Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Asics Gel Cumulus 24 Review:
By Chief Editor Matt Klein and Senior Taco Legend David Salas

The Asics Cumulus series has been a consistent and predictable shoe for a long time. A straightforward, dependable and boring daily trainer, it has always been in the shadow of other more premium shoes like the Nimbus or even the Kayano. The Cumulus 24 completely changes that with a complete overhaul that looks similar but runs completely different. A new upper and the integration of FF Blast completely changes the ride in a way that may make you excited to go on easy training runs.

Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.1 oz, 286g (men's size 9), 8.8oz, 249g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: M: 24 mm / 16 mm; W: 23 mm / 15 mm 
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Neutral Daily Trainer


Matt: The Asics Gel Cumulus 24 is a reliable and comfortable daily trainer for those with normal to narrow feet and who want a softer ride. A new FF Blast midsole provides a softer and bouncier feel underfoot. A breathable and comfortable upper sits up top providing security through a slightly snug but stretchy fit. Add in gender-specific cushioning and an eco-friendly upper, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 24 is definitely a new age daily trainer. 

David: The ASICS Gel Cumulus 24 is a traditional neutral trainer that brings together some new generation advancements. The ride is plush and neutral throughout and rides with great flexibility through the forefoot. The upper is a little bit thicker than previous models but does feel a little more premium and has a good hold throughout. The result is a soft and flexible riding daily trainer that will favor those who like that type of ride.

"The Cumulus 24 in some ways is like a traditionally constructed Novablast."


Matt: The Asics Gel-Cumulus 24 fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The fit is normal to snug throughout the length of the shoe. The heel collar is highly cushioned and I did notice the heel counter. The counter is slightly flexible and combined with the additional cushioning in the back provides a secure fit. I did not have to lace lock the shoe. However, I did notice that when I landed the front of the heel tends to push outwards on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. This created a bit more room in the heel but did not affect me while running. The tongue is gusseted and slightly thick. I did not have to tie the laces that tight as the snugger midfoot already locked my foot in well. The Asics logo further provides reinforcements on both sides of the midfoot, securing the foot further. Even while turning I had no translation issues as the entire length of the upper locks the foot down well on the platform. The forefoot tapers more into a more snug fit than the rest of the shoe. The mesh upper does stretch, providing a closer sock-like fit. While the inner mesh is comfortable, there are some mild reinforcements at the forefoot that rub a bit. For that reason, I would suggest wearing socks with this shoe. Overall, the fit is slightly snugger in the Asics Gel-Cumulus 24, providing comfort and security for those with normal to narrow feet.

David: The ASICS Gel Cumulus 24 fits me true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The dimensions throughout are dialed in well. The heel is normal width, midfoot normal, and forefoot and toe box normal to perhaps slightly wide. The upper itself is pretty plush throughout and the shoe can feel a tad snug because of that, but it feels more like a comfortable hold rather than genuinely being snug. There is a rigid heel counter present, but it is highly padded throughout and produced no irritation for me. The Tongue is also padded well and I could lock down the shoe well with no problems. The overall fit was very good and the hold of the upper was solid without having too much stretch or restriction. I did not need to heel lock this model either. 


Matt: The Asics Gel-Cumulus 24 is a softer but flexible daily training shoe. The new FF Blast midsole provides a large amount of soft and bouncy cushioning throughout the length of the sole. There is a posterior heel flare, but thanks to how much the sole gives, it is less noticeable. I still find myself scuffing my heels when my stride shortens, but the heel transition is surprisingly smooth. The midfoot transition is comfortable and easy, with no additional stiffness. The forefoot is especially flexible with the softer foam being compliant and the large number of flex grooves providing a great deal of bend. Those who like a flexible forefoot and have adequate mobility in their toes may enjoy this shoe. There is a 8 mm heel drop, but this feels lower due to the compression of the foam. The traction is solid on road and running on wet pavement has been fine. I have only used this shoe briefly on trails and it does fine on non-technical, dirt trails. The durability has been quite good for such a softer shoe. I only have a little of my normal abrasion on the posterior lateral heel on my left foot after 35 miles. Thus I expect a fairly normal number of miles out of this daily trainer. Performance-wise, the Cumulus 24 works best for daily training miles, easy runs and mild uptempo work. The softer foam works well for easy days and higher mileage as it feels quite comfortable underfoot. The foam has some responsiveness and can handle lighter workouts like fartleks and uptempo runs. However, the 10.1 oz weight makes it better for daily training, while others like the Metaspeed series would be a great pairing for faster runs. 

