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ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 Review: Even More of a Blast(+)
By Bach Pham and Matthew Klein

The Cumulus is ASICS long-running daily trainer series, sitting in the same category as shoes like the Saucony Ride and Nike Pegasus. It's the lower-stacked sibling to the now supermax cushioned Nimbus line. Lower stack is a bit of a misnomer though when it comes to Version 25 which now features a healthy stack of Flytefoam Blast+, a premium ASICS midsole that offers a very soft underfoot feeling. It also features their new Pure Gel technology in the heel for rearfoot cushioning. In this review, we explore how that big update changes the new Cumulus as both a running and walking shoe.

ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9 oz, 255 g (men's size 9), 8.1 oz, 229 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 37.5mm / 29.5mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Neutral Daily Trainer


Matt: The ASICS Cumulus 25 is a higher stack, softer and lighter daily training shoe. A complete overhaul from the Cumulus 24, the stack height increases to a maximal level and the weight drops to almost that of a lightweight trainer. The full-length Flytefoam Blast+ and PureGel heel provide plenty of cushioning underfoot while a soft upper provides a surprising amount of room throughout the length of the shoe. A brand new shoe, the ASICS Cumulus 25 is another example of the company progressing forward and re-imagining its entire footwear line. 

Bach: The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 is a moderately high-stacked daily trainer meant for racking up mileage. It features a soft Flytefoam Blast+ midsole with a small wedge of PureGel embedded in the heel. It feels very light on foot for how tall and wide it is, making it a versatile option that can certainly do some mild uptempo training if you want a do-it-all shoe.

: Saucony Ride 16, Asics Nimbus Lite 3, Hoka Clifton 9


Matt: The ASICS Cumulus 25 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. It fits normally to slightly wider throughout the length of shoe but is still decently secure. The toebox tapers initially, then begins to open the more it breaks in. The forefoot is slightly wider, partially thanks to the stretchiness of the mesh. The volume is normal to slightly lower in the forefoot, but this is not really noticeable again thanks to the stretch of the upper. The midfoot is normal in width and secure. The normal thickness tongue is well gusseted, wrapping the foot and securing things well. The heel is normal in width with moderate heel collar cushioning. There is a mildly flexible heel counter that did not bother me thanks to the additional padding in the upper. Those sensitive should approach with some caution though. The security of the upper is good and I did not have to lace lock the shoe. The upper is on the thicker and warm side. While I have not had any hotspots, my feet have started to sweat during hotter temperatures here in California. Thus, thin/breathable socks will work best with this upper. 

Bach: The Cumulus 25 fits true to size for me. It wrapped my standard foot well and felt comfortable from heel-to-toe. There's a good amount of room in the toebox, and the heel does a good job of locking the foot in. There is a little bit of extra width around the midfoot as well. There is a lot of material in the upper, with a big padded tongue, padded heel, and foam all over aimed at providing comfort. While comfortable, this comfort also comes with some warmth. On hotter days, I did feel the shoe run warmer. I didn't get hotspots, but I did feel that the shoe was warm in general and would recommend the thinnest of socks for this shoe. It did feel cozy for colder days though.


Matt: The ASICS Cumulus 25 is a higher stack height, highly cushioned, soft riding daily training shoe. The update features full-length Flytefoam Blast+ with a PureGel insert in the heel. The ride started firmer than expected (like the Nimbus 25) but then softened quickly with additional miles. The heel transition was fairly clunky at first given the general flared sole but the significant lateral flare. Over additional miles (~20), this collapses fairly well and things have smooth out a bit more. The midfoot and forefoot transitions are solid. There is no plate, but the forefoot is slightly stiff. This is offset but a large forefoot rocker with a moderate amount of toe spring. The heel transition is a little clunky (and improves) but the forefoot is smooth and gets out of the way of your run. The midsole is highly cushioned and softer. This makes this shoe best for easy and recovery runs despite the 9 oz weight (men's size 9).

I have done a few light workouts in this shoe and while it can do it, the foam feels better on easier and longer efforts. Long runs are especially good in these given the softer and more protective ride. While this shoe is meant as a training shoe, those who use training shoes for races may enjoy the combination of lighter weight and cushioning in this model over longer race distances. Use wise this shoe is best for roads. While there are solid patches of rubber on the outsole, the exposed Flytefoam Blast+ does seem to be wearing quickly. I am not seeing much wear in my usual spot (posterior lateral heel) after 35 miles, so I do see this shoe last an above-average number of miles as long as you keep them on smooth surfaces like roads. 

