Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The 880 is New Balance’s mid-tier, mid-priced daily trainer. The Cumulus is Asics’ version of their mid-priced daily trainer. Here we will be comparing the two popular shoes.

The 880, now in its 10th iteration has been completely redesigned with a new knitted upper, a new outsole and a Fresh Foam X midsole. It weighs 9.9 oz and costs $130.

The Cumulus, now in its 22nd version also received a major redesign and gets a new upper, outsole and softer midsole. It weighs 9.2 oz and costs $120.

Which of these two redesigned classics is the right choice for you?

Similarity and differences: Fresh Foam 880 v10 vs Gel Cumulus 22

Expert score
Expert score
8/10
Expert score
8/10
Weight
9.9 oz
9.2 oz
Heel Drop
10 mm
10 mm
Verdict
The New Balance 880v10 is a versatile trainer that hits almost all of its marks. From the regular run to the long distance, this shoe can cover it all.
The ASICS Cumulus 22 is a running shoe that offer good support and good comfort. I liked them.
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.
Who is it for
This shoe is designed for people logging high mileage or going for slower runs. This shoe can fit most runners, and is a great beginner shoe.
The ASICS Cumulus 22 is a shoe for the average runner who wants a durable and reliable shoe. From the accomplished to the beginner, each will find the ASICS Cumulus 22 a shoe to add into their regular rotation.
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
balanced
balanced
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Flexibility
medium
medium
Stability
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
true to size
Retail price
US$129.95
US$119.95

Sole unit: Fresh Foam 880 v10 vs Gel Cumulus 22

The midsole of the 880v10 is a single density slab of Fresh Foam X. This change to Fresh Foam X makes the 880 softer, lighter and more responsive but the 880v10 uses a firmer Fresh Foam X than the 1080v10. Although the updated midsole makes the ride softer, the 880 still has a medium-firm ride.

The midsole of the Cumulus 22 is made of dual-density FlyteFoam which is a softer density than previous versions of the Cumulus. The ride of the Cumulus 22 is medium-soft and feels softer than the 880v10. There are gel units in the heel and forefoot which provide extra shock absorption.

The 880v10 is a versatile shoe that can handle most types of runs but is better suited to short runs due to its heavier weight. The Cumulus 22 is also versatile but can handle longer runs better thanks to its softer density midsole and lighter weight.

Stability in both shoes is average but the 880v10 has better stability and feels more secure as a result of its firmer midsole and its external heel counter.

The 880v10 is better suited to heavier runners who can access and compress the firm foam when they load the midsole. Lighter runners will prefer the Cumulus 22 as its midsole needs less weight to compress it.

Ride transitions are smooth in both shoes but the 880v10 has smoother ride transitions thanks to its single-density Fresh Foam X midsole compared to the dual-density midsole of the Cumulus 22.

The Cumulus 22 is more flexible than the 880v10 because of its 6 forefoot flex grooves on its outsole that go from end to end. The 880v10 only has two flex grooves on its forefoot outsole.

The 880v10 outsole has harder blown rubber on the rearfoot and softer blown rubber on its midfoot and forefoot. There is a cavity under the centre of its heel which is not covered with rubber. It has great traction on a variety of surfaces, wet and dry.

The Cumulus 22 uses Asics’ new AHAR+ rubber which Asics claims is 50% more durable than their previous high abrasion rubber. There is a narrow vertical decoupling groove which splits the outsole in half. There is more rubber on the outsole of the Cumulus 22 and you can expect its outsole to last longer than the 880v10’s outsole.

Upper unit: Fresh Foam 880 v10 vs Gel Cumulus 22

The upper of the 880v10 is a knitted material called Hypoknit which is soft and comfortable but it runs warm. It has a chunky external plastic heel counter for heel support that makes the shoe heel-heavy. The 880v10 runs true to size and comes in regular, wide and extra wide versions.

The upper of the Cumulus 22 is made from a porous, breathable engineered mesh which is 3D printed. Its heel counter and tongue are generously filled with foam and the smooth lining inside makes the upper very comfortable. Foot lockdown is excellent and there is no heel slippage. The Cumulus 22 fits true to size and is available in regular, wide and extra wide versions.

Which one to buy: Fresh Foam 880 v10 vs Gel Cumulus 22

If you’re a heavier runner and looking for a shoe for mainly short distances, the 880v10 is the shoe for you. The 880v10 has a soft, comfortable knitted upper with excellent foot lockdown. It has no major flaws and has a secure, stable ride.

If you’re a lighter runner looking for a shoe for long distances, the Cumulus 22 is the shoe for you. The upper of the Cumulus is porous and breathable and there are gel units in its midsole for extra shock absorption. The Cumulus 22 is lighter than the 880v10 and $10 cheaper. It has a more durable outsole but isn’t as stable.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Singapore. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

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