Monday, May 25, 2020

ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 Review: A Refined, Smooth Running, Adaptive Approach to Stability for "Pronators" and "Neutrals"

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Sam Winebaum


ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 ($160)


Stats

Official Weight:  men’s  11.1 oz / 315g women’s 8.8 oz / 249g

  Samples: 308 grams / 10.86 oz US men’s 8.5

Midsole Stack Height: 

Women: Heel: 24mm Forefoot: 11mm, 13mm drop

Men: Heel: 22mm Forefoot: 12mm, 10mm drop

Widths: D=Medium, 2E=Wide, 4E=Extra Wide

Available now including Running Warehouse here. $160


Introduction

Sam: When a shoe gets to 27 editions, the 2nd longest “run” of any current run shoe. and is ASICS best selling shoe at running stores, something must be up. Yet I have never run it, been tempted by it and I have been running longer than 27 years that’s for sure!  


So when ASICS asked Michael and I to test we said OK, not exactly looking forward to it as the Kayano is known as a support stability shoe and isn’t the lightest out there at 11.1 oz but it is the lightest Kayano with a massive looking exo-skeleton heel and substantial mid foot Trusstic plate under foot. 


Strangely it also sure also looked sleek with a low profile engineered Jacquard mesh upper with a not ridiculously plush looking collar. Neither Michael and I need or rock support stability shoes much and when RTR tests I often end up the guinea pig for them with Michael also occasionally headed to that side as well.


Could there be more than met the eye, could there be a real good reason for 27 editions and still very popular. Were we shoe snobs?


We tested it and were frankly surprised in mostly pleasant ways by this highly refined shoe. Cleverly ASICS offered to give us and the history and answer questions after we tested.


The Kayano Trainer (picture below) was first launched in 1993 with a design mission of having the ultimate in comfort, durability, and protection. 

The designer Toshikazu Kayano, yes the shoe is named after him, served 23 years as head of product design and development for overseas markets and is now curating ASICS Sports Museum archives came up with a radical initial design that yes featured an external exoskeleton, as still now in at the heel as still now to provide not only functional long term support and durability but I would say visual cues that the Kayano was meant to do exactly that. 


The original named GEL-Kayano Trainer launched at the then astronomical price of $130. It hasn’t gone up that much since then with the Kayano 27 at $160.


To this day the core values of the shoe to be the ultimate in comfort, durability, and protection. 

have remained the mission, yet the technologies continually evolved. 


Further. over those decades, the ASICS Sports Science Institute has refined its research around gender specific differences in biomechanical needs applied to shoe design even within the same model as here. This means the women’s Kayano 27, in addition to gender specific lasting, has softer FlyteFoam with 2mm more of it at the heel and 1mm less at forefoot. while the structure of the mid foot plastic Trusstic piece has a different design focused on forward motion support with the men’s focused on inside arch support.

Michael: Sam about covered our backstory, but unlike the guru himself, I have run in the Kayano once, many years ago (I believe it was the Kayano 15 or 16), simply due to the fact that my preferred trainers at the time - the ASICS GT-2000 and DS-Trainer - were sold out at my local running store. So, I trained in the (back then) very clunky Kayano, a shoe that is basically unrecognizable from what ASICS is offering in the 27th iteration. Let’s dive in!


Pros:

Sam: 

Lots of support, stability, and forgiving cushion in a support type shoe that is run able by neutral shoe runners

Superb true to size fitting upper: comfortable, secure with great heel hold

Dynamic Duo Max 3mm thick side walls and Space Trusstic  “support” blends well with rear GEL unit and midsole, for support that is not at all intrusive, and on demand

Flexible, well cushioned and agile for such a big shoe forefoot follows a well decoupled geometry for easy and smooth transitions and toe offs despite the support features. No rails feel here.

Very solid well cushioned heel landings

Doubles as great walking shoe

Expected exceptional durability 


Michael: 

Supportive without being in-your-face rigid

Geometry and flexibility means it runs like a much lighter shoe

Stable throughout the entire footstrike; easy to run in even for “neutral” runner

Aesthetics much improved over previous iterations



Cons:

Michael/Sam: Weight; more structure than many will ever need; over-built heel exoskeleton and collars; clunky at faster paces.


Tester Profiles

Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.



