Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2

A side view of the women's ASICS Kayano Lite 2

The powers of stability and softness combine to create a balanced running experience in this eco-friendly shoe.

The second iteration of the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite features the same lightweight properties as the original with an updated mesh upper. Gel technology cushioning provides excellent shock absorption, while a wider heel and forefoot base create extra stability.

Fleet Feet reviewers put the Kayano Lite 2 to the test to get a feel for its fit, ride and comfortability. Here’s what they thought.

Tech Specs

ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2

Weight

8.6 oz (W), 10.2 oz (M)

Drop

13 mm (W), 10 mm (M)

Stack Height (heel/toe)

25/12 mm (W), 23/13 mm (M)

Category

Stability

Use

Everyday Training

Surface

Road, track

Updated Upper Provides Extra Flexibility

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 uses sustainable and recycled materials, making this shoe an eco-friendly choice. The lining, tongue and laces are all made with over 60 percent recycled materials.

A front view of the ASICS Kayano Lite 2

But your carbon footprint isn’t the only thing that’s scaled down. The Kayano Lite 2 is intentionally designed to be lighter than its counterpart, the Kayano 28.

An engineered mesh upper covers the Kayano Lite 2, securing the fit while still providing some wiggle room. The mesh is soft and smooth, so you don’t have to worry about chafing or blistering.

A padded heel collar holds you in place, while a rounded toe box gives your feet room to breathe. The shoe is snug in the midfoot, but reviewers mention it can work well for a variety of different foot shapes.

“The heel is secure, hugs the midfoot and has a nice open, rounded toe box. There are no seamed overlays, providing plenty of breathability and flexibility,” one reviewer explains.

A plush tongue provides all-around comfort, while flat laces allow you to easily customize the fit of your shoes.

Stability Meets Softness in the Midsole

Even though the Kayano Lite 2 is significantly lighter than its namesake, it still offers the same structure and support you expect from a stability shoe.

FLYTEFOAM cushioning incorporates organic fibers into a foam material, providing ample shock absorption while creating a soft, supportive feel. Gel cushioning in the rearfoot and forefoot protects your feet from the impact on takeoff and landing.

“The foam is really responsive and bouncy, and it really is the perfect balance between snap and cushion,” one reviewer says.

Instead of using a firm medial post to reduce the effects of overpronation, as most stability shoes do, ASICS relies on geometry. The top of the midsole features a concave shape on the lateral heel and a convex shape on the medial heel to increase stability and improve efficiency.

The sole of the women's ASICS Kayano Lite 2

ASICS also uses gender-specific compression zones to slow the rate of uneven wear by keeping your foot supported as you land. A wide base in the shoe’s heel and forefoot create more space for toe-offs and landings, providing balance and stability when you need it most.

“The flatter outsole and wide landing platform create a really stabilized landing but doesn’t dull your energy rebound as you run,” one reviewer explains.

Reviewers noticed extra outsole rubber on the instep, increasing the durability of the shoe and preventing uneven wear patterns.

ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 vs ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite

A side by side comparison of the ASICS Kayano Lite 2 and the ASICS Kayano Lite.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 offers the same smooth ride as the first version, with some minor tweaks to improve comfortability.

The updated mesh upper is created with a higher percentage of recycled materials than the previous model, with minimal overlays to improve the fit. The upper’s shape targets key support zones to increase stability. This year’s model is slightly heavier than last year’s, but reviewers didn’t notice a difference in the weight.

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite and the Kayano Lite 2 use ASICS’s GEL technology and FLYTEFOAM cushioning to provide shock absorption and a responsive bounce back.

Tech comparison

ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2

ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite

Weight

8.6 oz (W), 10.2 oz (M)

7.6 oz (W), 9 oz (M)

Drop

13 mm (W), 10 mm (M)

13 mm (W), 10 mm (M)

Cushioning

FLYTEFOAM, GEL

FLYTEFOAM, GEL

Category

Stability

Stability

The women's ASICS Kayano Lite 2

Final Thoughts

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite 2 offers stability and support without weighing you down.

An engineered mesh upper provides a smooth and secure fit, while a plush heel collar locks down your foot. Foam cushioning provides your feet with the comfort they need for all of your daily miles.

An innovative stability system, featuring strategic geometry and a wide base, gives you the support you need and the flexibility you want.

“I’d definitely wear these for long runs or recovery runs. The shoe has enough cushion to where my feet don’t feel like they’re in contact with the ground,” one reviewer said.

If you’re looking for the support of a stability shoe with an extra touch of softness, the Kayano Lite 2 is the perfect choice.

Keep Reading