First Impressions

The Kayano 17 is one of the most popular stability shoes on the market. And it’s easy to see why many choose this standout shoe. The product delivers light weight – the lightest in our test by a couple of ounces – instantly comfortable and glove-like fit, and smooth, but not overly cushioned ride.


The Kayano sits at the top of ASICS stability shoe product line (aka Structured Cushioning on the company’s website). Accordingly, ASICS packs the shoe with a ton of features all with mind boggling names like Impact Guidance System, Space Trusstic System and Solyte Lasting. Wow.

Upper: Synthetic mesh, antimicrobial sock liner
Sole: Dual density midsole – gel and foam – high abrasion rubber outsole
Weight: 24 oz per pair (Men’s 11)

In more layman’s terms, the company employs a multilayer sole construction that places 15mm of gel cushioning at the heel and 10mm at the forefoot for a softer ride. Total heel height/cushioning runs approximately 30mm with the forefoot dropping to approximately 20mm. Underfoot, ASICS places a hard plastic support (the aforementioned Space Trusstic System) to stabilize the arch. And the outsole uses ASICS proprietary high abrasion rubber compound.

With all that cushioning, the Kayano is definitely not your minimal ride, but it’s not overpowering either. I was surprised to find that when compared to some of the minimal drop shoes in my regular rotation, the Kayano’s seem right a home, not too controlling or cushioned.

The Kayano upper is a combination of synthetics including a breathable mesh. It definitely provides plenty of ventilation while also keeping the dew out on those early morning runs. ASICS adds nicely colored accents and reflectivity to round out the package.


I found the Kayano’s fit like a glove right out of the box. The sock liner includes memory foam at the collar which improves comfort. The shoe’s asymmetric lacing system contributes to a nice snug, easy to customize fit. The toe box is nice and wide, while the heel narrows nicely, eliminating any lift. My size 11 test shoe fit completely true to size. No need to pick anything other than your standard athletic shoe size.

Final Verdict

According to leading shoe retailer Road Runner Sports, the GEL-Kayano remains the #1 favorite stability shoe. I like it for its out-of-the-box comfort, light weight and smooth ride. Recommended.

First Impressions:
[Rating:5/5] Features:
[Rating:4/5] Fit:
[Rating:5/5] Final Verdict:

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to ASICS for providing product for this review. Written by Matt K.