ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review: feel the cushion, embrace the support

Run farther and walk longer with ASICS' latest stability shoes

ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review
(Image credit: Sophie Higgs)
T3 Verdict

The Asics Gel-Kayano 31 offers unbeatable comfort, adaptive stability, and eco-friendly features, making it the perfect choice for runners seeking a reliable, high-performance shoe that’s kind to the planet.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Breathable upper

  • +

    Modernised knit collar for better step-in comfort

  • +

    Excellent shock absorption

  • +

    6 colour options

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Instep area feels a little tight

  • -

    Slightly on the heavier side

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For three decades, the Asics Gel-Kayano franchise has been a trusted companion for runners seeking support. It's easy to understand why: the shoes offer robust support without compromising on style, the perfect cocktail for a stability shoe.

Asics revamped the Gel-Kayano last year for its 30th anniversary (they did the same with the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25), making them even more desirable. In our ASICS Gel-Kayano 30 review, we gave the shoes five stars.

The Gel-Kayano 31 takes the stability and support the franchise is known for to the next level, making it an essential choice for pronating runners as well as those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

As someone relatively new to running, with a few bad habits to iron out, I was particularly eager to experience the improvements in stability that these shoes promise.

Will they be good enough to replace my trusty Hoka Mach 6, and should the Gel-Kayano 31 be included in T3's best women's running shoes guide? Read my full review below to find out.

ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review

Price and availability

ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review

(Image credit: Sophie Higgs)

The ASICS Gel Kayano 31 is available to purchase directly from ASICS UK for £180 for both women and men. It's also available at ASICS US for $180 and ASICS AU for AU$280 to AU$300. The women’s shoe is available in UK sizes 3-11, with 6 colourways available. The men's version of the trainer is available in sizes 5 to 15, with 7 colourway options. 

Design and materials

ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review

(Image credit: Sophie Higgs)

The Asics Gel-Kayano 31 is a fantastic blend of performance, comfort, and eco-friendliness.

Comfort is paramount in every running shoe but especially with stability shoes. People who use this type of trainer often require additional support underfoot; whether it's because they pronate or are on their feet a lot, it matters little.

ASICS' FF BLAST PLUS ECO cushioning, with its 20 per cent bio-based content, does an excellent job of cushioning every step and adding cloud-like comfort to your stride.

One of my favourite features is the convenient knit heel pull tab—it makes slipping the shoes on and off a breeze. The OrthoLite X-55 sockliner further enhances overall comfort as soon as you slide your feet into the shoes.

Stability is provided by the 4D GUIDANCE SYSTEM. This technology, which debuted in the Gel-Kayano 30, is said to reduce time spent in an overpronation state and mitigate injury risk.

The Rearfoot PureGEL technology, which, again, debuted last year and is softer than the previous GEL version, provides soft, lightweight cushioning, making every step feel balanced and cushioned.

Performance and comfort

ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review

(Image credit: Sophie Higgs)

As someone who does a lot more walking than running, I’m always on the lookout for trainers who can do both really well. The Gel-Kayano 31 offers fantastic support, and the extra cushioning really helps propel you forward, so I ended up walking more miles than I usually do.

The soft PureGEL and the 4D GUIDANCE SYSTEM are an interesting combination. I find the PureGEL squishy like a marshmallow, but when you add the support system, it balances things out well. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds: loads of cushioning and stability, perfect for walking and jogging.

The only minor issue I encountered was that the shoes initially felt a bit tight on the top of my foot. It felt like the Gel-Kayano 31 wasn't as voluminous as the shoes I used before, which is a strange sensation for someone like me who has a narrow foot. 

Once I adjusted the laces, they were much more comfortable, although I did feel some pressure even after changing the lacing technique.

I’m thrilled to see brands like ASICS focusing on eco-friendly products. The Gel-Kayano 31 features a sockliner dyeing process that reduces water and carbon usage, which is a big win for the environment.

ASICS is also committed to promoting mental health alongside physical fitness, which is incredibly important. It's easy to get caught up in chasing personal bests (I’ve seen this too often in the running world), but it’s essential to remember that exercise should be a joy and a privilege.


ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 review

(Image credit: Sophie Higgs)

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 31 is a top-notch choice for runners and walkers alike, combining exceptional comfort, adaptive stability, and eco-friendly features. While it offers great support and cushioning for long distances, it might feel a bit tight on the instep initially and is slightly heavier than some competitors. Overall, it's an excellent all-rounder for those seeking both performance and sustainability.

Also consider

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 30 is an excellent alternative to its successor. ASICS introduced a lot of the technologies used in the Gel-Kayano 31 in the predecessor, and now that it's cheaper, it's almost irresistible. Read Leon's full Asics Gel-Kayano 30 for more info.

Another great stability option is the Hoka Arahi 6. It offers lightweight stability with J-Frame technology and EVA foam midsole for cushioning. It's ideal for long, easy runs but not for speed due to its low energy return. The shoe is versatile and comfortable, especially for those with flat feet or overpronation issues

Sophie Higgs
Freelance Writer

Sophie is a mental health advocate who loves nature and exercise to equal measure. She enjoys attending a variety of dance classes and is currently enjoying learning Latin and ballroom. She finds comfort in long walks, sweaty HIIT workouts and long cycling trips culminating in picnics.