ASICS Gel Kayano 23 Review

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 is a key stability shoe in the new ASICS running lineup.  It is sold at MSRP for $160 but can currently be found on the ASICS website for $130 and as low as $115 on a variety of other running websites.

Function

The Kayano is primarily designed as a shoe for the roads, but can handle most tame trail runs and is built to accommodate many shapes and sizes of runners. It is an excellent centerpiece to any running shoe collection as it is designed to handle most day in and day out training runs. An experienced runner with a more refined form and lower leg strength may want to go into a lighter, more flexible shoe for tempo runs, interval workouts, and track sessions, the Kayano 23 is perfect for easy days and can still handle faster workouts for runners looking for a little more cushion on their workout days.


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While the shoe is advertised on the ASICS website as being a shoe for neutral runners or runners who overpronate, we recommend that a neutral runner goes into a different shoe as this shoe seems to work better for overpronaters (runners whose feet roll inwards as they progress through the gait cycle).

The Specs

General

The new version of the Kayano remains similar to the much loved name that has been a top selling stability shoe for many years and has done an excellent job of staying faithful to those who have stayed faithful to the Kayano name while still making improvements to keep up with the times. The Kayano throughout its many versions has been well known for being a well-cushioned and stable shoe and the Kayano 23 is no different.

The Kayano comes in at 11.5oz for men and 9.4oz for women, a tenth of an ounce lighter than the 22 with a decently high profile. The heel profile measures 34.3mm with the forefoot measuring 24.3mm giving the shoe a 10mm drop. Both the heel and the forefoot profile have been reduced from the Kayano 22 but the drop went up 1.2mm as trainers begin to go away again from the zero drop fad caused by the barefoot running movement a few years ago (which, by the way, still has no convincing research in support).

Lining

Staying true to the Kayano 22, the Kayano 23 kept the ComforDry™ sockliner, which is known for providing solid breathability and decent moisture wicking. The sockliner is also intended to increase the rebound of the shoe.

Upper

In The Kayano 23, the upper was changed slightly, containing the momentum of the Kayano 22, which removed many of the overlays found in the Kayano 21.  The Kayano 23 removes the overlays of the Kayano 22, which sometimes caused wearers to complain about the tight squeeze of the shoe while still maintaining the well received snug feeling from the FluidFit® upper technology that was present in the 22.

The FluidFit® technology focuses on creating a “glove-like fit” as advertised on ASICS’s website and aids in support of the forefoot by adapting to each individual foot’s natural motion. This comfortable fit wraps around the foot while still holding the shoe properly tight while running.

The improved upper also gives the 23 a much sleeker and modern look than the 22. While ASICS still has some catching up to do with the competition as far as appearance is concerned, the Kayano 23 is definitely a step in the right direction.

Midsole

The 23 also keeps the Fluidride® technology designed to combine cushioning with a bounce back feeling off the road. This technology is what absorbs the impact of each step and is built in a way to create a smooth transition from heel to toe while still allowing for various movement directions.  While some have complained that this causes the shoe to be inflexible, and one can’t deny its stiffness, this is not significantly different from the Kayano’s of the past, which have typically been known to be a pretty stiff shoe.

The biggest change in the shoe is the new FlyteFoam™ technology that has replaced the former cushioning material in the midsole. The design intends to maintain the foam’s integrity with each step and returning to its original shape over hundreds of miles of running.  The FlyteFoam™ also reduces the weight of the Kayano 22, dropping the Kayano 23 by a tenth of an ounce while increasing the already well-respected durability of the shoe. The only downside of the FlyteFoam™ is causing the Kayano 23 to be slightly firmer than its already stiff predecessor.

Outsole

The outsole of the Kayano 23 is not too different from the 22 either, retaining the Guidance Line®, a vertical groove on the bottom of the shoe designed to flex with each step and move the runner towards better efficiency.

The Trusstic System® also remains with no notable changes, reducing the weight of the outsole from other alternatives while still keeping the integrity of the shoe.  This piece is designed to mirror the plantar fascia and other muscles in the shoe and help runners in the push-off phase of the stride. Basically, it is an “energy-returning” outsole (take this term with a grain of salt as “energy returning” outsoles do not actually return energy to its wearer and this concept is incredibly complicated due to the vast array of muscles and tendons moving around in your foot during running) similar to the Adidas Energy Boost technology and other similar tech found in other brands.

The DuraSponge® outsole also remains the same. Featuring a blown, high abrasion rubber material on the outsole of the shoe, the DuraSponge® outsole is a big reason why the shoe is known for being so durable while also adding to the shoe’s cushioning.

ALSO READ:  Saucony Ride 9 Review

Awards


 The #1 Best Insoles for Foot Pain

If you have plantar fasciitis, high arches, flat feet, or other foot support issues, but would rather not purchase a new pair of shoes – add the Tread Labs Stride Insole to your existing shoes. The Stride Insole is biomechanically designed to support your arch and cure/prevent plantar fasciitis. Simply remove the factory insole from your favorite shoes and replace it with the Stride. The Stride comes in four different arch heights for each foot size, offers a lifetime guaranteed arch support and has a removable top cover. Take the Tread Labs Fit Quiz now and get THE BEST possible support for your feet.

#1 Best Support - Tread Labs Stride Insole

  • THE BEST support to prevent/cure Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lifetime Guaranteed Arch Support.
  • Replaceable Top-Cover
  • Free shipping both ways.

Read Why Stride Insoles are the Best


While the new Kayano missed out on most of the notable awards for shoes this year, the Kayano 23 did receive the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance which recognizes running shoes and other footwear that help to promote good foot health.

Similar Shoes

If you have not run in the ASICS Kayano 23 before, you may find it useful to compare it to other similar shoes. According to the “Similar Shoe” function on Runner’s World, the Kayano 23 is most similar to the Brooks Glycerin 13, a hugely popular comfort shoe with a similar weight and drop as the Kayano but with more cushioning and less stiffness.

Runner’s World also considers the Kayano 23 similar to the Pearl Izumi EM Road N3, a new shoe this year, which is again similar in weight, but has a 13.9mm drop as opposed to the Kayano 23’s 10mm drop and is much more stiff with slightly less cushioning in the forefoot and much less in the heel.

Summary

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 stuck to the goal of most running shoes that have been around for a while: do as little as possible to improve to get a few new wearers while staying true to the audience that has kept the shoe in business for so long.  The Kayano 23 remains a solid option for a durable, supporting, and stable shoe for runners who overpronate. If that is the kind of shoe you are looking for and you are not a fan of the Brooks Glycerin, arguably the best shoe in this niche in every category except possibly durability, then the Kayano 23 is an excellent shoe that should last you for many miles to come.

Read Amazon Reviews for Gel Kayano 23

2017-05-06T18:34:53+00:00

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