When I heard the new version of the ASICS Gel-Kayano's were coming out I was massively excited to get my hands on a pair. I am a huge fan of the Gel-Kayano trainer, as someone who over-pronates they are my go to running shoe for training runs and long distance road running / racing.
The first thing I need to comment on is the colour, obviously they are available in several different colours (I’m already eying up the Midnight / Frosted Almond) but for the women the 'Laser Pink / Sour Yuzu' is certainly the most vibrant of the collection. Having got my parcel on the same day as our regular club run session, they were straight out of the box and ready to go. It was a glorious evening and the shoes got lots of attention and admiration.
The 25 was a bit of a special edition with it being the 25th year of the shoe and had already offered significant improvements from earlier versions so I was intrigued to see just what more ASICS could do.
When I first tried on the 25’s I remember saying that they were like putting clouds only my feet! The 26's don’t quite have the same feel on first try on, they felt firmer and maybe even slightly narrower in the toe box, however having now done a few runs in them I'm pleased to note both fit and comfort wise they don't differ too much from the 25's.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 26 appears to offer the great technologies of the previous model, enhanced FlyteFoam technology for durable and responsive cushioning, plush sicklier for comfort and breathable mesh to keep your feet cool, which the 26 model looks to have made improvements on.
The biggest difference seems to be the amount of gel in the heel. Even just looking at them you can visibly see that there is more gel in the heel of the 26, which also appears to extend closer to the mid foot. It would appear this was added to increase how much shock it can absorb.
I’ve now done a few runs in the Gel-Kayano 26 and I can say that the 26s do feel more supportive and springy around / under the heel so it would appear that the improvements in the Gel are successful.
I suffer from weak Achilles and I like to tie up my laces using the top eyelet for extra security so I'm pleased that the laces seem longer / stretchier to enable me to do this comfortably but not so long that the laces are annoying for anyone who doesn't do this!
Whilst the ASICS Gel Kayano 26 is still a heavier shoe and falls at the higher end budget wise, the shoe offers great fit, superb cushioning and awesome design and is a great shoe for runners undertaking long-distance or endurance road events, runners wanting stability shoes with good cushioning and beginners who might want a shoe with good cushioning for getting into running. The durable sole also means you can run on road and light trail.
Improvements on the 25
- Lighter, they're still not as light as other shoes available and the Gel DS Trainer is still my preferred shoe for shorter distance racing but it's great that ASICS are able to make improvements in this and offer the same great shoe.
- More support / bounce back around the heal, improving the already great stability and cushioning and comfort of the Kayano model.
- Stretchier laces, which make my life easier for tying!
The GEL-KAYANO 26 in this Review were gifted to me by ASICS Europe
Enjoy luxurious comfort and improved bounce with the women's GEL-KAYANO™ 26 running shoe, featuring GEL™ technology to the forefoot and rear for high-density shock absorption and a comfortable feel over long distances. Feat...SHOP NOW
Architect from Manchester
Club: Chorlton Runners