Run Oregon receives and tests running shoes from time to time. This initial post about the GEL-Kayano 28 from ASICS taken from the perspective of two testers.
Stack Height: 23mm / 13mm
Weight: 10.9oz (size 9)
Width Options: D (standard), 2E (wide), 4E (extra wide)
Stack Height: 25mm / 12mm
Weight: 9.1oz (size 7)
Width: B (standard), D (wide)
Support: Neutral, Stability
Pronation: Neutral, Overpronation
Midsole: Asics FlyteFoam Blast, Asics FlyteFoam
If you are new to the ASICS family of running shoes, know that this has been one of the OG’s of the genre. And even within ASICS, the GEL-Kayano’s are the OOG. As such, within new versions of the same type of shoe there are often minimal changes from year to year so that both long-time users and those stepping into these for the first time can feel supported.
I encourage that you read Kelly’s previously mentioned review for the perspective of someone who is returning to ASICS after a long lull. She does a great job discussing the Kayano family and what to be aware of. There were only a few updates to the 28’s – which we will mention here.
While Kelly mentioned the flexibility in the previous model, the 28’s seek to be more noticeably softer and more flexible by making the outsole a little more current with a gender-specific unit under the heel and forefoot to reduce weight and increase both stability and cushioning. While Kelly and our testers tried to determine a way to accurately compare softness/comfort between each other, we ultimately failed. We turned to some reviews on the ASICS website from individuals who have run in both and saw comments like “they are a lot more comfy and responsive. The heel is basically twice as soft as the 27s” and “much more plush and stable than the 27s“.
The other major change is to their Trusstic system (again something Kelly mentioned in her review). This system has been a staple in the Kayano family forever:
“The resin TRUSSTIC™ is used in the middle part of the sole. This structure gives shoes stability by preventing them from twisting during movement with shapes designed according to the motion characteristics in the sport and the purpose of the shoes. The shape of the TRUSSTIC™ is tailored to the type of shoe according to the motions used in the sport to keep the shoes from twisting.”
In the 28’s, this system has been moved in a way that seeks to maximize the support and transitions, which runners appear to be raving about – and we wouldn’t disagree.
One final small change is just a single mm increase in the stack height (from 22 to 23 in men’s with a 10mm variance and from 24 to 25 in women’s with a 13mm variance), so it’s probably not an increase most of us would even notice.
The mesh upper looks great and we had no challenges with its breathability or stability. One modification here is the placement of some plastic. In looking at Kelly’s picture of the shoe, you will notice that underneath the collar is the plastic system that rises to just below the collar. In the 28’s, the plastic seems to be significantly lessened and lowered. It’s also a little higher on the inside of the foot than the outside- which would seemingly showcase it’s benefits to someone who overpronates.
It’s a little underrated, but the Kayano-28 actually comes in multiple widths for both women’s and men’s models. Here at Run Oregon, we sometimes struggle with getting shoe reviews from some of our amazingly capable writers who happen to need/prefer a wider bed. It’s pretty awesome that this really isn’t an issue with these shoes.
Also, there has been gender-specific research in these shoes so it’s not like only a men’s shoe was created and then made smaller for the women’s version. Men and women run different and it’s great to see these specific biomechanical needs taken into account.
We will echo Kelly’s sentiments about the GEL-Kayano and our two testers felt the same way – that these are a great pair of running shoes with the comfort and durability to keep us satisfied until the 29’s.
Thank you to ASICS for providing us with sample pairs. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.