Asics Gel Nimbus 17 Review


Color: Flash Orange/White-Turkish Sea

Asics' marketing pitch: The Nimbus 17 is a little more revolution than evolution.

Surfaces tested on: Road, ambient temperature of 20° C/68° F

Upper: Single piece mesh, high density printing details, filmic overlays.

Midsole: Dual density midsole in a stacked design, forefoot and heel Gel pads, plastic medial shank. 10 mm heel to toe drop

Outsole: Hard AHAR carbon rubber in  heel, softer blown rubber under mid and forefoot.

Weight: 353 gms/ 12.4 Oz for a half pair of US11/UK 10/EUR 45/CM 29

Widths available: D-standard (reviewed), 2E-wide and 4E- extra wide

US Retail: $ 150

Looking for the softest of the soft? Your search ends here.
Saucony Triumph ISO, Nike Zoom Vomero 10 (April), New Balance 1080 V5
Soft cushioning, smooth upper fit
Mild tongue slide, shallower toe bumper than Nimbus 16

Be careful what you wish for.

Our Nimbus 16 review was full of lament about the sameness of design, and how the Japanese were incapable of making sudden, radical changes in anything they do, running shoes included. All that is a thing of the past now, for the new Nimbus 17 makes serious amends. So when Asics says that the shoe is more revolution than evolution, we find ourselves nodding in agreement.

Because a lot has changed on the Japanese brand’s premium cushioned shoe. Just a few months ago, we were taken by surprise when the Kayano 21 felt softer than Nimbus 16 – that didn’t make any sense at all, given the pecking order of supposed softness.

This year, the Nimbus 17 restores a much needed balance by being softer, much softer than Nimbus 16. And that’s what the Nimbus was always supposed to be; the plushest riding neutral in Asics’ lineup.


The new Nimbus 17 claims the crown of running shoe softness.

This might just be the softest Nimbus ever. The new model is one up even on the 2013 Nimbus 15, which felt incredibly soft at the time. And let’s not forget the upper too; gone are all the stitched overlays and urethane welds. In its place is a single piece (can you believe that) mesh upper, with high density printing detail running over it.

We don’t usually mix shoes during wear-test sessions, but due to unfavourable circumstances surrounding the adidas Tempo 7 Boost, we had to rotate both shoes for a better part of the week. The Nimbus 17 and Tempo Boost; talk about contrasts. It was like driving a go-kart and then sitting in the back of a Lincoln town car, running on tyre pressures 10psi lower than usual. The knees squeaked in feeble protest.

The ride of the Nimbus 17 is not soft, it goes beyond that. This is our 100th review in solereview’s present version, and this shoe lords over all in softness. It was as if the midsole was literally made of marshmallows. Or as if you’ve taped foam chunks carved out of a Tempurpedic mattress (without the memory foam-ness) to your feet. The sensation of mushy, sink-in cushioning prevails with each footstrike and the transition which follows.

And isn’t like a certain layer of the midsole happens to be soft, every part has been redesigned to dial up softness, so it’s squish all the way to the bottom, stopping right above the outsole rubber. The shoe feels consistent as the weight loads heel to toe or vice versa, as a vast expanse of padding spreads underfoot.

If you’re getting the picture we’re painting here, you will also begin to realize what the Nimbus 17 is meant for. And at the same time, what not to expect from the shoe.


Fast runs and Nimbus 17? Nope. Slow and easy? Oh yeah.

This is a shoe for slow, recovery runs. For runners who want nothing but the very best in soft, and don’t care about running speed. Because if you do, one will not find the Nimbus 17 equal to the task. You simply cannot go fast, the same way a Lincoln with low pressure tyres will not. If you try to coax speed workouts out of the Nimbus 17, you will find out, at your own peril, that the task is an onerous and laborious one.

A shoe this soft creates a transition inertia, allowing the foot to sink-in deep into the midsole during the gait cycle. It takes effort to rise out of Nimbus 17’s marshmallow-iness, and that kind of thing never bodes well for speed. Transitions tend to be inefficient, and there’s little or no responsive feedback from the midsole, so again, the shoe is best suited for slower runs. If a faster Nimbus is the need of the hour, that’ll be the relatively firmer N-16 of last year. Decently padded the latter was, yet a far cry from what we have here today.

So how did it come to this? What are the changes on the Nimbus 17 which makes the shoe what it is?

The science of mushy softness is a simple one, really. Step one, drop the durometer (firmness) of foam component, in addition to tinkering with the formulation. Step two, increase the volume of visible Gel pads. Step three, make some adjustments on the outsole so that everything splays better, and in doing so enhances the cushioning feel.

And how does that break down from a Nimbus 17 perspective? Let’s take a close look, and we mean literally so.


The same insole carries over from the Nimbus 16. But wait… it looks the same, but it isn’t.


The insole is much softer than before. Same open celled foam structure, but squishier.

What comes immediately below the foot? That would be the insole and strobel foam, and both have been changed, following the step one principle of increasing softness by revised materials. The insole might have not changed in shape and size, but has certainly transformed into something else.

The foam used to make the sockliner is far softer than what existed in the Nimbus 15 and 16, by at least 50% softer if not more. Asics calls it the new ComforDry X-40 material.


Say bye bye to the SP45 EVA strobel. A much softer foam, like the one which makes the insole replaces the earlier EVA sheet. So in a way, it’s like twice the insole for the price of one.

Just below the insole is the strobel foam layer, and big changes happen here too. For as long as we can remember, Asics had been using a type of foam which was named SpEVA 45. Well, no more.

A foam which looks and feels identical to the one used in the new insole replaces SpEVA, which makes a huge impact on softness levels. Both of these (insole and strobel) feel a bit like memory foam, with the compression rebound having a slightly delayed quality to it.


Same name for the midsole liner, only much softer.


Asics drops firmness levels for both these midsole layers.

Beneath the strobel is the first layer of midsole foam, colored in blue on our pair. Both the Nimbus 15 and 16 had a similar two-stack midsole design, but the difference again lies in the density.

The top layer is a much softer foam, and the same holds true for the next layer of foam which when combined with the first layer, sandwiches the Gel units in place. The softer sidewalls are far less resistant to the inquisitive jab of your fingers, compressing more than those of earlier Nimbus editions.


1) High density printing replaces welds or stitches 2) Area of visible Gel padding is increased in forefoot and heel 3) The ‘fluidride’ midsole goes softer on upper and lower levels.


If the increased foam softness wasn’t enough, the volume of visible Gel has been kicked up too.


Forefoot visi-Gel is a bigger, unbroken insert this time around.

Which brings us to step two. Both in its lateral heel and forefoot sections, the Nimbus 17 boasts of larger visible Gel pieces. The heel area has a longer Gel insert extending right into the midfoot side, and the forefoot goes one up on the Nimbus 15 and 16 by featuring an unbroken section of visi-gel. The medial side is filled in with foam, as the case always has been since the dawn of the Nimbus.

(Updated 05/24/15) We must point out that almost the entire softness of the Nimbus 17 comes from the foam, and not the Gel pads. Asics’s much plugged cushioning technology is at most a visual effect, and not a functional one.

To illustrate what we mean, we’ve dissected a pair of Nimbus 15, a shoe which near-matched the Nimbus 17 in softness. Here we are, gradual peeling off the parts, layer by layer:


Deconstruction step #1: Remove the insole and cut the upper, and you have the foam lasting. So far, so good.


Deconstruction step #2: Strip the blue foam lasting away, and you get a base layer of fabric and below that, EVA foam. Perhaps the Gel units are tucked away underneath?


Deconstruction step #3: What?! These two dimes are the only Gel units inside the midsole!


Deconstruction step #4: So much Gel on the outside, and a tiny sliver placed in the forefoot. Well done, Asics.


Deconstruction step #5: That tiny sugar candy sized Gel circle valiantly braces for the footstrike to come.


Deconstruction step #6: See that cross section of white, yellow and blue foam? On the other side is the huge, decorative forefoot Gel pad. None of that goodness extends inside.

It is plain to see how much of a marketing scam Asics Gel is, even in its top end neutral cushioning model. The two penny shaped Gel pads are all that’s actually inside the midsole, and the rest is all show.

Ok, the heel Gel windows on the lateral side help soften the impact to some extent – most will rear-foot strike on that side – but as far as the forefoot is concerned, it is good as having nothing at all. The picture you see just above has a cross section view of the lateral forefoot. The forefoot Gel window is just retricted to the edge, and does not extend inside at all.

So next time Asics tries to extol the virtue of Gel based cushioning, picture this tear-down. Sheer marketing vaporware and nothing else. You suddenly feel a new-found respect for brands like Brooks and Nike, who actually place their cushioning systems in locations where it counts, and not as pieces of mere decoration.


More articulation is created under the heel area, with wide grooves separating the five rubber pieces.


Forefoot uses a softer variety of blown rubber.

And here comes step 3, which is the outsole design. Many bits of the layout will look familiar, like using blown rubber under the forefoot, hard AHAR carbon rubber under heel, and the guidance line which runs longitudinally from heel to toe.

However, there are revisions which incrementally contribute to the soft ride of the Nimbus 17.


The carbon rubber shod crash pad is larger, which creates a better range of outward splay on landing.

Starting with the heel, where the crash pad is now bigger – going from a pie slice shape to a half moon structure. The diagonal flex groove separating the crash pad from rest of the outsole splays on impact, making the landings seem softer.

The outsole rubber on medial side is also further articulated as compared to Nimbus 16, meaning more exposed foam and less rubber.


1) Wider flex grooves 2) Longer and lower to the ground midfoot shank 3) Medial outsole rubber is now better articulated 4) Crash pad becomes bigger and easier to splay on impact.

That design thinking carries over to the forefoot, where there’re larger flex grooves between outsole pods. More spacing between outsole automatically leads to softer transitions, and that’s how the Nimbus 17 outsole performs.

General increase in foam softness and area of flex grooves also makes the Nimbus 17 more flexible than the 15 and 16.


The guidance line on the Nimbus 17 sits lower to the ground. During the gait cycle, bodyweight causes the foam to come in contact with the road.

The ‘guidance line’ has been a regular fixture on the Nimbus. Only this year, it behaves slightly differently. It now sits in a shallower cavity than ever before, and during the gait cycle, it actually kisses the ground under heel and forefoot. The exception to this rule is the midfoot area, where the guidance line between two parts of the plastic shank avoids ground contact. So it is not as effective as its avatar on firmer Nimbus midsoles of the past, and transitions now feel noticeably lazy. Like we said before, the Nimbus 17 isn’t a shoe to get you from point A to B in a hurry.

From a bias perspective, the Nimbus 17 is fairly balanced and neutral, with lateral and medial side softness near-equally matched. The only negative about the shoe’s ride, besides the laborious transition quality, is that the midsole isn’t so stable. Because of the extreme softness, it feels as if the lower body is constantly micro-adjusting itself to match the shoe’s behavior.

The caveat is that this tends to happen at higher speeds than lounge pace, and hence our previously mentioned disclaimer with regards to appropriate use of the Nimbus 17. Asics lists the Nimbus at a 10mm heel to toe drop, but the midsole being so soft and everything, there’s no knowing what the effective heel drop is. Our take is – definitely much lower than published stats, as the heel has a lot of vertical travel on weight loading.

The soft midsole creates ample leeway when it comes to inwards foot roll, so that’s something to bookmark when going out shopping for the Nimbus 17. Many ‘neutral’ shoes tend to have higher medial roll resistance (look no further than the Nimbus 16), but this year’s big N isn’t the shoe for that.

That pretty much sums up the Nimbus 17’s ride, and extent of design refreshes on the sole composite.


The term Fluidfit now excludes (mostly) any stitched on overlays.

In a rather uncharacteristic move, Asics has done a major overhaul of the upper design, while retaining some of Nimbus 16 parts and materials. The biggest change – both visually and functionally speaking – is the new upper execution.

Replacing the complex network of synthetic leather and urethane weld overlays is a single piece mesh upper (joined at the heel, of course) with a latticework of high density printing details.


1) Toe bumper makes the 17 tip shallower than last year 2) Same lousy laces 3) Tongue and collar lining stays unchanged.

The mesh itself is of an engineered type, meaning that the surface structure is not symmetrical, open in some areas and closed in another. If you look down from the top, the toe-box texture appears to have several curvy shapes stacked together, perhaps a nod to the Nimbus (cloud) name.

The printing details somewhat reminds us of Spiderman’s suit; and that might not be just a fleeting thought. The Spiderman costume did include a pair of Asics Gel Dirt Dog 3 in the first installment of the Superhero movie reboot, so there might be something to the Nimbus 17’s design after all.


Single piece mesh upper is used on the Nimbus 17, with no more leather overlays. It’s high density printing all over.


The lacing area is reinforced with fused film overlays.


Same treatment over the last three eyelets, where there’s more cinch pressure.

The printing thickness seems higher right at the toe area, which has it doubling as a protective toe bumper. It thins down the sides and on the midfoot, where a pair of Asics logo is printed over in a similar way. The lacing area has been cleaned up too; wafer slim films act as reinforcements over the eyelets.

Asics talks about ‘serious weight reduction taking center stage’, but in reality the Nimbus 16 and 15 weight exactly the same. While we’re convinced that the new upper design must have led to weight shedding, it is counter balanced by the bigger Gel pads, which nets out any gains coming out of the new upper.


1) Better forefoot flexibility 2) Softer under arch area 3) Similar heel counter with extra reflectivity.

Long term durability of these layers remains to be seen. Asics has been wise to leave the overlays out of the forefoot flexing area, but whether the pointy ends maintain their adhesion (under hot or cold) will only be known after a few hundred miles of usage.


A lot of things might be new on the Nimbus 17, but the tongue isn’t one of them.


Like the Nimbus 16, tongue uses an identical air mesh base with a softer top flap.


Same soft tongue lining as Nimbus 16.


Non-PHF (Nimbus 15 and earlier) lining is a carry over from the N-16.

Not all parts are new. The air mesh and soft lining material combo of the tongue is exactly the same as the Nimbus 16, and it holds true for the non-PHF collar lining.

The Nimbus 16 lining did feel plush and soft, so no harm done by adopting the same package on the N-17. The basic tongue design stays unaltered, a standalone construction which is prone to a mild level of tongue slide.


Despite the tongue loop, there is some amount of slide.


The lace quality and feel does not match the rest of the shoe. Feels stiff and bendy.


Metal eyelets, huh? That’s new and unusual.

They did not have to use the same laces, though. The ones on the Nimbus 16 felt raspy, un-expensive and un-premium, and so do the laces on Nimbus 17.

Asics should have reverted back to the softer Nimbus 15 ones. They would have even slid better through the metal eyelets used on this year’s model.


The basic look and feel is the same. But the new Nimbus 17 is slightly less stabler than the 16 (right) by being much softer.


Heel counter design is similar. That said, this year’s edition has a third reflective window in the center.


Light up the heel area at night, and here are the results.


Soft Achilles dip, soft mesh, plenty of padding, no slip.

The molded heel counter in the back with reflective heel window execution is also a throwback to the Nimbus 16, except for a small difference. The center of the TPU clip is scooped out and underlaid with a reflective element.

This is to compensate for knocking out the reflective toe tip, which was seen previously. The Achilles area is soft, and feels identical to the 16. No slippage, and plenty of plush.


We did notice that the molded heel piece had waffle like impressions built in towards the midfoot, undoubtedly trying to mirror the design feel of the printing details. However, the lines extending from upper don’t line up with the ones on the heel counter, and we’re pretty sure that was the design intent.

During production trials, they must have figured out the matching to be difficult, and hence let things be. This is not a defect, but would have been better design harmony if the flow of lines matched.


Asics uses a tape as a way of internal support. Very nicely done, no seams or stitch lines, feels smooth when worn.

Removal of traditional synthetic overlays create an entirely different interior experience altogether, and the new Nimbus 17 has a very smooth inner fit. It is near-seamless, except for the tongue attachment near the forefoot. The Nimbus 17 uses a no-sew tape inside to give structure to the upper; it is irritation free and very unlike the nosy seams of Mizuno. You can go barefoot in the new Nimbus, no problem.

The forefoot fit isn’t exactly what one calls roomy, but there’s no Nimbus 16 hemming in of the medial forefoot anymore. Pressure over the sides and top feels very uniform and smooth in D width. More space is optional by way of 2E and 4E options, because the default width is snug.


All that Spiderman detailing over the toe-bumper tends to squash down the vertical height. Otherwise smooth and breathable interior.

The toe-end is shallower than both the Nimbus 16 and 15, akin to how the Nike Pegasus 31 felt over the 30. The big toe pushes up against the shoe bumper, which wasn’t so before. And the reason is plain to see.

The synthetic leather toe bumper was stitched higher on older Nimbuses, and the new one tends to flatten the nose by using the printed layer. The sizing still fits true, but it would be wise to first try the new Nimbus 17 and see whether the front-end space is enough.

As far as improvements go, the upper refresh is a big one. It feels non-interfering and closes on the foot with a fit pressure which feels soft, smooth and uniform. Though there are carry over materials and design elements which will remind you of Nimbus editions gone by, there’s an indelible sense of newness which feels refreshing. It is a fitting better half for the new midsole, which quite frankly, is foam softness amplified to the next level.

