I was lucky enough to unexpectedly receive a pair of Gel-Kayano Lite 2. Here's my objective review of the design, fit and running experience.

Gel-Kayano Lite 2

First impressions

When I see the word Lite, I start to consider whether compromises have been made and if the quality has been reduced. Upon opening the box, I saw the wider sole and immediately thought that they were going to be heavy and not very responsive. When I lifted them out of the box, I was surprised at how light they were. The inner cynic persisted, and I started thinking maybe the upper is light and won’t be durable. Upon closer inspection I satisfied myself that this Lite were not lightweights and that no compromises on quality or design. The multi toned blue sole with a grey upper is a nice colourway. There’s FlyteFoam and Gel cushioning which are both features that I want to see on a long-distance running shoe. The Gel-Kayano Lite 2 is lighter than the Gel-Kayano 28 despite having a wider heel. The heel has 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION™ feature to improve heel strike and AHAR™ heel plug to improve the durability of the outsole. The shoe has green credentials with upper being made from 33% recycled polyester.

Road test

I took these out for training and leisure runs and various paces and distances up to 10 miles. I didn’t need to run them in and were comfortable from the first run. I am extremely impressed by how light they feel. The engineered upper is light, hugs the feet and allows for air to enter through the toe box which helps keep the feet cool. The breeze felt like air conditioning for the feet on a summer’s evening. The ankle cushioning, lace positioning and tongue provide a very comfortable and secure fit. The trainers felt supportive on a range of surfaces including pavement, road, grass, and gravel. The toe box is wide enough to provide ample room for the toes to splay. The Gel-Kayano Lite 2 fit true to size and fit as well as the Gel-Kayano 28. I managed to do some speed work and the soles were quite responsive. The ride is different to the Gel-Keyano 2 but in a good way.

Technical specs

The key features of the shoes are:


They say don’t judge a book by its cover and they are right. I’m very impressed with the level of design that has gone into these running trainers. They not only do the job well, but they are also a pleasure to run in. From my runs in them I anticipate that they would perform well in a marathon. They have all the elements needed for a long-distance race shoe. The Gel-Kayano surpassed my initial thoughts and performed very well during my runs. They are a very good, light, stability trainer for medium and long runs. I’ll be putting these into my running rotation.


written by

Rey Smart

Personal Trainer from London

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