Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 review
Finally some Innovation from Asics! YES!
The new evolution of the 23 year old Gel Nimbus, asics soft riding every day neutral trainer, is finally here. The Nimbus Lite 2 is a more eco friendly, lighter weight, more lively version of the Gel Nimbus.
As for updates from the previous model, they are here, and plenty of them. Midsole design, outsole, upper, its basically redone from version 1.
What I like with the Nimbus Lite 2
First off let's talk about the pros. Asics is making these in men and women's versions with slight differences designed specifically for the different sexes, I really appreciate that. Unisex shoes just don’t work.
Flexible, breathable upper
The upper is soft engineered mesh thats very flexible and breathable. It really fits like a glove, I love this upper.
It has a gusseted tongue, I love this. The gussets are a bit stretchy so you can still move the tongue around and it has a lacing pass through across the top, something the Nimbus 23 didn't have. The tongue is semi padded with padding only on the upper portion which I really like.
Padded heel collar
It has a soft heel counter with a plush padded collar, and I didn’t have any heel slip. There’s no external heel cup or any dreaded old asics tech, just a nice clean welded overlay to add some rigidity.
Soft and responsive ride
The midsole is the show stopper though. It has an amazing FlyteFoam midsole, that’s made from sustainable nano fibers, that add to the durability. I really like this product. It’s soft and responsive. It's a little firmer than on the Nimbus 23 which I think is a good thing, but with that same plush ride feeling that’s super soft under foot. I can’t say enough good things about this midsole, made me happy, happy like how I felt about the skechers hyperburst, and happy about the ride the clifton 7 offered, ti’s just right in this shoe.
As for the outsole, it has the same AHAR outsole as the Nimbus 23 with lots of flex grooves which make this shoe comfy and smooth through the transition. There’s also a bit more dense rubber under the heel for added durability.
What I don't like
The cons. I had one small issue with the upper, it’s almost too flexible, I had some movement in the toe box that I’ll talk about in fit, but also, like the nimbus 23, there’s not a ton of visible venting holes, could run hot in the summer.
The lacing system could come a little further down on the forefoot to help with lock down, again I’ll mention this in fit, and there is no heel loop, opted for a tongue loop instead, I’ll take it, but wish there was a heel loop as well.
Getting into the specifics (Fit, Comfort, Weight, Drop/Stack, Durability, Looks, Price), I love how these shoes fit. The upper really wraps your foot nicely, they are comfy, my only gripe is the toe box, it’s a bit spacious which normally is a good thing but feels a bit sloppy at times. I think it may have to do with the forgiving upper, I really had to lace these up tight to deal with a bit of slosh I felt up front. This is where my comment on the laces coming further down stemmed from which would probably solve this easily in version 3.
As for comfort, amazing! I really dig this flytefoam midsole, they are soft, but not mushy. A bit of spring but not bouncy. Really have a nice stride and toe off and they are wide and stable which is fantastic. There’s no annoying plastic medial post under foot, plus tongue and ankle collar are just right. The only thing I don't dig is the feeling of my heel is so much higher than my toes.
They have a 10mm drop, and I think this is a bit high. I wish they would bring this to 6 or 8mm, 10mm for me is something I can feel and I don’t like that, the womens are even steeper with a 13mm drop.
They are not insanely lightweight at 9.7 ounces in mens 9, but that’s almost 1.5 ounces lighter than the Nimbus 23. If they could get version 3 under 9 ounces would really turn some head!
I do have some concerns about durability, the soft midsole seems like it could pack out early, but Asics says the nano fibers are more durable, time will tell. My other concern is with the upper, if it stretches out at all it may be even more sloppy up front.
I will say these are finally an Asics I am proud to wear!! No more dull fuddy duddy Asics! Keep these styles coming! Love the looks, can’t see any gel which is a plus, and the colors in the mens and womens are pretty rad. It has a cool midsole design, and although it does have some junk in the trunk, I dig it.
At $150 they are the same as the Nimbus 23, but are lighter, more comfortable, and a bit more responsive, it’s an easy pick.