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ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24 Review: Can a New Foam Reshape The Long Running Line?
By Senior Contributor Nathan Brown and Social Media Wizard Bach Pham

The Nimbus series is one of the long standing and beloved lines that ASICS produces. Named after a cloud, the goal of this shoe is to produce a soft, floating, and premium sensation underfoot. In shoes that are staples in the running community such as the Nimbus, change usually happens slowly so as not to lose the people who have fallen in love with what they know the model to be. The Nimbus 24 gets a major update to the midsole, debuting a new foam compound and Trusstic system that is tuned to be gender specific. We are going to dive into what worked and what didn't in this major update.

Note: 50 mile updated now included in Bach's review of the Nimbus 24

Asics Gel Nimbus 24, lateral view. Light blue upper with a extra light blue topsole of Flytefoam. Gel in between the FF Blast midsole and topsole of Flytefoam
Asics Gel Nimbus 24, lateral view. Light blue upper with a extra light blue topsole of Flytefoam. Gel in between the FF Blast midsole and topsole of Flytefoam

Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.2 oz, 290 g (men's size 9), 8.7 oz, 247 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 26 mm, 16 mm forefoot (Men), 28 mm, 15 mm (Women)
Drop: 9-10 mm Men, 13 mm Women
Classification: Daily Trainer

Medial side of the Nimbus 24. Dark blue peeking through midsole shows trusstic system.
Medial side of the Nimbus 24. Dark blue peeking through midsole shows trusstic system.

ASICS GEL NIMBUS 24 SUMMARY

Nathan:
The Nimbus 24 builds on the notion of feeling like your standing/running on a cloud that the Nimbus series strives for. This includes a very soft sock liner, soft surface coverage on the platform, and a whole new midsole compound, FF Blast+. With all the changes, it also keeps some traditional ASICS shaping, which is going to be familiar to some and possibly bothersome to others. Finally, ASICS does some dual density work in the midsole to attempt to provide stability of such a soft foam compound.



FIT

Nathan: The comfort of this shoe for me is like Jekyll and Hyde. Let's start with the upper. The engineered mesh upper,  which is comprised of some recycled materials, is very soft and compliant over the toe box providing a pleasant fit for the toes and stretches to accommodate different foot types. The midfoot follows this pattern and is rather secure. However, the tongue and heel counter did not work well together for me (this is a similar story for my testing of the Nimbus Lite 3). The tongue is a stretchy, weblike material that is gusseted and almost acts like a bootie upper. Meanwhile the heel counter is rigid and is quite stuffed to give a padded experience. It seemed a bit of a mismatch when pieced together and every run in this shoe I personally got irritation over the dorsum (top) of my foot. This irritation was a combination of the tongue/laces as well as some of the geometry of the shoe that I'll touch on later. So again, the upper had some highlights, like the comfort of the engineered mesh, and some areas that were problematic, like the tongue and heel. 

Another area of comfort that I think the Nimbus does well in is the initial step in feel. For those wanting a soft underfoot feel particularly when standing for longer periods, the soft sock liner and thin top later of the platform creates a "memory-foam-like" feeling underfoot. I found this to be very comfortable during the work day where I was on my feet for 8-9 hours at a time.

Bach: The Asics Nimbus 24 fits relatively true to size. It is a bit roomier than standard width throughout. I felt most dialed in when I wore thicker socks. The toebox has generous room for toe splay. The partially recycled material upper is stretchy and accommodating. The one thing about the Nimbus and why it has been a go-to for many runners is that it tends to fit the foot well. The Nimbus 24 continues to do so here.

The new tongue Asics is employing is fairly comfortable once the Nimbus is on foot. It does feel very stretchy to the touch. Anyone who is aggressive with putting on shoes and likes to really utilize the tongue to grab and slide the foot in, the Nimbus' tongue felt susceptible to tearing during my first few usages. Between the stretchy tongue and rigid heel counter, it was also a little awkward to slip into as I was breaking in the shoe. There is heel padding that is very light to the point where you can literally grab the rigid heel counter that wraps around the heel through the padding. This did improve over the first few miles as the shoe relaxed.

