Gear Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29

Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29

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As a longtime ASICS runner, the KAYANO have been my go to shoe when it comes to distance training. I’m hopeful for a fall marathon, and when the latest iteration of the KAYANO became available I had to give them a try. Admittedly, I also wondered how it was that such a tried-tested-and-true shoe could be improved upon. Turns out, there are more than a few ways to do this. Leave it to the good tech and science crew at ASICS to re-imagine a shoe that was already at its peak performance in my humble option. 

Stability is top priority for me. Sometimes finding my footing is not so easy. Admittedly I’m a bit of a clumsy runner, someone who is definitely prone to taking a fair number of missteps now and again. Nevertheless, in the KAYANO, I’ve always trusted that I would be surefooted, and these 29s are no exception. In fact, ASICS has upped its stability game by incorporating LiteTruss construction. Most days, I’m running just before dawn which can make obstructions in my path—breaks and shifts in the sidewalk—a little tough to negotiate. Having the added stability means, even when I’m not noticing the changes in the running surface until my foot hits the ground, I’m able to continue on, rather than other parts of me hitting the pavement that shouldn’t be.

With each foot strike, I’m feeling a little more secure in the knowledge that the LiteTruss material is guiding my foot through my gait. This shoe also gives a more efficient toe-off, which means I’ll have added energy to pick up the pace or keep running the extra kilometres when I need to. 

Along with this added stability construction, FF Blast PLUS cushioning in the shoe’s mid-sole also adds energy at the toe-off. From the beginning of my warm up, and throughout my run, the added bounce and comfort on landing made a significant difference in my ability to increase my pace and kept me move forward, a little more energized. As a runner in her late 40s, I’ll take all the extra comfort and energy I can get in a running shoe which not only protects my feet but also decreases the impact on my joints.

Often times shoes that are higher in stability can be heavy, but that’s not the case with this shoe. At 9.5 oz, the KAYANO 29s are the lightest iteration of the shoe, and while the reduced weight may not appear to make a significant difference in your first few kilometres, long distance runners will appreciate the lightness (especially in the final kilometres of longer training runs). 

The shoe’s engineered stretch-knit upper maximizes breathability and is made from recycled fibres—one more reason to feel good about choosing this shoe. And while the deep plum and burnt orange colour way may not have your running faster, it definitely offers a sleek look and feel that will put a bit more energy in your step. 

How could it not? As far as I’m concerned, when you look good, you feel good and the KAYANO 29s are no exception to this rule. Whether you’re planning to go the marathon distance this fall or adding more mileage underfoot with longer, weekend runs with your crew, the KAYANO 29s will take you the distance—in stability, comfort and style.

Anna Lee Boschetto is a writer, runner and iRun contributor. She lives north of Toronto with her two daughters.