Asics Gel Cumulus vs Gel Kayano: An In-Depth Analysis

Asics running shoes are generally discussed as one of the top two running shoe brands available on the market. In fact, the debate circles between Asics and Brooks on which shoe brand is better for runners. Two of the most popular shoes from Asics is the Gel Nimbus & Gel Kayano. There is one major difference between the two. 

The biggest difference between these two shoes is that Gel Cumulus are specifically designed for neutral runners and Gel Kayanos are for those runners with overpronation.

This article provides and in-depth analysis on the two shoes, pros/cons, and compares and contrasts.


Asics Gel Cumulus Review:

A shoe that is known as the simple and affordable daily trainer in the Asics lineup, The Gel Cumulus 22 offers a design consistent to previous models but is equipped with a smoother, lighter, and more comfortable ride.

Along those lines, the Cumulus 22 stays true to its heritage, while still offering greater versatility and function over its past interactions to accommodate for a wider range of paces like easy runs, long runs, and even tempo runs.

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 22 MK Running Shoes, 8M, Black/White

Featuring a Flytefoam midsole foam, this shoe provides lightweight, and responsive cushioning, and it is also environmentally friendly! To complement this midsole foam, there is a Gel Cushioning System, which is a silicone-based gel to allow for more responsive shock absorption on impact.

This gives you some extra energy back into your stride without having to deal with more impact force on your hip, knee, and ankles.

To top it off around your foot, an Engineered Mesh upper provides lightweight breathability and a plush, irritant-free fit.

To go along with this mesh there is also a Frictionless 3D Print Construction to allow for irritation-free sockless wear. It does not feel incredibly “sock-like”, but it still manages to feel comfortable.

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes, 8M, Sheet Rock/Metropolis
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System - Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

The Asics Gel Cumulus has a stack height of 31mm in the heel and 21mm in the forefoot for a drop of 10mm, which is pretty standard for most daily trainers, especially from Asics.

Overall the Gel Cumulus 22 is a well-rounded daily trainer that provides everything you need for your daily training and long runs without sacrificing efficiency or durability.

Pros

  • Soft and fluid ride
  • Durable GEL midsole and Rubber outsole

Cons

  • longer “break-in” period
  • Limited midsole flexibility

Asics Gel Kayano Review:

The Asics Gel Kayano has over dozens of past iterations, but they do have some common features which contribute to whether they are comfortable or not.

First and foremost, a single shoe in this line tends to weigh a little over 9oz (255g). for women and 11oz (311g) for men, and they have really only gotten heavier over time.

This is not the direction you like to see a shoe go, although this is not what a runner really seeks when looking to buy a pair of Kayanos.

Honestly, with a shoe offering as much support and comfort as the Kayano, the weight really shouldn’t be an issue. One could make the argument that the weight is put to good use.

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 9M, Black/Pink GLO

This starts with the padded and breathable Engineered upper mesh material and the EVA sock liner, both are comfortable and contribute to a premium fit and feel for the runner.

There is a mid-unit on the bottom of the shoe designed to absorb shock, which most reviewers enjoy. The shoe is also equipped with a large amount of GEL Technology to make the supportive ride a plush feel as well.

The Kayanos were also designed for heavy-duty running and work well both for daily joggers and marathon runners. They are built to be strong and provide High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) for further durability.

A few people have reported that the mid-unit could be uncomfortable. There is arch support for average and high arches, but not for flat feet. This shoe was made specifically to support those who overpronate, so you should probably stay away from the Kayano if you have a neutral gait cycle.

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 9M, Sheet Rock/Pure Silver
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ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 9M, Sheet Rock/Pure Silver
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System - Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

Finally, the Gel Kayanos have a different heel-to-toe offset for men and women’s variants.

The men’s shoes have a drop of 10mm from heel-to-toe, whereas the women’s model has a heel-to-toe drop of 13mm from heel-to-toe.

This does offer more support to the achilles, ankle, and feet, but just be careful to stretch out these areas to maintain proper mobility for long term health and stability.

Pros

  • Stability
  • Comfortable
  • Smooth transition

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Cumbersome

Key Differences: Gel Cumulus vs Gel Kayano:

The key differences between the Asics Gel Cumulus and Gel Kayano can be primarily boiled down into two areas. These two categories would be referred to as support differences and design quality and features.

We eluded to this earlier in our review of the Kayano, but the main support difference is pretty simple, as the Cumulus is a neutral shoe and the Kayano is a maximum support shoe for overpronators.

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 9M, Techno Cyan/Sunrise RED

This would make deciding between these shoes easy, as a neutral runner should go with the Cumulus and an overpronator should opt for the Kayano.

This is a good testament to the old running adage of fitting yourself in “proper shoes”. To keep things simple, a neutral runner does not want a ton of extra arch support because it may “overcorrect” their running gait, this can lead to inefficiencies, imbalances, and injuries.

On the other hand, an overpronator definitely wants a shoe with arch support to correct excess overpronation, as this can cause injuries all the way from the hips down to the feet.

The second difference between these shoes is the design features provided in these two shoe models, and this reflects in the price range of these shoes as well.

The Cumulus is built as a standard daily trainer without any extra frills, padding, or features. It is made to be comfortable enough but stripped down to a minimum to get the job done in an affordable package.

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes, 8M, Sheet Rock/Metropolis

A sticker price of $120 is really solid for a reliable daily trainer these days, but it does mean you will get a little less in the way of “extra” padding and comfort.

The Kayano on the other hand is built to offer some premium comfort throughout your run. The shoe offers some extra padding and greater midsole cushioning for your feet, which can be pretty nice when you are planning to live in a shoe for miles and miles...and miles.

This does however reflect in the price tag of $160. That does sound expensive for a shoe that will theoretically last just as long as the Cumulus (which is $40 cheaper at $120). The premium qualities are pretty nice though, so it might just be worth a try.


Conclusion:

Both the Asics Gel Cumulus and Gel Kayanos are excellent shoes built to give you many miles of comfort, but in the end, it should come down to your gait cycle. Before buying either of these shoes remember to check and see if you are a neutral runner or an overpronator.

Neither of these is inherently good or bad, but you must understand what you need in order to give you the best chance to stay healthy and get in the miles.

So if you are someone who enjoys a great value shoe that does not get in the way and is a reliable option from day to day, then get out and grab a pair of the Asics Gel Cumulus 22, but if you tend to overpronate and love some premium comfort in your stride, then opt for the Asics Gel Kayano 27.

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Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API