ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25: Tried and tested

Could ASICS’ 25th iteration of the plush Gel-Nimbus be the perfect partner for long recovery days?

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25

Weight: 255g
Heel-toe drop: 8mm
Type: Neutral cushioned, road

The shoe

The Gel-Nimbus is arguably one of ASICS best-selling and most-loved trainers. But 25 iterations in, and it’s probably time to switch things up and have a serious update.

Sometimes, with shoe upgrades, brands seemingly get away with changing rather little. Perhaps they’ll update the colourway or tweak the materials used on the tongue of the shoe – something small that most runners won’t even notice. Rarely does a shoe get completely rethought, reinvented and transformed into something else entirely.

But this is precisely what’s happened with ASICS’ Gel-Nimbus 25. It doesn’t take an expert to look at both the 24th iteration and 25th and see how completely different they are.

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How is the Gel-Nimbus 25 different to the Gel-Nimbus 24?

Looks-wise, the Gel-Nimbus 25 is completely different to its predecessor. Featuring a large foam-like midsole (made from new lightweight and energetic FF Blast Plus Eco cushioning), a new knitted upper, stretchy knit tongue and collar construction. There’s also new Pure Gel Technology, which is cleverly embedded between the upper and midsole (and not visible from the outside), which helps with shock absorption.

Gel-Nimbus 25 vs Gel-Nimbus 24

Weight:255g vs 247g
Drop: 8mm vs 13mm
Midsole material: 
FF Blast Plus Eco vs FF Blast + / Flytefoam
Pure Gel Technology vs Rearfoot visible / Forefoot Gel Technology
Knit vs Engineered mesh

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What is the Gel-Nimbus 25 like to run in?

Dubbed by ASICS as ‘the most comfortable shoe ever’ – the Gel-Nimbus 25 was tested by 100 runners (52 men, 48 women) for a short study, where the runners were asked to run in five pairs of (completely unrecogisable and unbranded) shoes on a treadmill, for three minutes, and then asked to rate the comfort of each shoe. According to the study, the Gel-Nimbus 25 was rated as the number one in comfort.

And after testing the Gel-Nimbus 25 ourselves – including on an easy, flat 7k lunchtime loop, a parkrun, a longer 12k plod and an interval session (6 x 800m hard, with 90s rest) – we can confirm it is indeed a very comfortable shoe. Of course, comfort is a very difficult (and individual) thing to measure – what one person finds comfortable, another may find unbearable. But we also liked how plush it felt to run in – it’s relatively lightweight, feels soft underfoot, and has a smooth, rolling transition. Bouncy, fun, but not overly springy, if you need a recovery day shoe or a long-distance slow-run trainer, this is a great option.

How does the Gel-Nimbus 25 fit?

As soon as you step into the Gel-Nimbus 25, the stretchy knit tongue feels snug, secure and almost sock-like. The knitted upper is pretty padded as well, and we did find it runs a bit warm (although not complaining when it’s cold outside). The heel also rubbed a little on the first couple of runs (the boot strap / heel loop design is quite high), but we’re going to give it the benefit of the doubt, and put that down to the fact that they’re brand new, never-been-worn-before.

What shoes do they compare to in other brands?

As a point of comparison, ASICS’ Gel-Nimbus 25 feels similar to Hoka’s Clifton 9 and New Balance’s 1080v12 – it’s a slow-day shoe.

RW verdict

We’re big fans of the Gel-Nimbus’ new look. Built for daily training, long runs, and recovery days, this isn’t a go-faster shoe; this is a shoe built for comfort. So if you’re looking for a daily workhorse with a fun, modern, knitted look and bouncy foam midsole, this is definitely one to have on your radar.

This article originally appeared on Runner’s World UK. Article by Alice Barraclough

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