The Kayano 26 is better than the previous model thanks to a more responsive midsole delivering a more all-round shoe, but it takes the Kayano closer to other shoes from other brands in performance making it seem rather expensive.
The 26 has lost some of the solidity of prevous models but this is reflecting the current trend in running shoes of constantly delivering lighter and faster. There had to be a compormise, but it has not hurt the performance. It has, however, diluted the uniqueness of Kayano in the market as a plush and very stable running shoe.
The Kayano has been the King of the supportive line for a long time and sits above two other classic, great workhorse shoes, the Asics GT-2000 and the Asics GT-1000.
A two-piece midsole is a great addition to the performance of the shoe and it's lighter and more responsive than previous Kayano's. Flytefoam Propel in the forefoot is a great addition delivering more bounce and more durability and the Flytefoam lite is really protective in the heel.
The stability is as expected, excellent and really delivers that Kayano feel - it's just had the pace dialed up slightly.
For the money, it's boring and plain - personally, I think this version has cut corners on the cost of the upper and the lux details that the Kayano previously had in abundance.
The jaquard mesh upper is supple and breathable, so it performs, but blimey its boring for a top end trainer. There is nothing expensive looking on this shoe, it's all about practicality.
As expected from a Kayano, the outsole is solid and built to take abuse from a heavier runner, but it does make the shoe feel bulky compared to some support shoes on the market. That said, I really like that asics has not compromised the durabily factor here as there would be nothing worse than a stripped back outsole that you can burn through really quickly.
Premium stability that has been improved through the addition of more high performance midsole materials - but it's lacking the luxury looks of some previous models....
Rearfoot Gel cushioning system uses a silicone-based gel for responsive shock absorption on impact.
Forefoot Gel cushioning system uses a silicone-based gel for responsive shock absorption on impact.
Convergence Gel helps dissipate shock better and increase the overall effectiveness of cushioning.
Flytefoam Lyte provides lightweight and durable cushioning that is also environmentally friendly.
Flytefoam Propel offers a softer step-in feel with more bounce.
Discrete Heel unit is a component of IGS that provides excellent shock absorption in the heel.
Guidance Line is a vertical flex groove in the forefoot for improved gait efficiency.
Dynamic DuoMax Support System reduces over pronation by controlling the movement of the foot, leading to a smoother heel to toe transition.
Guidance Trusstic System is a lightweight support system that provides additional torsional rigidity.
Impact Guidance System (IGS) design creates a smooth and balanced heel-to-toe transition.
Gender Specific Forefoot cushioning uses an injected top layer of Solyte cushioning for additional comfort.
ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) in the heel is made of carbon rubber for exceptional durability.
DuraSponge Outsole in the forefoot is made from a blown AHAR compound, for responsive cushioning and flexibility.
Rear Foot Crash Pad slows the rate of pronation, providing a smoother transition from heel-to-toe.
FluidFit consists of multi-directional stretch mesh that provides a personalized, glove-like fit.
Jacquard mesh comprises the upper, providing lightweight breathability that tightens and looses in key areas to allow the foot to move naturally while still maintaining structure.
MetaClutch uses an exoskeletal structure that wraps the heel for a secure fit, with a new X-shaped structure lined with memory foam for a personalized fit.
Personal Heel Fit (PHF) uses a two layer memory foam lining in the heel collar, updated to better optimize a plush, individualized fit.
Discrete Eyelets are independently placed to disperse lace tension and enhance comfort.
Reinforced Vamp increases durability through the addition of a thin and seamless mesh overlay.
ComforDry X-40 Sockliner is made with anti-bacterial material to reduce odor and moisture and provide additional cushioning.
Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full-length ComforDry, for enhanced cushioning and a moderately soft underfoot feel.
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