Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review: Plush Daily Trainer For The Long Haul

How the latest iteration of Asics' famously plush, and very popular road running shoes stack up.

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Welcome to my Asics Gel Nimbus 26 review, in which I cover the key features of these shoes, who they’re best suited for, their performance during runs, and ultimately, whether they justify their $160 price tag.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 (or simply, Asics Nimbus 26) are what we call ‘max cushion’ road running shoes, meaning they offer one of the highest levels of cushioning available for a pair of road running shoes.

These shoes are particularly designed to provide extensive cushioning, especially in the heel area, which you may want from your shoes for wearing when you’re running long distances, or if you simply prefer a plush feel in your footwear.

Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review: Plush Daily Trainer For The Long Haul 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure
Asics Gel Nimbus 26 running shoes review | Trail & Kale Running Co.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $160+ available from Running Warehouse in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Sizing and fit: Fits true to size, go with your usual size
  • Weight: 9oz for a size US(W) 7.5 (my pair).
  • Drop: 8mm. Stack height: 41mm at the heel and 33mm at the toe
  • Toe box width: Regular
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support
  • Midsole Cushioning: Maximum – including Asics PureGEL Technology in the heel and FF BLAST PLUS ECO foam throughout the entire midsole
  • Best for: Wearing as a daily trainer, your companion on long training runs and race day if you value the plush, max cushioned ride for those longer endurance races such as running marathons.

Notable features of the Asics Nimbus 26

With the 8mm heel to toe drop, these shoes have plenty of cushioning at the heel (with Asics ‘PureGEL technology’), supporting those who heel strike, however there is also plenty of cushioning throughout the shoe from heel to toe by virtue of the plush foam midsole.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 are good-looking, daily trainers with a high level of cushioning for long road runs
The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 are good-looking, daily trainers with a high level of cushioning for long road runs

With each shoe weighing in at 9 oz for a US women’s size 7.5, these shoes are fairly light for a shoe offering this level of cushioning.

The upper is constructed from a woven mesh, which uses 75% recycled fabric. I found the upper to be moderately breathable. It’s not the most breathable upper you’ll find in a pair of running shoes, but it is quite a thin mesh with holes and so should be enough breathability for running in most climates, especially if you wear thinner running socks, which is normally what I recommend you wear in any case (as opposed to thicker, more cushioned running socks).

Woven mesh upper on the Nimbus 26, and that wraparound outsole over the toe.
Woven mesh upper on the Nimbus 26, and that wraparound outsole over the toe.

The mesh upper is also notably stretchy, as is the tongue, which is made from the same material. The tongue’s flexibility and sock-like feel add to the overall comfort, as do other stretchy elements like the collar and the heel tab, which is a feature I particularly like, that aids in slipping the shoe on.

In terms of support and stability, the Asics GEL Nimbus 26 is a neutral road running shoe, so it doesn’t incorporate specific stability or support features for those who pronate. This makes it well suited to runners seeking a running shoe with straightforward, maximum cushioning for training runs and potentially even for race day, depending on your goals.

Let’s take a look at the outsole. It offers a good amount of coverage and even wraps slightly over the toe, providing extra protection and traction, especially useful on hilly roads.

There's plenty of coverage and texture-led traction on the Asics Nimbus 26's outsole tread.
There’s plenty of coverage and texture-led traction on the Asics Nimbus 26’s outsole tread.

Regarding fit, these shoes are true to size. They have a standard width and there is some additional give from the woven mesh, making them a good match for those with normal width feet. You should not need to size up in these – generally, contrary to what many people are told when new to running and researching running shoes, sizing up can result in a looser fit or overly long shoes you may be more likely trip over in.

Choose the right size for your feet, which is going to just be your usual shoe size, for most people.

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Asics Nimbus 26 running performance review

Moving on to the performance of these running shoes, specifically, what they’re like to run in, and what kinds of distances they’re best suited for.

I’ve been running in these shoes on the cycle paths and roads around Northern California, covering distances from a few miles up to about 10 miles. Given their maximum cushioning, these shoes are ideal if you prioritize having plenty of cushioning in your running shoe when your feet hit the ground.

The stretchy, sock-like tongue and collar on the Asics Nimbus 26
The stretchy, sock-like tongue and collar on the Asics Nimbus 26

They’re especially beneficial for heel strikers due to the amount of cushioning at the heel, providing a soft landing, which helps compensate for the less-than-optimal biomechanics of heel striking. Additionally, there’s ample cushioning and flexibility throughout the shoe, aiding in the toe-off phase of your stride.

Personally, I don’t typically heel strike; I tend to land more on the midfoot or forefoot. However, it’s worth noting that the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 offers plenty of cushioning in the front as well, ensuring comfort regardless of where you land. I’ve found them to be surprisingly bouncy for a max cushion shoe, which adds to the responsiveness on take-off, a welcome and surprising feature.

When considering whether these are the best choice for you, it is important to consider your running style when choosing shoes.

If you’re not a heel striker, you might not fully benefit from the Nimbus’s heel cushioning, in which case, you may be better off opting for a lighter shoe, especially when you’re running longer distances, as it reduces the extra weight on your feet that you’re not taking advantage of.

Our heel 'squish' test on the NImbus 26
Our heel ‘squish’ test on the NImbus 26

An alternative to consider from the same brand could be the Asics Gel Cumulus 26, another popular road running shoe from Asics that offers medium cushioning, is lighter in weight, and has similar features like a stretchy mesh upper and tongue.

In terms of recommended distances, the Asics GEL Nimbus 26 is going to be popular with a diverse range of people from new runners to first-time marathoners and also seasoned marathon runners. The additional cushioning can be enjoyable during those long marathon training runs, which can be physically demanding.

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Is the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 worth buying?

Priced at $160, or $170 for the Lite Show Edition with additional reflective details (as pictured in this review), the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is priced higher than some other road running shoes, such as the Asics Gel Cumulus, which typically retail around $140. However, the extra investment in the Nimbus translates into greater cushioning and a very plush ride.

This shoe isn’t just for running; it doubles effectively as a daily trainer. If you’re looking for a versatile shoe that’s comfortable for walking and capable of handling runs when needed, the Nimbus 26 should meet your expectations nicely.

For those who prefer more understated footwear colorways, it’s also worth noting that the Nimbus 26 is also available in more muted colorways, like black. This option might be particularly appealing if you need a shoe that’s suitable for all-day wear, perhaps at work, where subtler footwear might be necessary. You can check current colorway availability using the buttons below:

I really hope you found this running shoe review 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.

Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review [VIDEO]

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

Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review: Plush Daily Trainer For The Long Haul 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

More photos of the Gel Nimbus 26

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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