ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes Review
The midsole hosts an ample layer of dual foam and gel cushioning that adds an extra spring to your step, as well as stability features that make it ideal for heavier runners or overpronators. It’s pretty expensive, but by no means the most expensive running shoe out there on the market, and the added durability makes it an excellent value. You won’t be entering any fashion shows in the Gel-Nimbus 23, but your feet will thank you that you traded style for functionality!
Dual padded midsole
Ample padding in the collar and tongue prevents blisters
Engineered mesh upper with synthetic overlays
OrthoLite X-55 sock liner for added stability and comfort
Perfect for running long distances
Heavier than expected
Not ideal for high speeds
A little clunky
"I have been wearing the Asics Gel Nimbus running shoes for years. The thing I love most about the Gel Nimbus style is that they are so comfortable and cushioned that it feels like I am running on a cloud. I can definitely understand why these shoes are named after nimbus clouds! I have tried some other shoe brands and compared them to Gel Nimbus over the years, but nothing ever seems to compare with how the cushioning feels in the Gel Nimbus. It's not a light shoe but it does an excellent job absorbing shock and offering the ultimate level of comfort."
The insane padding and cushioning in this design make them the perfect pair of daily trainers, or for those wanting to put quite a few miles behind them. If you are training for a race or a marathon, this is one of your best options. The ample padding and cushioning in the upper makes this the perfect pair for runners that are carrying a bit of extra weight or need a great stability shoe for overpronation.
It’s important to note that due to the overall weight of this shoe, it’s not great for speed. Some runners feel that the stiff and padded upper and the heavy outsole really weigh them down when attempting to pick up the pace. If you want something that is super supportive for long rides or easy casual runs, this is a great option.
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 is not made for running on trails. The simple outsole lacks lugs that are deep enough to really grip uneven surfaces, While you can technically take it out on the trails, you will lose a lot of stability and grip needed for uneven trailheads. I suggest sticking to the sidewalks or the treadmill in these shoes.
I feel that this shoe really shines in the midsole. By simply pressing your finger down into the midsole, you can feel the soft squish that this midsole provides. Many running shoes have stiff midsole materials that you can only feel when you strike the ground under your feet. The dual layers of foam and gel cushioning provide a lovely squish as soon as you slip your feet into these trainers. Who doesn’t love that?
The squish to this shoe is provided by the dual layers of cushioning in the midsole. It is composed of ASICS proprietary FlyteFoam Propel Technology that is made with an elastomer compound that is unique to ASICS running shoes. This FlyteFoam contours to the shape of your foot for maximum stability. It boosts its cushioning with an added layer of GEL technology cushioning that works to absorb the shock when running on hard surfaces.
The engineered mesh upper helps to move hot air up and away from your foot where it quickly evaporates on the surface to prevent hot and soupy socks (ick). This upper is both flexible and supportive, which blends the best of both worlds between minimalist trainers and stability trainers. Synthetic overlays in key areas help to add additional support without overheating your feet.
What I really want to talk about is the cushioning found in the tongue and collar. In fact, one of the very first things I noticed about this trainer is the massive amount of cushioning in the heel collar that looks like a pair of fluffy pillows. This ample cushioning helps to cut down on blisters on long runs, and also cuts down on the initial break-in period that often leads to bloody and blistered heels.
What makes this design well worth the higher price point is the incredibly durable rubber outsole with key features that extra the overall life of this shoe. It boasts AHAR rubber on the entire outsole with concentrated areas of AHAR+ rubber on high impact areas along the heel. This rubber outsole design can keep up with hundreds of miles of training on hard and unforgiving surfaces.
The lugs on the outsole of this design are grippy but shallow. This means that this design is a great option for road running and treadmills, but less than ideal for trails.
MEN VS WOMEN
What I find incredibly interesting about ASICS shoes is that they engineer their shoes differently for men and women. The features found in the men’s Gel-Nimbus 23 are slightly different when compared to the women’s design. All of the components and materials are the same, but there are slight differences that help to bridge the biometric differences in the genders.
For instance, the drop in the men’s design for this trainer is 10 mm, and the drop for the women’s design is 13 mm. Women often have a heavier heel strike, and the higher drop helps to relieve the pressure put on ankles. As a woman, when I hear ‘gender-specific changes’, I grow a little concerned.
Don’t worry, fellow female runners! ASICS doesn’t just slap on a coat of pink paint and a higher price point and call it a day. These changes are very minor and don’t affect the overall performance of the shoe.
ASICS has a reputation of being a more affordable brand of running shoes, which makes the Gel-Nimbus 23 one of the more expensive designs in their lineup of trainers. I feel that this design of running shoes is very similar to the Brooks Glycerin compared back-to-back for stability and support.
It may cost quite a bit more than other options, but I feel that the ample padding, stability features, and overall durability of this long-distance trainer worth every penny!
It was only a matter of time before I discussed the elephant in the room: the style of this shoe. The Gel-Nimbus 23 isn’t winning any fashion shows anytime soon (if fashion shows actually had clear-cut winners and losers). The style of this shoe isn’t bad, it’s just boring. It looks exactly how you would imagine a bland and boring running shoe to look.
I do appreciate, however, that it is available in a few unique color choices that include a fire engine red, bright yellow, and blue, as well as basic black. No one is going to snicker behind your back about your odd choice in footwear, and no one is going to pay you any compliments.
Of course, at the end of the day, fashionable footwear that lacks supportive features won’t give you an edge crossing that finishes line!
Comparisons to Previous Versions
The most significant change I found was the construction of the outsole. The Gel-Nimbus 22 boasts deeper treads on the outsole, which affects the overall flexibility of this shoe. The newer model opts for shallow treads on the outsole which does not affect its durability and helps to be a little more light and flexible when compared back to back with the 22. The design changes are small, but I feel they are well worth it.
That’s why I know the Gel-Nimbus 23. You know exactly when you are getting when you invest in these trainers. They are insanely supportive, which makes them perfect for heel strikers, heavier runners, or for those that believe there is no such thing as too much cushioning.
You likely won’t be getting any compliments on your trainers when hitting up the treadmill at the gym in these shoes, but who cares? Compliments won’t help you cross the finish line in your next marathon!
Overall, I feel that the Gel-Nimbus 23 is worth every penny. The improvements made to the upper, as well as the bouncy midsole, make this the perfect pair of daily trainers that will help you put more miles behind you every time you lace them up.