ASICS Gel Kayano 28 vs Hoka Arahi 6: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner looking for a stable, supportive training shoe, the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 and Hoka Arahi 6 are two of the top options on the market. But which one is right for you?

In this in-depth comparison, we’ll look at the key features and performance of both shoes to help you decide which is the better choice for your running needs.

The ASICS Gel Kayano 28 is the latest version of the classic Kayano stability shoe. It has a durable yet breathable engineered mesh upper and a stable Dynamic DuoMax support system. The Flytefoam Blast midsole provides responsive cushioning.

The Hoka Arahi 6 is also a stability shoe designed for mild to moderate overpronators. It has a lightweight engineered mesh upper and a unique J-Frame stability system that provides support without sacrificing flexibility. The responsive CMEVA midsole gives it a smooth ride.

Similarities And Differences Between ASICS Gel Kayano 28 and Hoka Arahi 6:

FeatureASICS Gel Kayano 28Hoka Arahi 6
Launch Date20212022
StabilityDynamic DuoMaxJ-Frame
FlexibilityGuidance LineMeta-Rocker
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5.5-12Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight10.7 oz (M), 9.9 oz (W)9.5 oz (M), 8.7 oz (W)
CushionFlytefoam BlastCMEVA
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberDurabrasion Rubber
MidsoleFlytefoam BlastCMEVA
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$120$140

Features Comparison

Materials

The outsole of the Kayano 28 uses AHAR+ rubber while the Arahi 6 uses Durabrasion Rubber. Both provide good durability and traction. The Arahi 6’s outsole rubber is a bit softer for better grip.

KAYANO 28
KAYANO 28

Arahi 6
ARAHI 6

Underfoot, the midsoles also differ. The Kayano 28 uses Flytefoam Blast while the Arahi 6 uses CMEVA. Both provide responsive cushioning but the Flytefoam Blast is lighter and bouncier.

For the upper, both shoes use engineered mesh for a breathable and secure fit. The Kayano 28’s upper has more structure while the Arahi 6’s is more flexible.

Durability

The ASICS Gel Kayano series has always been known for its durability, and the Kayano 28 continues that legacy. Elements like the AHAR+ rubber outsole, sturdy structured upper, and DuoMax support system make this a shoe that can handle hundreds of miles.

The Hoka Arahi 6 is also designed to be durable, with its resilient CMEVA midsole foam and rubberized J-Frame on the outsole. However, it may not quite match the Kayano 28 in overall longevity. The mesh upper is also not as sturdy.

Fit

The ASICS Gel Kayano 28 fits true to size for most runners. It has a roomy toe box and snug midfoot hold thanks to the structured engineered mesh upper and exoskeleton heel counter.

KAYANO 28 TOP VIEW
KAYANO 28 TOP VIEW

Arahi 6 Top View
ARAHI 6 TOP VIEW

The Hoka Arahi 6 also fits true to size but has a more generous toe box for wider feet. The engineered mesh upper is softer and allows more flexibility through the forefoot. However, some testers note the midfoot is loose, allowing too much slop.

Stability

With its tried-and-true DuoMax system along the arch and firm midfoot shank, the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 provides excellent stability for overpronators. It significantly reduces the inward rolling of the foot during the gait cycle.

The Hoka Arahi 6 also delivers good stability but in a different way. The J-Frame extends up both sides of the midsole and creates a mild medial post to prevent overpronation. It allows more natural foot mobility than the Kayano.

Cushioning

The ASICS Gel Kayano 28 has very good shock absorption thanks to the full-length Flytefoam Blast midsole. It provides soft landings without feeling mushy. However, the firmer DuoMax post reduces midfoot cushioning.

The Hoka Arahi 6 focuses more on delivering a smooth, rockered ride than ultra-soft cushioning. However, the CMEVA foam still provides adequate shock absorption for longer distances. The result is a more natural feeling ride.

Value

With a $120 price tag, the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 is a well-priced stability shoe. It delivers excellent support, comfort, and durability to justify the cost for severe overpronators. It is a great value for the premium features.

The Hoka Arahi 6 costs $140 which is on the pricier end for a stability shoe. The unusual J-Frame system provides a smooth ride but materials are not as robust as the Kayano. This makes the Arahi 6 less of a value buy given the higher cost.

Performance Comparison

Walking

The ASICS Gel Kayano 28 provides excellent cushioning and support for walking. Elements like the DuoMax system and Flytefoam Blast midsole absorb shock and reduce strain on the feet and legs when walking.

The Hoka Arahi 6 is also comfortable for walking but the rockered sole design means it feels most natural at a quicker pace. The soft CMEVA foam cushions each step but doesn’t have as much bounce back.

Running

During runs, the ASICS Kayano 28 continues to provide a stable and smooth ride for mild to moderate overpronators. There is enough midsole cushion for recovery days and tempo workouts. The shoe really shines for long training miles.

The Hoka Arahi 6 has a more enhanced rockered sole profile that encourages efficient heel-to-toe transitions while running. The Meta-rocker design helps pick up the cadence on faster runs but can feel clunky at slower paces.

Plantar Fasciitis

The ASICS Gel Kayano 28 works well for runners with plantar fasciitis thanks to plush rearfoot and midfoot cushioning. The raised guidance line also helps promote a smooth transition to keep pressure off the fascia.

While adequate, the Hoka Arahi 6 is not quite as well suited for plantar fasciitis. The thinner midsole has less shock absorption, especially in the forefoot. And the rockered design can strain the plantar fascia.

Standing All Day

For those who are on their feet all day, the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 is again the better choice. The soft yet responsive Flytefoam Blast cushioning and DuoMax support reduce fatigue for extended wear.

The Arahi 6 doesn’t have the same all-day comfort. The thinner foam starts to compress after several hours, and the rockered profile feels somewhat unnatural for standing in place or walking short distances.

Final Verdict

For severe overpronators seeking maximum stability and support, the ASICS Gel Kayano 28 is the clear winner. From its durable build to plush cushioning, it’s an excellent option for runners susceptible to injury. The Kayano is also a better choice for walkers, plantar fasciitis, and all-day standing.


Runners who want a stable yet natural feeling ride may prefer the Hoka Arahi 6. The rockered design encourages an efficient gait while on the run. Just be aware that the Arahi 6 sacrifices some cushioning and support versus the venerable Kayano model.

No matter which shoe you choose, be sure to get properly fitted at your local running store. Finding the right size and fit is key to enjoying many happy miles in your new running shoes!

Leave a comment