Asics Gel Cumulus 26 Review: A Cushioned, Comfortable Daily Trainer That New Runners Will Love

The Asics Cumulus 26 is a cushioned, neutral running shoe that's particularly well-suited to new runners and those looking for an all-round versatile daily trainer.

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Hey everyone, Helen here from Trail and Kale, and welcome to my Asics Gel Cumulus 26 review, where I’m explaining the Cumulus 26’s key features, what type of runner they’re best suited to, and the type of running they excel at, based on my experience of running them over the past few weeks.

I’ll also cover any areas where I believe there’s room for improvement, whether they’re worth buying, and some similar alternatives that you may also want to check out.

Asics Gel Cumulus 26 Review 20

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $140 at ASICS (US) | £105 at Sportsshoes (UK)
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit. A wide version is also available
  • Weight: 7.7oz (218g) for a size US(W)7.5 (my pair)
  • Drop: 8mm – Stack height: 38mm at the heel, 30mm at the toe
  • Toe box width: Medium
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support
  • Midsole Cushioning: PureGel Cushioning in the heel and FF Blast Plus cushioning towards the toe
  • Best for: Wearing as an everyday daily trainer, road running distances up to a half marathon.

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Now in its 26th iteration, Asics has consistently released a new version of these shoes for the past 26 years, reflecting a strong commitment to refining and enhancing the model.

The Asics Cumulus 26 is positioned as a versatile, cushioned daily trainer. It has neutral support – that is, it’s suitable for most runners and doesn’t feature any extra stability support features that some shoes have for those runners who pronate when they run.

This means that, whether you’re an everyday runner or someone who laces up occasionally, these shoes are designed to be your go-to for any type of run. My first pair of running shoes was actually a pair of Asics Cumulus and they’re well-suited to new runners because of their all-round appeal, and at a price of $140, they strike a balance between quality and affordability, making them an attractive choice if you’re seeking a single, do-it-all pair of running shoes.

If you’re new to running and unsure of your gait, a visit to a specialty running store for a gait analysis might be beneficial – and you should find our running guide for beginners guide and free couch to 5k training plan to be valuable resources to check out!

Looking at the drop from heel-to-toe, it’s 8mm on this shoe, with a relatively high heel stack of 38mm, both of which are typical of daily trainers, offering ample cushioning throughout the shoe, regardless of how your foot strikes the ground but with an emphasis on cushioning in the heel area.

Demonstrating the cushioning compression in the Asics Cumulus 26 heel when pressure is applied
Demonstrating the cushioning compression in the Asics Cumulus 26 heel when pressure is applied

In terms of weight, my women’s US size 7.5 pair weighs in at 7.7 oz, aligning with the average for cushioned neutral running shoes. Out of the box, they fit true to size. If you’re accustomed to sizing in other brands like On, HOKA, Saucony, or Brooks, you’ll find the Cumulus 26 to match up seamlessly with your usual size.

Taking a closer look at the shoe’s details, the midsole features Asics’ PureGel and FF Blast+ cushioning technologies, offering a plush and supportive ride. The upper is constructed from an engineered mesh, updated from the Cumulus 25, providing enhanced durability and breathability. The material wrapping around the toe and sides maintains consistency throughout.

A closer look at the mesh upper on the Asics Cumulus 26 running shoes - note the holes for improved breathability.
A closer look at the mesh upper on the Asics Cumulus 26 running shoes – note the holes for improved breathability.

The laces are slightly stretchy and easy to adjust, which is exactly what you want in an everyday trainer — simplicity and reliability. The collar and heel counter offer a snug fit right out of the box without any rubbing or discomfort – you can see more photos of the heel area of the shoe in the image gallery at the end of this review.

The tongue, made from a breathable mesh, is soft and flexible, equipped with a loop that integrates with the laces to prevent it from sliding down, an essential feature given its softer material.

Demonstrating the stretch in the sock-like mesh tongue on the Asics Cumulus 26 running shoes
Demonstrating the stretch in the sock-like mesh tongue on the Asics Cumulus 26 running shoes

Lastly, the revised outsole features plenty of texture and grooves for enhanced traction. It’s worked well for me in the wet and dry. It’s interesting how it looks similar to the midsole, like it’s made out of foam – time will tell how durable it is.