Bach: There are a lot of big changes in the Cumulus 25 with the biggest being the huge slab of Flytefoam Blast+ in the midsole. I have to admit that during my first runs, I did not love the shoe. The sensation then reminded me most of the Mizuno Wave Sky 6. It starts soft on landing with the foot sinking into the soft insole and Blast+ foam, then quickly shifts quickly to a firmer-soft. I found it really hard to get into my easy pace rhythm as I kept trying to find a sweet spot. Over a few runs though, the foam settled and I found the shoe to be much more comfortable and consistent throughout, providing a moderately soft and swift ride and allowing me to do my normal training. I would recommend wearing the shoe for daily a couple of days to help break it in a touch.

Once the foam settled, I found the shoe to be a nimble, smooth ride through the mid-to-forefoot. The shoe does a nice job of rolling through the forefoot quickly and the Flytefoam Blast+ is a pleasure. The rearfoot is a touch clunky and could use a lateral heel bevel to smoothen the ride out, but in general the shoe does a solid job on the run. When I'm picking up the pace, it is responsive and just light enough to move decently well at a slightly uptempo speed. There's also plenty of cushion for longer efforts, especially for those who don't want a max stack height, but a little more softness than say a Nike Pegasus underfoot. The outsole is smooth, which further helps with a clean ride. It handled wet roads just fine (not spectacular, but I did not slip either).

From a walking and everyday use perspective, the Cumulus 25 is fairly comfortable and the insole feels soft and plush for standing. I have a preference towards slightly firmer walking shoes like the Hoka Transport, but anyone who wants a softer sole will enjoy what the Cumulus has to offer. The one issue goes back to the upper and its warmth though. If you tend to run warm already, you may not enjoy the Cumulus all day. If you are working in a colder environment though, definitely put this on the shortlist as a nice option.


Matt: The ASICS Cumulus 25 has several stable components but is still a neutral shoe. The sole is quite wide throughout the length of the shoe, there is quite a bit of sole flare at the heel and forefoot and there are tall sidewalls on the medial and lateral sides of the heel. These help balance out the softer ride of the shoe and help it sit on the side of stable neutral. The centered heel bevel and extra lateral flare do push a bit more medial at heel contact, but as mentioned this breaks in and smooths out after several miles. So while not a fully stable neutral shoe, it is close enough that those with mild stability needs will do find, but those with greater needs may need to keep mileage shorter.

Bach: There are a lot of hallmarks of stable elements in the Cumulus 25. There's a generous amount of sole flare, especially laterally, and good width underneath throughout. The two areas I hesitate is just how soft it feels underfoot and the rear of the shoe being a bit on the clumsy side. I think the good stable elements help balance out the softer elements to create a neutral shoe that slightly veers stable neutral, but is missing one or two components that would really put this over the edge. If you found shoes like the Novablast or Endorphin Speed or Nike Invincible or even Asics Nimbus 24 or 25 comfortable, you'll likely have no issues here. If you did have trouble with any of those, or similarly soft shoes then you may find the Cumulus to not be your cup of tea.

I had no issues with the shoe from a flat feet perspective.

Thoughts as a DPT: Lateral Heel Flare and Softer Soles
By Matthew Klein

We frequently comment on the placement and design of heel bevels as >70% of the population lands there. Most people land at the posterior lateral aspect during their initial contact, so footwear should help facilitate motion forward from this point. Lateral heel flare is the extension of the midsole laterally beyond where the foot sits. Sole flare is becoming more common as a way to create inherent stability. Medial flare of the sole will resist (but not stop) foot motion medially and lateral sole flare will resist foot motion laterally. The challenge with lateral sole flare at the heel is that most people land there and a lateral flare placed incorrectly will cause an early initial contact. This has been shown to increase vertical impact peaks and may increase the velocity of motion inward after contact (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988; Nigg & Morlock, 1987). Thus, having an appropriately rounded heel and not just a centered bevel would make more sense to appropriately facilitate (not force) motion forward. However, this original research found this to be mostly true with firmer midsole shoes and not softer ones (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988).

Shoes like the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 may be able to get away with this as long as the foam has broken in and adequately compresses at initial contact. This is why I suspect the ride has improved at the heel for me with additional miles allowing the foam to compress more. That said, based on normal gait biomechanics, I would still suggest most shoes have a slightly lateral heel bevel or just think about rounding the posterior lateral edge of the heel. This does not have to be extreme as facilitating motion too far lateral is also not great for the majority of the population. However, knowing that the majority of runners lands there suggests that if shoes are to facilitate human motion, it may be helpful to design shoes better to accommodate that. 


Nigg, B. M., & Bahlsen, H. A. (1988). Influence of heel flare and midsole construction on pronation supination and impact forces for heel-toe running. Journal of Applied Biomechanics4(3), 205-219.

