ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a securely fitting upper and a plush ride to overpronators. ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 introduces a new look as well as a more comfortable fit...

NEW! ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 and ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 24

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is the updated version of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, which is a stability running shoe that is geared towards mild to moderate overpronators who are looking for a plush running experience.

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The biggest difference between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com lies in the upper.

More and more running shoes these days are being moved away from having stitched-on overlays to being seamless, and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is no exception.

No-sew overlays tend to be lighter and not cause irritation points, while stitched-on overlays tend to be more secure, more durable, and more supportive.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has more stitched-on overlays than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, especially around the midfoot where support tends to be needed most, and on the toe box.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has not done away with all stitched-on overlays, though, since it still has a few towards the rear end of the shoe and especially one that still wraps the top of the saddle, so that you still get a secure fit.

The overlays around the midfoot and forefoot of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 have been completely replaced by no-sew overlays and the amount of FluidFit no-sew overlays has been reduced compared to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

In its place, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 now provides structure through its multi-directional stretch mesh.

And finally, the external heel counter has been renewed in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.

All in all, you can expect to get a more comfortable fit from the upper of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and enough support to keep your foot on the platform.

The midsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is similar to that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 in that it still consists of two layers of foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest one and the one closest to the ground the more responsive one.

And in between those two layers of foam, there is GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot. However, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 exposes three pods of GEL cushioning on the lateral side of the forefoot, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 exposes only two.

This might be an indication that the amount of GEL cushioning has been reduced in the forefoot of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 to make the running shoe a bit more responsive, since the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has been measured in the lab and found to have a very cushy forefoot.

And indeed, running shoe lab tests confirm that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 provides just a tad less forefoot cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for both men and women.

The amount of GEL cushioning in the heel of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 also seems to be less in the form of a somewhat thinner layer of GEL, but this is just optical, at least for women, because running shoe lab tests have revealed that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has a slightly more cushy heel than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women.

The story is a bit different for men, where the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has slightly less heel cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

What has not changed however is the support provided by the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 in the form of the Dynamic Duomax support system on the medial side of the shoe that helps your foot not to roll in too far.

While the midfoot shank that forms part of the support system has changed a bit in form in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, its function remains the same, that is, to provide midfoot integrity and support.

The configuration of the rubber outsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has not changed much compared to that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

It still provides a good amount of separation for shock absorption and dissipation and the same amount of flex grooves in the forefoot for flexibility.

A minor difference is that the frontmost flex groove is not obstructed by rubber anymore in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 as it was in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, so runs from one side to the other, which should benefit flexibility during the toe-off phase.

Running shoe lab tests confirm this by measuring the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 to be slightly more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

Another difference in the outsole is the way the rubber is cut. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has cuts that follow horizontal and vertical lines, while those in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 look like crosses.

And finally, both running shoes have the vertical flex groove, Guidance Line, that helps you achieve a more efficient gait.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 weighs approximately 9.6 oz (272 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's versions of the shoes weigh 11.6 oz (329 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams) with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 being the lighter one.

Making a choice between the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is not that difficult. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 should provide you with a more comfortable running experience, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a plush running experience and is still the more durable and secure running shoe of the two.

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

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