Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review (2024): Living Up to Its Legend?A tried and true classic, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is very comfortable running shoe suitable for most runners.
Very good, comfortable, and versatile shoes with high-stack cushioning and supreme comfort.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 confirms the move towards maximal cushioning (42 mm heel stack height) made with version 25.
The brand relies again on its FF Blast Plus Eco foam, as on the Novablast 4, but combines it with its new PureGel technology at the rear. The feel is soft yet firm, with excellent impact absorption and satisfactory responsiveness.
The upper is impressively comfortable. It’s breathable and provides an excellent fit. Also, the stretchiness allows it to adapt to any foot shape.
The new HYBRID ASICSGRIP outsole technology delivers formidable traction on any road surface, even wet pavement.
In short, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, with significant improvements in fit, responsiveness, and grip. If you were on the fence about the 25, we strongly recommend you give this new model a try! It should delight the fan of the series and prove a great daily trainer for marathon preparation.
Please read our full review of the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 for more information.
- Max cushion for excellent shock absorption
- New high-performance outsole
- Good stability
- Snug-fitting, breathable and very comfortable upper
- Firm yet comfortable feel for enhanced responsiveness
- Some testers found the tongue irritating for the lower tibia
Looking back over the last few years, it’s clear that the brand is shaking things up. Over the past 3-4 years, Asics has evolved its products, and the Nimbus series is a perfect example.
We could already sense a desire for greater versatility and responsiveness with the Nimbus 24. Version 25, on the other hand, radically shifted towards maximal cushioning, with mixed results and a clear loss of responsiveness.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 continues this trend with its impressive stack. But has the brand managed to fix everything? That’s what we will find out in this review based on over 120 miles of running and put in perspective with the feedback from several different runners.
The midsole features a thick layer of FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS ECO foam and the new PUREGEL technology, which has the same properties as classic Gel but is 65% softer, according to the brand. The unit is located at the rear of the shoe and will mainly benefit heel strikers.
The foam is denser than the previous version, giving a firmer underfoot feel while retaining the overall softness. It’s a subtle blend of comfort and responsiveness with soft landings, which was sorely lacking in version 25.
The stack height of 42 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the toes ensures impressive shock absorption, certainly among the best on the market. As a result, there are no restrictions in terms of distances or runner type.
Asics claims that the Gel Nimbus 26 is suitable for runners weighing up to 90 kg/198 lbs, but I think there’s no limit–it will suit the heaviest runners easily.
Also, the 8 mm heel-to-toe drop is classic and won’t require any transition period.
Weighing in at 298 g/10.5 oz (about 15 g/0.5 oz more), this Nimbus isn’t really lightweight. It’s one of the few drawbacks that could hinder the versatility of the shoes.
However, there are a few things to consider to understand this number. Firstly, the weight is well distributed throughout the shoe, so it’s not so noticeable. Secondly, the ride will differ according to your foot strike pattern.
For heel strikers, the rear GEL unit provides softness and further enhances shock absorption at the expanse of the bounce. Therefore, responsiveness will not be so impressive (yet much better than the Nimbus 25).
However, the responsiveness is surprisingly midfoot/forefoot strikers (as in my case), the ride is surprisingly responsive. Heel-to-toe transitions are also smooth thanks to the moderate but effective rocker.
Support and stability
A legitimate concern given the max stack, stability is nevertheless very good. With such a height, stability is bound to be lower than models closer to the ground. However, with the wide platform, very good fit, and excellent grip, you can roll your foot off the ground very safely. The firmer foam also helps by providing more structure.
This model is for neutral (universal) running and the brand indicates that it can also be adapted for supination.
The multidirectional mesh upper is soft and elastic with a closer construction. Also, the midfoot eyelets allow for a better lockdown.
The breathability is better, ensuring a comfortable experience in summer and winter. According to Asics, the Nimbus is their most comfortable shoe and we can’t disagree.
The extra padding throughout the upper also enhance the experience without being too thick. Overall, it feels like wearing slippers.
What’s more, the OrthoLite X-55 insole prevents moisture and the reflective elements help with safety by making you more visible on the road.
The semi-rigid heel counter is padded and works perfectly for comfort and lockdown, while the stretch-knit collar makes the shoe easy to put on. The 3D Space construction also favors compression in the heel, which enhances propulsion.
The gusseted tongue is one of the best I’ve seen as it perfectly follows foot movement. However, even though I personally had no problems, some testers found that it came up on the bottom of the shin and could cause some irritation.
Regardless of foot type, the testers appreciated the fit. It’s rare enough to mention it as with most shoes it’s difficult to get a consensus on this point.
The shoes run true to size, and the stretchy upper should suit a wide variety of feet (including wide ones).
The ASICS’ outsoles haven’t always been unanimously acclaimed, so it was time for the Japanese brand to come up with something new. For the Gel Nimbus 26, they had the ingenious idea of crossing the qualities of their AHAR+ rubber for the road and ASICSGRIP for trails.
The result is HYBRID ASICSGRIP, and it works extremely well. The traction is very good, with a very powerful grip. What’s more, the rubber’s firmness perfectly counterbalances the foam’s softness for a firmer, more balanced ride than the 25.
The grip is excellent, even on wet surfaces. The flex grooves provide good flexibility to ease the ride and transitions. Although not a trail-running model, the Gel Nimbus 26 can tackle a wide variety of terrains, including dirt paths.
ASICS aims to provide max cushion shoes for long training miles, and that’s exactly what the Nimbus 26 is best at. Shock absorption is so good that most runners will be able to push the distance.
As mentioned, responsiveness is surprisingly good for a model of this weight, although it will vary according to the runner’s foot strike. Nonetheless, it will be good enough for most runners for long runs at a marathon pace.
In my case, I’m able to easily run at 3:40 per kilometer with ease, and I wouldn’t mind using it for competition, even if obviously it won’t perform as well as a carbon-plated model.
Note: with a height of 42 mm in the heel, the Nimbus 26 is theoretically not authorized at official races as per World Athletics’ regulations.
Quality and durability
The quality of the design and materials is very good. The engineered mesh is very robust, the high-density foam should retain its properties over time, and the outsole is abrasion-resistant with no signs of wear at the end of our tests. All these elements help to justify the steep price.
The main upper fiber is made from 75% recycled materials and 20% of the the midsole foam comes from renewable sources.
Last but not least, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is vegan and, therefore, does not contain any animal products.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is a premium all-around daily trainer with great qualities. Its superior comfort, fairly good responsiveness, and grippy new outsole make it an ideal training partner to run longer miles.
Its universal fit makes it suitable for most runners, from beginners looking for a secure and easy pick to experienced athletes who need a model capable to tackle all their sessions.
It should suit almost every profile, from the novice who appreciates its accessibility and safety to the seasoned runner who will use its versatility over a wide range of sessions.
|298 g/10.5 oz
|262 g/9.2 oz
|Vegan, Wide feet, Heavy runner, Recycled materials, Rocker
|FF Blast Plus Eco, PureGEL
|Multidirectional mesh, OrthoLite X-55
|Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
Asics Gel Nimbus 25
There are several new features:
- New upper for even greater comfort and breathability
- Improved midfoot fit
- New lacing system
- High-performance outsole
- Higher-density foam for improved responsiveness
These changes considerably improve the shoe’s versatility, making this Asics Gel Nimbus 26 a better choice over the 25.