Asics' long-running Gel-Kayano running shoes are famed for their stability, durability and comfort. The model's latest and 25th iteration - Gel-Kayano 25 - is now available.
Like its predecessors, the new model is designed for overpronators, typically runners with flat feet or low arches. During runs, their feet tend to roll inward excessively, forcing their knees and ankles to work harder to stabilise the body.
Stability running shoes, such as the Gel-Kayano series, counter this overpronation by having more cushioning on the inside of the heel and under the ball of the foot.
But while stability running shoes are often heavy and lack responsiveness, the Gel-Kayano 25 counters that with Asics' latest FlyteFoam Lyte and FlyteFoam Propel midsole technologies.
FlyteFoam Lyte, which provides stability at the back of the shoes, uses reinforced fibres that are 55 per cent lighter than the industry standard. FlyteFoam Propel enhances responsiveness during toe-off and provides shock absorption at the front of the shoes.
The Gel-Kayano 25 has a two-layered mesh upper for breathability and flexibility. The smooth no-sew underlays not only provide comfort, but also have reinforced bands on the medial forefoot and on top of the forefoot for added support.
MATERIAL: Asics' FlyteFoam Lyte midsole with jacquard mesh upper
HEEL DROP: 11mm
WEIGHT: 320g (Size US 9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
After lacing up the Gel-Kayano 25, I was amazed by how comfortable the shoes were. My feet were securely locked in, but there was enough room for my toes to wiggle.
I took the shoes for a 5km jog and it felt like I had been wearing them for months. They were very comfortable, even though I am a neutral runner (feet with normal arch).
My injury-prone ankles were well supported by the heel counter, while my knees did not feel much impact during each stride, thanks to the thick cushioning.
Yet, the rebound from each stride was considerable and helped me run farther.
The only downer is that the shoes' ventilation was not as good as that of some of its competitors - they felt a tad warm after I ran more than 5km.
And despite Asics' efforts to pare down the weight, the Gel-Kayano 25 is still heavier than most. So while it might not be the shoes for race day, this is definitely a great choice for those who are training for a marathon.
• Verdict: Overpronators and long-distance runners will not go wrong with the Asics Gel-Kayano 25.