Asics Gel-Cumulus 23
While it is fairly simple, its simplified design makes it insanely durable. This is a shoe that works on the sidewalk, treadmill, weight machines, WODs, or just as a killer casual shoe. If you need something incredibly versatile to keep up with your complex workout schedule, or just want something simple and reliable, this is a great option.
Below, I wanted to dive into the details that make this a simple yet versatile training shoe that can easily adapt to a variety of workouts.
3D Space Construction zones for a personalized fit
Incredibly versatile, great for running or WODs
Highly cushioned upper
Great for new runners
Heavier than expected
Very high arch in the forefoot
Some find it to be a little boring
Upper holds onto moisture
The midsole of this design is broken down into two parts. The upper layer of this midsole utilizes 3D Space Construction zones which makes this shoe more adaptive to your gait cycle. This shoe provides a little extra cushioning and support in where you place the most weight and works to make your stride nice and even. Whether you are a heel striker or land on your forefoot, the 3D Space Construction zones are made to adapt to your stride.
Under the 3D Space Construction zones is a thin layer of Asics proprietary FlyteFoam midsole cushioning. FlyteFoam isn’t just your average foam cushioning. It is composed of very elastic ballistic-grade fibers (found in bullet-proof vests) that provide a good deal of cushioning while providing a snappy and energetic ride. Unlike traditional EVA foam, the FlyteFoam technology won’t flatten down into a pancake after 100 miles, making the Gel Cumulus 23 very resilient.
I also love that the outsole is composed of two different types of rubber for better overall performance. It utilizes AHAR+ on the heel and AHAR rubber everywhere else. The AHAR+ rubber on the heel provides runners with more responsiveness and durability on the heel, which makes this shoe ideal for heel-strikers. This design also has treads along the base that are spaced wide to prevent rocks from getting stuck in the treads and heightens overall flexibility for more quick and snappy movements.
The outsole of this design is insanely durable and flexible without adding a lot of extra weight. It utilizes heavier rubber in the heel, which bumps up the overall weight slightly. Some runners felt that the weight of this shoe made their stride a little slower overall with a majority of the extra weight landing in the heel. While it’s great for heel-strikers, it may become problematic for those with an even gait cycle.
One of the biggest improvements made to the Gel-Cumulus 23 is the construction of the upper. It boasts a low-profile design that isn’t overly bulky but provides a good deal of cushioning. I love that it has soft cushioning around the heel collar that cuts down on rubbing and chafing, and a padded tongue as well. The downside to this upper is that the tongue isn’t gusseted, which means that it may shift around on your as you run.
Runners noticed that the materials used in this upper absorb a lot of sweat. While they work to keep your feet nice and comforted, that comfort comes at a cost. The overall bulk and heat-retention of this upper make it perform better in cooler climates. If you are wearing these shoes in the summertime, be sure to pop on a pair of moisture-wicking socks!
The Gel-Cumulus 23 gets the job done, but that’s about it. This Asics shoe is as basic as they come. It doesn’t possess any new or cutting-edge shoe technology, and all of the performance features are reliable, albeit a little modest. Some running shoes give you that little surge of energy when you lace them up, and this isn’t one of those shoes. However, there are a few instances where this shoe really shines.
While it’s simple, it’s insanely versatile. It’s designed to be worn on the sidewalks or treadmills but also transitions easily into the gym. What I love most about this shoe is that it can keep up with a unique workout schedule that includes anything from running to weight lifting to WODs. It has a high range of motion for light and snappy movements, and it is made to adapt to just about anything.
I would also recommend this shoe to new runners that don’t quite know what they want out of their running shoes. By giving this shoe a spin, you can easily judge where you want more or less cushioning, if you need any stability features to help with overpronation, or if you want something with less or more cushioning.
One of Gel-Cumulus 23’s best features is its overall fit. It runs true to size, which means that if you were a size 11 in previous ASICS running shoes, the same will be true for this shoe. This shoe boasts a wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay for added stability, and a dynamic lacing system allows you to reach optimal lockdown so that it stays firmly in place on your feet.
If you have never purchased a pair of ASICS training shoes before, you will need to bust out that tape measure and take good measurements of your feet. Compare those measurements to the ASICS sizing chart to ensure that you get the proper size for your feet.
The silhouette of this shoe is fairly average. It boasts a low profile with slim features that really contour to the shape of your foot. While the profile is average, the knit patterns used on this design are incredibly unique. Not only does this shoe come in different color options, but it also includes different print knits that you often don’t see on running shoes.
If you really want to stand out from the crowd, one pattern is even adorned with hot dogs and popsicles! Whether you like neutral shades or a pop of color, there is a color option in this lineup for just about everyone.
Everything we have seen so far about the Gel-Cumulus 23 is average, so it should come as no surprise that it clocks in at an average price point. When compared to other neutral trainers out there on the market, the price tag is very competitive. The cost is not due to high-end technology or experimental designs, however.
When you slap down your credit card, you are buying a classic and reliable pair of running shoes that are comfortable, versatile, and supportive. No thrills, just good quality running shoes.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
Previous versions of this shoe were a little heavy and clunky. The Gel-Cumulus 22, for example, utilized Guidance Line Midsole Technology to help even out your gait cycle. While this feature is great for runners looking for a good stability shoe to help with overpronation issues, it isn’t exactly a neutral runner.
The newest addition dropped the stability features to craft a true neutral running shoe that is lighter and more responsive.
This is the perfect shoe to wear while out on a nice and easy tempo run, and can also easily transition to the gym for WODs or weight training.
I would suggest this simple and easy-going shoe to new runners that don’t quite know what they need out of a running shoe, or for those that can’t quite commit to a steady workout routine. If you like to run one week and find yourself married to the weight bench the next, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 23 is designed to adapt to whatever you can throw at it.