ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 vs. Brooks Glycerin 16 review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 provides comfort and stability to moderate overpronators. Brooks Glycerin 16 is a premium cushioning shoe that delivers a very soft ride for long runs...

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 fall in two different categories of running shoes, with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 being a stability running shoe for overpronators and the Brooks Glycerin 16 a cushioning running shoe for neutral runners.

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While the ASICS GEL-Kayano used to be listed as being for both neutral runners and overpronators, this changed with the introduction of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25, which is now listed as being only for overpronators.

This means that the Brooks Glycerin 16 is less comparable to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com than it would have been with an earlier version of the ASICS GEL-Kayano.

Nonetheless, let us take a look at what is different between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and where they are similar.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 are similar in that both running shoes expose quite a bit of mesh in their uppers and have an upper that more or less wraps your foot.

They are also similar in that they have something extra inside the running shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 comes with an internal fit system of no-sew underlays that provide support, while the Brooks Glycerin 16 has an internal bootie that surrounds your foot with softness and provides a closer-to-foot fit.

While the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has the ASICS logo on the lateral side of the midfoot to keep the mesh together and underlays on the medial side to deliver support, the Brooks Glycerin 16 comes with no-sew overlays around the midfoot to add some support in that area.

The forefoot of both running shoes is quite open and free from overlays, but because the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has underlays, the Brooks Glycerin 16 might provide less constriction and more room to runners who have wide or big feet and big bunions.

While the Brooks Glycerin 16 is quite open at the back and delivers a standard amount of support in that area, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 comes with a sturdy external heel counter that surrounds your heel to lock it in and start the process of pronation control from within the upper.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 delivers much more support at the back than the Brooks Glycerin 16 does.

All in all, you should be able to get a comfortable fit from either running shoe and neither running shoe can be said to deliver tons of support from midfoot to forefoot, but you should get enough to keep your foot on the running platform, and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 does deliver a good amount of support around the heel.

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 are meant to deliver a good amount of cushioning to runners, but because the goal of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is to cushion your ride and not so much to deliver support, it is expected to be cushier than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25.

The midsoles of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 differ in construction.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has one main layer of foam under the forefoot that becomes thinner under the midfoot and the heel, and then there is a second, more responsive and thus a bit firmer layer under the midfoot and the heel with GEL cushioning between the two layers of foam.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 is different in that it has one main layer of foam from heel to toe, and this layer of foam consists of Brooks' cushiest midsole material.

It is not surprising that lab tests have found the Brooks Glycerin 16 to deliver a very cushy ride to both men and women.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has been found to have a cushy forefoot, but its heel delivers a more moderate amount of cushioning and could even feel somewhat firm to some male runners.

Women get an extra 3 mm of height under their heels in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25, and this tends to offset the lack of cushiness in the heel a bit for women.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 have almost a similar midsole thickness under the forefoot and the heel. If it wasn't for the extra 3 mm under the heel of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 for women, the heel-to-toe drops would be almost the same for the two running shoes for both men and women.

Women get a higher heel-to-toe drop in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 than in the Brooks Glycerin 16.

Because of the amount of foam that the two running shoes put between you and the road, they are suitable for long runs, although the Brooks Glycerin 16 would feel more comfortable on longer runs due to the fact that it delivers an overall cushier ride than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 is meant to deliver support to overpronators and does so by having a support system on the medial side and a midfoot shank that delivers midfoot integrity and support.

Together with the external heel counter in the upper, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 is capable of delivering a good amount of support to moderate overpronators.

However, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 does not provide as much ground contact as the Brooks Glycerin 16 does, which adds some stability to your runs but more importantly helps you achieve smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

The midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is also more structured, and it is well segmented so more or less functions in its entirety as a crash pad.

The outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is also set up in a way to disperse shock away from your body and give you a much smoother ride than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25.

The outsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 comes with standard things like a crash section under the heel to isolate impact and some flex grooves in the forefoot, but it is not as well separated and segmented as the outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16.

However, it does come with a vertical flex groove that is meant to help you achieve a more efficient gait, and this is a feature that the Brooks Glycerin 16 does not have.

While the Brooks Glycerin 16 has a good amount of flex grooves in its forefoot, it has still been found to be a very stiff running shoe for both men and women, probably due to the large amount of cushioning that it provides.

The forefeet of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 have about the same midsole thickness, and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has less flex grooves than the Brooks Glycerin 16, but the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 has still been found to be somewhat more flexible than the Brooks Glycerin 16 despite it also falling on the stiff side for both men and women.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 is just a tiny bit heavier than the Brooks Glycerin 16 for both men and women.

Making a decision between the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 should not be difficult, because they were meant to be worn by two different types of runners.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a very soft, comfortable, and smooth ride, the Brooks Glycerin 16 was made for you, and if you are a moderate overpronator who is looking for a good amount of stability and support, you could look into the ASICS GEL-Kayano 25.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Brooks

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