My very first running shoe was from the Asics GT range and ignoring the occasional dalliance with ultra minimal barefoot shoes, and condition specific trail shoes, I’ve stuck with Asics all the way. I’m afraid to say that as the years have passed my wallet has expanded and I have been persuaded to part with much more of my cash as I’ve climbed up the range in search of magic, go-faster running shoes. I do the same with cleaning products, you cant beat bicarb of soda and a bit of vinegar but you still can’t stop me wasting money on flash products and gizmos that promise to clean the house for me.
I was recently sent a pair of Asics GT-2170 running shoes to review and I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to place the GT-2000 series against the Gel-Kayano range and see if I can find an excuse to continue paying the extra £30-£40.
Both the GT-2170 and Gel Kayano are classed as stability shoes and are recommended for the moderate over-pronator. They are also both well cushioned running shoes which make them a good option for the overweight or heavy runner.
If you were in any doubt, I should inform you that the lovely clean pair of running shoes are the Asics GT-2170 and the rather muddy pair in the photos are my well worn Asics Kayano-17’s. The GT-2170’s have been restricted to fair weather and treadmill running duties for the duration of the testing.
I feel like I’m playing spot the difference with these images but they are remarkably similar shoes on a number of levels.
Both models incorporate the new guidance line feature in the sole. This is the longitudinal groove carved into the midsole that guides the foot through the most efficient stride and apparently helps reduce the weight of the shoe. On examination of the upper I was expecting to find that the Kayano was plusher and more comfortable but my suspicion is that they are actually identical – both are equally padded around the tongue and foot inlet (I’m sure it has a proper name but hopefully you’ll know the area I mean).
I’ve worked quite hard to find the differences in feel and performance between the GT-2170 and the Asics Kayano but I’m afraid I haven’t come up with anything concrete. The midsole is noticeably different between the models and I would suggest that this gives rise to a slightly more luxurious and cushioned feel to the Kayano but it is not a huge difference.
Admittedly I’ve been comparing a brand new pair of GT-2170’s to a pair of Kayano’s with 180 km on the clock. My impression is that the “new shoe feel” is more pronounced for the Kayano’s, you come out of the store feeling as though you are bouncing on air. That doesn’t seem to last very long though and after a couple of weeks I’d say the two shoes were pretty much on a par.
I think my next purchase could well be for a pair of Asics GT-2170 running shoes. So what to spend my extra £30 on?