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Asics Gel Kayano 29 review

9 expert score
3.3 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 28th March by TJ Jones Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
55 other reviews

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Verdict

The ASICS Kayano 29 is a top-tier stability trainer built for all paces and distances. Slight tweaks made to both the upper and midsole have kept this trainer as one of the leaders of the stability pack.

The pros

  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • New Midsole Construction

The cons

  • A tad heavy

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Rating breakdown

Comfort
9.0
Build quality
10
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
9.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Gel Kayano 29
Family
Type
Weight
10.5 oz (298 g)
MSRP
160.00

Heel
mm.
Toe
mm.
Heel drop
12 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Wide

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Stability
Very stable
Flexibility
Medium

Usage

Racing
Speedwork
Daily training  
Long distance racing  
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Asics Gel Kayano 29 ?

I would recommend them to someone who is looking for a daily stability trainer built for many miles.

Who should not buy the Asics Gel Kayano 29 ?

I would not recommend them if you are looking for a speed work trainer.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Introduction

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

How do you keep a running shoe relevant after more than 28 years in business? You make a blueprint similar to what ASICS uses for their Kayano line. They started with a great foundation and have made small improvements every year. Back for the 29th year is the ASICS Kayano. ASICS top tier stability shoe has never been better.

It retails for 160 dollars and competes with the Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Gaviota and the Mizuno Wave Horizon.

As far as cushioning and stability the Kayano is similar to the Brooks Glycerin and Saucony Tempus.

There are two lower tiers of stability ASICS offers, the GT-1000 and GT-2000.

The GT-1000 is the budget friendly option with simplified technology.The GT-2000 is the mid tier option which shares some of the same technology as the Kayano.

Since the Kayano is the top tier it carries the most, and latest advances ASICS has to offer.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 First Impressions

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

I was excited to open the box and try the Kayanos on for the first time. Part of my excitement was due to the colorway I received, white/velvet pine.

Upon first glance I had to shield my eyes due to the brightness of the white and along with the accents of neon yellow. They are stylish trainers, and that comes from someone who never runs in white running shoes. Another aspect adding to the stylish look of the shoe was the small outlines and dots of blue found in the logo and shoelaces.

Upon slipping them on for the first time I felt welcomed by the responsive comfort I am used to with a Kayano. The same bounce was there, as what I found in the 28th edition. This was a tailored shoe from heel to toe hugging the contour of my feet. Generally, it was a solid fit from the first step.

The maiden voyage of the Kayano 29 was a 6 and ½ mile run. It was a balanced enjoyable ride filled with comfort and responsiveness.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Upper

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

There have been some small changes to the upper of the Kayano 29. The engineered mesh used has been updated to be more breathable. It is the ideal amount of structure for the trainer. It allows your feet to bend but also holds them in place as well, aiding in the stability of the Kayano.

The engineered mesh, like the rest of the shoe, is built with durable materials. The Kayano are built to last longer than most stability trainers. It is a snug fit in the heel gradually widening out in the midfoot and forefoot. The ample toe box is comfortable and encourages toe offs with ample energy return.

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Last year they moved the External Heel Clutch internally this was a great success. This continues in the 29s. It is made with an X-shaped structure and lined with memory foam. The clutch continues to be a strength of the upper by securely holding your foot in place, working in tandem with the midsole components to provide a stable ride every run.

The Kayano 29 fits true to size and provides a snug fit from heel to toe. This wasn’t an issue for me but it may be for some runners. The upper is seamless which prevents any areas of irritation.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Sole Unit

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Let’s start from the ground up. AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) covers the outsole of the Kayano 29. This is the same rubber used in many ASICS trainers. It is thick and durable, built to handle any condition and hundreds of miles.

The construction of the midsole of the Kayano 29 is different from previous editions. 3-D space construction is used again in the construction, this is when they take small specific shapes of foam and press them together to form a midsole.

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Flytefoam Blast Plus makes its first appearance in the Kayano 29, the lightweight foam is found in the front of the midsole. It provides ample energy return on toe off. It is also made with environmentally friendly materials.