First Impressions and Fit

Michael: Truthfully, my first impression of the Kayano 27 was, “this doesn’t look nearly as bulky as I expected!” with a second impression of “this looks just like the Cumulus!” Indeed, in a (relatively handsome) grey, blue, and orange package, the K27 does have more than a passing resemblance to the Cumulus 22 colorway ASICS sent us to review. 


But the real takeaway at first glance is the platform of the shoe - while some elements of the Kayano are conserved from past versions (the wavy, exposed gel element, and the rear plastic “exo-skeleton”, for example), ASICS has distinctly cleaned up the forefoot of the shoe, with a more refined upper and a considerably more nimble platform. Indeed, while the rear third of the shoe looks like any of the Kayanos of late, the front portion - and the overall footprint of the shoe - are distinctly updated.


I had no issues with fit in my size 8.5; if anything, it’s slightly too long, but I don’t think I’d size down to an 8.0. Just know that those in-between should be fine with the smaller size.


Sam: Totally true to size in my 8.5 with a super secure rear hold from the exoskeleton and comfortable soft yet secure fit towards the front.

While the silhouette looks low and super sleek there is plenty of width and height due to a slight stretch of the Jacquard mesh with wide and extra wide also available.

The aesthetics with the “pinstriping: of the Tiger logo in neon orange are a bit busy and over colorful for my taste.


Upper

Sam: The upper is an engineered Jacquard mesh. There are no overlays beyond the Tiger logo. The foothold is impeccable and comfortable if reflecting the silhouette streamlined and low to the front. If you need more room and this upper has some foot conforming stretch to go with its secure hold, 2E wide and 4E extra wide are available. Most with “normal” feet won’t.

The forefoot has diagonal ventilation holes reminding of the MetaRacer.


The key to the overall solid very solid foothold is the rear exo-skeleton which delivers the classic ASICS rear clutch. You slip your foot into these with a resounding solid clunk, Locked in, locked down! 

The rear exoskeleton is designed to insure that the rear shape and stability of the shoe will not change over the life of the shoe: the durability story. I still think it is overbuilt and adds to weight but for sure. It  is a key part of the shoe’s heritage and a consumer visual cue that this is one secure and stable shoe  as well. ASICS seemed to agree that the future may see a lightening of the exoskeleton while retaining its purposes. 


Michael: Jacquard mesh seems to be a neat hybrid between a true knit upper (ala ASICS’s Gel-DS Trainer) and the older mesh materials on, for example, the Kayano 26. Here, it works extremely well in providing a comfortable and secure fit, not only in the forefoot but also in the heel where, coupled with the plastic exo-skeleton, ASICS has ensured a locked-in fit. In fact, that exo-skeleton and rear stability is the first thing I noticed (and messaged Sam about) after running in the K27 - it feels extremely stable in air, almost like it’s on a track. There’s no risk of the shoe swinging errantly behind you, the weight of the shoe and the plastic structure anchoring your heel ensure that it swings true.

And that effect, in conglomeration with the rest of the upper, is a really impressive one. ASICS has undoubtedly conserved a lot of the “old” here - I think the exo-skeleton could be replaced with something lighter and thinner to the same effect, and the amount of padding on the heel considerably reduced in favor of a sweeping or tapered heel - but maybe that wouldn’t be the Kayano. Unlike the NovaBlast, a hit shoe built from the ground up, ASICS has refined the upper on the Kayano to its best state yet. Is it perfect? Of course not - but making it any better may mean sacrificing what Kayano die-hands love.


Midsole

Sam: The midsole features FlyteFoam Propel nearest the foot to provide some bounce with FlyteFoam (white) below. The FlyteFoam’s organic fibers are supposed to better resist packing out and as such speak to the durability story of the shoe. 

We have a GEL unit at the rear to reduce shock and vibration while allowing natural foot movement. There is also an unseen forefoot GEL unit. More on that below,

I pondered how they pulled off such an unobtrusive support system,, assuming initially that there was a bigger post in the mix, then leaned that Dynamic Duo Max is a 3mm thick somewhat firmer medial sidewall foam designed to activate pronation support when needed and otherwise stay out of the way. 


Exactly what I felt! It is not a firm foam post inserted under the medial side or all firm rear as in the GT 1000 or a plate as in the Guide 13 or a long wedge of firmer support as in the Hoka Arahi or Skechers Forza. 


