Santa (and my wife) was very kind to me and got me a new pair of shoes for Christmas – the ASIC Kayano 18’s in silver and fluoro yellow!
I used to be a Kayano wearer years ago but had changed to the cheaper and, I think for a time, better shoe in the GT series (2130, 50 and 70). However as I’m not a major pronator I’m probably more suited to the Kayano from a form perspective.
I’d had my eye on the Kayano’s throughout the years and found them not to work for me as much as my originals which I think were a Kayano 8. I’d tried the 14 and found it heavy and constrictive but my wife had seen me looking at the 18’s a while ago and picked them up at for a good price and got them for me without me having tried them on.
This is always a brave move in buying shoes, especially ones that you are going to grow to love over months and hundreds of kilometres of sweat, tears and joy. I am delighted to say that the move paid off very handsomely. I’ve run in the Kayano 18’s twice since opening them and found them to be comfortable out of the box – no need to run them in so to speak.
I’m not going to go into all the details of the weight and foot drop as there are much more technically qualified people doing reviews like that online, however I can certainly say that they felt noticeably lighter than previous Kayano models and were a big plus on the comfort factor. This may be due to the fact that the 18 model was more tailored for a neutral runner as opposed to the more recent models, however I found they still offered a comforting level of support.
My one criticism of them was that one of my runs was done on a warm day with a temperature of 30 C/86 F and by the end of an hour long run my feet were pretty toasty. On my second run with a temperature of 21 C/ 70 F I ran for the same time and had no such issues but will certainly be keeping an eye on it.
And anyone who watched the London Olympics would know that to be considered a serious runner this year it appeared as though you had to have fluoro shoes – the bright yellow laces of the Kayano 18’s does not disappoint while also not been overbearing. I’m far from the fastest runner and don’t want to draw too much attention to myself and I felt that these shoes found that balance between fashion, function and over the top flair.
I know that the Kayano 19’s are now available but if you are after a cheap pair of reliable shoes consider the older model if you can get it for a good price.