- The ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 are very comfortable with ample cushioning
- Much lighter than prior models
- More accommodative toe box and improved upper
- Solid overall road running shoes
- Feel somewhat clunky with all their padding
- Only minor changes compared to prior model
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20 are comfortable neutral road running shoes that are ideal for beginners and avid runners alike.
The ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 look very similar to the Gel Nimbus 19 and only really make a few upgrades over them. ASICS basically took a really good neutral road running shoe and fixed its biggest flaw…that being the toe box. The 19s were some of our favorite running shoes, however, the toe box was really tight and could constrict your foot a bit, especially for individuals with larger or wider feet. The added room in the toe box is much appreciated. I tend to want to stretch my toes out during a run and hated having them all bunched up.
They also improved the upper with more mesh, which ASICS calls its FluidFit upper. We like the upper, but it’s not any more breathable than with other ASICS shoes. That’s the new stuff. Here’s what else you should know.
What type of runners are the Nimbus 20 best for?
Given that these are neutral running shoes, people that under-pronate (supinate) or run neutral will prefer the Nimbus 20. If you aren’t familiar with pronation/supination jargon, essentially under-pronating means you tend to land on the outside portion of your heel more and push off with your little toes (i.e. your foot doesn’t roll inward enough). People that over-pronate tend roll inward too much and push off of their big toe mostly. You’ll typically have higher arches if you under-pronate and lower arches if you over-pronate. Here’s a helpful graphic from ASICS that shows neutral and under-pronation.
The Nimbus 20 don’t have any special correction for over-pronating, so if you find that you have lower arches and roll inward quite a bit, check out the ASICS Gel-Kayano 24, which are the company’s most popular stability running shoes.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20 Review – Comfort & Fit
The Nimbus 20 are really comfortable, as we’ve come to expect from all ASICS shoes. We didn’t encounter any real exaggerated pressure points or blisters, though there is a break-in period. You need to run a few times before they start to mold to your feet and wear in. Additionally, they fit about 1/2 size small. I’m normally a 9.5 (or 43 Euro), but I’m a 10 in the Nimbus.
The Nimbus 20 also have a 10mm and 13mm drop for men and women, respectively. The reason the women’s model has a higher drop is that ASICS says women need extra achilles tension relief. Either way, between 8mm and 13mm seems to be the sweet spot for running shoes, unless you really need minimalist shoes. If you’re a forefoot or a heel striker, you should be fine with the Nimbus 20…they’re not really on either of the extremes.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 Review – Midsole & Outsole
The Nimbus 20 have the exact same midsole and outsole construction as the Nimbus 19. You basically have ASICS FlyteFoam and gel cushioning. You get great bounce back and plenty of impact absorption. As such, these are shoes you can use during short, medium, and even longer distances runs such as marathons. There’s plenty of cushioning. As for the outsole, there’s nothing major to discuss here. We had no issues and felt that it will be just as durable as in prior ASICS shoes.
Also, the outsole does a good job of not picking up little pebbles or gravel, which can really bog down your run. Overall with the midsole and outsole, only good things to report.
Complaints with the Nimbus 20
Ignoring price, there’s only a few things that irked us with the Nimbus 20. Firstly, there is a bit of a break in period. The shoes are immediately comfortable, but it takes a few running workouts to get rid of the heel slippage. Lockdown overall is good, but the heel can slip a bit. We had the same issue with the Kayano 24s. Also, they still feel a little clunky…there’s just a lot of padding. They aren’t as streamlined as the Under Armour Charged Bandit 3, for example, or even the Kayano 24s.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 vs Kayano 24
This is sort of an unfair comparison since these very similar shoes, it’s just one is designed for neutral runners and the other for over-pronators. As such, it’s pretty simple to choose. If you notice that you have low arches and roll inward a bit, the Kayano series is the way to go. You can also use the Kayanos if you’re a neutral runner, but you’ll most likely prefer the Nimbus here. In terms of comfort, fit, lockdown, etc., it’s all very similar.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 vs 19
As mentioned previously, there’s only a few minor, albeit helpful, upgrades with the 20s. They have a better upper, more roomy toe box, and they are just a little bit lighter than the 19s. Do we think the 20s are better? Yes. Are the 19s bad? Certainly not, but the 20s just have a better fit.