The Space Trusstic element is a new lighter design. It is longer and more prominent on the medial side (top below) than the  lateral side to provide arch support on the inside of the foot,  

It is attached below the outsole at its front and back but not glued in the middle so it is more dynamic to foot motion.

I found that indeed one feels a touch of additional arch support on the medial side As significant for this neutral shoe fan, is that as it is not glued in the center it also seems to provide a bit of spring forward to transition. It feels ever so slightly bowed and when forces are applied during the stride I sense an impulse forward off its front when headed to toe off. 


For all intents and purposes I did not notice the Trusstic as being present much if at all despite its “menacing” visual cue of big arch support.  Again it is an element like the Dynamic Duo Max sidewall that works mostly in the background. Well done!


The men’s Space Trusstic has a different design than the women’s (shown below). The men’s focus is on inside of the arch support while the women’s on support in the direction of forward travel. The photo below illustrates the women’s Trusstic. While they look close to identical it is the internal structure or ribbing below which delivers the differences in support.


Combined with the softer foam in the women’s, I wonder if I might not prefer its approach better although I am fine with the men’s. I am not sure what I feel about the gender specific greater 13mm drop of the women’s though!


The front Gel unit is a bit bigger than quarter sized and is located as shown below below under the first met head. It is less designed to cushion than to activate the Windlass Mechanism to toe off.

Bottom line on the midsole is that it delivers comfort and protection as promised and i expect the promised outstanding durability. There is copious cushion here front to back with just enough rebound to keep things moving along. Is it the most exciting midsole out there?  No, it isn’t but it is smooth running despite its complexity and as part of the overall promise it delivers what it is supposed to and should for many miles. 

Michael: ASICS has a myriad of cushioning options baked in to the midsole here, matching the novel FlyteFoam Propel closest to the foot with “regular” FlyteFoam below. I don’t think many (or any!) runners will want more cushioning here; even for shoes in its weight class, I think the Kayano is massively cushioned and though not particularly soft (a la the NovaBlast), it’s more than cushioned enough for a long run. If you stand at the side of any major marathon, you see a large number of Kayanos pass by - I don’t think that’s set to change with the K27. I’m confident the cushioning can hold up to 26.2.


For stability, ASICS has gone to its classic - the Dynamic Duo Max approach - which brings a firmer medial sidewall foam to activate pronation support. I tend to appreciate a shoe with some stability through the midfoot, especially for easier runs with sloppier footstrikes - I found the Skechers Forza 4 to be impressive in its ability to “hide” the stability until it’s really needed (once the shoe had been broken in, that is), and the Kayano does it perhaps even better. There was no sensation of hitting up against a firmer or harder element at the midsole - the Duo Max stays out of the way until you need it.


The Trusstic element, as Sam detailed above, is visible in the midfoot but not particularly noticeable while running. In fact, the midsole is more flexible than I expected - obviously, there’s no bending of the inset plastic trussic, but it allows for some leverage over the forefoot which, with some added flex grooves, really does roll. 



Outsole

Sam: The outsole features ASICS durable firm AHAR rubber at the heel with softer blown rubber at the forefoot. Wear to date is minimal and given the thickness of the rubber the outsole should keep up with the expected durability of the midsole and upper. 

The outsole in combination with the mid foot Trusstic provides great rear, almost inherent stability with very solid decoupling for transitions and plenty of front flexibility. The front flexibility and adequate decoupling is something I consider essential in a more support oriented rear of the shoe.


Michael: I tipped my hand in the “Midsole” section above, but the decoupled forefoot really allows the K27 to open up - while I found it clunky at anything nearing tempo pace (I think it’s just a little too heavy to easily pick-up and put-down quickly), it is a smooth and stable ride, and the outsole plays a big roll in that. It readily passed the “Waffles Test” (see my Pegasus 37 review for more) on some slick, post-storm pavement. Plus, if there’s one thing ASICS has done right year-over-year, it’s providing durable and resilient outsoles (sometimes too much of a good thing!). Here, the Kayano of old triumphs over any new improvements, and the generous slab of “AHAR” rubber, while probably a bit of overkill, will ensure this shoe lasts for hundreds of miles.


