Sportitude
×

Edge

Asics Gel Nimbus 23 vs 22 vs Gel Nimbus Lite 2 Comparison Shoe Review

by Sportitude
9 Dec 2020

Josh reviews the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 running shoes for clocking up the Ks with plush and protective cushioning and highlights what sets it apart from its predecessor, the Asics Gel Nimbus 22.

When weighing it up against the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2, it’s less about one running shoe being better than the other and more about identifying which one is better suited to your personal running gait and foot strike.

On paper, the specs in terms of heel-to-toe offset and stack height are identical – but a closer look of the engineering features reveals how they differ. The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 targets a heel striker with harder-wearing carbon rubber in the high impact zone of the rearfoot. The Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 on the other hand is more favourable for a midfoot runner, offering a greater surface area underneath the midfoot strike zone.

As a neutral running shoe, the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is ideal for neutral runners to slight under pronators – runners with relatively high arched foot types that distribute pressure central to the foot or on the outer edge of the foot as they contact the ground then transition into toe-off. Therefore, this high mileage running shoe is a miss for overpronators that heavily rely on stability features and arch support.

Asics have transferred over the Trusstic system of the previous edition but tweak its execution by making it level with the ground. This creates a sensation that’s truer to the full ground contact we’ve seen running shoe brands churn out in recent months for a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

Asics continue to roll out their FlyteFoam technology for lightweight and soft cushioning, while strategically placing Gel at the rearfoot for additional impact dampening where you need it most. The upper is consistent in breathability with the earlier model, and with a fresh heel counter the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 allows for a more dialled in, precise fit to improve your comfort out on the road.

Check out the review with full transcript below.

Hey guys, Josh here from Sportitude and it is shoe review time. We're going to be reviewing the Asics Gel Nimbus 23. This shoe landed in my office around six weeks ago. I've taken it out for a good six runs so far and I have some interesting thoughts on this shoe.

We're going to be talking about the engineering changes from the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 to the Asics Gel Nimbus 23. We're going to throw in the Asics Nimbus Lite 2 as well to show you the subtle changes between the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 and the Asics Gel Nimbus 23, so you are making the right choice at home with your shoe selection.

They are high mileage shoes; they're targeting a neutral foot type but in my opinion, they are specifically targeting a different runner which we'll get into in today's review.

Like all my shoe reviews we'll profile the running foot shape or foot structure that should be considering the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 23. Without further ado let's get stuck in.

Runner Profile

First things first, let's talk about the foot shape or foot type that should be considering the Nimbus 23. It is a neutral running shoe which technically is suitable for a foot type with a high arch, offering a little bit of real estate between the arch and the ground.

When this runner comes through their gait transition, heel strike first then through to midstance, the pressure will either be through the central part of the foot or there'll be a tendency to favour that lateral side – underpronating or supinating as they go through their midstance phase before they get through their toe-off phase of their gait cycle.

A neutral to a mildly under pronated foot type should be considering the Asics Gel Nimbus 23.

Outsole

Let’s get stuck into the tech features of this shoe because there's quite a bit to get through. Let's start off with the outsole, going from the ground and working our way up.

The outsole is probably my favourite change with this shoe and that's a bit strange because usually there's not a lot going on with the outsole that gets me excited, but this genuinely does and let me tell you why.

When I went from the Asics Gel Nimbus 21 to the Asics Gel Nimbus 22, I was super excited because Asics decided to make the shoe more flexible through the forefoot so that under pronated or supinated foot types could comfortably run in the Nimbus 22 if they're a heel striker and experience a smooth and flexible toe-off.

However, having that Trusstic system provided ample torsional stability for the Nimbus 22 because it needed it. The cushioning was a little bit softer than the previous versions. That certainly played a critical role.

However, when you look at the Nimbus 23 you can see we're almost getting towards that full ground contact. On that medial side there is a bit of torsional stability on offer however it is plush with the ground, so you're getting almost that full ground contact feel underneath your foot in comparison to the Nimbus 22, which that torsional stability is set a bit higher into the midsole.

