Asics Gel Kayano 20 Review
The Asics Gel Kayano 20 is a great shoe for the correct runner. Aimed at stability wearers, neutral runners won't find it very great. It's a bit heavy and the lack of flexibility derives from its comfort considerably. With other shoes that are lighter, more flexible, and more cushiony, it's hard to justify giving these shoes a try. Though, the line-up remains extremely popular, and a lot of runners still fall in love with these shoes. For me, it just misses the mark.
Gel Kayano 20 Review
The Gel Kayano 20 is the 20th edition of this model. With over 20 years of effort and innovation, ASICS has molded a top of the line shoe that offers much cushion and stability, especially great for long-distance runners. Here is actually a short but nice article from the makers explaining their history in the past twenty years and how the ASIC Gel Kayano 20 came about. For those who may be new to the series, lets get into what makes this shoe so great.
Gel Kayano 20 Shoe Specifications/Function
-Average weight: 11.3oz
-Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
-Redesigned upper and new midsole components
-Rearfoot and forefoot Gel® cushioning
-Asics High Abrasion Rubber outsole
-FluidFit™ upper technology combines multidirectional stretch mesh which creates a glove-like fit
Gel Kayano 20’s Comfort
Just about anywhere you try and look on the web, all customer reviews are about the same, average a 4.5-5.0 through customer ratings. Through Amazon its actually a whooping 4.7/5.0 out of over 1,000 reviews. A big reason for this is the comfort of the shoe. One customer on Amazon had this to say about the shoe,
“I find these shoes to be walking on clouds, tremendous stability, and ultra light weight.”
This really sums the shoe’s comfort up in a nutshell. I think the two biggest features regarding the shoe’s comfort are the heel clutching system and the Fluidfit upper technology. The heel clutching system really softens the tension in each step, with a cushiony fitting environment. The Fluidfit technology is so great because it not only enhances the shoe’s bounce back and cushion, but at the same increases durability and decreases the actual weight of the shoe.
Gel Kayano 20 Durability
Everything from what I’ve seen, most runners find absolutely no issue in using the Gel Kayano 20 for long term use. That includes running on most hard surfaces such as roads, ect ect (Obviously not meant for rough trail running). I have found a couple examples where the inside of the shoe did fall apart in the first month but I honestly think it’s just a manufacturing error and fixed with a return and a new pair. I have a pair of these shoes and thus far they are everything they claim to be, but I cannot claim to have used them too much yet. I’m just over 150 miles in them. While it’s a good example size, until I run another 300+ miles, it is hard to give an exact answer based on my personal experience.
Gel Kayano 20 Design/Color
I Believe this to be the weakest feature of this shoe. On a personal level, ASICS in general does have a bit of a weird design, some shoes better than others, depending on materials of the shoe and colors, but I would grade this shoe in about the middle of the pack. With quite a few colors in white, if you are looking for a plainer shoe in a few basic colors, white, black, blue, then its not so bad.
Gel Kayano 20 Pricing
A find the price a big plus through amazon. The starting price of this shoe when released was $160, which is pretty steep for some. If you consider how much you get out of them though(Typically 500-800 Miles) its not too bad on a dollar per mile amount. However if you are willing to sacrifice color a bit, you should be able to find a pair on amazon for about 1/2 that amount, possibly even less during special sales and promotions. If you consider that price with mile/dollar and then also value how much less stress your feet will be in because of it, then it starts to become a steal. That is why I value this shoe at its current amazon prices.
Gel Kayano 20 Compared to Other versions (18,19, ect)
If you’re familiar with the series then we should probably go over the differences in past versions. I think the biggest reported differences between the 19 and 20, some think the toe box is smaller. That being said, if you feel like your toes are a bit wider, or if you wear the 19 and find the toe box a little tight, I might suggest ordering a 2E or 4E for a more roomy toe box. Most actually think the comfort and durability is a bit better in this shoe but compromises a little in the natural feel and performance of the shoe. I don’t own any of the previous models, but on a personal level, I don’t have any issues in terms of performance. I think it might just be a nit-pick type of thing for certain runners that might be used to a very specific type shoe.
Gel Kayano 20 Flexibility
With a heavier shoe with lots of durability of cushion, flexibility is where this shoe takes a bit of a hit, especially in the forefront. The Gel Kayano 20 is simply not built to have ultimate flexing, which is why this shoe is better for long-distance running. Quicker/Tempo runs is where more flexible shoes are wanted along with activities that require quick-reactions.
*Offers a lot of cushion and comfort
*Discounted through Amazon
*Durable shoe built to last mile after mile
*Great for long-distance running–especially on pavement.
*Heavier than most running shoes
*Lack of Flexibility