Ride

You will not mistake the ride here for a shoe such as ASICS’s lively light NovaBlast or the rockered propulsive Glideride with equivalent cushion. As the more support oriented offering the ride here focuses on a neat combination of rock solid rear to mid foot support and a nice flexible toe off. You will feel, and some days for sure appreciate even as a neutral runner, the total sense of security and cushion from such a ride. I did. A bit dreading it quite frankly I took them out for a hilly 10 miler at altitude and as the miles went by I appreciated the rock solid consistency finding a nice rhythm which had me forgetting the weight and appreciating the flexible toe off on steep climbs and the stability on steep downhills.  


I also found that it is a great shoe for easier runs where you want to forget about form.

I ran them 7 miles after a very hard 10 miler the previous day and from mile one appreciated the easy going stability, comfort and protection which in the end led me to a somewhat faster than expected run and no soreness. Flats were a bit more ponderous especially when new as they do require some break in but fine now leading me to conclude that long miles at moderate paces on varied terrain is where the Kayano shines.


Michael: Sam has it right; this shoe isn’t a NovaBlast or GlideRide (or even MetaRide!) replacement, but it’s still an even-keeled, well-balanced, and actually quite enjoyable ride. While I’d hesitate to call the Kayano 27 “fun,” I think that both Sam and I came away impressed with the performance of the shoe. Even on a treadmill, where I tend to think lighter shoes are preferable and a flexible ride is a must, the Kayano held its own. A little clunky? Sure, especially when finishing the run at an up-tempo pace, but not unrunnable by any means. Outdoors, the stability of the platform is great for urban running or exploration - especially when social distancing has you (sometimes literally) jumping from curb to street and back. 


Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: ASICS has done a lot of things right in 2019 and 2020, and the Kayano 27 is yet another - somewhat surprising - example of that. The platform and profile of the shoe look more like a down-market (and down-weight!) Cumulus, but don’t let the looks fool you - the classic Kayano structure is prevalent here, nonetheless. And while I still think the Kayano is more shoe than most runners are going to need - consider, this is in the same technical class as the Nike Infinity React - I think ASICS has taken its traditional Kayano DNA and honed it for the 27th generation. 


This isn’t a shoe for workouts and tempo runs - I think even ASICS would tell you that - but it’s a rock-solid trainer that’s impressive in just how comfortable and even it feels underfoot, even when packing a massive trussic apparatus underfoot. At $160, I don’t know that it’s a shoe too many new runners will seek out - but those who keep coming back to the Kayano line will be impressed by what is surely the best, most svelte Kayano yet.

Michael’s Score: 8.9/10

Sam: Pleasantly, very pleasantly surprised by my first Kayano as I have been with all the new models and updates from ASICS. Clearly a tremendous amount of careful attention to tuning,  while still staying true to the Kayano’s original and still mission of protection, comfort, and durability has gone into this update. 


Admirable also is the ongoing ASICS focus on gender specific versions which go beyond a last to drop, foam firmness and different Trusstic support which demonstrates the brand’s commitment to science, their heritage but also finally a new future. 


While I have been scared off in the past by the strong “visual” story of support from the exoskeleton and Trusstic, when I actually ran them the sum of the parts made for a pleasant comfortable and protective ride, as promised! For this neutral runner the often sharp “edges” of support shoes: firm posts, rails, difficult transitions were nowhere to be felt. 


Yes the weight is noticed when you try to pick up the pace  but otherwise the combination of plentiful cushion, rock solid stability of the unobtrusive only when you need it variety, and flexible forefoot kept me moving along leisurely and tracking straight and true.


I do not question the durability claims here so while up there at $160 I think they are a good value and only $30 more than the original from 1993 with state of the art materials including that sleek and comfortable engineered Jacquard mesh upper.  


All that durability, protection, and strong visual cues of same (such as the exoskeleton and the Trusstic) come at a cost not so much in dollars but I think weight, my only knock on the Kayano and one that despite the fine ride keeps it out of daily training class for me. As the midsole is of course the  key component of weight ASICS, needs to continue to evolve its foams towards lighter flavors while keeping the long term consistency and durability and I am confident they will,


I will keep the Kayano in my rotation for recovery runs, hilly and slower take it easy runs and for when I have a new niggling injury (especially at the feet such as Plantar) where i have always reached for ASICS as a stable supportive option) and yes as a sometime daily trainer for those days when I am tired and wantt additional protection and support. Finally the Kayano is one heck of a walking shoe.


