Asics Gel Cumulus 22 review

Good for the long run, good for the short run, the Cumulus is simply a good shoe that does everything well, which explains why they have been around so long.

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I ran almost exclusively in Asics shoes for over 10 years, until style began to dictate pointed and narrow toe boxes, I am glad to see Asics back with such a sound design as in the Cumulus 22.
I may transition back to Asics to enjoy the benefit of the Gel, and save money at the same time, well... maybe every other day.

Who is this shoe for?

The occupant of the Cumulus is typically a runner with a neutral gait, that is not in need of any additional support or guidance, however, the Cumulus does have a removable sockliner, making it orthotic friendly. 

Big runners, small runners, joggers, and marathoners all find comfort in this classic shoe, that was aptly named after a cloud.

Pros

  • Durability is excellent
  • Gel diverts landing forces
  • Very smooth transition heel to toe
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Quality build
  • Good colors
  • Right price
  • Flexibility

Cons

  • Clunky transition for midfoot strikers
  • Breezy toes in the winter
  • The laces are too short

Descriptive one-liners

  • A real toebox for real toes
  • Old enough to vote and buy a pint
  • Don't go changin' on me now
  • Thanks for the price
  • Welcome back Asics

The Asics Gel Cumulus has been a well-cushioned and durable neutral road running shoe, and an industry-standard "first choice" for a very wide variety of runners, for over 20 years!

Not many shoes have been around for more than 20 years, the Asics CumulusAsics Kayano, and certainly the Nike Pegasus all belong to this select group, that keep getting it right, year after year.

What's new twenty-two?

The Cumulus 22 brings a more streamlined single layer of engineered mesh to the upper, replacing last year's heavier double-layer mesh.

The newly designed outsole has six rather than three flex grooves in the forefoot, making the new 22 a more flexible and lighter shoe than last year. The AHAR (Asics High Abrasive Rubber) has been replaced by the newer AHAR+, bringing us greater durability.

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The 22 has a greater stack height than last year, with 2mm more in both the heel and the toe, making a little more room for a little more FlyteFoam than the 21, while being slightly less stable.

On the road

Out the door and within the first 100 yards, I noticed the "must-have" forefoot cushioning showed up for duty. The toe box was also open for business with plenty of room for toes to wiggle and splay.

The Gel and FlyteFoam combination works well together and allowed me to run further before my feet began to complain, and the bottoms of my feet were not heard from all day.

The flexibility is excellent, and this helped to make my transitions from heel to toe very quietly and smoothly. However, when landing midfoot the Cumulus is a bit noisier than landing on the heel, likely due to the hardness of the outsole rubber, this is more of an observation than a complaint, but with my usual midfoot landing stride, I did announce my arrival to the local deer on early morning runs.

Traction was excellent on wet and dry surfaces, including light and melting snow on the roadway.
The forefoot upper mesh is a little too airy for the coldest of winter days but should be a cooling benefit this summer.

The Cumulus 22 has a level of comfort and fit that inspires confidence for the long run, with the upper holding my feet secure in the midfoot area.
I could detect a small amount of heel slippage while underway, something that could be remedied with a different lacing technique if the laces were long enough.

Outsole

The Cumulus 22 uses standard Asics blown rubber augmented with a generous amount of the more durable AHAR+ that is placed in the heel area and extends forward from the heel to the arch, along the lateral side of the outsole.

There are six flex grooves in the forefoot area and a wide guidance line running the entire length of the outsole.

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Midsole

Always the heart of any running shoe,  the Cumulus 22 midsole uses a combination of FlyteFoam and Gel that combine to deliver excellent cushioning.

Gel has been added in the forefoot and heel areas, and actually works to divert impact forces to the side, something that can be felt and appreciated during longer runs.

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The Gel is the component that will keep you running longer without discomfort.

Upper

A single layer engineered mesh without overlays, wrap the midfoot securely while providing a generous amount of room for the toes.
The tongue and collar are well padded, adding to comfort.

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The tongue did not slip or slide to the side, and there are two wide lace stay loops formed by the reflective strip that runs nearly the entire length in the center of the tongue.

The only stitching is verticle along the rear center of the heel, which is also reflective, and at the attachment point at the front of the tongue.
You could run sockless in this Cumulus during warmer weather, without irritation.

Safety

As the name implies, the Lite-Show has excellent reflectivity from the front and rear. But there is no substitute for a good flashlight (torch) and runner alertness.
Never trust cars.

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Compared to my Brooks Ghost 13

The Brooks Ghost has an amazingly smooth transition, along with excellent cushioning, while the Cumulus Lite Show 22 has excellent cushioning as well, but a slightly noisier transition and feels a little more choppy than the younger Ghost.

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But the Asics Gel has a property that few other running shoe makers consider, that property is impact attenuation, made possible by the addition of small amounts of Gel in the heel and forefoot.

With both shoes weighing nearly the same, the Ghost is only 5 grams heavier, for all "practical purposes" these shoes are the same.
Simply get a color you like.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Asics Gel Cumulus 22 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 2% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 1% Asics running shoes
All Asics running shoes
Top 2% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Asics Gel Cumulus 22.
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Author
Frank DuCett
Frank DuCett

My name is Frank DuCett, living and running in the Heartland of America. My love is the long lonesome road half marathons of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. My training of 20 - 30 miles weekly is dedicated to staying under 2 1/2 hours for the 13.1 mile distance into my 70s and beyond. I run alone and without earbuds, enjoying the solitude and true sensations of the act.