ASICS GEL Nimbus 18

9.2
9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2) + Users rating (9.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (9.2)/10

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Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
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ASICS GEL Nimbus 18 Review Facts

Founded in 1949, ASICS has become one of the leading names in running shoes over the past few years. ASICS in an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body.” Set-up in Japan, ASICS produces high quality running shoes and even has their hand in the Runkeeper app, one of the top running apps on the market. The Nimbus series is widely recognized as some of the best performing shoes out there. With new GEL technology, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is designed to provide expert cushioning to go along with improved adaptability.

Pros
  • Plastic heel counter on the back of the shoe that provides great support and stability.
  • Well designed upper that provides a comfortable fit that also allows your foot to breath.

Durable but soft midsole that gives your foot a nice cushion as you run.

Durable outsole that alleviates the pressure on your foot and gives you a great grip on the ground.

Very stylish shoe that is well-designed and comes in multiple color options.

Cons
  • Very heavy shoe that doesn’t provide much flexibility and lacks on responsiveness.
  • Toe box is a bit narrow and the left side fit a little tighter than the right due to the massive midsole.
  • A bit pricey.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 features Asics High Abrasion Rubber. The AHAR is designed to give the shoe supreme durability while also adding cushion and flexibility. This hard and durable rubber is found mainly in the heel of the foot as the forefoot features soft blown rubber, which Asics is marketing as Durasponge rubber.

Asics changed up the outsole from the GEL-Nimbus 17 to provide runners with a better ride. They narrowed the gap between the side lugs on the heel and the center of the outsole is deeper. These changes allow the shoe to perform better in the transitions when compared to previous models.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The first thing that will catch your eye with the midsole the gel. Asics uses this gel in the midsole to provide runners with a more cushioned and responsive ride. The gel is meant as a shock absorber and works well when running. Along with the gel, Asics uses FluidRide technology that adds extra cushioning and durability. While adding the cushion and durability, it doesn’t add any extra weight, which is good because these shoes are already on the heavier side of things. Asics also uses The Guidance Trusstic System, which helps stabilize the shoe and gives it a little extra support.

Some runners have complained about the midsole on the left side of the shoe. It goes into the upper a little more than on the right side. This makes the left side of the toebox a little tighter than the right. It isn’t a major concern, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper consists of engineered mesh that is lightweight and breathable. The seam less upper allows for a comfortable fit that reduces scratching and annoyances. Asics uses their FluidFit technology to give the shoe a sock like feel on the upper part of your foot. The back part of the shoe features a plastic heel clutch that sets your foot into place and adds to the comfort on the back end. The lacing is your standard lacing system, although there is an extra hole up top, which allows you to thread the laces for a tighter fit. The upper is very similar to the GEL Nimbus 17.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The shoes weigh in around 11.8 ounces, which is on the high side for running shoes. The changes to the heel counter and the bulky midsole are the biggest reasons for the extra weight. The upper is lightweight and breathable, but it’s not enough to offset the weight of the midsole.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

With the seam less upper and and engineered mesh, the shoe has very good breathability. The plush materials gives the shoe and airy feel and allows your foot to breath comfortable throughout your run. Most runners have raved about the breathability of the shoe. If you feel that the shoe is too tight on your foot, you can always loosen the laces to give your foot a little more room to breath during your run. The sock liner on the upper also helps get rid of any sweat your foot might produce during your run, which helps with the breathability.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The comfortability of the GEL Nimbus 18 may vary depending on who you are as a runner. The cushion in the heel and forefront is soft and has plenty of give when you run. A few runners have complained that the midsole is a bit too stiff, but it hasn’t been a major complaint and has only affected a small percentage of runners. The Gel Cushioning System absorbs the impact of the shock when your foot hits the ground, allowing your foot to strike the ground comfortably without any potential pain. The mesh upper fits nicely along the top of your foot and the sock liner adds to the comfort level of the upper. The plastic heel counter fits well around your heel, but some have found it a bit too tight.

The areas of concern lie mainly in the toe box. As mentioned above, the left side of the toe box is a little tighter than the right side due to the midsole. Furthermore, the toe box is overall just a bit too narrow for some runners. This means that you may has to go a half size up if you want a slightly looser fit. Some runners have actually complained that the shoe is too tight overall, which again means that you have have to go a half size up if you want a more comfortable and looser fit.

