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ASICS Gel-Kayano 29: Continued Evolution in the Long-Running Stability Line
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein

The ASICS Gel-Kayano is the second longest-running shoe series and the longest-stability shoe series on the market. Throughout its 29-year history, the last few years have seen the most dramatic changes. These changes are in line with the current understandings of stability and guidance, while still remaining true to its origins as a medially posted, premium stability shoe. Continuing to drop weight while improving comfort, the Gel-Kayano 29 maintains a strong tradition of improvement and evolution in the right direction. 

Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.5 oz, 299 g (men's size 9), 9.5 oz, 270 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 25mm / 15 mm
Drop: 10mm 
Classification: Premium High Stability Daily Trainer


The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is a premium moderate to high stability daily training shoe for those who want a traditional medial post and a slightly snug upper. A new Flytefoam Blast+ midsole makes for a bouncier ride, while a lighter weight maxes for smoother transitions. A new engineered mesh upper creates a sock-like, snug, and secure fit throughout. A well-integrated medial post and extended medial external heel counter provide a higher level of medial guidance/stability for those that want it. Those looking for a traditional stability shoe with new age, premium features and none of the prior clunkiness should check out the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29.

SIMILAR SHOES: Brooks Glycerin GTS 20, Mizuno Wave Horizon 6, New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v5


The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 fits true to size in my normal men's US size 10. It initially felt short, but this is due to the slightly tapered, lower volume and slightly snug forefoot. This feeling does go away on the run thanks to the engineered mesh that stretches and creates a snug sock-like fit. The fit overall is fairly normal in the heel with a slightly snug midfoot and forefoot. Combined with the new heel counter design (internal and external), the upper is quite secure. I did not have to lace lock this shoe and my feet felt locked in. The heel collar has a ton of padding that initially did not make me notice the heel counter, which is lower than previous versions and moderately flexible. It did become more apparent with increasing miles, so those with sensitivities here should approach with caution. The tongue is moderately thick and not gusseted. It is locked in with the laces and fortunately, I did not experience any slippage except when initially putting on the shoe. The internal mesh is quite comfortable, so much so that I have worn this shoe sockless both on runs and causally. I have not had any hot spots and the knit mesh is comfortable against the skin. The knit material does run quite warm despite the ventilation holes in the forefoot. Overall, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 features a slightly snug, but adaptable, secure, and comfortable fit for those who like engineered mesh and a solid heel counter. 


The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is a cushioned, traditional stack height, daily stability trainer. The two most significant changes to the sole of this version are the FF Blast+ midsole and a solid weight drop to 10.5 ounces. The FF Blast+ midsole is both soft and more responsive. It provides a nice bounce for a daily trainer while keeping the ride grounded. The lighter weight is noticeable and makes both the transition and ride of the shoe feel easier. This is not a shoe for hard efforts, but for easy mileage and long runs. The ride in the rearfoot is cushioned and stable through the midfoot. Although there is some posterior flare in the rearfoot, the small posterior-lateral bevel and soft FF Blast+ foam/Gel compresses well to allow a good transition at initial contact (landing). The midfoot, now featuring a full ground contact midsole, is solid and transitions naturally. The forefoot has more flexibility, which combined with the large toe spring makes for a surprisingly quick and smooth toe-off. There is a 10mm drop listed, but it feels slightly lower (8-9mm) due to how much the foam compresses during heel strike (this feeling will vary depending on what part of the shoe you land on).

The ride overall is cushioned, protective, and facilitates forward motion well. As mentioned, this is not a speed/faster shoe, but one meant to keep you supported and provide a cushioned ride for recovery, easy or long runs. The 10.5 ounces is lighter than the older versions and makes for a shoe that I am okay with having on my feet for longer efforts. It also holds up well as a daily trainer due to how durable the outsole is. Like many recent ASICS shoes, I have been unable to make a dent in the outsole after 35 miles. The AHAR outsole rubber has remained intact, which leads me to believe that these will last an above-average number of miles compared to other daily trainers. Overall, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 has a cushioned, stable ride with an excellent forefoot transition, and is the lightest Kayano to date.

Running Shoe 101: What does medial mean? When we refer to medial, we mean the towards the middle/center side of the shoe. We go between the lateral - outer side of the shoe - and medial side when describing instability. If we say there is a lateral bias, that means the shoe has a preference towards that side of the shoe when running.


The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is a moderate-level stability shoe with a strong level of medial guidance (lateral bias). A medial post called the Lite Truss (Dynamic Duomax?) runs from the heel to the anterior midfoot. This was only slightly noticeable while walking, but became more apparent during running. It is integrated well into the midsole and did not create pressure into my medial arch. However, I noticed it definitely pushed my path and pressure toward the lateral side of the shoe. The medial post is further enforced in the upper with an extended medial component from the external heel counter. This only wraps around the medial side and provides noticeable lateral bias at the heel. There are small medial and lateral sidewalls from the midsole. However, these were not noticeable compared to the other factors. The outsole features AHAR rubber on the medial side of the midfoot and not the lateral side. I have noticed more companies doing this, which creates a slight lateral bias that has worked well for me even with non-stability shoes. Finally, like prior versions, the forefoot is quite flexible in the sagittal plane, allowing for an easy transition forward. The combination of new-age and more traditional methods of stability combine together well to create a shoe for those that have moderate to high medial stability needs in the heel and midfoot. 


