I recently had the opportunity to run in the Gel-Kayano 30 running shoes and put them through their paces. Here are my thoughts.

My running relationship with Gel-Kayano started with 25 when I was advised to trade up my stability shoe from GT-2000 to Gel-Kayano for marathons. The advise was great and the cushioning and stability of the shoe served me well in my longer races and my first marathon. Since then I have been a huge fan of the shoe as it has always been dependable and each edition has improved on the previous. My last pair was the 28’s and I took a year off as I was doing a lot of running in the speed trainers like Magic Speed and Novablast. I was intrigued to find out how much of an upgrade the 30th edition had undergone. Thirty years and thirty editions of a trainer is pretty epic and means that they must be doing something right. 

The Look

As I was at an event and scheduled to run in them I was hoping they would be run ready. I opened the box and there they were in the black and illusion blue colour way which is clean and matches with most of outfits. They were a little bit heavier than I was expecting but to be fair Gel-Kayanos have usually been a bit heavier than the racers. I slipped my feet in, laced them up and was impressed by the secure and comfortably fit. I was very pleased with the generous toe box and I think it is good that a wider fit is also available. There is good support at the heel, cushioning around the ankle a comfortable, breathable upper.

The Feel

I was fortunate to do two very different running sessions in there trial them. The first session was a group run at a steady paced over path, road and gravel terrains. The second session was a structured session with a range of paces including speed cadence and stride work. The sessions especially the second one demonstrated how versatile the Gel-Kayano’s really are. They were incredibly responsive and cushioned no matter how my feet landed. Heel strikes were pretty smooth with the wide heel bevel and Pure Gel which is 65% softer than visible Gel. ​​The new 4D Guidance System™ helps provide adaptive stability, don’t ask me to scientifically explain but it does.

The design departure from its predecessor is evident in the midsole which is revamped with FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning and a 4mm stack height increase. The combination of the technologies and materials makes this an uncompromising stability shoe. There is no trade off here, it is comfortable, fast, versatile and enjoyable to run in. I am very much looking forward to running much longer distances in them. The shoe has some sustainability credentials with approximately 20% bio-based content and a carbon footprint which is 14% lower than the industry average. With smoother landings, adaptive stability and responsiveness stability running has never felt better.

Tech & Materials

Engineered stretch knit upper

External back heel counter


Rearfoot PureGEL™ technology

FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning is made with approximately 20% bio-based content and helps provide cloud-like comfort

OrthoLite™ X-55 sockliner

Reflective details

AHARPLUS™ heel plug


At least 75% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions. The sockliners are produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage by approximately 33% and carbon emissions by approximately 45% compared to the conventional dyeing technology. ASICS claims they are vegan friendly as no materials of animal origin have been used in any of the design or manufacturing stages.


These are are hands down the most comfortable and fastest stability trainers that I have ever worn. They prove that stability doesn't have to be heavy, clunky and bumpy. These are sleek, stylish and more important for me perform again and again. 


From 5Ks to full marathons, the GEL-KAYANO® 30 shoe is designed to provide advanced stability and softer cushioning properties. ​​The new 4D GUIDANCE SYSTEM™ helps provide adaptive stability. This helps you experience a more supportive and bala...

Shop Now

written by

Rey Smart

Personal Trainer from London

Strength Training Dance 10k half marathon marathon Fitness
Functional Training