asics models. Still, those that are available are generally quite positive.
Though not many descriptions and reviews focus on this feature, the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT is described as having a rubber outsole. Buyers who have used this shoe for long distance running, and even for traveling
, have marveled over how well its sole grips onto a number of different terrains. In addition, it’s said to be surprisingly durable and protective. Considering the shoe’s sock-like knit upper, it needs a sturdy foundation to support the wearer throughout the day. This rubber outsole definitely provides that foundation.
Just like its low-top version, this Gel Kayano Trainer Knit model comes with a heritage-inspired EVA midsole. Structured and very supportive, yet still cushioned and lightweight, this material is perfect for all day usage or during a long-distance run. And the heritage-inspired look further enhances the shoe’s advanced features and modernized style. In addition, EVA foam midsoles are known to provide additional support and relief to those with conditions such as shin splints
With knit uppers becoming more and more popular in running shoes, Asics saw their Gel Kayano Trainer Knit models as their chance to take part in this new trend. Reviewers say the brand has definitely made its mark. This soft and stretchable material completely conforms to the shape of the foot. Its sock
-like feel is enhanced even further by the knit mid-top, which stretches and fits right over the ankle for added support and comfort. A TPU foot cage, modeled after Asics’ signature striped design, wraps around the foot to create added structure and support. Built into this foot cage is a traditional lacing system that allows the wearer to better customize their fit. All of these factors allow the buyer to feel as if they’re only wearing socks.
According to one online description, the median weight for a men’s shoe is roughly 10 oz. There are no details that can be found about the weight of women’s
sizes, but they are typically at least two ounces lighter. Despite their heavy appearance and various advanced features, buyers have remarked at how incredibly light these shoes actually feel. When it comes to serious running shoes, designers need to strike a perfect balance between supportive structure and lightweight flexibility. Reviewers say that balance has definitely been achieved with this shoe.
Not much information can be found about the breathability of the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT. However, based on reviews of the low top version of this model, and supposing that their uppers are made of the same material, it could provide some ventilation. Knit uppers are becoming increasingly popular for this exact reason, as it allows sweat to dry even as the wearer is in motion. This gives a more comfortable wear and can even help prevent odor and possible foot infections
. That said, it’s not known how breathable this shoe is compared to other recent models, such as an Adidas NMD Primeknit.
Those who have bought the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT can’t stop raving about how comfortable it is. Between its gel cushioned sole and knit upper that fits like a glove, many reviewers have stated that they could wear these shoes all day long. They enjoy wearing them during a day out walking or during a long-distance run, and one review described them as their go-to traveling shoes. This model does fit true to size, according to several online
reviews, which makes purchasing them easier for everyone. Though the shoes’ mid-top pulls over the ankle just like a sock, which adds to their level of comfort, they do come with a traditional lacing system to offer a more customized fit. Some reviewers have even stated that they never have to lace this shoe at all.
The Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT has a look that consumers either love or absolutely hate. The TPU cage over its stretchable knit upper is designed to resemble a stag beetle, yet still resembles the brand’s traditional stripes. It even comes with a traditional lacing system that some buyers never even use. When these are paired with the sock-like mid-top that fits right over the ankle, it’s definitely a unique
shoe design. A common complaint among reviewers, however, is this shoe’s lack of color range. Black or white options are the most common, but an occasional grey or navy model can also be found at some retailers.
Reviewers have stated that most of the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT’s features are quite durable. Its rubber outsole can withstand long distance runs on many different terrains. And although EVA material has been known to break down and flatten over time, reviewers still say that this shoe’s midsole is able to hold up for many months and show no signs of significant damage. Even the knit upper, with some added protection from the TPU foot cage
, stays resilient after months of usage. All that said, these knit uppers are still prone to damage in certain areas. Several consumers have noticed that the ankle material starts to wear down and rip after a just few months of use.
