Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe by ASICS Review

What’s it all about?

If as a runner you ever had the displeasure of dealing with Plantar fasciitis or ever felt pain in your heel, you know how important a good running shoe is.

Imagine; You wake up one morning, the sun is barely rising, the weather is perfect, you stretch in your bed and decide to go for a run before the e-mails start coming, before your kids wake up, and before you have to put on your serious face and face the world, your boss, your professors, a million different projects, or, as it happens more often than not, with everything at once.

You get out of bed, trying to remember where you left your running shorts, and suddenly a sharp pain interrupts your thoughts. Your heel feels like somebody is piercing it with a hot iron stick and your plan to go, exercise and energize, goes down the drain.

Asics plantar fasciitis Shoes for men

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Plantar Fasciitis vs. Kayano 21

Plantar Fasciitis is not a fun thing. It’s painful, it doesn’t go away in a day or two and it can prevent you from moving around freely.

In case you’re not entirely familiar with this condition I’m referring to, it’s the pain you feel in your heel or the bottom part of your foot. It develops slowly and as a result of many possible reasons. Basically if, after a long period of rest or after you wake up in the morning, you feel discomfort or pain you cannot ignore when taking the first few steps, you might have Plantar Fasciitis and I highly recommend you to check in with your doctor.

And this is where ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe comes in!

This 21st generation of Kayano Shoes (yes, that’s right, 21st!) is what can make the difference between a good and a bad running day. And while it cannot erase the existence of your Plantar fasciitis or the pain that comes with it, it can definitely help you stay active and keep running by giving your foot the support it needs to minimize the symptoms and the pain.

And doesn’t this sound awesome? Maybe even a bit too good to be true?

Believe me, when I tell you, it’s not.

The first 20 Kayano shoes, the research, technology and design that was developed and implemented for every one of them, it all led to Asics offering us an amazing solution to a problem that, let’s face it, most of us experience at one point or another.


What you need in shoe if you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis – the arch support, the extra cushioning, the comfort

For starters, there’s the Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning System. What this does is absorb the impact of your steps. So, even if you run on the hardest of concrete, you’ll hardly notice it.

Say goodbye to feeling the brutal shock of every single time you touch the ground. And given the normal step is heel first, it goes beyond saying that this can help with any heel pain.

This is great if you are living in the middle of a concrete jungle and don’t have the time to move miles and miles just to go for a run because running on concrete is not an option for you.

Then there’s the FluidFit.

You can give the same shoe in the same size to 20 different people, and I guarantee you not everybody will have the same experience. The FuidFit technology Asics developed provides you with a shoe that completely adapts to your foot.

This way, while you’re running you don’t have to be bothered thinking “my shoes are hurting my toes”, this didn’t happen when I tried them on in the store.” You can relax, enjoy the fresh air, disconnect from the world and just feel the breeze as you run.

Another technology that Asics decided to use in this shoe is Dynamic DuoMax Support. And it’s as incredible as the name implies.

The evolution of DuoMax Support, another great technology that Asics developed to improve the stability of their shoes, this takes the comfort, stability and support to a whole new level!

And the best part? Asics managed to make it weight less than its predecessor, which lowers the overall weight of the shoe (and, again, makes it that much more comfortable).

But wait, it gets even better!

You know how sometimes you might get a bit distracted, or you’re running in the evening, and you’re really tired, and your foot hits the ground at a not-so-perfect angle?

Well, Kayano 21 has an awesome feature, called Gait-enhancing Guidance Trusstic System. This helps your foot to follow the natural gait, from the second your heel hits the ground until your toes lose contact with the surface.

Once again, an extremely important detail when you’re dealing with any pain. Any wrong movement, big or small, can cause a lot of damage.

I think that by now we can see a silver lining in all of the Kayano 21’s features. It’s clear that what Asics was going for is to provide excellent support, minimize the impact and improve the running experience for those that suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or need additional cushioning and stability for whatever reason (God knows there are plenty!).


What’s life without a pro’s and con’s list?


So, with all of these amazing features in mind, let’s make a good old fashioned pro’s and con’s list. The con’s part is rather short, not because I refuse to be critical, but because I can’t find more issues.


What we love:

  • Shock absorbing technology.
  • An amazing shoe for all who need additional support and cushioning (Plantar Fasciitis patients, for example).
  • Great fit thanks to FluidFit technology.
  • Ortholite X-40 Sockliner – Asics only partners with the best to provide the best product possible.
  • Helps the foot to follow its natural gait.
  • All of the technology and features don’t make the shoe heavy – it’s lighter than its predecessors.
  • Great for long-distance running thanks to all of the support and comfort it offers.
  • Pleasing to the eye – there are too many running shoes out there that are hard to look at. Maybe you don’t care, but your SO might.
  • A great variety of colors. There’s no shame in wanting to match your outfit to your shoes (or the other way around).
  • Easy to find in stores and online.


Keep in mind:

  • Let’s face it, even if the quality if guaranteed, one does not simply spend so much money lightly.
  • There have been some negative reviews due to a heel issue – for some users, it wore through relatively quickly.


Kayano 21 – The best shoe ever if you need the extra support?

 There you have it – the features, the pros and the cons of Asics Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe.

Of course, there are other shoes that offer a lot of cushioning and support. High-quality, eye-pleasing, great value-for-money options you might consider. Every shoe manufacturer does his best to come up with the best technology, the best product, and, ultimately, the best experience.

And although I would encourage you to do your research, try as many shoes as you need to to find the absolute best fit you, for all of you who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or any joint pain, find a store nearby that sells Asics, take the time, go and try them on.

Trust me; it’s worth it. Once you put them on and take a few steps in the store, you’ll understand my enthusiasm.

The support, the comfort, the stability, the overall quality, the aesthetics, all of this and more, put together in one shoe? Sign me up. Even if it’s on the more expensive side.

The fact of the matter is if you feel any pain or discomfort in your heels or feet, but don’t want to give up running, or want to start running, you need a great pair of shoes. It’s not a question of what brand you buy, how much money you spend or where you buy them, it’s a matter of health.

We only have one body and we need to take care of it. Asics Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe helps with that. A lot. And that makes is worth your time and your money.

PD – to all the ladies that might be reading this in search of information and ideas for a present for a friend, brother, father, husband, don’t worry – Asics did not forget about you! The same shoe is available for women as well, with all the amazing features and technology.

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