ASICS standard Gel cushioning is in the heel of the shoe. This has been a long standing feature of the Kayano as far as I can recall. The Gel cushioning in this edition is as prominent and pronounced as it is in the previous editions. It does provide some bounce to the ride but it doesn’t feel like it is as exciting any more because it has been around for so long.

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Last year, they hid much of the stability system in the midsole of the Kayano. They furthered the tread in the 29th edition. The stability is provided by ASICS Dynamic DuoMax support system. This is a duo density foam, similar to a medial post midsole system. It runs from the beginning of the external heel counter down to the front of the arch. It held my feet in place and prevented my ankle from rolling in.

Underneath the DuoMax Support system you will find the Litetruss. This cushion in the heel is placed there to make the transition from heel to toe smoother, it was evident on the runs. The impact to toe off is smooth and requires less effort because of this feature.

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Conclusions

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Last year for the 28th edition of the Kayano, ASICS decided to make some major changes to the construction of the trainer. For the 29th, they decided to keep those while adding a few slight changes.

3-D space construction is used again in the construction of the midsole. This is when they take small specific shapes of foam and press them together to form a midsole. This along with the addition of Flytefoam Blast Plus make for a stable, comfortable, and durable ride.

I like that they have continued incorporating the stability elements internally in the midsole. This has made the Kayano feel less bulky. One drawback to the midsole is the longer than average break in time. This was unusual for a Kayano, but once fully broken in you will want to run every run in them.

Picture of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Slight changes continued in the upper. The engineered mesh has been updated to be more breathable and flexible. In my opinion it provides the right amount of structure as well.

The fit of the upper is a strength. It hugs in the heel portion while widening out through the mid and forefoot. This encouraged stability and allowed my feet to splay out on toe offs. Pair that with the energy return of the midsole and you will find one of the most comfortable rides out there.

They made some slight changes to the Kayano 29 and they all add to the performance. It shows that ASICS knows what is working and slightly improving upon them.

The ASICS Kayano 29 has become my favorite edition I have reviewed, and I have reviewed all of them since the 25th edition.
The stable and comfortable ride made every mile enjoyable.

If you are looking for a premier stability trainer that is built for daily use no matter the type of run, I would recommend the ASICS Kayano 29. It will be worth it.

How does the Gel Kayano 29 compare?

Hoka One One Gaviota 4
Asics Gel Kayano 29
Brooks Glycerin GTS 20
Expert score
9
9
9
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$169.95
US$159.95
US$160
Shoe type
Weight
11.10 oz
10.5 oz
10.5 oz
Heel Drop
5 mm
12 mm
10 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training, long distance racing
Daily training
Cushioning type
balanced/plush
balanced
balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
medium
medium
medium
Stability
very stable
very stable
very stable
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Asics at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
Lowest price:

$84

Asics Gel Kayano 29 price comparison

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Reviewed by TJ

This review was written by TJ Jones on 28th March.
TJ Jones lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and toddler son. He has been running for over half of his life. He has completed 3 full marathons and countless half marathons. In the daytime, he is a school counselor. He loves running no matter if it is on the road or trails

User feedback (15)

  • avatar-comment-1034628
    Bri
    5 months ago
    10 score

    Absolutely wonderful running shoes. I rotate them with Mizuno Wave Riders which are a neutral shoe. The Kayano 29 has non intrusive stability so feels natural yet very supportive. Comfort, materials and colors are great. I prefer the amount of midsole in this version to the 30 which are too bulbous for me.

  • avatar-comment-1032650
    Shubhamkar
    7 months ago
    1 score

    Terrible Outer Sole Quality:
    I would like to give it negative stars but that is not possible. I had bough t a pair in May 2023 from an authorised store in Mumbai (Phonenix Kurla) but within 5 months now the outer sole has completely chaffed off and is at the same level as the foam itself thus providing me no grip whatsoever. I didn’t expect this quality from a shoe that costs 15,000 INR. I reached out to the customer care and the store manager as well but they both gave me a standard answer about the 3 months warranty. I think there is some quality loss at production level or the design itself is faulty. Either way, I am never going to buy a pair of Asics again. Rather go for Nike or Skechers.

