Asics Cumulus 16 General Info:
The Cumulus is Asics most popular neutral cushioned trainer and returns with a 16th version. The 16 comes a full 1oz lighter than the 15 and is more gender specific a feature that was previously limited only to the nimbus.
Fluid ride technology has been added to enhance to softness of the shoe. Additional forefoot and rearfoot gel systems have been increased for improved shock absorption.
Asics Cumulus 16 First Impression:
I received my pair in a black and flashy yellow color way which is the most eye catching of the three offered. The shoes remind me of something that might come out of a transformers movie, but I guess flashy is in that and my 7 year old thought that they were cool so Asics must be doing something right.
Once on I thought that the shoes felt heavier than I had anticipated which surprised me since they are a full ounce lighter than before, but this is my first experience with the Cumulus so I have no real basis of comparison. I also felt that the toe of the shoe was narrow and stiff.
Asics Cumulus 16 Sole Unit:
I think that any runner that has put themselves in the cumulus has come to expect a shoe with plenty of cushioning. With the 16 Asics has taken it up a notch by using its FliudRide compound that is crossed over from the Nimbus series. This compound is slightly more cushioned and resilient and 15% lighter than previous midsole foams used.
Another new highlight to the 16 is the addition of larger GEL cushioning units to the rearfoot and forefoot. There is clearly a visual difference here from the 15. When I put the Cumulus in a side by side comparison withthe Nimbus the Nimbus is still definitely more substantial.
Does it mean that this new version is lacking? On the contrary, I found the 16 to have plenty of gel in the right impact areas. The gel along with the FluidRide midsole gave the shoe a very soft and spongy feel on impact.
Little has changed in terms of the outsole of the Cumulus 16 from the 15. The size and positioning of the flex grooves and the heel-to-toe guidance all remain as they were. The only change that seems to have been made is a subtle alteration to the truss system on the lateral side of the shoe, but the reasoning for It I really can’t say.
I found the overall ride fairly smooth and well cushioned, but did think that that the forefoot seemed a little stiff.
Asics Cumulus 16 Upper:
The upper material of the 16 is thin and light and takes on a more uniform mesh than the 15. A web of both welded and stitched on overlays give the shoe a good structure without creating any pressure points or areas of discomfort.
The overlays have taken on a slightly different structure that the 15, this may have been done to combat issues with premature wear in the toe area that plagued the 15.
The Saddle of the shoe remains fairly intact from the 15 and provided a nice step in feel that hugged my foot securely and comfortably.
The only drawback that I had with the upper was that I found it to run about a ½ size small. While the width and depth of toe box was ok it was just a little too short.
Asics Cumulus 16 Opinion:
The Cumulus 16 continues to be what you would expect of a neutral durable high mileage trainer. The changes to midsole clearly make the shoe a great choice for the neutral runner that needs a touch more cushioning.
There are certainly other shoes to choose from in the neutral category that come in lighter than the Cumulus, but the touch of additional support and cushioning might be worth the hint of added weight to some runners.
We thank the nice people at Asics for sending us a pair of Cumulus 16 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.