The ASICS Gel Nimbus is a running shoe made for distance. It’s a fantastic, high-quality series for expert and amateur runners alike.
It focuses on performance, while stability remains neutral. And, it’s excellent at preventing certain foot ailments, like Achilles tendonitis.
With 22 iterations so far, we’ll dive into everything there is to know about the 2020 ASICS Nimbus shoes.
What Are ASICS Gel Nimbus?
The Gel Nimbus ASICS are neutral running shoes. They’re designed to tackle all areas of running at once since they:
- Aid stability
- Improve your form.
- Provide adequate cushioning.
- Feature a responsive stride.
- Ensure proper support when running.
Rather than targeting stability or being the most comfortable shoe, they’re for the runner who wants it all.
This is what’s known as a neutral running shoe.
Another type of running shoe you may have heard of is a stability shoe. The Nimbus doesn’t work for this, but the Gel Kayano—which we’ll touch on later—will.
Which ASICS Gel Nimbus Is the Best?
With so many gel ASICS Nimbus shoes out now, it’s difficult to say which is the best. However, with each new release, the footwear improves.
For example, here are some of the improvements that came with each new release in the line:
- ASICS Nimbus 17 was much softer than the Nimbus 16.
- With the Nimbus 18, the FluidFit overlays were more widespread than on the 17.
- The ASICS Nimbus Gel 19 was the first pair to feature gender-specific cushioning.
- ASICS’ 20th iteration was more breathable than the 19th.
- The Gel Nimbus 21 was even more breathable than the 20—do you sense a theme here?
Without going back in time to single digits, let’s look at a more in-depth and comprehensive comparison of the most recent releases:
Gel Nimbus 21 vs. 22
With the 22 as the 2020 ASICS and the 21 release in 2019, there isn’t a drastic change between the two models.
Here’s an overview of some elements in the shoe that have changed:
- Upper: Breathability is further enhanced in the 22, by softer material.
- Outsole: The outsole’s flexibility grooves are deeper and higher in quantity.
- Midsole: Further cushioning alterations added.
- Insole: More gel added, in a new shape.
- Fit: Customers reported that the shoes feel more comfortable underfoot.
The classic lacing system and spacious nature of the shoes remain unchanged.
The upper was already made of mesh and increased in effectiveness with every new release. In the 22, the softer material makes the breathability better again.
Breathability is vital in any shoe, especially athletic ones. It’s an excellent element to constantly improve, as ASICS has done with this line.
With 26 bones and 30 joints in each foot, it’s important the feet aren’t restricted and that your shoes are flexible.
But it’s easy to run into problems here. You need thick soles to absorb the shock of your feet pounding the ground.
As a compromise, the Gel Nimbus line features grooves in the sole. They’re a break from the tougher material, working as areas for the shoe to bend.
The Gel Nimbus 21 had:
- 5x complete grooves.
- 4x partial grooves.
- A flexible side area.
But, the 22 upgraded this to seven full grooves, and one almost full one. They’re also shaped differently to allow more natural movements in your gait.
Apart from the gel, the cushioning used in the Nimbus line is FlyteFoam. In particular, the 22 shoes feature 2 millimeters more.
This may not seem like much, but such subtle differences go a long way.
At first, you’ll feel more comfortable when first wearing shoes. Also, as your feet settle into the foam, there’s more to mold around your feet.
The more foam around and under your soles, the longer the shoes remain comfortable. With less, it flattens and loses shape faster.
Lastly, ASICS has changed up the foam layers. One of the forms of FlyteFoam used, the FlyteFoam Propel, is now the lowest layer of foam.
ASICS doesn’t specify the change this makes. But the FlyteFoam Propel is the most shock-absorbing and responsive, bouncy material in the footwear. Having it closer to the ground may help it take shock better and give more spring in return.
Overall, you get a smarter shoe with a softer midsole and insole.
Aiding the FlyteFoam Propel is the namesake gel. You’ll find this in the heel to add cushioning to every blow.
The gel is in the entire heel, but ASICS has changed the shape in the 22. This change makes the gel more effective, and customers have reported that they’ve felt the difference.
Now you know what’s different, we can get into the specifics of the new 2020 ASICS Gel Nimbus offering.
- Weight: 310g for men, 255g for women.
- Drop: 10mm for men, 13mm for women.
- Stack height (heel/forefoot): 25mm/15mm for men, 27mm/14mm for women.
- Shoe type: Neutral running shoe.
Something to note about these specs is the increased drop for women. This is an intuitive inclusion for the 2020 ASICS Nimbus and Kayano ranges.
The increased drop is to relieve stress on women’s Achilles tendons. Perhaps the research suggested women’s’ feet are more sensitive, but truthfully, anyone would benefit from this increased drop.
