ASICS VS Ryka: Which Is Better?

As an avid shoe enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for footwear that promises both style and performance. Recently, two athletic brands caught my eye – ASICS and Ryka. Both are well-respected names in the shoe industry, but they take different approaches when crafting their footwear.

I decided to take a deeper dive, comparing everything from comfort and durability to price points and aesthetics. Through extensive research, I got a well-rounded picture of what each brand excels at. Keep reading for a comprehensive overview including my top picks for both ASICS and Ryka.

Comparison Table

Founded In19491987
Comfort & FitExceptional for neutral and underpronators. Wide toe box.Designed specifically for women’s feet. Roomy toe box.
Color OptionsWide range of colors and styles. More options for women.Decent color selection. Mostly neutrals with some bright accent colors.
DurabilityVery durable, high-quality materials.Durable but some mixed reviews on longevity.
PerformanceExcellent shock absorption and bounce-back. Supportive stability features.Good shock absorption. Stability features in some models. Decent energy return.
Design & StyleClassic, sleek athletic look. Some casual lifestyle options.Athletic-inspired style with feminine touches. Focus is fashion over performance.
PopularityVery popular, especially among serious runners.Growing popularity among casual wearers and yoga/fitness enthusiasts.
Best Selling ModelASICS Gel-KayanoDevotion Plus 3

ASICS Overview

Asics was founded way back in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Kobe, Japan.

Kihachiro Onitsuka

The name “Asics” actually comes from the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano,” which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body.” Asics shoes really align with that mission, aiming to provide runners with equipment that enables peak performance.

Throughout its long history, Asics has continuously innovated and evolved its shoe technologies.

Key components that provide the renowned Asics fit and feel include the IGS (Impact Guidance System) for a natural gait cycle, Trusstic System tech for light stability, SpevaFoam cushioning for soft landings, and Dynamic DuoMax support for optimal alignment.

The outer soles utilize Asics’ specialized rubber compounds called AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) that hold up to heavy mileage on roads.

From fast, feather-light racing flats to well-cushioned trainers, Asics offers a diverse range of running shoe models to suit different needs.

But across the board, Asics shoes are known for their structured, classic look and feel.

If you want a running shoe with proven performance and durability from a brand that’s withstood the test of time, Asics is a solid choice.

Ryka Overview

Ryka athletic shoes were founded in 1987 by Sheri Poe, who was an avid runner and fitness instructor.

Frustrated by ill-fitting men’s shoes, she launched a women’s footwear brand focused on style, support, and comfort. Ryka pioneered shoes specifically shaped for the female foot.

Ryka incorporates design elements targeted at women like narrower heels, higher arches and angled footbeds.

Their shoes also feature additional padding in the forefoot and heel areas that tend to be problematic for women. Anatomically designed insoles and heel cups provide arch support and stability.

Midsoles are often made from dual-density foam or EVA blends for responsive cushioning underfoot.

Flexible outsoles and grooved soles allow natural movement and transitions during training. Breathable mesh uppers accommodate swelling and keep feet cool. From HIIT workouts to studio sessions, Rykas span athletic needs.

While catering to athletic performance, Ryka also emphasizes fashion-conscious styles for active women. Bold colors and feminine detailing give their shoe runway appeal.

Ryka continues gaining fans for understanding women require both function and beauty in their footwear. For the woman who needs her shoes to power through kickboxing class and then lunch with the girls, Ryka fuses performance and style.

Major Differences Between These Brands

Comfort & Fit

ASICS offers exceptional comfort and support for neutral runners and mild underpronators. Their wide toe boxes leave plenty of room for natural toe splay while their molded sock liners cradle the arches.

By contrast, Ryka shoes truly shine when it comes to women’s feet specifically. They take into account physiological differences like narrower heels and higher instep volume when crafting their footbeds. This anatomical precision allows them to achieve unbeatable comfort for most women.

Durability & Performance

Both ASICS and Ryka utilize high-quality materials in their shoe construction. ASICS has a long-standing reputation for exceptional durability – many of their shoes log 500+ miles before needing replacement. Ryka doesn’t quite match ASICS legendary longevity, but users can still expect to get multiple years of reliable wear.

In terms of performance, ASICS takes the lead with shoes specifically built for athletic demands like marathon training plans. Their advanced shock absorption and bounce technologies give them the winning edge. Ryka keeps up with excellent cushioning systems, but their shoes skew more toward fashion than hardcore performance goals.


ASICS pricing sits on the higher end, usually between $120-$160 per pair. But you get what you pay for – their shoes are precision athletic machines built to withstand serious mileage. Ryka has a lower-cost entry point, with most shoes ringing up between $80-$130. Overall, Ryka offers greater value for the more budget-conscious buyer.

