If you want a very plush daily trainer for mostly easy runs, the Cumulus 25 is your shoe. If the Nimbus 25 is too expensive or you don’t like its rockered ride, the Cumulus 25 is an excellent option. It has a softer midsole and a more flexible forefoot.
If you want a versatile daily trainer which can easily pick up the pace, the Cumulus 25 is not for you. It has relaxed ride transitions due to its flexible forefoot and it doesn’t have a bouncy ride.
The Cumulus has always been ASICS’ do-it-all daily trainer. I’ve run in 2 previous versions of the Cumulus and I’ve found them to be really comfortable, durable, balanced workhorses. The Cumulus has been one of the most popular ASICS trainers because of its affordability, availability and versatility.
However, 3 years ago, ASICS launched another mid-range, neutral daily trainer which was the same price as the Cumulus but even more versatile with a more unique ride: the Novablast.
The Novablast did a number of things better than the Cumulus: it was lighter, it was more energetic and it had a more exciting ride. Over time, the Novablast gained popularity and cannibalised sales of their stalwart, the Cumulus.
ASICS needed to reimagine the Cumulus so they have transformed the Cumulus to fill a different role in the lineup. This year’s Cumulus is now more similar to the Nimbus than ever before and if it didn’t have the name “Cumulus” on it, it could easily be mistaken for a Nimbus.
This version of the Cumulus is one of the most vastly different versions from its predecessor. It has a much thicker midsole stack height than last year’s version and it weighs 1.1 oz (31 g) less. It’s also $10 more than the Cumulus 24.
My first run was a very slow, 9km recovery run. I didn’t enjoy the Cumulus 25 on that first run. The toe box felt really tight because I was wearing thick socks and it felt super sluggish. The thing that stood out most was how lumpy the outsole felt due to how much the midsole compressed.
The thick upper reminded me of the Nimbus 25 while the ride reminded me of a firmer version of the New Balance Rebel v3. The Cumulus felt much more stable than the New Balance Rebel v3 but clunkier. It felt nothing like any previous Cumulus version.
After the break in period, the Cumulus 25 felt much better and after doing about 15 kilometres in it, it started to grow on me- the outsole didn’t feel lumpy anymore and the ride was much smoother. The toe box also stretched a tad and it felt more comfortable with thin socks.
The upper of the Cumulus 25, just like the Nimbus 25 is built for comfort and I really enjoyed not only running in it but wearing it casually too. The mesh is smooth, thick and doesn’t breathe very well so it’s more suited to Winters and cool climates.
The tongue of the Cumulus 25 is thicker than the Nimbus so the Cumulus feels even warmer. It’s semi-gusseted and it doesn’t slide during runs.
Foot lockdown is great without needing to use a runner’s knot and there’s no heel slippage present. The inside of the collar is generously padded so it feels very plush.
The toe box is narrow but a smidge wider than the Nimbus 25 so you don’t have to go a half size up or get the wide version. The forefoot and midfoot are on the narrow side so if you have high volume feet or you prefer a roomy fit, you should go up a half size. It works best for me at true to size with thin socks.
There are reflective patches at the back of the shoes, on the heel pull tabs for better low light visibility but there will also be a Lite Show version which has even more reflective elements.
If you’ve ever worn a previous version of the Cumulus and you were disappointed that its ride didn’t feel cloud-like, that won’t be the case with the Cumulus 25.
The Cumulus 25 has a super soft ride which is comparable to the $20 more expensive Nimbus 25 in softness, but The FF Blast+ foam in its midsole compresses more easily than the FF Blast+ Eco in the Nimbus 25. The Nimbus 25 has a squishy top layer with a firmer bottom layer but the Cumulus 25’s entire midsole has more compression.
The Cumulus midsole is thinner and less stiff than the Nimbus so you get more ground feel and less of a rockered ride in the Cumulus. The Cumulus 25 is also the softest mid-range, neutral daily trainer to be launched this year.
I enjoy the Cumulus 25 mostly for easy or recovery runs when I’m not worried about pace. There isn’t much bounce or energy return from the midsole but it feels very plush and is great at absorbing shock. The amount of cushioning that you get for such a maximist trainer is also impressive considering it only weighs 9 oz (255 g) for a men’s US9.
It doesn’t have any visible gel in the midsole like previous Cumulus’ but there’s a silicone gel pad hidden in its heel. I don’t think it’s a necessary feature because I don’t feel it at all. This is more for tradition than anything else: it used to be the signature Cumulus feature.
Stability is fantastic due to its wide base and it’s a pleasure to do long runs in because it offers a high level of support for a shoe with such a tall midsole (37.5 mm in the heel).
The new outsole has a flat design so it was surprising that the ride felt lumpy in the break-in period. Transitions are smoother than the Cumulus 24 because the rubber lugs don’t stick out anymore. Grip is disappointing on smooth surfaces and I slipped one time going around a tight corner.
There’s thick rubber on the high wear areas while the exposed foam is very durable so you’ll be able to get a good amount of mileage out of the Cumulus 25. On my pair, the only noticeable wear is on the lip of the outer lateral heel where the rubber stops a couple millimetres short of the edge. This is a design flaw.
In my opinion, the Cumulus 25 is an excellent update. Not only is the midsole thicker than the Cumulus 24 but it’s also over an ounce lighter (31 g). It isn’t as versatile as previous versions but if you want versatility, the Novablast 3 is available at the same price or the Superblast for $60 more.
I like the Cumulus’ new positioning. With the Nimbus Lite no longer around, the Cumulus 25 is a worthy replacement for those wanting a lighter, cheaper, more flexible daily trainer than the Nimbus 25.
After testing both trainers, I found myself liking the Cumulus 25 more than the Nimbus 25 because it feels more nimble and has more ground feel. It’s a better long run trainer due to its lighter weight and it’s also $20 cheaper.
I think that both trainers have uppers which are too thick and too warm but they both feel luxurious and very comfortable. The Cumulus has a wider mid-foot which is better suited to flat feet.
Compared to other mid-range daily trainers, the Cumulus 25 is the softest so if you enjoy a firm ride, you should skip it. It’s also not as versatile as the competition and it performs best at slow paces. It has a really plush, maximalist ride and it feels like it should cost more than its $140 RRP.