Can Neutral Runners Wear Asics Gel-Kayano?

The Asics Gel-Kayano is one of the premier stability shoes on the market.

When we think of who wears the Asics Kayano, we usually notice that it will provide the most help to those who overpronate and have intensely flat feet that need plenty of support.

But can neutral runners wear the Asics Gel-Kayano?

In general, it is accepted that neutral runners probably should not include a stability shoe like Gel-Kayano within their rotation because it could increase the risk of “over-correcting” the gait cycle and cause more problems than it solves.

When it comes to the Asics Gel-Kayano in the past, we would have told a neutral runner to stay away and opt for a neutral shoe option, but with the new models providing the new Dynamic DuoMax Support System, that might have all changed.

Neutral runners might benefit from wearing stability shoes from time to time in their training.

The last statement is also guilty of not telling the whole story, so we put together an entire article on all the benefits and drawbacks of neutral runners wearing stability shoes. If you’d like to read that first for reference, then check it out here!

We will be going over all the reasons that you can or can't wear the Asics GEL-Kayano, so let’s get going!

Can Neutral Runners Wear Asics Gel-Kayano?

What is Overpronation? Supination?

We will quickly review the key terms that are implicated in this article. The Asics Gel-Kayano is made to help correct those runners who overpronate. What is that?

Overpronation

The Pedorthic Association of Canada (PAC) defines Overpronation as “a condition in which the foot rolls inward and down. The arch may elongate and collapse (or ‘fall’) and the heel will lean inward.”

Some of the common conditions observed in overpronators are:

  • Heel pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Low back discomfort
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fractures in the foot or lower leg

Conversely, the opposite of overpronation is under pronation, or better known as supination.

Underpronation (supination)

PAC defines underpronation as “a condition commonly referred to as supination. An underpronated foot structure may have an abnormally high arch or instep that has very little flexibility when standing. The heel often leans outward, putting more weight on the outer edge of the foot. Callousing is common under the knuckle of the baby toe because of the weight on the outside of the foot.”

This is under-pronated because it is commonly thought that if a neutral runner wears a stability shoe (like the Asics Gel-Kayano), it might overcorrect them and lead to supination.

Here are some of the conditions found in underpronators:

  • Heel pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • IT Band Syndrome

Now that we understand the working definitions of each word, we can talk about why neutral runners can (or can’t) wear Asics Gel-Kayano.


Why Neutral Runners Can’t Wear The Asics Gel-Kayano

To put it simply, those with a neutral gait cycle should not wear the Asics Gel-Kayano because it could end up over-correcting your heel-to-toe off and cause under pronation (or supination).

This is the prevailing theory for why neutral runners should not wear a stability shoe in the first place, as it will cause supination.

When the arches in your feet are blocked by a more solid posting of midsole foam, this can either stop natural pronation (which we know is the body’s natural way of force distribution) or lead to overcorrection, which means the posting will push the foot outward and cause a neutral runner to start under pronating, or supinating.

This is why we touched upon supination earlier in this article, as it can often become the result of a neutral runner wearing a pair of stability shoes, in this case, the Asics Gel-Kayano.

For many years and interactions of the Gel-Kayano this was most definitely true. However, with modern technology emerging, there may just be some hope for those neutral runners wishing to try a pair of the Asics Gel-Kayano.

Let me explain.


Why Neutral Runners Can Wear The Asics Gel-Kayano

With the newer models of the Asics Gel-Kayano, it might be entirely possible for a neutral runner to wear this shoe with no problems at all.

The implementation of dynamic stability systems leaves a lot more room for neutral runners to pick up stability shoes, and the Asics Gel-Kayano 27 and 28 are no different.

Asics’ Dynamic DuoMax Support System reduces over pronation, but not by placing a fat chunk on harder midsole material into the medial side of the shoe.

Instead, it is designed to work alongside a heel counter and impact guidance system to guide your foot into a more neutral position from your feel-to-toe off.

With this in mind, it will not actually interfere with the transition of a neutral runner as much as a traditional medial block of hard midsole posting.

If you don’t believe me, Asics has even made it very apparent that the Gel-Kayano 28 is made for both neutral or overpronators.

Asics’ website includes the pronation type that the Asics Gel-Kayano is best for.

This is right off of the official Asics website, where they explain what foot types that the Asics Gel-Kayano is made for.

-You can view my full review of the Gel Kayano here

Once again, we would not recommend a neutral runner wear the older models of the Asics Gel-Kayano, but the onset of the new dynamic stability shoe era has opened the door to more shoe options.

The new guidance system within the Asics Gel-Kayano is more adaptable to a neutral runner because it is designed to slow the rate of pronation, rather than stop the process completely.

In the old days (like 3 years ago) stability shoes would just have a hard posting to stop your foot from pronating at all, which we have found out is pretty bad news because it does not allow your body to go through its natural process of force distribution and also work a lot of little muscles and tendons within your feet and ankles.

Across multiple brands (including Asics) there has been a movement towards slowing the rate of pronation, and that is what we mean when we call it “dynamic” stability.

Keep in mind that this will be on a case-by-case basis, as it is still entirely possible that many neutral runners will not want to wear the Asics Gel-Kayano even if they theoretically could.

My advice to a neutral runner interested in trying the Asics Gel-Kayano is to find a store that allows you to try shoes on, and see how it feels under your foot. You might like how safe your foot feels, or you may hate how much your foot is filled in with foam.

ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 11, Peacoat/Piedmont Grey
  • 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.
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.
  • FlyteFoam Midsole Technology - Our FlyteFoam technology provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance, utilizing organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low density foams.
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System - This evolution of DuoMax system enhances stability and support, with reduced weight and increased platform support.
  • Engineered Mesh Upper - Multi-directional mesh material improves ventilation and stability.

Conclusion

So with the addition of the new stability system in the Asics Gel Kayano, it is probably safe to say that a neutral runner can indeed wear it without fear of overcorrection.

However, we would still advise you to try wearing a pair of the Asics Gel-Kayano for yourself to make the final judgment, as there are still plenty of scenarios that would make it a good decision to try a handful of other models on the market.


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Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Last update on 2022-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API