My Cart

Asics Gel-Kayano 31 Review

When Maximum Stability Meets Maximum Cushioning: The iconic Gel-Kayano from Asics gets a few key updates for 2024.

Asics Gel-Kayano 31 Review Featured Image

Building off the bigger changes that were introduced with version 30, the Asics Gel-Kayano 31 gets the new additions just right.

Asics has always been heavily invested into maintaining the legacy of its core running shoes, and the Kayano is a perfect example of this tradition. This is a shoe that has been around for decades. It has survived several major overhauls where entire portions of the shoe were reintroduced with new designs and materials, and has always uniquely balanced itself as a shoe that can deliver performance without sacrificing comfort. It is a stability shoe, which means that it is designed to provide a more rigid and stable platform than other shoes you might find in the neutral category. If you have heard of or even tried shoes like the New Balance 860, Brooks Adrenaline, or Mizuno Wave Horizon. The Asics Gel-Kayano fits into that same category. However before getting into specifics, it is important to define a few things this time around.

A neutral shoe is traditionally a shoe that is built with a single-density midsole foam to provide a certain level of cushioning, while a stability shoe has traditionally been built around layering multiple foam materials to provide a firmer feel typically around the medial side of the shoe where your arch sits. There are definitely exceptions to each category especially in the last few years with respect to innovative designs and foam combinations but generally that has been the difference. The Kayano however, has always been an interesting running shoe from this perspective because it has always maximized stability with exceptional cushioning. Other shoes in the stability category have tended to focus on a much stiffer feeling platform and lacked that softer feel of highly cushioned neutral running shoes.

Now onto specifics - the Kayano introduced major changes to its midsole with version 30, and that has been kept the same with version 31. It is using the same PureGEL and FF Blast+ cushioning combo which gives it one of the softest landings of any shoe on the market in any category. It has also kept its 4D Guidance System which is embedded into that highly cushioned platform. This is the key concept that makes the Kayano very comfortable but also versatile for both walkers and runners because it combines that plush feel with adaptable stability that kicks in if you need it.

The new additions to this shoe are fairly subtle but give it that slight edge over its predecessor and I think will make a lot of difference over the course of the shoe’s life. These include a modified knit collar construction that is more breathable and has a pull-tab that makes it easier to get on and off your feet, and an improved outsole using the new HYBRID ASICSGRIP that provides more traction and cushioning.

I have been fortunate to test both the new Asics Gel-Cumulus and Gel-Nimbus models, and having run mostly in neutral cushioned shoes my entire life so I was very excited to test the Gel-Kayano especially because of the major changes to it in the last two years. I should also mention that historically, I have always found stability shoes to be less comfortable for me. With that being said, I have been pleasantly surprised by the fit and comfort of this shoe. It feels fairly similar to the Nimbus when lacing it up and standing in it because of all the padding found in the midsole and upper, but when I completed my first few runs, I definitely noticed that slight edge in stability and appreciated that unique feel that I haven’t really experience before. I can say that towards the ends of a few runs when I normally can feel myself sliding a bit to the medial side and landing heavier as I am getting tired, the 4D Guidance System kicked in and kept my feet in a comfortable and supported position. The upper is extremely lightweight, breathable, and soft - all characteristics that are standard for these higher-end running shoes that want to maximize comfort from the outset. I really appreciate the details in the design because even though it has quite a hefty midsole, nothing about this shoe is clunky and there is no wasted space.

 The Asics Gel-Kayano 31 is truly a work of art. It is a very well-designed and comfortable running shoe that can provide excellent cushioning and stability for all kinds walkers and runners, especially over longer distances. If you aren’t sold on that, the name is slick and it has the design to match - enjoy!

Key Takeaways

  • Asics PureGEL and FF Blast+ cushioning combine for plush cushioning that can go the distance
  • Asics 4D Guidance System provides adaptable stability that shows up when you need it
  • HYBRID ASICSGRIP outsole improves traction and softer contact on landing




Weight: 266 grams (US women’s size 8.0)
Heel Height: 39mm
Forefoot Height: 29m
Drop: 10mm




Weight: 305 grams (US Men's size 9.0)

Heel Height: 40mm

Forefoot Height: 30m

Drop: 10mm


If you want to try on a pair, come into the store and visit our awesome shoe fitters.

Related Articles