Brooks Beast 14 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a secure fitting upper and a plush ride. Brooks Beast 14 offers a well-cushioned and supportive ride to heavier runners who severely overpronate.

The Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both stability running shoes, with the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14, a motion control running shoe that is geared toward severe overpronators.

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Both the Brooks Beast 14 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com / Brooks Ariel 14 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provide a good amount of support around the midfoot.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has sturdy stitched-on overlays on both sides of the shoe that should really keep your foot in place.

The Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 does the same with the difference that its overlays are a bit broader and it tends to have a midfoot to heel pull.

But while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 continues to have stiched-on overlays running on top of the toe box, the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 has broad no-sew overlays doing that to give structure and support in the forefoot area.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does the same, but then with thinner no-sew overlays in between the stitched-on overlays, which results in a glove-like fit.

The last difference can be found at the back of the shoes where the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 just has a sturdy stiched-on piece for added support, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides an external heel counter to really lock your heel down.

All in all, both running shoes have very supportive uppers, but if you really want to get strapped down around the midfoot, then the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 would do a better job of that.

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 provide heel-to-toe cushioning.

The first difference in the midsole can be found in the GEL cushioning provided by the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which lies between two layers of foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest layer and the one closer to the ground the more responsive one.

The effect of the GEL cushioning in the heel is to soften impact when you touch down and the one in the forefoot is to soften your transition to toe-off.

The Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 provides a similar effect, since it has a crash pad that runs under the heel on the lateral side, and a second piece in the forefoot.

Both running shoes should provide your with a soft ride, but in their own way.

The big difference between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 can be found on the medial side where they both have a support system in place to provide pronation control and stop your foot from rolling too far inward.

ASICS lists the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 as being for neutral runners to overpronators, so for runners who midly or moderately overpronate.

The Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 has been built for runners who severely overpronate, which is why its medial post is a bit more aggressive and larger than that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

In addition, it has a midfoot shank that hooks higher into the medial post than that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 to provide extra reinforcement. And its medial post consists of several densities to make the process of stopping your foot more gradual.

All in all, the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 caters more to those who need heavy-duty pronation control, while the support provided by the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is more subtle.

If you look at the bottom of the shoes, you will notice that the platform of the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 is also more linear than that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which follows the natural curve of a foot.

Because the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 is wider under the midfoot, it is also a more stable running shoe than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, and a good indication that it can accommodate runners with larger feet or a larger build.

The rubber outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 differ in configuration and layout.

Both have a good amount of rubber under them, so should last long. They both also have the same amount of horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot for added flexibility.

The main differences can be found in the vertical groove that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 implements to help make your gait more efficient, the more visible midfoot shank that connects its two sides instead of being uniform like in the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14, and larger rubber compartments instead of smaller pods.

The Brooks Ariel 14 for women weighs approximately 12.0 oz (340 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams). The Brooks Beast 14 for men weighs about 13.8 oz (391 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

The Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 is heavier than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, but this heaviness can be handled by heavier runners.

If you are a moderate overpronator who is looking for a cushy and supportive ride from a running shoe that does not go overboard with the amount of support it provides, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might be worth looking into.

And if you are a severe overpronator who needs lots of support from a running shoe, and who is also looking for a cushy and smooth ride, then the Brooks Beast 14 / Brooks Ariel 14 would be one to consider.

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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