The Nimbus is dead. Long live the Nimbus.

(Disclaimer: For this review, bought the shoe at full US retail price.)

Solereview makes a small commission on each purchase you make through retailers promoted on this website.

Looking to upgrade your old Gel Nimbus 16 to the latest version, but not sure how the 2015 model compares? We can help here. The following infographic is a ready-reckoner for what changes you might expect in the new model vs. old. To make this more fun, we’ve put in a system of percentage match, which calculates a weighted average for a set of attributes.

A higher or lower match percentage is neither good or bad. The % number just tells you how similar or distanced the new shoe is from the previous version. Total match % is a result of weighted averages.


  • Michael Williams

    Good write up! I got the 17s last week to replace the 15s and before even going out in them I replaced the sock liner with the prorun aftermarket insole I have to help with my pfs.

    Likely because of that, I didn’t actually feel they were that much softer than my 15s. I did feel like they fit much better around the top of the foot though, and far lighter!

    The one downside I felt was what you alluded to, that trying to run fast uphill was like running through syrup!

    • Yes, the insole makes a huge difference when it comes to softness!

      ‘Running through syrup’ – that’s a good way to put things, and with your permission, we might use those words in one of our future reviews 🙂

      • Michael Williams

        After reading your review I threw the original insole in and went for a walk. It was horrible without the arch support; the inside step was so soft I felt like my knees were being pulled over to the other side of the road…

        I imagine I’m a different case to standard as its been years since I used shoes without supportive insoles but it did seem weird that they’ve made them so soft with that insole that every step feels like you’re having to restabilse your feet – it’s akin to running cross country and hitting bog, and not in the good way!

        With the supportive insole i really like them though, slow, but incredibly comfortable!

        Go ahead, I doubt I’m the first to use it but it works well I thought!

        • That’s the reason why we docked 20% points out of the Nimbus 17’s total score. Stability and transition aren’t the shoe’s strongest suit.

          • Runner12

            I really like the cushioning of this shoe but after reading your review and associated comments I had some questions. You said that this shoe is better suited for slower pace running, in your opinion what speed/pace would that be? You had also mentioned that you might not suggest this shoe for marathon type running. What kind of distance would you say this shoe is best suited for in your opinion. Thanks!

          • It will work differently depending on the runner, but our read is that the shoe does ok for 6:00 ~ 7:00 min/km pace, or approximately 10 min mile. We’d use for the Nimbus 17 for easy under-10 k’s.

            Readers have suggested a workaround for the extra softness. Replace the stock insole with something firmer, and that should speed up the Nimbus a bit.

        • We did use that line in the following review 🙂

          • Michael Williams

            Excellent-I’ve got a bit of catching up to do but I look forward to reading it!

  • stryker

    That was an excellent review -extremely thorough and detailed . It is amazing how much the untrained eye tends to miss out on the finer/minor details when looking at a shoe.
    I use the Nimbus to walk 30+km a week- I moved up to the 16 when it was launched but hated the ride – I then went back to the 15 -which i stockpiled 2 pairs to tide me over till when your review of the 17 was uploaded.! I am indeed reassured to read that the 17 has a plush ride and will look to buy it when it comes to my country.

    • Thank you for the comment!

      If you’re seeking plushness, then the Nimbus 17 will do very nicely, and better than the Nimbus 15 for sure.

  • Nikerunner

    Are you guys going to be reviewing the Nike Flyknit Lunar3 shoe? I’m thinking about getting them but don’t know how good they are. Thanks

    • Yes, as soon as we can. When? Can’t say for sure, but hopefully before end April.

      • Nikerunner

        Thanks, and I look forward to more good reviews.

  • Laurens Leurs

    The mesh seems to be a weak spot in all my Gel Nimbus shoes. In the ones I am currently wearing a twig made a pretty big hole in the nose section. I wonder if covering almost the entire surface of the shoe with mesh is such a good idea.

    • It really depends on the quality of the mesh. It’s too early in the day for the Nimbus 17, and things might become clearer (with respect to mesh durability) only after 200 miles or so.

  • Charles

    Fantastic detailed review, thank you very much 🙂 I tried them briefly at a running store and compared them to the Brooks Transcend 2 and my old N-15s. My old N-15s are size 10 4e and fit snug in the forefoot with not quite a half thumbs width of space up front. I went half a size up in the N-17 to 10.5 D and they were slightly too narrow but lengthwise just right (full thumps width). Interestingly I had the impression of a lower stack height compared to the N-15. In regard to cushioning I can´t really tell much as I did just walk and hopped a little on my forefeet through the store. But they didn´t seem softer than my old N-15 – maybe I didn´t put enough weight on the midsole or it was sample variation or just my perception. The Transcend 2 on the other hand felt much firmer (in a good way) and a lot higher, like I was standing on top of a very thick, but flexible, midsole. All in all, I might give them both a try when the 4e version of the N-17 will be available. I just hope that I´ll find the N-17 more runnable than you (maybe as a forefoot striker I won´t be a victim of the quicksand heel ;).

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      We also felt the N-17 to be lower to the ground, but then it could just be the softness acting up. As of now, we haven’t found a fool proof, non-destructive way to accurately measure stack heights.

  • rob

    next month 12 april , i go for the marathon of Rotterdam. The Nimbus 17 is it a good marathon shoe? i,m going for the nimbus or maybe the Adidas ultra Boost.

    • If we had to choose between the two, we’d pick the Ultra Boost. The Nimbus 17 is way too soft and will feel like more work when running long distance. Unless you’re already used to something like the Nimbus 15.

  • Michael Wolfe

    Lovely review, as always!
    May I ask a question of opinion? I am considering to buy the Asics Nimbus 17 or the Saucony ISO Triumph. I’m an 80kg, 178cm 28 year old, and I’ll be using them for my recovery and long runs. I’m a forefoot strike (pose running), and would run with them at an 8kmh pace, give or take. When I’ll go to the store to try both out, what should I pay particular attention too? I’m sure they would feel good in the store, but relative advantages (or faultsproblems) appear after extended use. I saw you guys rated the Saucony higher: can you provide some insight as to why that is?
    Thank you guys! Your reviews are a treat.

    • Michael Wolfe

      I know these questions might sound silly, yet the answer can be as long as a tome, because from my own sometimes bitter experience, out-of-the-box comfort, trying on shoes later during the day and proper distance from toes to toe cap is only a small part of evaluating a shoe.
      Out of all the shoes you review, do you ever pick a “favorite”? If so, what are you looking for in a “perfect” (or at least prefered) shoe?
      And I’m sorry I wrote all those parameters metrically; I’ll write them down imperially. Weight 176 lbs, 5 ft 10 inchs high, and my pace about 4 mileshour.
      Sorry for troubling you, but I thank you in advance all the same 🙂

      • We believe our comment above will answer this question, including areas of evaluation. In short, a shoe which scores the highest is our personal favorite 🙂

        No worries about writing in metric/imperial, we’re comfortable with both. Thank you for the thoughtful comment!

    • 8km/hr is fairly relaxed so either of the two would do. A particular shoe might appeal to you (or not) depending on what you’re looking for – is it a well rounded upper fit? Is it soft cushioning? Stability? Weight? It is really subjective, and no one answer unfortunately.

      To answer the second part of your question, we’ll have to let you in on how we award the total score 🙂 Far from being a random thought, the total number is a sum weighted total of many attributes. This comment explains it very well, and even has screenshot of behind the scenes workings:

      So in this scorecard, the Nimbus scored lower than the ISO because of stability and quality of transition – two of the three things we give highest weightage to.

      • Michael Wolfe

        Thank you for an in depth answer(s); I have lots of respect for you guys!
        Now, here’s an embarrassing question; what do you mean by a shoe’s “stability”, exactly? How would that come into play?
        I imagine heel to toe transition is not important if you pose run, since I always land on my forefoot, more that 95% of the time, unless you refer to a different kind of transition..
        And I was wondering about the rating because reading both reviews, the tone was mostly positive on the Nimbus review, and lukewarm with the Triumph, and with all those manufacturing issues you spotted on the Saucony, I imagined those would really lower the score, like they did with the Adidas Tempo 7, so that’s why I was curious; It’s just a curiosity, really, because your reviews are so well written, that I can imagine if a shoe would fit my needs or not, regardless of a numeric score.
        Thanks again!

        • We mean stability in its literal sense – that a shoe’s ability to prevent the foot from getting tossed around. It is not an embarrassing question, because the word stability in running shoe is oftentimes confused with pronation control features. So when we say things like, ‘this is a neutral shoe with adequate stability’, it confuses some readers!

          Heel/rearfoot strikers form around 3/4th of the running population, so we’re designed our scorecard so as to account for what would universally work better for most runners.

          The beauty of our scoring mechanism is that it instantly weeds out subjective opinions. The scoring is based purely on how the shoe performs functionally, and not based on our rant about the lack of design updates, visual defects, dubious marketing and the like.

          For example, the Saucony had visual flaws, but we did not feel that when running, and hence our score did not get impacted. It wasn’t so on the Tempo Boost, so we docked points.

          So you might occasionally see reviews here with a mostly negative overtone, but with a rather good overall score!

  • Ruan

    Good stuff! I’m a footwear buyer for a sports retailer from South Africa and find your reviews very informative. I especially like the % match box at the end of the review. This is great information to pass on to our sales staff as it’s a question that a lot of customers ask in stores when looking to upgrade to a new model. So basically, awesome job!

    • Great to hear that!

      Your comment is particularly interesting as we’ve handed over similar product tech sheets (with changes/newness) to our retailers during our experience in the footwear industry. The match report is partially inspired by that practice, so glad to see it flow the other way now!

  • JBloggs

    Greetings from Ireland. First of all- thank you for a fantastic site. Love the detailed reviews, your in depth knowledge and the passion!
    I’m a 48 yr old male- in ok shape, 86kg and 6’1″ tall. I run about 4 miles, 3-4 times per week in typical cold northern Euro climate. My run is on a relatively flat combo of concrete, tarmac and asphalt. I have a neutral pronation.
    Between running I do a little cycling and light weights. I’m not out to break any speed records- I just run for fun and to try to keep in shape and maintain good health. I’d say I run at a medium pace (slow towards the end!).
    My fave shoes in the past have been the Asics Gel Nimbus. I recently decided to try a change and got a pair of Adidas 2.0 Boost ESM based on your review. First thing I had to size up a half, and even then the forefoot feels extremely snug. I don’t find them comfortable for everyday wear but the snugness does not bother me when I’m actually running. Compared to the Asics tho, I don’t find them anywhere near as comfy as the Nimbus at my slow to medium pace- same for a recently purchased Nike Pegasus 31. Loads of wiggle room in the forefoot area of the Pegs- maybe too much and a little more cushioned than the Boost 2.0 in the heel. Hate the lacing system tho and just can’t get the right tension for running- very comfy for everyday wear tho.
    This morning I got a brand new pair of the Nimbus 17- I couldn’t be happier. Not sure about the Kermit the frog color tho- even the sales guy told me they had complained numerous times to Asics about the funky colors. Sadly the best looking Carbon color are not available in Europe. The 17 fit identical to previous versions I own and after my usual 4 miles I went on and did another 2. I actually felt I could go on and on for several more miles…and I don’t have any issues at all with the quality of the laces as mentioned in review.
    I wear a US 11 (UK 10, Euro 45) standard width.
    As you guys mention in your reviews, it’s always best to try out a pair before purchasing. If you are a Nimbus fan then I can’t imagine you being anything but absolutely delighted with these shoes.
    (pic from bottom left, clockwise, Nimbus 12, 13, 17, Adidas Boost 2.0 ESM, Nike Pegasus 31, Adidas Kanadia TR3.)

    • Thank you for the kind words, the detailed insight and for the picture! Always happy when our readers say that the reviews help in some way!

      The Nimbus 17 is an embodiment of what Nimbus originally set out to be – that to provide a super plush, super soft ride which does nothing but carry the runner from point A to point B in unparalleled softness of cushioning.

      It might not be the best shoe for putting fast miles nor the most stable, but that expectation is irrelevant given the Nimbus’ product goal. This is meant to be a very soft shoe, and a fair judgement should respect that difference.

      • JBloggs

        Thanks for feedback- I agree 100%. This shoe, like many others, has a specific target audience. I’m looking forward to your review in June of the Brooks Ghost 8. The sales guy told me the current Ghost 7 has excellent cushioning similar to the Nimbus so I will be interested to hear your expert opinion. And thanks again for such a fun, helpful and professional site- keep up the good work!

        • The Ghost 7 is cushioned no doubt, but the newest Nimbus 17 is way softer. If anything, the previous (and firmer) Nimbus 16 was a closer match to the Ghost!

          • JBloggs

            Thank you- I passed on the Nimbus 16 after reading your slighly neg comments on that shoe.
            Of all the shoes you have tested…apart from Hoka brand, which would be the top 3 most cushioned/plush shoes?- as in Nimbus 17 type softness- so ignoring weight, stability etc.
            (Can’t wait for the adidas ULTRA boost review!)

          • Here goes in order of softness: Nimbus 17, Nimbus 15, New Balance 1080 V5.

            Not including Boost because the front and rear cushioning for shoes like the Energy, Ultra and Glide seems to differ a lot, and they are soft/responsive but plush not so much.

          • JBloggs

            Excellent, and thank you again!!

          • Rich

            Totally right on!

    • Rich

      I read your post and totally agree! The Nimbus 15 was / is wonderful and I also wear the Pegs 31 for a bit of run and walking around comfortable but not a Nimbus! I hear the Nimbus 16 was a bit of a bust but hear good things about the 17.
      I bought and returned promptly the Adidas 2.00 Boost and found them to be like running on a board, so much for foam! I wrote a review on another site and it was not published!

  • Brandon

    It’s nice to see Asics finally jumping on the band wagon with single piece uppers. My question is, will the extreme softness of the midsole last till say 1000 km’s or more? Boost foam has been lauded for its lasting softness. Which shoe would you choose when it comes to retaining softness over time better between the Boost range and Asics’ new Nimbus 17 midsole with gel?

    • Can’t speak from experience, but don’t believe that the foam-only softness will last that long. The Gel pads should survive given their material composition.

      Boost vs. EVA based foam from long term cushioning retention? Boost any given day.

  • Sam

    Another great review, thanks.

    Its time for me to get some new treads. I don’t race, and I don’t push the bar: 10 – 20km, 3 or 4 times per week @ +/- 4:30mins/km. I have high arches (daylight underneath them) and a neutral foot motion.

    I was interested to read what had happened to Nimbus. I had a pair of the Nimbus 15 and wasn’t in love with them – they produced hotspots, and I felt that their forefoot cushioning was uncomfortably placed.

    I see the Pegasus 31 has been getting rave reviews. I had a pair of the Pegasus 29, which I quite liked (albeit that they had quite a lofty toe box). What shoes do you think I should be taking a look at?

    • If the Nimbus 15 wasn’t cutting it for you, then the 17 should be given a pass. They are similar in more ways than one.

      The Pegasus 29 and 30 had higher toe-boxes, that is correct. The Pegasus 31 is shallower there, and with a slightly firmer ride. They are worth a fitting, and so are the UnderArmour Speedform Gemini, another great shoe.

      • Sam

        Thanks for the reply! I’m definitely going to give the Pegasus 31 a fit. I live in South Africa and, unfortunately, UnderArmour don’t have much of a presence here. I’ll do some looking around! Perhaps Ruan (comment below) will start bringing some in… 🙂

        • Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

        • Ruan

          Hi Sam. There’s rumors that UnderArmour will be available in 2016, but that’s about as much as I currently know.

  • Richard

    great site folks, only just discovered it and have enjoyed the comprehensive reviews, at the moment i”m having the perennial discussion of Cumulus v’s Nimbus with myself again, not much discussion usually (Cumulus 5 v’s Nimbus 2 over past 7 years) and reading your Cumulus 16 review was plumping for the good old devil I know again, however reading the Nimbus 17 review, it sure does sound enticing, so would I be being cruel to my feet to not let them experience the plush luxuriant velvety feel of these little babies!!?? In the Cumulus 16 review it was mentioned that our fluffy little clouds ran more neutral than their more threatening cousins but was wondering is this also true compared with the new Nimbus 17 ? In the Nimbus 17 review it was also described as not so good on faster runs, but would this be pro rata so to speak? As not the quickest runner, 7:30min/mi pace for half marathon and 7:00min/mi pace for speed work, would this make much of a difference to me? The last caveat is, i”m afraid i”m a single pair runner runner and do not have the luxury of a pair for speed work and another for long run and yet another for race day!!! So what am i actually asking ? A more neutral run v’s that plush feeling ? Less bounce for more speed ? And what about training in plush velvet loafers and racing in old an pair of runners that have lost the bounce ? Any thoughts ?

    • Thank you for the comment!

      We’d recommend the Cumulus, which is a better shoe to do it all than the Nimbus 17. The Nimbus 17 is way too soft, and 7~7.30/Mile is not exactly snail pace – the foamy softness will slow you down.

  • You’re welcome! We have plans to include a few more sections, but only after we catch up on the pending reviews and more new releases in May and June.

