ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 ReviewAugust 23, 2016
- Exceptional durability
- Provides excellent support
- New midsole offers better cushioning at a lighter weight
- Narrow fitting upper
- Steep price point
- Break-in period needed
The Asics Gel-Kayano 23 proves again why it’s still a leading shoe for runners needing support and stability. The Gel-Kayano 23 is the best stability shoe tested, offering more comfort and better support while maintaining a responsive feel. Retailing at $160, the Gel-Kayano 23 is one of the priciest shoes in the group, however, due to its durability it’s still a good value.
The Asics GEL-Kayano has been a premium everyday trainer for those needing stability and cushioning for years. New for this year, Asics upgrades the Gel-Kayano 23 to FlyteFoam midsole, a lighter and better performing midsole material verses the midsole used in the Kayano 22. Hints of Asics famous Gel technology can still be found throughout the midsole offering support for overpronation. Asics continues with the seamless Fluidfit upper for a better fit and added comfort.
The Gel-Kayano 23 is definitely one of the most comfortable stability shoes tested this season. It’s easy to notice a different feel to the latest Gel-Kayano because of the all new FlyteFoam midsole. The new material, with hints of Asics famous Gel technology throughout the midsole, helps the Gel-Kayano 23 feel softer and lighter than the Gel-Kayano 22.
The Kayano 23 fits like a tight glove. The length is on par with other proper-fitting shoes, while the toe box had a very low profile and is on the narrow side. The seamless Fluidfit upper feels like an extension of your sock. It’s soft and breathable and seems to mold perfectly around your foot. The lacing system and playable Fluidfit upper synchs nicely and makes it easy to get that dialed-in secure fit. The external heel clutching system does a nice job providing rear foot support while preventing heel lift.
Often times stability shoes feel stiff and rugged, thus reducing responsiveness, however, the Kayano 23 does a nice job of balancing the fine line between support and responsiveness. The Kayano 23 has the lowest forefoot profile (12mm) of all the shoes tested, which helped increase ground feeling, thus enhancing the ability to toe off.
Tipping the scales at 11.5oz for men and offering a 10mm drop, the Ascis Gel-Kayano 23 is designed for support and durability, so it’s no surprise they don’t out-pace lighter and more flexible shoes.
Expect a short break-in period for the Kayano 23. Out of the box the Kayano 23 is a very stiff shoe with little flexibility, making the first few runs rather rough. After those first few “break-in” runs, the Kayano 23 proves to be one of smoothest stability shoes tested. The firmness of the Dynamic Duomax midsole absorbs each footstrike perfectly, yet still had a “poppy” feel to it.