    • avatar-comment-1033774
      Matt
      6 months ago

      If you are even going to consider “Sketchys” as serious shoes for any purpose I will have to disregard your review. Neither Nike nor Sketchers invest in shoe technology but rather are marketing machines selling the lowest cost-to-produce shoe for maximum price. I’ve seen a person wearing $500 Nikes buying Chef Boyardee Spaghettios with food stamps. If that doesn’t say something about priorities then… But then, those aren’t really HIS priorities they are Nike’s.

  • avatar-comment-1031491
    Marian
    9 months ago
    5 score

    First time I bought Asics Kayano. Die give me a blister at the inside of my foot and the laces are awfull, they become undone even with double knot. Overall they are ok.

  • avatar-comment-1028727
    Anders
    12 months ago
    2 score

    I ordered these last week after wearing out three different pairs of the 28s. The first think I noticed was the shape of the front of the shoe, which is different than earlier miles. I immediately noticed my big toe was rubbing in a way it didn’t previously. I think I’m going to skip the 29s until they fix this problem with the toe box.

  • avatar-comment-1028650
    Rob
    12 months ago
    3 score

    Have worn this brand for 25 years and they have made the 29 smaller. Noticed a tighter fit from the get go but now I’m getting tow pain for the first time ever. Disappointing.

    • avatar-comment-1033775
      Matt
      6 months ago

      Yes, Asics went through a size issue in recent times. Perhaps they save money on materials by shifting everything down by half a size? Doubt it. Shoes are not like delivery pizzas where you can just short the customer on cheese, pepperoni and black olives to save your store money. But who knows, maybe you can. Used to be the exact same fit in a line for 20 years. Wore GT-2000 since they were way back in the numbering system and they weren’t even called 2000’s. You never had to worry about fit. A ten made -in 1998 was exactly the same as one from 2008.

  • avatar-comment-1028374
    M
    1 year ago
    1 score

    I bought my first pair of Gel Kayano 29’s months ago and loved them, so I bought a second as pair of their road tested program. The second pair was smaller than my first despite being labeled the same size! I measured it out and it was an entire half size smaller. ASICS insisted the size was true. Based on the variation in sizing between shoes of the same model, I can’t recommend.

  • avatar-comment-1027346
    Pat
    1 year ago
    1 score

    Hero shoe and they stuffed it up with the toe fit. Have had many Kayanos including 3 pairs of 28s and the 29 heal comfort is a good improvement BUT the toe box is tight vs previous versions. Hurt so much wearing it on a trip OS. Was my go to all rounder. No more

  • avatar-comment-1027173
    Rick
    1 year ago
    1 score

    Very uncomfortable shoe. Do not buy. The insole that wraps up around the heel has a hard seam that does not taper well. After just two hour long walks it is digging in to the sides of my heel. Fundamentally poor design. No satisfaction guarantee. Can only return unworn items. What a waste of money. Will never buy Asics again.

    • avatar-comment-1029225
      Darren
      11 months ago
      4 score

      I agree with these negative reviews on the fit. I get blisters on the side of my big toe and the pain in the sides of my heel is horrendous. On top pf that the upper is not breathable at all. Even with thinner, wicking socks my feet are sweating within minutes. All in all a really uncomfortable shoe. And yes I bought the right size with a bit more than a thumbs width space at the toes and have tried every variation of lacing. Costly mistake purchasing these

      • avatar-comment-1031621
        Darren
        9 months ago
        1 score

        Replying to my own comment as to the durability. After just 2 months and less than 300km tof flat concrete and rubberised running track the outer sole has worn through to the foam in the forefoot area. Asics customer service has been dreadful

      • avatar-comment-1033053
        Anders
        7 months ago

        Both the 28&29 model does that, ive never experinced it with the 26 and older models.

  • avatar-comment-1025941
    Bruce Young
    1 year ago
    1 score

    Bit of a mixed bag here. Have run in Kayano 20s through to 27s. Had a minor issue with a nerve in the top of my foot, but once I understood it and adjusted the laces, I could run Marathons :). But now with the 29s I am unable to adjust the laces in any way that allows me to run beyond 7km in them. This is sad as now I don’t know what shoe to wear.

  • avatar-comment-1025697
    Louis
    1 year ago
    10 score

    I’ve had every version of the ASICS Kayano since the 25 and I must say the 29 is my favorite. ??

Lowest price:
$84

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

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