Is the name of the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 still appropriate?
Asics did not disappoint with their marketing campaign around the Nimbus 25. They sent us (and a few other shoe reviewers) an all white sample in a very premium big white box. This is the same shoe that we have seen at the Asics stand at The Running Event in Austin, Texas back in December. The shoe was called the « secret shoe » for a while and this added to the great storytelling around it. Now that we can say it’s the Nimbus 25, the main question is…how is this new completely revised version of the most famous Asics shoe ever?
Specs: the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 is a maximalist daily trainer
At 305g (10.8oz) in my size US11 the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 is rather average in terms of weight for a daily trainer. But when considering the almost 42mm of stack height, this get actually quite competitive. Our Youtube video states 36mm of stack height and there was some confusion around it. To makes things clear, Asics shared 30/22 for the midsole and we added 6mm for the insole. Taking the outsole into account, you’re indeed looking at the 41.5mm of stack height in the heel about which you may have read elsewhere on the internet. One things remains sure: the shoe has an 8mm drop.
The platform is really wide, especially when compared to the Nimbus 24. For specific values, please check the Shoe Comparator in which you can compare the width for the forefoot, midfoot and heel against other shoes.
The upper of the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 is mega comfortable. Period.
My first impressions stepping in the Nimbus 25 were excellent. This is what I tried to share in the first episode of the Tokyo series on Youtube. For those of you who did not see it, this series of videos will take us all the way to the Tokyo marathon that I will be racing early in March thanks to Asics. When I first put the shoe on, what struck me is how soft the upper mesh is against my foot.
The heel cup is perfectly designed and gives you one of the best lockdown sensations. That ultra padded bolster running around the Achilles is so thick that it almost requires to use the heel tab to put the shoes on. The midfoot lockdown is good but I personally regret the tongue choice. Asics went with a thin stretchy tongue like on the Nimbus 24 or Nimbus Lite 3. I would have liked something a touch thicker and non-stretchy. The tongue is semi gusseted. The mesh offers lots of room in the toe box making the Gel Nimbus 25 a good choice no matter your foot dimensions.
PureGel replaces Gel and is even more cushioned
The midsole is composed of two main elements. FFBlast+ is the main compound here with probably around 90% of the whole midsole being made of it. This is a bio version (24% recycled) of this foam that Asics fans tasted on the likes of Novablast 3 or Superblast. This recycled flavor offers a slightly firmer ride and maybe a bit less bounce (but that is also due to the shoe geometry, see below). The key change on the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 comes in the heel area. No more gel, no more plasticky medial post, none of that. Instead, Asics went with a new formula named PureGel which is the evolution of traditional gel but bringing around 65% more cushion as per Asics claims. This new foam materializes in the shoe as an insert located only in the heel.
A plush ride for slower paces in the Asics Gel Nimbus 25
Can you actually feel the new PureGel insert? It’s tricky to answer that because FFBlast+ (EVA + Olefin Block Compound) is already a modern cushioned midsole compound. Yes, the heel feels very comfortable upon landing and the shoe geometry (8mm drop, almost no rocker and a pronounced toe spring) is clearly geared towards heel to midfoot strikers where PureGel is supposed to shine. If anything, I would argue that the FFBlast+ & PureGel combo in the heel dampens the ride a little bit and prevent from any form of bottoming out, which was one of the main drawbacks for me on the Asics Gel Nimbus 24.
In terms of paces that the Asics Nimbus 25 can cover, it really depends what type of runner you are. For me this shoe is excellent at slower paces (recovery, easy, and endurance) but shows clear limits for anything faster. But I’m sure many runners – for which this shoe will be their only training pair – the Nimbus 25 will also be a solid training companion at faster paces and maybe even for races.
The Ahar Plus outsole is one of the drawbacks of the Asics Nimbus 25
Pace limitation could be an issue for some like myself but Asics offers many other shoes in their lineup. One other drawback on this shoe is the outsole rubber that I personally find not grippy enough. On the bright side, its thickness will provide with a great durability (at least 600kms, maybe a little less for heavier runners that will compress the midsole faster).
Stability with the flared midsole of the Nimbus 25
The Nimbus 25 is a stable shoe and I was almost surprised how stable it is. The width of the platform is a key element for the inherent stability and here there is plenty of width (go compare it against the Nimbus 24 on the Shoe Supertool to be stunned). The landing is secure and I got a very limited amount of medial collapsing despite the softer compound that is FFBlast+. This is a key difference against other shoes in that category like for instance the Nike Invincible, which on the opposite can quickly become a nightmare for heel strikers with moderate to high levels of pronations. The shoe geometry also plays a huge role in this with the generous flare of the midsole. That flare is present not only in the heel to moderate both pronation and supination but also in the forefoot, which helps to control the pronation level (collapsing) before toe off.
Let’s start this section with the price point and it can hurt depending where you’re based. Starting with you guys in the US, things are still under control with a $160 price tag (unlike what I said on Youtube – apologies for the confusion). Now if like me you’re based in the EU, buckle up. The price tag jumped from €180 to now €200. And this is probably the biggest drawback for the Asics Gel Nimbus 25. Yes it’s a great daily trainer, with lots of new tech like PureGel, a great geometry working for many people and a ton of comfort. But unless this is the only shoe in your rotation (or if you live in the US), maybe wait for a discount or use the code below at our EU online retail partner.
5% OFF with code META