DiscontinuedUpdate: Asics Gel Nimbus 21
Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
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If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 10.7ozWomen: 8.8oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 13mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 23mmWomen: 25mm
Forefoot heightMen: 13mmWomen: 12mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
Release dateDec 2017
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82 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews
Asics Gel Nimbus 20: Exceptional Cushioning, Supreme Comfort
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is another excellent shoe designed for neutral runners.
The shoe features new updates for a more satisfying running experience. It offers exceptional cushioning and an unmatched comfort no matter how far you run.
Updates of the Asics Gel Nimbus 20
Asics has made minor enhancements in the midsole and outsole of the Nimbus 20. The major update of the shoe can be seen in its upper.
The shoe now features a new gradient mesh that delivers lightweight breathability. The mesh allows the foot to move naturally and it also provides a more customized fit.
Technical Construction of the Asics Gel Nimbus 20
The upper of the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 features the new gradient mesh material that provides the foot a breathable coverage. The mesh is smooth and flexible. It gives the foot a more glove-like fit.
Incorporated into the mesh material are the seamless 3D printed overlays. It delivers added structural integrity at the same time reduces irritation and blisters.
For a reliable midfoot security, Asics introduced a new lacing system. Along with it are the padded tongue and collar that also provides added comfort and foot security.
The shoe also features the Heel Clutching System that is specifically designed for a more secure heel fit.
The Nimbus 20 utilizes the same midsole technology found in the Asics Gel Nimbus 19. However, Asics made minor enhancements in the midsole to make the ride quality smoother and more responsive.
In the midsole is the FlyteFoam technology which is commonly found in some Asics running shoes. This technology provides lightweight cushioning. It is efficient in absorbing shock during impact and gives high energy return for a more powerful toe-off.
Along with the FlyteFoam is the FluidRide technology. It provides added underfoot cushioning without adding too much weight.
The notable Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel Cushioning is also found in the midsole of the shoe. The gel cushioning system allows runners to experience a more responsive ride. It also delivers added cushioning to the foot for impact protection.
In the outsole of the Nimbus 20 is the Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) material.
It is a reliable material specifically placed in high-wear areas for maximum durability. Along with the AHAR is the DuraSponge material. It is placed in the forefoot area for flexibility and added cushioning.
The outsole has a less aggressive configuration, but it still provides reliable traction on the road and other paved surfaces.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is available in standard sizes, and it fits well for runners with medium and slightly wide foot measurements. The shoe has a medium measurement from the heel to the forefoot, and the toe box area is wide.
The gradient mesh material in the upper of the shoe is flexible. It adapts to the natural shape of the foot which results to a more adaptive fit.
The new lacing system of the shoe also contributed to the overall fit of the shoe. The lacing system is very efficient in providing the foot a more secure midfoot lock-down.
Comfort and breathability
Compared to its predecessor, the Nimbus 20 is more breathable and comfortable.
The gradient mesh upper did a good job in providing the foot a breathable coverage. The tongue and collar have also contributed to the overall comfort of the shoe.
The comfort and breathability of the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is comparable to that of the Brooks Ghost 10.
I own several lightweight running shoes, and they perform well on up-tempo training and long-distance runs. The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 has an average weight (264 grams for women’s and 306 grams for men’s), and it is as good as the other running shoes that I have.
The overall ride quality of the shoe is impressive. The cushioning provides a responsive and flexible ride. The forefoot is flexible, and the 13mm heel drop is just right for my personal preference.
The Nimbus 20 also has a good level of traction on paved surfaces. It even performed well on slightly wet and slippery surfaces.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is a bit expensive compared to the other daily running shoes that I have. I’m not complaining about the price of the shoe because it is also made from high-quality materials and is very durable.
The outsole is made from high-abrasion rubber that remains unbroken after several miles. The upper also shows no significant damage.
The only minor thing that I noticed is the new lacing system. I think it was poorly made. The foam is too thin and not properly stitched to the upper material. It started ripping off after using the shoe a few times.
- Breathable and comfortable
- Responsive cushioning
- Flexible forefoot
- Durable outsole
- Traction is good even on wet surfaces
- New lacing system is poorly made
- A bit expensive
Overall Impression of the Asics Gel Nimbus 20
Aside from the new lacing system, which I think was poorly made, I have no major issues with the Asics Gel Nimbus 20. It is one of the neutral running shoes that I love to wear on both long-distance and short-distance runs.
The shoe is more breathable than its predecessor, and it provides a more comfortable in-shoe feel all throughout the run. It is a bit expensive, but considering the performance and shoe durability, I think the Nimbus 20 is a good investment.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Asics Gel Nimbus 20: Two decades of innovation, but is it worth it?
It has a forefoot height of 12 mm and a heel height of 25mm for the ladies and 13mm and 23 mm for the guys. That gives it a rather large drop, especially in the ladies shoe. It’s also a pretty heavy shoe.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 has a seamless mesh upper with plastic overlays. It’s a double layered mesh, but the material isn’t very flexible, so it does restrict the space in the toe box a little bit.
The toe box is wide enough, but not super roomy. The toe box also isn’t very high and is too tapered, thus creating a hotspot near on top of my big toe during longer runs. The upper isn’t super breathable, but it’s breathable enough.
It has a snug heel clutching system made of plastic that keeps your heel nicely locked in and the tongue and collar of the shoe a nicely padded to avoid any hotspots in those areas.
