Shoe Review: ASICS Gel-Kayano 29
The ASICS Kayano has been around for over two decades and has earned a spot on our list of Best Stability Running Shoes of 2022. The latest version—the Gel-Kayano 29— maintains its position as a top model thanks to the same shock-absorbing GEL technology and reliable stability features as generations past. Plus, this year’s iteration boasts a bouncier, thicker midsole and a more breathable upper to keep you running comfortably and efficiently mile after mile.
Fleet Feet reviewers logged plenty of miles in the new ASICS Gel-Kayano 29. Here’s everything you need to know.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 29
ASICS Gel-Kayano 28
9.5 oz (W), 10.5 oz (M)
9.1 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)
10 mm (M & W)
13 mm (W), 10 mm (M)
ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 Offers Plush Support and Stability
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 does what most modern day stability shoes aim to do—provide reliable support that reduces the effects of overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of a runner’s feet after impact with the ground—without feeling too rigid or obtrusive. Most runners pronate to some degree, but overpronation can lead to injuries and can also cause your shoes to wear down faster.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 provides stability combined with a new midsole featuring ASICS’ FF BLAST PLUS foam, which offers an energetic ride that helps you rebound off the ground. You may have experienced FF BLAST PLUS foam in the bestselling ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24.
The responsive foam works with GEL cushioning technology in the heel and forefoot to absorb shock and evenly disperse impact, lessening the load on your muscles and joints.
“The step-in feeling of the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is immediately comfortable and I noticed the springy foam underfoot,” Nate says.
But the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is more than just a cushioned running shoe. It uses ASICS’s LITETRUSS technology around the heel and midfoot to provide stability and support for overpronators. This firm material sits on the medial side of the shoe, keeping your foot from moving too far inward while you run. The result is more efficient takeoffs and landings without excessive lateral movement.
“This shoe feels really smooth!” Nate says. “I can feel the extra support leading to stable landings, along with a nice, firm responsiveness underfoot.”
If you aren’t sure whether you overpronate or not, head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height. Not only does the outfitting experience provide you with the right shoes and insoles, outfitters can make recommendations on apparel, accessories and nutrition to help you reach your goals.
A durable rubber outsole increases grip and traction on the roads, while a rubber heel plug helps the shoe hold up to wear and tear. The heel plug is made up of thicker, denser rubber than the rest of the outsole and sits on the outer edges of the shoe, which is where running shoes tend to wear down the quickest.
“The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 feels particularly stiff in the midsole, with just enough flexibility at the toe,” Kate says. “If you like a ride that’s firm and stable, the Kayano is the shoe for you. It’s made to be durable, and I expect it will hold up well for plenty of miles.”
What’s a midsole? Learn about the parts that make up a running shoe.
Increased Breathability Equals Increased Comfort
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 offers a redesigned engineered knit upper, which offers more breathability than previous versions. When you’re out pounding the pavement, the last thing you want to worry about is your feet feeling hot and sweaty. Besides having the right pair of running socks, a breathable upper goes a long way towards keeping your feet happy.
“The upper is stretchy, soft and comfortable against my foot. The best part is that the shoes don’t cause any issues for my wide feet,” Alex says.
"Cushion and support are the first things I notice. I have a narrow foot and these fit like a glove. There's lots of padding around the toe and ankle and they feel light on my feet," says Jasmine.
ASICS also used their signature 3D Space Construction feature in the Gel-Kayano 29. This feature improves the midsole’s compression during foot strike, allowing it to conform to your unique feet. Imagine it like a memory foam mattress that hugs your body in exactly the right spots, and provides an accommodating fit for a wide variety of foot shapes.
“The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 fits true to size for me. I have plenty of volume in the toe box and a comfortable heel fit, with just enough cushion to make the heel collar and tongue feel comfy,” Kate says “The shoe laces have a good bit of stretch and length to them to help make the fit adjustable and accommodating.”
A redesigned external heel collar offers low-profile support to cradle your foot, keeping it securely in place without irritating your ankles or achilles.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 vs Gel-Kayano 28
If you’re a fan of the previous version of the Kayano, you’ll likely enjoy the latest version, too. The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 remains a highly cushioned, highly supportive stability shoe with enough flexibility to remain comfortable for all types of runners, whether they overpronate or not.
The main updates to the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 are the addition of FF BLAST PLUS foam for a more energized ride and a redesigned heel collar for a dialed-in fit. A stretchy knit upper wraps comfortably around your foot, offering more breathability than previous versions of the Kayano.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 also features a heel-to-toe drop of 10 millimeters for both men and women. Heel-to-toe drop refers to the difference in height between your heel and forefoot when wearing the shoes. The previous version had a 13 millimeter drop for women and a 10 millimeter drop for men. The slightly lower heel-to-toe drop in the women’s shoe offers a smoother ride since you aren’t placing as much pressure on your forefoot with each step.
Overall, reviewers appreciate the new updates to the Gel-Kayano 29.
“This is a traditional Kayano that loyal followers have come to love over the years. If you’ve been a longtime fan of the Kayano, I think you’ll be happy with this update, too,” Kate says.
If you enjoy a stable ride in a cushioned, comfortable package, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is perfect for you. It’s a great choice for easy miles and long runs, and can handle the bulk of your everyday training.
“The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is a great option for those looking for a touch more support than what neutral shoes offer while still being able to perform with the best of them. It’s got enough stability to keep your feet on track while also enough flexibility and responsiveness to keep your turnover high,” Nate says.