Saucony Guide 9 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Saucony Guide 9 provides a very cushy, smooth, and stable ride to overpronators. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is very plush, comfortable, and supportive with a secure and custom fit.

NEW! Saucony Guide 9 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and Saucony Guide 9 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 and Saucony Guide 10 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 23

The Saucony Guide 9 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both stability running shoes that can be worn by runners who moderately overpronate.


The Saucony Guide 9 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 differ quite a bit in their uppers.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has quite a few sturdy stitched-on overlays on both sides of the upper wrapping the midfoot with thinner no-sew overlays in between to give you a more close-to-foot feel.

The Saucony Guide 9 The preceding link takes you to also has stitched-on overlays, but these are located only on the medial side of the upper and at the back of the shoe.

Many of the overlays in the upper of the Saucony Guide 9 have been kept light to avoid any constriction or irritation and feel comfortable on your feet.

When you compare the two running shoes, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is the one that provides the most support in the upper. This is reinforced by its sturdy external heel counter at the back.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is meant to be a very plush running shoe for overpronators. It achieves this through two layers of foam in its midsole and GEL cushioning in the heel as well as in the forefoot. The inside of the shoe is also plush.

The Saucony Guide 9, while not intended to be super plush – just plush – also turns out to offer quite a bit of cushioning.

The Saucony Guide 9 comes with one main layer of midsole foam but has an extra softer layer just under the sockliner to soften your ride even more. In addition, there is a crash pad under the heel.

Running shoe lab tests confirm that both running shoes are quite plush running shoes.

For men, there appears to be very little difference between the cushioning provided by the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and that provided by the Saucony Guide 9. Both are almost to the max in the heel and in the forefoot.

For women, there are some minor differences to be noted with the Saucony Guide 9 having slightly more forefoot cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 slightly more heel cushioning than the Saucony Guide 9. However, the differences are very small.

Where there is somewhat of a big difference to be noted is in the amount of stability and support provided through the midsole to control overpronation.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is rated as a stable running shoe but not as stable as the Saucony Guide 9, which really sticks out in the amount of stability and support it provides.

This is probably due to the fact that the piece of firmer foam on the medial side of the midsole of the Saucony Guide 9 covers a large area and runs high to provide a good amount of pronation control.

This is not the same in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which has a layer of softer foam closest to the foot that prevents the support system from reaching far up.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a lot of its support through its midfoot shank. The Saucony Guide 9 does not have a midfoot shank but instead provides full ground contact under the midfoot.

This increases the stability of the running shoe and also its potential of giving you smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

The large amount of ground contact provided by the Saucony Guide 9 also makes its outsole look quite different to that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 tends to have large slabs of rubber with a good amount of separation between them but not as much as the Saucony Guide 9, which is quite well segmented.

However, this segmentation does not help much with the flexibility of the running shoe because running shoe lab tests have shown that both running shoes are equally stiff for women and that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is slightly more flexible than the Saucony Guide 9 for men.

The women's version of the Saucony Guide 9 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (232 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams).

The men's versions of the running shoes weigh 10.0 oz (283 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Guide 9 being the lighter one.

If you are a moderate overpronator who is looking for a very soft ride from a running shoe that provides stability and support, you could go with either the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 or the Saucony Guide 9.

The Saucony Guide 9 is good for runners who would like something lighter on their feet and that provides a bit more stability than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

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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