Brooks Transcend 2 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Brooks Transcend 2 has a very cushy forefoot and stability features you barely notice. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a secure upper, stability and support, and a very plush ride.

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The Brooks Transcend 2 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both running shoes that are geared towards overpronators who require stability and support.

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When you compare the properties of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Transcend 2, they look very much alike, but the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 tends to win in almost all areas.

Similarities begin in the upper where the Brooks Transcend 2 has no-sew overlays, but due to bands running from the saddle down to the midsole, it offers a really good strap down around the midfoot.

You can expect to get a similar amount of support from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, because it has traditional stitched-on overlays wrapping the midfoot and then in between those, it has no-sew overlays to provide a closer-to-foot fit.

At the back of the shoes, both the Brooks Transcend 2 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have something similar going on with a heel counter that really locks the heel down on the platform. So all in all, you can expect both running shoes to provide good support in their uppers.

The biggest differences between the Brooks Transcend 2 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 can be found in the midsole.

While both running shoes provide heel-to-toe cushioning with their midsole foam, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has extra pockets of cushioning in the form of GEL in the forefoot and in the heel.

And despite the Super DNA cushioning of the Brooks Transcend 2 providing lots of cushioning, running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides almost the same amount of forefoot cushioning as the Brooks Transcend 2, but much more heel cushioning than the Brooks Transcend 2.

So if you are a heel-striker, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be a better option to go with than the Brooks Transcend 2.

A second big difference between the midsoles of the Brooks Transcend 2 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is the mechanism used to provide stability.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 uses a traditional method of a medial post that controls overpronation, while the Brooks Transcend 2 uses a new method with Guide Rails running along the upper edge of the midsole to keep your foot centered during the gait-cycle.

One cannot say whether one method is better than the other. It would be just a matter of trying out each method to see which works best for you.

However, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is using a method has been used for decades, so we know it works.

And finally, the Brooks Transcend 2 provides full ground contact while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does not, so you can expect to get a smoother ride from the Brooks Transcend 2 than from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Transcend 2 differ considerably in part due to the midsole construction. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a midfoot shank, so therefore splits the outsole in a rear part and a front part.

The Brooks Transcend 2 has an all-in-one outsole that consists of 3 sections that are meant to distribute pressure while you are going through the gait-cycle.

In addition, the rubber lugs are well-separated under the Brooks Transcend 2 in comparison to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which has larger slabs of rubber.

However, running shoe lab tests have shown that both running shoes come close to each other's flexibility, and that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is a little bit more flexible than the Brooks Transcend 2, especially for women.

The women's version of the Brooks Transcend 2 weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women also weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams).

The men's version of the Brooks Transcend weighs about 11.7 oz (332 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Transcend 2 come very close to each other's properties, but if you are looking for an overall plush running shoe that provides a good amount of stability and support without going overboard, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be the one to consider.

And if you want to try out something new, the Brooks Transcend 2 would be a good candidate.

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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