Editor rating:
8/10 on
User's rating:


  • Durable Outsole and Upper
  • Premium Technologies
  • Useful for almost any run


  • Stiff and heavy over longer distances


The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 21 is a slightly tweaked continuation of a successful line of neutral everyday workhorse shoes. Ideal for heel-striking runners, it is priced well for the technologies packed into the shoe.
Gel Cumulus 21
10.1 oz. (286 gr.)
120 US$
10 mm
Heel Drop
Previous model
Runners of all levels, specifically heel-strikers looking for a comfortable ride with a slight touch of stability features.

The $120 MSRP puts this shoe in reach for most runners, and the quality behind it will make the shoe last at or above most shoes of the same price.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 Intro

Through twenty previous versions the ASICS neutral everyday trainer, the Gel Cumulus has provided runners with premium running shoe technologies and comfort.

The 21st version of the Gel Cumulus provides small tweaks and updates to the previous model.

The Gel Cumulus continues to be a high quality every day trainer that provides enough cushioning for most runs and can appeal to runners of every level.

Specifically, the Gel Cumulus 21 will be best for neutral runners looking for a touch of stability provided by the midsole.

In short, from the 20th to the 21st Gel Cumulus the trainer has focused on becoming more comfortable.

Slightly softer under the foot, more cushioned in the heel, and a more breathable upper highlight these updates.

The Cumulus, a neutral every day trainer with a 10mm drop, completes with many well-regarded shoes such as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, Saucony Ride ISO, and the Brooks Ghost.

Intended to be a go-to shoe the Cumulus is a cheaper option than the ASICS Nimbus, which is made more for distance and more premium ASICS offerings.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 First Impressions

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 - Pair

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 – Pair

Unboxing the Gel-Cumulus 21 for the first time my eyes were deceived thinking that the Cumulus’ stack height was much lower to the ground than reality.

Unchanged from the previous version the Cumulus still provides an ample midsole.

Given that the Gel-Cumulus 21 is designed to be a multi-purpose everyday trainer, I put the shoe through a variety of types of runs from long distance, recovery, and speed workouts.

While the Gel-Cumulus performed well for most runs, I found it to too heavy to pick up the pace in and eventually too stiff for extremely long distances. This shoe will work for most, but not all runs.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 Sole Unit

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 - Sole

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 – Sole

ASICS has never been shy about putting a name to every single feature you could possibly put in a running shoe. The Cumulus 21 is no different. The following is some of the features for the midsole and outsole of the Cumulus 21.

Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel Cushioning: This is the ASICS staple silicone based gel for cushioning and shock absorption in their shoes.

The majority of the Gel cushioning is in the heel, towards the lateral side, which makes the Cumulus 21 a great feel for heel-strikers.

Flytefoam and Flytefoam Propel: These are the two cushioning foams that are in the midsole of the Gel-Cumulus 21. They are designed to provide a bounciness and responsive feeling at a lightweight.

This foam mixture makes the Cumulus 21 a softer ride than the previous version.

AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) and Durasponge Outsole: This is the rubber outsole pieces to enhance durability and traction.

Impact Guidance System and Guidance Line: This is the groove in the cushioning that runs vertical heel to toe which provide some flexibility, stability, and increase gait efficiency.

In general what we have here is a softer version of the Gel-Cumulus 20. While the soft feeling was a good feeling under the foot it really has a sweet spot in terms of distance.

Over the course of longer runs the Gel-Cumulus did begin to feel stiff and bottom heavy.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 Upper Unit

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 - Top

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 – Top

Highlighted by a comfortable dual-layer mesh, a ortholite sockliner, and significant reflective elements, the upper of the Gel-Cumulus 21 is a very comfortable fit.

The dual-layer mesh did not breathe as well as I would have liked, and the toe box was a little more shallow than expected, but most runners would be good staying true to size.

There is always a concern with large logos on shoes hindering the fit and feel of the shoe depending on what material the logo is made of and how it is adhered to the upper.

While the ASICS logo takes up a majority of the upper, it is made of a flexible material and fused on in a way which does not hinder fit and feel of the trainer.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 Conclusion

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 - Heel

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 – Heel

The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 21 by all accounts is a good everyday workhorse of a shoe. If you could only own one running shoe, it should be up for your consideration.

The changes from the previous version to the latest being minimal, slightly softer and different laces mostly, the Cumulus continues to be a fairly priced neutral daily trainer packed with premium features.

The shortcomings personally in the Cumulus 21 was the stiffness and bottom-heavy feeling that came on towards the end of longer runs.

If that is the one drawback to the running shoe than runner’s of all levels could enjoy and get use out of the Cumulus 21.

If I was looking for a shoe to handle a little more distance I may be inclined to look at the ASICS Nimbus or another competitor to the Cumulus such as the Brooks Ghost.

We purchased a pair of Asics Gel Cumulus 21 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Asics Gel Cumulus 21 Price Comparison

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