ASICS GEL-Nimbus Review: Nimbus is Turning 21 (and We are Definitely Throwing a Party!)

If you thought last year’s milestone edition couldn’t be topped, think again. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 has a few more tricks up its sleeve.


For over 20 years, the GEL-Nimbus has been ASICS’ most popular model of long-distance running shoe. If you’ve followed these trainers since their initial release back in 1999, you’ve seen them through their infancy, their experimental teenager years, their venture into adulthood, as well as last year’s platinum 20th anniversary release.

Now, ASICS is back and showing us that the GEL-Nimbus has no signs of slowing down any time soon! They’ve been on a relentless quest to deliver the highest levels of shock absorption, cushioning, and plush comfort possible—all without tacking on extra weight… and they’ve managed to do it yet again this year, making the GEL-Nimbus 21 their lightest model to date! They’re so light and comfy, in fact, that your feet just might feel like they’re floating on clouds rather than pounding pavement. We gotta say, it’s pretty heavenly!


The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 is the newest model in the Nimbus lineup, released just in time to help you get after all those 2019 fitness resolutions! Don’t get it confused with other members in the ASICS GEL family, though. The Nimbus is usually known as their flagship shoe for neutral, long-distance runners, but the GEL-Cumulus and GEL-Pursue might be better options if you’re looking to vary the speed of your runs or prefer more responsive cushioning.


We weren’t kidding when we said that ASICS had quite a few tricks up their sleeve for the GEL-Nimbus 21 release! This iteration received some massive updates from head-to-toe in terms of both fashion and function. If you just take a peek at this year’s upper compared to the GEL-Nimbus 20, the improvements are easy to see.

Some complained about a too-tight fit in the past, and ASICS took the feedback to heart. The double-layer jacquard mesh upper now offers more room in the toe box without compromising on the snug support and flex throughout the midfoot. Also, the ASICS FluidFit® upper has been freshly optimized, combining multi-directional stretch fabric that adapts to your foot while you run for a custom, glove-like fit. Seriously, after giving these guys a whirl, you’ll think they were tailor-made just for you.

In terms of the midsole, ASICS brings their FlyteFoam® Lyte and Propel material together for the first time ever. The concept of a dual-density foam is pretty neat! At the top, a FlyteFoam Propel layer delivers responsiveness and returns the energy you input for some extra spring in your forward stride; the bottom layer of FlyteFoam Lyte serves up long-lasting cushioning using a nanofiber compound for super soft landings. Together, you get to enjoy a lightweight, responsive ride that absorbs shock and keeps your feet nice and happy!

When it comes to the outsole of the new GEL-Nimbus 21, you’ll probably notice that it’s been redesigned to provide lateral full ground contact. That means you’ll be able to score smoother transitions throughout your gait cycle, and with a little back-up from the Guidance Line® tech, you’ll be well on your way to the perfect running form—no coach required!


It doesn’t matter if you’re gearing up to run your first mile or preparing to win your next race; if you’re a neutral or under-pronator who wants to rack up some mega mileage, then these shoes are for you! Neutral pronators don’t have much to worry about, since the GEL-Nimbus cushioning will continue to promote the natural movement of your feet. If you under-pronate or supinate, you can fall back on the Guidance Trusstic System® technology along the side of the shoe to counter your outward role while the added cushioning in the heel softens rear-foot strikes.

Any overpronators in the house? Runners with flat arches? You’ll get more benefits out of stability running shoes that can deliver max support and structured cushioning, so check out the family of ASICS GEL-Kayano or ASICS GT-2000 instead.


Part of the reason the ASICS GEL-Nimbus has withstood the test of time is due to the ever-popular GEL technology infused throughout the outsole of the shoe. It’s visible at the rear foot, and even though you can no longer see the forefoot GEL, you still continue to score healthy doses of the proprietary cushioning upfront.

Enjoy burning the midnight oil or hittin’ the streets at first light? You’ll be stoked over the reflective detailing added to the GEL-Nimbus 21 that helps boost your visibility in low-light conditions. Now you can focus more on your form and less over oncoming traffic on those late-night/early-morning exploits.

A few other perks that make the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 worthy of your consideration: a blown rubber outsole for stellar traction that glues you to the ground; a removable EVA sockliner that keeps moisture and odor at bay; and an external heel clutch to keep you securely locked-in, eliminating annoying heel slippage once and for all!

At the end of the day, the updated ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 delivers an experience softer, lighter, bouncier, and comfier than ever before. Instead of compromising on the features you love most, find them packed all-in-one with the latest Nimbus release!


To wrap up our review of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21, take a look at the new spec sheets and read through the nitty gritty to see what it’s all about!


These guys define what a soft, pillowy platform should feel like. As a Level 5 shoe, you’ll enjoy maximum cushioning with minimum weight. When you run in the GEL-Nimbus 21, your feet can daydream in the clouds while your legs are tasked with the work at hand.


Men’s 10.7 oz | Women’s 8.8 oz


A 10mm height difference separates the drop between the rear foot and the forefoot of the men’s shoe, while the women’s GEL-Nimbus 21 has a slightly larger 13mm drop.


Colors for days! Express your originality and choose between 10 different color combinations in the latest GEL-Nimbus release to find the pair that best suits your style.

Men’s: Black/Black; Black/Dark Grey; Black/Red; Black/Yellow; Blue/Black; Mugen

Women’s: Black/Grey; Blue/Light Blue; Grey/Blue; Grey/Silver

Want to know for sure if the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 is right for you? Take 2-3 minutes to run through our online SHOE FIT FINDER. You can also call 800.551.5558 or drop by your hometown store and we’ll guide you through your personal fitting. See more of our favorites on Pinterest!

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