Who Needs Stability?

Given that we discuss stability and guidance in footwear frequently, a common question asked of us is "who needs stability?" Previously, the running footwear industry operated on the "Pronation Paradigm," which was based on the belief that excessive pronation (which has still not been defined) was a significant source of injuries in the lower extremities. This has not been found to be as valid as hoped, given that pronation is a normal part of movement and shock absorption at the foot and ankle. It is controlled by several muscles and is related to several factors including joint mobility, ligament laxity/stiffness, muscle strength and motor control. Like any movement, some people have good control while others don't (but you can always work on it). While posting and stability methods have been found to influence pronation, the relationship to injury has varied (Agresta et al., 2022). This is due to the fact that pronation is only a problem if it relates to a pronation-related injury or if the individual has a history of pronation-related injury/injuries. These include: Achilles tendinopathy/itis, posterior tibialis muscle strains/tendinopathy/itis, anterior tibialis muscle strains/tendinopathy/itis (medial tibial stress syndrome), flexor hallucis longs tendinopathy and other tendons/muscles that control this motion. For those that have or have had these issues, shoes with stability/guidance methods may help them reduce the risk of reinjury (Willems et al., 2021). For others that do not have this, prescribing shoes with support methods may not be as helpful (Nielsen et al., 2014).

Support methods like posts were previously called "Pronation Control." The problem with this is that these features do not control pronation, but may help the individual wearing the shoe control it. What is a better way of thinking about this is the newer Comfort and Preferred Movement Pathway Paradigms. These state that often the most comfortable shoes and the shoes that help support the individual's unique gait mechanics may be best (Nigg et al., 2017). Footwear matching is far more complicated than just how much a certain part of your foot moves.

So to answer the original question. Those who find posting or stability methods comfortable and/or those with a history of pronation-related injuries may benefit from a stability shoe (Nigg et al., 2017; Williams et al., 2021). We encourage you to not just rely on the shoe, as the muscles and movement control around this motion should be worked on if you do not have great control or have a history of injury in these areas.


Agresta, C., Giacomazzi, C., Harrast, M., & Zendler, J. (2022). Running Injury Paradigms and Their Influence on Footwear Design Features and Runner Assessment Methods: A Focused Review to Advance Evidence-Based Practice for Running Medicine Clinicians. 
Frontiers in Sports and Active Living4, 815675.

Nielsen, R. O., Buist, I., Parner, E. T., Nohr, E. A., Sørensen, H., Lind, M., & Rasmussen, S. (2014). Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe: a 1-year prospective cohort study. 
British Journal of Sports Medicine48(6), 440-447.

Nigg, B. M., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). Muscle tuning and preferred movement path–a paradigm shift. 
Current Issues in Sport Science (CISS)2, 007-007

Willems, T. M., Ley, C., Goetghebeur, E., Theisen, D., & Malisoux, L. (2021). Motion-Control Shoes Reduce the Risk of Pronation-Related Pathologies in Recreational Runners: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J
ournal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy51(3), 135-143.


My major requests for the Kayano 28 were to decrease the weight and to improve the heel bevel. The weight decrease to 10.5 ounces made a noticeable difference in the ride quality of the Kayano 29, especially combined with the softer and more spring-like midsole (FF Blast+). While the heel design is fairly similar to the previous version, the softer foam has allowed the rearfoot to compress faster, making for a smoother initial contact. The Kayano 29 is an extremely popular ASICS shoe and one that they have to be careful changing. This shoe has evolved carefully and continues to move in the right direction. I would still like to request a little more posterior lateral heel bevel as well as a bit more room in the toebox. The rest of the upper fits well and is secure. A tad bit more room to allow for some toe splay would be nice, but not at the expense of completely changing the fit. The heel bevel request again comes from literature that suggests that over 70-90% of recreational runners are heel strikers, so continuing to optimize the initial contact component of the shoe may be helpful.


The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is for those who want a cushioned stability daily trainer with a moderate to high level of medial heel and midfoot support. The fit is snug, so those wanting a sock-like fit or who have normal to narrow-width feet will enjoy it. The medial Lite Truss provides a moderate level of medial stability from a traditional post but features several other factors that also create an integrated level of stability and guidance. The ride continues to soften with the new FF Blast+, which combined with the lighter weight than its predecessors makes it far more comfortable and runnable without sacrificing comfort and stability underfoot. Sitting between the older Kayano and GT 2000 series in terms of stability, but adapting to newer guidance guidelines, the Kayano 29 maintains its history while continuing to grow as a premium stability shoe.


Fit: B+ (Sock-like fit that runs snug and low volume, especially in the forefoot but is highly secure. Runs a bit warm)
Performance: B+/A-
 (Smooth riding daily training shoe for easy miles. Sole compresses well despite mild posterior flare)
Stability: A [Moderate/High] (Well integrated, moderate to high-level medial stability without being obtrusive)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Excellent medial stability shoe, well-integrated post with newer methods. Flexible in the right places. Posterior lateral heel bevel could be larger, but somewhat offset by softer sole)
Personal: B+ (Far better transition and lighter on feet. Excellent stability daily trainer for those that still want a post)
Overall: B+/A-


Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at ASICS for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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