Once on foot though, the step-in of the Nimbus 24 is very comfortable. The upper is soft, stretchy, and roomy. Having a standard foot, I did feel most comfortable when wearing thicker socks to fill in the shoe and feel most dialed in. During my first run without thick socks I could feel the shoe fitting a bit loose all-around which contributed to some awkward landings and pickups. I had to stop and really tighten the laces down to get a good fit my first run while wearing thinner socks.

When it comes to the shoe just for walking and standing, this is a very comfortable shoe thanks to that generous room. The Nimbus 24 is an easy recommend for day-to-day use for anyone looking for a shoe for active work that can potentially do a few light miles before or after hours. 

50 mile update: The shoe has become significantly more comfortable with each and every run. Some issues with the upper settled down after 25 miles and the shoe felt much more connected to my foot. The tongue has broken in and settles perfectly over the foot each and every time. I did find myself having some slight irritation over the top of my foot around 30 miles and had to loosen the lacing on one foot to help alleviate it, but have had no issues since. I would say the shoe still fits somewhat loose throughout, but the lacing does a good job of locking things down as much as you need. I do want to state that it did take some miles to get the shoe to feel just right on foot, and that did mean a few uncomfortable runs. I recommend folks using the shoe for a few days of walking and work if possible to help break in quicker so you can enjoy your runs. This shoe has become one of my more comfortable shoes, but it was also on the other end of the spectrum early on.

 

 

PERFORMANCE

Nathan: The new FF Blast + midsole is certainly another tick in the soft direction. Unlike FF Blast and the construction of the Novablast, this compound feels more "pillowy" soft than bouncy soft. However, FF Blast + isn't the only compound in the midsole. It also contains a topsole of traditional Flytefoam (a firmer compound) and a plastic Trusstic wedge on the medial side of the foam. And of course, there's a little gel hanging out in the posterior/lateral heel...but it only spans the edges and is really just for brand recognition. 

The extremely soft step in feel disappears a bit once you get running because you compress through the thin top sole and are landing more directly on the Flytefoam topsole that spans from the heel to midfoot (with a cutout oval in the center). That said, the heel landing is still very soft. It just doesn't feel "mushy" under your heel when you land, which I think really helped to get off the heel and move forward. As you transition forward, you eventually move entirely onto the FF Blast + and you have a pillowy soft toe off with a bit of flexibility due to the horizontal design of the rubber outsole. 

On a personal experience note, I could never find my rhythm in this shoe. Whether I did a slow recovery run, daily mileage pace, or a mild tempo, I was finding myself trying to find a rhythm. Given the foam and slightly lighter weight, the shoe does have a bit more versatility than previous versions and can handle daily mileage and even a bit of light uptempo work. Part of this was the heel landing. There is a posterior heel flare that contributed to the irritation of the dorsum of my foot. I found my tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum muscles (both cross the top of the ankle and move into the foot) would be sore after only a few miles due to the increased torque moving my foot into plantarflexion. I did enjoy the underfoot feel of the soft FF Blast + and was thankful for the heel topsole of Flytefoam to stabilize the platform, but the geometry gave me and my mechanics problems.

Bach: The Flytefoam Blast+ midsole is definitely a much softer foam than its predecessor. It is very apparent on first step-in that you are getting a plush underfoot feeling. I would say the cushioning overall feels moderately high, sitting in between a traditional daily trainer like the Cumulus or Pegasus and a max cushioned shoe like the Saucony Triumph. The Nimbus 24 has a very simple, natural ride overall. There are flex grooves in the outsole which help promote a natural forefoot movement. From midfoot forward, the Nimbus has a fairly good ride in that regard. The rearfoot, however, takes away from the shoe's performance. The posterior heel flare interrupts the shoe's ability to propel comfortably and presents itself at all paces, even as a mid to forefoot strike and especially if you heel strike. This made for a bit of a clunky ride and provided some irritation of my heel during my first 10-15 miles. As I broke the shoe in, I got more in tune with the heel flare and the ride became more comfortable, but it is hard not to notice the heel flare faintly in the back of my runs.

