The Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 is continuing to build on the success of this long running to to shoe for many. In fact, the 25 was voted most comfortable shoe in one test! Let’s see if the updates to the cushion, sole and upper keep this one on that list.
That’s right, a comfort test by The Biomechanics Lab, South Australia, October 2022, pitted the Nimbus against competitor shoes and it was voted most comfortable!! Having now tested both the Novablast 4 and the Gel-Nimbus 26, personally I’m going with the Novablast. You can see that comparison later in the article.
But again that’s why we have so many models of running shoes, there’s something different that we all love.
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 isn’t a massive update from the 25, so if you liked the fit and feel you are probably going to be pretty happy.
As you know I’m always honest in my running shoe reviews with what I like, dislike and what might work for you that wasn’t a fit for me!
I’ve done a few runs in the new Nimbus, and provided it to Coach Stacey Gross, on my team, to get in some additional miles to balance my opinions.
There isn’t a single ideal running shoe that suits every runner, so I’d like to share my discoveries. However, I strongly recommend visiting a running store and trying them on yourself! Take a run around the shop and gauge your thoughts.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 Overview
For me this shoe feels like moderate cushion with a bit of stability…though it’s not a stability shoe, so I think that’s just because it’s firmer than others. And yet with that firmness, I’m also not finding that “pop” or spring off the ground that we often talk about in a speed shoe.
That firmer midsole was actually one of the few big changes from from Nimbus 25, so it was entirely intentional. I believe the goal is to create a snappier shoe for daily running and speed, but it just doesn’t quite get there for me.
I’d say this is going to stay firmly in the realm of a solid daily trainer.
As with every brand they are finding ways to increase cushion without increasing the weight of the shoe. Here they added to the rearfoot “PureGEL™ technology, a material that is lighter and 65% softer than conventional GEL™ technology, providing even softer landings.”
The midsole is FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning, made from 24% bio-based materials to keep moving toward a goal of sustainability. I love that they are putting a carbon footprint number inside the shoe too. This is great focus to see among the brands.
But more importantly this is their proprietary foam (like each brand) that is softer with less weight. Coach Stacey noted that the PureGEL in the shoe kept my steps lighter and made the transitions between inclines and flat road feel smooth.
One great update to this version is the grippier outsole thanks to Ahar+ rubber. Not everyone will notice this so much, but if you run in the rain or do any road to gravel path, it’s a nice switch.
Gel-Nimbus 26 Specifications
- Heel toe drop: 8mm
- Weight: 9.2 oz women’s, 10.7 oz men’s
- Style: Moderate cushioned, neutral shoe
- Usage: Daily trainer (not a speed shoe)
- Available in four colors
- Available at Asics.com and Zappos $160
It’s listed as a Max cushion, but I just can’t call it that in comparing the feel to other shoes, including those in the Asics line up. It’s absolutely, 100% a cushioned shoe…it’s just not as cushy as other models.
Does that make sense?!
For me the feel is sitting somewhere between the Saucony Triumph and the Nike Vomero. It’s not as soft as anything I listed in the best cushioned running shoes. Maybe closer to a Brooks Ghost.
Gel-Nimbus 26 Fit
In general, Asics running shoes are a pretty standard width. However, Coach Stacey Gross noticed in her testing that the shoe seemed to run small. I ran in a size 11 and would recommend going up a half size. If I ran in my normal 10.5 I think the shoe would’ve felt too tight especially in the toe box.
The 11 felt fine to me, but I had one (or technically two) VERY MAJOR issue.
The height of the tongue and the back loop rubbed my foot raw! I don’t think these are higher than the 25, so if you had no issues there then rock on.
But Coach Stacey also ran in to issues, “During both runs I noticed a little irritation from it rubbing on the front of my ankles. Higher socks are definitely the way to go if you’re not used to a higher sitting tongue and collar construction.”
If you’ve ever wondered about these big stack height shoes, here’s some additional feedback from her testing:
“I have run previously in the Asics NovaBlast 3 which have a 31mm heel height. While the run itself in the Gel-Nimbus shoes overall felt good, it did take me a little to get used to the 41mm heel height.
My first thought when I put on the shoes was “this is a lot of shoe” but as I wore the shoe more the cushioning was totally worth it especially for the longer run!”
As you’d expect the upper was breathable and had a great padded tongue and heel collar. A very traditional running shoe fit, minus things hitting a bit high on the ankle.
Asics Novablast 4 vs Asics Gel Nimbus 26
One of the issues I have with many brands right now is their shoes are getting so similar, that it’s hard to know if there’s really a difference that’s going to matter to you. In this case, I’d say there is a feel difference that’s noting.
The Novablast just feels like a softer shoe and has a little more rocker too it.
- Nimbus is a heavier shoe by 1-2 oz
- Same heel to toe drop
- Nimbus is slightly firmer shoe
- Both are cushioned, but the Novablast is slightly softer
- Tongue on the Nimbus remains more padded and hits higher on the ankle
- Novablast has a bit more rocker effect
- Same stack height to both
- Different rubber on the outsole, the Novablast feels a little stickier
Gel-Nimbus 26 vs Gel-Kayano?
If you’re looking for this match up, I did a more in-depth review for you so you can check that out.
And hey if there is another comparison that would be helpful, drop a comment! This is all about what you need to know!
Who Will Like the Asics Gel-Nimbus 26?
If you like a cushioned daily trainer that isn’t overly soft and provides just a hint of stability, this is going to be a winner. It’s a heavier shoe and won’t have the quick speed if you’re trying to really pick up the pace, but will work for the majority of runners.
The 8mm heel drop is also within my preferred range. I have found over the years that a lot of runners seem to have less IT Band and other issues when they are in shoes from 4mm to 8mm. Could I tell you why, not really. Just one of those things that has held pretty true.
- Training for anything from first 5K to half
- I probably wouldn’t use it for marathon long runs with the other available options.
- Enough stability to also keep you feeling good on long runs without actually correcting your footstrike
- Not ideal if you want a snappier speed shoe
- Not a good choice if you prefer lower stack height
More About Asics
Established in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Japan, ASICS derives its name from the Latin expression “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano,” which translates to “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”
In 1950, the company introduced a basketball shoe, and by 1953, it expanded its product line to include running shoes. One notable creation from this era is the Onitsuka Tiger, a running shoe that remains popular today, albeit predominantly used as a casual rather than a marathon shoe.
Presently, Asics showcases a diverse range of footwear, encompassing designs for running, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, and golf.
All right there you have it! Our review of the Asics Gel-Nimbus 26!
At the $160 price point, it’s a solid daily trainer.
Looking for other running shoes??
- Best Treadmill Running Shoes
- Best Marathon Training Shoes
- Should You Forefoot Strike?
- ASICS Vs New Balance
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish