Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 Designed for Runners of All Levels

Gel-Nimbus 26 on feet

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 serves as a comfortable shoe for runners of all skill levels, providing excellent traction, ample cushioning, and a dependable, lively ride.

If you're in search of a versatile shoe that offers ample cushioning for various running activities, this is an excellent choice. Novice runners will appreciate its all-purpose design, while more experienced runners can utilize it for recovery, leisurely runs, slower tempo sessions, and long-distance outings.

If you don't prefer a taller shoe or desire a shoe with maximum comfort, this shoe may not be to your liking. Additionally, if you require a lighter shoe, it would be wise to search elsewhere. If you're an experienced runner seeking a fast shoe, this particular one may not meet your expectations.

Having been a part of the Asics lineup for 26 editions, the Gel-Nimbus is among the running shoes that have remained in the collection for the longest period of time.

In this edition, the Nimbus 25 has undergone some alterations, and it appears that these changes have resulted in improvements across the board.

The latest shoe model for this year features an updated upper design, improved rubber outsole, an additional rocker on the outsole, and a slightly sturdier midsole that is suitable for faster-paced running. Consequently, the shoe has gained approximately 0.5 ounces in weight, which might not be preferred by certain runners who value the lightweight nature of their everyday training shoe.

The Gel-Nimbus is a member of the comfortable collection of Asics footwear, alongside the Gel-Cumulus.

Gel-Nimbus 26 toebox

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 and the Brooks Ghost Max are both highly regarded as exceptionally cushioned daily trainers, just like this particular one.

Also in the Asics collection, we have the Novablast 4, which shares the same midsole foam. However, what sets the Novablast 4 apart and gives it a slightly firmer and less cushioned feel is the inclusion of PureGel™ technology in the heel of the Nimbus 26.

The traction of the Nimbus 26 is enhanced by a modified outsole grip.

Upon unboxing and examining the shoe, my initial impression was, "Wow, that's a substantial amount of midsole." I haven't had much experience with shoes that have such a high stack height, so it was intriguing to observe the generous midsole. The shoe felt surprisingly light both in my hand and when I wore it.

For my initial test with the shoe, I opted for a relaxed 5-mile recovery run. It came right after a lengthy run, so I sought a shoe that offered ample cushioning and support. This particular shoe delivered on those fronts. Although it didn't quite match the plushness of the New Balance 1080v13, it still provided sufficient softness for a recovery run, while also ensuring a stable and comfortable ride, unlike the 1080v13.

The shoe's upper provided an excellent sensation, gently embracing the foot. The lacing system was intriguing and seemed to have undergone modifications compared to the Nimbus 25. However, I didn't notice any significant difference in terms of comfort during my initial run.

I immediately sensed the weight of the shoe during my initial run, and it became apparent that it would not be suitable for faster intervals.

Gel-Nimbus 26 upper

The construction of this shoe's upper is impressive. Crafted entirely from a supple and flexible engineered mesh, the upper molds to your foot, providing a luxurious sensation throughout.

The tongue of the shoe is padded and has the same softness as the rest of the shoe. It is not as thick as what you would typically find in a highly cushioned shoe, but I found that the elastic, luxurious sensation of the tongue actually improved the overall comfort of the shoe.

I encountered no problems with areas of heat or friction.

The new version of the lacing system has undergone some modifications, although it might not be easily noticeable to most people.

In general, the shoe matched its expected size.

In a prior assessment of the Nimbus 25, it was observed that the front part of the shoe was somewhat tight. However, the area around the front of the foot felt adequately spacious and the shoe had a satisfactory overall length. For those who require it, this shoe is also available in wider sizes.

Gel-Nimbus 26 outsole

As previously stated, the midsole of this shoe consists of two main components: PureGel™ in the heel and FF Blast™ PLUS ECO foam surrounding it. For individuals who prioritize environmental sustainability, the creation of the FF Blast™ foam aids in decreasing the shoe's carbon emissions by 25%.

The shoe has an 8mm heel drop, with the heel measuring approximately 42mm and the forefoot measuring about 34mm. As a result, the shoe offers a relatively neutral stride experience. The composition of the midsole provides a firm and stable feel during your run.

A modification made in the latest edition involves the incorporation of a slight curvature to the back part of the shoe. This alteration contributes to enhancing the overall comfort of the wearer's experience.

I've worn this shoe for various types of runs - tempo, interval, easy, and long runs. It didn't have that quick and responsive feel needed for intervals, so I wouldn't suggest it for most intermediate to advanced runners. However, when it came to tempo runs and doing strides, the shoe performed well and responded nicely to an increase in speed.

Despite the shoe's heavier weight, I found it to be cozy for my runs and didn't feel like I was compromising too much. Asics claims that this shoe provides cushioning similar to clouds.

I wouldn't go as far as to claim that this shoe is the softest option available, as there are other shoes that may provide a more plush sensation when worn.

In comparison to the Nimbus 25, one enhancement in this version is the upgraded rubber sole. The latest sole is a fusion of Asics®Grip™ and their AHAR™PLUS. This upgrade has increased the traction of the shoe, which I can personally attest to after running on wet roads with it. Throughout all my runs, I consistently felt confident and steady, even when taking sharp turns at various speeds.

Gel-Nimbus 26 pureGel

In general, I find the Nimbus 26 to be one of my preferred footwear options and it will continue to be a staple in my selection for leisurely jogs, recovery sessions, and lengthy runs.

If the shoe is on the slower side, I might occasionally take it out for a tempo run. Asics has made significant improvements to this shoe, focusing on maximizing comfort and providing a stable ride with excellent traction.

This particular shoe fulfills most of those requirements, although it may not have the softest and most luxurious midsole available.

I strongly endorse this shoe for runners of all levels. Every runner should make room in their shoe collection for this exceptional pair.

Gel-Nimbus 26 quarter
  • Price: $160 (Asics)
  • Style:
    • 1011B794.001: Black/Graphite Grey
    • 1011B794.002: Black
    • 1011B794.020: Sheet Rock/Thunder Blue
    • 1011B794.021: Feather Grey/Black
    • 1011B794.400: French Blue/Electric Lime
    • 1011B794.403: Thunder Blue/Denim Blue
    • 1011B794.003: Black/True Red
    • 1011B794.100: White/Waterscape
    • 1011B794.401: Waterscape/Black
    • 1011B794.600: Sunrise Red/Black
    • 1011B794.750: Bright Yellow/Black
  • Usage:
    • daily training
    • leisurely runs
    • recovery runs
    • long distance running
  • Constructions & Features:
    • Heel drop: 8 mm
    • Weight: 304 g / 10.7 oz
    • Neutral support / Maximum cushion
    • Designed for Neutral / Underpronation
    • Engineered knit upper
    • FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO technology
    • Reflective details
    • ASICS®GRIP™ outsole rubber
    • Upper made with 75% recycled materials
    • PureGEL® technology
    • OrthoLite™ X-55 sockliner
    • AHAR®PLUS™ outsole rubber
Gel-Nimbus 26 FF Blast+ midsole
Gel-Nimbus 26 heel