ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 – Ultimate Comfort?
ASICS latest iteration of the GEL-NIMBUS series has a lot of hype to live up to with the brand calling it the most comfortable running shoe on the market, but is it? Sarah and James run you through their experiences with the shoe, its big claims and how ASICS are pushing the boundaries of what running shoes look like. But first here are the “lacing up stats”:
Stack Height: 41.5mm
Best For: Long Runs, Recovery Runs
ASICS have had a bit of a reputation for making boring and uninspiring shoes but with the release of shoes like the Metaspeed, Superblast and the popular Novablast line it feels like they have shed that persona in the past few years. The GEL-NIMBUS 25 highlights this change as it doesn’t look like any other shoe on the market and nothing like the 24 previous iterations of the shoe that came before it.
With all the updates to this shoe it’s easier to say what hasn’t changed and really, it is only the name that has stayed the same. The outer features all new rubber; the midsole features FF Blast+ Eco foam replacing the Flytefoam mix from before; there’s an increased stack height; the gel that gives the shoe its name is now hidden in the heel and the upper is now knit rather than a mesh. So from top to bottom this shoe has been completely changed, but is it for the better? We will let our presenters explain.
Sarah: The Nimbus 25s feel extra cushioned from the moment you put them on, they kind of hug around your foot so sizing is something to watch out for as there’s a lot of real estate on the inside of the shoe so you may find you need to go half a size up, but if you do your foot is rewarded with a warm hug. They look quite chunky but feel super light on your feet and walking around in them you feel like you’re stepping on a soft bouncy trampoline.
In my first few runs in the shoes I took them up to interval/5k speeds and they coped well with going fast, but also felt at home at my recovery pace as well. It’s nice to have a shoe that you don’t want to take off straight away.
A lot of the upper is made out of stretchy material, so finding a snug fit is easy but they’re not the quickest to take off, although a benefit is that it forces you to undo your laces (keeping laces done up is a bad habit that I’m trying to break!)
I’d happily keep this shoe in rotation for easy miles and comfortable running. If you want something that can cope with a social parkrun but also walk round the park for hours afterwards then this is the shoe. Plus, every single colourway of these shoes is beautiful – can I buy them all?
James: When I read that there was a new Nimbus coming out I can admit I wasn’t even a tiny bit excited, but that was until I saw it. I think if you look up comfort in the dictionary you may well find a picture of this shoe.. But I was worried that with all the hype it wouldn’t live up to expectations.
The research out of the Biomechanics Lab in South Australia put them up against only three other shoes out there to come out on top but with no info on what shoes they were. So I was sceptical but slipping on the shoe for the first time, thanks to the sock-like feel of the upper and the huge heel loop, I was blown away. I have tried and tested a lot of shoes over the years so I am not usually surprised but I’m not sure I’ve felt a more comfortable shoe straight out of the box before.
But what do they feel like to run in? Comfort usually comes at the cost of speed and this shoe is no exception as I struggled to pick up the pace when I wanted to during any of my runs. However, this shoe is not billed as fast, it is billed as comfortable. It won’t be your race day or speed session shoe but for those long runs it is the shoe to beat. It eats up miles mainly thanks to the new placement of their gel but crucially because of the foam.
Hearing the word eco in a foam usually sounds alarm bells for me, the recycled ZoomX foam being the key example. The environmental ‘benefits’ often result in a shoe that features compromised foam that is slow, unresponsive and generally a bit useless. The FF Blast Plus Eco foam is a cracking exception and while it doesn’t necessarily feel like its un-eco alternative, it fits really well in the comfort ecosystem of this shoe.
I’ve worn them to run all my long runs since I got my hands on them, not because I was reviewing them but because I kept wanting to run in them. With this and the other shoes that ASICS have brought out in the last twelve months, I am excited to see what they bring out next…