It’s been a long time since I’ve tried Asics — I haven’t worn them since learning my running was stronger when wearing support shoes — so I was really interested to see how they worked for me. No shoe is going to be right for every runner, and there are a million reasons to try a shoe on and not just buy what you think looks cool. One of those reasons is that the right shoe can prevent injury and another is that our local running stores are worth supporting because they’ll get you into the right shoe.
The Asics GEL-Kayano 27 is a shoe you can definitely try on at a local running store, so read on and find out why it’s worth a run. Here’s the TL;DR: It’s a lighter-than-expected support shoe with no hot spots and a nice wide footbed.
I’ve been wearing support shoes for about 11 years, plus the occasional neutral shoe that has a wide toebox and firm cushioning. I’m about 5′ 8″ and weigh around 160 pounds, and I’m what I consider to be a recreational runner. Most of my runs are at an easy pace anywhere from 9:00-12:00/miles, plus speed workouts about once a week, totaling around 25 miles per week. I’m a pretty efficient runner but as gotten older I’ve definitely had to listen more to my body.
Usually, support shoes weigh more because they have more structural elements making up the midsole. The Asics GEL-Kayano 27, which offers light support, uses something called SPACE TRUSSTIC™ technology (cool name eh?) which is new design to reduce weight. The shoes don’t feel bulky, with a streamlined breathable upper and a sole that flexes with your foot. My gait felt natural and unencumbered, staying cool on hot days and lightweight on rainy days.
The heel drop is 13mm, important to consider if you need a shoe with less drop; but to me it felt very natural. If you’re not sure if this is a good height for you, head to any local running store and ask for a gait analysis. The heel collar and tongue did not give me any hot spots or blisters, which is always a risk if you wear no-show or low-cut running socks like me.
With about 120 miles on my first pair of GEL-Kayano 27, they are still in excellent shape. I enjoy wearing them more than my usual running shoes on my faster-paced easy runs because they are light (8.8 oz) and I appreciate the seamless uppers.
They’re available for women in 9 colors and for men in 9 colors, priced at $160 at the Asics website (with orders over $100 offering free shipping), or get them from a local running shop. We love local!