Reducing stress on the Achilles tendon is a fantastic idea—it may reduce the risk of Achilles tendinitis and other painful conditions.
If you’re a man suffering from the above affliction, consider the women’s version of the shoes. Or, if you suffer from overpronation, check out our ASICS Gel Kayano.
For men considering the female version of the shoe, check out our men’s to women’s shoe sizing chart to ensure the right fit.
The Gel Nimbus 22 shoes feature a range of stunning designs in a range of colors. They look spectacular with their various hues across the meshy upper and sole.
Each shoe features the classic ASICS logo, in a color contrasting the shoe’s main hue or in one that blends in. If you want to hide it, choose the black version. To show it off, choose white shoes, where the logo is luminous.
There’s definitely a design for everyone, though, from bright and bold to sleek and subtle.
Each color option looks wonderful on the simple, efficient design of the shoe. The pigment speaks for itself, as the actual sneaker has no frills, lumps, bumps or dents. They’re simple, focused on high-performance rather than looking flashy.
The upper’s design is for prioritizing breathability. The mesh is visibly airy, especially in some colors. If you look close enough, you can even see the gaps between the fibers that let the air escape.
This is vital in running shoes.
It keeps odor away and lets your feet stay dry, keeping your shoes and socks fresh for longer.
Of course, you’ll still need to air them out. But, your feet won’t slip around inside the shoe as you run, nor will they require a deep clean after every use.
However, the mesh disappears once at the heel, adding further stability. In its place, there’s a large heel counter to hold and lock your heel. This security ensures proper foot placement.
The 22s feature an EVA foam sockliner that molds to your feet.
There’s more of an emphasis on marketing it with the 21, but it’s a remaining feature in the 22, which many people may not realize.
Having the foam mold to your feet is excellent to ensure long-lasting comfort. Some foam will come up around the sides of your feet, holding them in securely and reliably. Yet, there’s still enough cushioning and gel underfoot to ensure support with hard-ground contact.
The Gel Nimbus 22 features a rocker bottom sole. This means it’s thicker in the heel, and the toes’ tip is the thinnest part.
When you walk, your heel takes the force, and you push off at the toes. The thicker heel ensures more padding where you need it.
Plus, the sloped sole gives you a bouncier step, motivating you on your run.
Aside from the shape, the sole’s bottom is optimal, too. It has adequate traction made by a simple but effective tread pattern.
The tread pattern hides in plain sight around the ample flex grooves, which take up most of the sole.
Each flex groove is less of a groove but more an entire segment around the arch. It juts in more than halfway at the foot’s midpoint, allowing great flexibility if you need it.
OrthoLite Collar Sponge
The 22 shoes have padding around the tongue and collar, of course, but it’s no ordinary padding—it’s OrthoLite sponge.
OrthoLite sponge is there to cushion your ankle and the back of your heel as they move in the shoes.
Having this cushioning keeps blisters and chafing at bay, ensuring comfort throughout. And, as there’s no pressure on the padding in this area; it’s one aspect of the shoes that will never flatten or stop functioning.
Some foams will eventually wear down and flatten, making OrthoLite sponge ahead of the game.
Although the arch is flexible, the Trusstic technology provides excellent support. The tech’s design is to reduce the load on your feet while supporting the arch.
However, a downside about this Trusstic system is that it’s for neutral arches only. For high or low arches, you’ll need insoles to get the proper support.
Having said this, some customers have mentioned that the shoes supported their high arches, so keep in mind that this pair might not suit you others but not you.
Due to the snug fit, it’s unlikely that insoles or custom orthotics will fit in the shoes if you still want to grab a pair. You could always go a size too big to accommodate these.
If sizing up makes the shoes too big, we have tips on how to wear shoes that are too big. We recommend thick socks or stuffing to accompany the insoles.
The Gel Nimbus 22 running shoes have an excellent fit. ASICS went all out to ensure the breathable mesh stretches to the shape of your foot.
In particular, with a comfortable indent in the FlyteFoam and mesh that stretches back and forth with each use, you’re covered in the fit department.
The only thing that could be better is the use of memory foam in the shoes. But, until then, these shoes are one of the best on the market for comfort.
- Fantastic flexibility, proven by the flex grooves.
- Glove-like fit so you can wiggle your toes freely.
- Rocker bottom for motivation and comfort.
- Large amounts of gel and FlyteFoam to keep you supported and comfortable.
- Mesh uppers for the best breathability so far.
- Sturdy heel counter.
- High volume of color and design options.
- No support for flat feet.
- Questionable support for high arches.
- The drop relieves stress on the Achilles tendon in the women’s shoes, but not the men’s.
Gel Nimbus 21: What’s Missing From the 22
The Gel Nimbus 22 is very new and may not be for you. Instead, you may prefer one that’s tried, trusted and that’s been around longer.