Nigg, B. M., & Morlock, M. (1987). The influence of lateral heel flare of running shoes on pronation and impact forces. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise19(3), 294-302.


Matt: My major recommendations are to add a lateral heel bevel and to consider reducing the density of the upper. While the softer foam does compress well under the lateral side when the shoe breaks in, the amount of lateral flare is deserving of a bevel that facilitates motion through where most people land. It should not be too extreme as the softer foam will accentuate any extreme bias, but a little shift medial in the bevel direction would be helpful. The upper is thicker and warmer than it potentially needs to be. It is really comfortable, but I would like to see a slight density drop, which might also take this below 9 oz into the lightweight trainer category where I think it can truly be. 

Bach: My main recommendation is to swap the centralized heel bevel for a lateral heel bevel. The Cumulus has always had a bit of a clunky heel. I understand that it's worked for a long time for many, but it would be the best change for smoothening out the heel transition.

The upper is a lot here and could also use a significant reduction. The Asics Nimbus 24 comes to mind as one that paired down things well and I think the Cumulus 25 could take some cues from there. In general, streamlining it to open up breathability would be a good step.


Matt: The ASICS Cumulus 25 is for those who want a comfortable normal fitting upper with a softer, wider, more maximal platform in a lighter daily training shoe. This is a completely different shoe from the Cumulus 24 becoming a softer, smoother, taller and lighter riding model. The upper is a little thicker, remaining comfortable but a little warm. The midsole is softer and lighter, making for an excellent mileage and recovery day shoe that can still pick up the pace a bit.

While the stack heights are different between the two models, I am a bit confused as to this shoe's place compared to the new Nimbus. While the Nimbus 25 has a taller stack height, the foam is firmer than the Cumulus, which rides softer. Perhaps this is more a comment on the Nimbus 25 needing its FF Blast+ to be similar to the Cumulus (the foams look different, but that is probably due to paint). Regardless on others ASICS models, the Cumulus is an excellent progression to ASICS's standard daily training shoe. It reminds me most of the Saucony Ride 16 given the lighter weight, but provides cushioning far above its listed mass. Daily training shoe are continuing to trend lighter while staying cushioned (some even increasing), which is absolutely fine by me.

For me, once the Cumulus broke in after a few runs (similar to my experience in the Nimbus 24), but after a few runs I found it to be a comfortable, reliable daily trainer. The additions to stability via width are welcome and helps balance out the major foam update in this edition. For someone looking for a shoe with a little bit more stack height that still feels somewhat traditional, but also not a maximal cushion shoe, the Cumulus hits that sweet spot. It has a solid amount of versatility that many runners, both new and old will enjoy.

This is an easy pairing with any performance trainer or super shoe for harder efforts. I think there's too much overlap with the Nimbus 25 to have both, as they fit similar goals (though the Cumulus is more versatile). Competitively, this certainly is in the vein of the Nike Pegasus, Saucony Ride, Hoka Clifton, New Balance 880 and others in that traditional trainer space. I would say the Cumulus is the softest and most cushioned of the bunch. If you want something that is the most stable, the Ride and Clifton are slightly more stable than the Cumulus, and if you want something a little firmer than the Pegasus is your best option. If breathability is important to you, then the 880, Ride, and Pegasus are better options. The Cumulus slots well in the mix though with its combination of softness and comfort.

The Cumulus 25 as a whole is a welcome departure from past versions and a move in the right direction as Asics continue to advance their foams and designs in all of their running models forward into the future.


Fit: B+/A- (Comfortable, normal to slightly wider fitting upper. Thicker and warmer mesh)
A- (Highly cushioned and lighter ride. Smooth transition off the front with slightly clunky heel transition that breaks in.)
Stability: B+/A- [Borderline Stable Neutral] (Wider platform with solid heel sidewalls that offsets softer ride)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+/A- (High-quality shoe with low weight and high level of cushioning. Still needs slightly lateral heel bevel at higher stack height)
Personal: A- (One of my top choices for easy runs where I don't want a super foam and just want to get my miles in. Heel a little more clunky than I would like, but continuing to improve as the shoe breaks in)
Overall: A-/B+

Fit: B/B+ (In general a quality fit throughout, just a lot of material)
A- (Over the miles, the Cumulus as a whole is a solid, mildly soft, versatile trainer)
Stability: B (Some good design elements help balance this softer ride, but some older Cumulus elements keep it from being totally stable)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Putting a high end midsole into their everyday pilot is a big step forward)
Personal: B+ (I found the shoe to improve more and more with each testing run and grew to enjoy the shoe. The warmth is a problem for me personally where i live, but otherwise find the Cumulus to be a compelling training option)
Overall: B+


Shop: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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***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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