Asics Nimbus 26 Review: A weak update

by Solereview editors
For this review, Solereview purchased the Asics Nimbus 26 at full retail price; the proof of purchase (in CAN$) is here. We do not accept free samples for our reviews and have no ties to the industry.

An outdoors shot of the Asics Nimbus 26.

Asics Nimbus 26
Asics Nimbus 26 product box


Except for the slightly better outsole grip, there’s no reason to buy the Nimbus 26 over the Nimbus 25. The hot upper fits narrower too. Stick with the 25, or consider the Novablast 4 instead.

Buy from

  • Asics’s marketing pitch: Add comfort to every step.
  • Upper: Engineered mesh, inner gusset.
  • Midsole: Flytefoam Blast+ foam, heel Gel unit. 8 mm heel drop.
  • Outsole: Hybrid Asicsgrip rubber.
  • Weight: 305 gms/ 10.7 Oz for a half pair of Men’s US 9/UK 8/EUR 42.5/CM 27.
  • Stack heights: 42 mm (heel), 34 mm (forefoot).
  • Available widths: D – regular (reviewed), 2E (wide), 4E (extra-wide).
  • Previous model: Asics Nimbus 25.
  • Country of origin: Indonesia.
  • Recommended use: Daily trainer for easy runs, half-marathons.
  • Footstrike orientation: Heel, midfoot/forefoot (full contact).
  • Median lifespan: 400 miles.
  • Recommended paces: Slower than 5:00 min/km (8:00 min/mile).
  • Recommended temperature range: Warmer than -5° C/23° F.


  • Ride comfort for easy efforts
  • Supportive and neutral cushioning
  • Smooth transitions
  • Optional wide, extra-wide sizes


  • Upper is not breathable
  • Low versatility
  • Low reflectivity
  • Printed heel loop may irritate
  • Outsole grip needs further improvement

Also consider:

  1. Asics Nimbus 26 TR
  2. Brooks Glycerin 21
  3. Saucony Triumph 22
  4. New Balance 1080V13
  5. Puma Magnify Nitro 2
  6. Hoka Bondi 7

The Asics Nimbus 26 product box.

We’ve said this elsewhere on Solereview – annual shoe updates just for the sake of it are a pointless exercise.

Unless there’s a radical redesign involved (like the Nimbus 24 to 25), most brands should stick to a 2-year update cadence. The problem with annual ‘refreshes’ is that there’s not enough time for the feedback from the previous model to be translated into improvements on the new model.

The Asics Nimbus 26 is just that – a design ‘update’ without purpose or reason. The ride quality is no better than the Nimbus 25, and the changes made to the upper take the fit a couple of steps backward. This is easily the weakest update in years.

Like the previous version, the Nimbus 26 is a padded, high-stack trainer that works best for easy paces. While it’s perfectly suited for everyday runs, it has limited versatility.

For example, the soft midsole struggles at uptempo runs, and there’s no rocker to propel you forward. And that’s okay – the Nimbus has never been the shoe for that kind of thing. But if you’re going to buy just one shoe, you should know what the Nimbus 26 is capable of – and isn’t.

So what are your options here? The first one is the easiest – load up on a pair or two of the Nimbus 25. Except for the warm upper and average traction, everything on that shoe works as advertised.

If softer cushioning is what you’re after, the Triumph 22 and New Balance 1080V13 will give you that.

The Asics Nimbus 26 and Novablast 4 on the road.

Instead of the Nimbus 26 (front), consider the Asics Novablast 4 (behind).

Also, if you rather prefer a versatile trainer to do almost everything, we highly recommend the Asics Novablast 4. It’s not like the older models, and comes updated with a softer yet lively ride. By doing so, you’ll also save money – $20 to be exact.

The Nimbus 26 is marginally firmer and less lively than the Nimbus 25

The Flytefoam Blast+ midsole of the Asics Nimbus 26.

The Nimbus 26 has a soft ride by industry standards, but it’s relatively firmer than before. Most of the Nimbus 26’s softness is placed closer to the foot; the identical footbed and foam lasting deliver the same level of step-in comfort as the Nimbus 25.

The rest of the Flytefoam Blast+ midsole is comparatively firmer. It also feels ‘flatter’ and doesn’t feel as fun to run in.

Asics claims that FF Blast+ Eco is ‘their softest cushioning yet’, but the softer Nimbus 25 disagrees. As for the ‘Gel’ unit under the heel, it has very little say in the overall cushioning. It’s just too small to have a noticeable effect.

The Nimbus 26 fits narrower than the Nimbus 25

The cropped top view of the Asics Nimbus 26.

The Nimbus 25 already had a snug fit, but the Nimbus 26 dials up on the squeeze. The forefoot is tighter, and the toe-box isn’t as roomy. What’s more, there’s less room above the forefoot. Introducing the thick lace loops on the 26 was unnecessary, as they increase the top-down lacing pressure.

The midfoot and heel fit well. The elastic tongue lies flush over the foot, and the padded collar keeps the foot locked in.

Just know that Asics sells an optional wide and extra wide in the Nimbus 26.

Just like the last model, the upper is an oven during summer

The interiors of the Asics Nimbus 26.

The N-25 was a warm shoe, and so is the 26. That makes it less than ideal for long-distance runs during summers; the foot tends to heat up faster than comparable shoes like the Brooks Glycerin 21.

Even the Asics Kayano 31 does a better job with the upper ventilation than the Nimbus.

The midsole is good for easy efforts, but underperforms in other areas

The Asics Nimbus 26 in a half marathon.

The Asics Nimbus 26 has stack heights of 42 mm (heel) and 30 mm (forefoot), so there’s no dearth of cushioning. It may not be as plush as people expect it to be, but there’s plenty of ride comfort for easy runs.

Like many shoes of this category, the softness is top-loaded. Both the removable footbed and foam lasting add comfort at slower speeds. The midsole feels softer at easy paces (slower than 5:30 min/km, 8:50 min/mile) than it does at higher speeds. Speaking of which, the shoe isn’t ideal for high-intensity runs.

Even though the forefoot is stiff, the lack of a rocker (not that the Nimbus needs one) means that roll-offs take some effort. The overall ride is smooth, but transitions don’t feel quick. And about that stiff forefoot – it doesn’t quite break in, even after 30 miles.

You can run a half-marathon or a marathon in the Nimbus, but there are better shoes for that sort of thing.

As we said, if you want more versatility, get yourself the Novablast 4 instead. Or better still, spend more and get yourself the Asics Superblast.

The midsole is stable and neutral

The heel view of the Asics Nimbus 26.

The firm midsole and wide base make the ride very supportive.

Unlike the Kayano 31 (with its lateral cushioning bias), the cushioning feels centered or neutral. The negative space under the heel helps align the center of gravity.

The wide forefoot base keeps the foot planted during landings and take-offs.

The outsole grip has improved, but it’s still not there – yet

The Hybrid Asicsgrip outsole of the Asics Nimbus 26.

For this version, Asics uses a different geometry as well as the ‘hybrid Asicsgrip’ compound. The result is an improved sense of grip, but more could be done. It doesn’t have the bite of the Puma Magnify Nitro 2.

We’re not sure why Asics chose this particular geometry (with flatter lugs) instead of the more defined lugs of the Kayano 31.

Don’t wear the Nimbus 26 barefoot or with no-show socks

The irritating heel loop of the Asics Nimbus 26.

For reasons only known to Asics, the wide heel loop has thick printing (the part that is circled in red, see above) on it.

The wide and elastic heel loop is practical, but the printed detail may potentially irritate when worn barefoot or with no-show socks.

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