Asics Gel Kayano 17: 100 Mile Review

Ease of use
Value for money

Having been a long term user of the Gel Kayano 15, yet now unable to get hold of another pair, I’ve resorted to the 17s.

First impressions
They’re very white and won’t be for long! They also feel somewhat more heavy in the mesh areas, especially the toe box. The lining material around the heel is thicker and more plush and they’ve lost the strange wonky lacing pattern of the 15s.
The whole shoe looks very familiar, with the Duomax inner arch and the semi transparent center sole section too. There’s a little more mesh/less stretchy rubber at the sides compared to the old design and the heel cup feels reassuring solid, as I’ve come to expect with the Kayano.

The Fit
First impressions were that the whole shoe feels wider. Noticeably. It also feels heavier material wise and so less well ventilated. The heel cup feels solid and stable, yet larger than that of the old 15s. I have narrow feet. This may not be a good thing.

The first run
First run out was an inadvisable 11 miles to break them in. I had no choice, I had to get the miles in and my old 15s were well and truly beyond dead (and my knees were telling me so). It rained heavily, they got very wet. They didn’t feel like they fitted me, they felt way too wide. In fact, they felt loose all round my foot. My heel felt like it was wallowing around though and the toes didn’t really have anywhere to sit as there’s so much width in them. The knees survived the 11 miles though, so the legendary cushioning of the Kayano was obviously there!

The first 100 miles – review
Having played about with the lacing a lot (and I mean a lot, like maybe an hour of faffing about) I think I’ve now got them about right. I have to say, they now feel somewhat tight around the midfoot/lace area and still very wide around the toe box. The heel is now much better too, and the revised lacing strategy seems to have improved this somewhat. They’re now a lightly dirty brownish colour and as they’re so thick and not so well ventilated, smell like running shoes. Not nice, but for the winter/spring months at least my feet aren’t so cold!

Overall verdict
The ever reliable Kayano returns as the flagship model, with good cushioning, good support and a strong construction. The 17 is a heavier meshed model yet gains no discernible weight for this. If your feet are on the larger side, they will likely fit you well, but if you’re used to the Kayano with smaller feet, do make sure to give them a try and expect much fiddling with laces before you commit your hard earned premium-price-running-shoe cash.

One comment

  1. John Lawlor says:

    Bought a pair of “17” asics gel kayano about 3 mths ago while preparing for an Oxfam 50k in the Mourne mountains.
    Thought they were brilliant and sure-footed. The laces were tricky to get the proper tightness level. I ended up with a sore instep on my left foot for around two mths but it’s ok now.
    The transparent sect underneath mid-sole has I noticed after the 50k got water in both of the shoes.
    Is this a design problem or wear and tear or a warranty issue.
    Have they now lost some of their support? they feel pretty good notwithstanding that…..