Saucony Triumph ISO vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Saucony Triumph ISO provides a smooth and cushy ride to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a very soft ride on a stable platform with a secure and custom fit.

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The Saucony Triumph ISO and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 fall in two entirely different categories of running shoes with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 intended to provide stability and support to overpronators, and the Saucony Triumph ISO cushioning to neutral runners.


Both the Saucony Triumph ISO and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have very supportive overlays in their uppers that wrap the midfoot well to provide you with a good lock down there.

But unlike the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, the Saucony Triumph ISO keeps the forefoot free from overlays.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has thinner and lighter no-sew overlays running between the stitched-on overlays to provide you with a more custom and glove-like fit.

The two running shoes also cup the heel well to provide a good fit and lock down at the back of the shoe. All in all, both the Saucony Triumph ISO and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have a very supportive upper with the main difference being that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 should give you a closer-to-foot feel than the Saucony Triumph ISO.

Similarities between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Triumph ISO continue in the midsoles where both running shoes provide heel-to-toe cushioning.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a FluidRide midsole that is split in two layers of foam (the one closest to the foot being the softest) with GEL cushioning between those two layers in both the heel and the forefoot.

The Saucony Triumph ISO has a PWRGRID+ midsole with and SRC crash pad under the heel that runs till the midfoot to soften your landings.

While the cushioning material used differs in the two running shoes, running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Triumph ISO come close to providing an equal amount of cushioning both in the heel and in the forefoot, and with both running shoes being very cushy running shoes.

The main difference between the midsoles can be found on the medial side of the shoes where the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a support system in place to stop your foot from rolling too far inward, while the Saucony Triumph ISO does not.

However, the Saucony Triumph ISO provides full ground contact making it not only a stable running shoe, but also a running shoes that should be able to provide you with a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

The outsoles of the two running shoes differ quite a bit. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a more traditional outsole with separate forefoot and rearfoot areas connected by a midfoot shank, while the Saucony Triumph ISO has a more seamless connection between the forefoot and the rearfoot.

However, both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Triumph ISO provide a good degree of separation between their rubber compartments for good shock absorption and dissipation.

The flex grooves in the forefoot tend to run more favorably from side to side in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

This might be one reason why the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 turns out to be just a bit more flexible than the Saucony Triumph ISO as revealed by running shoe lab tests.

The women's version of the Saucony Triumph ISO 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 shoes weigh 10.1 oz (286 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Triumph ISO being the lighter one.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Saucony Triumph ISO are suprisingly similar in many ways despite them targetting different types of runners. They both provide a very soft ride and are good for longer runs.

But if you are an overpronator who needs stability and support, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be the better option. And if you do not need any kind of support or stability, the Saucony Triumph ISO would be a good option.

Note that because the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 targets mild to moderate overpronators, it can also be worn by neutral runners.

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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