One of the leading names in running apparel over the past few years, popular footwear manufacturers ASICS derive their name from the Latin phrase “Anima sana in corpore sano.” In English, this translates to "A healthy soul in a healthy body.”
In pursuit of this goal, this Japanese company has designed many products, including high-quality running shoes and the popular running app Runkeeper.
Among ASICS’ entire catalog, one of its most popular and well-received lines of running shoes is their Gel Nimbus series.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, in particular, is a noteworthy example as to why they are so highly acclaimed. With the design intention of providing ample cushioning hand-in-hand with high adaptability, these shoes are incredibly helpful for runners looking for an edge.
Let’s take a closer look at the Asics Gel Nimbus 18 review.
The forefoot primarily features soft blown rubber, a lightweight cushioned rubber with many small air pockets, marketed by Asics as Durasponge. This version of the Gel Nimbus line features a slightly different outsole design from previous iterations to provide runners with a better ride. It includes narrowing the gap between the side lugs on the heel and deepening the center of the outsole.
These changes cause a minimal difference in positive qualities, such as durability or traction, but have the benefit of more natural gait transitions.
In addition to the gel, Asics implemented FluidRide technology for an extra degree of cushioning and durability. The strongest benefit offered by these technologies is that they don’t add any extra weight to the shoe; this is very fortunate considering that these running shoes are fairly heavy, to begin with.
Some runners have complained about the asymmetry of the midsoles since the medial side is a bit wider than the lateral. It can make the toe box feel a bit more constrictive on one side, but it isn’t a particularly awful design flaw.
Asics implemented FluidFit technology to provide a sensation to the upper portion of your foot when worn that is similar to that of a sock. The rear portion features a plastic heel clutch that sets foot in place securely and adds some additional comfort. No, particularly noteworthy changes have been made to a traditional lacing system, although an extra hole has been added that allows for a tighter fit.
All in all, the upper for Gel Nimbus 18 is very similar to the previous model in the Gel Nimbus line.
That said, any discomfort caused by the extra weight is offset to a degree thanks to a lightweight and breathable upper. Unfortunately, many runners are dissatisfied with the weight and rigidity of the midsole, so runners looking for a lighter stride may want to look elsewhere.
The included sock liner helps to provide moisture management on top of the powerful airflow, wicking away any sweat or water from puddles that a runner may encounter. If it so happens that this remarkable degree of ventilation still isn’t enough for runners, then further breathability can be accommodated by loosening the laces on the upper portion.
Soft cushioning in the heel and forefront provides plenty of giving during a run, but a few runners feel as though the midsole is too stiff. Complaints have also been levied regarding the plastic heel counter, with some finding it to be too tight. However, aside from these two small criticisms, the majority of discomfort complaints have to do with the toe box.
Many runners feel that it is too narrow, even after a while spent breaking in the shoes, and recommend that runners with more full feet should purchase a larger size than usual. If this is something you wish to do, any loose feelings can be fortunately mitigated with the extra lace hole on the upper allowing for a tighter fit.
Everything from more subdued color schemes to bright neon palettes is accommodated here, making it very easy for fashion-oriented runners to find a color pattern that suits their preferences. Aside from the colors, the rest of the shoe is excellently designed with an eye for style; the logo on the side blends in with the rest of the design seamlessly and upper showcases a nice, smooth webbing.
Although the forefoot is primarily made with soft blown rubber, hard rubber embedded in the arch and heel add extra durability to compensate. Because of these features, many customers enjoy using these as both a training tool and casual walking shoes. In a few rare cases, customers have noticed holes in the heel, but this is fortunately extremely uncommon.
These elements all work in tandem to not only offer padding that protects from injury but also stability to prevent any potential for harm in the first place.
The exception to this rigidity is the upper portion, with its breathable and pliable material, and the forefoot, with its soft blown rubber construction. However, these two factors alone don’t contribute enough responsiveness to satisfy more serious runners with discerning tastes.
The design choices made to these shoes by Asics have been met with high praise from many satisfied customers who appreciate the effect they have on cadence and running efficiency.
Aside from that, the best surfaces to use Asics Gel Nimbus 18 on are flat and hard, without too much debris or too steep of an incline.
Ultimately, you’re just going to have to decide for yourself if it’s worth the hefty investment.
The best choice for these individuals is to find a shoe with less weight and material, such as a minimalist barefoot-style road shoe.
This is standard for most running shoes of its kind, but individuals who are used to naturalistic shoes or trail runners may need time to adjust.
- Fluidride Midsole provides soft cushioning
- Fluidfit upper provides stretchy, comfortable fit
- Heel clutch system provides extra support
- Gel cushioning system absorbs shock from foot strikes
- Guidance Trusstic System adds support and stability
Unfortunately, the significant weight and high price tag are sure to turn off some runners, as will the lack of flexibility. That said, if you’re interested in a shoe that combines excellent style with unparalleled comfort and isn’t worried about some extra calf strain, these are not a bad investment despite their high price tag.