Shoe Review Gel-Kayano 16 vs. 15

I was very disappointed when Gel-Kayano 15 debuted. I was a fan of prior versions, but not the 15 and I blogged about the reasons why The main difference was the 15 was deeper than the 14 and the 15 was much more unstable laterally. These trends haven’t changed with Gel-Kayano 16.

Overall, Gel-Kayano 16 is not a big departure from the 15 with the exception that it  is even deeper. The medial midsole of the 15 and 16 are nearly identical as shown below. The outsole is exactly the same.

Gel-Kayano 16 has a similar midsole to the Gel Kayano 15 with more gel and less EVA in the lateral (outside) midsole. This design 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 2150 than the Gel Kayano 15. This modification is a huge departure from versions 14 and prior.

Asics has continued with the asymmetrical lacing, however this version design is better than the the 15. I’m still not a fan of asymmetrical lacing, but at least this one won’t bunch up causing irritation like the 15 did. The lack of trim over the big toe, also means less potential irritation along the top of the big toe.

The one plus is Gel-Kayano 16 has a higher heel counter int he back which will reduce heel slippage if that’s been a problem for you.

Overall, Gel-Kayano 16 is too much like Gel-Kayano 15 and not enough like Gel-Kayano 14 and prior versions for me to recommend.

22 responses to “Shoe Review Gel-Kayano 16 vs. 15

  1. I’ve been in Kayanos since the 13s and the 16s were a real disappointment, actually hurting my feet!

  2. i find the 16 much easier to wear than the 15 /i have two total knee replacements and the 15 s after an hour of wear at work(a specialty running store} i must take them off but the 16 s i can wear a whole day and feel good in them/im an old shoe dog sellinf since 1964 and it amazes me how Asic can make so many of there shoes to fit so well right out of the box and other vendors no matter how they try cant/i love this site,it is my honest go to for true info site thanks rich

  3. I too have been a fan of the Kayanos since the 13s, however, I currently have the 16s and am very disappointed. They were not cushioned enough for me, creating a “smacking” sound when the heel rolled to the toe (heel-to-toe runner), ultimately hurting my shins (which isn’t typical for me). I think I might go back to the 13s or 14s

  4. I am really struggling in my 16s. I have had the 14s and 15s and did not have an issue with the 15s like many did. My biggest problem right now is the diagonal lacing seems to hit the top of my foot in an unnatural place and is irritating. I’ve tried re-lacing but am still running into problems. This morning I also noticed pain in my Achilles which has never happened to me before. I think I will be shelving the 16s and hope to find a left over pair of the 15s somewhere.

  5. so glad to know I am not losing my mind, LOVED my 14’s, got the 15’s and have sinced switched to another shoes and am franticly searching for websites to find the old 14’s. Unless Asics goes back I will not return to their shoes.

  6. I always stick with Nike & Addidas running shoes for years , just bought my first asics , Kayano 16 ( 2e width) , not so differrent from Nike vomero but longer run ( 10miles up) seems to be more stability .

  7. Just bought a pair of K16s in Japan and after a week’s running have developed achilles tendontitis and ankle pain. Bummer. Dr Jenny’s comments about the wobbly heel strike seem to ring true. Back to my Asics 3010 and Brooks Infinity for me, which both feel much more stable in the heel strike.

    • Just wanted to add an update – I’ve finally cured the achilles tendonitis and heel blisters caused by my Kayano 16s – by buying a pair of Brooks Trance 9! Similar cushion, similar support but much better comfort and stability (at least for me) than the K16s.

  8. 😦 Im soooo loyal to the Asics Kayano range but I refuse to wear the latest shoes ever since i wore out my 14’s but when i saw the 15’s I went running back to a new pair of 13’s and the newer 16’s look horrible. I live in my Asics and I ♥ my Kayano 13’s 😥 but now after 3 pairs I can’t find anymore of them. Does anyone know where i can find another pair of them in Quicksilver Blue?? Without my 13’s I’m an empty shell :[ in a pair of Nike TN’s :\

  9. Guillaume Chanfreau

    I have been wearing Asics Gel Kayanos since the ’14s. I went through two pairs of 14, two pairs of 15s and did OK with them. I bought a 16 and developed left ankle issue, which I thought were due to aggressive speedwork. However after reading the comments here, it may be due to the shoes. Disappointed…

  10. have used 13s 14s and 15s all fantastic, new 16s a not very good at at , achillies tendonitis almost straight away, and now i cant train for the pain.
    very upset and glad i dont have a race for a while so i can recover.

  11. ran in K’s 12, 13, 14….used for all my long runs with no injuries, I had 4 pairs of the 14’s, but it was time to purchase new shoes, I tried on the K16, they felt good, broke them in with some short runs (totalling 100km+) , before I went out for the first long run (23km/14miles)…..I’ve been buggered up with knee injury, and ITB issues ever since….never had a problem with the leg in 20 years of running…….has to be the shoes.

  12. I have also developed a problem with my left achilles tendon. I’m pretty sure it’s the shoes. It feels like I’m running on the side of my left foot. I went through 3 pairs of 15’s and two marathons with no problem. Now, I’m halfway home to a fall race and these stupid shoes are causing problems. What the hell? Why can’t they leave the shoes alone?

  13. I have just purchased the Kayano 16 after running in the previous models for the past 4-5 years. First run in them (slow run) within 5-10 mins I felt slight left medial heel pain I continued thinking that is was nothing until my Achilles and lower calf tightened up +++ Disappointed to read that a lot of people have had the same problem!!! Why would you change the make up of perfect shoes Asics!!!!

  14. Hello,

    I had run with the ASICS GEL Kayano 12, 13 and 14 with great results. I loved those shoes, specially the 14. I tried the 15 and 16 and I could not run with them, they were terrible for me. Two weeks ago I get the 17. I have run aprox 50 miles with the 17 with great results. I think that the 17 is very similar to the 14, and that is a very good thing 🙂

  15. I love my 14’s!!!! After reading these comments, I am afraid to try anythng else. I have seen new pairs of 14’s on Ebay for those of you who miss them! 😉

  16. Pingback: Shoe Review – Asics Gel-Kayano 17 | Dr. Jenny Sanders Shoe Blog

  17. Two summers ago I got a pair of 15s and developed achilles tendonitis that’s never really gone away, I think because of the combo of heel striking and too much padding. I’ve switched to Brooks and do my best to stretch and run a few miles. THANKS ASCIS!

  18. Two summers ago I got a pair of 15s and developed achilles tendonitis that’s never really gone away, I think because of the combo of heel striking and too much padding. I’ve switched to Brooks and do my best to stretch and run a few miles. THANKS ASCIS!

  19. I had bought the kayano 17 because I stated to run more and being a little pronator thought it could help me… totally wrong! had pain in tendons after first use of it and finally I developed a aquiles tendonitis in left leg… always run with a adidas supernova in the past and never has problems… being 4 weeks with no run and 3 sessions of fisiotherapist ans still not gone: totally disapointed with Asics 😦

  20. I am also an owner of Kayano 14’s and I’m hesitating to try anything else. Unfortunately time has now come for an update due to some wear and tear. What is Asics’ equivalent of Kayano 14’s in their current women’s line? Any insight would be most appreciated.

    • Asics recently updated their entire line to go more minimalist. Currently their only shoe that comes close is the GT-1000. You may also want to try Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 as well.
      -Dr. Shoe

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