ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 vs. Adidas Ultra Boost review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 provides a soft ride with stability and comfort to overpronators. Adidas Ultra Boost provides lots of bounce and cushioning and is quite flexible...

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NEW! ASICS GEL-Kayano 24 vs. Adidas Ultra Boost

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and the Adidas Ultra Boost fall in two different categories with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 being a stability running shoe and the Adidas Ultra Boost a neutral cushioning running shoe.


Do not confuse the Adidas Ultra Boost with the Adidas Ultra Boost ST. The former is a neutral cushioning running shoe, while the latter is a stability running shoe.

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and the Adidas Ultra Boost (affiliate link) are similar in the softness that they provide, especially in the forefoot through mesh with a knit pattern on the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 (affiliate link) and a weave on the Adidas Ultra Boost.

However, the knit on the Adidas Ultra Boost provides a somewhat tighter fit than the mesh on the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, according to running shoe lab tests, but not as tight as overlays.

The Adidas Ultra Boost has rigid overlays that connect the laces to the midsole right over the midfoot to give you a good hold there.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 only has the ASICS logo as a no-sew overlay wrapping the midfoot and then it has a sturdier stitched-on overlay pulling the top of the saddle toward the midsole and heel.

And then at the back, both running shoes have an external heel counter, but the one of the Adidas Ultra Boost cradles the heel while that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 cups it. Both should give you a good amount of support behind the heel, though.

All in all, the fit of the two running shoes should feel comfortable, but the Adidas Ultra Boost is the one who gives the most secure fit, especially around the midfoot.

Both the Adidas Ultra Boost and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles.

The Boost in the Adidas Ultra Boost comes from the fact that its cushioning is supposed to have energy-returning properties so a bouncy feel.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has its classic double-layered midsole with GEL cushioning in between those two layers in the heel and in the forefoot to soften you landings and provide you with a soft toe-off thereafter.

Running shoe lab tests show that both the Adidas Ultra Boost and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 have a very cushy forefoot with an equal amount of forefoot cushioning. But it is the Adidas Ultra Boost that maxes out on heel cushioning, especially for men.

For women, it is a tie between the two running shoes with both displaying an almost equal amount of forefoot cushioning and heel cushioning.

The Adidas Ultra Boost has a thinner midsole than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, so it sits lower on the ground and thus also has the potential to make you feel fast.


The big difference in the midsole is that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has a support system in place on the medial side that helps stop your foot from rolling too far inward after heel-strike.

The Adidas Ultra Boost is not meant to provide such support, so is missing such a feature.

However, just like the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has a midfoot shank to provide midfoot structural integrity, the Adidas Ultra Boost has a Torsion System to do the same.

The Torsion System is clearly visible under the shoe and flairs out to the medial side and hooks into the midsole foam right under the heel to add some degree of stability to the running shoe.

The Adidas Ultra Boost also provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, which should add to the stability of the running shoe as well as its potential to provide you with a smooth ride.

If we continue looking at the outsoles, we can see that they differ greatly between the two running shoes.

The Adidas Ultra Boost has an outsole that is like a web of stretchy rubber with a large amount of separation between small circular rubber pods. This allows the Adidas Ultra Boost to stay quite flexible.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has a more traditional outsole with large slabs of rubber, which should last long and a good amount of flex grooves for flexibility. It also has a vertical flex groove – which the Adidas Ultra Boost does not have – to help with gait efficiency.

According to running shoe lab tests, both running shoes are quite flexible and equally flexible for men. However, the Adidas Ultra Boost turns out to be just a little bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 for women.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 weighs approximately 9.6 oz (272 grams) and the Adidas Ultra Boost for women weighs 9.3 oz (264 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 11.6 oz (329 grams) and 11.1 oz (315 grams) respectively, with the Adidas Ultra Boost being the lighter one.

If you are an overpronator looking for a plush ride from a running shoe that provides a moderate amount of stability and support, then you could consider the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.

And if you are a neutral runner or a runner who does not need a whole lot of stability and support but who is looking for a very soft ride with a touch of stability, then the Adidas Ultra Boost is definitely worth considering.

The Adidas Ultra Boost and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 are remarkably similar in what they provide. The big distinction points are probably the lower profile of the Adidas Ultra Boost and its lightness, and the 3 mm of extra heel height in the women's version of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.


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