Asics Kayano 30 Vs Kayano Lite 3: Spot the Elite Trainer

Written By Sunny

While looking for the best trainer, the first name that crosses our mind is ASICS. The Kayano line is the best stability trainer from ASICS you can acquire right now.

As a regular user of Asics Kayano shoes, I have tested several models from this lineup and got the opportunity to run on Kayano Lite shoes.

Throughout this comparison, I will share my experience with the regular Kayano and Kayano Lite to track down the most appropriate shoe.asics-kayano-vs-asics-kayano-lite

Without further discussion, let’s begin!

Overview of ASICS Kayano Lite and ASICS Kayano

ASICS introduced the GEL-Kayano lineup in 1993 with the release of GEL-KAYANO TRAINER.

Designed by Toshikazu Kayano, the shoes primarily focus on producing cutting-edge tech and comfortable & stable running shoes.

Asics Kayano 30 is the 30th edition of the GEL-Kayano line, and the Asics Kayano Lite 3 is the 3rd version of the Gel-Kayano Lite series.

Asics Kayano Lite 3

The third edition of the ASICS Gel Kayano Lite line is the most eco-friendly and lighter version of the ASICS Kayano.

This incredibly versatile stability trainer is ready to conquer all training and running needs.

Blending the FLYTEFOAM and GEL technology, the Kayano Lite 3 offers excellent comfort, and the breathable jacquard mesh upper makes it suitable for hot weather.

Due to its featherweight, adaptive fit, and wide base, the Lite 3 features out-of-the-box comfort and has no break-in period.

Asics Kayano 30

The thirty edition of the ASICS Gel Kayano line is the best stability trainer, featuring extraordinary cushioning and soft landing, thanks to the combination of FF BLAST+ ECO and PureGEL technologies.

Asics takes inspiration from the most prominent ASICS shoes and rebuilds the Kayano 30 with the newest technologies to ensure the best comfort and stability.overview-of-asics-kayano

This stability trainer is made to conquer long distances with excellent energy return.

Due to the enhanced stability and cushioning, this shoe is preferable for overpronators.

Attribute Comparison of ASICS Kayano 30 and ASICS Kayano Lite 3

Though both shoes are members of the Asics Kayano family, there are some significant differences between these shoes.

The most noticeable divergences are in the upper constructions, sole materials, distinct price points, and overall weights.

Consider the subsequent comparison table for a more accurate visualization of the dissimilarities and similarities of the Gel-Kayano 30 vs the Gel-Kayano Lite 3.

AttributeASICS Kayano 30ASICS Kayano Lite 3
UpperEngineered stretch knit upperBreathable jacquard mesh upper
InsoleOrthoLite X-55 socklinerOrthoLite lasting
MidsoleFF BLAST PLUS ECO, Rearfoot PureGELFLYTEFOAM, GEL technology
ComfortVery comfortableComfortable
Weight303 g/10.7 oz235 g/8.3 oz
Heal-to-Toe Drop10 mm8 mm
Stack Height (heel)40 mm22 mm
Stack Height (forefoot)30 mm14 mm
BreathabilityLess breathableMore breathable
DurabilityExtremely durableVery durable
FlexibilityMediumMore flexible
StabilityVery stableStable
Price Range$150-160$80-160
ClassificationPremium Maximal Daily TrainerLightweight Neutral Trainer
Best forLong distances, relaxed pacesshort runs, fast paces, versatile training

Differences Between ASICS Gel-Kayano 30 and Gel-Kayano Lite 3

While the regular Kayano focuses more on maximalist cushioning and stability, the Lite Kayano is lighter and more responsive.

In addition, there are also several aspects where one outshines another. For instance, while the Kayano 30 offers top-notch comforts, the Kayano Lite 3 is more breathable.

For a more clear comparison between both shoes, consider the subsequent discussions.

1. Design & Upper Materials

Both the Kayano 30 and Lite 3 feature sleek and modern designs, but they differ in some aspects, such as aesthetics and upper materials.

The GEL-KAYANO 30 has the most extensive color range and is available in bold and striking colors.

On the contrary, the GEL-KAYANO LITE 3 is only available in Azure/Amber, Smoke Shadow/Cherry Tomato, and Indigo Blue/Black colorways.

