Founded in 1977, ASICS may not sponsor the big name athleats or be the flashiest shoes on the market. But if you ask pros across multiple sports about the brand, you’ll get the same answer whether the athlete wears them or not. ASICS have a tried and true reputation for making comfortable shoes. So today we’ll be looking at two of the brands most popular models, comparing the ASICS Gel Kayano vs GT-2000.
There is no denying that these shoes have a lot of similarities. And I would go as far to say that these two run in the same family. With just enough changes to make them unique and useful for different runners. Let’s take an in depth look below!
ASICS Gel Kayano vs GT-2000
- These two shoes are very similar in shape and overall design. You will see on the photo comparison below, these shoes are in the same family. With a few key differences.
- The Gel Kayano offers ASICS “Max” cushion design. While the GT-2000 has slightly less cushion and ASICS classify them as “Extra” cushions.
- The ASICS GT-2000 is one ounce lighter than the Gel Kayano. This weight is most likely the difference in padding.
- Both of these shoes are considered neutral stability. If you think you might need corrective running shoes, I recommend visiting your local running store.
- The GT-2000 has an 8mm drop for both men and women. While the Gel Kayano has a 10mm drop for men and 13mm drop for women.
The Gel Kayano is one of the brand’s most popular running shoes. And when ASICS released the GT-2000 a few years ago, a lot of people noticed the similarities in overall design. So when getting the chance to compare the two for the first time I wasn’t sure how much of a difference I would find between the two shoes. But beyond the same soul design and over profile there are a few big changes in store for runners. Let’s get to the ASICS Gel Kayano vs GT-2000.
ASICS Gel Kayano
The Gel Kayano is the brand’s top selling running shoe and for good reason. The overfit and cushioning make the Kayano a joy to run in. You can tell these shoes were designed with the idea of spending a lot of time on your feet. ASICS classifies them as their “max” cushioned shoe. And according to reviews, the Kayano 28 feels even more plush and stable when comparing it to the 27. And overall the toe box felt deep and wide. Very comfortable to run in.
That said, the Gel Kayano are heavy. All that cushion comes at a price to the weight of 10.9oz for the men. Another thing that i didn’t like was the large drop of the shoe. At 10mm for men and 13mm for women (not sure why they made the womens so much larger) it’s a little high for what I want in a distance running shoe. And with the amount of padding they have. They really should be designed for logging long training miles. But overall if you like a larger drop, they may be a great fit for you.
The GT-2000 is in its 10th iteration. And you can tell by the overall design that it gets a lot of influence from the Kayano. Take a look at the photos below and you will see the similarities in overhead, profile, and soles of the shoes. Minus a bit of noticeable cushioning in the heel of the shoe. That doesn’t mean that the GT-2000 is light on padding. ASICS have them listed as “extra” cushioned. I really enjoyed the cushioning on the forefoot especially. And when compared to the Gel Kayano weight wise, the GT-2000’s are an ounce lighter. Which makes for a much more pleasant running experience when putting in longer miles. And the 8mm drop helps with that as well.
The only downside to me with the GT-2000 was it felt a bit lacking in structural support. Less when compared to the Gel Kanyano and more when compared to other shoes in the same price range that offer some sort of plate design. Sizing wise I also felt they ran a bit snug. And I would probably size up if I’m looking for more room in the toes. Overall though I really enjoyed my time on these runners. Check out the photos below and I’ll give you my winner in the conclusion below.
Below is a comparison with photos of the ASICS Kayano vs GT-2000.
You can see how similar in overall design they really are starting with the profile.
ASICS Gel Kayano
And the similarities keep going with the top view. The GT-2000 is just a bit smaller.
Gel Kayano Top View
GT-2000 Top View
The soles of both shoes are almost identical aside from color.
ASICS Gel Kayano Soles
ASICS GT 2000 Soles
Conclusion – ASICS Gel Kayano vs GT-2000
It’s understandable why so many people look into these two models. ASICS has found a home in the marketplace with these highly cushioned and stable designs. So when choosing between the two there are just a couple things you want to take into account.
Which road running shoe to buy?
If you’re looking for something with big time padding that can handle a ton of miles, then the Gel Kayano is a great choice. They are also comfortable for longer days on your feet and walking. They are also a great choice for heavier runners just starting out. But I wouldn’t be looking at the Kayano if I’m looking for something to race in or do long distances. They are just too heavy to go fast and the drop is too high to be in them for hours.
Wanting something with a little more feel for the road while offering plenty of padding? Minus some of the extra weight of ASICS heavier models (both the Kayano and Nimbus). Then the GT-2000 is a great choice. They feel fast with an 8mm drop and I think they nailed the forefoot padding. And if you’re looking for a shoe to race in, then I’m going with these. The biggest draw back to the GT-2000 is the sizing, they run tight for a lot of people. So you may want to size up.