Asics Gel Nimbus 14 General info

The Gel Nimbus has been Asics’s premium neutral trainer for fourteen iterations. This is my first experience running significant mileage in the Gel Nimbus, and I’m excited to see what longtime fans have known for years now.

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 First impression

An immediate observation is the asymmetrical lacing system has been taken out. As I said above, this is my first experience with the Nimbus, so I cannot say if removing the asymmetrical lacing affects the fit.

What I do notice is the generous amounts of foam throughout the upper, and I can tell you that it gives the Nimbus a luxurious feel. The only drawback might be the weight all this luxury adds to the shoe (11 oz.). But if you are not looking for a performance trainer, and instead appreciate a little pampering from your shoe, the Nimbus delivers.

The forefoot of the Nimbus 14 flexes very well for such a big shoe. Side-to-side, it somewhat rigid. The Nimbus also has a very firm heel counter. Usually, a shoe that is torsionally rigid with a firm heel counter will provide some stability through the gait cycle. However, in this case, the flexible forefoot makes me think otherwise—I guess we’ll have to wait to see how it performs on the run!

The Nimbus 14 fits true to size. It has a roomy toe box, and then narrows through the midfoot. I felt my foot was securely locked down without feeling strangled, but runners with a wide foot may feel a tighter squeeze through the midfoot. The firm heel counter also secured my heel, and I did not experience any slipping.

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Sole unit

Asics is of course known for its patented Gel cushioning system. And the Nimbus has plenty of it throughout the midsole. With this generous amount of Gel, there is no mistake: the Nimbus is a premium cushioned trainer. Couple that Gel with the well-padded upper and it may not get any more plush than the Nimbus 14. I will say the Gel has a very soft, almost mushy, feel, which may take a little getting used to.

Just because the Nimbus is loaded with premium cushion does not mean it is has stiff ride. One of the reasons I did not enjoy the Nike Zoom Vomero 7 was that cushioning came at the cost of an overly stiff ride. Not so with the Nimbus. Deep flex grooves in the forefoot contribute to a surprisingly smooth and easy transition. Asics also puts a groove running the entire length of the outsole, called the Guidance Line, which may add to the shoe’s transition. An easy transition makes the Nimbus a versatile trainer, good for everyday use, since you won’t feel like you have to battle with the shoe.

Asics adds a plastic shank to support the midfoot, which gives the Nimbus that torsional rigidity I described above. However, I recommend the Nimbus 14 for neutral runners. Though the shoe does not twist and turn very much, it sits on a narrow platform. Because it is narrow, the Nimbus is less stable side-to-side. Add a fairly flexible forefoot, and the Nimbus 14 is not all that stable, especially not for an overpronator.

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Upper

There is nothing groundbreaking about the upper construction on the Nimbus 14. It just does well all the traditional methods of creating a comfortable upper. A padded ankle collar, breathable mesh, discrete eyelets—all of these features produce an extremely comfortable fit.

Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Opinion

The Nimbus 14 is a great shoe for any runner wanting to maximize the amount of soft cushion in their trainer. Whether that be Clydesdales, supinators, high mileage runners, runners needing a long run or recovery run shoe, or any runner interested in a well-cushioned everyday trainer. It is also the ideal choice for runners who appreciate a soft feeling shoe.

On the other hand, Runners looking for more performance in their shoe might find the Nimbus too soft and heavy for their purposes. Indeed, the Nimbus 14 is a shoe that definitely puts luxury first.

We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel Nimbus 14 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.