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In the past, I’ve reviewed the Nimbus 20, and although I like max cushioned shoes, that particular shoe disappointed me. I had high hopes because the Nimbus is one of the most popular neutral running shoe models in the Asics line up, and they promise you a great and soft ride.
However, I found the ride to be quite firm, not very flexible, and also quite heavy. A bit of a clunky shoe with not a lot of energy return. It actually put me off from trying the Nimbus 21.
But after hearing Asics made quite a few adjustments in the Nimbus 22 I got curious, and I decided to give the shoe another chance.
Apparently, they’ve stuck to the pink main color for the women’s version. Although I do think this colorway actually looks pretty chic with the rose gold and the sparkles in the gel.
The women’s model has a 27mm heel stack and 14mm forefoot stacking, giving it a 13mm drop, and it weighs 255 grams. This is two millimeters more than the Nimbus 20, where the forefoot stack was 12, and the heel stack was 25.
The drop remains the same. The Nimbus 20 came in at 264 grams, so the 22 is a bit lighter.
While the Nimbus 20 had more of a roughly knit fabric mesh upper, the upper of the Nimbus 22 is a double-layered upper, with the top layer being a bit like a plastic mesh. It isn’t very soft, and you also notice it while wearing the shoe.
There is a lot of padding in the heel, which was also the case with the Nimbus 20. Personally, I like quite a bit of padding in the heel since it protects my Achilles against hotspots, and it provides a more secure fit.
The Nimbus 22 has more of a tapered forefoot than the Nimbus 20. It’s a little bit more reminiscent of the Asics Ride series.
It, therefore, gives a better heel to toe transition. The 20 was heavy in the heel, and it was a stiff shoe which made the heel to toe transition quite difficult.
Obviously, since this is the Gel Nimbus, there is the Asics Gel technology in the heel. There seems to be a bit more of it compared to the Nimbus 20. But the gel in the forefoot that was visible in the Nimbus 20 is no longer there.
And then there is the FlyteFoam material to give you a softer and bouncier ride. The 20 also had FlyteFoam, but they seem to have changed it a bit since the Nimbus 20. It does feel softer now.
Underneath the arch is the Trusstic technology, which is a thermoplastic piece underneath the midfoot to provide stability. This piece feels a bit weird to me.
To me, it feels a bit like standing on two platforms, one underneath the forefoot and one underneath the heel of your foot, but with your arch just floating in mid-air. However, the shoe does feel neutral, as it should, it does not feel like a stability shoe.
There are now more and deeper flex grooves on the outsole than on the Nimbus 20. It is still not the most flexible shoe out there, but the flexibility of the forefoot has definitely improved, thanks to the added flex grooves.
The outsole of the Nimbus 22 is made of AHAR rubber, a highly durable material. I’ve done over 50 miles in these shoes, and I do see a bit of wear on the outsole, but not more than I would normally expect on a running shoe after that many miles.
I had my regular running shoe size, and that size was fine when it came to the length. However, the shoe was quite snug in the midfoot area.
The Nimbus 22 is quite a stable shoe, and although it is meant for roads, it does okay on trails. However, they do absorb quite a bit of water, and they take quite long to dry.
I got them completely covered in mud once and had to rinse them off when I got home, and it took two days before they were dry enough to wear again.
The tapered forefoot definitely helps with the heel to toe transition, something that was an issue with the Nimbus 20.
The heel is still a bit heavy compared to the rest of the shoe due to the gel, but thanks to the tapered forefoot, this doesn’t hold you back anymore. I noticed the midsole had a little more bounce to it when it was a bit warmer compared to colder conditions.
The 22 edition has a better heel to toe transition than the 20 and also a bit better weight distribution.
The 22nd edition is better for heel strikers than the 20th version since most of the cushioning is in the heel, but it still helps you to toe off due to the tapered forefoot. Something that Asics has definitely improved upon since the Nimbus 20.
The high amount of padding in the tongue and heel helps lock you in, and together with the Trusstic technology makes this a stable shoe. And the flexibility has improved as well.
However, the upper wasn’t really an improvement, it’s not very soft, and it absorbs a lot of water. All in all, the Nimbus 22 is definitely better than the Nimbus 20, but there is still some room for improvement.
It’s 2020, and the Summer Olympics are returning to Tokyo. Reaching way back to the days of the Onitsuka (now known as ASICS) Tiger Cortez/Corsair, ASICS has produced a version of the NIMBUS 22 that reeks of nostalgia with a colorway that matches that iconic training shoe that not only launched Onitsuka Tiger but, brought the world NIKE.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the legendary Coach Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon wanted a running shoe that would provide more cushioning. He, along with Phil Knight, designed a shoe that they thought would do the job. The Cortez.
After a few years, Knight and Bowerman decided to form their own company - NIKE. There was a lawsuit, and the result was NIKE retained the right to call their shoe the Cortez and the Onitsuka Tiger was renamed the Corsair. They are the same shoe.
To commemorate the 2020 Olympics, ASICS has come out with a shoe that I just had to get and review, the Nimbus 22 Tokyo.
In a nutshell
The latest iteration of the Nimbus is an improvement from the Nimbus 21 with improvements in the cushioning, flexibility and fit.
While it is not a lightweight shoe, weighing in at 10.9 ounces (men’s), it manages to feel lighter than the Nimbus 21 despite being virtually the same weight.
This is a solid daily trainer that will last many miles while providing a comfortable ride. That the colorway reaches back to the original Onitsuka Tiger only adds to the opinion of the shoe.
|Weight||10.9 oz (men's), 9 oz (women's)|
|Fit||true to size|
This shoe has the Flytefoam propel midsole found on previous versions of the Nimbus. However, there is an additional 2mm foam that has been added to provide more cushioning.
