As I mentioned before, I had a chance to test out the Asics Gel-Kayano 19 last Thursday when our rep, Joe, brought sample pairs to the store for a group run. When reps have brought shoes in the past, I have considered running in them up until 60 seconds before the group leaves for the run. I then promptly decide I’m too scared they will screw me up and leave me injured. An unrealistic outcome, I know, but with my injury history, it’s best to be ten times more cautious than the average runner. I tried on the Kayanos, however, and they did not feel very different from my normal running shoe, the Brooks Ravenna 3, at all. Huh. That rarely happens to me because I am very sensitive to differences between shoes, and I am in love with the Ravenna 3. So, I decided to give them a whirl. I ended up running a hilly 7.5-miler in them. Risky? Maybe. But they felt fine, again, I hardly noticed I wasn’t wearing the Ravenna, They were surprisingly light, with really nice cushioning. The most important thing I learned from this run was that the Kayano is significantly less stable than I thought. For me, this was not a bad thing, because they felt no more or less supportive than the Ravenna. In the future, at work, I will definitely keep this in mind though. I would equate the stability level of the Kayano to the Ravenna, GT-2000, Saucony Guide, and Nike Structure. The forefoot was perfect on my right foot, but I got a little pressure point on the side of my left. So, ideal for straight B-width runners, but maybe a little tight for those with tailor’s bunions or those who prefer a very spacious forefoot. My heel did not slip, which is a big priority for me (I did lace to the last hole as usual though).
The aftermath: Well, initially I felt fine. However, the day after the run, my anterior tibialis(es?) were very tight and tired. I get this feeling when I walk very fast – planting my heel down causes the front of my shins to tire out and burn, basically. Luckily I don’t run with a big heel strike, so I’ve managed to avoid this feeling on my runs recently. I really felt it from the Kayano though. Weird. Was I heel-striking more? Was I supinating? Did the shoes make my legs work harder than they do in the Ravenna? Overall, I would recommend the shoe. I suppose whenever you change shoes completely, you don’t run exactly the same way. I’m glad I ran in the Kayanos, because the experience will definitely help me at work.