The Kayano line by ASICS’ is by far one of the favorites among stability runners. With every passing year, this brand introduces a shoe with features a cut above the previous one. The Kayano 27 is no exception to this rule.
When it comes to stability running shoes for running long distances, you cannot possibly do better than the ASICS Gel Kayano 27. We tested these shoes for 50 miles and now bring you a comprehensive guide to the advantages and disadvantages of Kayano 27! So buckle up!
We have tested this shoe on speedier, shorter, and longer runs to find exactly how it compares to Kayano 26—and what kind of runner it is suitable for. Before we dig into the nitty-gritty that entails the product, here are some core specifications for you, along with our overview!
- Weight: 8.8 ounces for women, 11.1 ounces for men
- Drop: 13 mm for women, 10 mm for men
- Stack height (heel/toe): 24mm/11mm for women, 22mm/12mm for men
- Upper Construction: Mesh
- Midsole Construction: Flytefoam material
- Type: Stability shoe
- Suitable surface: Road, pavement, track
What We Liked:
- The new engineered upper proves to be far more dynamic and breathable than the previous one. It contours to a variety of foot shapes and adapts to movements according to the gait cycle.
- The perforations provide increased breathability and airflow to keep moisture away from a runner’s feet.
- The heel for Kayano 27, which is 10mm for men and 13mm for women, is relatively high when pitted against other similar shoes. However, it provides another side to the construction with a soft and cushioned heel.
- As compared to other contemporary stability shoes, Kayano appears to be slightly heavier. These shoes are also on the pricier end of the range, although you do get complete worth of your money spent.
Overall rating of ASICS Gel Kayano 27: 4.5/5
ASICS Gel Kayano 27 Sole Unit (Technologies)
A couple of changes can be seen in the midsole of the Kayano 27. We’re going to take you through the base of the feature to help you understand it better. For instance, a revolutionary material has been utilized in the shoes’ outsole called AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber). It is a patent technology that provides high durability through both dry and wet conditions.
After testing the shoes from 50 miles, we did begin to witness a very minimal amount of wear on the outsole. In the previous version of Kayano (26), thick padding of gel cushioning was observed in the midsole areas to provide high shock absorption. Similar gel cushioning is also featured in the 27 models and extra cushioning to accommodate the big toe and forefoot.
Flytefoam Propel For Midsole
The Kayano 27 was found to have segmented gel cushioning along the heel, which translates into better cushioning at high-impact footstrikes. Apart from these features, Flytefoam Lyte and Propel introduced in the more recent releases of Kayano (25 & 26) are consistent in Kayano 27. Flytfoam Lyte is found at the bottom layer of the midsole.
This feature offers a solid and firm foundation to your feet along with every stride. Flytefoam Propel utilized at the upper layer of the midsole allows a good stretch in the midsole area. It increases the cushioning and abilities, which aid in increasing flexibility around the forefoot area.
Our test has helped us define the spring of the shoes with the assistance of a 12mm drop. It has drastically improved the toe-offs. Another significant change we witnessed between the performance was the deeper flex and overall improved flexibility experienced throughout the outsole. Aspects like these come together and push the benefits of propel further.
Some of the best technologies are offered in the Kayano line by ASICS since it is known as a premier stability trainer. It comes equipped with high stability due to the several features that work in harmony. If you are a runner who fell in love with 25s and 26s, you will undoubtedly create a soft spot for the technological aspects of Kayano 27 in your heart as a solid stability trainer.
Dynamic DuoMax Support System
The Dynamic DuoMax Support system is the prime gateway that offers stability in Kayano, and this technology is seen making a comeback in Kayano 27! This feature provides duo density in the midsole system, which transitions the foot stride from the foot counter to the arch.
A hard plastic plate acts as the foundation of the outsole around your arch area—this is known as the Trusstic System. What does it do? Well, it results in the shoes providing better strides in terms of stability. However, please note that I did experience a nudge of inflexibility, stiffness, and heaviness at the back portion. This phenomenon is, unfortunately, quite likely.
Overall Sole Unit Rating: 4.2/5
ASICS Gel Kayano 27 Upper Unit (Technologies)
Some minute yet noticeable changes are seen in the upper unit construction of the new Kayano (27). Not only is the newly designed mesh stylish, but it also adds to the performance of the shoes. During our test, the mesh material assisted in promoting a natural movement to my feet while not backing out on maintaining structure. You can count on them to keep your feet cool while running, even during the summers.
Even a hit of some serious mileage shouldn’t tarnish the ability of the durable materials used in the upper construction and built. The classic tailored fit of the uppers that fanatics of 26s might have enjoyed is passed on the 27s almost to a fault. Not going to lie, I did experience some tightness around the toe box and midfoot—however, nothing deal-breaking.
MetaClutch ExoSkeleton Heel System
Thankfully, this outstanding feature seen in previous Kayano(s) has made a reappearance in the 27s. The MetaClutch exoskeleton heel system provides the heel area of the upper a boost of strength and maintains stability in the shoe.
The immaculate amalgamation of the cushioned heel collar and the exoskeleton heel counter help clutch the foot to keep it in place while running. This aids further into the stability quotient and compliments the systems in the midsole.
According to our research, the fit holds true to its size, and we didn’t complain about the width of the shoes like in the previous edition. The upper is also designed to reduce and prevent irritation in any area during and post-running.
