I have flat feet, I have lax ligaments and I have Cerebral Palsy so getting my choice of footwear right has always been a challenge. When I was kid, I was the kid in class with special shoes on. They were ‘special’ only because a grey man said that I had to have them. They weren’t all that special and I doubt that the grey man really knew what he talking about.
The thing is, sticking a label on a product that reads ‘for physical impaired’, does not automatically make it the best thing since sliced bread. In fact, I have often found the opposite to be the case. Good products are good products because they are made by people who know and care about what they are doing. Which brings me to Asics Gel Kayano 23s.
The Kayano 23s are not a one night stand kind of shoe, they are in fact the kind of shoe that you take home to meet mom. And they are versatile too. I’ve been hammering the gym lately - go hard or go home - and my Kayano 23s have been the best partner that I could ask for. Being able to dorsiflex pain free has been a revelation. I’m snatching with kettlebells now.
For this review, I decided that I wanted to test a premium brand running shoe. The reasons behind this choice were that my feet have a tendency to collapse inward and feel pain when stepping up stairs. Kayano 23s are supposed to combat these problems, which is why I wanted to put them to the test.
So what am I generally looking for in a good supportive shoe? Well the first thing is tight fit – any shoe you wear should be snug. I find that the tighter the fit – the more likely the my foot is to keep its shape. The next thing is stability when you plant your foot – a poor quality shoe will collapse from step to step. Even a snug fit won’t necessarily mean that the shoe will maintain its shape when you plant and if you are anything like me – where every step is an effort – you want every bit of certainty that you can get.
Wearing Kayano 23s has given me all these things and more. I’ve worn good quality brands before like Adidas and Nike but they always gave me the same problem. If I attempted to walk up a large flight of stairs, I always felt pain across the top of my foot because of dorsi-flexing (bending the foot up). I tested Kayano 23s up as many stairs as I dared and my feet felt okay. There was a little discomfort (I think a little is to be expected) but the outcome was better than I dared hope to be honest.
I held off writing this review for a while. The reason being I wanted to make sure that I was not suffering from the new girlfriend syndrome. Specifically, was I simply infatuated with my Kayano 23s or were they as good as I thought?
I need not have worried. The Kayano 23s are not a one night stand kind of shoe, they are in fact the kind of shoe that you take home to meet mom. And they are versatile too. I’ve been hammering the gym lately – go hard or go home – and my Kayano 23s have been the best partner that I could ask for. Being able to dorsiflex pain free has been a revelation. I’m snatching with kettlebells now.
There is a slight catch with the Kayano 23s – they a pricy. At £145, I know for many people that they will seem out of reach. But the old adage goes – you get what you pay for. Kayano 23s are expensive but I think the investment is a lot like the wireless headphone problem. This year I have saved £100s on buying replacement headphones because I went wireless. I’d argue that investing in Kayano 23s will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to buy new for quite a while. Spend now and save later.
Now you might be sat there thinking – but what about my custom orthotics or my custom made shoes? Now I am not saying that you should ditch what works for you but what I can tell you is that I have tried all those things and I prefer Kayano 23s.