I did find this extra padding really comfortable. However, part of the lining of the shoe already ripped after 50 km in the shoes. Something I didn’t expect from such a high-end brand as Asics.
Asics uses a gel to absorb the shock while running. Besides using gel in the midsole, Asics also uses FlyteFoam which is lighter than standard EVA foam. The heel provides a nice cushion, but the forefoot is a lot less plush. The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is quite a firm ride.
The outsole is made of the Asics High Abrasion Rubber. The rubber proved to be quite durable, after 50 miles of running in the shoes I didn’t see any signs of wear.
The sole has a flat shape instead of a rocker shape, I, therefore, find that I have to use more energy to toe off than I would with a shoe that does have a rocker shape. I also find it a bit of a strange feeling when hitting the ground, my foot transition just didn’t feel normal. It sort of stops your momentum for a bit, until you toe off again.
Once in a while I also had small sharp objects getting stuck in the Flytefoam parts of the outsole, which I would need to remove during my run.
Overall, I found the shoe comfortable a reasonably stable for a neutral running shoe, but even though it absorbs the shocks very well, the shoe doesn’t feel very plush. It’s a firm and a bit of a heavy ride.
The weight of a shoe doesn’t bother me very often, but in this case, it did become a bit of an issue. I did find that my shins started to hurt slightly while running in the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 and for quite some time I wondered why, since I did not have this experience with other shoes. The only reason I can think of would the lack of a rocker shape, which makes it harder to toe off.
I also noticed that while running my foot would roll outward due to the weight of the shoe. It seems to be heavier on the lateral side where the gel seems to be. So it seems that the weight of the shoe changed my gait a little bit, which might also explain the shin problems.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 isn’t a very fast shoe and especially has difficulty changing direction quickly. Fast turns aren’t really an option in this shoe.
I ran in my regular size but found that I didn’t have as much space in the front of the shoe as I would have liked. I probably would have been better off with half a size larger.
Although the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 performs well when it comes to shock absorption and it’s a nice looking shoe, it isn’t a very fast shoe.
The lack of rocker shaped outsole and the weight of the shoe prevent the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 from becoming a fast ride. It is more of a comfortable long distance training shoe than a quick race shoe.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Great shoe. Here's five things that I love about it.
All in all, I think the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is a really reliable running shoe.
Updates to Asics Gel Nimbus 20
- The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is a road running shoe that is ideal for those who have neutral foot motion. It utilizes an updated mesh, the goal of which is to make the fit more relaxed. It is made up of a single piece of engineered mesh that is joined together by a heel seam to form the exterior. It has close and open-knit areas, making the mesh less restrictive and more breathable.
- Featured in the shoe is the Plus 3 midsole technology for the women’s versions. Asics added 3mm height to relieve Achilles tension.
- The shoe also has an updated heel counter that offers better support and added stability.
Asics Gel Nimbus 20 size and fit
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 follows the standard shoe measurements when it comes to sizing. The shoe is best recommended for runners who want to excel in short and extended road running activities to the next level. The available widths are D - Medium, 4E - Extra Wide for the men's version and B - Medium, D - Wide for the women's version.
The AHAR or ASICS High Abrasion Rubber is integrated into the Asics Gel Nimbus 20. The goal of this material is to deliver additional durability, mainly on different paved surfaces. This solid component of the shoe is also designed to provide protection that will last for a long time.
In the forefoot section lies the DuraSponge compound that offers added durability. This blown rubber compound also delivers a more responsive cushioning.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 uses the Forefoot and Rearfoot Gel cushioning system. This system uses a silicon-based gel that acts as a shock absorber, during foot strike. With the aim of making each step more comfortable, it turns every step into a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
To supply runners with a more responsive, springy ride, Asics utilized the FlyteFoam midsole. When compared to the standard EVA foams, this material is 55% lighter. Embedded into the foam are organic fibers. These are essential in creating a plushier and more agreeable step.
The FluidRide technology is used for an increased durability and improved cushioning. This unit gives the wearer an unrestrained feeling without compromising the Asics Gel Nimbus 20's lightweight structure.
Featured in the midsole section is a vertically-placed flex groove called the Guidance Line. This technology is significant in guiding the foot to follow and improve the natural gait cycle.
While maintaining the midfoot's structural integrity, the shoe uses the Guidance Trusstic System to enhance gait efficiency. This support system is lightweight in structure.
In women's models, the shoe features the Gender Specific Forefoot cushioning. It is injected with a top layer of Solyte foam that provides additional comfort. This material allows the wearer to experience a soft feeling, especially during toe-offs.
To prevent odor-causing microbes from growing, the ComforDry X-40 Sockliner is utilized. It is composed of anti-bacterial elements that reduce moisture. It also aims to ensure the foot to be fresh and dry at all times. Its goal is to give additional cushioning as well.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 delivers a more breathable coverage by utilizing the gradient jacquard-mesh upper. Aside from its breathability, the shoe also encourages an irritation-free running experience through its seamless upper construction.
The FluidFit technology is utilized in the shoe, allowing the foot to move freely and naturally without any feeling of restriction. It is made up of a stretchable mesh that can be extended in multiple directions.
The irritant-free and seamless structure to the upper is offered by the 3D Printed Overlays.
The Heel Clutching System that is described as an external plastic is used in the Asics Gel Nimbus 20. This material wraps and secures the heel in place. It prevents the possibility of shoe removal while running.
With the aim to enhance comfort, Asics added the discrete eyelets. These materials are significant in dispersing lace tension as well.