The lacing system allows you to keep the shoe loose if everything else feels comfortable. However, if you do have to go a half size up, the lacing system also allows you to tighten things so the shoe fits a little more comfortably and doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off as you run.
Style
Style

Style

Through the Asics website, the GEL Nimbus comes in six different styles for men and women. There are more styles available through Amazon. There is a good variety in colors and styles. If you want big and bright colors, they have you covered. If you want something a little more plain and neutral, you can go that route as well. Overall, you should be able to find a color pattern that suits your needs.

Beyond the color pattern, the design of the shoe is very well done. I love the Asics logo as it looks more like the design of the shoe and not a logo. The webbing on the upper looks nice and smooth and the plastic heel counter, which could be an eyesore if done poorly, fits seamlessly with the shoe. You can wear these shoes with pride on the road.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Most runners have gotten between 250 and 300 miles out of the GEL Nimbus 18, which is fairly standard. With a heavy midsole, you would expect the durability to be strong. People have used the shoe as their daily running shoe, but also for just walking around and going through a typical day.

The outsole in particular has gotten rave reviews when it comes to durability. Asics uses soft blown rubber on the forefoot, which is relatively standard when it comes to running shoes, but the hard rubber in the middle of the shoe and in the heel add extra durability.

A couple of runners have complained that holes have started to develop in the heel of the shoe, which hurts the durability and leads to irritation, but this complaint has not been seen often and it’s more likely than not that the runner just, unfortunately, got a bad pair of shoes.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The GEL Nimbus 18 offers solid protection throughout the shoe. The upper is lightweight and made with a plush material, but still thick enough to where you should feel comfortable in how the upper part of your foot is protected. The sock liner certainly helps in this area. The plastic heel counter on the back definitely gives your foot extra protection and keeps your foot stable throughout the run. The midsole and outsole work together to give you that extra protection as well. The shoe has plenty of stability throughout, especially in the forefoot, so runners should feel good about logging high miles without your foot moving around too much.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This is where the GEL Nimbus 18 is lacking. I wouldn’t say that there’s zero responsiveness, but there’s definitely a severe lack of responsiveness that has upset a lot of runners. The shoe is very stiff and doesn’t provide much flexibility. This shouldn’t be a huge shock considering the weight of the shoe, but it’s still rather disappointing. The upper mesh provides good flexibility, but otherwise the flexibility is really lacking. The forefoot outsole has flex areas, but the thick midsole doesn’t allow them to work as well as runners would like.
Support
Support

Support

When it comes to arch support, the GEL Nimbus 18 runs a bit on the lower side. Throughout the shoe, you’ll find strong support. The firm midsole ensures that the bottom of your foot has plenty of support on your runs. The plastic heel counter provides your foot and ankle with excellent support, which many runners have commented on. This addition to the shoe has been met with rave reviews and its impact can’t be understated. Runners have also praised the midfoot support, which has helped with their cadence and running efficiency. With the extra weight and a strong cushioning system, a shoe of this caliber must have a strong support system, which it fortunately does.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The shoe is meant for the road and for daily use. The GEL Nimbus series has a long standing history of having a great outsole that provides excellent grip and the 18 versions are no different. Some runners have commented that the shoe performs just as well on the trail.
Price
Price

Price

The GEL Nimbus 18 is listed at $150 through Asics website. This is on the high side for a running shoe and may deter some runners. While the shoe is comfortable, durable, and looks nice, is it worth the extra 30 or so dollars? It’s a tough call because there are so many good shoes on the market that are available for a better price. If you’re willing to spend $150 on the GEL Nimbus 18, you can spend that money comfortably knowing that you’re getting a high milage and comfortable shoe that provides great support and stability and will hold up under tough conditions.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

•Fluidride Midsole, which provides soft cushioning that makes your foot feel comfortable as you run.

•Fluidfit upper that stretches and fits comfortably around your foot.

•Heel clutch system that grips your heel and provides you with great support.

•Gel cushioning system that absorbs the shock when your foot strikes the ground.

•Guidance Trusstic System that adds to the support and stability of the shoe.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The GEL Nimbus 18 is a great shoe if you’re looking for something durable, supportive, and comfortable. It’s meant for daily use, which includes walking, and long runs. It also looks nice on the road. The two biggest downsides to the shoe is the weight and the price tag. If you want something that is more responsive and flexible, look elsewhere. And if you want something that still provides great comfort, durability, and support, but you don’t want to spend $150, there are better options on the market. However, if you’re willing to shell out the extra cash, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting a shoe that’s going to hold up for many miles.

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