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Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review: Tried-and-Tested

Check out our review of Asics’ 26th iteration of the beloved Gel Nimbus running shoe.

Jeremy Proome

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Ask anyone who’s worn an Asics running shoe, and they’ll swear that they’re the most comfortable and easy-to-wear runners around. The gateway drug of Asics’ superb line is the Gel-Nimbus series, and the Gel Nimbus 26 (that’s right, the 26th edition) has planted down on South African shores to make everyone’s running load a little lighter; but does it live up to the high standards of its predecesors?

Asics is known to go with what works, rather than trying to be too radical with each iteration of their beloved releases. The ‘if it ain’t broke’ approach works, but there have been some small changes to the Gel Nimbus 26.

The most significant update is the addition of the new Hybrid Asicsgrip technology. The combination of Asicsgrip technology and Asics’ Ahar Plus, essentially a denser and tougher foam than the standard Ahar, features an abrasion resistance about three times higher than that of conventional rubber. This outsole rubber delivers better traction, improved softness, and advanced durability, allowing runners to feel at ease when running on wet and slippery surfaces.  There is a little more ‘bite’ to these runners on the road, which helps leading into a colder, slightly wetter season (whether that be from light rain or dew). On top of that, the thicker rubber will also provide more durability, helping your shoes last a couple of months longer than anticipated.

With something carrying the ‘nimbus’ name (literally referring to a cloud), you expect the Gel Nimbus to feel like a squishy, marshmallow-like pillow, and in truth, it does. What’s great about the Asics’ line is that while some other ultra-soft and bouncy runners are great for impact reduction, they sometimes like a bit of stability, causing you to constantly work and contract your feet for balance, albeit without you even noticing. The Nimbus 26 features great side stability and a guided feel thanks to a reworked midfoot, providing a solid ‘rail’ and cradle of sorts that your foot sits and moves in, on top of the softer, more bouncy sensation below.

As for the bounce itself, it’s primarily due to the company’s lightweight and energetic FF Blast Plus ECOfoam and the PureGel insert in the sole. In addition to the protection the cushioning provides for your poor joints and lower limbs, it’s also made up of 24% bio-based content from renewable sources, such as leftover waste from sugar cane processing.

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You, of course, get an 8mm heel drop with the Gel Nimbus 26 too, giving you that ‘sprint’ position feel, along with alleviating a lot of strain on your Achilles for longer runs.

Ultimately, with the quality and pedigree of Asics’ Gel Nimbus line, you know what you’re getting with the release. However, some slight refinements make the Gel Nimbus an even more tempting purchase this year thanks to the adjusted fit and better durability.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is available from Totalsports, Sportsmans Warehouse, Asics Running Expert Club, and other retailers nationwide.

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