Hiking overseas is no joke, and it pays to be prepared. Ask the noob who optimistically went on Nepal's scenic Poon Hill trek with absolutely zero preparation. No physical training before the trip and no proper hiking shoes (No!). Yes, that noob was me, pre-covid. I was lucky enough to survive and complete the 3,210m elevation trek with just four hanging toenails and swollen limbs but, thankfully, no permanent injuries. I remember using old plastic bags to wrap my feet and stuffing them into my soaking-wet canvas shoes during the trek. But that's a story for another day.
Since that fateful Nepal trip, I told myself I needed to prepare better for my next hiking trip. So, I decided to up my physical fitness level in preparation of an upcoming hiking trip in the States. How so? Apart from my usual walks and swims, I inserted gym visits, runs and stair climbing into my workout routine. This time, I told myself I would be a responsible hiker and keep my physical form in tip-top condition. Otherwise, how would I conquer the US National Parks repeatedly seen on Nat Geo and tick that bucket list?
And so, the hunt for the right pair of shoes for my workouts began. And who better to seek advice from than a close of mine, Clara Chng, who's an avid runner? Almost a decade ago, during a 5km sports event, she was waxing lyrical about her running shoes and how her running shoes allowed her to have a lighter and more stable gait, which significantly helped in long-distance running. Of course, the brand she was referring to was none other than Asics. Fast forward nine years later, I checked with her again on her preferred choice of running shoes, and no surprise there, Asics remains her top and only choice. When we chatted, she proudly showed me her three pairs of Asics Gel-Kayano (one pair of Gel-Kayano 27 and two pairs of Gel-Kayano 28 in different colours) that she currently wears on rotation for her runs.
But why Asics and why Gel-Kayano in particular? Clara said, “Go for Asics top models; you will never go wrong. I have been wearing Asics for more than a decade. I tried other brands, but when I put on my first Asics Gel-Kayano, I never looked back. Their shoes are comfortable for my wide feet and have excellent sole support.”
Convinced, I was eager to try out the Asics running shoes. So, of course, the choice was the brand's latest Asics Gel-Kayano 29. Based on its specifications, the Asics Gel-Kayano 29 is a clear winner, especially for long-distance runs.
New features of the Asics Gel-Kayano 29
1. Approximately 10g lighter than its predecessor
2. FF Blast Plus foam cushioning adds propulsion in each step
3. Litetruss technology on the sole increases stability
4. Soft recycled knit upper for superb feet support
At first glance, the Gel-Kayano 29 looks cushiony. However, when held in my hands, the shoes feel lighter than they look. After all, they are 10g more lightweight than their predecessor. Also, when putting them on, I noticed that the shoe laces are significantly thicker than my other sports shoes and come with a good amount of elasticity. I mention this because I have tried a few shoes with thin shoelaces and have none of the feel-good factor I had when tying the laces of my Gel-Kayano 29.
The shoes felt snug when worn, and I could feel the soft knit upper hugging and supporting my feet. With every step I took, I could also feel the ultra-comfy cushioning of the sole. I was eager to see how it performed during workouts.
Let's put the Gel-Kayano 29 to the test
Of course, running shoes call out for a test run, literally. As I pounded the concrete floor towards the nearby PCN, I understood why my pal's top choice for running shoes was the Gel-Kayano. The slight arch at the toe helps to propel each leap forward—the cushioning around the knit upper and the sole injected confidence in each step I took. I was also impressed at how lightweight the shoes were, even with the padding around the entire shoe. My feet were also well-protected when they hit the tarmac.
Of course, a review is incomplete without putting the test subject through a series of trials. So the Asics Gel-Kayano 29 underwent another round of tests: the elliptical machine and also scaled 12 storeys with me.
The verdict? Superb comfort and a thumbs-up for runs. I have not tested this shoe for long runs. However, based on reviews on this model, avid runners only have praise for the Gel-Kayano 29 model, especially for long-distance runs. During my hikes around Singapore, I also spied several hikers donning the Asics Gel-Kayano. Great minds think alike! A word of caution, though: Get half or one size bigger than your usual shoe size as the Gel-Kayano 29 model tends to run a little smaller.
If your existing running shoes are looking worse for wear or you are looking to upgrade your current workout kicks, look no further than Asics. And if you are keen to form a team in a marathon, read on to find out more!
The Asics World Ekiden 2022 is back
Returning for its third year, the Asics World Ekiden challenges teams of six runners to complete a marathon with six legs of varying lengths from 5 to 10km.
What is Asics World Ekiden?
Taking its inspiration from Japanese running culture, the Asics World Ekiden Teams will pass their digital Tasuki – a narrow band of fabric – from one leg to the next, exemplifying the true spirit of Ekiden for the team to succeed. Renowned athletes, including Yuki Kawauchi, Emma Bates, Beth Potter and Koen Naert, were past participants. Whether you are a running amateur, an athlete looking to pit your results against other runners around the world, or wish to have a running event to inject greater discipline in your workouts, the Asics World Ekiden is free for everyone and open to all.
Win exclusive products from the Asics Ekiden series
Exclusively in Singapore, participants stand to win attractive prizes worth a total of up to S$1,500. During the race period, complete the race, screenshot your team results and tag @ASICSSG on Instagram to win. Based on the fastest speed and via lucky draws, two winning teams will be selected and announced on @ASICSSG after 22 November. Sign up here.
Are you looking for a trusty pair of running shoes for the Ekiden challenge? Check out these newly launched Asics running shoes below.
READ 11.11 Sales: