Saucony Guide 8 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Saucony Guide 8 is light and provides lots of stability with a smooth ride. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is very plush, comfortable, and supportive with a secure and custom fit.

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The Saucony Guide 8 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both stability running shoes that can be worn by runners who moderately overpronate.


The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has traditional stitched-on overlays that wrap the midfoot just like the Saucony Guide 8 does.

The Saucony Guide 8 has no-sew welded-on overlays that run over its toe box similar to the FluidFit no-sew overlays in the frontal part of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

However, the FluidFit in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 should give you a more closer-to-foot feel than the no-sew overlays in the Saucony Guide 8.

And finally, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a sturdy heel counter at the back of the shoe to really lock the heel down on the platform, while the Saucony Guide 8 provides the same, but then with sturdy stitched-on overlays.

So you can get a secure fit from either running shoe, but if you are looking for a more custom and glove-like fit, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be the one to go with.

The Saucony Guide 8 has a PowerGrid midsole that provides heel-to-toe cushioning. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does the same, but then with a FluidRide midsole.

In addition, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a softer layer of foam that is closest to the foam with a more responsive one underneath, and then in between the layers, there is GEL cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot. This makes the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 a super soft running shoe.

But the Saucony Guide 8 does not lag far behind. It offers almost as much cushioning in the women's version of the shoe, while the heel tends to be somewhat firmer compared to that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 in the men's version of the running shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Guide 8 use similar tooling to control overpronation on the medial side of the midsole with a firmer piece of foam that gets reinforcement from a midfoot shank.

The midfoot shank is smaller in the Saucony Guide 8 and only covers half of the midfoot outsole than the one in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 which runs from side-to-side to provide midfoot integrity and support.

The Saucony Guide 8 also provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, thereby making it the more stable running shoe of the two that supplies smoother transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.

The initial phase of pronation control is taken care of by a well-segmented crash pad that runs under the heel of the Saucony Guide 8 from the back of the shoe, along the outer edge, till the midfoot. This should give you good shock absorption and cushioning at heel-strike.

In the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, all this is taken care of by the generous amount of GEL cushioning in the heel, the two layers of foam in the midsole, and the well-segmented rubber compartments under the heel.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes have a good amount of flex grooves in the forefoot for flexibility. And blown rubber in the forefoot of the Saucony Guide 8 should add to its flexibility.

But because both running shoes have a cushy forefoot and a midsole that is relatively thick in that area, they both turn out to have below average flexibility, so are pretty stiff.

The stiffness between the two running shoes is almost negligible in the women's versions of the shoes, while running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is a bit more flexible than the Saucony Guide 8 for the men's versions of the running shoes.

The women's version of the Saucony Guide 8 weighs approximately 8.4 oz (238 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's versions of the running shoes weigh 10.1 oz (286 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 being the heavier one.

If you are looking for a very stable and supportive running shoe that is relatively light and does not have the appearance or heavy feel of a motion control running shoe, but instead can give you a soft and smooth ride, then the Saucony Guide 8 might fit the bill.

And if you are looking for an overall very plush and comfortable running shoe that hugs your foot well and is stable enough for long runs, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might be what you are looking for.

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 where you can read more about the running shoes.

This review falls under: ASICS | Saucony

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