'It's just a trainer, right?', 'They are all the same', 'It's just money making' - No, No and No.
Running is high-impact. When your foot connects with the ground, there’s a huge force travelling through your ankle and up your leg to your knee and hip. If you don’t take precautions, the injury risk can be high. When we run, our feet take a pounding and need real support as our feet naturally roll inward as the outside part of the heel strikes the ground. How much you pronate determines what kind of support you need in a running shoe. Again finding the right trainer to work with your pronation will help prevent injury.
Enter the GEL-KAYANO 29™ - with the caption 'The most stable yet energetic running shoe', this immediately gets my attention especially as an endurance runner, I want a shoe that protects my feet, keeps me going for miles but provides the fun and energy if I want to speed it up here and there so lets see if it really does live up to this.
First of all, the tech:
Unlike previous models of the GEL-KAYANO™ the 29's are made with LITERUSS™ Construction, this means that the shoe still provides the stability by guiding the foot through the gait for a more efficient toe-off (something I love in the previous models) however the trainer is now lighter than its predecessors providing a smoother ride. A trainer built for stability and comfort but is also responsive when called upon!
The FF BLAST PLUS™ foam added in the midsole of the shoe creates more cushioning than ever before and adding energy with every step you take. For me, this is must especially on those longer runs, running mile after mile. A light, cushioned, supportive ride is just what I am looking for to keep me going.
Something which does sit at the back of my mind when buying a shoe is the impact on the environment and how it is made so I was really pleased to hear that at least 75% of the shoe's main upper material is made with recycled content.
How it holds up on a run?
I have been wearing these shoes for about a week now to really put them through their pace running anywhere between 6 - 15 miles at a time and adding in some 60s sprints during a run to see if they are just as energetic as
reported. My feet overpronate when I run and I've also had a number of niggles in my feet so its really important that I trust a trainer to give me the confidence to perform whether thats to go further or faster. For me, stability is number one on the list so i'm particularly paying attention to the LITETRUSS™ stability feature to prevent my foot from rolling too far inward. I am pleased to say the trainer absolutely did this for me, my ankles and feet felt supported throughout which meant my mind wasn't focused on worrying about past niggles and I could just enjoy the run.
Second on my list would be cushioning and weight, although I like support, I don't want a shoe to feel clunky especially when banking mile after mile. I ran in the 28's and I really thought that they provided a cushioned bouncy stride due to the FF BLAST™ foam so I really wasn't sure whether the FF BLAST PLUS™ foam would provide much of difference. In fact they did, I also felt that the foam in the midsole provided a bounce in the shoe which when I am hitting the road is something I am looking for - to take away some of the harsh impact that comes with tarmac!
Would I wear this shoe for all runs?
No, but thats not a bad thing and I personally don't think there is one shoe for all runs. Would I wear this shoe for easy/mid/long miles? Yes, and I will continue to do so. I have other trainers specifically for racing and speed work however that isn't to say that the GEL-KAYANO 29™ can't respond to a little speed. I ran a 16 x 1 min session in them and they worked really well.
Overall, I am a big fan of the GEL-KAYANO range as a general but I definitely feel that the upgrades ASICS have made to the 29s do enhance the existing features which is winner. So yes, if like me, you want a stable, cushioned, mileage shoe with the ability to pick up pace here and there then you can't go wrong with the GEL-KAYANO 29™
Running Coach and leader for Best Athletics Nottingham/CiRF/LiRF/L3 PT from Nottingham
Club: Best Athletics
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ASICS is on a roll with their shoe innovations at the moment, taking their classics and boldly turning them on their head to create a more improved shoe and the GEL-KAYANO range is no different