    Our reviews have the goal of helping runners making more informed choices – solereview might not be a be a foolproof way of selecting the ‘perfect’ shoe, but it tries to make that journey easier. That’s what we try to do everyday!

  • omgstfualready

    I don’t run but I do walk and maybe will jog but not too much due to bad knees. I like to walk 3-4 miles at a moderate pace (3.5-4.0 mph). I love Asics but now have achilles issues and have been looking for reviews specific for that condition. I was thinking the 15’s but now the 17’s are seeming better. Any opinions based on experience are welcomed! I’d also look to go with another brand if experience recommends it. Thanks!

    • What exactly is the issue with your Achilles?

      • omgstfualready

        I am not 100% certain. I saw a podiatrist and she said it was inflamed (the tendon) and to do what I’ve been doing (rest, elevated, Alleve) but it’s getting worse now and the heel on that foot hurts and now my shins are on fire (I think because I can’t really stay flat on my foot I’m aggravating the shin). I see an orthopedist next week. There is no comfort, just degrees of discomfort, and where the pain shifts (tendon points in ankle or heel, or the shins) depending if I’m sitting knees bent, leg elevated, or standing. Sorry for whining.

        • In that case, better to get the appointment over with before deciding what to buy. If you’re able to share some of the Ortho’s opinion (later), we can chip in with our thoughts too.

  • Brandon

    Every year, the Nimbus (and other neutral shoes) gets softer and softer, but how much softer can the Nimbus actually become? Do you think it’s reaching its peak in cushioning or can it continue getting softer and softer each year until it eventually feels like you’re running on a jumping castle?

    • We think this is as soft as it gets. Any more, and it will be harmful.

  • Noelle Bakken

    I tried a pair of these on this weekend purely out of curiosity after reading this review, and they are indeed INCREDIBLY soft and plush. I will say I thought the laces were a bit improved from what I had experienced in 2012-14ish Asics shoes; a bit softer at least.

    Will keep these in mind for outdoor running in winter when the temps drop next season.

    • The sink-in softness took us by surprise too. Based on our Kayano 21 experience, we knew that the new Nimbus will increase softness – but not so much!

  • Marlies

    I bought these, expecting the same shoes as the nimbus 15 (love!) or 16. I am totally disappointed – feel as if I’m stuck in the ground, too much cushioning and softness for me. Slow, less stable in the mid section and too wide at the toes. So, indeed, if you need a slow run and soft landing – you might want to try these.

    • Our impressions more or less match yours – this is not a shoe meant for all, and softness does not necessarily make a shoe great.

    • JJ

      I just brought the Nimbus 15 – I’m totally new to running shoes (can’t believe there is so much tech in the design etc) and only started looking seriously when i developed some foot problems. The Nimbus 15 is great so far for my walking (only walking at the moment) – it feels so comfortable – and i badly needed a wide forefoot area. You imply the Nimbus 17 has more toe room so i think i might try it. Thanks. My only question is is the upper fabric similar or better than the Nimbus 15? The upper on the Nimbus 15 has the soft stretchiness that feels like a glove on my foot.

      • The Nimbus 17 has as much room as the Nimbus 15, and the insides feel smoother. The only thing is that mesh doesn’t feel as stretchy as the N-15. But overall, if you liked the N-15, chances are you will appreciate the 17 as well.

        For wide foot, the 17 is a good choice, and if you can find the Pegasus 30, that is another great option too.

        • JJ

          I have a Nike Outlet store nearby and they had the Pegasus 30… after trying them – to me they aren’t as good as the Nimbus 15 – they just don’t feel the same quality and harder foam. The Nimbus 15 feel like I’m walking on cushions and the fit is perfect – best I’ve ever worn. Im disappointed i didn’t find these years ago and never really thinking about what I’m wearing. There is a Asics outlet close to Nike as well where i brought the Nimbus 15 from and i tried a few others Asics models just to see what they were like and non felt as good as the Nimbus 15. I just order a second pair of Nimbus 15 off eBay for under $80… still interested in others but they have to be something special to beat the Nimbus 15. Ill try Nimbus 17 when i get a chance. Thanks for your recommendations.

          • The Nimbus 15 has the right peak of cushioning softness, in our opinion while the Nimbus 17 overdoes it. However, some readers have replaced the stock insole with a firmer one, and tuned the Nimbus 17’s ride. Perhaps that is an option for you later down the road.

            Your read on the Pegasus 30 relative to the Nimbus 15 is correct. The Nike runs firmer, and the upper need a bit of a breaking in. And have you tried the New Balance 1080 V5 by any chance? Well cushioned, and the upper isn’t bad too, though not in the same league of Nimbus 15 plushness.

          • The Nimbus 15 has the right peak of cushioning softness, but in our opinion the Nimbus 17 overdoes it. However, some readers have replaced the stock insole with a firmer one, and tuned the Nimbus 17, so to speak. Perhaps that is an option for you later down the road.

            You read on the Pegasus 30 relative to the Nimbus 15 is correct. The Nike runs firmer, and the upper need a bit of a breaking in. And have you tried the New Balance 1080 V5 by any chance? Well cushioned, and the upper isn’t bad too, though not in the same league of Nimbus 15 plushness.

          • JJ

            It seems the N15 is ‘the one’ for me. Ive shortlisted the NB1080 but just looking at the pics online it looks alittle narrow. The cushioning, forefoot width and stretchy upper of the N15 are a winning combo for me. Ill try the Nimbus 17 at the next opportunity (not stocked at outlet store) and see how it is… someone said they are made for walking.. let see. If its not up to scratch ill stock up another 4x Nimbus 15’s!! 🙂

          • Agree, the 1080 V5 upper fits narrower than the Nimbus 15. We’d say, if you love the Nimbus 15 so much, forget about the N-17 and stock up 15’s for rainy day!

          • Just makes sense to stock up for a rainy day, then. Hard to find a running shoe which works so well for you, so when you do, make the best of it!

    • Yes, it’s a huge shift from where the 16 is – definitely feels mushy in comparison.

  • Sabine

    Hi, I’m totally at a loss right now… I need new shoes but I have no idea which. I have a serious case of heel spur, for years now. So… I dont’ run, but I use running shoes as my ‘normal’ shoes (they gotten used to that at work by now). I have been wearing the Asics Gel Kayano 19. Last summer I bought some Nikes on a sale but that didn’t go well so I chucked them out and went back to my asics. They’re sort of dead now I think, after 2 years of almost continued use but after my Nike- failure I am sort of reluctant to buy new ones to discover it’s not working. I have over-pronation (I think it’s called) and very instable ankles (I’m asian, so it’s all a bit loose). I have special soles which I put in my shoes and both my physio + foottherapist (podotherapist) have told me to get shoes with firm grip for my heel + good cushioning. I have quite a wide foot (front/toe side), but relatively not-wide (I wouldn’t use slim) heel + high arch. Well… there you go… I’m desperate…what would you recommend? Gel kayano 21? Under Armour? Nike? Adidas? flipflops? (just kidding, flip flops are a disaster for me) I’m in the Netherlands but I think most of the US or UK models are available here too. Thanks!

    • First of all, the Nimbus 17 isn’t the best shoe in your case. It is way too soft in the heel area to be stable.

      Is Brooks available there, and Adrenaline GTS 14 in particular? It has a good mix of stability and cushioning. Saucony Hurricane ISO is also worth trying out.

      • sabine

        Thank you for your help! Yes, I think we have both Brooks and Saucony here, I’m going to check those out. Thanks, I never would have thought of those,


        • You’re welcome. Let us know it goes for you.

  • dewet

    Hi, as all mentioned great site! Quick question would the Ultra Boost and Nimbus be a comparable shoes? Both being premium cushioned shoes, or are they for a slightly difference purposes?

  • Marco

    Hi: I’m a middle-aged male (6 feet, 190 pounds) looking to protect my aging knees from the impact of long runs of 12-17 miles over asphalt and concrete surfaces.

    In the last few years, I’ve had success with the Nimbus 14 (sturdy, but could use more forefoot cushioning), Nimbus 15 (great cushioning and durability, but caused blackened/tender toenails), Nimbus 16 (nice fit and ride, but–like the N14–could use a bit more cushion).

    I was disappointed in the Hoka Bondi 2, whose midsole got crushed out on the medial side after only 170 miles. I’ve had better luck with the Hoka Stinson Tarmac; it is protective over long distances, though I really don’t like its ride, and I never look forward to running in it.

    Here’s my question: In terms of impact protection, how do you think the Nimbus 17 compares to the Hoka maximalist offerings for long, slow distance running? Given my prior experience with both brands, I’m confident that I’d prefer the ride and the fit of the Nimbus 17. However, for long runs, I don’t want to sacrifice protection for ride/fit.

    Thanks for you advice (and the great reviews)!

    • Won’t be able to say how the Nimbus compares to the Bondi as far as actual impact protection is concerned – that is beyond our scope, since we rely only on sensory weartesting. This is something which only lab testing can tell.

      • marco

        Thanks for the reply! However, in referring to “impact protection,” I’m not really talking about “objective” lab numbers, etc. Rather, I’m just wondering how the perceived cushioning level of the Nimbus 17–based on sensory weartesting–compares to that of the various Hokas, which have a much thicker midsole.

        In other words, does the Nimbus’ combination of gel and soft foam provide as cushioned a ride as Hoka’s popular models, or does the huge stack height of the Hokas give them an advantage that the Nimbus’ different technology just can’t match?

        • Based on our impressions, we’d think that a typical Hoka will do a far better job than the Nimbus 17 in easing impact over long miles.

          Asics solely relies on foam to deliver softness, the Gel part is pretty much a scam, there’s hardly anything inside the actual shoe.

  • J

    Love your always very detailed reviews. I am a big guy (240lbs) with high arches and am looking to running shoes to get the cushion I need in a walking shoe (both in heel and forefoot). I always remove and replace the insert with specific high arch ones. I have tried the Nimbus 17 and the Vomero 9, both have great cushioning (maybe slightly more in the Vomero but it’s close). I have also read your review on the 1080 V5 and sounds like it may be what I am looking for since it has the softest heel, unfortunately I can’t find this shoe locally to try it on (I could order it online of course). So my question is, in your opinion which of these 3 (open to other suggestions as well) would be best suited for my needs for cushion on 5+ mile walks? Thank you.

    • Out of the three (Nimbus 17, Vomero 9 and 1080 V5), we’d choose the New Balance 1080 V5. For the simple reason that the outsole has more contact surface than the Nimbus 17, and the upper runs a little cooler than the Vomero 9. Also love the fact that the forefoot and heel is more responsive than the Nimbus 17’s.

      A greater outsole contact area works better for walking, which has a very different dynamic than that of running.

      We would have loved to offer an opinion about the brand new Vomero 10, but we’re at least a few weeks away from a full review.

  • TBoss

    This site is INCREDIBLE-thanks for all your hard work! I am a woman, was a diehard Nike Air Pegasus wearer for many years-my favorite was the last shoe I had, the Nike Air Pegasus Bowerman series (from a few years back). After I had that shoe, I stopped running for awhile, and now that I am back to running, all the shoes out there are flat (not enough arch) and hard-they feel dead, with no bounce at all!! What shoe would be best for me if I am trying to replace the Bowerman series? I am trying to read online what would be closest to my beloved Bowerman before I go out trying shoes on again.

    I like a cushy ride and have a high arch, which I like to feel cushion right up on my arch. I think I am neutral. I don’t run a ton–3-4 miles 3 times per week, about an 8 minute mile or so (?), maybe more, not too sure. Treadmill and road miles. I have a twingy IT band, and the cushier ride helps it a lot. I am 46 and trying to protect knees/joints 🙂

    Based on this site, I am thinking maybe the Pegasus 31 or the Asics Gel Nimbus 17? Or would you recommend something else? Would the Nimbus 17 feel “slower” and more sluggish to me than the Air Pegasus Bowerman? THANK YOU so much!!!

    • Nike has discontinued the Bowerman series, and while some of the current shoes retain the same name (Pegasus, Vomero etc), they are very different from what their previous versions used to be.

      Between the two shoes you’ve mentioned, the Pegasus 31 is a better choice. The Nimbus is too slow. We’d also think the newly launched Nike Vomero 10 to be an alternative too, but we still have a few weeks to go before its review.

      In the meanwhile, you can fit try both the Pegasus and Vomero at the store and see which one fits and feels better.

      • TBoss

        Thanks so much! Went to Dick’s today and tried on a TON of shoes-having a lot of trouble finding anything I like, compared to the old school cushiony bouncy feel. You were right-Nimbus 17 was way too slow, squishy (felt like memory foam-your description was perfect!) The best was the Asics Kayano 21, but it is UGLY! And $$$!!! I kind of liked the Asics 2000 3, but again, ugly and dated looking, and pretty narrow. I tried many brands and didn’t love anything 🙁

        I tried the Pegasus 31, and it is so pared down compared to the Bowerman-I liked it but it felt a bit flat and dead-maybe I just need to get used to it? I did like how light it was. I will try it again when I go back. Didn’t like the Vomero 9.

        Aghhh-I’m going crazy trying to find something! And my feet, knees, hips and back hurt tonight from trying so many different shoes on the treadmill in Dick’s. We are on a very tight budget, so the shoes I buy HAVE to work for me-can’t afford to buy another kind if they don’t work!

        Any other recommendations, based on my descriptions? My eyes/feet were going buggy in the store–after awhile, they were all looking the same, so I’m going to go back for another try but need more recommendations, if you have time, please! Thank you so much!

        • Some of other ‘undead and unflat’ shoes in our list are as follows:

          Saucony Ride 7, adidas Glide Boost 7, New Balance 1080 V5, Underarmour Speedform Gemini.

          The Vomero 10 (not 9, which was the earlier version) has just been released, so will take a few weeks to land at your local DSG.

          • TBoss

            Thank you so much for the “undead/unflat” list-I was ROFL at that description 🙂
            I appreciate it and will check these all out. This site is completely amazing. I have already recommended it to friends! Thanks for all your great and helpful reviews!

  • Ken

    I currently am addicted to the Cumulus 13 but of course can’t find any more and have worn out the 4 pairs I have. I run frequent half marathons and 1 full a year. I wasn’t a fan of the later cumulus models or the nimbus 14. How will this Nimbus 17 compare to my Cumulus 13? If its too soft do you have any other Asics options?

    • We haven’t tested the Cumulus 13, so don’t know the Nimbus 17 compares, sorry.

      We like the 4mm drop Asics 33FA for its cushioned ride, but again, don’t know how it performs with respect to Cumulus 13.

    • Michael Williams

      Obviously i dont have anywhere near the experience, technical knowledge or writing experience of the SR team but I’ve had both of these shoes so figured I’d chime in!

      I thought the cumulus 13s were fantastic too – I was gutted when I bought the 14s and found asics had totally ruined the feel of a good shoe and I couldn’t buy any more old pairs. For me it was too narrow, had a really agressive instep and the forefoot felt flimsy – it was like your heel was running on rubber while your toes were on correlated cardboard!

      I bought the nimbus 15 instead and found them far more cushioned than the cumulus 13 but with the same fit and feel aside from that. I was totally happy with them – they were heavier and softer so may have knocked a few seconds off my pace but my feet felt happy in them.

      The 17s are more of the same I feel, more cushioned but fit just as well. I would say that with the provided insole they’re far too soft though, as the review alluded to they are actually tough to run in!

      Replace that with a more solid insole (I’m using currex runpro) though and suddenly they’re lovely with the right balance of softness underfoot without making you feel like you’re balancing on a marshmallow with every step. Once you’ve changed that I’d say they’re not far away from the cumulus 13; maybe slightly heavier and with a tighter fitted upper but with a really familiar fit and transition.

  • Jonathan

    Sorry to disagree with the naysayers here, but I think the Nimbus 17 flat out rocks. It’s very cushioned and protective, it has a comfortable upper, and it has a smooth ride. Give me this over the Hokas, which have all the flexibility and runnability of a 2 x 4!

    If you ask me, Asics is a “conservative” company because they’ve found a formula that works–and I hope they stick with it. Why fiddle with success? Why pursue change for the sake of change? Of course, YMMV.

    • The only problem is, Asics drastically keeps changing its core models over time. The Kayano 17-21 and Nimbus 14-17 are good examples of that.

      That said, the Nimbus 17 is what the Nimbus always should have been – a marshmallowy soft shoe with a smooth upper. Good or bad? That’s for the user to decide.

  • Steve

    Hi! Suffered from ITBS 2 years ago. Starting to annoy me again after running 5 miles. Do you think NImbus is good for me?

    • Can’t say for sure when it comes to injuries.

      • Steve

        Thank you for your reply

  • 2oceans

    Hi. I am male, 1.78m tall and Weigh 85 kg. I have flat feet, have recently started takin running more seriously and have just completed my first half marathon. I run about 5-10 km thrice a week at a pace of just over 5 minutes a km and would ideally be continue half marathons and mayb try a full the end of the year. I

    I was running of the Puma Faas 600s, which I was fine with as I have little knowledge of which shies to use. I have started to feel my hips are taking a beating from the running, especially after long runs. I’ve bought this shoe, is it right for me or is there something else that I should be using?