David: The Gel Cumulus 24 definitely took some getting used to for me. The shoe rides in some ways like a traditional neutral trainer, and wildly different in others. In the past the Cumulus midsole has been somewhat firm but protective, though with the new FlyteFoam Blast midsole update the ride is very soft. The stack height is only 24mm in the heel but it feels almost like its 32+ due to the cushioning. One interesting combination with this shoe is the increased flexibility through the forefoot. For the cushioning this shoe is very flexible through the forefoot and midfoot. This combination took some adjusting for me because the stability demands were raised for my legs for a little bit. The intrinsic musculature of my foot and ankle had to work a little harder and I noticed my toes had to move through greater range of motion. Once I adjusted the shoe rode well at easy paces. The Cumulus 24 in some ways is like a traditionally constructed Novablast. The ride is very soft with a lot of flexibility. Some of the bounce of the foam is lost with the forefoot flexibility, but those that like a natural roll off of the forefoot will like this shoe. Overall, the shoe certainly rides like a traditional neutral training shoe with new generation cushioning and a lot of flexibility. 


Matt: The Asics Gel-Cumulus 24 is a neutral shoe. There is a mild guidance line in the outsole that runs laterally and there is an extra piece of outsole rubber on the medial side of the midfoot. The overall sole design does make the Cumulus 24 more inherently stable than a shoe like the Novablast, especially with the comparatively wider last and greater outsole contact. However, this is a neutral shoe and should work for those who are either sensitive to stability measures or do not need additional measures and just want a softer, solid riding training shoe.  

David: I had a hard time with stability in the Cumulus initially. The softer and flexible platform gave me a hard time and took some getting used to. Once I adjusted, things started coming together a little more. Some things the Cumulus does well is having a great upper that locks down well to the platform and makes you feel very secure. Another thing is that the platform underfoot is somewhat wide and provides a good amount of cross sectional area to land on and pivot from. The foam and flexibility however do increase the stability demands quite a bit. I found that I could feel my foot intrinsics really working hard once I would run beyond about 6 miles in the Cumulus. For having such a soft and flexible platform the stability is pretty decent though. 


The Power of Proprioception, by David Salas
One thing that is often overlooked in the footwear world is proprioception. Proprioception is what PT's and other movement professionals refer to as your body's awareness of its location in space. This is processed through the integration of several systems, including your visual system (eyes), vestibular system (inner ear) and somatosensory system (nerves/receptors in joints and other tissues). Each of the systems work together, but can also compensate for each other when one is compromised. A perfect example of this would be balancing with your eyes closed. When your vision is taken away, you are forced to rely on your sensation of the ground (somatosensory) and your own adjustments based on these feelings. The sensitivity you feel and the corrections you make are in response to this proprioceptive input coming from your foot/ankle/knee/hip joints. This may be a static way of looking at proprioception, but the same thing happens when you are running. Often times you are in positions where you are having to make quick decisions and you are not exactly thinking about your feet actively.

Your brain essentially creates shortcuts and feedback loops to help augment the running process so you can focus on bigger things. Just like closing your eyes can affect proprioceptive input, so can shoes. When we look at shoes, those with high stack and softer platforms create a higher need for your foot to adjust due to reduced somatosensory input (in most situations). With the introduction of FlyteFoam Blast into the Cumulus, the moderate stack height foam compresses well enough to still get some ground feel, especially in the forefoot. Additionally, the platform is still soft and flexible enough that it requires good intrinsic stability to control. Those with impaired sensation will need to consider these factors when selecting footwear. It may be beneficial from a protective standpoint to have a softer higher stack shoe. However, those on unstable terrain or having extra motion may benefit from more proprioceptive input to help them adjust and activate muscles at the right time.  This is an important consideration to provide the most confidence when selecting footwear for both walking and running.


