ASICS Gel Kayano 28 vs Hoka Arahi 5: What Should I Buy?

The Asics Gel Kayano and the Hoka Arahi are both popular stability running shoes designed for overpronators. The latest versions – the Asics Gel Kayano 28 and the Hoka Arahi 5 – offer updated features and technologies to provide a smooth, stable, and responsive ride. But how do these two stability shoes compare? Read on as we break down the key similarities and differences.

Similarities And Differences Between ASICS Gel Kayano 28 and Hoka Arahi 5:

FeatureAsics Gel Kayano 28Hoka Arahi 5
Launched In20212021
StabilityDuoMax support system, Guidance Line technologyJ-Frame technology
FlexibilityForefoot flex groovesForefoot flex grooves
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-13Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-13
Weight10.3 oz (M), 9.3 oz (W)9.2 oz (M), 7.9 oz (W)
CushionFlytefoam Blast midsole, rearfoot and forefoot GELCMEVA midsole, J-Frame technology
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberDurabrasion rubber
MidsoleFlytefoam BlastCMEVA, J-Frame technology
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$120$295

Features Comparison

Materials

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 utilizes a Flytefoam Blast midsole made of lightweight foam pellets for responsive cushioning. The rearfoot and forefoot feature GEL cushioning units that attenuate shock. The outsole uses AHAR+ rubber in critical areas for durability. The upper uses an engineered mesh for breathability.

KAYANO 28
KAYANO 28

HOKA ARAHI 5
ARAHI 5

The Hoka Arahi 5 uses a compression-molded CMEVA foam midsole and a J-Frame technology in the midsole to provide stability without stiffness.

It has a Durabrasion rubber outsole and an engineered mesh upper. Both shoes use quality materials but the Asics has more proprietary technologies like Flytefoam and Gel cushioning.

Durability

Testers found that the Asics Gel Kayano 28 has excellent durability thanks to features like the AHAR+ rubber outsole and Flytefoam Blast midsole. Many reviewers reported the Kayano 28 lasted over 500 miles of running with minimal wear.

The Hoka Arahi 5 is also quite durable due to the compression molded midsole which resists breakdown. However, some testers felt the outsole of the Arahi 5 wore down quicker than the Kayano’s AHAR+ rubber, especially in high-wear areas. Overall, both shoes are built to go the distance but the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 seems to have a slight edge in long-term durability.

Fit

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 fits snugly in the heel and midfoot due to the exoskeletal heel counter and overlays. The toe box room is average. The shoe runs slightly narrow, especially for wide-footers. Going up 1/2 size or wider width helps.

KAYANO 28 TOP VIEW
KAYANO 28 TOP VIEW

HOKA ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW

The Hoka Arahi 5 also runs narrowly through the midfoot and toe box. The knit upper material has minimal stretch. Reviewers recommend sizing up, especially if you have wide feet. Both shoes cater to narrower feet.

The Arahi 5 upper has a bit more give than the Kayano 28 but some testers still found it too restrictive. If you have wide feet, the Kayano and Arahi may not be ideal choices unless you size up.

Stability

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 provides excellent stability for overpronators thanks to guideline technology and a DuoMax medial post to prevent excessive inward rolling of the foot. Testers reported the shoe kept them aligned throughout their gait cycle.

The Hoka Arahi 5 utilizes a J-Frame technology in the midsole where a firmer foam sidewall cradles and stabilizes the foot. Reviewers said this provided good stability without making the shoe overly rigid or clunky.

Both shoes effectively prevent overpronation but some testers felt the Kayano 28 provided slightly better motion control, especially for severe overpronators. The Arahi 5 offers ample support while still allowing some natural movement.

Cushioning

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 offers soft, responsive cushioning from technologies like FlyteFoam Blast and rearfoot and forefoot Gel units. Most testers found it provided a good balance of shock attenuation and energy return.

The Hoka Arahi 5 delivers ultra-soft cushioning from the thick CMEVA midsole but it remains relatively lightweight. Reviewers reported this made the shoe comfortable even over long distances.

The Arahi cushioning felt slightly softer and bouncier than the Kayano but some found it almost too soft, lacking in response. The Kayano cushioning provides better feedback and energy return for transitions. It comes down to preference – soft or responsive cushioning.

Value

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 has a retail price of $120 which is very affordable for a high-end stability running shoe with proprietary technology. Reviewers felt the price accurately reflected the performance and quality of materials.

The Hoka Arahi 5 costs $295 which is on the pricier side. Testers found this high price harder to justify considering the mixed reviews of durability and questionable long-term cushion retention. When it comes to value, the Asics Gel Kayano 28 appears to provide better value for money due to its lower price point and proven performance.

Performance Testing

For Walking

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 performs well for walking thanks to the supportive midsole and quality outsole traction. The cushioning manages impact while allowing a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The Hoka Arahi 5 is also a solid walking shoe. The thick cushioning keeps you comfortable mile after mile and the stability frame keeps your foot secure. The plush CMEVA midsole absorbs shock effectively during walking. Both shoes make great fitness walking shoes to keep you moving in comfort.

For Running

Testers found the Asics Gel Kayano 28 is highly effective for running training and races. Technologies like the FlyteFoam Blast midsole and Gel cushioning provide a responsive, propulsive ride.

The DuoMax support keeps you stable when fatigued. Meanwhile, the Hoka Arahi 5 offers an exceptionally smooth, soft ride thanks to the generous cushioning.

The rockered geometry encourages forward motion. However, some found the Arahi cushioning too mushy for faster paces. It comes down to preferences – a responsive ride vs. a super soft feel.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 works well for plantar fasciitis thanks to ample cushioning and arch support. The firm heel counter also stabilizes the foot to minimize strain on the plantar fascia.

The Hoka Arahi 5 is also recommended for plantar fasciitis due to the thick cushioned midsole and some testers said the rockered profile helped encourage proper foot motion to prevent re-aggravating the plantar fascia. Both shoes can aid recovery from PF when used properly.

For Standing All Day

Reviewers said the Asics Gel Kayano 28 performs well for jobs that require standing all day like retail or nursing. The combination of cushioning, support, and shock absorption helps reduce fatigue.

The Hoka Arahi 5 is also a great option for standing all day. Testers reported the plush cushioning kept their feet comfortable even during 12+ hour shifts on their feet. The stabilization also helps combat foot aches and back soreness from standing on hard surfaces.

Final Verdict

For severe overpronators or those who prefer a responsive, stable ride, the Asics Gel Kayano 28 is likely the better choice. However, runners who want a super soft, cushioned feel may prefer the Hoka Arahi 5.


Both are great stability shoes – the main differences come down to the Asics’ firmer and more controlling midsole vs. the softer, pillow-like cushioning of the Hokas.

Consider your pronation severity, cushioning preference, and fit needs to decide which model is right for you. Try them both on if possible to experience the fit and feel firsthand.

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