Asics Gel Nimbus 25 Review (2023): A New Version on Steroids!
Published on: 03/23/2023The Asics Gel Nimbus 25 marks a tectonic shift in the popular collection with more comfortable but less responsive max cushion.
A new version that takes the series’ strong points and adds max cushioning for a mixed result.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 25 is back in 2023, and the least we can say is that the brand has not done things by halves! One thing is for sure: this Nimbus and its significant revamp have not finished making news.
Let’s jump right into the heart of the matter: Asics’ number one shoe goes maximal with a 41.5 mm heel stack height! The heel-to-toe drop is now standard at 8mm. In practice, this results in even more comfortable and softer cushioning than before. The shoe disperses shock perfectly for long-distance running.
However, this increased comfort is at the expense of the energy return. The Gel Nimbus 25 is less responsive and less suitable for tempo sessions. This was never its primary purpose, but now it’s steering even further away from it.
Finally, the lockdown remains perfect with a high-quality mesh that has just the right amount of stretch. The durability is still good, and the traction is quite decent for city use.
For more information, please read our full review of the Asics Gel Nimbus 25.
- Great comfort
- Precise lockdown, perfect fit
- XL cushioning for better impact absorption
- Surprisingly stable platform despite the height of the sole
- Overall smoother transitions
- Lack of energy return to increase pace
- Very high price for a daily trainer
- A little heavy
Asics Gel Nimbus 25 Complete Review Analysis
There was a time when ASICS was resting on its laurels, releasing every year the same old shoes with few changes. However, the Japanese brand has been able to renew itself in recent years and demonstrate its expertise in designing great shoes for both comfort and performance.
But this evolution was mostly related to its new footwear series such as MetaSpeed (Sky and Edge) and Novablast (a little gem of versatility). We felt the company was more reluctant to shake up its flagship models despite clear improvements. For example, the Nimbus 24 remained true to its roots while displaying a new version more modern and responsive.
In 2023, Asics decided to break the last taboos by touching notably the height and drop of the shoe’s sole. We can imagine that the brand sees the wind turning with the success of Hoka and its shoes with high-stack cushioning.
So what is this new Nimbus 25 worth? Will it be able to seduce new runners without alienating its historical fans? That’s what we will see in this test.
The first obvious thing is the stack height of the sole. With 41.5 mm heel stack height and 33.5 mm in the forefoot, the Nimbus jumps into the max cushioned trainers category. The drop of the Nimbus is now more standard at 8mm compared to the previous 10mm.
The series is turning a new page in its history, a step surprising yet logical. Runners always ask for more cushioning, and Asics has responded to this expectation. But not just in any way.
To validate this new design and ensure it was headed in the right direction, the brand commissioned an independent study from The Biomechanics Lab in Australia with 100 runners (48 women and 52 men). The goal was to compare the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 to three competing shoes and the Gel Nimbus 24. The result? Runners found the Gel Nimbus 25 to be the most comfortable running shoe of all the models tested.
Regarding technology, we find FlyteFoam Blast in its so-called ecological form: FF Blast Plus Eco. We say “so-called” because, in practice, Asics uses only 20% of recycled content for its midsole, which is minor. The Gel Nimbus 25 still uses a GEL unit to improve comfort, renamed for the occasion PureGEL.
Testers agree that the underfoot feel is very soft. Asics has taken the standard marketing language with running shoes by promising a “running on clouds” feel. But the formula seems appropriate in the case of the Nimbus 25. The run is comfortable with lovely shock absorption.
The downside is a need for more structure which limits responsiveness. We will tell you more in the section on the ride.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The Asics Nimbus 25 uses a technical mesh for its upper. There are many things to criticize about Asics running shoes, but let’s give credit where it’s due: the upper is one of the areas where they rarely go wrong.
Testers have not lacked praise when describing the fit offered by the Nimbus 25. Some even went so far as to say that it was their favorite shoe for foot lockdown.
The mesh is slightly stretchy to accommodate the shape of the foot. The wider base of this running shoe (to compensate for the higher sole and avoid stability issues) gives a good amount of volume that should also fit wide feet, including in the toe box. The size remains standard; you can choose your usual size.
The collar wraps perfectly around the ankle, and the tongue keeps the top of the foot comfortable.
The icing on the cake is that the shoe boasts 75% recycled material in the upper. Now, unlike the sole, that’s not bad at all!
So overall, it’s a no-brainer. The only potential drawback is common to most shoes with knit upper: it can be quite hot, especially in summer or regions with high temperatures.
Finally, note that the weight remains stable: 10.5 oz/299 g for the men’s version and 9.2 oz/260 g for the women’s model. This is still a little high compared to the competition, but it’s acceptable if you consider the 20% more foam compared to the Gel Nimbus 24.
Grip and durability
True to its reputation, the Gel Nimbus 25 features durable construction with the famous AHAR+ under the heel to protect the shoe from abrasion with repeated shocks.
We’ll have to wait and see if the shoe easily passes the 500km mark. It should be a breeze if previous versions are anything to go by!
Finally, the traction is decent. Not exceptional, but enough to run safely on the road in rainy weather, according to runners.
With maximal cushioning, testers praised a comfortable and smooth run. So, this neutral shoe will easily accompany you during your longer and slower sessions to build endurance in preparation for a half or a marathon.
The stride is smooth with pleasant transitions, even if runners were disappointed by the lack some spring because of the thick and soft sole. Unfortunately, Asics did not seem to leave enough structure for perfectly responsive support.
So you must understand that the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 is no longer as versatile as previous models. If you want a shoe that can support you for splits or get a new time in addition to the quieter paces, you’ll have to turn to a Novablast. Or opt for a dedicated speed/competition running shoe.
The Asics Gel Nimbus changes dramatically in 2023 with this edition 25 compared to the previous version. It’s morphed so much into a highly cushioned trainer that you might wonder if it’s still a Nimbus. Fortunately, we find the precise lockdown and impeccable quality of the collection with the addition of supreme cushioning that clearly aims to compete with Hoka.
Purists may be cautious and regret the traditional Nimbus of the past, but it’s likely that this new generous configuration will allow Asics to conquer a new audience. We will see in a few months if the bet is successful!
|Heel height||41.5 mm|
|Forefoot height||33.5 mm|
|Weight (men)||299 g/10.5 oz|
|Weight (women)||260 g/9.2 oz|
|Features||Heavy runner, Recycled materials|
|Midsole||FlyteFoam Blast Eco, PureGEL, OrthoLite X-55|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Reference: Asics's official site
Did you know?
Since 2017, we have analyzed hundreds of road running shoes, and thousands of runners trust us to find the perfect pair every month!
Discover our selection of the best 2023 road running shoes.