    Love the sight and all the effort you guys put in, much appreciated

    • 2oceans

      Sorry just to add I use an orthotic that was moulded by a podiatrist and always run with it

    • Haven’t tested the Faas 600, so don’t how the Nimbus 17 compares in ride or fit behavior. While the N-17 is not our personal choice (feels a bit slow) for doing 5 min/km speeds, it also depends on what Orthotics you’re using – that will influence the ride.

      Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, straightforward answer to the question – ‘is the shoe right for me’. It depends on your footstrike, form, individual preference in footwear etc. If the shoe fits and feels right, and does not cause pain, and feels good based on your pace, then that’s a sign of heading in the right direction as far as running shoes are concerned.

      Hip soreness might just be because of the increased mileage – you might also have to include regular physical conditioning/strengthening exercises.

  • ad5

    I am considering the Nimbus 17’s but wanted to know if you feel another shoe would be more suitable. I am 35yo 1.76m tall, 77kg and generally do runs between 5-10km 2-3 times per week at a pace of 5min per km. I under pronate a little and normal heel strike. I recently tried the Adidas Energy Boost 2.0 and they felt great but after a few km’s i experienced calf pain (perhaps too responsive). I also tried the NB 890v4 but they not cushioned enough for my liking. Do you think Nimbus 17 would be a good option or would there be a more suited shoe for me e.g. Cumulus, Triumph ISO, Ride 7 or Pegasus?

    • We would recommend the New Balance 1080 V5 and the Vomero 10, since you’re looking for a higher level of cushioning. Nimbus 17 is superbly soft, but might cramp your 5 min pace.

      • ad5

        Would you pick the 1080’s over the Triumph ISO?

        • We suggested the 1080 because you felt the 890 did not have enough cushioning. Between the ISO and the 1080, the latter is softer.

  • demetrdc

    i am 38, 1.73, 78kg. I dont run marathons. just an average runner (up to 5k, average to slower speeds). I am looking for a good running shoe that offers good cushioning while running on pavement. I want to protect knees, etc. I am not into the minimalistic running shoes that offer a barefoot kind of experience. But not into bulky old style shoes either (i,e older kayanos). Looking for something that also looks good. I like the looks of the nimbus 17, the gt 2000 3 and the noosa tri 9. Can you recommend 3 options?

    • We’d recommend the Nimbus 17 (very, very soft), Vomero 10 (soft but responsive), Saucony Triumph ISO (cushioned) and Saucony Ride 7(cushioned/responsive).

      • ad5

        Silly question, what is the difference between soft vs cushioned?

        • Cushioning is a verb, soft is an adjective.

          • ad5

            Cushioning is a noun;)

          • In running shoes, cushioning is an action, and hence a verb. The word ‘cushion’ is a noun.

          • ad5

            I was initially asking a simple question; soft vs cushion. Not asking for a grammar lesson (or attempted), there are other forums for that.

          • Actually you missed the point in our answer – cushioning is how well the shoe appears to absorbs impact; softness only describes a quality of cushioning. Hence the verb and adjective play.

            Example: if a shoe is very soft and it bottoms out completely, then we don’t believe the shoe is effectively cushioning the impact. Therefore it is important to view both differently.

          • ad5

            Makes sense. Thank you.

  • Brandon

    Are you still going to deconstruct the Nimbus 17 on the Solereview Facebook page to show us how little/much gel there is inside the shoe?

    • We’ll take apart the Nimbus 15 (not the 17), and include that in the N-17 review. Time is at a premium, so not sure when that will happen.

    • There you go, the teardown has been included. Just add #teardown to the url in the address bar and refresh the page.

      • Brandon

        Thanks for keeping your promise! Did you take apart the 15 and not the 17 because you have to keep it for a year to compare it to the 18? I noticed that you took apart the Lunarglide 6 in the Lunarglide 6 review to show us what the foam inside looks like.

        • Correct, we need to hold a shoe for two years, regardless of whether we are going to tear it down or not. This is needed for review comparison and answering comments.

          The Lunarglide was an exception because we had two pairs for the review – one which we bought, and one which we got free. But as a policy, we have stopped taking free shoes since.

  • Mary A

    I have ran two Marathons on Adidas Energy Boost 2 (techfit) and I love the way they feel. Yet, after injuring my tendon, I have been suggested from my physiotherapist to buy either the neutral Asics Gel Cumulus 16 or the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4, so as to adjust customized insoles for my totally different feet. Would you say the Nimbus 17 or the 16 would be an equivalently good solution? It is a more popular model and more easier for me to find sizes. I am an EU38 in regular shoes and EU40,5 in the Energy Boost. Should I buy the same size with Asics or Mizuno? Also, would you recommend any Brooks model? Thank you in advance!

    • If the Cumulus 16 is unavailable, try the Nimbus 16. The N-17 is too soft compared to the Cumulus 16. Within Brooks, Glycerin 12 is an option you could try.

      On paper, a EU 40.5 in adidas translates into the same length in Asics and half a centimeter shorter than Mizuno .

      But given the fact that EB 2 is narrow fitting, a half size down should do it for both the Asics and Mizuno.

  • Ardenda

    I’m a relatively new and pretty slow runner. My first pair of running shoes were Nimbus 12 and I fell in love (high arches, neutral gait). I ended up taking a couple year break from running for job/time restrictions and just got back into it several months ago. I signed up for my first half and full marathon this year (yikes!) and decided to get a second pair of running shoes. Tried the Brooks Glycerin but it didn’t feel very cushioned and I had significantly more leg pain after short 3 mile runs. So I returned them and bought Nimbus 14s online (cheaper than the current model) and they feel great. Since I’m going to be adding a fair amount mileage, I’m considering getting a third pair (maybe one for racing). It sounds like these are not the ideal race shoe because of the sluggishness but would they be good for my training long runs and then wear the Nimbus 14s for the races? In my mind I’m equating it to when I swam competitively and would wear 3 ratty swimsuits in training for the extra drag and then wear the sleek suit for swim meets. Is this similar? Thanks!

    • The Nimbus 17 is way softer than the Nimbus 14. Some of our readers have replaced the stock foam insole with firmer aftermarket as a cure for the sluggish ride.

      That is a great idea if you can do it, and you will still have two shoes which feel different from one another – the firmer N-14 and (still) softer N-17 for training runs.

      • Ardenda

        What aftermarket insole would you recommend replacing it with?

        • Have no idea. Some readers have mentioned doing that in some of the comments below, so you might want to ask them directly.

  • Alex Zander

    Good day, thanx alot for a great review! I have a couple of running shoe pairs, including Nimbus 17 (find them very soft). Can you comfortably run a 3:30 marathon in those or Saucony Kinvara 5 will be a better option? I run from my forefoot

    • A 3.30 marathon will be a bit of work in the Nimbus 17, a little too soft for that. The Saucony Kinvara 5 you could try, along with the Saucony Breakthru. In other brands, the adidas Supernova Glide 7 Boost, Under Armour Speedform Gemini are good alternatives.

      If you still want soft cushioning, but without the mushiness, then going the Hoka Clifton or Huaka route isn’t a bad option either.

      • Alex Zander

        Thank you very much! Spot on comments, as usual. Awesome site!

  • Nick Taylor

    Incredibly comprehensive and accurate review – thanks guys! I took delivery of my 17s last week and have put 30k on them in the last 7 days (have previously been running Nimbus 15s for last 12 months). I also took Michael Williams’ advice (comment below) and changed the supplied Asics insoles for the firmer/less squishy Currex RunPros, and wow, I think I’ve found my perfect running shoe! And with this minimal modification, I certainly wouldn’t describe them as a slow running shoe anymore. I’ve been knocking out steady 4:30-5m kilometers without too much effort and they certainly don’t feel like they’re soaking up my energy. So people reading this who run steady 5 minute ks shouldn’t be put off thinking that this is too slow a shoe for them – it really isn’t. Oh and the ‘dayglo’ green colour is great… much brighter in the flesh than on the screen 😉

    • Hi Nick,

      Thank you for the feedback with regards to the ‘insole-replacement-therapy’. Quite a few Nimbus 17 users seem to have adopted that method, with happy outcomes! Amazing what a simple insole change can achieve.

  • Tom

    Hi, great review. I am a 34 male, 175 lbs, and pretty fit, but I have huge feet problems. They have recently stopped hurting, almost a year, after running once outside with the 5 finger vibrant shoes. Recently, I ran outside using normal running shoes, probably, 4 years old. My left foot was in pain for 3 days, between ball of my foot and the heel, though the heels and balls of my feet hurt to if I walk for too long or run. I am looking for new shoes, would you recommend these Asics or something with huge cushioning like the NB 1080? Thanks.

    • Did you get a medical opinion after your injury with the Vibrams? Always hard to say for sure what causes foot pain without a detailed check up, but as a general thumb rule, a shoe which fits well while providing support and cushioning works in most scenario.

      Avoiding extremes is also a good idea, and the Nimbus 17 is on the far end of the soft spectrum. Out of the two models you’ve mentioned, would advocate the 1080 V5 instead.

      • Tom

        Thank you for your response. I did have a doctor look at it and had X-Rays done, but nothing showed up. Rest helps but it shouldn’t hurt every time I run. Since you recommend the NB 1080 V5, how about the the other NB models, 1540 or the 1340? Thanks again.

        • Can’t offer an opinion on either the 1340 or the 1540, we haven’t reviewed them, sorry!

  • Elizabeth

    I ran in the Nimbus 14 and Nimbus 16. I loved them. I tried the Nimbus 17 and had pain in my legs below then knees after two 3-mile runs on the treadmill. I run pronated. What shoe is similar to the Nimbus 16? The 17 doesn’t work for me.

    • Fit try the Brooks Glycerin 12, the adidas Supernova Glide Boost, and the Saucony Triumph ISO. Not the same as the Nimbus 16 in ride, but delivers cushioning with a tinge of firmness – that’s what the Nimbus 16 does.

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you!!! I’ll look into these.

        • Elizabeth

          What about the Cumulus 16? It seems almost like the same shoe as the Nimbus 16.

          • Runs a little firmer than the Nimbus 16, and the materials don’t feel as plush/refined. Otherwise a great, all-around shoe.

          • Elizabeth

            Thanks again!!!

  • Adam D

    I have been running in the Nike Pegasus 31 Zoom and I ran a half marathon in them. I trained feeling great and having no injuries, but after completing the race, I found out that I had a stress fracture. I took a few months off from running, but am getting back to it. I haven’t been running more than 4 miles at a time with my Nike’s, but want to get back into the 6-10 mile range 3-4 times a week at a sub-8-minute pace.The pain from the stress fracture comes and goes. It doesn’t tense up quite like it did after I sustained the injury, but there are times where it does hurt. I got the Pegasus 31 because I did a running diagnostic at the Nike store and it indicated I am a normal pronator, but could maybe use some arch support.

    From discussions with friends and what I’ve read on the web, I should go for either the Asics Nimbus 17 or the New Balance 1080v5. Do you have a preference or suggestion as to which one I should go with? Furthermore, I am a size 11.5 in the Nike Pegasus 31, what will that mean for the other shoes? Thank you.

    • You choice of footwear (NB or Asics) depends on what you’re looking for. If it is extreme softness you seek, the Nimbus 17 comes out on top. The 1080 V5 is very well cushioned and accented with responsiveness. Our go to shoe in this scenario would be the 1080 V5, but we’re seen reader comments that the Nimbus 17’s ride can be optimised (read less mushy) by putting in an aftermarket pair of insoles instead of the stock ones.

      We’d go the same size across the three. Unless you bought a slightly larger Pegasus due to the shallow toe box, in which case you’d need to go half size down on the Nimbus and 1080. But you can only be 100% after you try the shoes on personally at a nearby store.

  • PaulH

    I run in the Nimbus for many years. Every year a new pair of shoes. I have been running now for 50 miles in the Nimbus 17 and it’s a disaster. Much to soft. If you are 80 kg or more? Don’t buy these shoes! The Nimbus 17 are made for walking, not for running.

    • Alex

      I find them damn soft too, infact they give me a strange feeling around my knees the next day after my run. Continue to evaluate them, hope they will not end up in my stroll collection. my second pair is kinvaras 5, no issues at all

      • PaulH

        Hi Alex,

        I have the same problem with the N17.

        Most of the time i have two pair of Nimbus shoes. One older type and one newer. I do this “Asics-double” for 6 years, it works good for me. For a couple of weeks i change my N15 (after 900 miles) for the N17. My N16 have an age of 550 miles. To do my track training i have Newton Gravity III. Till now a perfect combination for me. I’m thinking about another N15 or maybe another brand. The Nimbus17 are going direction Garbage Dump. Bye bye $150,00.

        • Alex

          Thanx for your comments, I will give them another week or so (this week is recovery week for me after half marathon) and than decide. I was actually looking at Gravity III/IV review just now, what a coincidence. Definitely a possible next alternative (will hop into a shop to have a look)

  • ThorAxe

    Great work! Asics just got Sole Reviewed.

  • Michael

    a short (promo) movie from 2008 how good Asics gel is and there is a lot more gel in their
    shoes then there is in 2015 now days.

    • Thanks for the video. That’s how the design is supposed to be, like how Brooks does it with their DNA Gel based models.

    • Charles

      Very interesting to see the assembly of a running shoe. It´s more complicated than I thought it would be.

  • kate

    I just finished my second walk/run in the Nimbus 17…first time my toes went numb…I changed the lacings to give me more room…and the seam by the toes felt like it had a wire running thru it .. really uncomfortable:) I am a 56 year old woman, I weigh about 120 pounds and I have a high arch..wide across the ball of my foot. I usually wear Nikes or New Balance, but the kid at Dick’s suggested these…now I know I can’t wear them! I usually walk/run for about an hour and a half a day..any suggestions??

    • The Nike Zoom Vomero 10 is worth a try. Smooth insides, wide fit with cushioning to go.

  • Steelsox

    Is the toebox really narrowed again? I have worn Nimbus since the 13s. I run ultras, etc. I noticed after longer runs, my foot had some pain behind the front pad of my foot, it equates to pinching my foot as if too narrow, I hear they keep getting narrower.

    • Charles

      I have the Nimbus 15 in 10.0 4e and they have roughly the same toe room (width) as the 17 in 10.5 4e but they might be very slightly pointier in toe box shape. It´s enough that I would want to size up to an 11 4e in the N-17.

      The 15 fit me snuggly so that I was thinking about sizing up a half, but the 17 doesn´t have more room, even a half size up (maybe even slightly less – depends on your foot shape).
      And the N-17 is really soft – you won´t believe it until you tried them. I´m still debating if these are too soft for me.

    • Compared to the Nimbus 14 and 16? No, it isn’t any narrower. Only the 15 felt wider because of different in upper design – they had these stretch panels on either sides.

  • James C. Higgs

    My daughter got these as a reward for a half marathon race win in her age group. She loves training in them. She is trying to get down her mile time though, and finds them too soft to kick or run hard in. I told her I think that is what they are meant to be like, I think. Any suggestions for a middle distance 1 mile to 5k shoe to run hard in, say 6 to 6:30 miles, for a 13 year old.

    • These are very soft, and hence aren’t great for shaving off time. We’d recommend the lightweight Nike Lunar tempo, or the New Balance Zante and 1500 V1.

  • Keith

    After two pairs of Nimbus 16’s, which I found good albeit a little too hard, I bought a pair of 17’s and after one run returned them. They were like wearing soft pillows glued to marshmallows. There was softness abounding and all my foot seemed to do was sink into them and not return.
    The closest example of the feel of them was like running in soft sand and for the standard run I did it felt like I had run miles more.

    Good on Asics for trying something genuinely different but in this case they went far too far with all areas of softness to the Nimbus’s detriment.. A slight adjustment in one area of the cushioning over the 16 would have sufficed and made a great shoe however these are not.

    • We think the Nimbus 15 was a good go-between. And more than one reader has commented that they have swapped the stock Nimbus 17 insole with a firmer one to make it a bit unsoft and more efficient.

  • Bob Hayden

    Have used the Brooks Glycerin 12 (fantastic shoe for me) and the Nimbus 16 (for shorter runs) as Nimbus 16 felt less supportive in the areas I need (role in) and cushioning). Is there any plan to compare the new Brooks Glycerin 13 and Nimbus 17 or do you already have a view on these as a comparison.

    Distance is more important than speed for me.

    Also are there any plans to do a review on the Glycerin 13 compared with the 12s as I’m now due for a new pair of Glycerins and don’t know if I should upgrade to the 13s or stick with the 12s!

    I use custom orthorics for stability so need a neutral shoe with good padding and side support to stop role in.

    • Yes, we have plans to review the Glycerin 13 (not with us yet), and we’ll include a comparison with Nimbus 17 now that you mentioned it. The review should be up tentatively in July. Our standard review comes with the current (G-12) vs. new (G-13) comparison by default.

  • Karti Mayaram

    Thanks for this website and the detailed reviews. I would appreciate your opinion on a replacement shoe for Nike Zoom Vomero 4. I really liked the Nike Zoom Vomero 4 and had a few of these from 2010 which are now all worn out. I am looking for a replacement shoe that has cushioning/comfort similar to the Vomero 4. I have tried the glycerin 11/12 and Nimbus 15/16 but don’t have the same experience as the Vomero 4. Is the Nimbus 17 a good replacement. I am struggling with this as the big toe pushes up against the shoe bumper and the shoe doesn’t feel comfortable in the toe box. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

    • None of the shoes we’ve tested on this website is similar to the Vomero 4. But if we had to suggest a few options to try out, the Nike Zoom Vomero 10 and New Balance 1080 V5 are alternatives.

