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Running Shoes for Flat Feet Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Asics Gel Kayano 28 Review: Stability Running Shoe for Performance

Check it out, runners! If you have flat feet or plantar fasciitis, you understand how crucial a supportive pair of running shoes can be. The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 shoes are effective running shoes for runners looking for a stability running shoe with substantial cushioning. With a comfortable build, durable materials, and shock-absorbing qualities, these are a unique pair of shoes worth considering. They feature in our lists of the best shoes for runners with flat feet and the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Asics Gel Kayano 28 is among the top women's shoes we tested.

The Gel-Kayano 28 running shoe is one of Asic’s flagship models and features their latest technology. These technologies include the Dynamic DuoMax Support System, rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning system, FlyteFoam Blast, 3D Space Construction, and AHAR Plus Outsole for durability. We’ll get into more details on all of these technologies and more!

Fast Facts about the Asics Gel-Kayano 28

  • Durable outsole and materials to stand up to considerable use from all kinds of runners.
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support system for stability and support. Asics continues to refine this technology to reduce the weight of the shoe while improving support. The Gel-Kayano is a supportive running shoe, after all.
  • FluidFit technology for an adaptive fit to match your feet.
  • AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) for road adhesion, comfort, and durability.
  • Stability-promoting design for runners who overpronate.

Features and Benefits

Asics is a well-known brand in the running shoe community. The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 running shoe is their most recent edition to the Gel-Kayano line. These shoes are a solid option to stave off bouts of plantar fasciitis pain. They also provide support for runners with flat feet.

These shoes come in an variety of styles and colors for both men and women. There are enough options to ensure that your style is unique, no matter if subtle or striking. The strong balance of fit, comfort and style has led to incredibly positive product ratings. Reviews from buyers are almost uniformly positive. After buying and testing these ourselves, we are firmly in that camp as well.

The complete feature list for the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is extensive. These features include a FluidFit multi-directional upper, thick but soft gel for superior shock absorption, Asics patented impact guidance systems, and more.

But how did these features and benefits come together to alleviate plantar fasciitis pain, and how did these shoes fare in some physical challenges we put them through? Let’s dive in.

Details of the rear of the asics gel kayano 28 shoe while someone is running on pavement.

Asics Gel-Kayano 28 vs. 27

The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 follows in the footsteps of the well-loved Gel-Kayano line. It offers a few upgrades, but no major changes. The 27 was already a great running shoe, and the 28 is even better. However, there are at least a few changes we should note so that you can get a good idea of what to look for.

First, the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 running shoes stay true to the stability running shoe lineage of the Kayano. If you’ve been using the Gel-Kayano for years (as many have) then you’ll recognize the 28 as an old friend. The Gel-Kayano 28 delivers support and guidance for overpronators and a soft smooth underfoot ride.

Changes to the Trusstic System

The biggest change between the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 and the Asics Gel-Kayano 27 is to the “Trusstic” system. The system itself has featured in the Gel-Kayano line for at least a decade (and possibly longer). With the 28, Asics has tucked the Trusstic system underneath some FlyteFoam cushioning and the outsole.

This change makes a noticeable difference in the smoothness of the ride and of your heel-to-toe transition. You still get the support and structure you expect from a Gel-Kayano. However, there’s a softer, smoother feel to your run.

Detailed view of the heel and heel counter.

Differences in Stack Height

This is an area that Asics, and in particular the Gel-Kayano, stand out. There’s a real difference between the Men’s and Women’s Gel-Kayano. On the Gel-Kayano 28 for men, the stack height increased by 1mm to a 23mm heel. With a 13mm forefoot height, this gives a 10mm heel-to-toe drop on the Men’s version.

On the other hand, with the Women’s Gel-Kayano 28, the heel height is 25mm with a 12mm forefoot, giving a 13mm heel-to-toe drop. While these are similar to the Gel-Kayano 27 (a slightly high heel height and correspondingly larger heel-to-toe drop), there is a big difference between the Men’s version and Women’s version.

Since the Gel-Kayano targets runners looking for a supportive and max-cushioning running shoe, Asics has done research on the gait and strike characteristics of runners looking for these shoes. In that research, they found that female runners strike the ground differently than men. This difference is why they incorporate different geometry in the Women’s and Men’s versions.

