Amy, one of our RC Pro runners, was given Asics' Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 to take for a test and put some miles on the shoe to see just how well they perform. After a distance run, aerobics, and a couple of hours on the spin bike, she gave us her thoughts on how well the shoes did. Keep reading below for a detailed test review.
I tried to adjust the shoe's laces to help with the heel slippage, but it didn't fix the problem. The toe box was too narrow, and the base of the heel counter was too loose. If I went a size up, it would cause my heel to slip even more. The toe box would be even more uncomfortable if I went a size down.
The toe box felt tight, and the heel area felt loose. After 4 miles in the shoes (about an hour of walking on the first day), I had hot spots on my toes (outer edges of both the big and little toes), cuts on my heels, and blisters on my ankles. I thought the problem might be my under pronation, so I tried adjusting the laces for heel slippage, added extra padding, and changed my socks (used both Bombas and Swiftwicks – which have never been an issue with any other shoe).
I completed 15 miles in the shoes, did (2) hour-long spin bike workouts, (1) 30-minute weight lifting workout, and (1) 45-minute aerobic workout for seven days (not unusual for me) before I could not tolerate the pain at my heels and ankles. The cuts on my heels were so bad that I could not wear shoes with backs for three days!
Unfortunately, the upper of this shoe was all sizzle and no steak.
However, I was a little disappointed that this shoe wasn't very responsive. The midsole was comfortable but didn't inject much energy or speed into my movements. Plus, the broad base wasn't great for side-to-side exercises such as lunges.
The wide outsole of this shoe is a little odd but not terrible. It took a few hours to get acclimated to the wide sole base as an under pronator. It felt like something was under my foot. Afterward, though, I was very impressed with the positive impact on ankle and calf strain during workouts. It provided a good deal of stability without hindering my full range of motion.
The heel of the ASICS Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 has ample padding at the top of the heel (which is excellent) but no padding at the base of the heel. This creates a loose-fitting heel counter that rubs against my heel with every step. I hoped that after 15 miles, I could break in the heel on these shoes, but I needed to use bandaids on my heels just to get through my workouts.
The midsole and the outsole perform exceptionally well, and they are incredibly lightweight.
After 15 miles of running, I noticed very few signs of wear and tear on the outsole of this shoe. If you can get past the uncomfortable fit up the upper, I wouldn't be surprised if this outsole could easily tackle up to 350 miles.
To me, however, the bad far outweighs the good. It was hard to focus on the overall performance of this shoe when my toes were pinched in the toe box, and the heel counter rubbed relentless blisters into my heels. They may break in a little more after 15 miles.
The closest comparison also comes from Asics, the Gel-Nimbus 23. This is also a neutral running shoe that is meant to also help provide some degree of stability and support for those who need it.
Looking at the Nimbus 23, there doesn't seem to be the same issues with the overall fit that we saw with the Nimbus Lite 2.