Asics Gel Kayano 27 Intro
1993 was the year ASICS unveiled what would become their premier stability trainer, the Kayano. Here we are 27 years later and the Kayano is still one of Asics best selling trainers.
The ASICS Kayano 27 has undergone some small but effective changes both to the construction and design.
ASICS offers 4 stability trainers in their lineup, the 1000, 2000, 4000 (motion control option) and the Kayano. It is the top tier offering priced at 160 dollars, which is comparable to other top tier options.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 First Impressions
The ASICS Kayano 27 underwent a visual redesign of the upper and it was evident the moment I opened the box. It was a major upgrade from the look of both the 25 and 26 editions.
The two layers of mesh were two different colors, piedmont gray and peacoat blue, this made it appear speckled. The laces were also a nice touch because they had white dots throughout them.
The shoe had more of an everyday wear appeal compared to past editions. There are six colorway options so you are bound to find one that strikes your fancy.
Balanced cushioning is what I have come to expect from the Kayano and what I got with the 27. The heel portion is firm and responsive while the forefoot is plushy and springy.
An overall snugness was felt throughout the shoe but especially in the midfoot and toebox. The midfoot was uncomfortably tight when I slipped them on for the first time.
I got them the day before a long run, so I took them straight out of the box and did 8 miles on them the next day.
They were a stable but stiff ride from my first step and the tightness in the midfoot caused some discomfort. I was hoping this was the adjustment period and it wouldn’t last.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 Sole Unit
There have been a few small changes made to the midsole for the Kayano 27. Let’s start from the ground up.
The material used for the outsole is AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber), a highly durable material that provides traction in both wet and dry conditions. After a hundred miles, a minimal amount of wear showed on the outsole.
In the Kayano 26 they added more Gel cushioning in areas of the midsole to improve shock absorption. It is the same amount of Gel cushioning in the 27 with the addition of a little more in the forefoot below the joint of your big toe.
The Gel cushioning along with the heel is segmented which translates to better cushioning at footstrikes.
Flytefoam Lyte and Propel made their debut in the 25s. In the 27s there are some small changes to the amount of cushioning. Flytefoam Lyte is the bottom layer of the midsole.
It is the firmer of the two providing a solid base throughout your stride. Flytefoam Propel is the upper layer of the midsole.
They have lengthened the amount in the midsole to soften the cushioning along with providing more flexibility, especially in the forefoot.
This flexibility along with the 12mm drop improves toe offs by giving you added spring.
Another change that improves flexibility are the deeper flex grooves they incorporated throughout the outsole, especially in the forefoot. These aspects work together to propel you forward more efficiently.
Since the Kayano is ASICS premier stability trainer it is equipped with all the best technology they have to offer. The stability provided is a result of many parts working together.
Runners who liked the 25s and 26s will be pleased to find all the same technological aspects to make this a solid stability trainer.
The stability of the Kayano starts with their Dynamic DuoMax support system.This is a duo density, 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 is aided by a Trusstic system, a hard plastic plate on the base of the outsole where your arch is. As a result of these, your stride is going to be provided with a great deal of stability.
These aspects can cause the back portion of the trainers to be inflexible, stiff and heavy.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 Upper Unit
The upper of the Kayano underwent a couple of small but noticeable changes. The newly designed engineered mesh is both stylish and a performance upgrade.
The mesh promoted natural movement of my feet while still maintaining structure.It is breathable allowing my feet to remain cool while running in them in the summer.
Like the sole the upper is built with durable materials ready to handle some serious mileage. The tailored fit of the uppers of the 26s continues in the 27s almost to a fault. There was some tightness felt in the midfoot and toe box.
The MetaClutch exoskeleton heel system makes another appearance in the 27s as it has in previous editions. The heel area of the upper is a strength of the upper because of the fit of it along with the stability it produces.
The exoskeleton heel counter along with the cushioned heel collar clutches your foot and holds it in place while you run, which results in added stability. This fit compliments the stability systems in the midsole.
The upper is seamless which prevents any areas of irritation. They fit true to size and aren’t as wide as the previous edition.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 Conclusion
The ASICS Kayano 27 is a shoe that has undergone some small and subtle changes. It is my third edition I have reviewed and is my favorite out of the three (25,26 and 27).
The slimmer tailored fit of the 26 continues in the 27s. I did experience some tightness in my midfoot toebox. It loosened over time allowing me to enjoy the shoe more fully.
The Kayano 27 is a trainer with two distinct personalities between the heel and the forefoot. In the heel area you find the stability features, the MetaClutch exoskeleton heel system, Dynamic DuoMax support system, and the Trusstic.
They work together to provide one of the most stable rides I have experienced in a trainer. These features add weight to the shoe, making them one of the heavier stability trainers.
The Forefoot has a different lighter personality. The Flytefoam Propel and Gel cushioning, stars of the midsole, work together to provide a springy feeling on every stride.
The deeper flex grooves make for a smooth transition from heel or midfoot strike to toe off. Because of these aspects I found myself pushing the pace in these. They balance out the heavy feeling you experience from the back of the trainer.
Durability is a strength of the Kayano 27. They show minimal wear even after putting close to 100 miles on them. These are built to last through many miles at many different paces.
Last year I said “I would put the Kayano 26 right in the middle of the pack. They do provide an excellent amount of stability, but they don’t provide as much cushioning as other brands offer.”
While many aspects of what I wrote would still apply to the 27s, excellent amount of stability, my feelings have changed.
I would place them higher on the list because even though cushioning is important, it is not the end all be all. The ride is more important and the Kayano 27 provides a reliable stable ride every time.
Overall, the ASICS Kayano 27 is a dependable premier stability trainer. The ride they provided brought me back to them again and again after my review mileage.
Long time Kayano runners will be satisfied with the 27th edition, they might even attract some new runners to try them.
If you are a runner looking for a premier stability shoe that delivers every time you lace them up I would recommend the ASICS Kayano 27.
We purchased a pair of Asics Gel Kayano 27 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.