Asics spent an estimated $3 million and eight years developing the ’07 Gel Kinsei I. Arguably the most technically advanced running shoe at the time, (And that’s saying something–think Nike Air Max 360, Saucony ProGrid Triumph, and adidas 1.1_runner.) the first incarnation of the Kinsei was a literal representation of its namesake, a golden star in running shoe form. (For the culturally unseasoned, Kinsei is Japanese for gold star!) Last summer, Asics rocked the world with the second version from the high-profile line, the aptly named Kinsei II, claiming it packed even more punch than the GK1! Follow along as we examine the Asics Gel Kinsei II…
Image via Bald Runner.
Like all great shoes, the Kinsei II is a well-rounded affair that’s magnificently crafted throughout. Nary a stitch is out of place, and every interface and material serves a common purpose: to make the Kinsei Deux the greatest running shoe of the contemporary era. Underfoot, the jogger is augmented by I.G.S., (Impact Guidance System) a resourceful technology that links the Kinsei II’s midfoot tooling and componentry to impart a more biomechanically efficient response during your footstrike. Essentially, I.G.S. provides a stupendously smooth ride that’s sure to keep your dogs happy, no matter the place or pace of your hotfooted escapade.
The Kinsei II is reared in the brand’s Discreet Heel Unit, a series of independently attached shock absorbers that dynamically adapt to your foot. The model’s outsole is decoupled, (meaning that it is split into several parts) further improving the transition under the hood. Comfort is provided by way of a Solyte midsole and Gel cushioning. Solyte is Asics’ embodiment of a lighter and more durable EVA midsole foam, and Gel has been the company’s go-to cushioning select since its inception in the 1990’s.
Up top, the Kinsei is a tasteful blend of Spacemaster Mesh, Bimorphic Fit Panels, and Cuprothermo. Spashes of Spacemaster are found along the toebox, middle panel, and tongue to provide incomparable ventilation for those warm-‘n-wet summer runs. Cuprothermo mesh lines the inner of the shoe, creating an efficient thermal environment inside the KII that effectively dissipates all moisture build-up. The Fit Panels reside along the forefoot and allow for a seamless, more accommodating fit as your foot patters along. And if that isn’t enough, the model’s laces are offset to conform the bony “architecture” on top of your foot.
Due to the Kinsei II’s technologically advanced nature, the shoe should please anyone from the lightest jogger to the heftiest marathoner. Gait wise, the KII suits anyone but heavy underpronaters and severe overpronaters. But because you’re so finely attuned to your running shoe, it’s important that you try a pair(s) on at your local specialty running shop. (They’ll assess your gait cycle and help you find a shoe that fits well and should satisfy your workout plan.) The Asics Gel Kinsei II hits at a price of about $180; consider that to be an investment in comfort and quality, both of which aren’t usually present in $275 retro packages. For more, please visit Asics.com.
Shoe: Asics Gel Kinsei II
Suggested U.S. Retail: $180
Sizes: 6-13, 14, 15, 16
Style Number: TN749