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ASICS Gel Kayano 29 Review

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Introduction

How do you keep a running shoe relevant after more than 28 years in business? You make a blueprint similar to what ASICS uses for their Kayano line. They started with a great foundation and have made small improvements every year. Back for the 29th year is the ASICS Kayano. ASICS top tier stability shoe has never been better.

It retails for 160 dollars and competes with the Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Gaviota and the Mizuno Wave Horizon.

As far as cushioning and stability the Kayano is similar to the Brooks Glycerin and Saucony Tempus.

There are two lower tiers of stability ASICS offers, the GT-1000 and GT-2000.

The GT-1000 is the budget friendly option with simplified technology.The GT-2000 is the mid tier option which shares some of the same technology as the Kayano.

Since the Kayano is the top tier it carries the most, and latest advances ASICS has to offer.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 First Impressions

I was excited to open the box and try the Kayanos on for the first time. Part of my excitement was due to the colorway I received, white/velvet pine.

Upon first glance I had to shield my eyes due to the brightness of the white and along with the accents of neon yellow. They are stylish trainers, and that comes from someone who never runs in white running shoes. Another aspect adding to the stylish look of the shoe was the small outlines and dots of blue found in the logo and shoelaces.

Upon slipping them on for the first time I felt welcomed by the responsive comfort I am used to with a Kayano. The same bounce was there, as what I found in the 28th edition. This was a tailored shoe from heel to toe hugging the contour of my feet. Generally, it was a solid fit from the first step.

The maiden voyage of the Kayano 29 was a 6 and ½ mile run. It was a balanced enjoyable ride filled with comfort and responsiveness.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Upper

There have been some small changes to the upper of the Kayano 29. The engineered mesh used has been updated to be more breathable. It is the ideal amount of structure for the trainer. It allows your feet to bend but also holds them in place as well, aiding in the stability of the Kayano.

The engineered mesh, like the rest of the shoe, is built with durable materials. The Kayano are built to last longer than most stability trainers. It is a snug fit in the heel gradually widening out in the midfoot and forefoot. The ample toe box is comfortable and encourages toe offs with ample energy return.

Last year they moved the External Heel Clutch internally this was a great success. This continues in the 29s. It is made with an X-shaped structure and lined with memory foam. The clutch continues to be a strength of the upper by securely holding your foot in place, working in tandem with the midsole components to provide a stable ride every run.

The Kayano 29 fits true to size and provides a snug fit from heel to toe. This wasn’t an issue for me but it may be for some runners. The upper is seamless which prevents any areas of irritation.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Sole Unit

Let’s start from the ground up. AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) covers the outsole of the Kayano 29. This is the same rubber used in many ASICS trainers. It is thick and durable, built to handle any condition and hundreds of miles.

The construction of the midsole of the Kayano 29 is different from previous editions. 3-D space construction is used again in the construction, this is when they take small specific shapes of foam and press them together to form a midsole.

Flytefoam Blast Plus makes its first appearance in the Kayano 29, the lightweight foam is found in the front of the midsole. It provides ample energy return on toe off. It is also made with environmentally friendly materials.

ASICS standard Gel cushioning is in the heel of the shoe. This has been a long standing feature of the Kayano as far as I can recall. The Gel cushioning in this edition is as prominent and pronounced as it is in the previous editions. It does provide some bounce to the ride but it doesn’t feel like it is as exciting any more because it has been around for so long.

Last year, they hid much of the stability system in the midsole of the Kayano. They furthered the tread in the 29th edition. The stability is provided by ASICS Dynamic DuoMax support system. This is a duo density foam, similar to a medial post midsole system. It runs from the beginning of the external heel counter down to the front of the arch. It held my feet in place and prevented my ankle from rolling in.

Underneath the DuoMax Support system you will find the Litetruss. This cushion in the heel is placed there to make the transition from heel to toe smoother, it was evident on the runs. The impact to toe off is smooth and requires less effort because of this feature.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Conclusions

Last year for the 28th edition of the Kayano, ASICS decided to make some major changes to the construction of the trainer. For the 29th, they decided to keep those while adding a few slight changes.

3-D space construction is used again in the construction of the midsole. This is when they take small specific shapes of foam and press them together to form a midsole. This along with the addition of Flytefoam Blast Plus make for a stable, comfortable, and durable ride.

I like that they have continued incorporating the stability elements internally in the midsole. This has made the Kayano feel less bulky. One drawback to the midsole is the longer than average break in time. This was unusual for a Kayano, but once fully broken in you will want to run every run in them.

Slight changes continued in the upper. The engineered mesh has been updated to be more breathable and flexible. In my opinion it provides the right amount of structure as well.

The fit of the upper is a strength. It hugs in the heel portion while widening out through the mid and forefoot. This encouraged stability and allowed my feet to splay out on toe offs. Pair that with the energy return of the midsole and you will find one of the most comfortable rides out there.

They made some slight changes to the Kayano 29 and they all add to the performance. It shows that ASICS knows what is working and slightly improving upon them.

The ASICS Kayano 29 has become my favorite edition I have reviewed, and I have reviewed all of them since the 25th edition.
The stable and comfortable ride made every mile enjoyable.

If you are looking for a premier stability trainer that is built for daily use no matter the type of run, I would recommend the ASICS Kayano 29. It will be worth it.

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