      The Nimbus 17 is comfortable, but way too soft and misses the responsive feel of the Vomero 4.

      • Karti Mayaram

        Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll try those out. When will a review of Nike Zoom Vomero 10 be posted? Looks like the Nimbus 17 could be a good shoe for walking.

        • The Vomero 10 review is next up, in a few days time. The Nimbus 17 is a good shoe for walking, very comfortable!

          • Karti Mayaram

            Thanks. Looking forward to the Vomero 10 review!

  • Kimmy Jong Lee

    What would be a best shoe for a marathon?

    • What is your targeted pace/time, and which shoes have worked for you in the past?

      • Kimmy Jong Lee

        i’m a beginner and i’m targeting a 2.5,thanks

        • Is 2.5 same as 2 hours 50 minutes? Not clear what you meant to say, but shoes like the adidas Supernova Glide 7 Boost and Underarmour Speedform Gemini are safe to begin with.

  • vince

    I notice you mentioned that this shoes is not for speed running. But still, i needed a confirmation – would this shoes be good for HIIT training on a treadmill? If not, do you have better recommendation? Thanks in advance.

    • We won’t pick the Nimbus 17 for HIIT, as it slows you down nevertheless, be it treadmill or elsewhere. Would recommend something less mushier, like the Nike Free or New Balance Fresh Foam Zante.

      If you need more bulk in your shoes, then the adidas Supernova Glide Boost or Nike Pegasus 31 are good options.

  • Pradeep Sharma


    I am a male, 29 years old and i run on road, 4-5 times a week (Running distance 6-8 kms per run). I am really confused between ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21. I am looking to start clocking in more kms from now on, like a half marathon distance twice in a month.
    Can guide me which is a better shoe amongst the two.

    • Hello Pradeep,

      It really depends on what you’re looking for in a shoe – because of diverse individual needs, one shoe cannot be generally described as better over the other. The Nimbus 17 is a much softer shoe than the Kayano.

      The Kayano has a slightly narrower fit, and a harder midsole foam under the arch side. What shoes have you been wearing currently and in the past, and have any of those worked for you? That will give us a good frame of reference.

      • Pradeep Sharma

        Thanks for the reply.

        I have not run much in last 3 years. Before that, I was running regularly in Nike Pegasus 27 and found it to be comfortable. All my runs are either on hard tracks or on the roads. Like i mentioned earlier i run on road, 4-5 times a week (Running distance 6-8 kms per run).I am not a fast runner. My pace is 5:40 per KM. I am looking to clock a half marathon distance in under 2 hours and gain more distance on my regular runs. I have a neutral pronantion and right now i have a heel striking pattern and i am focusing to change that to forefoot striking.


        • In that case, try either the Nike Vomero 10, Pegasus 31 or the Glide Boost 6. The Nimbus 17 is way too soft. Nice for easy runs, but over 10kms/hour is decent running pace and the Nimbus 17 might slow you down.

          And here’s some unsolicited advice – if you have been heel striking without any issues, there is absolutely no point switching to a forefoot strike.

          It is no more or less efficient than rearfoot striking when it comes to road running – the only exception are short track sprints, where you have no option but to adopt a forefoot strike for efficiency.

          • Pradeep Sharma

            unsolicited advice taken.. 🙂
            i’ll check the options suggested…
            thanks for the help…!

  • Gustavo

    Hi, I had an Asics culumus before and last week I bought the Asics Nimbus 16 NYC edition. I was in doubt between the the one that I bought and the Nimbus 17.
    I have been having an issue with it since I bought. The inner part of my right foot, between the toe and the ankle, closer to the toe I would say, almost in the sole, the shoe seems to be pushing my foot to inside. It seems that I’m stepping over half of a ball.
    Any comments about it? Have you ever heard some similar complain?

    • Won’t be able to say for certain without an inspection of your shoe and running form, which is not possible through this forum.

      Our suggestion would be to return the Nimbus 16 if possible and get another pair of Cumulus – which we understand worked well for you previously.

  • Kelly-Ann Dunn

    I need help please! I suffer from shin splints when running (they come and go) I was advised by my doctor to choose softer trainers, I like what I’m reading about the Nimbus 17 but need some clarity. I’m not a fast runner and I’m not looking to improve my speed, but I am trying to gain more distance when I run. I’m currently doing 3 miles and my pace is about 9 minutes per mile. Would you recommend the Nimbus 17 or is there something more suitable available in the UK?

    • Hello Kelly-Ann,

      The Nimbus 17 might be just too soft your needs – also a tad unstable. Better to try something like the Nike Vomero 10, or the adidas Supernova Glide 7 Boost. Let us know how it goes!

      • Kelly-Ann Dunn

        Great thanks for replying! I’ll have a look at those suggestions and let you know how I get on 🙂

  • Shamik Shah

    Thank you very much for an excellent review. I am in the market for a new pair of running shoes. I currently own a pair of Asics Gel Strike 3. I run 5k in 30 minutes, 3 times a week on a treadmill. I’ve been running for about 3 years now. At some point, I’d like to graduate to a 10k run and then to a half marathon. What shoes would you suggest for me?

    • What’s your shoe preference in terms of fit (snug, roomy), cushioning (soft/firm/responsive) and support? Generally speaking, shoes such as the Nike Vomero 10 and adidas Supernova Glide 7 Boost work great.

  • Vikhyat

    I am a beginner in terms of running and was looking to replace my old shoes (Adidas sequence 3 – pretty old ones). Looking at the wear and tear of the shoe, I concluded i was a supinator (the shoe was worn on the outer side). I was looking at Gel Nimbus 17 and clearly timing is not a concern for me. Would you recommend it as a good replacement or are there any other shoes I should think of (I was thinking of Kayano 21 but then decided against them after seeing my current shoe wear and tear – It seems i dont pronate).

    • How about the Asics Gel Cumulus 17? Well cushioned, and not as mushy as the Nimbus 17..

      • Vikhyat

        Many thanks for quick response…thanks for the suggestion…how about nike Vomero 10 (have read quite a lot of good things about it)- do you think its similar to gel cumulus 17 or very different. I know in the end it will be the best fit for the feet in the store but just wanted to know more for my understanding

        • The Vomero 10 is a great shoe – buy that one if it fits and feels well. More responsive than the Cumulus with regards to its cushioning, and lighter too.

  • Joris

    I’ve been running for 1,5 years now, Used to run on Reebok Zignano’s but switched to Nimbus 16’s about a year ago. This because I got really bad shin splints. The 16s worked really well for me, my injury disappeared and I used them very succesfully for a half marathon in october 2014 (1h44m). I’m now training for a full marathon in october (hope to achieve 3h30m) and my 16s are started to get worn out, so I’m looking for new shoes. Would you recommend the 17s for someone with a history of bad shin splints who really enjoys the 16s?

    • The Nimbus 17 is too soft, instead we would recommend the Cumulus 17. It is softer than the Cumulus 16, but less so than the Nimbus 17. Give them a fit try and see how they feel.

      • Joris

        Thank you very much for your kind help! I’ll try them on in the store later this week together with the Vomero 10’s and I’ll let you now what I thought!

        • Joris

          Thanks for the great advice! Tried the Vomero 10’s and Nimbus 17’s (they didn’t have the Cumulus at my store). I enjoyed the responsiveness of the Vomero far more then the mushiness of the Numbus so I ended up buying the Vomero 10’s. Thanks again for your great reviews!

          • Great buy! The Vomero 10 feels way better than the Nimbus 17 when it comes to delivering an efficient ride.

  • Ely

    thanks for the brilliant review.. I ran two marathons with the Nike Free 5.0 2013 version and i switched to the Nimbus 17 this year and my legs were more fatigued than ever.. it all makes perfect sense now.. back to the FREE’s 🙂

    • Smart move! Just goes to show that an overtly soft shoe isn’t always the answer.

  • Hai

    Hi, thanks for the detailed review. I ran a couple of marathons with nimbus 15, felt pretty confortable with them. now i have two more coming up, from your review, it doesn’t look like 17 is a good choice if i want to have my PB, so which neutral shoes with fair amount of cusion and can also give me good performance would you recommend?

    many thanks

    • We replied to your other comment as well – try the Vomero 10, you should like them.

  • Barb

    Thank you for the detailed review. I currently run 5k about 3 days/week at a pretty slow pace (11min/mile). I would like something protective for my knees and that is wide enough to accommodate custom orthotics. I am currently running in the Nimbus 16. Prior to those for years I ran in Brooks Ghost and then switched to the Brooks Pureflow. I couple of years ago I ran in the NewBalance Baddeley 890v3. I prefer a lightweight shoe. What would you recommend? I generally alternate between my treadmill and pavement. Thank you for any advise you can offer.

    • The Vomero 10 certainly seems worth a fit try. Much lighter than the Nimbus 16 and 17, and has a wide fit likely to accommodate your custom orthoses.

      • Barb


  • Barb

    I forgot to mention that while I am a woman, I have large feet and usually prefer a man’s shoe (size 11.5) due to width to accommodate orthotics.

  • Nome

    Hi there – I am suppinator with rigid joints and I wear orthotics so I have to stick to a neutral shoe. I have previously been a Brooks Dyad wearer, and they are great, but they are very hard to find and super expensive to buy. I go through pairs every 4-6 months. I recently had a pair of Asics Nimbus 16 which were also great for my feet, and thought that I would upgrade to the 17, but something has changed about the fit of the shoe and they aren’t working for my dodgy feet as well as the 16, and I am back to getting very tired feet and sore calves again (previous signs of oncoming shin splints in the future). I love running (and I am not particularly interested in speed so much) and want a good pair of shoes that don’t cost me the earth… Any recommendations?

    • Hi!

      We see the Cumulus 17 and Vomero 10 as solid options to try. They should have the necessary interior space to accommodate your orthoses, and are good overall neutrals.

  • msconfig 2015

    Hello.Thanks for the detailed review.
    I want see review Asics Gel Nimbus 17 VS hoka one one clifton & One One Bondi 4
    Shoes number one Cushioning and soft :???
    i wait see next time review
    hoka one one clifton
    Hoka One One Bondi 4
    Thank You.

    • The Hoka Clifton review is already published, and Bondi 4 will be review shortly. All there are very different shoes, hard to put a detailed comparison in this comment box.

  • RunWalker

    I have this shoe. The toe box is tight. I have had issues with metatarsal pain. I did well in the past with New Balance 880 and Asics Gel Kinsei 4. Suggestions?

    • If you think that the tight box contributed to your met soreness, then the Nike Vomero 10 is a shoe worth trying. Lots of forefoot splay room, the most we’ve ever seen on a standard D width model in recent times.

  • navid

    hi !
    i run 5 times(3time=1 hour , 2 time = 30 min) in a week on road and sometimes on treadmill , i want to choose right shoes , could you help me to choos it , (weight=73 kg , male ) . i have also knee pain sometime im my left leg.

  • Fernando

    I am neutral runner, 68kgr, 5,30m/km. 21k maximum distance. What do you recommend, Asics Nimbus 17 or New Balance 1080V5?

    • New Balance 1080 V5, or the Vomero 10, if you’re willing to try Nike’s.

      • fernando

        thank you very much , I’m using the nimbus 15 I like, but I want to change , from Argentina Thanks !!

        • Yes, both these shoes are a good transition from the Nimbus 16. Different, but still in a familiar area.

  • navid

    I run 5 times for 50 min per week (male,27,73kg,174cm) on road and sometime treadmill also i have knee pain in my left leg . what is your suggestion ? Gel Nimbus 17 , Adidas Ultra boost or … .

    • Hello Navid,

      We suggest you try the Vomero 10 – the Nimbus 17 is too soft, and the Ultra Boost’s outsole does not last long.

      As far as your knee pain is concerned, please see a physiotherapist. There might be other factors causing it; shoes don’t make so much of a difference.

      • navid

        thank you very much, the main cause of my knee pain is running on treadmill.

        • Throw in some conditioning/strengthening exercises into your routine, that should help.

  • curtis jackson

    Hello there, as a novice runner I ran in the Nike Free 7.0 with flat feet that severely overpronated. After injuring myself (due to running in un supportive shoes) my podiatrist recommended orthotics for my fallen arches and pronation issue. Currently I am wearing the Asics Gel Kayano 21 with my orthotics, but feel that the engineering of this shoe plus orthocis, may cause over correcting issues within my foot. If not the Asics Gel Kayano 21, what shoe(s) do you recommend I wear with orthotics that correct a flat footed overpronator? Thank you for your time.

    • You might want to try the Brooks Transcend, it has a supportive+cushioned base while being neutral. And the thick standard insole can be replaced with a custom orthoses.

      The upper runs a bit narrow, so you’ll need to visit a nearby store and see if your orthoses fit without severely cramping the space inside.

  • Mac Drew

    Great review and thanks so much for the effort. Very helpful.

    Just wanted to point out a bit you may have missed. Whether or not it works is debatable of course, but the reason for Asic’s gel being on the sides is for shock absorption. They’re trying to have the weight of the foot fall dissipate partially in the horizontal direction. The gel is needed on the sides for that (so the force can be absorbed into something). Otherwise the force will go entirely downward. The reason for making some of the force horizontal is to lessen the vertical downward force. And this is to in turn lessen the reaction force from the ground. The reaction force will equal the downward vertical force that makes it through the shoe. And it’s this reaction force (going back up) that jars your knee.

    The soft feel on your foot is definitely from the foam as you say, but if their system works then the low impact on your knees can thank the gel too.

    • JBloggs

      Thanks for the info- I’ve tried lots of shoes and have yet to find anything more comfortable than the Nimbus 17 or Kayano 21, regardless of technology in the sole. If I have lots of aches and pains, back, shins, knees etc then the Nimbus 17 is perfect for me. I’ll use the Kayano 21 if I want something less sluggish but still very comfortable and for speedier runs the Kayano 20 or GT-2000 2. I also have the Nike Pegasus 31 but the lack of forefoot cushioning is a problem for me.

  • Michael

    This is an incredibly thorough review…amazing actually and very useful. Many, many thanks.

    I’m not without questions though. My foot is narrow (male 155lbs, 5’8″) and I have had a difficult time getting a good fit. My right heel feels loose in most shoes, sloppy actually and it is a huge distraction. Finally came home with this shoe and it seems pretty great with the exception of the heel, it’s better than the other shoes I tried on – easily 10 pairs at Marathon Sports in Boston – but this seemed to be best…though a compromise.

    My question is this. Should I stop looking or try something else…I would have tried the new Mizuno Enigma 5 if in stock, it wasn’t. And I wonder if this Nimbus 17 is the equivalent?

    What are your thoughts?

    With deepest thanks for this amazing site!

    • Hello Michael,

      Thank you for the comment! Is fit the most important criteria for your shoe selection? Or are there other areas (like cushioning/support/etc) which have weight age?

      Because if it is just a matter of heel fit, then there are a few available options. Like the Asics Gel Cumulus 17, Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit, 2014 the and Nike Flyknit Lunar 2.

      Have tested the Enigma yet, so have no idea on the Mizuno – yet. We have plans to review it soon, however!

  • Kevin Davidson

    Awesome review! I have just recently stepped up my game from just regular hiking to some trail running. In the process I’ve started to have some pretty noticeable Achilles tendon pain in my right foot which I have never had in my entire life (42 y/o). Now with that being said about 2 years ago I wrecked on my bike and had a rod place in my left tibia. When I’m hiking/trail running I wear XT wings 3 and sometimes I wear a Merrell moab mid. I’ve placed some Spenco Polysorb inserts in the Merrell’s which seem to help. I have some hiking trips coming up and have been hitting it pretty hard on the trails to increase my stamina and overall shape for the trips. I recently read an article to try and find out what the best shoe would be to deal with my upper heel/Achilles tendon pain and it recommended the Nimbus 17. Now I’m not trying to use these to replace my hiking shoes but to try and use them for everything but the trails to try and hopefully recuperate my tendon. I would use them for some light running/jogging on sidewalks and probably at work too. In your opinion do you think the Nimbus 17 would be a good choice for Achilles tendon pain? Thanks!

    • While we’re not in a position to help with medical advice, generally a higher heel drop (greater difference between heel and forefoot thickness) shoe relieves the Achilles.

      Though the Nimbus 17 is a superbly plush shoe with a high heel drop, it tends to compress a lot under weight. So instead, we would recommend the Nike Zoom Vomero 10 or the firmer 2014 Nimbus 16 in case the Vomero’s heel is too loose.

  • Lucy C

    I am going to run a Half Marathon in September and seeing as my Cumulus 14s are getting a bit tired now I’m looking to buy some new trainers.

    I’ve tried on both the Asics Gel Cumulus 17 and the Asics Gel Nimbus 17 and both are very comfy. However I’ve heard a lot of people saying the Nimbus is ‘too soft’ and the extra cushioning actually results in a slower run due to the unresponsiveness of the shoe? Is this true or is the difference between the two shoes not that significant?