In terms of the feel underneath the foot, I wouldn't say that I felt where that was positioned versus where it’s positioned in the Nimbus 23, I'm just liking what Asics are doing with regards to their full ground contact push with the Nimbus 23, it's fantastic.

Also looking at the outsole configuration, you can see that the amount of flex grooves on offer is the same. With the Nimbus 22 and Nimbus 23 we have 5 flex grooves.

The only real difference is the depth of flex grooves. It’s cut a little bit deeper into the shoe in the Nimbus 22 so the actual cutaway into the midsole is certainly more noticeable in this shoe. The rubber is a little bit thicker versus the rubber on the Nimbus 23.

The flex groove cutaway to the midsole isn't quite as noticeable in the Nimbus 23 but the rubber is thinner. In theory you’re going to get a similar flex groove through that forefoot.

Obviously, the entry point for the Nimbus 23 is designed for a heel striker so you have got your AHAR rubber at the back of the heel. You can see the fluorescent green colour rubber, which is a harder carbon rubber, so it is denser. It is obviously designed for a heel striker so it's going to be harder wearing for that first entry point. As you come through the forefoot, all the other rubber is the same compound.

I want to hold up the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 next to the Nimbus 23. Straight away you can see the Nimbus Lite 2 has more surface area. It is designed for more of a midfoot runner. A midfoot runner is going to land through here and when that runner contacts the ground, having a little bit more real estate through the midsection and the forefoot is going to offer a more stable, secure landing platform as they engage to get ready to toe-off.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is designed for the heel striker so when they contact the ground, that impact force goes through the shoe and then through deceleration phase the width of the shoe doesn't need to be quite as broad through the midfoot.

That's what Asics have done and that's why they haven't made it as wide as the Nimbus Lite 2. If they made it wide it's going to add weight unnecessarily to the shoe. They want to keep it as light as they possibly can but obviously still offer ample cushioning and support for that targeted consumer, being that neutral to supinated heel striking runner.

Midsole

Let’s get talking about the midsole. You have two Gel pods and you have Gel cushioning through the heel which is strategically placed for that heel striker through the back half of the shoe. We've got Twist Gel on offer which sits just under your big toe through the forefoot to offer a little bit of extra cushioning and support as you transition through your toe-off.

The shoe is built on that FlyteFoam material. The FlyteFoam cushioning system from Asics is a very nice, light but plush cushioning system. It is on the same heel-to-toe drop as it was last year so that's a 25mm heel and 15mm forefoot for the men's and 27mm heel and 14mm forefoot for the ladies’. That’s a 10mm offset for the men's and a 13mm for the ladies’.

That is no different from last season and it is exactly the same as the Nimbus Lite 2 as well, so    pretty consistent with regards to the execution of their midsole.

Upper

Let's talk all things upper. It has an internal heel structure at the back which means there's a plastic support system that sits on the inside of that heel counter which provides nice amount of support, structure and integrity for that runner that comes down heel first. You don't want that heel moving    around on the platform, hence that internal heel counter will stay nice and secure.

As you come through to the midfoot, if anything it's probably a little bit shallower than the previous version which is kind of a good thing. It provides a little bit more support and structure on top of the foot.

The engineered mesh as you come through to the front half breathes the same as what I found with the Nimbus 22. There's essentially a very similar fit and feel with both uppers.

However, if anything the heel counter on the Nimbus 22 was kind of firm in the back for me. I found    it pretty comfortable but I certainly knew I was locked in with this shoe. However, from a comfort perspective I really liked what the Nimbus 23 did for me around the back of that heel counter. I found that I could really dial in and lock in my laces as I saw fit depending on the sock I was using at the time.

The fit of the Nimbus 23 heel counter is a little bit better in my opinion. I like a little bit of extra depth through the midfoot as well. Regarding the execution, materials used and the breathability, Asics have really nailed the upper on the Asics Gel Nimbus 23. Kudos to Asics.

