Let’s be real: Asics isn’t a household name in golf, but should it be? The Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE certainly makes a case that the Japanese sportswear and running brand should get more love on the golf course. How does this hybrid running/golf shoe perform? I came into this review with little to no expectations, but here’s a little teaser; this might be the most comfortable golf shoe I’ve ever tested.
Interested yet? You should be. Here’s my performance review of the Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE.
Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE
Release Date: April 2022
Sizing: True to Size (see Cons for details)
- Rundown: Comfort, comfort, comfort. Less than mediocre traction is a trade-off I’m willing to make for a shoe that feels this darn good.
If you buy the Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE for anything, do it for the cushion. The FlyteFoam Midsole and Gel in the heel provided an extremely comfortable ride. I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, but the last Asics shoe I tested, the GEL-ACE PRO was not very comfortable. Needless to say, the Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE blows that shoe out of the water.
The cushion felt extremely plush while still allowing for plenty of ground feel. Energy return felt great, and both my legs and feet felt less fatigued than normal after my round. Running shoe-like cushion in a golf shoe? Sign me up (you should sign up, too).
The Asics GEL-KAYANO running shoe is billed as a very stable shoe, and the golf-variant was no different. The wide base and TPU heel cradle created a solid platform upon which I could swing freely without fear of losing my balance.
If you play in a hot climate like me or struggle with sweaty feet, the Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE is an excellent choice. The primarily mesh upper construction is plenty breathable, despite still having some waterproofing capabilities. This is easily one of the more breathable and cooling golf shoes I’ve tested. While premium leathers are nice, nothing beats a nice, cool mesh golf shoe on a hot day in Phoenix.
My biggest complaint about the GEL-KAYANO ACE is, by far, the traction. I found it lackluster at best and, more often than not, found myself compensating in my swing for the lack of adequate grip. Did I slip? A few times, actually. If you play in any type of wet conditions or an adverse climate, you’re going to experience traction issues.
Is it manageable? Sure, but for a shoe that’s billed as a golf shoe, I expected a lot more out of the spikeless traction. At a certain point, it feels as though Asics did the bare minimum in this regard to make it course-ready. A little bit more attention to the performance of the traction, perhaps some bigger lugs, would have helped tremendously.
This isn’t necessarily a complaint on my part, but something to be aware of. The toe box area on the GEL-KAYANO ACE fits pretty darn wide. It’s very, very roomy from side to side, in large part to help with the stability. I didn’t have a problem with this at all. I don’t like shoes that are too snug, but for those of you who want an exact 1-to-1 fit, you may find it too roomy and wide.
Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE Summary
If you value good traction, look elsewhere. But for the rest of you, if you want one of the most comfortable golf shoes on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find any better option than the GEL-KAYANO ACE.
It’s encouraging to see Asics start to “figure it out” a little bit in the golf space, and it only excites me to see what they come up with next. Here’s to a seemingly bright future for hybrid running/golf shoes!
The Asics GEL-KAYANO ACE is also available at Amazon.