​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Review

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 is a max-stacked shoe that offers comfort and stability

​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 looks and feels different from previous versions of the popular stability running shoe and, as a result, will have a broader appeal to runners of all types. It’s still stable but now softer and more comfortable. However, it’s expensive, and there are cheaper and more versatile stability shoes available.


  • Comfortable
  • Softer than previous versions
  • Stable despite high stack


  • Cheaper options available
  • Changes may not suit everyone

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The Asics Gel-Kayano is one of the most popular stability shoes available and when shoe lines are popular, brands often hesitate to make sweeping changes to new versions for fear of alienating fans. 

However, Asics has opted for a big update with the Gel-Kayano 30. It has a higher stack height than its predecessor and a new stability system that moves away from traditional elements like a medial post.

The update is mostly a success. The shoe remains stable and is now more comfortable for overpronators and neutral runners alike. It’s one of the best stability shoes, and one of the best cushioned shoes too. But it’s expensive, and long-term Kayano fans may find it less versatile than previous editions.

Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Review: Price And Availability

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 launched in July 2023 and costs $160 in the US and £180 in the UK. It is Asics’s top-tier stability shoe and is priced to match that status, but in the UK in particular it’s an expensive option compared with options like the Saucony Guide 16, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 or Puma ForeverRun Nitro. My sample for this review was provided by SportsShoes.

How I Tested This Shoe

​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

I’ve run 20 miles (32km) in the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 across three runs, mostly done at an easy pace. I’m a neutral runner so it’s hard for me to judge the benefits of the stability elements in the shoe, but I have tested past models of the Gel-Kayano and many other stability shoes.

Design And Fit

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 is taller and wider than the previous model of the shoe. The stack height has increased by 4mm—it’s now 40mm at the heel and 30mm at the forefoot for a 10mm drop. It’s one of the widest shoes I’ve ever tested, especially in the midfoot, which helps to create stability despite the high stack.

It’s a bigger shoe all around than the Gel-Kayano 29, but its weight is about the same because the midsole is now entirely made from FF Blast+ with a small PureGel insert under the heel, a lighter combo than the materials used in the 29. The Gel-Kayano 30 weighs 11.1oz/315g in my UK size 9, which is about the same as other max-stack cushioned shoes like the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 or Nike Invincible 3.

Along with the new midsole, Asics has changed the way the Gel-Kayano delivers stability. Instead of the medial post found in previous models, there is now a 4D guidance system that uses several features to create stability in a more subtle way. These features include the wide base, sidewalls of midsole foam to cradle the foot, a heel counter and a midsole shaped to provide stability along the length of the shoe. The bevel (or rocker) at the heel is also shaped to guide your landings into a neutral position.

​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Instead of a firmer section of foam in the inside of the midfoot, which is the classic method to counter overpronation used in running shoes, the Gel-Kayano 30 has a section of softer, bouncier foam. This unusual feature is designed to help spring your foot back into a neutral position, rather than block pronation.

The engineered knit upper has lots of padding around the collar and tongue, as well as inside the back of the shoe to cradle the foot. The shoe fitted well in my normal size, with a roomier toe box than Asics’s more speed-focused shoes like the Magic Speed 3, and good hold around the midfoot and heel.

The outsole is made from Asics’s AHAR+ rubber. It’s not a full outsole but there is good coverage in impact areas. It is a hard-wearing material, if not as good at providing traction as the best outsole rubbers, like the Continental rubber used on Adidas shoes or Puma’s PumaGrip.

Running Performance

In the past when I’ve tested Asics Gel-Kayano shoes, they have been hard to love as a neutral runner. The midsole has been quite firm and the stability features obvious, and while they undoubtedly did a good job as a versatile and relatively comfortable option for overpronators, the best neutral shoes were a clear upgrade for me.

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 will certainly have broader appeal. It’s soft and comfortable, and the ride is smooth for such a large shoe. The stability features are subtle but present, and the wide base, in particular, helps ensure you get enough support from the shoe.

​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Even though it feels lighter than its listed weight because of the rocker, I found it an especially versatile shoe that worked well for faster paces. For rolling through easy runs, it felt great.

As is often the case with Asics shoes, the outsole felt slick and struggled for grip on my first run, but since then it has roughed up and now does a good job of providing traction on wet pavements. 

The Gel-Kayano 30 reminded me of the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25, which is its neutral counterpart and has a similar design, just without the 4D guidance system. The Nimbus is softer, but the gap between the two shoes is smaller than with previous versions.

Is The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Worth It?

​​Asics Gel-Kayano 30

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 could win new fans over to the shoe line while still satisfying its existing fans. It’s still stable but is now more comfortable and fun to run in if you are a neutral runner. It’s one of the best stability shoes I’ve tested.

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 would be the obvious choice if you are a neutral runner looking for a highly cushioned shoe, but the extra stability of the Kayano may be appreciated by all runners—especially at the end of long runs when you’re tired and your form might be getting ragged.

The high price of the Kayano is off-putting though, and there are good cheaper alternatives like the Puma ForeverRun Nitro and Saucony Guide 16 for stability-seeking runners. I’d say the Kayano is more comfortable than the Guide 16 and more stable than the Puma. 

Owing to its size and weight, the Kayano is also not the most versatile shoe, so if you do want a speedier stable option to use in a rotation with it the Saucony Tempus is an excellent option.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.