Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The Kayano is a traditional stability trainer built for easy mileage; the Kayano Lite is a modern stability trainer built for versatility. Here we will be comparing these two trainers.
Foo Bar

The Kayano is on its 30th iteration and it's one of the most popular true stability trainers in the world. It has a firm medial post and no floating plastic Trusstic shank. It costs $160.

The Kayano Lite is on its 3rd iteration and is a modern interpretation of the traditional Kayano. It doesn't have a firm medial post or a Trusstic shank. It also costs $160.

Which one of these stability trainers is better for you?

Similarity and differences: Gel Kayano 30 vs Gel Kayano Lite 3

Shoe type
Expert score
Expert score
Expert score
10.7 oz
10.1 oz
Heel Drop
10 mm
10 mm
The ASICS Kayano 30 is a top-tier stability trainer. Drawing inspiration from other ASICS offerings the Kayano has been completely rebuilt for its 30th edition. The result is an adaptable and stable shoe that provides comfort mile after mile. This overhaul continues Kayano’s run as one of the leaders of the stability field.
The Kayano Lite 3 is an impressive versatile stability trainer ready to tackle any training plan but, for the budget conscious runner the price might be a little steep due to the lack of big updates.
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
very stable
very stable
true to size
true to size
Retail price

Sole unit: Gel Kayano 30 vs Gel Kayano Lite 3

The Kayano 30 has one type of foam in its midsole: FF Blast+.

The Kayano Lite 3 has a single-density Flytefoam midsole. It has smoother ride transitions than the Kayano 30 but it has a stiffer forefoot due to the absence of FF Blast+.

The ride of the Kayano 30 is softer than the ride of the Kayano Lite 3 due to the FF Blast+ in the midsole so it’s better for longer runs at slower paces.

The firmer, lighter Kayano Lite 3 is better for shorter, faster runs. It’s more nimble than the Kayano 30 and it feels more snappy.

Both trainers have gel in their midsoles. The Kayano Lite 3 only has a small amount in its forefoot but the Kayano 30 has silicone gel in its heel.

Stability is better in the Kayano 30 than in the Kayano Lite 3 due to the extra stability elements. It has a Dynamic Duomax medial post which the Kayano Lite 3 doesn’t have.

On the outsoles, both trainers have firmer, more durable AHAR + on the heel, with softer AHAR rubber on the forefoot. The biggest difference is that the Kayano Lite 3 has a filled up midfoot medial side whereas the Kayano 30 has no rubber on its midfoot so the Kayano Lite 3 has the more durable outsole.

Upper unit: Gel Kayano 30 vs Gel Kayano Lite 3

The Kayano 30 has a plush, comfortable upper filled with generous amounts of foam. It has a thick, padded tongue which is gusseted so no tongue slide occurs. The Kayano 30 runs warm so it’s better suited to cooler climates. It fits true to size and is available in a wide version too.

The Kayano Lite 3 also has a comfortable upper but it’s stripped down compared to the Kayano 30 and not as plush. It’s not as padded so it’s more breathable than the Kayano 30 and better suited to warm climates. The Kayano Lite 3 fits true to size and is only available in a standard width.

Which one to buy: Gel Kayano 30 vs Gel Kayano Lite 3

If you’re looking for a trainer for mainly long, slow runs, the Kayano 30 is the better shoe for you. It has a higher level of stability and is the more comfortable shoe. The Kayano 30 is heavier than the Kayano Lite 3 but it has a softer ride.

If you’re looking for a lighter, faster trainer for short runs, the Kayano Lite 3 is the shoe for you. It has a stiffer forefoot which makes it more snappy and it feels more agile than the Kayano 30. The Kayano Lite 3 weighs less than the Kayano 30 but it’s not as stable.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.