Even with a knit upper, the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT still offers a surprising amount of protection from both sharp objects and the elements. The rubber outsole ensures a strong grip and that nothing ever penetrates the bottom of the shoe. The EVA midsole provides excellent shock absorption and energy transfer, reducing the impact on the foot as well as the likelihood of long-term pain. The knit mid-top also protects the ankle from colder temperatures, making it more than suitable for long runs during the winter
months. There is still no information about how well this shoe holds up in rain or snow, so it’s best to be safe and put these aside during harsh weather conditions.
The heritage-inspired EVA midsole is one of the more responsive features of the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit models, absorbing the impact of each step and transferring it back into an added bounce
. The knit upper and TPU easily adapt to all of the wearer’s movement by allowing for a free range of motion while still providing a surprising amount of support and stability. And compared to other mid-top designs, such as those found in Converse models, this shoe allows for completely natural movement of the ankle as well.
Since the Gel Kayano line was designed for long-distance runners
, support is one of the key factors in all of its models. The Trainer Knit MT’s heritage-inspired EVA midsole keeps the foot cushioned all day while providing excellent shock absorption and energy transfer. Like the low-top version, this model also has a TPU foot cage around the knit upper to provide needed support. And the stretchable, socklike mid-top also supports the ankle while protecting it from the elements.
There are no online descriptions that say which terrain is best for this shoe. That said, reviews have stated that they’ve worn the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT for long-distance running and even while traveling. So this shoe holds up perfectly while on any type of road or city pavement. Still, considering the shoe’s knit upper and reviews that point out its lack of durability, it’s best not to use these for extreme terrains such as hiking trails.
Considering its many advanced features, especially when compared to other running shoes, the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT is actually priced quite well. It runs for $150 across all online retailers, which is the same price as the low top Gel Kayano Trainer. They can also be found on sites such as eBay and Allsole for much cheaper, but it’s best to thoroughly read the listing’s reviews before making a purchase.
Several reviews and descriptions state that the Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT offers incredible traction. A combination of solid horizontal bars and deep zig-zagged groves allows for the firmest grip possible on everyday terrains, whether the surface is wet or dry. It is still not recommended for snowy weather, however, and there are no details given about how resistant its upper is to rain. But the fact that it is designated as a long-distance running shoe to several buyers, and that it’s even used in casual sports, is a clear sign of its incredible grip.
Even with all of its supportive and stabilizing features, the Kayano Trainer Knit MT is an incredibly flexible shoe. The knit upper allows for an incredible range of motion, allowing the wearer to feel as if their wearing nothing but socks. Its rubber outsole and heritage-inspired EVA midsole are incredibly pliable and allow for a completely natural range of motion. Even the TPU foot cage that surrounds the upper proves to be quite stabilizing without feeling restrictive.
Even with a knit upper as its defining feature, this Gel Kayano Trainer model still has some very impressive stability features. The shoe’s TPU cage offers much-needed structure without feeling rigid. In addition, its rubber outsole and heritage-inspired midsole provide a sturdy and long-lasting foundation. Though it may not be nearly enough to provide support to those with certain foot conditions, these features still keep the foot perfectly stabilized throughout heavy-duty runs. As for excessive pronators, there are other models within the Gel Kayano line that could offer what they need.
There is no online information about the Trainer Knit MT’s heel-to-toe drop that can be found. However, based on product photographs, there is a noticeable difference between its heel and toe height. The average heel-to-toe drop in running shoes is 10mm. And when compared to similar models with this exact drop, it seems to match up quite well.
- Rubber outsole provides excellent traction
- Soft and stretchable knit upper
- Heritage-inspired EVA midsole
- TPU cage offers support and stability
- Limited amount of color options available
- Very comfortable and flexible fit
- Sock-like mid-top offers protection and support
- Upper offers a lack of durability
It’s quite safe to say that the look of Asics’ Gel Kayano Trainer Knit MT model is not meant for everyone. Its sock-like mid-top, fitting right over the ankle, looks quite awkward and strange to some consumers. And its limited color options are disappointing for those who enjoy some variety in their footwear. But for those looking for a uniquely designed shoe that offers all-day comfort and support, these would be an excellent option for everyday use. Offering a customized, sock-like fit, along with support and stability for serious runs, this highly underrated model has successfully satisfied many consumers and given the Asics brand a place among today’s highly modernized running shoes.