Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Tokyo Review: Stability for your runs

Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Tokyo Review: Stability for your runs

Asics’ long-running Gel-Kayano running shoes are widely known for their stability, durability and comfort. This series is now into its 27th iteration with the Gel-Kayano 27.

DESIGN
The review unit I was testing is the limited edition of Sunrise Red colour way that celebrates the city of Tokyo and hence, its name.

SPECS
PRICE: $259 (available on Lazada)
MATERIAL: Asics’ FlyteFoam Propel midsole with Space Trussic technology
HEEL DROP: 10mm
WEIGHT: 309g (Size US 9, Men’s)

I like this colour combination of red and black. It makes it look more like a pair of cool sneakers than running shoes. Something I can wear in office or to the shopping malls.

The red and black colour way looks cool whether for runs or shopping. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Like its predecessors, the Gel-Kayano 27 is designed for overpronators, or runners with flat feet or low arches. During runs, their feet tend to roll inward excessively, forcing their knees and ankles to work harder to stabilise the body.

Stability running shoes, such as the Gel-Kayano series, counter this overpronation by having more cushioning on the inside of the heel and under the ball of the foot. As a result, stability running shoes tend to be heavy and offers little rebound.

However, the Gel-Kayano 27 uses a softer and lower density midsole layer of FlyteFoam Propel technology. Not only does it make the shoes lighter, it also improves the shoe’s cushioning.

A moulded compartment under the mid-foot area (called Space Trusstic technology) provides stability, reduces weight and gives the runner a smoother transition from foot-strike to toe-off. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Its Space Trusstic technology – a moulded compartment under the mid-foot area – provides additional stability, reduces weight and gives you a smoother transition from foot-strike to toe-off.

It comes with a sock-liner that is supposed to offer a softer step-in feel, while its segmented heel design is said to allow for more compression and improved cushioning.

PERFORMANCE
After slipping my feet into the Gel-Kayano 27, I was amazed by its high comfort level. It was even more comfortable than the already-comfy Gel-Kayano 25 I ran with around two years ago.

FOR
+ Good looks
+ Super comfortable
+ Offers great stability

AGAINST
– A tad expensive
– Not much energy return

My feet were securely locked in with enough room for my toes to wiggle. The Gel-Kayano 27 also feels lighter too. In fact, it feels around the same weight as my personal favourite Adidas Ultraboost 19.

The Gel-Kayano 27 feels really comfortable from the first moment you wear it. No run-in needed. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

I took the Gel-Kayano 27 for a 5km jog and it felt like I had been wearing them for months. They remain comfortable during subsequent jogs, even though I am a neutral runner (feet with normal arch). My injury-prone ankles also feel really well-protected, thanks to the ample heel counter.

However, I found that the Gel-Kayano 27 felt more comfortable when I was doing forefoot-strikes than heel strikes during my jogs. This is probably due to the design of the shoes.

In addition, the shoes did not offer much energy return (or bounce) like you find in the Ultraboost series.

Perhaps, its biggest downer is its price. At $259, it costs as much as Adidas Ultraboost 21, which offers better energy return (in theory, as I have yet to try it).

VERDICT
The Asics Gel-Kayano 27 might be a pair of stability running shoes but it is also great for neutral runners who favour fore-foot strikes.

RATING
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8/10

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Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow ends up being a tech journalist with over 16 years of experience in the consumer technology world. Maybe he plays too much video games and love new gadgets too much.