ASICS Gel-Cumulus 21 Reviewed

8.8
8.8 score
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ASICS Gel-Cumulus 21 Reviewed Review Facts

The Gel-Cumulus is one line Asics has been working on for years. This line is one of the more favored versions of ASICS sneakers for running. This is the 21st version of this shoe, and it boasts welcomed change that makes the sneakers better than ever. The newest model was just released and it already has a sizable following! ASICS keeps tweaking the finest detail until they get it right, and the ASICS Gel-Cumulus is the version closest to perfection. Read on to see whether the Cumulus 21 is the right shoe for you!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Stretchy Jacques mesh upper

Breathable and flexible

Rearfoot and forefoot gel technology

FlyteFoam propel technology

Reflective strips

AHAR outsoles

FluidRide technology

Cons

Heavy

Not very responsive after long-distance running

Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper is one of the areas that was changed. It's now made out of Jacquard mesh, a special blend that is breathable and stretchy. The mesh has multidirectional stretch, giving the wearer freedom of movement. The upper is enveloped by ComfortDry. This layer fights off microorganisms and bad odors, leaving you fresh and dry. The discrete eyelets are placed one by one, helping fight off the tension created when we adjust the fit. The fit is completely customizable, greatly enhancing comfort. The seamless construction removes points that cause hot spots and friction, preventing blisters. The mesh features reflective strips that shine in the dark and keep runners that favor the after-hours safe.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Gel Cumulus 21 features the latest midsole innovations by ASICS. The FluidRide compound is lightweight and springy, generating good responsiveness without the extra bulk. The FlyteFoam layer is also very responsive and soft, bouncing back to its original shape as soon as it loses contact with the wearer's feet. This layer utilizes a unique elastomer that offers unwavering support no matter how long you run. The organic fibers present in the foam are environmentally friendly and durable, helping the foam retain its shape. But ASICS was just getting started here, and the next compound present in the midsoles is SPEVA. SPEVA can be found in a lot of ASICS midsoles, a layer between the outsoles and the inner lining that absorbs shock and disperses pressure. The Impact Guidance System technology was specially developed by ASICS to aid the natural movements of the foot. This system is a blend of four different technologies to deliver a clean, stress-free ride. The external heel cage stabilizes the ankles, while the Trusstic system keeps the whole foot in place and lessens the blow when you land. The rearfoot features a gel compound that helps with better toe-offs, while the SoLyte midsoles deliver durability without the extra weight.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsoles of the Gel Cumulus 21 are made out of AHAR, which is a rubber compound present in most ASICS sneakers. AHAR stands for ASICS high-abrasion rubber. This spongy rubber cushions the forefoot and heels while allowing the forefoot to flex naturally. AHAR is placed on areas that suffer the most from wear and tear damage, protecting them against abrasions. This type of rubber also creates plenty of traction. The forefoot features the DuraSponge material, which is just blown AHAR rubber. Blown rubber is much more responsive and soft, absorbing shock and saving the runner from pain.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Finding a lightweight sneaker should be your priority. Lightweight sneakers will allow the wearer to move freely, without worrying about fatigue and angry feet. A heavy pair will feel like shackles, slowing you down and affecting your pace. The Cumulus 21 is not heavy, but it's not so lightweight either. The average weight of the sneaker is 10.1 oz, which is the right weight for a stability sneaker. Remember that there are a lot of innovative technologies used to create this pair, and while ASICS did their best to shave off as much weight as possible, the pair can feel a bit too heavy if you wear them for a long time. Make sure you use the sneakers for short-distance running and you will be safe from fatigue and sore feet.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Cumulus 21 is a rather comfortable sneaker. The specialized mesh upper is soft and flexible, but it locks down the feet to give them support. The heel and tongue are padded to mitigate irritation and hot spots created by laces and heel counters. The construction of the upper is also seamless, so there's no need to worry about irritation and blisters. The midsoles are filled to the brim with various compounds that are cushy and responsive. The heel counter locks down the back of the feet, while the blown rubber on the forefoot pads the balls of the feet to prevent burning. Be aware that if you wear the sneakers for long-distance running, you might not have the best experience, as the midsoles are not as responsive, and you will end up feeling sore and tired.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Jacquard mesh upper does its best to promote breathability. The small perforations run throughout the construction of the upper, expelling hot air and leaving room for cool air to chill you down. Breathable sneakers are very important, as sweaty feet invite bad odors and blisters. The ComfortDry sock liner regulates the temperature inside the shoes thanks to a dual-layer padding system, keeping you bacteria and odor-free. There's no room for sweat in these shoes, so don't worry about walking in puddles by the end of the run!
Style
Style

