This fall, two running footwear giants unleashed their latest premium stability offerings on the world. One shoe is the latest in a long line of respected support. The other is the new kid on the block. Who will take home the title? Well, that kind of depends on what you’re looking for.
In terms of technology, Nike has outfitted its shoe with front and heel Zoom Air units for responsive cushioning, as well as full-length Lunarlon for softness, and Cushlon and Dynamic Support foam for stability. The upper is a dual-layer circular-knit with Flywire midfoot wraps and an external heel counter for extra support. That seems like the description for the materials in the Batsuit, it’s so much technology. Looks like the only thing they missed was the kitchen sink.
Asics, meanwhile, kept their midsole pretty much the same (FluidRide for softness, Dynamic Duomax for support, and forefoot and heel Gel inserts for impact absorption) from last year. The upper is new, though, being much sleeker-looking. The overlays are now located between the mesh layers, while the heel clip is still external.
The bottom line is that the Odyssey feels like a much faster shoe with better arch support, while this year’s Kayano is feels super-cushiony and the stability is less noticeable. A lot of reviewers have criticized this latter aspect of the Kayano 22, but I question if it wasn’t a deliberate choice to make the shoe feel smoother.
If I had to pick one for my personal preference, I would choose the Odyssey, but if you’re more concerned with having a shoe that stops so much force going to your knees or back, I would probably go for the Kayano. The Kayano will also come in different widths (the Odyssey does not), so that is something to keep in mind if you have a wider or more narrow foot.
Nike Odyssey— Score: Pretty great
Asics Kayano 22— Score: Pretty good