By now, the Kayano has become a staple of shoe stores from the largest big box to the smallest mom and pop. It’s a flagship for Asics and out-historied only by the Nike Pegasus. People love this shoe. Let’s see how the latest version holds up to its name.
The good news is, if you liked Kayanos before, you’ll probably love this one. If you didn’t the 26 likely won’t change your mind. Still rocking the plastic midfoot shank (Asics’ patented “propulsion trusstic”), the ride is clunkier than many other stability shoes (the Brooks Adrenaline 19, for instance, which practically feels like a neutral shoe), but surprisingly smoother than the GT-2000 7 or Nimbus 21. The stability is definitely there and better than in the 23 or 24, but it’s by no means intrusive. There’s quite a bit of responsiveness.
The upper is very accomodating, with a wide toebox and especially wide ankle. There wasn’t much heel slip when we tried it on, but there is still the option of that last eyelet if you really want to get locked in. You shouldn’t have to worry about breathability, either. One non-performance note we’d like to make is that this model looks horribly ugly. The Kayano 24 looked great and it’s just gone pear-shaped, the past couple of years.
The Asics Kayano 26 is a very traditional stability shoe with enough bounce and comfort to stay modern. This shoe is great for anyone wanting a slightly firm, supportive, plush ride. It’s truly the Bentley of running shoes.
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