Overhead view with details of the mesh upper and lacing system on the asics gel kayano.

Changes to the Upper

There’s very little to note here. The engineered mesh upper carries over from the 27 with only some cosmetic changes.

There’s less tapering in the forefoot with Gel-Kayano 28 vs. the 27, but the difference is small. The materials around the heel of the shoe are a little more plush. They feel higher quality, not that that there was anything wrong with the materials in the 27.

Focusing on the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 for Plantar Fasciitis

People suffering from mild to severe plantar fasciitis dread the idea of running. This ailment is by far the most common cause of heel pain in adults. This is especially rampant amongst the running community.

Many who suffer from plantar fasciitis will notice the most intense pain after waking up. However, sharper pains are common when running. Wearing improper footwear that lacks ample support in the heel and arch is a fast track to intense pinpoint pain.

Treatment of plantar fasciitis involves routine stretching. However, one of the easiest ways to alleviate the pain associated with this struggle is to wear shoes that properly support the heel and arch.

The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is one such running shoe. Asics has long been a stalwart brand in the running community, as well as a wonderful option for plantar fasciitis sufferers. The 28th iteration of their flagship model, the Gel-Kayano, builds upon their stellar reputation further.

Performance in Our Testing

Details of the rear of the asics gel kayano 28 shoe while someone is running on pavement.

We at Shoe Guide are known for our rigorous testing procedures. Our selections for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis were no exception. We put the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 through a series of three separate tests, all taking place across various courses in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Testing Routes

  • A flatter route on strong pavement, with terrains ranging from asphalt to loose pebbles, carpeting, linoleum and sidewalks. Goal: a four-mile loop around the perimeter of the Regency Square Mall, one of those miles being a jogging pace.
  • A more off-road route, the Spanish Pond Trail, with mud, stocks, debris and plenty of rugged terrains. Goal: Another four miles across environments untested in the flatter route, with a mile at a solid trail running pace.
  • An intense stair climbing route, up the 42-floor stairwell of the Banks of America Tower in downtown. Goal: Testing the quality of the shoes over quick turnarounds, damp environments, closed quarters, and rapid inclines.

Here are how these running shoes performed.

Action shot of the compression qualities of the under toe forefoot on the gel kayano 28.

In the flat route, the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 did wonderfully. We experienced solid comfort and traction when walking and when jogging, in both the inside and outside terrains. Of all the running shoes we tested in our research, the Asics model was the most comfortable in this particular route.

In the off-road route, the Asics Gel-Kayano performed admirably as well. However, we noticed that the back of the running shoe started to dig into our heels when we were climbing up the steepest section of the trail at a jogging pace. But, this pain subsided quickly and did not come back when we tried a second lap to re-test.

Finally, in the stair climbing route, we experienced something that we hadn’t experienced before our testing. You see, we were used to climbing that building with low-quality running shoes with minimal support. The climb with the Asics running shoes were one of the most comfortable climbs we had experienced.

Performance and Use

This shoe, like all the Kayano models, is designed with cushioning and durability in mind. Asics Designer and Engineer Toshikazu Kayano created its remarkable design. They provide exceptional foot support with FlyteFoam and FluidFit technologies. These shoe’s midsole possesses FlyteFoam technologies that reduce the impact on your foot while providing a secure, no-slip grip on your shoes.

They are built with reinforced fibers that are 55% lighter than industry-standard EVA. FluidFit technologies in the upper of the shoe are adaptive thanks to multi-directional stretch mesh, allowing for a great fit.

Additionally, the shoe’s Dynamic DuoMax™ guarantees stability. This is a great technology for over-pronators. This DuoMax™ model supports a structured design by providing the runner with more speed and less bulk. Another great aspect of the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 shoe is its lightweight nature. It’s stretchy, but secure fit and flexible upper.

The Asics website deems the Gel-Kayano 28 shoe best for those with neutral to over-pronators. Since pronation is a normal movement of the human body, it provides a great fit for those who are over-pronators and as well as those that are not. This decreases the risk of injury and pain so you can enjoy your run.

