Tuesday, August 16, 2022

ASICS GEL-Kayano 29 Review: Stability Redefined!

Article by Markus Zinkl

ASICS GEL-Kayano 29 ($160/190 €)


This year's Gel-Kayano 29, a stability classic, receives significant changes and updates over the previous version. 

Most noticeably, Asics opted for the softer and lighter FF Blast+ Foam in the midsole. Asics claims it is ~22% softer than conventional EVA and ~19% lighter than the regular FF Blast.

The Kayano was also overhauled in the stability department. It now features the new LiteTruss system, which replaces Duo Max sidewalls and now uses LiteTruss while also doing away with the plastic Tursstic stability element. I

instead, it achieves medial support only with the midsole foam and geometry, and you can feel that. The medial midsole part of the heel and arch feels a bit firmer and denser than the rest of the FF Blast+ midsole. I could also feel that after the first step in.  

Officially, it loses a bit of weight as well 299g vs 310g in the US M 9. Oddly enough, my size US 10,5 weighs in at 324g compared to 321g for last year's Kayano 28. You won’t notice 4g, but I would not call this weight reduction.

Pros and Cons


  • Great stability without being restrictive

  • Nicely cushioned ride and comfort for long runs

  • Flexible knit upper accommodates a wide variety of foot shapes

  • Easy to lock in pace

  • Nice and welcome design update over last versions

  • Excellent outsole durability (AHAR+ outsole)


  • Lacks bounce and a bit of responsiveness which would make it a better all round shoe

  • Breathability could be better in the current hot weather 90° F / 32 C plus.


  Official Weight: men's 10.5 oz  / 299g (US9)  /  women's 9.5 oz / 270g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  11.4 oz  / 324 g (US 10.5)

Midsole Stack Height: men’s 25 mm heel / 15 mm forefoot  

              women’s 24 heel mm / 14 mm forefoot

Available now $160/190 € 

GEL-Kayano 28  RTR Review

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

"Deep Ocean/Cherry Tomato" is what Asics calls the colorway provided to me. In general I have to give Asics compliments here. Gone are the days when Asics shoes were labeled as "old-fashioned" or "boring". What has happened to the design here in recent years is very welcome. "Spoiler Alert", and not only design-wise, the shoe knows how to convince.

I really like the color combo of the blue upper and red/white midsole. The GEL inlay is also kept in similar red and blends inconspicuously into the design. The current Asics logo design, known from the Metaspeed racers, also fits in well.

First, I have to say that the Kayano 29 is my first stability shoe. Normally I always run in neutral shoes. 

When I first slipped them on, I immediately noticed the soft FF Blast+ midsole, especially in the forefoot. This is the first time the FF Blast+ midsole has been used in the Kayano and is . upgrade to its predecessor, the Kayano 28, which still used FF Blast. FF Blast+ is a bit softer and also lighter than FF Blast.

There was also an update to the stability technology. The Kayano 29 now also comes with the Litetruss™ system known from the GT-2000. 

The hard plastic Tursstic stability plate under the midfoot of the Kayano 28 (shown above) is also removed. 

On the medial side of the shoe, the stability is achieved via the slightly harder LiteTruss foam as a vertical wall. 

When slipping them on for the first time, I somewhat felt the LiteTruss on the inside of the heel. However, it is only noticeable and not annoying.

The fit is very roomy in the forefoot area and offers a good and sufficiently wide platform, while still achieving good lockdown in the midfoot. Sizing is true to size and my usual 44.5 fits without problems.

The Gel-Kayano 29 features a new Engineered Stretch-Knit upper, which promises high breathability. In the spirit of sustainability, recycled material is used in a proportion of at least 50 percent in the shoes’ upper. 

The upper offers a high level of comfort and adapts optimally to the shape of the foot which offers the advantage that wider feet can also find their place. 

The toe box offers enough space and protects the foot, which prevents the risk of bumping into stones or sticks, especially on forest or gravel roads. The promised breathability is given at normal temperatures, but during runs in the heat at around 90 degrees up, I had the feeling that my feet could no longer breathe well and the heat accumulated.

A gusseted or semi-gusseted tongue would have been nice. However, once the shoe is laced up, it doesn't move during runs either, so it isn't absolutely necessary.

The well-cushioned heel area also adds to the comfort and ensures a good lockdown. At no point did I feel that the heel was moving.

All in all, the upper is very comfortable.

Last, the sockliner is produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage by approximately 33% and carbon emissions by approximately 45% compared to the conventional dyeing technology while the upper itself is made from at least 50% recycled materials.


The new FF Blast+ material shines especially during long, slow runs. Due to the good cushion and roll through behavior, it is very easy to lock into pace and to stay at it. A really nice cruiser. 

I also tried to use it for more uptempo sessions. Here it lacks a bit of pop and bounce. Also, the weight becomes noticeable, at least for my tastes.

I could not really notice the GEL inserts. As a mid-foot striker I tried to intentionally heel-strike in order to feel it, but I couldn’t. I guess it is a good thing if it’s not really noticeable. 

I would like to emphasize how unobtrusive the LiteTruss stability component is. As already mentioned above, the support is slightly noticeable on the inside of the heel. Once I was on the road, however, I didn’t really notice it. I actively tried running on sloped/ off camber roads, etc. and have to say that the medial stability is very good. Especially in direct comparison with a neutral running shoe on the same route. At the same time, the Kayano 29 only manages to provide stability when it is needed and runs on flat surfaces like a neutral shoe. Hats off to Asics.


The outsole uses the tried and trusted AHAR+ rubber. Probably the most durable one out there. After around 40 miles, the outsole shows hardly any signs of wear. In terms of grip I can’t really report something negative. I couldn’t test the shoe on wet conditions, because of the current drought, but have no concerns here. Both on asphalt and on light forest and dirt roads, I had no problems with it.


The combination of stability, comfort and moderate weight makes the Kayano 29 the ideal companion for long runs. The soft midsole ensured that my feet did not get tired even after long runs. In addition, the good stability, helps ensure good form especially during long runs. Often one tends to neglect form during longer sessions and the ankles tend to collapse more due to increasing fatigue. This does not occur at all with the Kayano. 

I only wish for a bit more bounce and pop. This would make it a more compelling option as an all round shoe and especially at its price point increasing its value.

Conclusions and Recommendations

ASICS has tackled a lot of areas in this update to the Kayano 29 and managed to improve the shoe. All the updates make sense to me. If you're looking for a stability shoe that doesn't feel like one, this is the shoe for you. The Kayano 29 manages to give enough stability without it being restrictive or noticed. The shoe shines in my eyes for long runs. If you want a shoe for tempo sessions or intervals, I would recommend something faster and lighter. For those runs, the Kayano lacks bounce and reactivity. The moderate weight is also too much for me personally. 

Score: 9/10

Ride (50 %): 9

Fit (30 %): 9.5

Value (15%): 8

Style (5%): 9

Editor's Note: Our usual comparisons will be added as more testers join the review.

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Watch RTR Editor Sam's Kayano 29 Initial Video Review

Close A/B run comparisons to Kayano 28 and Nimbus 24

Tester Profile

Markus (Germany): I'm mainly a recreational runner, currently running about 5 times per week. I run about 50:50 trails and roads. My only preference in terms of shoes is, that they are not too heavy. Other than that I run in everything, from zero drop Altras to high stack Vaporfly. Racing times for the 10k are 39:48 min and 1:51:32 for a half-marathon. I am also an avid hiker.

The GEL-Kayano 29 is available now including at ASICS and at our partners below.

 Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes by ASICS Running. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

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