Another significant difference between these shoes is in the upper materials.

For instance, the upper of the Kayano 30 is an Engineered stretch knit upper, which assists in improving breathability and usually lasts longer than mesh.

The Kayano Lite 3, on the other hand, has a Jacquard mesh upper, mainly known for excellent breathability.

ParametersASICS Gel-Kayano 30ASICS Gel-Kayano Lite 3
Design patternBold and strikingSleek and streamlined
UpperEngineered knit upperJacquard mesh upper
Reflective materialsYesYes

The knit upper of the Model 30 is plush and very comfortable. When I wore it for the first time, I was really impressed with the comfy foam of the upper.

Moreover, this model also features a gusseted tongue, which prevents the tongue from sliding.

Remember, the knit upper is not as breathable as the mesh upper of the Lite 3. So, choose the knit upper only if you’re going to run in cold

Though the mesh upper is not as plush as the knit upper, it offers the best ventilation, making it desirable for hot climates and extended periods of wear.

Both shoe’s uppers are incredibly durable. While the mesh upper of Lite 3 is more breathable, the knit upper of Kayano 30 is more comfortable due to the added foam and stretchy nature.

2. Midsole & Outsole

As a member of the Gel-Kayano line, both shoes inevitably feature the proprietary Gel technology in the midsole and the AHAR rubber in the outsole.

However, the significance of the Gel-Kayano 30 is in the midsole.

For the midsole, the Kayano 30 utilizes a full-length FF BLAST PLUS ECO foam (with 20% bio-based content), which offers extraordinary cushioning and cloud-like comfort.

On the other hand, the Kayano Lite 3 utilizes the FLYTEFOAM (consists of cellulose nanofiber), which has a smoother ride transition.

The forefoot of the Lite 3 is more stiff due to the use of the FLYTEFOAM cushioning.

Interestingly, the Kayano 30 features Gel in the heel, while the Lite 3 features a small amount of Gel in the forefoot.

Due to the extensive foam of the Kayano 30, it weighs more than the featherweight Lite 3.

But the dense midsole of the Kayano 30 offers a soft ride compared to the firmer Lite 3.midsole-of-asics-kayano-30

I enjoy the comfy ride of the regular Kayano for long distances at slower paces. Conversely, the ride of the Kayano Lite is more nimble, making it ideal for fast-paced activities.

Both shoes feature the same AHAR + rubber for the outsole. The only visible differences are in the outsole pattern.

The midfoot of the Lite 3 is filled with rubber, making the outsole more durable than the Kayano 30.

In short, the regular Kayano has more cushioning in the midsole, offering a pillowy ride even on uneven surfaces. The midsole of the Lite 3 is stiffer and feels closer to the ground due to its thinner midsole.

3. Fit and Comfort

The FlyteFoam Blast+ ECO midsole foam of the regular Kayano ensures generous and plush cushioning throughout the midsole, featuring a comfortable ride.

Due to the stretchy knit upper, the Kayano 30 offers a snug fit, and the roomy toe box accommodates wider feet.

The external back heel counter of the Kayano 30 provides a more comfortable stride.

In addition, the OrthoLite X-55 sockliner also assists in making the shoe more comfortable by providing additional cushioning and moisture management.

Due to the maximum cushioning and lower drops, the Asics Kayano 30 even surpasses the Brooks Adrenaline 23 in terms of comfort.

The Kayano Lite 3 is not far behind in terms of fit and

Utilizing the mesh upper, less dense midsole, and the OrthoLite lasting sockliner, this model offers a more standard fit than the regular Kayano.

Moreover, the lightweight construction of the Lite 3 ensures a more airy and nimble feel. Unfortunately, the slimmed-down tongue of this model may cause some discomfort.

The ASICS Kayano 30 offers the best comfort, and the Kayano Lite has the best fit.

4. Performance & Durability

From the short distance to the marathon, the Kayano 30 can provide consistent performance, advanced stability, and softer cushioning.

On the other hand, the Kayano Lite 3 emphasis on sustainability and lightweight midsole construction ensures an energetic rebound at toe-off.


Without a doubt, the Gel-Kayano 30 is the king of stability.

Asics has applied several proprietary technologies to make it the most stable shoe. For instance, the wider base and 4D GUIDANCE SYSTEM blended together to ensure the best adaptive stability for a balanced stride.