Devotees of the Kayano, ASICS best selling run shoe, should be very pleased with this update. Fans of  support/ stability shoes who are ready to ditch firm posts or rails that get in the way of transitions and feel harsh should definitely consider the Kayano 27. More neutral runners seeking a mild support option, heavier runners, beginner runners, those who tend to break down their shoes or want long term durability, and hard core walkers should all find the  Kayano a great, and as Michael said above a “rock solid option”. 

Sam’s Score: 9.1 /10

Ride: 8.9 (50%) Fit: 9.5 (30%) Value:9 (15%) Style: 8 (5%)


WATCH OUR KAYANO 27 VIDEO REVIEW



Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 24/25 (RTR Review)

Michael: Unfortunately, I didn’t test ASICS’s latest iteration of the DS-Trainer, but the 24th iteration was a bit of a misfire for me. While the DS-Trainer certainly had more upside than the Kayano in terms of running speed and turnover (my pair was just over 8.6 ounces), the first-generation knit upper didn’t fit my foot quite right. I did find, in adding more miles post-review, that the upper conformed slightly better over time, it was a shoe that could do with a more elastic-type material. Stability-wise, the DS-Trainer is better for what I require, but undoubtedly lessened when compared to the Kayano. As with the GlideRide, below, a pairing of the Kayano and DS-Trainer would work quite nicely, with the Kayano holding down long and slow runs, and the DST picking up anything faster. Between the two, I think I’d take the DS-Trainer, but only because it’s suited more towards the running I do. Both are great options.


Nike Infinity React (RTR Review)

Michael: I didn’t do a full review for the Infinity React, but I have run in it to the tune of a few miles. Despite being an altogether less supportive shoe, the Infinity React will scream its stability at you from first lace. It’s a noticeable - though not unpleasant - means of providing structure. Without a full review period for the Nike, I can’t definitively say which I prefer, but I would take the Infinity React over the Kayano for anything that required some faster running, to be sure. 


Sam: While the Infinity React is lighter and relies on an inherently broad platform for much of its stability component, its long rails on either side and especially the lateral side are really noticed, Less focused on pronation control than knee stability and as with all rails of the firmer variety I found them obtrusive and for me unnecessary. Cut them down in length and I would have a clear preference for the Infinity React. As it stands now and for use as an easier run and recovery shoe I prefer the Kayano. 


Nike React Miler (RTR Initial Review)

Sam: The React Miler plays in the nearly the same stability support category but gets to it in a more mellow fashion and at about 0.5 oz less. The React midsole is softer and bouncier and more slab like than dynamic as the Kayano's midsole and ride is. Transitions are slower if with a more even feel lacking the toe off snap of the Kayano but with more front cushion. The stability elements include shorter (than Infinity React's) rails, and a small softish midfoot plate vertically glued to the sidewall vs the Kayano's 3mm thick longer medial side wall of firmer foam and Trusstic plate. The Miler upper has a good rear hold but not the super stable clutch of the Kayano. Its mid foot is held by an arch band (noticed and part of the support system) with the toe box having overlays, A decent upper but no where near the smooth seamless hold of the Kayano. Overall the Miler leans more neutral than Kayano and has a softer less dynamic ride. It leans more towards recovery runs for me than the Kayano.
 

ASICS GlideRide (RTR Review)

Michael: ASICS GlideRide is a fun, kinetic, propulsive shoe with a very strong midfoot rocker. And while the Kayano 27 does have some pseudo-propulsion, owing to the firm trussic and flexible forefoot, the rides are not overly similar. Runners who prefer a traditional platform (albeit a lightened one!) will definitely enjoy the Kayano; those looking for a faster shoe or one that encourages a forefoot strike will likely prefer the GlideRun. Pairing both - the Kayano for recovery and long runs, the GlideRide for faster runs and workouts - would make for a great combination.