The Nimbus 24 overall is best for anyone looking for a shoe that works well for easy and recovery paces and packs a moderately soft underfoot. Once I broke the shoe in and got used to the ride, this does move well and the foam is much more exciting that past Flytefoam. The Nimbus can actually pick up surprisingly okay for strides or some light workouts, though there's enough bulk and the presence of the heel flare that doesn't make it feel comfortable for longer duration workout efforts. The new Asics Lite Rubber does a nice job of lightening the outsole of the Nimbus. I did find it to be average on wet roads though, providing just enough traction over wet surface but not an overly confident grip. If you are coming from something like Skechers Goodyear rubber or a Nike Pegasus, this will not be aggressive. I would not recommend this for trails, particularly with the exposed midfoot which makes rocks and debris feel very present underfoot even with the stack height.

A final note, I did find that the forefoot on my first runs had some irritation from what is likely the gel embedded in the Nimbus 24. That came and went during my runs until after 10-15 miles and I have not felt it since.

50 mile update: Additional mileage vastly has tremendously improved the shoe from top to bottom. Shortening my stride made easy runs in the Nimbus very enjoyable, especially as the foam settled from soft to a balanced, still cushioned-but-slightly-firmer-than-marshmallow ride throughout. Landing midfoot to forefoot and using the flex grooves to roll through my gait feels very natural and rewarding. This is certainly a mileage eater and continues to be best at easy and recovery paces. The posterior heel flare is far less present as I adapted to the shoe for daily runs. However, at faster paces as I lengthen my stride it becomes present again. For that reason, this is best as an easy mileage trainer that can handle some strides fairly well. Finally, the irritation from the forefoot did go away after 25 miles and has not been an issue at all.

Durability-wise, like past Asics this shoe has basically no wear. I do have some minor dents into the exposed midfoot (I took the Nimbus on a few trails, because that's just what we do at DOR - still not recommended for trail running) but the Lite Rubber looks as fresh as day one.

Posterior heel flare protruding from reel of Nimbus 24

STABILITY

Nathan: Here we have our second Jekyll and Hyde situation. ASICS did so much right in this category to take a really soft foam and give some stability. The first is the aforementioned Flytefoam topsole with an oval cutout. This provides a firmer and more stable connection for the foot to the shoe during landing, and the center cutout helps guide the foot to midline and also keeps the soft landing experience for people who prefer that. Additionally, they created men's and women's specific Trusstic wedges that were inserted medially to provide even a bit more resistance to compression on the medial side. All of those things combined with a slightly wider, full contact outsole should lead to a more stable neutral shoe, despite how soft the bulk of the midsole is. 

However, I think the downfall for stability comes in the shaping of the heel. Staying consistent with previous shaping of the Nimbus, there is a posterior heel flare. We've talked ad nauseam about posterior heel flares on this website so I won't go there now, but in this case it resulted in more abrupt heel landing and transitions, making it harder to control and therefore less stable. For standing and walking (for the most part), this shouldn't pose as much of a stability issue. 

Bach (revised thoughts after 50 miles): During my initial review, the foam felt very soft and I found myself having issues with the shoe's midfoot despite a trusstic system embedded in the shoe that grows through the medial side. The soft foam underneath, without any kind of rubber collapsed easily for me and caused my foot to roll a few times, especially in wet conditions. Thankfully, as I piled on the mileage the midsole has slightly firmed up and the stability elements in place feel like they are doing their job.

Some of the stable elements include: a top sole of regular Flytefoam to lend a slightly firmer platform to step on, generous width throughout the shoe providing geometry that we also really enjoy in the Nimbus Lite series, a very sturdy heel counter and the trusstic system mentioned earlier wedged around the heel and into the medial side. There is also some mild sole flaring. At 50 miles, these elements do work well enough to help provide the neutral shoe with some decent support after the sole firmed up. The forefoot in particular has good width and for those who land farther forward and roll off the flex grooves, you have a good 1-2 combination of elements that makes the shoe fairly stable up front.

Nathan summarizes the heel flare well. I agree that it contributes to making the shoe feel unstable, particular at faster speeds or for anyone who is a prominent heel striker who may feel this more aggressively. The Nimbus 24 overall is a neutral shoe that has some good stability elements outside of the heel flare which would be the one major area to improve upon in future iterations.



