Brooks Glycerin 12 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 review

Brooks Glycerin 12 offers a plush ride to heavier neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 provides good cushioning and stability to moderate overpronators. Learn more...

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The Brooks Glycerin 12 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 fall in different categories with the Brooks Glycerin 12 being a neutral running shoe and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is a stability running shoe that can also be worn by neutral runners who require a little bit of support.

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The big similarity between the Brooks Glycerin 12 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is the amount of cushioning both provide.

The Brooks Glycerin 12 has a Super DNA midsole that provides more cushioning than BioMoGo DNA and that has energy return properties.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has a FluidRide midsole that also provides cushioning and energy return, and in addition to that, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has GEL cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot.

This makes both running shoes almost equally soft, especially for women. With the men's versions of the shoes, test data shows that the Brooks Glycerin 12 provides more cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, especially in the heel.

The big difference in the midsole can be found on the medial side of the shoes where the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 provides stability and support through reinforced and firmer foam, while the Brooks Glycerin 12 does not have such reinforcement.

However, because the Brooks Glycerin 12 provides full ground contact – also at the midfoot – and a full-length crash pad, it does provide some stability to runners, but not as much as the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, which was designed with moderate overpronators in mind.

Another big difference between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 and the Brooks Glycerin 12 can be found in the upper, where the Brooks Glycerin 12 has lighter overlays than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20.

The overlays on the Brooks Glycerin 12 are almost all no-sew, since they have been printed on, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has a mixture of stitched-on and no-sew overlays.

The Brooks Glycerin 12 has some stitches in overlays on the medial side of the shoe to provide some support, but not as many as the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20. Therefore the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 should provide a more secure fit and would be more suitable for runners who require lots of support in the upper – like overpronators.

The upper of the Brooks Glycerin 12 is meant to provide comfort with little irriation points and a closer-to-foot feel. The upper of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is also meant to provide a closer-to-foot feel with its FluitFit overlays in between the main stitched-on overlays, but its main purpose is to lock your foot down on the platform.

The outsoles of the the Brooks Glycerin 12 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 differ considerably. The Brooks Glycerin 12 has a much narrower and rounder heel than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, so the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 should provide more stability there, while the Brooks Glycerin 12 should reduce stress on the joints.

Because the Brooks Glycerin 12 joins its heel and forefoot at the midfoot and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 implements a midfoot shank for structural support and integrity, the Brooks Glycerin 12 should provide a smoother ride than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20.

And while the Brooks Glycerin 12 has more horizontal flex grooves than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 in the forefoot, test data shows that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is much more flexible than the Brooks Glycerin 12 both for men and women.

But the Brooks Glycerin 12 is geared towards heavier runners, who are generally capable of handling stiffness in running shoes, so it is suitable for its intended audience.

The women's version of the Brooks Glycerin 12 weighs approximately 8.7 oz (247 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 for women weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's version of the Brooks Glycerin 12 weighs about 11.0 oz (312 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 for men weighs 11.2 oz (318 grams).

While the Brooks Glycerin 12 has some stability features, it is not a stability running shoe. So if you require support and stability, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 would be the way to go. But if you are a neutral runner who does not require much or any support and who wants a very soft and smooth ride, then the Brooks Glycerin 12 could provide that.

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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