What is the standout trait of Kayano 24? Adaptability.
Nearly a quarter century ago when the Gel-Kayano was launched, it was designed and marketed as the premier high mileage shoe. It was sold in a time when medical professionals and retailers focused on pronation control and watched the foot intently for medial deviation. We then divided people’s needs according to their foot type, matching them to a shoe. It was a neat, flow chart type approach. The quest was to “find the perfect shoe for you”.
Today, we veer toward a vastly more fluid approach in matching the person to shoe. Not only do we now know that a person’s psychological and hormonal response is just as relevant as their physiological design, but we’ve also factored in the obvious – we don’t run the same way each and every day. Our weight changes, our pace changes, our terrain choice changes, our mileage changes and our energy level changes.
The Gel-Kayano of today has perfected this conformability of design. It has taken the fundamental features of 24 years ago, refined, refined and refined further, making it protective, comfortable and pliable for the wearer who demands performance under myriad of training adaptations.
The upper is noted for its porous and featherweight attributes. The first generation Kayano upper would weaken with age, stiffen with time and feel like an awkward glove, especially after exposure to sweat. Today’s upper is almost the opposite. It is highly durable and holds shape with age, it is lightweight, breathable and is especially soft. It gently accommodates individual bony prominences. You could run barefoot in this shoe.
The heel is lined with a seamless, shiny – neoprene-like fabric. It is both soft and frictionless. It’s the best ever performer for comfort and is likely to eliminate Haglaund irritation. The tongue of the shoe is longer, it moulds upwards against the dorsiflexed foot instead of abruptly stopping at the fulcrum point of the ankle.
The heel counter continues to hold an external skeletal form that is moulded more sympathetically than before. It tapers anteriorly and contributes to the rear foot:forefoot hand over.
Under the moulded and antibacterial sock liner, the inside last is made of full length SpEVA 45. It is responsive, soft and protective.
The Dynamic Duomax midsole tapers the flow of soft:hard resistance. The old Duomax had a defining vertical divide in midsole material of where pronation resistance was active, and where it wasn’t. The Dynamic design takes into account the 3 dimensional movements taking place and allows for free flow of forward movement whilst tampering eversion.
A Flyte Foam midsole is light, responsive and durable. It’s a new formulation of midsole that is responsible for deducing a large amount of weight from the shoe. Its Kevlar / PET component boasts high tensile strength as well as high elastic qualities to resist permanent deformation – important in areas of the arch and 1st MPJoint.
Trusstic and Guidance Line design features are present again in this model, key components that resist eversion whilst transferring forward movement from contact to propulsion.
The rudimentary feel of this shoe is similar to Kayano 23, but the subtle refinements are what makes it special. Putting the shoe on is easier thanks to the slippery feeling heel fabric, the new style laces mould to the foot’s architecture instead of twisting into a hard twine, the tongue is sympathetic in feel. All these small tweaks make something great just that much more pleasurable.
The traditional method of categorising foot and running types against a shoe was too simplified – it is now more inclusive of other subtitle factors. The modern day Gel-Kayano 24 has grown with that concept –it is not a pronation control shoe. It caters for vast variation. Primarily though, if it fits like a glove and feels great on – it will likely be a loyal running companion for years to come.