An excellent running shoe has a balance of cushion and energy return. Fit, comfort, and size, as well as extras like reflective strips, breathability, and flexibility, are all important and worth consideration. Check off these items for the Asics HyperGel-Kenzen.
There are Japanese Kanji symbols stamped on the removable insole and at the heels. The emblem on the left foot translate to ‘Mind.’ The symbol on the right foot translates to ‘Body.’ Together the symbols highlight the credo of Asics which is ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body.’ The words are words to work and live by.
The HyperGel Kenzen flaunts a build entirely of knit that rides on an eTPU insole. Asics is creating a casual and performance shoe in the hopes of reinvigorating the appeal to more serious runners and the brand image.
Brand new technology debuts. The interesting technology is a first for Asics. Mono-Sock Technology Fit System provides a sock-like fit. The famous DJ. Steve Aoki tested the shoes. With Aoki, Asics has launched a campaign to create an innovative design to compete with the competition offering a new shoe with improved comfort, cushioning, and endurance.
The shoes are on his feet for CrossFit workout sessions daily, and his hyperactive shows. Aoki likes the futuristic look. He wears them performing on stage, working in the studio, and the gym.
- No-lace feature
- Sock-like feel
- Design has a stain-like look
- Few color options
- Runs a half size small
The ePTU is randomly infused with Asics’ GEL cushioning that is tried-and-true. The ePTU is not a foam. It is a plastic much like Adidas Boost technology but does not feel like Boost. It is a bit more fire, a bit more stable, and a lot more impact absorbent without the energy deflection.
Adding GEL makes a midsole that is more stable and firmer than some of the competition. One-piece HyperGEL cushioning along with a Solyte midsole utilized in the shoe improve shock absorption. The midsole returns to form faster than similar footwear models. All the colors seen throughout the midsole are gel packs. It is an interesting feel on foot.
It adapts to the foot movements during running sessions. A traditional tongue is replaced with an internal elastic sleeve. A pull tab aids in comfort and putting on and taking off the shoes. A black knitted tongue pull is reinforced with some rubbery gel that helps put on the shoes more easily. A back of the shoe pull tab would have made the shoe easier to put on because there is not a lot of stretch in the collar.
A black knitted tongue pull is reinforced with some rubbery gel that helps put on the shoes more easily. A back of the shoe pull tab would have made the shoe easier to put on because there is not a lot of stretch in the collar.
The HyperGel Kenzen is meant to provide the comfort of a performance runner and a street sneaker style so that it can be worn all day long. The one-piece HyperGEL cushion promotes a comfortable ride.
The HyperGEL is positioned to provide maximum comfort. The shoes come with removable insoles that are black on the top surface and decorated with the Asics branding at the heel with corresponding Kanji letters. They are quite thick. The feet are well rested with the extra cushioning on the footbed. There is an option to remove the insoles. No time is spent tightening up the shoe.
At the back of the shoes there is a round heel enveloped in a new shiny fabric that resembles neoprene. It is generously padded by touch. There is a reflective heel patch. The heel patch is a touch that stands out. The unique style is completed with the reflective Kanji graphics. Japanese Kanji symbols complete the futuristic look.
Five colorways are available. An evaluator was not fond of the red-based color for men but liked the black. Women models provide some fresh colorways. To add more design elements several different color knits have been intertwined, and the upper is patterned with multiple thicker ribbings that give it extra texture.
In terms of appearance, both the lateral and medial side of the shoe mirror each other with the bold Asics classical material on the midfoot and ankle area. On top of the shoes is the tongueless design for a unified surface.
Runners like the reflective heel when running at night. Lots of brands claim to offer a sock-like fit. The premium knit material used in the HyperGEL Kenzen upper truly hugs the foot comfortably like a go-to pair of socks.
It creates reduced friction and an unbeatable feel whether lounging around or pushing the pace. Asics continued to use their signature GEL technology that provides an enhanced effect that reduces the impact on the surface while conserving energy.
Understanding the pronation type helps runners find a comfortable pair of running shoes. The Asics HyperGEL-Kenzen works for those with under to neutral pronation. Under-pronation is also known as supination.
There is an increased angle when the heel makes contact with the ground with no or little normal pronation. A significant shock transmission through the lower leg is the result. Pushing off causes pressure on the small toes on the outside of the foot. People with high arches tend to have this problem.
When the foot is landing on the outside of the heel and rolling inward (known as pronating) to support body weight and absorb shock, the pronation is neutral. Even distribution when pushing off occurs starting at the front of the feet. People with normal size arches tend to have neutral pronation.
One who tends to overpronate, meaning having a flatter arch that puts pressure on the big toe, needs a stability shoe. If the runner is an under-pronator or has a neutral stance, a neutral shoe is required. The Asics HyperGel-Kenzen leans toward the neutral side.
The soft textile feels very plush to the touch as the lining is padded very extensively. It protects the ankle and Achilles by bracing them against a soft insole during impact. One evaluator wore the shoes only for casual wear.
Even though the GEL technology enhances with the cushioning feel, the ePTU overflows the cushioning for more stability and endurance with a sturdy compound. In his opinion, it might be better as a running shoe offering some quick rebound with some softness.
Although the cushioning is not extremely responsive for walking, it still provides excellent impact protection against the surface and is protective lightweight strides. Those who want bouncier insoles will want to look elsewhere.
* HyperGel technology
* Mono-Sock Technology Fit System
* One-piece midsole
* Reflective Kanji graphics
* Rubber sole
For decades no manufacturer was able to nail a shoe that can be used for everything. In this latest model, Asics has used the expertise from both style and performance and combined it into a game-changing shoe.
Asics took the best running technology, GEL, and took it to HyperGel. The runner can run ten miles and go to the gym in the shoes. The midsole the shoe rides on is a bold step for Asics. Previous models used two GEL cushioning units.
GEL beads are randomly dispersed in the eTPU HyperGel midsole to create a unique one-piece unit. The technology is likely to be used in future products. The heels are finished with Japanese Kanji symbols in black patches. The right shoe translates ‘body’ and the left ‘mind.’