ASICS Nimbus 21 (RTR Review)

Sam: My memory is a bit hazy but the lighter 21 was no longer a chore to run as earlier versions were yet it seems the Kayano flowed along smoother and had a more distinct place in my rotation as a stable recovery easy days shoe while the Nimbus was a decent daily trainer in a crowded field of such shoes,


Brooks Adrenaline GTS  

Sam: In recent editions a rails based support shoe I didn’t care for them as while they may help stabilize the knee for those who need that, I found the rails to be in the way of transitions making it a far more awkward and lumbering shoe than the heavier Kayano which just flows along, 


Brooks Ravenna 9 and 10 (RTR Review)

Michael: The Brooks Ravenna 10 was a disappointing shoe for me; the upper was decent enough, but the BioMoGo DNA midsole was uninspiring, and the GuideRail stability relatively lacking. While the Kayano 27 isn’t necessarily a “fun” shoe, I do think it has a mildly more impressive ride (certainly, considering its weight!). Unless you need a do-everything shoe (including workouts), I would take the Kayano and pick up something lighter and faster than the Ravenna for workout days.

Sam: While I really liked the Ravenna 9 post’s and flexible forefoot combination the Ravenna 10’s stiff rails got in the way of transitions for me. Ravenna 11 improves the situation with less stiff now co molded instead of glued rails but as with the all rails based shoes so far not my jam. 


Skechers Forza 4 (RTR Review)

Michael: The Forza 4 was a fun shoe; while it had a noticeable “break in” period, and some weird duality between its two halves (one midsole element firmer than the other, to provide stability) it’s still a Hyperburst-laden trainer and one that can really get moving. I “accidentally” ran a 1:15 half-marathon in the Forza 4, without even really realizing what I was wearing. While runners who want a more traditional platform and stability mechanism may prefer the Kayano, I think a lot of runners will like the added zip of the Forza.

Sam: If you need some support and want to have a fast, light option the almost 2 oz lighter Forza 4 is the way to go. I found there is much more of a contrast between the lateral side and medial side than in the polished but heavier Kayano. As I don’t typically need pronation control, but like it for easier days, I would for that reason keep the more cushioned and more evenly feeling support of the  Kayano over the Forza in my rotation. 


Hoka Arahi 4 (RTR Review)

Sam: the Arahi gets its stability from a combination of its broad inherently stable footprint and a firmer foam (but not too firm) medial J Frame. Lighter, it is pretty darn smooth for a control shoe. This said it is somehow also not as polished and smooth running as the more flexible, if heavier,  Kayano at slower paces, where I would use such a shoe.


Saucony Guide 13  (RTR Review)

Sam: The Guide 13 relies on a medial side TPU plate for the support element. It’s support is more noticed than the combination of the Dynamic Duo Max and the Space Trusstic plate. Somewhat lighter, faster, and bouncier the Guide is a fine option in the category but as with Forza 4 has less of a place in my rotation than the Kayano as I appreciate and seek a support shoe more for easier days than harder days and Kayano delivers enough pronation control, more cushion and more overall stability without making me notice it. The Guide is a better, faster daily trainer for those seeking some pronation control. 

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was a provided at no charge. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review!

Any comparison to the new Nike Miler? Seems to have similar intent.

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
Yes indeed and thanks. I took another run in the Miler this morning to formulate my thoughts which are here and also added as a comparison with link to Miler initial review:
The React Miler plays in the nearly the same stability support category but gets to it in a more mellow fashion and at about 0.5 oz less. The React midsole is softer and bouncier and more slab like than dynamic as the Kayano's midsole and ride is. Transitions are slower if with a more even feel lacking the toe off snap of the Kayano but with more front cushion. The stability elements include shorter (than Infinity React's) rails, and a small softish midfoot plate vertically glued to the sidewall vs the Kayano's 3mm thick longer medial side wall of firmer foam and Trusstic plate. The Miler upper has a good rear hold but not the super stable clutch of the Kayano. Its mid foot is held by an arch band (noticed and part of the support system) with the toe box having overlays, A decent upper but no where near the smooth seamless hold of the Kayano. Overall the Miler leans more neutral than Kayano and has a softer less dynamic ride. It leans more towards recovery runs for me than the Kayano.

Andrew Knox said...

Is this the kind of shoe I should be running in if I land with my feet turned out? I can’t seem to not do it and rather than continue with dealing with foot injuries (I’ll end up rolling over the ankle repetitively as my foot sticks out especially on one side).

Up until now, I’ve been in Topos and Altras but I may just have to give in and try something like this? ��