Overall Upper Unit Rating: 4.5/5
ASICS Gel Kayano 27 Ride & Performance (Our Experience)
I am an overpronator, and I can vouch for Kayano 27 to be an ideal match for neutral runners or overpronators. Due to the stable, soft platform of the Kayano 27, I have observed almost no faults in the build of the shoes in my 50 miles test.
Similar to the tongue to the heel collar, the soft padding in Kayano 27 was observed providing a plush and cushioned feel in the underfoot. I discovered that the Flytefoam cushioning utilized in the midsole is perfect for runners who opt for a bouncy and soft heel during their run. It aids in a livelier ride as compared to several contemporary soft foams in the market.
Due to the exemplary “sandwich” of the gel cushioning system in the flyte foam midsole, the shoe maintained a positioned heel. This technology can essentially drive away any injuries and gait issues as it squishes during your foot strikes and absorbs all the sock. The impact gets dispersed evenly throughout the shoe. It also creates a healthy environment for your feet to maintain and make a smooth transition between the heel to toe.
The Kayano is noticeably a little heavier as compared to previous editions, as mentioned in the above sections. It is probably due to the inclusion of a Trusstic system (plastic plate in the outsole). The women’s model weighs about 8.8 ounces, while the men’s model weighs 11.1 ounces.
As we mentioned in the earlier sections, Kayano 27 brings a unique Dynamic Duomax stability technology. Being an overpronator, the shoes have worked exceedingly well by preventing any uneven wear. A firm grip is promised due to the plastic plate installed in the midsole mixed with the clutch system.
I understand that stability shoes have gradually received a bad rep in the market for being too stiff or cumbersome, but the Kayano 27 helps break these stereotypes effectively. It provides a nice balance between cushion and response.
Overall Ride & Performance Experience Rating: 4.7/5
ASICS Gel Kayano 27 Gender-Specific Details
Foot shapes, weights, and gait patterns physiologically vary between men and women. The ASICS Kayano 27 is built to accommodate such differences easily. There are three significant distinctions between the women’s and the men’s version of Kayano, which we will discuss in brief details:
Trusstic System is a technology that increases shoe stability while actively dodging damage and feet twisting. There is a slight difference in the attributes of this technology for both men’s and women’s versions. As mentioned by ASICS officially, the women’s version provides an added support to pick up forward motion, while the men’s version is arch-support focused.
While both the men’s and women’s versions come equipped with FlyteFoam midsoles, the composition offered to women is noticeably softer.
Amount of foam
Similar to the softer feel, the underfoot area of women’s Kayano 27 features more foam to cater to women’s specific biomechanical requirements.
ASICS Gel Kayano 26 vs Gel Kayano 27
Although we have sparsely covered the differences and similarities between the two Kayano versions in the previous sections, we will get into some nitty-gritty of several changes that are pretty noticeable in the Kayano 27.
The external heel counter of Kayano 27 is a little more toned down, as ASICS has gone on to shorten the length it wraps on the sides. Our experience with both versions shows that the heel counter in Kayano 26 flared up, but the newer version is more rounded off. The mesh upper and GEL cushion design of the shoes have also been tweaked in Kayano 27.
The area beneath the shoe has also seen some significant changes. Compared to Kayano 26, designers have decoupled the rubber outsole and changed the flex grooves in Kayano 27. However, our testers didn’t notice a significant shift in the underfoot ride.
Within all the minute changes, ASICS’s new Kayano brings bigger changes as well. Differences have been noted on gender-specific versions of the shoes. Women will receive a plusher underfoot along with a lower drop, while the Trusstic System is designed to accommodate the gait differences in men’s and women’s versions.
How They Compare With Other Stability Shoes
Kayano 27 is an excellent option for runners who overpronate since it provides additional stability and support. It helps keep your feet in place as you run, helping you avoid any injuries. These shoes are found to offer more resistance in the heel with every heel strike.
Here’s how the Kayano 27 compares with other stability-based shoes on the market currently. Since we have tested all the below-mentioned shoes, we will be able to provide you a brief yet informative comparison to help you choose between Kayano 27 and these alternatives.
Saucony Hurricane 22:
If you are looking for only a little bit of medial support around the mid-foot area, we suggest the Saucony Hurricane 22. These shoes are a lot softer and offer cushioned stability. You can expect the shoe to sink in more with every heel strike with the help of the FORMFIT technology.
Hoka One One Arahi 4:
The Arahi 4 features technologies like Firmer EVA J-Frame™ that make the shoe lighter than Kayano 27. If a blend of good traction support along with cushioned stability is your cup of tea, the zonal rubber placement in the sole will help you out!
New Balance 860V10:
Instability shoes, runners are often seen oscillating between New Balance 860V10 and Kayano 27. Although you wouldn’t get the similar heel lock experience of Kayano 27, this New Balance model will work well if you like more stability around the mid-foot area. The 860V10 also offers a wider toe area as compared to Kayano 27 while providing more flexibility.
Final Verdict on ASICS Gel Kayano 27
The Kayano 27 continues the legacy of ASICS in offering the best stability shoes on the market. Although there have been some thoughtful updates, it remains the same smooth-riding shoe that runners crave.
We loved testing out the spacious fit, tenacious grip, and support of the Kayano 27 while also enjoying premium technologies and materials provided by ASICS. The Kayano 27 will certainly stand up for miles and miles of running.
We consider it an excellent pair of running shoes for users suffering from excessive pronation and actively seeking steady arch support. They’re great for both regular training sessions as well as light recovery workouts.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.