I’ve recently been testing a bunch of Asics shoes like the Dynaflyte, Noosa FF2, and Gel Nimbus shoes. All of them have been strong performers, and most have had some sort of gel system to reduce shock in them.
This makes Asics a pretty qualified company to make comfortable shoes, so a name like “Cumulus” that evokes the thought of standing on clouds should be darn comfortable.
Check out the Sole Section of this review for my full verdict, but these shoes mostly stand up to that.
Asics made these shoes with a 23mm heel and 13mm forefoot, which makes a strong 10mm drop. The total weight is 10.05 ounces, so expect these to feel like a standard weighted running shoe.
Other shoes in this category with similar drops, weight, price, are the Asics Dynaflyte 2s with an 8mm drop, 9.2 oz weight, and slightly higher price for a lighter ride with similar cushioning.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 with a 10mm drop, 10 oz weight and a similar price with a more flexible heel, and the Adidas Energy Boost 3 with a 10mm drop, 11 oz weight, and a higher price for more cushioning but with some fitting quirks.
Asics Gel Cumulus 20 General Info
Asics has had the Cumulus line for quite some time. The’ve iterated through 19 different designs, trying to keep the core goal of a comfortable shoe while gradually changing a few aspects of the shoe each iteration hoping to improve it a little each time.
The Cumulus 20 is a little lighter at 10.05 ounces versus the 11.03 ounce weight of the predecessor. Both the 19 and the 20 share the same forefoot and heel stacks, resulting in the same 10mm drop.
The sole designs are different, however, where the Cumulus 20 adds a little more rubber under the midfoot and rearranged the forefoot pattern.
The foam midsole is also completely redesigned with different Gel placement, removal of the midfoot stability plate, and addition of FltyteFoam.
My first impression putting these shoes on was that they were pretty comfortable, but had a stiffness to them that seemed to cater towards heel strikers and not midfoot or forefoot strikers.
The cushioning was there for you, but not the wispy “Cumulus” feeling from a cloud that you might be looking for. If you want ultra cushioning and don’t mind sacrificing some running efficiency, go for the Asics Gel Nimbus shoes.
The Cumulus 20s and I got to know eachother better over the next 50 miles of my training where I learned more about the sole and upper.
Asics Gel Cumulus 20 Sole Unit
The newest tech in the shoe is Asics’ Flyte Foam. This foam is lighter and absorbs more shock when compared to standard EVA foam, due to “organic super fibers” that Asics says they put in the foam.
Some research later and I came up empty handed with what this super fibers are. It’s no TPU foam like Adidas, Saucony and New Balance are all making since that type of foam is scientifically awesome (check out the Adidas Ultra Boost review or the Saucony Freedom Iso review to learn more), but it’s still light and reliable.
Adding to the mix of shoe sole tech are Asics’ rear and forefoot GEL cushioning system patches that are set up in areas that experience high amounts of shock.
The idea is that the shock of a strong impact will be evened out by the gel patches better than foam, reducing stresses on your feet.
Asics also has SpEVA foam which is a mix of standard EVA foam and rubber ball material that results in a claimed 20% better rebound than EVA alone. Sitting on top of all this foam is a standard Ortholite liner that’s highly durable and comfortable.
The outsole of the shoe is a pretty standard layout of rubber outlining the heel leaving exposed form beneath the heel to reduce weight, and more arced patches of rubber beneath the forefoot for durability and traction.
Asics also employs the use of high carbon rubber in high wear areas of the shoe to improve the life of the shoe.
Overall, my thought is that these shoes have a comfortable ride that isn’t so cushioned that you start to feel like you’re losing energy, and has a sturdy platform to land on that needs some adjusting to if you’re not a regular runner in Asics Shoes.
I had no issues on long 10+ mile runs and also felt right using these shoes for easy short jogs.
Asics Gel Cumulus 20 Upper Info
There’s a clear design change in the Cumulus 20 shoes when comparing them to the Cumulus 19s in the upper.
Asics switched from sewn on overlays to overlays that are either glued or heated on for a sleeker and possibly lighter end result.
Asics also adjusted the primary mesh from a homogeneous looking screen of holes to a more complicated looking set of various holes and patterns.
The breathability of this mesh is on point for what a daily trainer should have, and I didn’t have any worries of it falling apart.
The lacing system follows the industry trend of minimalist eyelets where the laces run through reinforced sections of fabric that spread out the pressure+load on your foot better, versus metal/plastic rings that concentrate pressures from the laces onto the surface of your foot.
The flat laces and the cushioned tongue provide a simple and effective structure to comfortably keep your feet in the shoes.
Your heel fits into a standard looking and feeling section of fabric and foam with enough support that you can jam your feet into the shoes without unlacing them with minimal worries the heel will collapse.
This adds to the longevity of the shoes at the expense of a little weight and breathability, and also helps support the feet of runners who underpronate.
Asics Gel Cumulus 20 Conclusions
I really liked the changes Asics made from the Cumulus 19s to make these Cumulus 20 shoes, and felt that Asics is true to their word when they claim this shoe is comfortable for all levels of runners while including premium technology with nice styling.
Definitely go for the most recent model of these shoes if you’re on the fence. If you’re browsing for shoes that are for under to neutral pronation and don’t have a brand preference yet, try these shoes out if you want something sturdy that will last quite a while.
We purchased a pair of Asics Gel Cumulus 20 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.