Asics HyperGel-Kenzen

8.4
8.4 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.4)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Asics HyperGel-Kenzen Review Facts

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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Cushioning
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • No-lace feature
  • Sock-like feel
  • Supportive
Cons
  • Design has a stain-like look
  • Few color options
  • Runs a half size small
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole utilizes high abrasion rubber. It has a gripping quality that works on a range of surfaces. The outsole helps runners to keep going for miles. By touch, the outer cushioning feels like styrofoam with a soft but firm structure. It has a comprehensive but sturdy retraction. Near the heel is a rubbery GEL branding that shows off the technology. There is Asics branding on the outsole.
Midsole

Midsole

The shoe has an integrated Solyte midsole. The full-length midsole is incorporated with HyperGel beads that are distributed randomly into the cushioning which makes every pair of Asics HyperGel Kenzen structurally different. It provides a durable, high level of cushioning for the underfoot.

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.
Upper

Upper

The knit upper material wraps the foot comfortably. The upper is made of a circular, seamless knit that aims to provide a snug fit. The premium knit upper has a sock-like fit that provides comfort and reduces friction. The knit upper incorporated into the Asics HyperGel Kenzen delivers comfort and sleekness to the 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.
Weight

Weight

The new premium sock-like fit runs slightly shorter than other running shoes. It is recommended to buy a half size large. The shoe has a medium fit from the forefoot to the heel. The Asics HyperGel Kenzen offers the shoe in medium B widths for women and medium D for men. The material is created like a sleeve with a one-piece seamless upper. The premium construction offers lightweight comfort for a frictionless ride.
Breathability

Breathability

The innovative design of the HyperGel Kenzen integrates HyperGEL technology with HyperGEL beads that are integrated into the midsole and breathability detail. The upper doesn’t feel like thinnest material used in running shoes but does the job airing out the shoe with its unique and flexible design.
Comfort

Comfort

HyperGEL technology beads enhance cushioning and rebound while reducing impact. Each HyperGEL shoe is unique. They provide enhanced cushioning that preserves energy and reduces impact. The result is improved endurance and comfort.

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.
Style

Style

The Asics HyperGEL offers a style boost. The knit upper is a premium look. The super stretchy knit having a laceless enclosure looks sleek in most colors. The slip-on construction makes for easy on and off.

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.
Durability

Durability

High abrasion rubber provides additional strength and traction. The material used focuses on withstanding long and short distance activities without affecting the runner’s performance. The midsole is allowed to return to its original shape faster than many other cushions. It has plenty of impact absorption. It does not have the energy deflection that lessens stability. The outsole is basic, but evaluators say it is durable.
Protection

Protection

The purpose of shock absorption is primarily to dissipate the amount of energy entering the body. As a result, the runner experiences a hassle-free and more comfortable ride. Impact absorption is the primary focus of the cushion that can be felt when the runner breaks in the shoe a bit.

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.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

If looking for responsive comfort for walking, the shoes offer a well-balanced ride. A combination of Asic’s signature GEL cushioning and eTPU gives the shoe a feeling that is responsive yet cushioned. The signature GEL system was the gold standard for responsiveness and cushioning for years. The company found a way to create an even better HyperGEL.The cushioning contains ePTU that provides seemingly endless springiness and bounce while giving the foot plush comfort.
Support

Support

The dual-density cushioning and HyperGEL midsole blend together for the ideal combination of support and comfort. The natural movement of the body includes pronation. It refers to how the foot rolls inward for distribution of impact when landing.

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.
Terrain

Terrain

The HyperGel Kenzen is a lifestyle model. It is a lifestyle model that has some performance features. One tester says, worn daily, the wearer is good to go but may be disappointed if expecting a crazy durable runner.
Price

Price

As for price, the MSRP is $130. The shoes can be purchased at a lower price from many retailers. Amazon offers them for $69.95.
Traction

Traction

The one-piece rubber outsole provides traction on all surfaces. It is a full-length protective orange rubber. The shoes are designed with unique treads and tile patternings for extra grip on the surface to increase the traction. It fits much like a glove holding the feet in place on the footbed with a securing grip.
Flexibility

Flexibility

By touch, the knit at the forefront and toe box is very elastic and stretchy. It can be expected from the textile-like knit fabric.
Stability

Stability

Completing the heel region a structured plastic heel counter has been added for stability while wearing the shoes. Inside the shoes, the inner lining around the collar area is made with more of the same smooth neoprene found in the heel.

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.
Drop

Drop

The heel height is 17mm, and the forefoot height is 9mm.
Key Features

Key Features

* Circular knit upper
* HyperGel technology
* Mono-Sock Technology Fit System
* One-piece midsole
* Reflective Kanji graphics
* Rubber sole
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The majority of consumers that purchase the Asics HyperGel Kenzen admire the sock-like feel and comfort it provides. The company is known for stylish casual sneakers and cutting edge performance shoes.

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.’