In addition, the gel in the forefoot has been increased to provide more cushioning than the Nimbus 21. ASICS has claimed that the formula for the Flytefoam Propel foam resulting in a softer midsole.
The cushioning in the heel is noticeably softer than previous models. This shoe definitely has a softer feel than previous models.
In my opinion, if there is one thing ASICS excels at, it’s their outsoles. This will last a long time because of the rubber compounds the company uses.
The downside for some people is that the hard rubber adds weight to the shoe. Other companies that offer much lighter shoes do so because much of the outsole is actually the midsole material that wears out at a much faster rate.
As the photo above shows, the outsole has channels that allow the sole to be more flexible than it would if it was a solid piece of rubber.
The traction on dry or wet roads was exceptional—one of the best outsoles I have seen in recent years.
Comfort & fit
The upper is a redesign featuring a mesh upper that is much softer than the Nimbus 21 and is very breathable. The mesh flexes to fit the foot while still providing support.
It was very comfortable and was very noticeable when I first put one shoe. The flat laces stayed tight without constricting the top of my foot. Although I have a normal width foot, the soft mesh should accommodate wider feet.
Strength & weaknesses
The strengths of this shoe would include a stable, cushioned, and comfortable shoe that will last for many miles. I expect to put in at least 300-400 miles in this shoe will no drop in performance.
The weakness of this shoe for some people would be the weight, and thus, it would not be the shoe to wear for tempo or speedwork. ASICS is aware of that and as a result, are now offering the NIMBUS Lyte for those type of runs.
I really liked this shoe because I run most of my runs at a steady-state pace when I just want to put in the training miles. The shoe helps me avoid injury by providing excellent cushioning and stability.
It’s just the kind of shoe I have come to expect from ASICS, and the return to the original colorway of the Onitsuka Tiger Cortez was a big bonus for me. I’ve been getting a lot of kudos for the look and am very happy with this shoe.
Good to know
- The Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is an update to a series of Asics running shoes that are intended for neutral runners. This shoe is packed with updated technologies to help improve the running performance.
- The manufacturers of the 22nd version of the Gel Nimbus have improved the shape of the forefoot Gel™ cushioning to provide more shock absorption and support. It features the thicker version of the Asics Gel™ cushioning for a smoother and softer ride.
- For a better cushioning experience, two additional millimeters of FlyteFoam midsole material is integrated under the foot. This technology delivers lightweight yet functional cushioning performance.
- Integrated into the shoe is a new monofilament mesh upper material that made the shoe more breathable and softer than its predecessors. It keeps the foot comfortable and well ventilated by allowing the air to constantly flow in and out of the shoe. The mesh upper provides light, breathable comfort without compromising its durability.
- Other notable updates of the shoe are the improved Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) outsole and deeper flex grooves that offer better traction in both wet and dry conditions.
In the outsole unit of the Asics Nimbus 22 is a highly durable rubber called the AHAR material. This lightweight outsole features a higher stack height to provide more protection and reduce the damage caused by excessive wear.
AHAR rubber is an abrasion-resistant material that is strategically placed in critical areas of the outsole to promote durability. This component protects the foot from rough surfaces and the rest of the platform from tear and wear.
The outsole of the Asics Nimbus 22 now has additional and deeper flex grooves that made the shoe lighter. The eight flex grooves cut deep into the midsole are responsible for making the shoe more responsive, allowing the foot to move and stretch naturally. This newly grooved outsole offers a smoother transition from foot strikes to toe-offs. It also offers a great amount of traction in both wet and dry surfaces.
The latest edition of the Gel Nimbus utilizes the thicker yet most resilient version of Gel technology midsole. Gel is Asics legendary patented cushioning technology that is designed to effectively reduce shock from impacts and toe-offs. It is made of a silicone-based gel that is inserted into the midsole to help improve the shoe’s responsiveness and shock-absorption performance.
The Gel technology cushioning is designed to respond to the foot’s natural movements, which is why a lot of athletic shoes utilizes this material in their midsoles.
Incorporated into the midsole unit of the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is the bouncy and soft FlyteFoam material that provides additional cushioning and support for the foot. The layer of the FlyteFoam material used in this running companion is 2 millimeters thicker compared to its previous versions. This component is also 55% lighter compared to industry-standard cushioning materials.
A midsole cushioning constructed with the FlyteFoam technology is not only lightweight but also responsive as the foam is designed to bounce back into its original shape after each step. Aside from the lightweight running feel, the runner also benefits from an excellent level of comfort.
Making the running shoe extra lighter is the Trusstic™ technology placed under the arch. This thermoplastic piece also offers stability and extends the life of the shoe.
Asics Gel Nimbus 22 comes with a molded EVA sockliner, a padded foam footbed for additional comfort. This updated sockliner is designed to be more contoured to provide a better fit and another layer of protection.
Under the shoe’s sockliner is the Ortholite X-40 technology. This material delivers a combination of performance and cushioning benefits.
The engineered monofilament upper is made lighter and smoother than its previous versions. This material provides greater comfort across the top of the foot and permits the cool air to permeate the shoe, keeping the foot dry and comfortable. It is designed to hold the foot securely in place while maintaining lightweight breathability.
The padded tongue protects the foot from being abraded and pinched by the shoelaces. It also helps prevent the small rocks and water from getting inside the shoe.
The padded heel collar of the shoe helps keep the heel in place to prevent the foot from sliding up and down while running or walking.
Asics Gel Nimbus 22 features the traditional lacing system, allowing the runner to adjust the level of looseness or lightness. With the standard lacing system, the user is less prone to creating pressure points and irritation.
How Gel Nimbus 22 compares
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