THOUGHTS AS A DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY | FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

ASICS put a lot more technology in this shoe than may first meet the eye, and if we put aside the posterior heel flare (which is a problem), this is a wonderfully thought out shoe. The trend towards softer foams continues, and companies are continuing to learn how to provide a soft experience underfoot that some runners prefer while keeping it runnable. In a shoe like the Nimbus, it doesn't need to be runnable only for one race day, it has to be runnable for every day. 

This is why they made so many vital additions to this shoe which have already been referenced in this review. First is the topsole of Flytefoam that spans from the heel to midfoot. As referenced, it ads to stability by centering the foot and also providing a solid contact point for the foot. If a mushy foam is directly under the foot when running, it does alter the proprioceptive awareness and therefore may increase demand on foot intrinsic muscles and the other stabilizing muscles of the ankle. Having a firmer top sole in theory helps decrease that demand. Tack onto that the gender-tuned Trusstic systems that resist compression on the medial side, and you have multiple avenues to mitigate some of the potential negative effects of soft foam while providing that plush underfoot feel. 

Another aspect of this shoe that I think is wisely done is to counter that firmer foam with a very soft, but thin layer on the foot platform. This provides people who prefer a plush ride a step in feel that mimics the softness of the lower midsole later when standing or walking, but is not thick enough to induce any instability. We know comfort is a factor, and for people on their feet a lot during the day, sometimes a comfortable and softer feet can decrease pressure irritation from building up. 

The Nimbus 24, although it did not work for me, is a well design shoe (save the posterior heel flare) to accomplish the goal of a softer ride for daily milage. ASICS can keep turning the dial forward on geometry in this model since they've shown they have the ability in other models and this shoe will continue to improve. I venture to guess that changing too much geometry (while also changing the midsole) would be a risk in losing many followers who have found their home in the Nimbus line for years. With these staple lines, change tends to happen more gradually. - Senior Contributor Nathan Brown


RECOMMENDATIONS

Nathan: I do think this update shoes a lot of forward potential for the Nimbus. If I were to have my way, I'd integrate a more significant bevel in the heel (even more than the Nimbus Lite 3 slightly) and then refine the tongue to be a bit thicker to have it match the "premium" feel of the shoe. However, I wouldn't want the heel bevel to be unstable posteriorly when standing, because this is a great option as of now for long periods of time on your feet as well as walking.

Bach: I agree with Nathan that a significant bevel would be the first major step into improving future iterations of the Nimbus. If Asics were to only make one change for 25, that would be the one I would love to see most. I would also like to see Asics swap the trusstic for a full length outsole, which would help stabilize the midfoot better and allow the midsole to shine similarly to the Nimbus Lite series.

On a taller note, I would like Asics to consider making a big change towards making this a fully max cushion shoe to help carve its identity further. At the price point of $159.99, the Nimbus needs to have a more solidified identity for it to stand out among its own peers let alone with other brands. The Flytefoam Blast+ midsole is a soft foam with lots of potential, offering a perfect foundation to build on. Edits to the ride of the shoe could make for a special experience. Additionally, the Nimbus is one of the more easily findable shoes in stores today. To offer an extreme max cushioned option through the Nimbus would be a very big deal, while the Cumulus can continue to provide a classic trainer experience. This would also help shape their lineup further if the Nimbus Lite series continues to improve and act as a perfect inbetween to the Cumulus and a higher stacked, cushioned Nimbus.

WHO THE ASICS GEL NIMBUS 24 FOR

Nathan: The Nimbus 24 is a shoe for a runner who wants a very soft step in feel and softer overall running experience and do well in truly neutral shoes. For runners who know themselves well, this is a shoe to avoid if you are sensitive to posterior heel flares. However, if that isn't an issue, you get one of the softer running experiences in a shoe that can handle daily mileage and gives a hint of versatility.

Bach: The Nimbus 24 is a major step forward for prior Nimbus runners. If you are a diehard Nimbus fan, this will be a big update for you. The shoe is a durable trainer for easy to recovery paces and perfect for neutral new runners who wants a comfortable shoe for easy mileage that can occasionally pick up the pace. This is also a very fine walking and standing shoe (the stable elements that are unstable on the run feel just fine for this purpose) for anyone looking for a running shoe that can be used all day and act as a run commute shoe or pre/post work run.