Design & Style

If you prefer a classic, athletic look, ASICS has you covered with their sleek silhouettes predominantly utilizing breathable mesh. They also offer lifestyle shoes in casual colors and materials for all-day wear.

Ryka’s design aesthetics skew more feminine and fashion-forward. You’ll find details like floral prints, faux fur linings, and nubuck leather mingling with athletic construction.


It’s hard to beat ASICS in terms of popularity and brand recognition. As early pioneers in athletic shoes, they’ve secured their spot as a leading global footwear manufacturer, especially among the running community.

Ryka doesn’t have that kind of international standing yet, but their growing devotee base proves their women-specific brand has tapped an eager market.

Target Market

ASICS casts a wide net appealing to male and female athletes spanning casual walkers to Olympians. Ryka consummately focuses its efforts on fashion-conscious women seeking comfort and style during fitness pursuits and daily wear. With niche specialization, Ryka manages to fill the gap left by mass-market athletic brands that fail to address women’s unique needs.

Performance Comparison


For nurses constantly on their feet, Ryka provides optimum comfort and support. Their thick yet responsive soles cushion joints and absorb shock during long hospital shifts. Lightweight athletic materials allow easy cleaning of spills too. For foot issues, ASICS Kate’s outstanding arch support gets my recommendation.


It’s hard to beat the ASICS Gel-Nimbus line’s plush cushioning for walkers seeking a cloud-like feel. Their sustained Guidance Line Midsole also encourages your foot’s natural gait cycle. For a fashion plus function women’s walking shoe, Ryka’s Sky Walking model fits the bill with cushioning and security.


Serious runners expecting high mileage will appreciate ASICS’ combination of responsiveness and stability. For those needing pronation support, check out models like the ASICS GT-2000 with expert guidance technology. Ryka can still hold its own for beginner runners on a budget – take a look at the Devotion Plus 2 delivering bounce with sparkling style.

Flat Feet

Flat feet demand well-cushioned shoes with medial arch support. ASICS Gel-Kayano models provide exceptional stability and structure to prevent overpronation. Ryka models like the Influence Cross Trainer also help secure foot overpronation with rigid heel counters and supportive frames.

Back Pain

For back pain, cushioning, and arch support helps minimize strain placed on the spine. I suggest the ASICS Gel-Cumulus for its superior combination of shock absorption and seamless transitions. Ryka Switch Cross-Trainer also utilizes a precise fit system to stabilize footing and alignment during lateral moves and multi-directional play.

Standing All Day

If you’re on your feet daily, Ryka walking shoes promote energy return and substantially cushion joints. For reliable stability standing or moving, ASICS GEL-Excite 7 secures the foot with supportive quarter panels and light stability guidance. Both handle long days with ease.

High Arches

High arches need well-cushioned shoes that still provide structure and security. For this combo, Ryka Influence Cross Trainer offers precise arch molding and adaptable lacing. ASICS GT-2000 9 also hits the mark of stabilizing stride while avoiding pressure points in the arch.


Trail shoes need grippy outsoles and supportive frames to provide stability on uneven terrain. For this, the ASICS Trail Endurant supplies top-notch traction and shock attenuation on bumpy hikes. Though Ryka doesn’t specialize hiking footwear, models like the Trail Seeker offer decent lightweight traction for beginners.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis requires flexible shoes with ample cushioning around the heels. ASICS Gel Nimbus provides incredible gel cushioning systems shielding inflammation and discomfort around the foot. Rykas Devotion Plus 2 has a low heel drop ideal for plantar fasciitis alongside breathable linings preventing irritation.

Final Verdict

While both companies craft high-quality athletic footwear, ASICS takes the lead when it comes to advanced performance technology specifically engineered for sports. Their combination of energetic bounce-back and stability gives them the winning edge for serious athletes

However, Ryka’s niche focus on women’s feet fills a notable gap left by mainstream brands like ASICS. Their anatomical precision and fashion-forward detailing make them an exceptional choice for style-conscious female athletes prioritizing natural fit and comfort.

Ultimately, it comes down to your intended uses and individual needs. If you hope to run marathons or need stability tuning for pronation issues, ASICS has the technology to support your goals.

The majority of women seeking a well-cushioned, comfortable athletic shoe fitting their unique physiology will be thrilled with Ryka’s catalog. Both brands utilize high-quality construction for shoes that will last across multiple training seasons.

For the right customer, Ryka competes with renowned athletic pioneers like ASICS while carving out their specialty niche. But ASICS still can’t be beat when aiming for records rather than recreation.

Let your priorities guide you towards the ideal pair. Both companies manufacture excellent footwear to keep you confidently moving towards your fitness dreams.

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