The Nimbus has been the flagship high-mileage trainer for the company for years, and is typically described as an ultra cushioned trainer.
However, over the years ASICS has redesigned and changed different aspects of the shoe. This time around, the updates seemed to have detracted from what was one of the best high-mileage trainers on the market.
Asics Gel Nimbus 19 General Info
The Nimbus 19 is the flagship neutral trainer for ASICS. This model replaces the popular Nimbus 18. This model competes against the Nike Zoom Vomero, Adidas Energy Boost 3, Saucony Freedom, Mizuno Wave Creation and Brooks Glycerin.
All of these shoes advertise ultra or plush cushion, however some hit the mark a little more than others.
When I first received these shoes, I was impressed by the navy blue and neon green colorway.
They are very eye catching, and actually keep fairly clean throughout my testing. When I first put them on for my all-day test, they were supremely comfortable and worked very well for an everyday wearing shoe.
On my first run, I thought they were decently balanced and didn’t seem to weigh nearly as much on my feet as I thought they would.
Asics Gel Nimbus 19 Sole Unit
The sole unit is completely new, as ASICS is rolling out their new cushion system of FLYTEFOAM in the midsole. The company advertises that the combination of the old Gel system and the FLYTEFOAM will lower the weight and keep the ultra level cushioning.
This new combination does make the shoe feel lighter — however based off a weighing it didn’t actually lower the weight by much (13.2 oz for a size 13).
The shoes still have a high cushion feel to them. And the sole unit has a definite “spring” to them as you transition through your stride.
They have an aggressive upturn to the toe-off area and have a very fluid feeling during your entire stride. I noticed this especially while pushing the tempo. The sole unit really responded during tempo and speed work.
While making a comparison to other high-cushion trainers, I would say these fall a little flat. In my experiences over the past year, the Brooks Ghosts (midlevel cushion) and Glycerin (high cushion) both had more cushioned feel than the Nimbus.
Asics Gel Nimbus 19 Upper Info
The upper has been redesigned to be almost completely seamless. The knit fabric of the upper results in a very breathable, and soft feeling upper.
The laces work well and keep the shoes tight while not constricting. The tongue is well cushioned and still breathable.
However, with how breathable it is, the upper also is lets a decent amount of water in during runs in rainy conditions.
The biggest issue with the upper is in the fit. Although it fits true to size in length, the actual fit of the upper is disappointing.
The upper feels good in the heel, where it has a well built cup. Through the midfoot, it keeps cradling the foot and feels good throughout your run.
However, the tightness of the midfoot never splays out into a wide toe box. Instead, the toe box keeps the feeling of tightness — one that I usually associate with racing flats and speed shoes. This tightness of the toe box made for uncomfortable long runs.
Asics Gel Nimbus 19 Conclusions
The Nimbus is a flagship trainer. But this model is disappointing when compared to previous models. The cushion was lacking and the fit was subpar.
As an overall shoe, this is still a good trainer. It holds up well — over 100 miles on mine and they still look and feel like they did on the first day — and was a good option for higher cushion for tempo or speed work. There is after all a reason I’m still giving the shoe a 6 out of 10.
The biggest issue is when I compare it to the last version of the Nimbus in which I ran — the Nimbus 16. The 16s had a wider feel in the toe box and seemed to have a higher level of cushion.
Yes, I remember them feeling heavier on my feet, but when spending the money on a pair of high cushioned trainers like these, I don’t mind the extra weight.
The other aspect that dropped the rating is just what this shoe could have been. The materials and workmanship is top notch. The durability is unquestioned.
The traction is well above average. All the small details seem to be there. Which makes the major letdowns even that much more apparent.
I truly hope that ASICS sees the errors the committed in this shoe — specifically the toe box — and corrects them for the 20s.
Because if they don’t, then they may see a large drop off in loyal runners. People likely willing to switch to something that will offer higher cushion feel and a more comfort.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Gel Nimbus 19 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.