As you’ve read above, the 22s feature some small improvements on the 21s. But, the 21s are still incredible shoes for any runner. They feature the same FlyteFoam, only 2mm less of it. The other features are almost identical, apart from one you may prefer in the Gel Nimbus 21: the Pebax Trusstic System.
Pebax Trusstic System
Although the 22s feature an excellent Trusstic system for supporting your arch and preventing foot ailments, it’s not Pebax.
The Pebax Trusstic system is there to provide light stability. This is something the 22 release does with the changed gel shape instead of the Pebax.
Pebax also tries to improve strength in the midfoot. This can keep you running comfortably for longer, therefore increasing your stamina.
If you want shoes that will increase your stamina, go for the Gel Nimbus 21 over the 22. The 22 Nimbus isn’t bad, but its expertise lies in other areas. Mainly in the fit, comfort, breathability and gel shape.
What Is the Difference Between ASICS Gel Nimbus and Gel Kayano?
The Gel Kayano shares a few characteristics with the Gel Nimbus. They’re both running shoes and utilize similar technology.
But, there’s one key difference between them: the Gel Nimbus are neutral running shoes, whereas the Gel Kayano are stability shoes.
If you have pronation issues, steer clear of the Nimbus line. It’ll do nothing to help you. Instead, opt for the Kayano. Its Trusstic system is specially designed to keep your gait healthy and neutral.
Are ASICS Gel Nimbus Good for Plantar Fasciitis?
Despite not being good for pronation, the Gel Nimbus is good for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a nasty condition. It’s where the tissue along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. The pain radiates in your heel, making it agony to run or even walk.
You may develop plantar fasciitis due to inadequate support when you’re walking or running. With the Gel Nimbus, this is a worry you can leave in the past.
With the specially shaped gel under your heel, you have optimum support. There’s also gel at the shoes’ forefront, ensuring comfort there, too.
On top of this, the Trusstic system in the middle keeps your neutral arch healthy. As a result, it helps keep the vicious ailment at bay.
What About Achilles Tendonitis?
Another horrifying pain point you may encounter is Achilles tendonitis, which is also caused by strain on the Achilles.
Despite the Gel Nimbus women’s version designed to reduce stress in the area, some common causes can still occur:
- Badly fitting shoes.
- Not warming up before a workout.
- Sudden, intense training that your body isn’t used to.
- Straining the muscles in the calf.
- Overuse of the Achilles tendon.
Luckily, one way to heal Achilles tendonitis is by resting your leg—reducing the stress placed on the Achilles tendon.
Nobody expects you to stop walking, but you can help yourself by switching up your shoes to something like the Gel Nimbus range. The 21s are particularly adept at supporting you and reducing stress.
Wearing stress-reducing shoes will also prevent overuse of the muscle, preventing Achilles tendonitis altogether.
Tips to Prevent Achilles Tendonitis
- Always wear shoes that fit—as per our shoe sizing and fitting guide.
- Warm-up before even gentle workouts.
- Build up to new running distances gradually.
- Rest your feet regularly.
- Stretch before and after running.
- Break shoes in before running long-distance in them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which ASICS Have the Most Gel?
ASICS increases the amount of gel, or alters its shape, with each new release. Therefore, the 2020 ASICS releases have the most, or best-placed, gel out of any ASICS footwear.
Which ASICS Has the Most Support?
The most supportive ASICS shoes are the 2020 ASICS Kayano release. They’re stability shoes made to prevent pronation. They also feature an updated Trusstic system to provide gender-specific support. The 2020 ASICS Nimbus also has this feature.
Do ASICS Have Good Arch Support?
ASICS have excellent arch support thanks to their Trusstic system. Most of its shoes are for neutral (medium) arches. However, some customers report that ASICSshoes are great for high arches, too.
Which Is Better ASICS Nimbus or Cumulus?
Users report that the Nimbus stay soft for the longest among of time. That makes them better for long-distance running or for runners who carry more weight. Customers describe the Cumulus as getting harder throughout use. Thus, they’re better for short-distance running.
How Long Do Asics Shoes Last?
Asics states that you should get new running shoes after 750–1,000 kilometers of running. For casual/rare runners, your shoes could last you all year. For serious and marathon runners, you’re looking at replacing your shoes two or three times annually.
ASICS likes to cover all bases when it comes to running shoes. This is evident by the existence of so many different lines, with specialties of their own.
The Nimbus line is no different where its specialty is for performance overcorrection.
Gel Nimbus shoes will support you, let your feet breathe and keep the bounce in your step as you run. They work for new runners and seasoned athletes over short and long distances.
The 22 are the clear winner of the range, but the 21 are still fantastic shoes anyone could benefit from. Really, it’s up to personal preference.
Why not send this guide over to your fanatic running friends? If you have any comments, drop them below, and we’ll get back to you.