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Editor’s Note: We are always on the lookout for the perfect pair of shoes. One runner wear-tested the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 ($160, www.asicsamerica.com) to see how the shoes matched up to her old favorites.
The improvements made to the GEL-Kayano 22 were the most noticeable I have felt in my 16 years of wearing shoes from their line. ASICS was able to maintain the stability I’ve come to expect from the GEL-Kayano, while making the shoe more responsive.
I immediately noticed the more snug fit of the 22 and found the new FluidFit upper to fit like a glove throughout the run, a result of the seamless upper together with a refined External Heel Clutching System. Along with the fit, I found the shoe to be more flexible, making it more conducive to my forefoot strike.
The GEL-Kayano 22 also features gender-specific cushioning, designed to better fit the needs of a female runner. I did feel the edge of the shoe’s forefoot gel pad, however this went away shortly into the run and disappeared completely by my third run in the shoes.
I recommend the GEL-Kayano 22 to a runner in need of stability with mild to moderate overpronation (foot rolls inwards between footfall and toe-off). Kayano shoes have served me well as a heel striker for 10 years and a forefoot striker for the last 6, and I recommend them to both types of runners.