Asics Gel Nimbus 22 review
The Nimbus 22 is definitely better than the Nimbus 20, but there is still some room for improvement.
The basics of Gel Nimbus 22
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.
Upper comfort of the Nimbus 22
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.
Cushioning is a step in the right direction
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 that 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.
True to size
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.
How the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 performs
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.
Asics Gel Nimbus 22 vs. 20
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 lineup, 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.
- 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.