ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Running Shoe Review
ASICS is a household name with a reputation for cross-training runners. And the Gel-Kayano 23 Running Shoe is another stable edition in that category. With several small improvements from the 22nd edition and the innovative FlyteFoam insole, you’re in for the run that will feel lighter than air.
That’s why we rate the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 four out of five stars.
First, a bit about features.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Sole
The sole unit features an abundant gel located in the exterior portion of the heel, which aids to prevent pronation. However, the unit remains unchanged from previous versions.
The Dynamix Duomax is a cushion system that helps keep your physical form at a healthy level and provides for a smooth ride.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano offers a high degree of tread, which gives powerful traction and enhanced control -- even in the worst weather.
This new feature of the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 edition provides continuous cushioning. At 55% less weight than standard foam, It is the lightest material ever put forth by the Kayano series. This makes the shoe even more responsive.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Upper
The Seamless Fluidfit -- which first appeared in the Kayano 22 -- makes a return in the 23, but with lighter material that conforms to your foot.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 offers more mid-foot flexibility than its predecessors, yet the stiffness is still ever-present. And though the shoe has improved regarding weight, the “feel” of less flexibility could sacrifice runner speed.
Let us be clear: The 23 is not an overall flexible shoe. Its design is focused on providing an overabundance of support, from the outside edge and midsole, which increases its weight. The only flexible portion is the mesh upper.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 elicits great traction from its thick rubber outsole. This makes the shoe slip-resistant on most surfaces, like gymnasium hardwood, sidewalks after a fresh rain, or oily asphalt during a hot day. You won’t notice any small rocks or pebbles that you may come across during a run, whether on a flat surface or jogging trail.
ASICS has designed running shoes for years, which has granted them experience in ventilation and making their products more breathable. As such, the upper region of the shoe is more flexible and is made of mesh.
This aids in providing cool air to overheated feet during an intense running session -- which can prevent swollen feet.
Additionally, inside the shoe is an Ortholite sockliner for moisture control.
Ease of Adjustments
The tongue of the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 slides over the front-facing lacing system, preventing its outer edges from jutting into the feet of the runner. If you’re an experienced runner who likes very tight shoelaces and a taut shoe, you’ll find the lacing system capable of providing a snug fit. The gelled heel is also locked into place.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 was designed for comfort. From the intricate shoe design, manufactured materials used in building the shell, it’s all developed for a comfortable runner experience.
The Kayano 23 provides stability for runners who tend to over-pronate. And the Dynamic Duomax and FlyteFoam both work in tandem to support and cushion your feet.
That means that when you’re on a long run, you’ll never have to worry about shoe slippage or swollen feet.
The only drawback is the effect of the shoe’s weight on a runner’s workout since the shoe material is heavy.
On Aesthetic Style
Let’s face it: The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 is not the most visually appealing shoe, so it won’t win any contests for style. It’s a support-oriented shoe designed for runner comfort and function, with no flashy design features. However, it comes in plenty of color options, like dark blue, gray, orange, green, white, and variations of black.
What the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 lacks in style, it more than compensates for in function. The Dynamic Duomax and cushioning FlyteFoam are essential elements that extend the life of the shoe while maximizing your performance. Its support can survive wear and tear for up to 500 miles, and won’t flatten after repeated use.
On Bottom Sole Protection
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 provides more than enough support against over-pronation, a common tendency of runners that can lead to injury. Its external heel feature is designed to eliminate slippage in the back of the shoe, also to keep rocks from making an entry into the shoe.
Much like its predecessors, the 23 does not protect runners from external forces like the weather. Depending on where you live, the 23 may not be the best option where rain or snow is regularly present.
On Arch Support
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 scores big for support. The DuoMax technology is designed for superior support in the platform of the shoe. And the gelled heel, the namesake of the shoe, can provide additional comfort.
Whether you are launching into a run or abruptly slowing to a stop, your feet are supported.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 was manufactured as the supportive, stable option for long-distance runners. Being an athlete of that nature increases your need for overall protection. ASICS answers this need with the exoskeletal back heel feature that surrounds the ankle, the gelled heel, and guidance line constructed into the shoe.
All of this makes for an effortless, comfortable run.
How Does the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Compare?
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 is a function-oriented shoe for runners that desire support and comfort. It’s competitors for this product review are:
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz Running Shoe
Saucony Cohesion 11 Running Shoe
PUMA Cell Surin 2.0 FM Sneaker
The ASICS Gel Kayano 23 comes in a plentiful selection of colors options, from blended to bright to solid. The New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz also provides a selection of darker-toned colors, but no bright options.
The Saucony Cohesion 11 and Puma Cell Surin 2.0 FM both have limited color options, which are mostly black and white variations
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 weighs approximately 11.5 ounces, making it the second heaviest shoe in this competitive comparison. Here’s how the other products stack up:
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz Running Shoe - 8.3 ounces
Saucony Cohesion 11 Running Shoe - 9.9 ounces
PUMA Cell Surin 2.0 FM Sneaker - 13 ounces
On Comfort and Support
All shoe options featured offer varying levels of comfort. The ASICS Gel-Kayano is produced with your comfort in mind. It’s Dynamic DuoMax tech and FlyteFoam safeguard against injury with incomparable support -- one of the major benefits of the shoes.
The Saucony 11 also offers advanced technology for enhanced support; the Grid system is based on stabilizing the sole to give runners a racing advantage.
The New Balance option is built from award-winning foam cushioning technology, with a breathable layer of mesh.
The Puma Cell Surin 2.0 FM has a synthetic sole and perforations for ventilation. However, it’s support and comfort are average in comparison to the others on the list.
Since the ASICS Gel Kayano 23 is now discontinued, it is the most expensive shoe in the entire list of competitors and can be found at prices around $160.00.
The Saucony 11 comes in at a price range of $82.99 through most online retailers. The New Balance competitor offers a median of the shoes above with a price of $113.23. And the PUMA can cost upwards of $147.99.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Conclusions
The ASICS Gel Kayano 23 is another successful entry into the long, storied line of shoes that carry the ASICS brand name. It provides robust stability that can make for a cushioned run or ride.
Previous owners of ASICS shoes will find the familiar sense of comfort and support and won’t be disappointed.
The only major downsides of the 23 are its price and overall weight. The shoe isn’t cheap, but it’s high-quality components provide it with a great value for what it’s worth. And riders who are looking for a reliable shoe option to prevent injury will be willing to overlook the heavier weight.
Several customers, especially newcomers that are unsure of purchasing the shoe in a sea of cheaper competitors, will most likely balk at the high cost.
But for the educated, competitive runner who is seeking a superior support system with the comfort to match, should consider the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 for their athletic needs.