The latest version of the Gel-Nimbus line is one of the best cushioned shoes, although I find neither of the changes to the outsole material to offer slightly better grip or to the upper to improve the hold around the midfoot were game-changers when I tested the shoe.
Read more in my Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 review
- Improved grip
- Tweaked fit of upper
- Price rise
- Firmer ride under forefoot
As the older shoe, it's easy to find the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 in sales now for less than the price of the Gel-Nimbus 26. I didn't find the grip or fit of the 25 to be particularly poor, and actually found it more comfortable than the newer shoe.
Read more in my Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 review
- Often in sales
- More comfortable under forefoot
- Grip not as good
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 was a major update for the long-running Asics Gel-Nimbus line, with Asics increasing the midsole stack height and changing the foams used to make it a more comfortable shoe than ever. I rated it among the best cushioned shoes and didn't expect Asics to make sweeping changes with the Gel-Nimbus 26. On paper the minor updates look good: the 26 has a new outsole material to improve its grip and the upper has been adjusted to create a more secure fit around the midfoot.
However, having run 40-50 miles in both sets of shoes, as well as doing a short run with one on each foot, I can't say that the changes have improved the shoe. I found the Gel-Nimbus 25 a little slippery on greasy paved surfaces in my first couple of runs in it, but after that the outsole roughed up a little and I had no grip concerns when running on asphalt.
The fit of both shoes in my usual running shoe size was equally good for me. Both are comfortable and great for long and easy runs, with a smooth and soft ride that helps you to tick over at relaxed paces. It's one of the best marathon running shoes thanks to the way it helps you roll through long distances.
Given how similar the shoes are, the improved grip on the Gel-Nimbus 26 should make it a better shoe, yet the added traction doesn't come without drawbacks. I found the outsole material on the 26 felt harder than the rubber on the 25, which made the ride “slappier” because the impact of the shoe on the sidewalk felt harder, and was louder.
I also noticed forefoot discomfort with the newer shoe when I did a fast intervals session in it, and the ride was a little less comfortable than the 25 on long runs as well. The Gel-Nimbus 26 is still a comfortable shoe for long runs, but I prefer the feel of the Gel-Nimbus 25.
Since the shoe's main purpose is to be a comfortable cruiser, the Gel-Nimbus 25 is arguably a better shoe since it did that role better for me. I'd have no qualms in recommending that you look to buy the older shoe at a discount rather than the Gel-Nimbus 26.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 vs Asics Gel-Nimbus 25: Price And Availability
The Gel-Nimbus 25 launched in January 2023 and cost $160 in the US and £175 in the UK at launch, but is available for significantly less in sales: it's $130 at Asics right now, for example. The Gel-Nimbus 26 went on sale in January 2024 and is also $160 in the US, but the price increased to £180 in the UK. It's one of the most expensive cushioned shoes, especially in the UK.
The best deal I can see on the Gel-Nimbus 25 at the moment is the $30 saving at Asics, which has a range of colors and sizes of the shoe available for $129.95.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 25: was
$160, now $129.95 at Asics
Save $30.05 Asics has reduced the entire Gel-Nimbus 25 range by $30, with lots of colors available in all sizes. The Gel-Nimbus 25 has fallen as low as $119.95 in sales before—hitting that price last Black Friday—so it may be worth holding out for an even better deal than this if you don’t need a running shoe now, though this is still a great discount.
In the UK the shoe has been widely reduced to around £122, with Asics, SportsShoes and Pro:Direct all offering the Gel-Nimbus 25 for this price.
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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.