Asics Gel Kayano 17 (2011)

The all new Kayano 17 for 2011 has some small updates on the previous 16th version.

The major change made by Asics is the now full length Guidance Line. This is Asics' way of making the shoe that transitions from heel-to-toe even more smoothly than before—and this continues a trend evident in the change from the Kayano 15 to 16.

It's still a shoe that invests a nice amount of support with a lot of cushioning. Usually, with this much cushioning the stability features get lost in all the plush. Asics continues to develop shoes that admirably retain stability in the midst of the cush.

This is likely a key reason Asics continues to retain their sizable slice of the technical running pie (including triathlon, where Asics is the chosen training shoe of 25 percent of all Slowtwitchers polled).

Another change from the 16 to the 17—albeit small—is slightly less Biomorphic fit material on the medial side, the reason for which I'm not sure. The piece Asics changed is replaced by more open mesh material, so, I assume they wanted to the shoe's ventilation.

Asics managed to get this shoe just a tiny bit—but an amount not a detectable while running—lighter. It now tips the scale at 12.6 oz. which it still makes it a somewhat heavy shoe.

Asics gives its customers a wide range of fit choices. The Kayano 17 is available in men's sizes up to 16, and in three different widths (D, 2E and 4E). It's built in women's up to size 13 and in 2A, B and D width.

At a price of $140 it's still one of the higher-priced shoes.

[Editor’s note: Our capable editor-at-large for footwear Jeroen van Geelen owns Total Running, one of the more important running and triathlon retail establishments in The Netherlands.]