I usually pick a shoe that is straight-forward. I like the idea of simplicity. After running in the Gel Kayano 28, it turns out I like the feel of bells and whistles too.
The first thing I noticed when I tried on the Gel Kayano 28 is how comfortable and plush it is around the foot and how well-cushioned it is underneath. I associate this amount of comfort with a heavy shoe, but the Kayano 28 isn’t all that heavy, coming in at 309g (10.9oz) for men’s size 9.
This isn’t a shoe I will wear for speed intervals or on race day, but I will wear it for easy runs and chill long runs. The shoe doesn’t feel fast (I don’t think it’s supposed to), but they do feel much better than other stability cushion shoes when I ran some strides (20 seconds faster than 5km race pace). This is probably due to the snug fit and responsive foam that is used along with the soft gel.
The Gel Kayano has always been a leader in innovation and therefore comes with bells and whistles. Simply reading the actual shoe you notice the “3D Space Construction for gender specific comfort,” that makes the shoe feel very comfy and snug. “FF Blast” (FlyteFoam Blast) offers cushion and rebound so the shoe doesn’t feel too soft. “Dynamic Duomax” is a slightly firmer EVA that gives the shoe stability to prevent over-pronation.
I ran in this shoe on roads and non-technical trails and it handled both quite well. I thought I was going to notice the shoe throughout the run as the Kayano is in a different category than what I normally run in. However, right away it felt natural and familiar, but with more cushion.
All the innovation of the Gel Kayano 28 offers a very comfortable ride that I ended up looking forward to on recovery runs.