Widths

Let's touch on the widths because that's really important. In the men's we have a D which is a standard width, 2E and 4E, so three widths on offer from Asics which is fantastic. In the ladies’ they have two widths, a standard width B and a D width on offer.

I love when brands have a premium shoe and they manufacture multiple widths. It means they care and they want to get their shoe onto as many runners’ feet as they possibly can. Well done Asics for really going out limb and producing yet again a variety widths in your key high mileage running shoe.

Asics Gel Nimbus 22 vs Asics Gel Nimbus Lite

While we're talking all things midsole in the Asics Gel Nimbus 23, I'm going to go through the changes with regards to Asics Gel Nimbus 22 and Asics Gel Nimbus Lite, and the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 and the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2.

When we look at the midsole set-up of the Nimbus 22 and the Nimbus Lite, apart from the fact that the Nimbus 22 has the Gel pod placed in the heel and that torsional stability system, the actual midsole is the same with regards to the execution of the FlyteFoam.

It’s almost to the degree that those little subtle details with regards to the grooves that they've cut away into that midsole and essentially the weights of the midsole are the same.

It’s the same materials, but it's worth calling out the fact that they have used external Gel cushioning in the Nimbus 22 and that torsional stability system to provide a little bit more rigidity for heel strikers.

Asics Gel Nimbus 23 vs Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2

Maybe Asics had a little bit more time or money, because the actual midsoles for the Nimbus Lite 2 and the Nimbus 23 are different. There's essentially the same density of FlyteFoam but you can see strategically the amount of real estate underneath.

There’s a wider platform in the Nimbus Lite 2 versus the Nimbus 23. The little cutaway on the Nimbus Lite 2 essentially provides a slightly smoother transition for that midfoot striker. The Nimbus 23 has an almost full ground contact set-up with that little torsional stability system which is closer to the ground.

It's an interesting fact because it's evident when they're making their first version of something that they want to use some tooling which they already have on offer, they just change a couple of major factors of the shoe.

There's a lot of similarities between the Nimbus Lite 2 and Nimbus 23 although they target different runners.

The Nimbus 22 and Nimbus Lite are targeting different runners again but with some variances regarding the execution of the outsole and the midsole. That's just important to know.

The Wrap Up

Wrapping up the Asics Gel Nimbus 23, it is a big change with regards to the execution of this shoe. I love what they've done with that almost full ground contact set-up with the torsional stability system coming close to the ground. It feels nice and plush underneath the foot but we're not denying that this is a highly cushioned neutral running shoe from Asics.

It’s been an absolute gem for the best part of 23 years of course. I'm not going to lie to you, there's been a few misses along the way like all brands, but the Nimbus 23 is essentially taking this key shoe and putting it at the top of their mantelpiece. It is a very comfortable high mileage running shoe.

If you have any questions on the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 please contact our Sportitude shoe experts. If you've tried it or ran in it, we'd love to hear your feedback on that shoe.

Please subscribe to the Sportitude YouTube channel if you haven't done so already and we'll continue to bring as much running shoe reviews as we possibly can to you at home.

Until next time stay safe, happy running and we'll see you on the road. Take care.

FEATURES  

Asics Gel Nimbus 23

  • Support: Neutral   
  • Upper: Mesh   
  • Midsole: Asics FlyteFoam Propel

Men  

  • Heel Height: 25mm   
  • Forefoot Height: 15mm   
  • Offset / Drop: 10mm
  • Weight: 310g / 10.9oz
  • Widths: D (standard), 2E (wide), 4E (extra wide)

Women   

  • Heel Height: 27mm   
  • Forefoot Height: 14mm   
  • Offset / Drop: 13mm
  • Weight: 260g / 9.2oz
  • Widths: B (standard), D (wide)

Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2

Shop / Review

Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Shop / Review