If you’re an overpronator seeking maximum stability, the Trusstic system and medial post of the Kayano 30 are the best techs to control inward rolling and ensure a comfortable ride.

In addition, the external back heel counter also assists in keeping the foot stable.

Though the Kayano Lite is not as stable as the regular one, it still offers decent stability and gains a reputation as a versatile stability trainer.


Surprisingly, the Kayano Lite 3 is more flexible than the regular Kayano. Due to the generous cushioning, the Kayano 30 is less responsive.flexibility-of-asics-kayano-lite-3

Utilizing the firmer FLYTEFOAM midsole, the Lite 3 features a decent level of flexibility, making it more suitable for fast paces and short runs.

Undoubtedly, both shoes are incredibly durable.

As I mentioned earlier, the outsole of the Lite 3 is more durable than the regular one. But that does not apply to the midsole and upper materials.

Due to the more premium knit upper, 65% softer PureGEL, and the FF BLAST+ ECO midsole, the Kayano 30 is more durable than the Lite version.

In summary, Asics Gel-Kayano 30 outshines the Kayano Lite 3 with increased stability and durability. And the Lite version surpasses the regular one in terms of flexibility.

5. Price & Significance

Though both shoes are listed for $160 on the Asics website, there are significant differences at the price point.

Due to the luxurious cushioning, more premium materials, and huge demand, the Gel-Kayano will cost you around $150-160.

However, the Kayano Lite is available at a discounted price and will cost you around $80-90.

Considering the price and value of both shoes, the price of both shoes is undoubtedly justifiable.

Pros & Cons of ASICS GEL Kayano 30 and ASICS GEL Kayano Lite 3

Undoubtedly, both shoes are the most prominent ones in their categories. But, before finalizing your purchasing decision, you must consider the advantages and disadvantages.

By navigating through the strengths and weaknesses, you can choose the best pair depending on your biomechanics and running styles.

Following are the pros and cons of Kayano 30 and Kayano Lite 3.

ASICS Kayano 30

  • »4D Guidance System.
  • »Smooth landing on all surfaces.
  • »Cloud-like comfort.
  • »New adaptable stability system.
  • »Best for longer runs at slower paces.
  • »Lack of flexibility.
  • »Heavier than the Kayano Lite.

ASICS Kayano Lite 3

  • »Well-ventilated upper.
  • »Lightweight and eco-friendly.
  • »More flexible than regular Kayano.
  • »Roomy toe box.
  • »Good support for overpronators.
  • »Less durable than Kayano.
  • »Not suitable for cold weather.

ASICS Kayano 30 vs ASICS Kayano Lite 3: Which One is the Superior Choice?

When choosing the best pair of these shoes, the ultimate choice depends highly on your biomechanics and running styles.

Asics Kayano 30 is a max-cushioned shoe with a decent level of stability.

If you prioritize a perfect blend of comfort and protection and conquer long-distance runs with high energy return, the Gel-Kayano 30 is the superior choice.

Asics Kayano Lite 3 is a featherweight and exceptionally breathable shoe that is more suitable for fast-paced activities and tempo runs.

If you value speed, agility, and lighter weight for faster training runs, the Gel-Kayano Lite 3 is the perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kayano Lite a stability shoe?

Yes, the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite is a stability shoe. Compared to the Kayano Lite first and second models, the most recent Kayano Lite 3 has the best stability. This max-cushioned stability trainer is ready to handle numerous workouts, short runs, and easy runs.

What is ASICS Kayano best for?

The regular version of the ASICS Kayano is the best shoe for marathon runners or anyone who wants to run beyond the marathon. Wearing this versatile stability shoe, you can efficiently run any distance without losing much energy.

Is ASICS Kayano suitable for walking?

ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 and 30 are the best shoes for walking and recovery runs that can prevent knee pain or bunions. Due to the excellent grip and comfort, you can walk on any terrain without slipping and sacrificing the plushness.

Is ASICS Kayano a durable trainer?

Yes, ASICS Kayano is a durable running shoe with an average lifespan of 450-500 miles. Utilizing the knit upper and durable AHAR rubber outsole, the Gel-Kayano 30 is one of the most durable trainers.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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