Matt: The Asics Gel-Cumulus 24 is a massive upgrade from previous versions. The new FF Blast foam makes the ride far smoother and more fun. However, I would still encourage Asics to consider beveling the heel a bit more. The recent ASICS shoes have done a much better job of this, especially in other shoes like the Novablast and their racing shoes. While the ride is smooth thanks to the softer foam and the 3D Space construction providing compression in the right areas, the posterior flare does cause an early initial contact. I would suggest just adding a slightly larger bevel heel and that may smooth the ride out even more for heel strikers. 

David: I really liked the upper of the Cumulus and wanted to love the ride equally. The foam itself feels great but the contrast between how soft and flexible the shoe is seems to be a little too much for me. I think the shoe could actually benefit having just a little less flexibility through the midfoot and the forefoot by filling in the outsole or lessening the depth of the flex grooves. Otherwise a really solid shoe.


Matt: The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24 is a soft, neutral training shoe for those with normal to snug feet looking for a bouncy shoe for daily miles. For those that like the Novablast but found them not stable enough, the Gel-Cumulus 24 serves as a more inherently stable, but neutral alternative. The upper fits are comfortable for those with normal to narrow feet, although the forefoot mesh will stretch. The posterior flare is less noticeable thanks to the soft midsole, making for a soft but flexible ride when combined with the extensive mobility at the forefoot. A soft and flexible shoe for daily miles, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24 receives an upgrade in line with current footwear, taking it from being boring to a fun consistent shoe for daily miles.

David: The ASICS Gel Cumulus 24 is a neutral daily trainer for someone looking to have a very soft and plush ride that is coupled with a lot of sole flexibility through the forefoot and midfoot. The shoe runs very much like a traditional neutral training shoe but incorporates new generation cushioning and softness. The flexibility up front was a lot for me but for those that like having a lot of it will respond well. The new Cumulus is a good daily trainer with solid cushioning underfoot.


Fit: A- (Comfortable, normal to slightly snug fit. Solid security with a high amount of heel collar cushioning)
A-/B+ (Soft and flexible ride for daily training. Slight posterior flare could be smoothed out)
Stability: B (Neutral shoe with mild inherent techniques including normal width last, medial outsole pod and slight guideline)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Great placement of medial outsole pod in midfoot. Posterior heel flare needs greater bevel)
Personal: B+/A- (A fun, bouncy, neutral trainer. Great for moderate distance miles, although not stable enough for me for longer miles)
Overall: B+/A- (A great, softer, reliable daily trainer for easy and daily miles)

Fit: (One of my favorite uppers of the year. Good dimensions, plush but still breathable and lightweight, good dimensions)
B (It's almost all there. Good forgiving construction, great midsole and upper integration. Good traction. But a little too much forefoot flexibility contrasting with the foam for me.)
Stability: B (Great upper, good traction, good platform, but a little too much flexibility throughout the sole which contrasts with the stability and ride of the shoe for me)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (I love seeing the new integration of midsole in the daily training line up. They did a great job with integrating some subtle stability elements, though missed the mark with the flexibility for me.)
Personal: B (A well done neutral daily trainer. The upper, midsole, and traction are all good but just a little too flexible through the midfoot and forefoot for me, stability demands higher than I'd like.)
Overall: B+ (A solid neutral daily trainer that combines new generation cushioning and a traditional balanced ride. The shoe is very flexible up front and through the midfoot so once must have good intrinsic stability and range of motion.)


Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse

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Matthew Klein, PT DPT PhD(c) OCS FAAOMPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything. 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, 

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 ASICS USA 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 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.

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