The Cumulus, now in its 22nd version has always been the shoe for everyone: enough cushioning for long distances and light enough for short distances. It weighs 9.2 oz and costs $120.
The Novablast is a brand new shoe designed to be highly cushioned for long distances with a propulsive, trampoline feel. It weighs 9.5 oz and costs $130.
Which of these shoes is the right one for you?
Similarity and differences: Gel Cumulus 22 vs Novablast
They were not flashy but that does not mean that they were not a reliable shoe. Will they be my go to pair? Probably not...but they will have a place in my rotation.
I plugged away chunks of miles in these shoes (on the road, on the treadmill and on trials) and my feet (and my lower back) felt good after short runs as well as long runs.
After getting used to the newly installed Flytefoam, I found that the responsiveness of the shoe made for a comfortable run.
FlyteFoam provides not only a responsive feel to the NOVABLAST but it felt like I was running on a mini padded trampoline due to the fact that there is bounce while running. It is hard to say who the idea runner for the NOVABLAST would be.
I say this due to the fact that I could see running some short sprint distances in these as well as longer races like a 10k to a half marathon.
Sole unit: Gel Cumulus 22 vs Novablast
The midsole of the Cumulus 22 is made from dual-density FlyteFoam. The Novablast is made from a new foam technology called FlyteFoam Blast. The Cumulus 22 has gel in the rearfoot and forefoot whereas the Novablast has no gel in its midsole.
The ride of the Cumulus 22 is medium soft and firmer than the soft ride of the Novablast. The lighter Cumulus 22 is better suited to short distances and the heavier Novablast better for longer runs.
The Cumulus 22 has a more traditional-feeling midsole which feels cushioned but flat. The Novablast has a more dynamic, modern-feeling midsole which feels cushioned but also bouncy and springy.
The Cumulus 22 has stack heights of 31mm in the heel and 21mm in the forefoot. The Novablast has a thicker midsole with stack heights of 37mm in the heel and 27mm in the forefoot. The taller midsole height of the Novablast makes it less stable than the Cumulus 22. The firmer, lower to the ground Cumulus 22 also has a midsole which flares out to create a large, stable base.
The outsoles of both shoes use durable AHAR+ rubber. The Cumulus 22 has a full contact outsole with 6 flex grooves in the forefoot. The Novablast has a wide channel in the centre of its outsole which is not covered in rubber. The Cumulus 22 outsole should last longer than the Novablast’s outsole as it has less midsole foam that makes contact with the ground.
Ride transitions are very smooth in both shoes but the Cumulus 22 with its full contact outsole results in smoother ride transitions than the Novablast.
Upper unit: Gel Cumulus 22 vs Novablast
The Cumulus 22 has a thick and padded upper made from a breathable, porous mesh. Its tongue and heel counter are soft and filled with generous amounts of foam. The Cumulus 22’s upper is superb at locking the foot down with zero heel slippage. The Cumulus 22 comes in regular, wide and extra wide versions.
The Novablast features an upper made from a breathable net mesh that doesn’t stretch much or conform to the foot. It has a roomy toe box with lots of foot splay room. It also has a long padded tongue and traditional heel counter but the upper takes some adjusting to get a secure fit. The fit is true to size and the Novablast only comes in one width.
Which one to buy: Gel Cumulus 22 vs Novablast
If you’re a runner looking for a lighter shoe for shorter runs, get the Cumulus 22. The Cumulus 22 has a plush upper which comes in a variety of widths and is great value at $120. The Cumulus 22 has a midsole with gel in it for extra shock absorption and has a stable ride with smooth ride transitions.
If you’re a runner looking for a shoe for longer runs and don’t mind the extra weight, get the Novablast. The Novablast has a bouncy ride, fun ride and a thicker midsole for more foot protection when you need it on longer runs. The Novablast is $10 more expensive than the Cumulus 22 and is not as stable.