Saucony Stabil CS3 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Saucony Stabil CS3 is for severe overpronators wanting a soft and smooth ride. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a very soft ride on a stable platform with a secure and custom fit.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are running shoes that provide stability and support to overpronators with the one difference that the Saucony Stabil CS3 is more for severe overpronators and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for mild to moderate overpronators.

Overpronators require a good supportive upper and both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Stabil CS3 can deliver that, because both consist of mesh with stitched-on overlays that wrap the midfoot and heel well.

The stitched-on overlays around the midfoot of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are pretty symmetrical on both sides of the shoe.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 is a bit different in that it has broader overlays in addition to Sauc-Fit on the medial side of the shoe, where overpronators tend to need the most support.

What is also different is that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has thinner no-sew overlays (FluidFit) that cover especially the front half of the shoe to provide a more custom and close-to-foot fit in that area.

And finally, both running shoes provide good support behind the heel with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 having a Heel Clutching System and the Saucony Stabil CS3 having a Support Frame that cups the heel.

In terms of a secure fit, either running shoe can deliver that, but if you really need lots of support in an upper as severe overpronators do, the Saucony Stabil CS3 would deliver that for the plain reason that it provides much more support on the medial side of the shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Stabil CS3 provide heel-to-toe cushioning with their FluidRide and PowerGrid midsoles.

But because the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has two layers of midsole foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest and the one closest to the ground the more responsive one in addition to GEL cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot, it turns out the be much more cushy than the Saucony Stabil CS3, which is also a very cushy running shoe.

The women's Saucony Stabil CS3 is 0.6 mm thicker in the forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, therefore making the Saucony Stabil CS3 for women have a softer forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

But in all other areas the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is softer than the Saucony Stabil CS3. This also applies to the men's ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which has more forefoot and heel cushioning than the Saucony Stabil CS3 for men.

Stability features on the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Stabil CS3 come in the form shock absorption at heel-strike and a medial post to stop your foot from rolling too far inward.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 delivers shock absorption under the heel through its segmented crash pad on the lateral side under the heel running till the midfoot.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 delivers shock absorption through GEL cushioning in the heel and well-segmented rubber lugs in the outsole.

Both have a firmer piece of foam on the medial side of the midsole to control overpronation. But this medial post runs higher in the Saucony Stabil CS3 and is much larger than in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

Therefore you can expect to get a stronger degree of pronation control from the Saucony Stabil CS3 than from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

In addition, the Saucony Stabil CS3 provides full ground contact all over and a broader platform to stand on than ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, so the Saucony Stabil CS3 can be seen as the more stable running shoe of the two, which is not surprising, since it is a motion control running shoe.

The rubber outsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 differs considerably from that of the Saucony Stabil CS3. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a more traditional outsole with a midfoot shank joining the rearfoot to the forefoot, while the midfoot touches the ground in the Saucony Stabil CS3.

So you can not only expect to get more arch support from the Saucony Stabil CS3, but also a smoother transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

And while the Saucony Stabil CS3 does not have a main vertical flex groove like the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, it does have more horizontal flex grooves.

This, combined with the blown rubber in the forefoot, makes the Saucony Stabil CS3 more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

The women's version of the Saucony Stabil CS3 weighs approximately 9.9 oz (281 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams).

The men's versions of the running shoes weigh 11.9 oz (337 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Stabil CS3 being the heavier one.

If you are a severe overpronators looking for a true motion control running shoe that provides lots of support in its upper in addition to a soft and smooth ride, then the Saucony Stabil CS3 would be the way to go.

And if you are looking for the ultimate in comfort and softness from a running shoe that provides a moderate amount of stability and support, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might be worth considering.

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 | Saucony

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