When a runner lists off multiple editions of a shoe in conversation and tells you why they preferred one more than another, you know that shoe has been around for a while and it has a loyal following. The Gel-Nimbus is one of ASICS’ core models and is worn by thousands of runners around the world. You would just have to look about in the starting pen of a marathon to see this in action. Runners trust the Gel-Nimbus because it delivers reliable performance in the form of great cushioning, support and durability. As the faith in this iconic model is usually rewarded, many runners upgrade their overworked companions with the latest edition. Of course, it’s natural there’s some underlying trepidation when a new model is released because of the uncertainty about how it will feel and work for those who have become attached to it.
While existing fans want to be able to seamlessly transition into the new model, the Gel-Nimbus reached a point where change was required. Other models in this category have progressed with new materials that deliver an exciting underfoot experience. It’s fair to say that the popular ASICS model was getting a little bit left behind. The launch of Flytefoam Blast in the Novablast added more fuel to the fire as runners couldn’t believe how good the new bouncy foam felt. ASICS have responded and upgraded the new Gel-Nimbus 24 with some significant updates that drastically improve the performance. It’s lighter, bouncier and more cushioned, but still provides the service that so many runners have become accustomed to.
As mentioned above, lots of runners love the Novablast because of its bouncy Flytefoam Blast cushioning. Taking learnings from this, ASICS have upgraded the Gel-Nimbus 24 with Flytefoam Blast+. The new foam is 15% lighter, 15% softer and 12% bouncier than FF Blast - meaning it will offer greater levels of energy return and more cushioning than before. A small amount of Flytefoam is positioned above the new cushioning and ASICS’ trademark GEL cushioning sits sandwiched between the two foams. The visible GEL in the heel area adds additional padding and helps slow down the speed of movement at landing. Internal GEL in the forefoot creates another dimension of cushioning and further increases the underfoot protection.
While the Gel-Nimbus is a neutral shoe, it offers a very good level of support. This is largely down to a Trusstic System in the midfoot area that creates torsional stability. To improve the underfoot feel, ASICS’ Institute of Sports Science in Japan looked at how they could redesign this structure that normally sits on the bottom of the midsole. The structure has now been put inside the foam and reduced in volume to deliver the same level of midfoot support, but with a smoother underfoot feel. A new outsole rubber called ASICS Lite has been added to the bottom of the shoe as it’s 15-20% lighter than the previous rubber but equally as durable.
The Nimbus is known for comfort, so the upper has been upgraded to a new mesh that focuses on improving that sensation. A new full-knit gusseted tongue wraps around the foot to provide a more luxurious feel. Lots of ASICS’ wear testers reported this was particularly comfortable.
- Weight: Men’s 290g and women’s 247g
- Drop: Men’s 10mm and women’s 13mm. ASICS increase the drop of the women’s midsole to help reduce the stress placed on the Achilles tendon.
How will the Gel-Nimbus 24 improve your run?
Hopefully it’s clear that the Gel-Nimbus offers a very high level of cushioning. If you’re looking for a running shoe that takes maximum stress off your muscles, then this is a great option. Not only will it provide lots of cushioning, the supportive design will help you through longer runs or days when you’re feeling a bit tired. For runners who are training for half marathons and marathons, this ticks a lot of boxes for overcoming the demands of that training. It’s also extremely durable so you’re likely to get more miles out of them in comparison to lesser cushioned or lightweight models.
While it’s optimised for protection, a big part of upgrading the cushioning was to increase the versatility of the new Nimbus. The old model did not feel good if you wanted to pick up the pace. A major benefit of the reformulated midsole is that it will feel springier and better at faster paces. It’s definitely not designed to maximise performance on intervals, but will perform across a wider spectrum of paces.
The Gel-Nimbus comes with a higher price tag, a result of the meticulous work that has gone into creating it and the leading-edge materials featured. If you’re looking for the ultimate in cushioning and performance, the 24th edition will not disappoint.
Gel-Nimbus 24 alternatives
Even though the new Gel-Nimbus 24 is much lighter, if you feel like you would prefer an even lighter feel but with lots of protection - the Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 could be the better choice. The men’s is 35g and the women’s is 23g lighter than the more supportive option. There’s always pros and cons with both, it’s not possible to have everything in a running shoe but you can choose the one which best meets your needs.
If you’re looking for more support, the Gel-Kayano 28 is effectively the sister shoe to the Gel-Nimbus 24 and offers the ultimate in cushioning and protection in the stability category.