Asics Gel Cumulus 13 First Impressions

Asics changed very little with the Cumulus 13 and those familiar with the shoe will appreciate Asics philosophy of not fixing what isn’t broken. Fewer overlays give the Cumulus 13 a more breathable feel and a “guidance line” was added to aid in transitioning through the foot strike. Overall, this is exactly what you would expect from a shoe that has become an industry standard for great cushioning, durability, and a competitive price.

Asics Gel Cumulus 13 Upper Design

The Cumulus 13 upper features soft and pliable, dual density mesh with a few less overlays than what you have come to expect from an Asics shoe. Every part of this upper feels functional and the fit is sock like around the foot while still providing some wiggle room for those runners with higher volume feet. The tongue and heel collar of the shoe are made of soft moisture wicking mesh which did not rub anywhere. The heel cup of the Cumulus uses memory foam and molds to your heel after a few runs. I didn’t experience any slipping during any runs and the fit of the Cumulus has improved with more wear. A fairly standard lacing system is complemented nicely by thinner than normal oval laces which stayed tied throughout each run without having to double knot them. Kudos to Asics for thinning the now industry standard oval laces down a bit and making them more functional.

Asics Gel Cumulus 13 Midsole

Asics created a very well cushioned shoe in the Cumulus, using Gel units in both the heel and the forefoot which are visible on the shoe. With winter approaching it is important to have a cushioning technology which maintains it’s softness and does not freeze up in cold temperatures. Asics Gel cushioning really keeps it’s properties and doesn’t seem to compress or freeze as other brands do. The Gel is made from a silicone rubber compound which maintains it’s properties down to -55F!

The Gel cushioning is bolstered by Solyte EVA foam cushioning which gives the shoe a molded feel to your foot. The best way to describe the Cumulus cushioning is soft, but firm. Support in the midsole comes by way of a thermal plastic unit in the midfoot which reduces lateral movement and torsion throughout footstrike. Due to this, the Cumulus is not an especially flexible shoe. Asics tried to increase the forefoot flexibility in the Cumulus 13 by deepening the groves in the sole of the forefoot ever so slightly. Still, the Cumulus is not for a runner looking for a minimal, low to the ground, flexible feel. One aspect of this shoe I was quite surprised about was it’s feeling of a great deal of stability. The Cumulus 13 is built on a Strobel last which lends stability and durability to the shoe. A mild overpronator would have no problems in this shoe as the trusstic system in the shoe really provides a good deal of medial support.

The Cumulus has a 12mm heel-toe drop with a midsole which is quite a bit higher than average. Runners who enjoy maximum shock absorption will revel in the Cumulus’ ability to stay responsive for many miles.

Asics Gel Cumulus 13 Outsole

Asics cut down weight using a compartmentalized outsole with is both durable and effective. I remember when the Cumulus weighed nearly 13 ounces and each version of this shoe gets lighter. I was able to run on gravel without picking up rocks and having run over 40 miles in this shoe there is really no wear on the sole. Tough carbon rubber lines the outsole of the shoe.

Asics Gel Cumulus 13 Overall Impression

The bottom line is you can’t go wrong with a shoe like the Asics Cumulus. Great cushioning, fairly lightweight, and an extremely durable ride make it the training shoe of choice for American marathon record holder Ryan Hall, who chooses this model over the higher end Nimbus, Kinsei, or Kayano. If you’re looking for a high mileage trainer that you can get 500 miles out of then look no further. Another great aspects about Asics is that once you find a model you like you can stick with that model for many incarnations because Asics seems to change little from year to year, something which I’ve found most runners find appealing.

Similar Models to the Asics Gel Cumulus 13

We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Cumulus 13 to review. This did not influence our review of the shoes, written after running more than 100 miles in them.