Updated: September 27th, 2011

UPDATE! Review of the Asics Nimbus 13 available!

Asics Gel Nimbus 12

Asics Gel Nimbus 12

Full Name: Asics Gel Nimbus 12
Category: Cushioning
Weight: 11.9 oz. (340 gr.)
Suggested Price: 125$
Recommended For: Neutral to under-pronators, looking for a soft, cushioned ride.
  • Asics Gel Nimbus 12 General Info:

Summer 2010 brings a new update to Asics’ top of the line cushioning shoe, the Gel Nimbus 12. The updates have been focused on improving the cushioning, the stability features and the upper comfort. Good news for women: the Nimbus 12 features gender-specific engineering.

  • Asics Gel Nimbus 12 Sole Unit:

The Asics Nimbus is one of those shoes with a following of loyal runners who update their shoe year after year, model after model. The reason for all these followers has always been the great, soft cushioning provided by the Nimbus. The cushioning is mainly provided by the use of the Gel technology: goblets of Asics’ trademark silicone based Gel have been inserted in the midsole both in the heel and in the forefoot, pretty much as Nike does with the Air inserts. The second feature contributing to the cushioning is the use of Solyte foam for the midsole. This material is very light for the amount of cushioning it provides.

One of the characteristics of the Nimbus 12 is that it merges its cushioning elements to a few guidance/support features. This is important, because a shoe with much cushioning and no support could incentivize an uncorrect gait. The base of the shoe is wider, to provide more stability. The heel is decoupled -a standard solution nowadays on premium running shoes- in order to provide the right amount of shock absorption only where it matters. This is the first of the gender-specific engineered parts of the shoe. The heel is 3mm higher in the women version, to relieve stress on the achille’s.

A very strong element of the Nimbus is the Space Trusstic System (Asics’ name for the transition bridge), the plastic shank that embraces the midsole under the arch and provides torsional stability between the heel and the forefoot, to avoid unnatural twisting of the foot. We see that the Nimbus’ main competitor, the Nike Zoom Vomero, also incorporates a shank: a shoe with so much cushioning needs some stability too. The Asics Trusstic system, though, instead of being on the medial side only takes all the under-arch area of the midsole and it is built of a more solid plastic compound. This element is also specifically engineered for mens and womens in two different versions.

A new feature of the Nimbus 12 is the Guidance Line (a technology earlier found in some walking shoes): a vertical flex groove, extending from heel to toe, that guides the foot during the gait.

  • Asics Gel Nimbus 12 Upper:

The upper of the Nimbus 12 is clearly feature-rich as it’s clear by looking at the shoe, which looks very busy. Starting from the inside, a very well executed detail is the collar and heel lining, filled with memory foam in order to assume the shape of your heel and lock comfortably around the foot. There’s no question, that is a nicely executed detail.

Asics introduced last year their asymmetrical lacing design: instead of being in a straight line in the middle of the foot, the shoelaces are on a curved line that follows the natural shape of the foot bones. Although not equally loved by everybody, this solution to lock the shoe more more snugly around the foot seems to be appreciated by the majority of runners. Asics takes the concept this year one notch further by placing individual eyelids, each one indipendent from the others. We really like this solution, even though it requires many overlays to be placed all around the upper in order to connect those individual eyelids to the midsole.

  • Asics Gel Nimbus 12 Opinion:

With a great amount of soft, plush cushioning, the Asics Gel Nimbus 12 is one of the reference shoes for the cushioning category. We find interesting that so much attention has been put into adding stability elements to the Nimbus: this is a shoe that can be worn by moderate over-pronators, runners that are usually confined to harder, less springy shoes.
The natural rival of the Nimbus is the Nike Vomero. Both shoes deliver probably the softest cushioning in the market; the Nimbus is slightly less bouncy than the Vomero, but adds more stability so to be appealing to a wider range of runners.
Definitely reccomended to Neutral runners, The Asics Gel Nimbus 12 will be a pleasant surprise to moderate over-pronators as well, or to neutral runners whose form deteriorates with the mileage.

  • Asics Gel Nimbus 12 Price Comparison:

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