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.
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.
I have used this model of Asics shoes for the past 150 miles of road, track and treadmill running. I use two pairs of Asics shoes for running and alternate between them.
Prior to purchasing these shoes, I research what the company says regarding any improvements or upgrades to the shoe. I also see what other users of the shoe have said regarding its performance before I make my decision to purchase it.
This particular model has a successful 20-year history of providing runners with a quality, durable and very comfortable shoe. Let’s take a look at some of the strong points as well as any negative points of this model as I see them.
- My gait calls for a neutral type shoe, so this was a good model for me to select as it meets my need for a stable, well-supported shoe.
- The gel cushioning is heel to toe. I am not a heavy runner at 145 lbs. but still, appreciate the sway the cushioning absorbs the shock when the foot strikes the road.
- The seamless construction is appreciated as I had another brand of shoe in the past that was not seamless and always had a sore top of my foot after my long runs. Seamless construction prevents this from happening.
- There is a great transition from heel to toe due to the gel cushioning and well-constructed midsole. This is also a very flexible shoe.
- The toe box is firm but comfortable. I use a 9.5 4E size shoe due to some foot surgery I don't need extra room. I have found the toe box to provide enough space without being excessive.
- The outsole provides a good grip on all surfaces I run on such as roadways, sidewalks, asphalt track, and a treadmill. I even get a good grip on these surfaces when I run in the winter months so long as there is no ice.
- The tongue of the shoe is appropriately thick to keep the laces from rubbing along the top of the foot, especially on long runs.
- The overall fit of this model is excellent. I wear Balega running socks which are somewhat thick, and this does not affect the overall fit of the shoe. The shoe size allows for this extra bit of cushioning provided by the socks and still fits my foot well and is not too tight to where I need to increase the size worn.
- I felt the material used in the construction of the Gel-Nimbus was form-fitting, lightweight and breathable which is very important when running on some of the surfaces I use during the hot summer months.
- The price was very nice as they ran in the $80 - $95 range, depending on where you choose to purchase them.
- Some wear is starting to show after 150 miles on the heel area.
- One negative point is the shoe insert. For me, it does not provide enough support so I change it out for an aftermarket product from SofSol. The actual insole itself is constructed very well, but it’s the insert that doesn’t work for me.
One observation I would make that involves all Asics shoes is the lack of availability of the new models in my size which is 9.5 4E. I must always settle for the older models, and the selection is limited. I would enjoy being able to purchase the newer models in my size.
I am very confident that on future upgrades, newer and lighter weight materials will be developed by the Asics Institute of Sports Science that will make this shoe a bit lighter without sacrificing its overall quality or performance. It is a bit heavier than some of its competitor’s shoes.
Overall, this has proven to be a very reliable shoe that performs well on all surfaces, fits well, absorbs the shock of running on hard, hot surfaces well and lives up to the Asics standard of excellence. I look forward to seeing next year’s model to observe the changes Asics will make to improve the Gel-Nimbus even further.
After 792km, it was time to replace my trusted yet ageing Asics Gel Nimbus 19. There was only one choice I would ever make and that was to follow the natural progression and upgrade to the (then) new Asics Gel Nimbus 20.
I popped into the Asics shop in Cheshire Oaks, and on April 18, 2019, I became the proud owner of a pair of Gel Nimbus 20. I had excellent results out of my Gel Nimbus 19, so I had great expectations for the 20s.
My first run wearing my Gel Nimbus 20 was on April 20th at Henley Woods Park run. Wow, what an awesome pair of shoes! Not only did I post a PB, but I did it in great comfort and style too.
The drop was just right for me and also the slightly wider front compared to the 19s made it even better still. The whole shoe felt as it was made just for my feet.
So, on a 5km run, these were awesome. It was then onto slightly longer runs. I did some runs along the towpath on the canals.
On a 25km run, the shoes performed well, and my feet felt stable even on uneven ground. They also felt well supported, warm enough yet well ventilated at the same time.
- Wide front with plenty of space
- Excellent cushioning
- Good support even on an uneven surface
- Warm yet well-ventilated
- Good value for money (Approx £80 from ASICS Cheshire Oaks in April 2019)
- Good range of colours
I was hoping to be able to totally skip this bit or at least make it a one-liner. However, I am afraid this won’t be the case.
By early June, and some 250km later, I started noticing wear and tear in areas where my 19s had survived intact until their retirement. The upper was showing considerable signs of wear and tear.
This is purely cosmetic and not compromising to the integrity of the shoe itself. However, it was not what I expected, judging from my previous experience with the Gel Nimbus range.
I tweeted Asics UK (@asicsuk) with photos but never had a reply from them. Unfortunately, going back to Cheshire Oaks wasn’t an option either as I had left the UK by then.
Not long after, I started noticing the area around the big toe was becoming thinner and also showing signs of wear and tear.
This is something that my 19s suffered from, but not until much, much later in life (circa 700 km). These hadn’t even done 300 km yet!
Today, five months later, the trainers have done 565 km, and they seriously look like they are in real need of replacing.
However, the soles have remained relatively intact, which does still give me some hope that I may get another 250 km out of them.
Am I being a bit too hopeful? Perhaps, the next few months will tell.
- Early signs of wear and tear
- Holes by toes early on
It would be fair to say that Asics make shoes, which are actually nice-looking. Unfortunately, with the Gel Nimbus 20, due to early considerable wear and tear, it does make them look rather ugly.
The integrity of the shoe remains intact, and this is purely cosmetic. But, let's face it: it doesn’t look very nice!
To round this off, am I satisfied with the product I purchased? I would have to say yes up to a certain extent. Even though they are looking old and pretty rough, they remain comfortable to run in.
I also don’t feel, at this stage, I should be running (pun intended) to my local Asics shop to pick up a pair of Gel Nimbus 21—not quite yet anyway.
Am I disappointed to see they are not as durable as their predecessor? Yes, extremely disappointed.
I stick to changing my running shoes every 800 km, at which point I just wear them as normal everyday trainers.
If these make it to the 800 km mark, they will need to go straight in the bin!
Will I buy a pair of Gel Nimbus 21? Quite possibly, yes!
Good to know
- Part of the Asics Gel Nimbus series, it 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.
- This Asics running shoe also has an updated heel counter that offers better support and added stability.
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 gel cushioning element, also used in the Asics Nimbus 21, 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.