Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, $160

11.2 oz. (men’s); 9.5 oz. (women’s)

30mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)

Fit: Revamped upper materials have helped improve what was already a near-custom fit. It locks in your heel and midfoot and remains spacious in the forefoot.

Feel: An updated midsole has created a more dynamic cushioning package. Even though it has more techy features, it’s softer, smoother and lighter than previous models. The Kayano still offers a twinge of medial stability, but, as with previous models, it feels like a cushy everyday trainer.

Ride: A classic model two decades in the making, the Kayano 20 remains a durable workhorse, a go-to shoe capable of high-mileage training and, for some, even an option for running a half or full marathon. It’s not particularly fast or agile though, and it’s not nearly as light as many of its contemporaries, but the updates to this shoe have made the ride even more sublime. “Very nice for long runs and moderate paces,” one tester chimed, adding that “it felt a bit overbuilt and a tad heavy for faster running.”

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