Asics Gel Kinsei 4 Review
The Gel Kinsei line is where Asics implement all of their new technologies in order to create shoes packed with innovation. The Asics Gel Kinsei 4 has built on the success of the advanced Kinsei 3 by including many top end features that were present in the old model, but the reoccurring theme for the new model is that Asics have found ways to reduce the weight whilst improving the performance and fit of the shoe.
By replacing the multiple layered upper section of the Kinsei 3 with a mesh construction, the shoe not only manages to shed weight, but the upper section is also much more flexible. Flexibility is important in the upper as any sticking points or stiffness can compromise shoe movement and result in discomfort and rubbing during running.
The toecap has also been modified so that it is constructed out of only two layers instead of multiple overlapping synthetics. There is now also more room in the toe area of the Asics Kinsei 4 shoe, which makes for a less constricted ride, whilst the flexible upper section ensures that a good fit is maintained at all stages of the gait cycle.
By making the shoe lighter Asics have run the risk that the new Kinsei 4 may lack the integrity and protection of a heavier duty shoe. This is not the case as the weight reduction has mainly been made in the upper section of the shoe where protection is not an issue. However, If we look towards the sole of the shoe then we can also see some modifications. The midsole of the shoe is now lower, inviting more weight savings and also again improving the flexibility of the shoe. When we combine this with the new modular pod track on the sole of the shoe it is evident that the shoe has been made to flex as much as possible.
Too much flex can be a bad thing as the shoe can deform around your foot and over the course of a long run your changing gait may invite more injuries when running in the Kinsei 4 than other shoes. Again, this is not the case. Asics have implemented a number of technologies into the Kinsei 4 which mean that the shoe offers as much protection as any other high end running shoe. Gel cushioning is an obvious must in such a high-end shoe, and Asics have also included their impact dampening Impact Guidance System into the heel to ensure that you are given a high degree of protection against the impact caused by heel striking when running.
Asics have also installed their Guidance Line technology into the Kinsei 4. This vertical flex groove that you can see on the bottom of the shoe acts as a channel for your foot to follow from heel to toe off and acts to enhance your natural running gait so you are moving as efficiently as possible whilst running.
The shoe is also packed with technology that we have grown accustomed to seeing in high end Asics shoes. A memory foam heel cup makes for a personal fit, whilst a new material called Cuprothermo has been installed around the foot which acts as an all year round climate control centre for your foot.
All in all the New Kinsei 4 has many of the features of the Kinsei 3, with the addition of a few new weight saving and flexibility enhancing technologies that make it one of the highest performing running shoes for runners of most gaits. I should be getting my hands on a pair of these within the next two weeks so will post a more in-depth review then.