The new Gel-Kayano 15 recently debuted and at first glance I was very excited. The Gel Kayano is at the top of my list for narrow, shallow feet and is narrower than any other of the current Asics available now.
1. Toebox Depth and Length – The 15 has a deeper toebox than the 14 which helps for those whose 5th (baby) toes were getting crowded or develop a corn when wearing the 14 which was the biggest problem I found when people switched from the 13 to the 14.
It also is slightly longer which helps if your heel to toe measurement is bigger than your heel to ball measurement. https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/size-matters-heel-to-ball-vs-heel-to-toe/
2. Midsole Construction -This is a significant change from the 14 and may create problems for many runners who were otherwise running pain free in the Gel-Kayano 14. The design is more like the Gel-Nimbus 10 which is one of my least favorite shoes.
The 14 has much more EVA in the lateral (outside) midsole than the 15. This means longer wear and greater support at heel strike with the 14 than the 15.
This difference is HUGE, so make sure if you decide to upgrade, you have a professional evaluate you in both pair as the 15 may make your heel strike more wobbly causing things like ankle sprains or tendonitis. Everyone doesn’t necessarily need firm lateral EVA but if you do, you would be better off with the new 2140 than the Gel Kayano.
3. Asymmetrical Lacing – According to Asics this system of lacing “conforms to the bony structure of the foot for an enhanced fit” – My findings and common sense both say, No. In fact this lacing tends to pucker the toebox area for a worse fit, creating an elf-shoe-like appearance with no benefit whatsoever, except maybe irritation at the base of the toes. In fact, I wound up re-lacing as below to simulate a normal (and better) straight lacing design. If you wear this shoe, I would recommend that you do this too.
All in all, I’m very disappointed in the Gel-Kayano 15 and will probably not be recommending this shoe for as many of the runners that come in as I did with the 14.
Note – I have also reviewed Gel-Kayano 16, the post can be found at https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/shoe-review-gel-kayano-15-vs-16/