Asics has radically overhauled the Gel-Nimbus with the 25th edition, which is now one of the best cushioned shoes available. However, it isn’t as versatile as past editions, and the higher price is off-putting.
- Soft, smooth ride
- Comfortable upper
- Not too heavy
- Expensive in the UK
- Only suited to easy runs
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The Asics Gel-Nimbus has been a popular pick with runners for a quarter of a century, which usually means that new versions stick to the formula – why risk alienating the existing audience?
However, Asics has come out swinging with the Gel-Nimbus 25, launching it with quite a fanfare and calling it “the most comfortable shoe in the world”. The shoe has been overhauled to turn it into a max-cushioned shoe with 20% more foam in the midsole than the Gel-Nimbus 24, as well as a new upper.
For the most part the changes are positive – the Gel-Nimbus 25 is one of the best running shoes thanks to the improved ride, and stands out far more than the Gel-Nimbus 24 in a busy shoe market. However, the high price and lack of versatility mean that it won’t suit all runners.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Review: Price And Availability
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 launched in January 2023 and will be available to buy from 1st February. It costs $160 in the US, the same price as the Gel-Nimbus 24, but it’s £175 in the UK, a £10 price rise on the 24.
Design And Fit
The biggest changes made to the Gel-Nimbus 25 are in the midsole, which is higher and wider than on the Gel-Nimbus 24. The 24 used a mix of FF Blast+ and Flytefoam in its midsole, while the 25 only uses FF Blast+, which is softer and bouncier than Flytefoam.
Asics has also ditched the Gel that gives the Gel-Nimbus line its name, and replaced it with PureGel. This isn’t visible from the outside of the shoe, but is a softer material than the original Gel and a slab of it sits on top of the FF Blast+ foam under the heel.
With a midsole that’s now 41.5mm high at the heel, and 33.5mm at the forefoot, the Gel-Nimbus 25 now firmly falls into the max-cushioned category. Despite this increase in midsole size the shoe isn’t much heavier than the Gel-Nimbus 24. The 25 weighs 11.1oz/315g in my UK size 9 compared with 10.7oz/304g for the Gel-Nimbus 24.
The shoe’s upper has also been completely changed from an engineered mesh to a stretchy knit material with a large padded strip running around the heel to cradle the back of the foot. I found that the Gel-Nimbus 25 fit me well in my normal size.
On the outsole there is good rubber coverage under the forefoot and heel, and the rubber at the heel is harder, which should increase the durability of the shoe for heelstrikers. I found that the shoe slipped a little on greasy pavements straight out of the box, but after around 16km of running the outsole had roughed up a bit and gripped fine.
How I Tested This Shoe
I have run 55km in the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 including a 24km long run. I’ve used it mostly for easy runs with one progression run ending at a faster pace. I have also tested the Asics Gel-Nimbus 24 and the Asics Novablast 3, but not the Superblast – another max-stack shoe in the Asics range.
Given the bold claims from Asics at launch, I expected something fairly dramatic from the ride. However, that wasn’t really the case on my first run. It’s a comfortable shoe for sure, and much more so than the Gel-Nimbus 24, but didn’t feel especially novel.
Over time and more runs, however, the ride has grown on me greatly. It’s well balanced as well as notably soft and protective, but still stable and quite smooth rather than being so squishy you sink into the foam.
I’m not a big user of max-cushioned shoes even for easy runs, because I find them a bit heavy and cumbersome, but I did enjoy using the Gel-Nimbus 25 whenever the pace was slow, and on one longer run the day after a brutal 16km cross-country race the high stack of cushioning was just what my aching muscles needed.
It runs lighter and feels smaller than it is when you are cruising along, but it isn’t a versatile shoe. Whenever I tried to significantly up the pace it started to feel a bit awkward and large. This is a shoe built for easy daily training and long runs, whereas the Gel-Nimbus 24 did have a bit more snap to it for faster runs.
Is The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Worth It?
The Gel-Nimbus 25 is one of the best cushioned shoes available and while it’s not as versatile as options like the Brooks Glycerin 20 or Saucony Triumph 20, if you just want a comfortable cruiser it’s excellent.
I would say it matches the performance of other great max-cushioned shoes like the New Balance More V4 and Nike Invincible 2 but has a different ride feel. The Invincible is supremely squishy and bouncy but more unstable, while the More V4 has a firmer, more rockered ride than the Nimbus.
The high price is definitely a concern. You’re splashing out a lot of money on a shoe that I would say works best in a rotation with a faster option, when you could get a more versatile cushioned option for less, like the Glycerin or Triumph, or even the Asics Novablast 3, which isn’t as comfortable but is still well cushioned and far lighter than the Gel-Nimbus 25.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Vs Asics Gel-Nimbus 24
The Gel-Nimbus 25 is a more enjoyable shoe to use than the 24, and it’s much better for easy and long runs thanks to the added comfort of the higher midsole. The Gel-Nimbus 24 has more pace in it if you do want a versatile daily trainer, though I would say it loses out to many shoes from other brands in that category.
I’d say most people will prefer the new and improved Gel-Nimbus, but if you’re a long-term fan of the line and find the new shoe too soft and cushioned, the Novablast 3 might be a better alternative from Asics.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.