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Asics Gel Kayano 18 Product Review

Short Take

Run like a king (do kings do much running?) in the Kayano 18, Asics' luxury ride for the runner who needs a good deal of pronation support.

Big Updates

  • Lighter Weight: No one will mistake the Kayano 18 for a minimal shoe or racing flat, but both Men's and Women's models are slimmed down a few tenths of an ounce.
  • Biomorphic Fit Upper: A stretch material in the forefoot moves with the foot to reduce irritation.
  • Heel Clutching System: A structure welded to the outside of the upper wraps around the heel for a more secure fit.
  • Redesigned Asymmetrical Lacing: The Kayano 18 still has an asymmetrical lacing system that contours to the top of the foot, but it is not quite as angled as the laces on prior generations.

Road Test

Our description of this shoe lists “tons” of Gel cushioning. That may be a slight exaggeration. Still, the cush is the main event in this shoe. Wanna get in touch with the road? Point your eyeballs elsewhere. But for those of you who want or need a more pillowy landing, Kayano will be pleased to make your acquaintance.

Oodles of Gel cushioning alone isn't going to make a good shoe, and Asics has spent a lot of research dollars on delivering a complete package for the runner who wants to ride in luxury. Check this shoe's Technologies page for a complete list of all the tech features. In short, we can say that the engineering is impressive – all of the features work together well to create a shoe that feels purpose-built.

The upper of the shoe is a particular crowd-pleaser, with a snug heel and a fit in the mid and forefoot that gives you room to be comfy without extra space for your foot to roam where it shouldn't. The shoe has a very smooth transition, with a ride that finds an excellent balance between firm and floaty.

Runners Say

Daniel

This upper is so plush. It's comfortable, but the shoe gets a little hot given the amount of material surrounding my foot. Still, the shoe deserves its popularity given how comfortably the miles go by.

Jonathan

Really appreciate the fit of the heel and the roominess of the toebox. I couldn't quite feel comfortable with the transition, but that's probably because I'm not used to running in maximum feature shoes with a built-up heel.

Matt

The pronation support in this shoe is certainly noticeable compared to a neutral shoe. But still, you can tell Asics spent a lot of time working to make the transition on this shoe as seamless as possible given how substantial the post is.