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Style: Kayano 19
Category: Support Running
Sizes: Men’s 7-16, Women’s 5-13
• Forefoot: The shoe is exceptionally comfortable through the forefoot with slight changes to the biomorphic fit and limited overlays helping to make a snug fit that doesn’t feel tight or sloppy. The width is perfect for the average to slightly wide foot. I question whether it is suited to a wide foot but am quite confident a narrow foot will also work in the shoe. The forefoot cushioning felt very soft on initial impressions, however throughout the three month period the forefoot appeared to compress and bottom out. They have reduced the size of the gel pads in the forefoot in an attempt to reduce weight which may have changed the characteristics of the midsole. Asics have assured me they have improved this issue with the retail release model of the Kayano 19 which is due for release in 2013.
• Midfoot: The mid foot of this shoe is exceptional. The upper holds the foot securely in place with biomorphic fit elements hugging the midfoot. Asics have reverted back to a traditional symmetrical lacing system which appears to work better than the old assymetrical system seen on some football boots. The midsole facilitates an ultra smooth transition from strike to toe off. A full length guidance line and trusstic midfoot bridge work in harmony to continue Asics’ tradition of a seamless gait. The duomax medial post holds a moderate pronator throughout stance and there is no harsh medial post. Computer gait analysis completed at the clinic confirmed that the shoe lost no control over the length of the three month wear test. This shoe would be suited to runners who range from a neutral gait to a lightweight moderate pronator. However a heavy runner who moderately pronates and a heavy pronator may roll through the softer top layer of solyte.
• Rearfoot: The new clutch counter system in the heel counter felt quite soft on first inspection, which initially caused concern when thinking about control. However computer gait analysis confirmed what Asics preach that it resisted moderate rearfoot pronation at strike. The Dual PHF memory foam that wrap around the ankle was extremely comfortable on first impressions and didn’t appear to compress throughout the wear test. Similar to previous Kayano models, rearfoot cushioning was soft on first impression and surprisingly, given the forefoot, didn’t appear to change over the wear test. I believe even a heavy runner would still find the Kayano 19 to be a soft rearfoot shoe.
• Orthoses: Due to the soft solyte cushioning placed above the midsole this shoe bottoms out on the medial side with an aggressive orthotic. Furthermore due to the duomax medial post and shear deformation gel units in the rearfoot the shoe is prone to lateral wearing with rearfoot posted orthoses. However for runners with mild orthoses that need a little help from the shoe, this could be the perfect ally.
Ride: The ride of the shoe was excellent; its transition from contact to propulsion is seamless and can’t be faulted. The forefoot does seem to compress and lose its softness quite quickly however Asics have assured me this has been rectified.
Conclusion: As a podiatrist and runner the Kayano series has been the Rolls Royce of running shoes for many seasons. It has never changed dramatically from year to year and the Kayano 19 holds onto that tradition. The shoe more than passes my expectations in regards to comfort and performance and continues to be the flagship of the Asics range.
• Runners with a neutral to moderately pronated foot type needing control.
• Runners with an orthotic that needs a little more control from the shoe.