    My target pace for the half marathon is 8 mins/mile. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks 🙂


    • JBloggs

      Hi Lucy, I’m on my 3rd pair of Nimbus (12, 13 and now 17) and wanted to say that the 17 is indeed prob ‘too soft’…as my fitness levels have improved over the past few months and I’m able to run further and faster, I have really noticed this. In fact, I only use the Nimbus now for those days when my whole body is aching and I’m struggling to even get out the door- then the 17’s superior comfort is most welcome for a comfortable and medium paced run only.

      The Asics Kayano 21 offers a super comfy ride too but without the ‘sluggish’ feel of the Nimbus 17. The Kayano 22 will be released any day now too and may be a little lighter due the the new engineered-type upper also used on the Nimbus 17.

      Just my 2 cents as I’m a big ‘Asics’ fan- currently rotating the GT-2000 2, Kayano 20, Kayano 21 and Nimbus 17 and very interested in upcoming Culmulus 17.

      I’m sure Solereview will reply too with some excellent suggestions 🙂

    • Hello Lucy,

      Yes, very soft shoes slow you down, as it creates more work for the feet during running. While that is not the only factor which makes a shoe feel ‘fast’ or ‘lazy’, generally very soft midsoles get in the way of building speed.

      The Cumulus 17 is a good option, and so are the Saucony Ride 7/8, Pegasus 31/32 and the Ghost 8. Recommend that you give them a try at your local store and see what feels and fits best.

  • Neil Flippance

    Long time Nimbus user, the 17’s are just too soft. I find with most nimbus the gel starts to go too soft and less responsive in the cushioning after about 800km so i have changed over to brooks for a try. The 17’s also do not look good. They do not look like a top of the range running shoe. I think the glycerin 11-13 look so much better. Nimbus models 6-13 look better. Also the colours are not good, especially for the womens. Lots of bright fluros, pinks and purples. Not everyone wants bright colours

    • Actually, there isn’t much Gel to start with in the Nimbus. The softness comes from the foam, mostly.

      Talking about the visual appeal, the Brooks Ghost 8 and Glycerin 13 look delicious!

  • Patty

    After years of New Balance, I’ve developed too many foot/ankle problems, and am looking for a different shoe. Tried the Gel Nimbus and the Kayano. I wear orthotics for arch support, and have chronic ankle tendonitis. Bought the Asics 2000 GTX last winter for weather resistance, and they were good. Should I be looking at the Nimbus for my 63 year old feet? I’m a walker, do 6-7 miles a day at a fast pace. Hate to buy another shoe that makes things worse. Doc says stay with running shoes, not walking shoes. Softness would be a good thing, I’m thinking.

    • Hello Patty,

      Any reason why you want to move away from the GT 2000? The Nimbus 17 is way, way softer, so there’s no saying what those changes will translate to in your case.

      The GT 2000 4 is on its way next month, so you could wait for that, or get the GT 2000 3.

      • Patty

        Thanks for the reply, but the GT 2000 was good, but not great. My ankle issues began on a two week vacation using only the 2000, so I’m wondering if that was the start. My orthotics are only arch support. Wondering is possible the Kayano would be a better choice since it’s more supportive, but feel confused. Don’t want to make matters worse. Thanks for your input!

        • We don’t see the Kayano 21 as more supportive than the GT 2000. The Kayano is much softer, and hence dilutes some of the support vs. a GT 2000.

          • Patty

            Thank you so much for your input, and all the great info on your website! It has helped me a lot!

  • minas

    Hello there and thanks for all these great reviews.. Wish i had found you sooner..
    Anyway, I’m in a great need of your advice. I’ll be running my second marathon this November and I’m looking for the best possible pair of shoes. In my first marathon last year i ran with Nike Free 3.0 despite that most people advised me to use a more ‘cushioned” shoe.. However i did very good with them and finished in estimated time. This year though, i want to take the best out of it. From January I used Asics Gel Nimbus 16 and found them very comfortable too, despite that “heaviness” feeling compared to Nike Free 3.0. If i could design my own shoes I would make them light and speedy as the Nike Free 3.0 but with a bit of cushioning and smooth riding feeling as the Nimbus 16. Can you suggest me any shoes close to my criteria? Or even tell me your opinion. I’m going for an under 3h marathon run.

    • Try wearing the Nike LunarTempo, Nike Flyknit Lunar 3, Saucony Ride 7 at the store and see what fits and feels best. Three very different shoes, so this will give you a frame of reference.

  • Steve

    hi ya guys,how are you all ? could these Nimbus 17 be rotated with Nike Vomero 10 (being different brands though), looks like these run on clouds and very soft. thanks in advance

    • You answered your own question. Now it depends on what you like your shoe to do for you.

  • Tim

    Other than the ridiculously fast wearing outsole would you say the Ultra Boost are a softer/better option than the Nimbus?

    • Yes. Not softer, but a better running shoe. Caveat is that one has to be a heel/rear-foot striker.

      There isn’t much going on in the Ultra’s forefoot cushioning department, where the Nimbus does better.

  • Colin

    I’m considering the Vomero 10 or the Nimbus 17. I’m just starting to run to get healthier, so speed isn’t a major consideration. Cushion, especially in the forefoot, would be the biggest factor for me. When I run, the amount of cushion in the forefoot is what I notice most about a shoe. I’m 6’2″ and 235 lbs. What would your suggestion be?

  • steve


    I’m looking at 3 shoes. GEL-Nimbus® 17 T509N, GEL-Cumulus® 17 T5E0N, & GEL-Flux™ 2 T520N
    I’m a heavy man, looking for something comfortable that feels good on my feet. 5’8″ 400lbs. I’m looking to start walking and trying to lose weight, but I have always had trouble with shoes. I have found that I am an underpronator. Looking for advice before I hit the stores to look at these. Willing to consider anything.

    • Haven’t tried the Gel Flux, but have experience with the Nimbus 17 and Cumulus 17.

      The Nimbus is super soft from toe to heel, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then go no further. The Cumulus 17 is also soft, but a little less so than the Nimbus, and the forefoot isn’t that soft.

      Try the Nike Zoom Vomero 10 just in case you don’t take to Nimbus 17 soft.

  • Gijs

    Incredible soft shoe. About the gel in the shoe: Asics haven’t made a secret out of the small gel pads. In the Kayano it’s exactly the same. We in our store have a dissected kayano 21, looks simulair in gel pads.
    Thanks for the detailed reviews btw. Very usefull

  • AB

    My run shop has been steering me towards the cushioned neutral shoes. I’ve tried the Vomero 10’s but my feet are just too wide for them, so I’m comparing the Nimbus 17s and Glycerin 13s. I have a good fit on both and the Nimbus is definitely softer, though I’m not sure I prefer the softness of one over the other. Since you’ve tested the G13s a bit but havent posted a review yet, which are you preferring right now?

    • Between the Nimbus 17 and G-13, Brooks takes our vote. Not mushy as the Asics, and has a supportive feel to its ride too.

  • Thank you for sharing!

    But the explanation mentioned in the article does not make sense. Firstly, it would be very unusual to have someone land on the external lateral edge of the heel. The impact area is just below the heel, and that is why brands like adidas, Nike, Brooks, Saucony and many more place their cushioning systems right under the heel.

    Asics’s objective of placing their Gel windows outside appears nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

    • Merkin Muffly

      The Nimbus is suppose to be for underpronators. As one of those I know my shoes first start wearing out at the exact outside heel position where this gel is placed, maybe it’s designed to reduce that impact for those types of runners. I just wonder if it’ll be in the same position for the Kayano 22s which would make no sense at all for overpronators. Will be interesting to see your review on the Kayano 22s and where the gel is placed, hopefully you can open one of those up. My only problem with these is the shallow toe box and tight forefoot. Nimbus use to be very roomy, this is disappointing.

      • Your wear happens on the entire outside edge? That we would like to see!

        • EHO

          You definitely have a point there – I would expect different runners have different distribution of peak weight load area, depending on gait, etc but the majority would have theirs under the centre of the heel rather than the lateral edge.
          The picture attached is the Gel distribution in the Nimbus 17, taken from the Asics Japan youtube channel – they must approach cushioning from a different perspective compared to the other major companies.

          One other observation is that New Balance is probably the only major who reserve their top-of-the-line N2 cushioning inserts for their 10xx and 12xx series shoes, and have just foams for all their lower tiers. Do you think that absence has really diminished the 8xx series’ cushioning much?
          Thanks again for your consistently comprehensive reviews!

          • The N2 inserts make the shoes more responsive for sure – but for runners who just want some soft foam cushioning, the regular New Balance models do just fine. Their foam compounding has improved too, as evident from the Zante.

    • Charles

      As a forefoot striker that supinates I can say that the gel unit in the forefoot of the older Nimbus 15 is exactly where the area of first impact is and then my foot rolls inwards and pushs off and even that feels responsive and gel-like. Though, it might not work for everyone, I wouldn´t call the gel system gimmicky. Many people really love the feel of it and I tend to be one of them. (at least as older Asics are considered) Brooks on the other hand (like in Ghost 4, Adrenaline 11) feel way too hard to me and I didn´t like the adaptive dna – soft while slow but too firm while running faster and somehow without much energy return.

      • Ultimately, it boils down to a shoe’s comfort level based on personal preferences, regardless of whether Gel/foam/Air/Boost is used.

        If the shoe doesn’t fit or feel right, no amount of tech is relevant.

  • Marwan Muhammad

    Thanks for the great reviews.. very much appreciated 🙂

    I did a run test before in a Runner’s Point shop & I have seen that I have mild overpronation (I have flexible flat foot BTW but I’m like 7 kgs more than my optimum weight). I was advised by them to go for neutral shoes as I don’t need stability that much & no need to limit my choices to them. I also like cushioned shoes very much.

    Is the Nimbus (or other “neutral” cushioned shoes) good for me or I still should consider stability shoes like the Kayano?

    • Both the Kayano and Nimbus are well cushioned shoes, only the Nimbus is much softer. Try both, and go with what feels better under the foot and fits well.

  • Ho Hin Henry Chan

    “It is plain to see how much of a marketing scam Asics Gel is, even in its top end neutral cushioning model. The two penny shaped Gel pads are all that’s actually inside the midsole, and the rest is all show.”
    That is why I love Kayano 18 more than Kayano 19. In Kayano 18 we can see two channels of gels across the forefoot. Starting from Kayano 18, due to the situation that asics had to split the gel up for the sake of the guidance line, they splited the gel into two parts for the forefoot. I never hate asics, I just didn’t like the way they reallocate the gel in the forefoot area.

  • Robin

    I bought the Nimbus 16 about a year ago when I was training for a marathon, and I loved them. Now I am running only 3-10 miles at a time (about 30 miles a week) to focus on getting faster. I’ve had knee pain before so I loved the cushion the nimbus 16 provided. Would you recommend the Nimbus 17 even though my running goals have changed? Also, I am concerned about the Nimbus 17 holding up for 500 miles. Other reviews I have read said they were shot after about 120 miles. Any thoughts? Thank you.

    • The Nimbus 17 is much softer than the 16, so not sure how you’ll like that change. You mentioned that your focus is now on getting faster, so the mushy N-17 isn’t a help in that department.

      By shot after 120 miles, is that the quality of cushioning? Anyway which, we can’t say because we don’t have 100 miles on the shoe yet.

      You could try shoes such as the Saucony Ride 7/8, Nike Pegasus 31 or the adidas Glide 7 if you like to get something faster than the Nimbus 17.

  • Sandeep Gudibanda

    Hi, My wife gifted this for my triathlon. Super happy for that. But I also have plantar fascitis and was wondering if Nimbus 17 is best for that. I see that Arch support is rated 4 on 10 as per this review.

    • Really hard to say, a PF injury reacts to shoes in different ways. The general rule is that the shoe should flex in the forefoot and not under the midfoot – which Nimbus 17 passes.

  • peerlesscolt

    Hello and greetings from Greece
    I m preparing for my first Athens Classic Marathon.Is nimbus 17 the proper shoe for Marathons or generally for big distances?i ve been using nimbus 16 and i m very pleased from them for over 800kms so far(please note that i m not into very fast paces )so i m looking for 17 at the moment

    • Sorry for the delayed response!

      If you’re wearing the Nimbus 16, the 17 should do ok. You might lose a bit of speed, as the 17 is much softer than the 16.

      Also try the Cumulus 17 and the Nike Vomero 10 if you find the Nimbus 17 too soft or its upper for different from the Nimbus 16.

  • Sam

    Hi! Today I had the opportunity to try the Nimbus 17 on the treadmill. As I have metatarsalgia I’m searching for a running shoe with good cushion in the forefoot area. So the super cushioned Nimbus seemed to be the perfect shoe for my case… However when running with the Nimbus my impression was somewhat unexpected: Everytime when I hit the ground with my feet it was like the feet were going all the way through the cushioning and then hitting the ground. It was not so much different from running with minimalistic running shoes (which caused my metatarsalgia in the first place – but that’s another topic). My bodyweight is 70kg (154lb) so I’m not that heavy… Kayano 21 felt better… But maybe because of my metatarsalgia I’m not exactly the average runner/running shoe buyer. And apart from the cushioning I really liked the shoe.
    Just wanted to share my impressions…
    And last but not least: You guys from solereview are doing a really great job! I have never seen better running shoe reviews than the ones on this fantastic site!
    Greetings from Switzerland!

    • Hello Sam,

      Great to have you here, and thank you for the insightful comment!

  • Gianluca

    Dears, this week I had to give up after running 200 km using Nimbus 17. I can confirm that the shoe is completely different than Nimbus 16: cushioning is so much softer that you feel unstable. The top is surely lighter but slimmer and not firm. The crush pad consumption is much quicker than the Nimbus 16. The consequences of these were: pain in the lower legs, pain in the right knee, blisters. It is a pity, I owned 2 Nimbus 16 (ran 1.200 km). Hope this feedback will be helpful.

    • Thank you for the feedback, we also found this year’s version to substantially differ from the 16.

      The Nimbus 17 is indeed very mushy, and less stable/supportive compared to other firmer models,even preceding Nimbus models such as 14 and 16.

  • frh

    I’m actually stunned the Nimbus 17 got such a relatively low rating. I bought the GT-1000 3 (which you rated higher) and it was an awful shoe. The GT’s heel counter was nonexistent which meant there was terrible heel slippage despite numerous re-lacing methods used. The Nimbus 17 fixed this and it’s now my everyday commuter run/work shoe — the black color is neutral enough so that it doesn’t stand out like a clown in a professional environment. I think the Nimbus 17 is better than the Kayano 20, which you gave your highest score for an Asics shoe. I had worn numerous minimalist shoes for many years and my acquired forefoot strike is better suited for the Nimbus 17 than the other Asics shoes.

    • Appreciate the feedback! Transition quality and stability levels weigh heavily on our total score, and this is where the Nimbus 17 comes up short. It’s super-soft midsole results in more work for the foot, reducing the level of support, and transitions are pretty sluggish.

      But that said, shoes are such a personal thing that you have to take every other opinion with a pinch of salt, and rely on your own personal preferences. That is why we include a lot of details in our reviews, so regardless of the score, potential buyers can make their own choices by being better informed.

      • frh

        100% agree on sluggish transitions — I tried playing Dance Dance Revolution with these shoes and it was a struggle. But I have other shoes for that :p

        • Yes, for walking around and general non-running use, the Nimbus 17 is a dream! With you on that.

      • Bob B

        What company has the biggest BS as far as technology? Would you say Gel is pretty much just a marketing gimmick all these years? Air is hit or miss but they have stuck with it(Nike). Adidas changes tech like no ones business. A3 was just another version of Nike’s Shox. I’ve always been interested in shoe tech. I switched back and forth from Saucony’s GRID tech. The old grid in the swerve was awesome. It really took a pounding in the heel but the forefoot got smashed to bits. That GRID really worked like a tennis raquet which is what I miss about Saucony although the Triumph ISO is really a decent shoe. Makes me sad they moved to some Boost ripoff though. The first Triumph is still in my closet and that tech seems to work properly but it’s just a very stiff shoe for heavy runners unlike myself at 130+ pounds.

        • All brands have their phases, so hard to single out any one company for failed tech. Asics Gel started with the right intentions, though.

          Back in the day (1990-ish), Asics models such as the Gel Runner 90/110/GT-Express had sizeable rear and front Gel inserts which were articulated. The later versions were watered down, leading to what you see today. Most cushioning in Asics nowadays comes from the foam, and not from those penny sized inserts.

          The original Saucony Grid made of Dupont Hytrel was great, and so was Reebok Hexalite and Puma Trinomic!

          • Bob B

            Yes dude… exactly. I love your response. The original Grid was actually so effective imagine if they had brought that back with the new tech they use now. I can’t imagine why they’d dump something that worked. It really added a bounce and rebound effect. I really miss it. Hexalite was ok, but I was never a fan or Reeboks brand. The Puma Trinomic looks like super hexalite, very interesting. At least I enjoy the Triumph ISO though…very comfy. I was curious if you noticed how much they veered away from the SRC in the T4 compared to the harder T5… was so disappointing. The heel unit in the Triumph 4 was a masterpiece. Had they kept that unit and molded that into the ISO’s tech with a smooth heel to toe transition…oh wow.

