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Chicago Running Review

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Asics GT-2170, Asics GEL-Kayano 18, Brooks Adrenaline 12, and New Balance 860V2 Release Early in November

In order to give some insight into these shoe updates, I tried all of them on side by side with the previous versions. Here are my thoughts:

Asics GT-2170 (Men’s | Women’s)

Reliable and consistent is what has taken this shoe through its 17th edition. The story is no different this time around.  The upper has been cleaned up this time around with fewer overlays to reduce weight. Side by side against the 2160, I didn’t notice too much of a difference, the fit overall isn’t changed much by the new upper. The feel underfoot between old and new versions was nearly identical as well though there is a bit more GEL cushion in this year’s 2170 and there is a more pronounce flex groove or “Guidance Line” built into the sole.

Asics GEL-Kayano 18 (Men’s | Women’s)

For Asics’ flagship shoe, the GEL-Kayano, I expected a similar story to the GT-2170. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the updates significantly improved the shoe over the previous 17th edition. I noticed the upper hugged my foot better in the 18th edition, perhaps a product of the increased Biomorphic Fit panels and straighter lacing.  Also new to the 18th edition was the reduction of the plastic midfoot shank and addition of the Dynamic Duomax dual density stability posting. These changes along with better midfoot ground contact have significantly improved the underfoot feel of the GEL-Kayano, giving it a more natural, less stiff feel.

Brooks Adrenaline 12 (Men’s | Women’s)

An all-time favorite for runners and non-runners alike, the Brooks Adrenaline 12 had only subtle changes made to this addition. Like the GEL-Kayano 18, the Adrenaline 12 feels more natural and less stiff due to redesigned flex grooves in the heel. There were also some tweaks to the upper most noticeably for me was that there was a little bit more give to the heel collar which helped the shoe move more naturally with my foot.

New Balance 860V2 (Men’s | Women’s)

Assembled in Maine and out of heritage of the legendary 760 series of moderate stability shoes, this update to the 860 felt pretty much identical as the first version underfoot. I really noticed a difference in the upper materials which were much softer and stretched more in version 2. I didn’t think this made the fit sloppy by any means, just different.

Come try these out and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Lily says:
Jun 06, 2012

I HATED the new Kayano. I didn’t feel as if the new materialsare hugging my feet better, I feel as if my foot is being strangled, even though I kept the lacing as loose as possible! And I never really liked those askew laces, but along with this new biomorphic material, I guess it makes this “strangling” feeling even worse. The shoes hurt my bunions somuch I’m gonna have to sell them! I can’t wear them anymore.

fleetfeet says:
Jun 06, 2012

Hi -

Thanks for your comments. Sorry to hear about your experience with the new Kayano 18 from Asics. The Kayano 19 will be out this fall so hopefully the update will treat you better. What are you running in this year since the Kayano hasn’t worked? ^CM Thank you!

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