Asics Gel-Kayano 30 review

With its revamped geometry-led design, the Gel-Kayano 30 is softer and more comfortable than its predecessor.

(Image: © Lily Canter)

Live Science Verdict

Runners whose form dips over longer distances or who flit between a neutral and overpronated gait will appreciate the subtle support provided by the Asics Gel-Kayano 30. This redesigned running shoe is more comfortable than its predecessor thanks to additional cushioning, but lacks responsiveness or energy return at faster speeds.


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    Lightweight feel

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    Stretchy upper lining

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    Durable outsole


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    Small fit

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    Lack bounce

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    Sluggish for speed work

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Whether you call them stability, support or overpronation shoes, they are all designed to help your foot land in the "correct" way, with Asics' Gel-Kayano 30 being no exception.

If your foot rolls inwards as you run, a support shoe may help to guide your feet back into a more neutral position. These shoes tend to have a medial post, guide rail, or some form of internal structure to steer the foot and mitigate the potential risk of injury. As a result, they can be quite stiff and heavy. 

This is something Asics has worked hard on when redesigning the Gel-Kayano, with the latest iteration having a much softer underfoot.

Asics Gel-Kayano 30 key specs

RRP: $220 approx

Weight: 9.3 oz women's, 10.7 oz men's 

Drop: 0.4 in

Heel stack height: 1.6 in

Forefoot stack height: 1.2 in

However, there is a big caveat — the scientific evidence does not always support the use of overpronation shoes. For example, a 2010 study concluded that prescribing in-shoe pronation control based on foot type was "overly simplistic and potentially injurious." Therefore, it may be tricky to determine whether stability shoes can significantly improve one's running form.   

As with any running shoe, the best test is how comfortable it feels, and the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 has improved significantly in this respect.

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: How we tested

We put the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 through its paces in a variety of scenarios, assessing their performance, comfort and durability. We worn these shoes on moderate runs of up to 15 miles (25 kilometers), during hill rep and tempo sessions, as well as on slow runs alternated with sprint intervals. 

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: Build and cushioning

The new 4D guidance system has overhauled the stability tech found in previous Asics Gel-Kayano models. The LITETRUSS firm foam on the medial side has been removed, and support is now delivered by a change in the geometry of the shoe. 

The midsole now curves inwards on the lateral side, providing greater compression, and there is convex sculpting on the medial side. The idea is that the foot is guided into a more neutral running gait, and the shoe reduces the amount of time spent in the overpronation phase. This is supported by a wider base in the shoe to help stabilize the foot further. We were impressed with the balance created by the shoes and the smooth gait cycle this produced.

This has all resulted in a softer, more comfortable shoe, which is also lighter in the women's version thanks to the new FF Blast Plus Eco foam. As a bonus, this foam has a lower carbon footprint than the foam found in the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: Design and upper

Review photo of the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 on the road.

The soft and stretchy upper lining makes it easy to slip these running shoes on and off. (Image credit: Lily Canter)

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 comes in nine colorways, all displaying the simple but stylish Asics curved lattice design. We found the upper lining to be firm, yet soft and stretchy, making the shoes easy to slip on and off. 

However, the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 had a slightly snug fit —  some runners, particularly those who run longer distances and experience more foot swelling, might need to upsize 1 to 1.5 sizes. 

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: Outsole

Running on the sidewalk in wet conditions was not an issue, because the increased heel bevel on the outsole provided excellent grip. We also felt confident about the durability of the soles, making the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 reliable everyday running shoes. 

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: Performance

The increased stack height — to 1.2 in (30 mm) in the forefoot and 1.6 in (40 mm) in the heel has created a shoe that delivers a softer ride and better shock absorption than its predecessor. A combination of increased compression and the new PureGel midsole makes this one of the more responsive stability shoes on the market, but the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 is far from perfect.

We noted a lack of pep and bounce when trying to incorporate speed work, and one user found their hamstring stretching unexpectedly during interval sessions. 

Best suited to easy 5k to 10k road runs, and perhaps also recovery runs, the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 is a soft and comfortable option for runners seeking additional support. But they are still a little on the heavy side and not as responsive as we would have hoped.

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: User reviews

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 have amassed favorable reviews, scoring 4.7 out of 5 stars by 50 reviewers on the ASICS website, and 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers describe them as extremely comfortable and cushioned with "great support around arch, metatarsal and heel." 

Several users also noted that they were softer than the Gel-Kayano 29. 

Asics Gel-Kayano 30: Should you buy?

If you are looking for a shoe to subtly correct your gait without feeling lumps and bumps in the midsole, then these are a decent option. They also provide a good level of comfort on easy/moderate-distance runs. 

If the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 aren't for you:

The Saucony Guide 16 has an unobtrusive Hollow Tech support frame and a sturdy heel counter to keep your feet stable. Cushioned underneath but light on top, it is a great running shoe. The only downside is the highly absorbent upper, which seems to attract moisture from the ground after the lightest of rain showers.

Offering unfettered ultra-plush cushioning, Brooks Glycerin 20 is a support shoe with additional luxury. If you want to feel like you are running on cotton wool while maintaining foot stability, then you won't get more squidgy than these.

We can also happily recommend the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 running shoe as a robust option that offers medium cushioning and provides effective traction.

Lily Canter

Lily Canter is a freelance money, health and lifestyle journalist with more than 20 years' experience. She writes about fitness for Fit+Well, Tom's Guide, T3, South China Morning Post, Runner's World and Trail Running magazine. She focuses on personal finance for Yahoo! Finance UK, Metro, The Guardian, and loveMONEY. In her spare time she is an ultra-runner, canicrosser and UK Athletics running coach. She also co-hosts the award-winning podcast Freelancing for Journalists.