          • Guess it is all now about the bottom-line/profit angle. To give credit where it is due, making shoes in Asia isn’t any cheap anymore.

            The original Dupont Hytrel based GRID must have been relatively expensive to source and integrate.

          • Bob B

            I think the Vomero 10 looks like an upgrade to one of my other favorites the Air Zoom Elite+ 5.

          • The heel feels somewhat similar, but that’s about it.

          • The heel feels somewhat similar, but that’s about it.

          • Bob B

            So would you say the Vomero 10 are much better than the elite 5+?
            Maybe even more low profile cushioning? It’s funny just how different these feel than say the ISO Triumph and Gel shoes I have now. I would say not quite as soft but it’s got a much more solid base. They also seem to favor mid foot landings even though the air is only in the front. The ISO Cushion seems to have a rebound effect more so than the softer Gel Excite 2 I own. Both comfy in different ways. Running seems to benefit the ISO, but walking around the Gel Excite 2. The Gel’s get hot though…. not as much cooling.

          • Not necessarily better, just two different shoes. The Elite, if we remember, had a lower profile front-end compared to the Vomero.

          • Bob B

            Well with me, more isn’t bad that’s for sure. If I liked the Elite… The Vomero could be a step above going by your review. I tend to buy the shoes on discount after the 11th version comes out anyhow. I got the ISO Triumph on sale for $79 and it was a gift anyhow. Perhaps they could be my next shoe, who knows.

          • Not really better or worse, just plain different. The Vomero 10 has Zoom Air both under the heel and forefoot, and that makes it cushioned yet in a stable sort of a way.

  • uglyatc

    I am a PE school teacher and am on my feet for long periods of time with distances each day of 10,000-17,000 steps per day (5-7 miles). I have worn the Nimbus since the Nimbus 9 appeared on the scene. Unfortunately, I have developed Plantar Fascitis (PF) over the past year when I transitioned from the Nimbus 12 and 13 to the Nimbus 15 and 16 series. I need a new shoe as the mileage is getting high on my currecnt 16’s. Should I opt for the Kayano 21 or 22 instead of the Nimbus 17? I have a Neutral Foot and was recently fitted for orthotics by my podiatrist. He said the Nimbus was a good shoe but treating PF is tough. I need a wider toe box for a bunion on my left foot which is mild. Thank you for your opinions and suggestions.

    • Do you have to stick to Asics? If you’re open to moving across brands, the Nike Vomero 10 is worth looking into.

      Not sure whether it is going to help with your PF, but it does have a wide forefoot/toe box and enough space to accommodate orthoses.

      • uglyatc

        Would like to stick with the Asics brand secondary to the organization, that I volunteer for, is sponsored by them (gotta love wrestling).

        So, the Kayano 21 or 22 are a bit wider up front? (they are not as wide as the Nimbus?) I definitely need the Kayano’s to accommodate my orthotics yet be supple enough to NOT provide more stability than what the orthotics ($500 USD) are already supplying to my feet. I see in other posts that the Nimbus 17 is a walk-around, work shoe,…not the greatest for running. This is fine with me as I need the cushion more for walking on cement floors and up & down flights of stairs.

        If I can find a NIB pair of Kayano 21s, would that be a decent way to go then? Thanks for the super fast replies to the thread! Cheers

        • The new Kayano 22 has the widest forefoot between the three shoes discussed – the Nimbus 17, Kayano 21 and 22. The Kayano 21 has a narrow forefoot due to the welding outside and the lining inside, whereas the Kayano 22’s new upper design opens up more space inside.

          Since the Kayano 22’s stock insole is of the same thickness as the Nimbus 17’s, it should a) be able to accommodate your orthoses and b) End up well as a daily use shoe, it has enough cushioning and the upper is quite comfortable too.

      • uglyatc

        Those cut-outs and deconstruction of the Nimbus 15 were very cool and ‘telling’!
        Thanks for taking those pics.

        • You’re very welcome. Wish solereview could do that with every shoe 🙂

  • Marta

    Hi, I just bought my first Aiscs, the Nimbus 17, because my knees hurt some times and everyone told me Aiscs are the best shoes for running thanks to the gel. However, every time I run with the Nimbus 17 my foot get numb. I was very excited with the new shoes but not sure they will work for me… Do you know if other people have this problem with the Nimbus 17?

    • Hello Marta, not quite sure what is causing your foot numbness – are the shoes too tight? If the upper is tight, then the Nike Vomero 10 is another shoe you can look at.

    • Mark

      Hi Marta,
      Have you ran in other highly cushioned shoes before? The reason I ask is because I had the same problem with the Nimbus 17. However, I’ve discovered that I have that same issue of my feet going numb in other highly cushioned shoes. It happen to me with the Hoka Bondi 4, the Muzino Wave Enigma 5, the Asics Kayano 21. For some reason, that I don’t know, I’ve been unable to run in highly cushioned shoes because of the numbness. I thought perhaps you may have the same issue.

    • IBB

      My feet get numb too! And I’ve developed ankle pain which is new. I hate this shoe. I wish I could find a shoe comparable to the nimbus 16

      • Try the 2014 Cumulus 16 or the 2015 Vomero 10.

  • VG

    Hi, This is an excellent review. Hats off to you guys for the level of detailing you do.. Super..

    I just run my first half marathon on Reebok trainers. It was not bad but my knees hurt after the run. I clocked 2:39 and intend to better it to 2 hours over a years time. Do you recommend Nimbus 17 or Nimbus 16 given the tricky requirement of improving the speed significantly and also saving my knees. I am 42, underpronate a little and a mild heel-lander.

    • The Nimbus 17 is very soft, but that makes it a ‘slow’ shoe. How about the Nike Vomero 10? Great shoe, plenty of cushioning but without feeling boggy.

      Do you include strengthening/conditioning exercises for your support muscle groups? Working on strengthening the VMO’s help support your knee, for example.

      • VG

        Glad that I wrote to you before buying. I purchased Nike Vomero 10 on your recommendation. Excellent pair of shoes.

        I just finished my second HM today (2:02) and first one riding Vomero 10. Vast improvement on speed over my first HM (2:39) 2 months back. Looking forward to breaking 1:45 soon. Thanks again

        • Great to hear that! Thank you for coming back and sharing your experience.

  • Jimmy Cypher

    Thank you sole review for an accurate analysis. Never has there been a better case study for the mantra: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ve used Asics for years and as so many have commented here, I’m not sure who this shoe is made for but it’s not for users of the gel cumulus or nimbus 16 or any model since 2009. I hike in beach sand, climb mountains and run down them – there’s one in my city that’s mostly granite and great to train on and the GN15 and 16 were great for it. However, I had to stop climbing altogether and make three trips to a chiropractor and a massage therapist. If you loved the GN16, do not buy the GN17. All the stability has been removed in the upper front and your foot just wobbles around with every step. Foot Numbness, sore knees, lower legs, lower back and spinal adjustments will all be a problem with anything over 2 miles, and even less with interval sprints. And as this article states, for any type of performance running, forget it! You might could use them for walking on a treadmill but that’s about it. I have never, ever had a shoe cause me so many serious problems, so much so that they hurt even to walk on if you’re over 200 pounds and I don’t even to donate them to the homeless. Seriously folks, I’m stocking up on the discontinued GN16 and buying several pairs as we speak while there’s still some left in warehouses, then switching brands when they wear out. If you buy into the hype and marketing and purchase the GN17, be prepared for your body to hate you and your wallet to regret it. Get your act together Asics!!!

    • Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. This shoe is not a performance running product. Too soft, too wobbly.

  • IBB

    If you have been wearing ANY previous gel Nimbus shoe, do NOT buy the Nimbus 17. I have been a devoted gel nimbus wearer for around 7 years. I finally found the shoe that helps with my IT pain. It was the only show that I was able to run longer distances and have higher weekly mileage. I bought the Nimbus 17 a month ago, and my feet are covered in blisters. (Never had blisters with any other version), my knees are killing me, and Ive developed severe ankle pain. I am very frustrated because I’m running a half marathon in 2 weeks! Don’t buy this shoe!

    • The Nike Vomero 10 is a good alternative if you crave the firmer yet cushioned feel.

    • Jimmy Cypher

      my experience exactly. found 2 pair of GN16s and bought them both. But still sore in lower back, knees and ankles from the GN17 after stopping 2 weeks ago. I am actually worried that it could be something serious at this point, noteworthy because I had no previous health issues of any kind. avoid this shoe!

  • Mark

    I’m an older runner finding that I’m needing a soft shoe. I’m not looking for anything that’ll go fast as I usually run around 10 minute miles. Do you think the Nimbus 17 would fit the bill for me or should I look elsewhere? I’ve tried the Glycerin 13 and Saucony Triumph ISO and would still like to find a softer shoe than both of them. Thanks for your help!

    • Were you able to try the Vomero 10, as suggested previously?

      • Mark

        I’ll go try the Vomero this week, perhaps it’s what I’ve been searching for. I deal with insertional Achilles tendonitis and firmer shoes seem to bother me more during a run. Thanks.

      • Mark

        I did buy the Vomero 10 and the Asics Kayano 22. While the Kayano really feels good to walk around in, when I run in it it seems the cushioning bottoms out (my weight 182lb). The Vomero doesn’t do that. I may just stick with the Saucony Ride 8, as it seems to feel the best to me. As I said on a previous post I tried the Saucony Triumph ISO 2 and was not impressed at all. Too firm for me. Thanks for your help.

        • Appreciate the feedback! Trust you had the chance to preview the Kayano 22 write-up, we felt exactly the same about the shoe!

  • BQ

    I am 6’6″ and around 265lb with 16W foot, Low arches, and a Neutral gait. I do not really run, but do walk 5-7 miles several times a week and may be on my feet for 7-8 hours during a day. I am looking for something to alleviate foot pain and it seems that the more cushion the shoes have the better my feet feel. You seem to know more about shoes than all the various sales people I have spoken to combined, so what shoe would you recommend? I had been leaning to the Nimbus 17. Thank you.

    • Our advice would be to pick something cushioned, but a little more firmer than the Nimbus. The Nimbus is too soft, and will probably bottom out under your body weight over time.

      Suggest trying shoes such as the Brooks Glycerin 13, New Balance 1080 V5 or the Nike Vomero 10.

      • BQ

        Thank you

      • BQ

        Those shoes unfortunately don’t come in size 16. Do any others come to mind? From what I can find it seems New Balance and Asics primarily make shoes up to 16 W with 1 or 2 Saucony and Mizuno

        • You’re right. After checking brands, it appears that the Nimbus 17 and Kayano 22 are the best bets in a size 16.

          Saucony and Mizuno’s are firm, so not sure whether you’ll find them to your liking.

  • Sudipto Roy

    My feet are size 42 US but nothing is available in my country in that size (7.5UK). I use Gel Nimbus in size 42.5 (UK8), which is fine for me because its toes are quite narrow. If I get a 17 now will size 42.5 feel the same? I know I should be checking this out in the store myself, instead of asking here, but I plan to get it online where it is available way cheaper than in a store. Also the nearest store that stocks these shoes is very far from home.

    • Hello Sudipto,

      You haven’t mentioned which version of the Nimbus you currently have? (14, 15, 16?)


      • Sudipto Roy

        Oops. Sorry about forgetting to mention that. I use Gel Nimbus 16. Also, the sizes I mentioned are in Euro and not US. Sorry about that too. Incidentally, your site is fantastic and I wish I could contribute. But being in India, doing a foreign transaction to pay someone is very tricky. I don’t think it is even allowed. I shall see if I can get a friend there to contribute on my behalf. I want you to carry on, please. My question essentially is – are the Nimbus 16 and 17 same in terms of fit in the forefoot?

        • Hello Sudipto,

          The Nimbus 17 and 16 differ in forefoot fit. The 17’s toe-box is shallower than the 16’s. So if you get the 42.5 in the Nimbus 17, it should be ok.

          And thank you for your offer to help. Remitting foreign exchange from India is perfectly legal up to a limit of $250,000 per year. This is decided by the Reserve Bank of India, and the relevant section is here (question 17, sub-section ii on gifts and donation).

          But if you’re not comfortable using your credit/debit card online, that’s perfectly ok. We understand, and thank you for your kind words!

  • David C

    Was hoping to get your recommendation. Looking to purchase a new pair of shoes. Currently running in Asics Cumulus 16’s, which I have been happy with. I’m 6’0 and weigh 200 lbs. Neutral runner. Currently running about 25 miles a week. I plan to run a couple half marathons next year and will hopefully increase weekly mileage. Should I upgrade to the Nimbus 17’s or go with something else? Slightly hesitant after reading the review and the mention that the shoe feels slow. I’m not a fast runner but would like to get faster. Currently, running a 5K in 24 minutes.

    • JBloggs

      I’ve run in the Nimbus 12, 13 and 17. I’d say steer well clear of the Nimbus 17 as it is far too slow, soft and unstable for what you say you need. I do like a cushioned ride so if you like Asics I can recommend the Kayano 21 which you may be able to find at a discount now the 22 is out. Just my 2 cents…

    • We’d suggest you give the Nimbus 17 a pass this time, and instead try shoes such as the Brooks Ghost 8, adidas Supernova Glide 7 Boost or the Nike Vomero 10.

      • David C


  • nashvillechick

    So sad that they’ve changed so much since the 15, which many of us loved. I bought 5 pairs and am just now needing to replace the last of them, but can’t find a good substitute. The shallow toe box on the 17 is a deal breaker for me… Ghosts never work and neither do Adidas or Nike. Brooks and Asics have been my go to brands for many years, but they’ve both screwed up the designs of their neutral shoes… >:-(

    • The Nimbus 15 was great… that said, have you tried the Nike Vomero 10 or the Brooks Glycerin 13?

      • nashvillechick

        Thanks for your reply! I’m going to try on the Glycerin 13 (I liked the 9s, but not what’s come out since), but expect that the decreased height in the toe box will be an issue. I’ll try the Nike on too, but Nike shoes have never fit my feet. I’ve tried them many times… I’ve been running for 41 years and this is the most trouble I’ve ever had finding shoes that’ll work. I’m a neutral runner, average height and weight (not heavy), a bit of a forefoot striker, have intermittent achilles issues (related to Levaquin 4 years ago…), and for some reason, I wear holes in the padding inside of the heel on many shoes within 100 miles, even when I lace lock. I do untie before taking them off, wear good sox, and they fit properly. I’ve read online that others have the same problem. Brooks and Asics have been the best for this not happening — Saucony the worst. Sometimes it feels like running shoe companies are just messing with our heads!

        • Would love to hear how you find the Glycerin 13… and the Nike is worth a try too. The Vomero has a very different fit from how Nike used to fit once.

          • nashvillechick

            I’ll let you know… Will try to get into a store tomorrow and try them on.

  • Alex

    I’m not experienced enough to understand all the nuances of character in a running shoe, but I know how I feel. I went from gt-1000 3 to Nimbus 17. With the Nimbus, after about 40 minutes of running, my metatarsal heads would hurt. It feels like you’re floating. Very little stability. They are also significantly tighter in 4E than the GT-1000 3.
    I found the solution, though… I put the inserts of the GT in the Nimbus and it made a world of difference. More room, less float, and no more pain.

    Nobody should have to buy shoes and then still have to exchange inserts, but for those already stuck with the purchase, it might be worth the try.

    Merry Christmas to everyone a Sole Review and it’s readers.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! It is likely that the ultra-soft forefoot is bottoming out in your case.

      The Nimbus 17+insole has been adopted by a few readers, and that seems like a good fix.

      Have a great new year!

  • Jim

    I have done long walks in these shoes 12 to 15kms, and I find that every time I get blisters on the inside of my heels on both feet. also the back of my foot gets red and sore. They are comfy for casual wear but have problems on long distance. The Peg 30 never had any issues like this. Just thought I would share the info for anyone interested.

    • Thank you for sharing your ownership experience, Jim!

  • Michael Ross

    Kudos to dissecting Asics sole and realize what a marketing gimmick “gel pad” is. Now if you dissect Nike’s Zoom and Lunar sole…

  • peiningngo

    Just bought a pair of Nimbus
    17 and has been wearing it for a month. logged in 60km till now. My normal
    training is only 6-10km due to time constrain and i’m not a fast runner (33mins
    for 5km), weekly about 20-35km. I switch from Brooks Ghost 7 to this and now
    i’m alternating this 2 pairs. Longest ride in Nimbus now is 11km and I don’t
    feel any problem going longer. But due to the softness of the shoe, it can’t
    really go fast but I can feel the bouncing of the shoes a little. Maybe I’m too
    light.By the way, I’m only 50kg and I’m training for my first 50k now. I’m a
    midfoot striker and this shoe will go with me for the ultra road run in March.
    This shoe feels smaller so I got a half size bigger compared to my Ghost 7.

  • Nathan

    Hi All, New runner here who’s previously had bad shin
    splints and cheap shoes (I know now this is bad)

    Been into a few local shops and tried on some Asics size 8
    which seemed great had a gait and I’m neutral but they were very expensive to
    buy in store and very little selection!