Style

The Gel Cumulus 21 is an average-looking sneaker. There's nothing on it that will make it stand out from the crowd, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Rarely anyone thinks about fashion when they work out, as attracting attention is reserved for the nightlife. Both the men's and women's versions have eight different colorways, featuring both calm, neutral colors such as grays and blacks, and vibrant, vivid hues such as orange and fuschia. The color of the logo matches the color of the outsoles, creating a clean design. The Cumulus 21 is not the best-looking sneaker, but it does improve performance like a champ!
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Gel Cumulus 21 is the most durable version yet. The updated upper is sturdy as much as it's flexible, offering unwavering support mile after mile. The midsoles have a myriad of technologies and compounds that have different levels of durability, with the AHAR layer lasting the most. The midsoles will retain their shape and elasticity, although long-distance runners reported that the midsoles lose responsiveness after a while. The AHAR of the outsoles is extremely sturdy, while the carbon fibers serve to strengthen the construction even further. The Cumulus 21 is a sneaker that will be your partner for many years to come!
Protection
Protection

Protection

The very first feature you can rely on to protect you is the AHAR outsole. The rubber protects areas that are susceptible to wear and tear damage while providing excellent traction. The FlyteFoam and gel pockets serve to offer both responsiveness and protection against rough terrain and sharp objects. The breathable upper protects the delicate skin from irritation and blisters, while the padded collar and tongue disperse the pressure from the top of the foot. The upper is seamless, aiding in blister protection. A reflective strip on the upper keeps the runner safe during the night, shining like a reflector in the silence of darkness.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

ASICS made sure to create a responsive sneaker as long as it hugs the feet. The FlyteFoam present in the midsoles constantly gives the same amount of responsiveness, no matter the duration of the run. The heel counter grasps the heels and locks them down, creating a fluid, continuous motion while you run. The FlyteFoam propel was introduced when the Cumulus 20 arrived, and as the name suggests, the layer helps your tendons spring into action, guiding you closer to your goals.
Support
Support

Support

The Gel Cumulus 21 is made for neutral runners, with medium to high arches, and with slight overpronation issues. The foam of the midsoles will adapt to the shape of your foot, gently supporting the arches in the right position. The collar and the tongue are padded to support the ankles, although some users reported that the padding feels to thick at times. The heel counter supports the heels while giving the Achilles tendon room to move and flex. The outsoles are flexible and sturdy, creating excellent traction even on slippery surfaces!
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Gel Cumulus is made for running on roads and pavements. However, many users brought their Cumulus pair to the trail, and they were surprised at how well the sneakers held on. The AHAR outsoles are a marvel, protecting the outsoles from abrasions and cuts while gripping the terrain with incredible force. We still wouldn't advise you to wear this pair on the trail if you want them to last as long as possible, but if you somehow find yourself in the great outdoors with this pair strapped to your feet, you will not be disappointed. The tread pattern of the outsoles features grooves tham enhance flexibility and grip.
Value
Value

Value

The Gel Cumulus 21 is not a very pricey running sneaker. Compared to running shoes present on the market today, their price is average. You can find them on Amazon for about 120$, and although this can be too much for some users, you have to consider the number of technologies and compounds that went into making this pair. All of those tweaks required a lot of experience and manpower, and all of that comes with a price. The sneakers are very durable as well, so consider them a worthy investment!
The Final Word

The Final Word

We thought that the Gel-Cumulus 20 was ASICS top of the line model, but we were surprised yet again with the improvements seen on this pair. The stretchy Jacquard upper is durable and supportive, while the lacing system allows the user to customize the fit. The ComfortDry insoles protect the wearer against bacteria and bad odors, while the mesh upper allows hot air to escape freely. The very impressive midsoles are responsive and sturdy, although some runners reported that the responsiveness wears down after a while. The sneakers still feel rather heavy, and the super cushy collar and tongue might be overkill. The Gel-Nimbus is an affordable neutral pair that is worthy of your attention!