Asics Kayano 18 Review
As the model number goes up and up in the ever popular Asics Kayano, the number of features seem to match the model numbers. The Asics Kayano 18 has been around for a long long time now and it never ceases to amaze me the number of improvements Asics is able to jam into the Kayano.
For those not aware of the Asics Kayano, it is a running shoe directed towards runners needing stability to help keep them from pronating, or their foot caving inwards. Asics uses a combination of materials in the Kayano 18 for its stability platform. First, there is the Dynamic Duomax foam that goes from the heel to the beginning of the forefoot on the inside of the foot. This is denser foam is something that you will see in most stability running shoes. For additional support, there is a plastic plate on the outsole of the shoe that keeps the shoe from flexing too much underneath the arch. On the reverse side of the midsole, there is the popular Asics Gel that goes from the heel to the middle of the forefoot providing cushion and response in every stride.
Sitting on top of the midsole is the IGS which stands for internal guidence system. This is a thin foam platform that helps guide your foot for a heel to toe gate. Atop of the IGS is a complex and very comforting and effective upper. From far away, the upper of the Asics Kayano 18 looks similar to most other running shoes. But when you look at this shoe closely, you will notice a number of different aspects to the upper that makes it perform like a rock star. To start, the heel cup of the Kayano 18 is reinforced by a hard piece of plastic that you can see from the outside of the shoe. While some heel cups are solid plastic, the Kayano 18’s heel cup is carved out for weight reduction and allows the plastic to wrap around your foot more closely creating a more secure and snug fit.
There is a mesh layer on the outside of the Kayano 18 that is different that what you will see in many running shoes. It is not your standard mesh outer. The mesh on the outside of the shoe has little bristles pushing it off from the inner layer or mesh allowing the shoe to breath more efficiently. In the widest part of your forefoot, there is a flexible mesh that expands and contracts as your foot goes through its gate. This part of the shoe often see’s a lot of flex, so having something soft and flexible is much better than having a synthetic material that will crease over on itself and create a point of friction.
On the inside of the Asics Kayano 18, there is a snug and plush chamber that keeps your foot secure, comfortable, and snug. There is plenty of cushioning that goes around the ankle and into the tongue of the shoe. Not only is the upper super secure and comfortable, but the ride of the Kayano 18 is similar to the Asics Nimbus, which is super soft and cushiony. This is not something I have come to expect with a stability shoe, so it is a nice surprise to get such a cushioned ride.
While the Asics Kayano is all featured and tech’ed out, it amazes me that this shoe only weighs 11.5 oz. For a tricked out stability shoe, you would normally see weights around 12-13 oz . for a men’s size 9. I’ve run in the Asics Kayano 18 on short runs of 3-5 miles and longer runs ranging from 14-18 miles and I have found this shoe to be very consistant in its performance. In short, stable, great fit, and a soft plush ride. Two thumbs up!