When it comes to more veteran runners, this becomes a harder decision as there are so many excellent options in the Asics line. For speed work, everything from the EvoRide, the Magic Speed, and even the Cumulus offer more versatile rides. For general everyday runs with versatility for neutral runners, the Novablast is extremely hard to look away from. For stability runners, the Asics GT-2000 10 is surprisingly solid and a wonderful work horse. Flytefoam Blast+ is a great step forward,  but I think seasoned runners will get more value looking deeper into the Asics line for their needs when it comes to the Nimbus 24.

50 mile thoughts: I'm glad I decided to stick it out, because after more time in the shoe and finding the shoe settle, I've come to find much more value out of the Nimbus 24. I think the above remains true as Asics has a deep line of footwear, but for someone who wants a raw daily trainer directly for easy to recovery mileage, this is a capable option. If you are a deep heel striker, I would suggest trying it on first and giving it a few strides if possible to see if that heel flare is comfortable for your mechanics. I feel if you are a diehard Asics fans who wants a simple mileage eater in-between workouts that's well-cushioned and comfortable for running, walking, and all-day use, this is going to be a good pickup. Across brands, there is a lot of competition from Mizuno's Wave Rider, the Saucony Ride and others that can go toe-to-toe with the Nimbus. One advantage of the Nimbus for some may be it's generous width which will accommodate more runners than some of its competitors.


GRADING

Nathan
Fit: (Toe box very comfortable with engineered mesh, tongue irritation with laces were main issue combined with heel lock)
Performance: 
B (I had a hard time grading this one to be honest. Heel construction and gemoetry makes landing problematic for some, and others will also enjoy the functional softness of this shoe.)
Stability: B+ (The top sole in the heel and Trusstic Wedge stabilize a very soft foam to keep it in the truly neutral to slightly stable neutral category)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (With the 3D shaping, top sole in the heel, and Trusstic wedge as well as gender specific shaping, this could have been an A. But the posterior heel flare brings it down...and almost brought it even lower)
Personal:  D+ (I could not find a rhythm with this shoe and I had irritation every run on the top of my foot and in my tibialis anterior/extensor digitorum. Just didn't work for me and hard to rate something well for a personal grade that I had pain running in.)
Overall: B- (The ceiling is high for this shoe, just a few fit and geometry issues that brought it down)
 
Bach (50 mile update):
Fit: B+ (Comfortable step-in and forefoot. Initial break-in took a few runs, but has settled into a highly comfortable trainer.)
Performance:
B+ (Heel flare contributes to a clunky ride from front to back, but once broken in and adapted, an improvement over past Nimbus and a very comfortable daily cruiser with a natural forefoot ride)
Stability: B (Stability elements do work well as the shoe's sole breaks-in over the miles. Good forefoot in particular and a fine lockdown. Somewhat slippery when running over wet leaves and grass though)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Lots of design elements in the Nimbus 24 that we like to see from shaping to trusstic to a top layer that helps balance the new soft foam)
Personal: B+ (I admittedly did not love the shoe the first 25 miles and had different irritations that took time to get through, but the past 25 miles have been a pleasure and I expect to contuine using this as a daily mileage eater moving forward)
Overall: B (For Nimbus fans, no doubt this will be a big step up. The price is somewhat steep, but I do expect the shoe to be plenty durable and full of breezy, easy miles)
 

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TESTER PROFILES:


Nathan Brown PT DPT OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-50 miles per week at a variety of paces from 8:00-9:00 min/mile for recovery runs to 6:45-7:15 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. 

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

Bach Pham is a 140 lb male with PRs of 23 5K, 52 10K. He typically runs between 25-35 miles per week at a variety of paces between 8:30 (tempo) -10:00 (recovery) min/miles. He typically prefers shoes that provide some mild to firm cushioning underfoot that is lightweight and responsive. Currently his goals are to complete the half and marathon distances.

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Running Warehoues and Asics for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com

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