A close-up of the new outsole on the Asics Gel Cumulus 26 everyday cushioned running trainers.
A close-up of the new outsole on the Asics Gel Cumulus 26 everyday cushioned running trainers.

There have been some edits from the previous version (the Asics Gel Cumulus 25), including a change to the outsole, apparently a tiny bit of weight has been shaved off by a tweak to the midsole, too. The heel counter is also different and doesn’t incorporate a pull-tab like its predecessor did. But overall, very similar in terms of weight, general appearance (aside from the heel), and fit.

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The features of the Cumulus 26 that work really well

As mentioned, the Cumulus 26 is a cushioned, neutral, everyday trainer. Its enduring presence in the market, through numerous iterations over the years, has won it a loyal following among both new and veteran runners. Many runners eagerly await the release of each new version to replace their worn pairs, a testament to the shoe’s reliable performance and comfort.

The consistency of the Cumulus model, with few significant changes between versions (although some features will always change between versions), is something I particularly appreciate. It’s a relief to know that you can return to a trusted model without worrying about drastic alterations each year.

Focusing on more specific details, I’m a big fan of the mesh upper on this shoe. Its softness and breathability are immediately noticeable, offering a combination of comfort and durability that’s hard to find. Additionally, the tongue is equipped with stretch and constructed in a way that ensures comfort; unlike some shoes where you can feel the laces pressing through, the Cumulus 26’s tongue offers a gentle, sock-like feel without noticeable pressure from the laces. This is further enhanced by a loop that keeps the tongue in place during runs, preventing any downward slippage.

You can easily wear the Asics Cumulus 26 for everyday wear as well as running in.
You can easily wear the Asics Cumulus 26 for everyday wear as well as running in.

Another highlight is the shoe’s true-to-size fit. There’s no need to try out different sizes or wonder if you should size up. In my experience, opting for a larger size in a shoe that’s already true to size can lead to more problems than solutions, especially for new runners uncertain about the proper fit for running shoes.

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What type of runner the Asics Cumulus 26 will suit best

For runners in search of a reliable daily trainer that offers plenty of cushioning for a wide range of runs, the Cumulus 26 is a great option.

That said, if you’re a heavier runner, someone who predominantly heel strikes, or if you simply cherish extra cushioning during your long-distance runs, you may be better off with a shoe with more cushioning – what we call a max cushioned trainer. If that sounds like you, note that Asics offers an alternative with their Asics Nimbus 26 – a shoe that has plush cushioning. Though it is a little heavier, the added cushioning could be exactly what you need.

Alternatively, if your running regime involves shorter distances at a faster pace, you might prefer a shoe that’s tailored for speed with a more responsive feel. While the Cumulus 26 does offer a decent level of responsiveness for a neutral everyday trainer, those seeking a firmer, more agile feel underfoot for speedwork might find better options elsewhere.

There are shoes specifically designed to cater to this need, enhancing your ability to push the pace with every step – take a look at the HOKA Mach 6 and Brooks Hyperion, for example. If you’re shopping around for running shoes, you’re also going to want to visit our popular and regularly-updated buyers guide to the best running shoes right now.

Is the Asics Cumulus 26 worth buying?

This is a great value daily trainer at $140 from a tried-and-proven line and brand. With no notable faults, this is a great option when you want that one all-rounder or a comfortable running shoe that’s capable on a variety of run distances and durations.

👋🏼 Hey there! If you’re thinking about getting these shoes, using our links would be a huge help for Trail & Kale Running Co. We earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which lets us keep creating awesome content like this review. Thanks so much for your support – we really appreciate it!

I hope you found this review of the Asics Cumulus 26 informative and enjoyable. If you did, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss our other in-depth running shoe reviews as they drop.

YouTube Video review

To make sure this review is in-depth and so you know we actually run in the shoes we review (believe it or not, some sites that like to cut shoes in half and call it a review, do not), you can also watch my performance video review on Youtube by tapping the image below – Don’t forget to subscribe to our Channel :).

Did you know we also create shoe review videos on our YouTube Channel too? Click the image below to watch my video review on YouTube next.

Asics Gel Cumulus 26 Review YOUTUBE

Asics Gel Cumulus 26 review gallery

Helen
Helenhttps://www.trailandkale.com/
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.

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