    I’m 13stone so was looking for cushioning and looked online
    and purchased theses from wiggle (with £50! Off). Shoes are amazingly comfortable
    but my little toe hangs off the edge like most shoes I wear by a little bit.
    May sound a stupid question but is this definite no no for starting running again,
    I’ve looked everywhere and can only find the wider 2E fit full price which is a shame as the shoes feel great otherwise.

    Also reading the reviews this seems a particular thinner
    shoe in the toe area from Asics, is there an alternative that you could recommend?

    Would greatly appreciate any advice

    Thanks, Nathan

    • Nathan,

      If the shoe does not cause any discomfort while running, then whatever you’re experiencing in the forefoot should be ok. Mind you, a 2E width shoe does not mean an increase in midsole width, but simply an increase in upper room. That might exacerbate your issue instead of solving it.

      You could try the Asics 33FA, it has a wider forefoot than the Nimbus 17 and slightly firmer (which makes it feel thicker).

  • Leanne

    Been wearing Asics Gel Stratus shoes since I started running. 5 years, 2 marathons and countless shorter races later, I am loathe to throw away my comfortable old shoes but REALLY need too. Being a running novice when I was given the shoes I took no notice of any of the spec. Please can you tell me whether there is anything similar on the market now? Should I be upgrading to Nimbus 17 for instance?

    • Leanne,unfortunately we have no experience with the Gel Stratus so can’t provide an insight on how they compare vs the Nimbus 17.

      But if we had to guess just by looking at the pictures alone, the 2014 Gel Cumulus 16 seems like the right replacement. The Cumulus 16 should be available for a bargain on the internet. Else the latest Cumulus 17 is the next best option.

  • froggy

    I’m from australia wondering if you would be able to help me. I currently have a pair of nimbus 14 which i love and want to buy a pair of nimbus 17’s. All the stores around me dont have n17 in my size 13us so i would have to buy online. I have tried on the nimbus 16 in size 13us and they were narrower than my nimbus 14 around the forefoot by a couple of mm which doesnt sound like much but in my case where i have skinny wide feet with pf can be hard to fit. Any shoe without shank i cant wear flares up my pf just walking and it is frustrating so many companies are making shoes with no shanks. Do you know if the nimbus 17 is narrower than the nimbus 14 or nimbus 16 around the forefoot? I know the toe box is more slender on the 17. Thanks

    • The forefoot is almost the same as the 14 and 16.

  • Alex


    I’m a long time Gel Nimbus runner concerned after reading reviews on the 17’s. I’ve run 19 half-marathons in previous versions without any injuries, but find that their shoes aren’t great every two or three years — this seems like it may be one of those years. While I’ve always appreciated remaining injury free, the shoes have always felt a bit clunky to me.

    What alternatives would you recommend. I usually run between 1:30 and 1:38 for a half-marathon, but am looking to drop into the mid-to-upper 1:20s.


    • Perhaps the Cumulus 17 could be your shoe this year. Else, the Saucony Triumph ISO (last year’s version, not the 2) or the Nike Vomero 10.

  • JBloggs

    I just wanted to post a long term follow up to this shoe having purchased it early 2015. Having run in and and liked the Nimbus 12 and especially the Nimbus13 (I still use my 13’s on rainy days!) I was very excited to try the 17th version.
    My initial impressions were positive. They felt super cushioned and comfortable. After about 40 km tho my opinion changed drastically, and I ran about another 5 km and have not used them since….
    The first thing I began to notice is how my foot seemed to roll around in the shoe, especially on hard concrete pavement when taking a sharp turn or a 90 degree corner.
    I then began to greater understand your review on here and the sluggish feeling and sense of tiredness these shoes gave me. Like running in sand is how I began to feel!
    I managed to get $80 for the shoes last week which, even tho is half what I paid for them, I managed to secure a brand new pair of Kayano 21’s for $90 so I’m happy 🙂
    I find the Kayano 21’s offer plenty of cushioning, a secure fit and none of that tiredness.

  • Markus Lemke


    Really appreciate the incredible detail you guys go into in your reviews. I started running 18 months ago, and have worked my way up to half-marathons, now deep in training for my first full marathon. My first shoes were Nimbus 16s – loved them so much I immediately bought a second pair, which were equally good. I have never, ever had a single issue with these shoes. Bought the Nimbus 17s when they came out – and found the shallower toebox a real problem – two black toenails to prove it. Relaced them much more loosely and that helped a bit, but I still can’t go more than 15 k without obvious discomfort. I pulled out the Nimbus 16s for my first competitive half-marathon as a result – again, a great race with no foot issues whatsoever.

    I’ve gone 360 km in this last pair of 17s, reserving them for shorter training runs and trading them out with my older 16s for the longer runs. I just picked up a new pair of 17s, on impulse, hoping for a better result, which were on for a killer price. I should learn my lesson – price isn’t everything. I did a 16km training run a couple of days ago, and was rewarded with two significant blisters on the inside of each heel – not the running surface, up a bit higher. I can also feel the uppers across the tops of all five toes – so socks without any seam are an absolute requirement, otherwise I get rubbing there that I can’t stand either.

    I can still return these shoes for a full refund, so I am now actively looking for a replacement that will perform the way my beloved Nimbus 16s always have. Both pair now have over 600 km on them, but whenever I want a guaranteed comfortable run, I go back to them. One of these days, they’ll expire. Trouble is, I can’t find any 16s in any stores around here, otherwise I’d snap up every pair I could get my hands on.

    The guy next to me at the start line of the half Marathon was wearing Hoka One One Cliftons. He said he started life in ASICS, but switched to Hokas and never looked back. My question for you is – how do they compare? I am 52 years old, no longer overweight, decidedly a neutral runner, roadfeel is not high on my list of desires, and all I want is a smooth ride in long, long runs. Aiming to fill the rest of my running days either training for or running 10k, 21.1k and 42.2k’s. Would love to have your opinions on if and how the Hokas would compare to Nimbus 17s – and maybe more importantly, to Nimbus 16s. If not the Hokas, are there others you can recommend in the category of neutrals for heavy heelstrikers that want a smooth ride?

    Many thanks, and keep up the good work.

    Markus Lemke

    • Markus,

      The Clifton has a deeper cushioning, and higher responsiveness than the Nimbus 16. It is also way lighter, which is great. The only issue with most Hoka’s is that the forefoot (especially the outer/medial side) tends to be overtly narrow.

      So if you’ve experienced issues with the upper on the Nimbus, it is important that you get to try a fitting session before you buy the Hoka. Otherwise, the Clifton is pretty awesome if you’e looking for hypermax levels of cushioning.

      Among other shoes, we’d recommend you try the Brooks Glycerin 13, Nike Vomero 10, and the Saucony Triumph ISO 1 or 2. All three are very different in fit and feel, so try them on to find out which you have a favorable first impression of.

      In order of (our) preference: Hoka Clifton (if the shoe fits), Nike Vomero 10, Saucony Triumph ISO (2014 version, not the 2), and finally the Glycerin 13.

      • Markus Lemke

        Thank you very much. I am lucky in that our local chain, The Running Room, has an extraordinarily generous fitting and try-out policy – you have 60 days to run in a pair of shoes (indoors, please), and if they don’t work out, return for a full refund or get in another pair. They go above and beyond to ensure runners get the perfect shoe. So, I will return these 17s, go and try the Clifton’s, and then the others you have recommended, in that order, in case the Clifton’s don’t work. Greatly appreciate your advice.


        • You’re welcome. And great to hear that you have a supportive retailer – would love to hear what ultimately ended up working for you!

          • Markus Lemke

            OK – I can tell you. I went for the Hoka One One Cliftons (last year’s model, not the new Clifton 2’s per your suggestion). I did a cautious 7 km on the treadmill first, to see how they felt, then took them for 21.5 km on the treadmill to see if they’d create trouble over the long haul. (I can’t return them once I’ve taken them outside). Verdict – what a great shoe for an endless, smooth ride. I did notice some slight squeezing together of the toes as my feet obviously swelled a bit towards the end of the longer run – but nothing that caused blistering. I suspect as these get broken in, that will loosen up to perfection. Also – I wore white socks and had none of the dreaded color transfer which some people have reported. They’re a winner in my books. With the unseasonably warm winter we’re having, I’m taking them outside tomorrow for a 10k. Can’t wait to see how they feel on cracked and stony pavement. Thanks for your help! (One more question – are you gonna review the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2’s anytime soon? Advertising says they are “built on a Clifton platform” but obviously for trail running. Piqued my interest…)

          • Hey, great to hear you like the shoes, and that our advice was of some use! They perform great on pavement, as long as the upper fit does not prove to be an issue.

            No plans for reviewing the Challenger ATR, sorry! Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  • Vivek

    Now a days I am running in Triumph ISO (and couple of others). Given that both are heavily cushioned shoes, how would you rate Nimbus 17’s experience when compared to Triumph ISO? Honestly speaking, I don’t understand why Triumph ISO gets so much love, I don’t think they are anything special. (I bought Peg 31 on your review and they are superb! Thanks!)

    • The Nimbus 17 is much softer than the ISO. Way softer.

      The ISO isn’t special – not an engaging experience, yet has a lot of padding and a consistent ride. We did a review of both the ISO and ISO 2.

  • Binoy

    That was a very good and detailed review. Keep up the work. Any person can blindly read the review and buy it, its that good. Thumbs up…
    But there’s a slight disagreement on the speed thing which you have mentioned in the review… I recently bought N-17(read a week before) and I used to run 8 km daily. I was using the Asics GEL-LYTE33 3(a very basic Asics shoe) for around 2-3 yrs.
    When I upgraded from Ltye33 to N-17 first thing I noticed was the softness/comfort… Second thing the speed/performance.
    I used to think I run with decent speed when using the old shoe. But the minute I moved to the N-17 it was like I am riding a super bike which insane horsepower on tap. It just took me of and there’s no way I cannot control the bouncy feeling of the show. It was like a spring attached to your legs. N-17 made a decline of about 10 min for my usual 8 km run which in term means I sweat like a pig now.
    I not a big experienced/professional runner rather an intermediate guy and haven’t tried a fast running shoe also. But its a huge improvement from the Lyte33 model and I recommend this show for all Neutral/Underpronate runners.


    • Appreciate the detailed feedback, Binoy. Great to hear that the shoes are working for you so well.

      We review a LOT of shoes, so we have a wider frame of reference for what we think to be fast and slow shoes 🙂

      • Binoy

        Keeping an eye on your site for more updates… Thumbs up…

        • We always think of the adidas Supernova Glide Boost. Great blend of cushioning, support and outsole durability.

  • RocCityRunnerDad

    The reviews are awesome. Any suggestions on new kicks. I have been running in Asics my whole life. They just seem to work for me. I bought 6 pair of N-15’s and i’m down to the last pair so i have to find something by summer. I’ve typically gotten 1000mi on the N-15’s. They are squishy and heavy but they work great for me for the most part. I have been rotating 2pr at any time for training runs. After reading your review and feedback on the Adidas EB 2 ESM’s I simply had to try them. So i waited for them to go on sale and jumped. That foam is simply awesome. I can’t believe how responsive they are. They make me a more efficient runner. The first time i wore them they made me smile. I immediately bought another pair and i use them for all my races. I ran 2 full, 15 half’s and an 18.12mi last year wearing those EB’s. However i don’t train with them very often because that cage kills my feet, so i only use them for races. Also i only expect them to last around 400-500mi. So i need another training workhorse. It doesn’t sound like the N-17’s are gonna make the cut. Do you think Cumulus 17 might fit the bill?

    • Have you tried the adidas Glide Boost? It runs firmer than the Energy Boost, but comes without the cage. Else, yes, the Cumulus 17 is a good bet, and you can also look at the Nike Vomero 10 too.

  • Andrew Hubb

    I’ve been looking for a new shoe to replace my aging Saucony Triumph ISOs. I really loved running on the ISOs; they have so much cushioning, but they’re lightweight and responsive too. The only reason I’m not replacing them with another pair is that I would develop pretty bad blisters on the inside of the ball of my foot and big toes. I guess the big toe side of the toe box was too short.
    Anyway, I’ve decided to move on and am now deciding between 4 shoes: Asics Gel Nimbus 17, New Balance Boracay, Brooks Ghost 8, and Brooks Launch. I’m looking for a neutral runner with plenty of cushioning that isn’t unresponsive. So far I’m leaning toward the Gel Nimbus, but I’m concerned about its weight. It seems quite heavy. The Boracay is intriguing, but looks like it might be too spongy and therefore a bit unresponsive. I’m also concerned about wear to the outsole because of the lack of carbon rubber. The Ghost 8 seems to balance all of my needs, but doesn’t seem to do anything exceptionally well. Finally, the launch is intriguing because of it’s cheaper than the Ghost and seems to have equivalent features with slightly less cushioning.
    This is obviously a lot to sort through, but in summary, I’m just looking for the shoe that will be the most similar to the Triumph ISO. Thanks very much for your help.

    • SM Ong

      Regarding the Brooks shoes, I have the Ghost 7 and Launch 2. I was very disappointed with the clunky Ghost as they are too heavy and too firm. The Launch are much lighter and softer, truly the best of both worlds. So I highly recommend the Launch 2 over the Ghost (and even over the Glycerin).

    • The Asics Gel Nimbus 17 is too soft and unresponsive, apart from being heavy – sometime you’ve noticed too. The Ghost 8 is cushioned, but not particularly responsive. Boracay is neither cushioned (compared to a ISO) nor responsive. We have not tested the Launch, so no idea on that one.

      We suggest you have a look at either the New Balance 1080 Fresh Foam V6 or the Nike Vomero 10.

      • Andrew Hubb

        Thanks for your response! Coincidentally, shortly after submitting my original post I came across some of your comments recommending the Vomero 10 to others. I was very impressed with your full review of the shoe, so I decided last week to buy a pair when I found them on sale. They seem like they strike an excellent balance between a large number of desirable features. They’ll be here tomorrow, and I can’t wait to try them out! I’ll follow up after I get a few miles on them. Thanks again!

        • The Nike Vomero 10 is great – though we’ve heard that the Lunarlon cushioning tends to flatten after a few hundred miles.

  • I must say I’m completely puzzled with this shoe!!! I tried a 45 (too big for me, but comfortable) and after i swapped for a 44 (perfect fit) i immediately noticed the SQUISHY insole very uncomfortable! The foam is so soft that, when it bends even slightly, creates big “wrinkles” on the top… (they tend to be permanent). Well, the result is a very annoying experience: a huge discomfort in the under foot.

    Returning them for a refund… :-

    • The Nimbus 17’s extra softness can be discomforting to some. Try the new adidas Ultra Boost ST instead if you need lots of cushioning without the sink-in mushiness.

      • Thank you for the reply! The problem is not the extra softness… or “sink-in mushiness”… i love those. The problem are the “deep wrinkles” that are created when the insole bends (even a little) and are really felt in the under-foot.

        • Got it. Thank you for explaining the issue.

  • Jorge Champin


    First I’d like to thank you for your in depth reviews. Always great stuff.

    I bought this shoe, the Gel Nimbus 17, at a running store because it seemed good enough– I just started running in earnest within the last few months, and my previous pair was a Gel Cumulus 15 which lasted me a long while and I had no issues with at all. It didn’t feel particularly speedy or squishy or special at all, it just felt something like the Cumulus. And it was on sale. And in my size.

    Anyway, I’m training for a half-marathon in April and I’ve put about 50 miles on the shoes so far. I am noticing a slight pain, or discomfort, of my left big toe which I have never experienced before. It’s not the nail bed, it feels like perhaps the underside of the toe or the joint. I don’t notice it so much while I’m running, but after the run.

    Do you think it could be the shoe? I was careful to transition from my previous pair into this pair over a couple of weeks. Or is the higher mileage a possibility? I was running about 5-10 miles a week before, something closer to 20 miles a week now.

    And just as added info– I’m 38, 6’3″ and 190lbs, and I tend to under-pronate. It seems to me that I’m a mid-foot striker. I’ve been running regularly for about 8 months now.

    Any suggestions, alternative shoes or otherwise? Thanks!

    • Jorge, thank you for the detailed comment. But it’s really hard to say what’s causing the discomfort under toe – it could be anything. Only a personal check-up will result in a proper assessment.

      Is it a dull soreness at the joint where the big toe meets the ball of the foot (forefoot?)

      • Jorge Champin

        Hi there,

        The discomfort shows up afterwards as I walk in my regular work shoes. It’s fine when the toe isn’t bent, but with each step it will hurt a bit. The discomfort will last a day or two, but then will go away- until the next time I run. It is a fairly dull pain that I can walk through, and maybe not so much the ball of the foot but the toe itself.

        In any case I returned the shoes to my running store- thankfully they have a pretty liberal return policy. After trying on a few other pairs I realized that my big toe was a bit squeezed from the top in the Nimbus. From looking at your reviews, I was hoping to trade them in for a pair of Vomero 10’s, but they didn’t have my size. I ended up taking a pair of zoom Elite 8’s that felt great- good toe room and a really nice responsive feel (on the treadmill anyway). Hope this will clear up the toe issues.

        Still, I’m looking for a second pair to alternate in- any suggestions? Something that’s good for longer runs, but isn’t too big and squishy. Thanks!

        • The Saucony Kinvara and New Balance 1500 come to mind.