Shoes Help Me Stay Injury Free: Asics Gel Kayano 29 Road to Trail Review


Finding a solid running shoe can be difficult. When I’m shopping for a new shoe, I look for something that fits well, provides adequate support, and performs well in a variety of different terrains.

As someone who has been running for 15 years, I have tried my fair share of lemons when it comes to shoes. While everyone is different and has their specific needs when looking for shoes, Asics has been my shoe of choice for years and, in my opinion, the Gel Kayano 29 is their best shoe to date.

In short: Launched earlier this month, Asics Gel Kayano 29 is specifically designed for overpronators or those who need extra support. The shoe is comfortable, cushioned and super stable – from the forefoot through the sides to the updated heel.

Asics Gel Kayano 29: Review

Specifications Asics Gel Kayano 29

  • Lester: 9.5 oz.
  • Drop: 10 millimeters
  • Price: $160

My needs and who this shoe is for

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Review
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

I ran cross country and track and field throughout high school and college and made the transition to half marathons and full marathons after my college years. These days, I mostly run for fun.

My mileage is about half of what it was, but once a distance runner, always a distance runner. Typically, I’ll run 4-6 miles, with the occasional double-digit weekend run. I alternate between road running and trail running, so I’m always looking for a shoe that works well on both.

Despite my best efforts, I have a long history of injuries, mostly in the form of stress fractures. Although I know there is a lot of research supporting minimalist shoes, I have found that stability shoes tend to work best for me and help me avoid injury. I also have a narrow foot so I need a brand that is narrower or has a narrow shoe option.

Initial thoughts on testing

The Gel Kayano 29 is advertised as a shoe specifically designed for overpronators or those who need extra support, which perfectly describes what I was looking for. I’ve worn previous models of the Gel Kayano, and what keeps me coming back is the increased stability and minimal injuries that result.

The Gel Kayano 29 was as comfortable and stable as previous models and after a few runs they felt completely broken in. And with 11 different color options, it was easy to find a pair that I liked the look of, which isn’t necessary but is definitely an added bonus.

Technical characteristics

Asics Gel Kayano
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

Designed for stability, the Gel Kayano 29 provides maximum cushioning, so every step feels smooth and supported. The redesigned external heel counter gives the foot a stable feel, providing additional stability.

Interestingly, Asics also redesigned the heel counter of the Gel Kayano 28 (different from the 27), although some users experienced heel slippage. We only had comfort around the heel with the Gel Kayano 29.

Rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology cushioning and FF Blast Plus foam cushioning provide shock absorption and responsive rebound, while 3D Space construction provides a softer feel under foot. The Gel Kayano is topped with an Ortholite X sock liner.

Additionally, the shoe features LiteTruss technology, which the brand says helps improve medial support and midfoot integrity. Finally, the Gel Kayano 29 sports an upper made of 75% recycled polyester.

my catch

Asics Gel Kayano 29 Road Running Shoe Review
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

Although the Gel Kayano 29 is advertised as a road running shoe great for paved roads and trails, I wear them on less technical dirt roads and trails and have had no issues. They are comfortable and the engineered knit upper offers good ventilation.

I’m a huge fan of all the thoughtful design features that help add cushion, stability and support – my feet feel comfortable and the impact is minimal when wearing the Gel Kayano.

Asics also made sure to add reflective detailing so you can be seen if you’re running after hours.

A note on sizing: I usually wear a size 8 in dress shoes but opted for a size 9 for the Gel Kayano to compensate for swelling while running. This size worked perfectly for me. Some people have said this shoe runs a little small, so you’d better order at least a half size up.

My only complaint about the Gel Kayano 29 is that they squeak when wet which can be bothersome on long rides. The squeaking wasn’t constant, but it happened several times, which I hope Asics fixes in future models.

Final Thoughts

While the Gel Kayano 29 is expensive for a pair of running shoes, you can’t put a price on good health – and the fact that they help me stay injury free is well worth the extra cost.

Comfortable, breathable, supportive and able to handle a variety of different surfaces, the Gel Kayano 29 is my new favorite pair of running shoes.

Check the price on AmazonCheck the price on Asics

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