Cushioning and Comfort

Close up view of the outsole geometry.

These shoes provide high-level support with the perfect balance of bounce-back and cushioning. As Asics running shoes, they have Asics High Abrasion Rubber, also known as AHAR, in the heel, as well as FluidRide technologies, for durability purposes. Dura Sponge technology, another version of this rubber, is used in the rest of the outer sole for both road adhesion and comfort.

Kayano shoes utilize both foam and gel for comfort purposes. As stated earlier, FlyteFoam is generous with its silicone-based gel in both the forefoot and the heel. With this, comfort rolls back throughout the shoe, so it works while you run. Rearfoot & forefoot gel technology cushioning systems both improve shock attenuation and, per the Asics website, toe-off phases allow for “movement as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.” Additionally, specially-engineered mesh in the shoe’s upper area is shaped for breathability. This mesh is built to flex in the proper areas and conform to your feet.

The Kayano series has a great reputation for using top-quality materials for comfort. With a rounded collar that prevents pain in the Achilles, a seamless feel and specialized gel in all the right places, the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is phenomenal in the comfort category.

Value and Cost

With the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 running shoes, you get what you pay for. Compared to other running shoe brands, Asics shoes might be considered more on the pricey side. While you understandably should keep your budget in mind, it is important to keep your health in mind when choosing an appropriate running shoe. Made with top-notch materials, the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 running shoes are well-renowned by runners of all kinds, especially for those with flat feet. The upfront purchase might save you time and money in the future, as the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 shoes are known to last long.

Pros and Cons of the Asics Gel-Kayano 28

Details of the rearfoot and heel strike cushioning.

All running shoes, regardless of their position in our list of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, will have their pros and cons. This isn’t their fault; it is simply part of our testing protocols. No shoe is perfect, and we are aware of this. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages that we found when testing the Asics Gel-Kayano 28.

Pros

  • Comfort. FlyteFoam technologies allow comfort to roll from the front to the back of your shoe. It is a silicone-based gel that supports the rear foot and the forefoot for consistent comfort and support.  FlyteFoam utilizes super organic fibers that prevent “packing out,” which happens with lower density foam supports. Flytefoam, combined with the rear-foot and forefoot gel cushioning system, supports multiple areas as your foot moves through the gait cycle.
  • Adaptive. Asics FluidFit technologies use both multi-directional stretch mesh and other stretch reinforcements to adapt to the shape of your foot. These technologies contribute to a comfortable, but tight fit, like a glove custom-tailored for your hand (but for your foot). The same FlyteFoam technologies that provide your feet with comfort also give your shoe a no-slip grip. Stability is crucial in running shoes, and many of Asics’ technologies support stability in the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 shoes.
  • Durability. FluidRide and Asics High Abrasion Rubber are both technologies utilized to create a durable shoe. FluidRide allows for bounce-back and cushioning with both strength and reduced weight. Additionally, AHAR is placed in crucial areas of the outsole for even more durability. It is important to keep in mind that these shoes are made best for running on roads rather than other terrains. These shoes are extremely durable for daily runners.
  • Support. These running shoes provided impressive arch support, unexpected in a brand that is common for those looking for ultralight shoes.
  • Cushioning. The cushioning of the Asics Gel-Kayano 28 are strong, yet lightweight. They are also gender-specific (thicker foam for men, more breathable, lighter foam for women), with high quality composition of materials

Cons

  • Cost. While the comfort-per-dollar is wonderful, the price point is the highest amongst the shoes we tested by a long shot. If you have the funds to shell out for these shoes, we highly recommend doing so, before the next iteration comes out and the price goes up even more.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the Asics Gel-Kayano 28

The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 compares favorably with other max-cushioning shoes and stability shoes. Some other options that you can consider are the Brooks Glycerin, the Hoka One One Bondi, and the New Balance FreshFoam 860.

These are all important to consider in a new pair of running shoes. Stability and comfort are both crucial for those with flat feet. With Asics’ iconic technologies like FlyteFoam and FluidRide, you can enjoy your run without worrying about pains or other complications associated with your flat-footedness. The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 shoes are built for running effectiveness and comfortable support in mind.

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