Introducing the Asics Gel Cumulus, a beloved name in the world of running shoes that has returned with an exciting update: the Cumulus 25.
If you’re a long-time Cumulus enthusiast or just curious about what makes this shoe stand out, you’re in for a treat. This classic daily trainer has received a fresh makeover, featuring new technologies and innovations that promise a more comfortable, versatile, and enjoyable running experience.
In this review, we’ll dive deep into the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 review, exploring its construction, performance, and how it compares to other popular models.
Sounds exciting? Let’s dive right into it…
Asics Gel Cumulus 25 Review
My name’s Eric Barber and I’m a non-elite runner who reviews shoes, and today I want to talk to you about the Asics Cumulus 25.
But before I give you my thoughts on this shoe, I do want to go over some disclosures. This is a pair of shoes that Asics sent to me for the purpose of review so I did not have to pay for this pair of shoes.
However, no one’s paying me to write this review or to use the shoe and no one’s going to get a chance to preview any of my thoughts before you guys get a chance to read it here.
With that disclosure out of the way, let’s go over some specs…
Stack, Drop, Weight
Asics bumped up the stack height by two millimeters, landing us at 37.5 millimeters in the heel and 29.5 millimeters in the forefoot. That right there gives us an 8-millimeter drop.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. The drop is the same for both men’s and women’s models, clocking in at 8mm. However, for the ladies, there’s a subtle tweak, featuring 36.5mm in the heel and 28.5mm in the forefoot.
Now, in terms of weight, the Cumulus 25 measures in at a respectable 9 oz or 255 grams for the men. For the women, it’s a touch lighter at 7.9 oz or 224 grams.
Apart from that, it seems both shoes share a common midsole construction…
I think Asics is doing an amazing job at just upgrading every shoe they have in their lineup, and the Cumulus is no different.
But what truly piqued my interest in this iteration is the midsole and it’s definitely the main factor that motivated me to slip my feet into another Cumulus.
They’re using a full slab of FlyteFoam Blast+, which happens to be one of my preferred midsole foams in Asics’ lineup, especially for their daily trainers. And let me tell you, there’s a generous amount of it packed into this shoe.
Plus, there’s some gel incorporated into the heel. But hold on, it’s not your typical Asics gel; they’ve introduced Pure Gel, which features an intriguing honeycomb pattern. This new gel isn’t as thick or dense as the previous versions, and I must say, it’s a welcome change. While the gel is less pronounced, there’s still a bit of it discreetly nestled beneath the heel.
Basically, the idea behind Pure Gel, previously seen in the Nimbus 25, is to provide you with a cushioned landing and a smoother transition.
How does the Cumulus 25 feel?
I have to say, even though the Cumulus 25 looks quite different from its predecessors, it somehow reminds me a lot of the Cumulus 24. I wouldn’t exactly describe the Cumulus 25 as incredibly plush or highly responsive. The one thing that stands out for me is that it leans more towards a firmer feel, quite different from the cushy Nimbus, but don’t be mistaken – it offers ample protection to tackle all sorts of runs, no matter the challenge, on any given day.
I’m all about a shoe that’s plush and bouncy, one that can soak up the impact and then spring back for that lively ride.
But the Cumulus 25? Well, it offers a somewhat more muted response. It’s a bit surprising, considering it’s packed with FFBlast+, which usually delivers a distinct feel. Yet, in this shoe, it seems denser and less exciting, at least for my liking.
Now, here’s where the flipside comes in. I believe that for my taller and larger-footed friends, those of you who tend to compress foam more than I do, the Cumulus might hit the sweet spot between cushioning and responsiveness that you’ve been searching for.
Additionally, if you’ve ever thought that the Novablast 3 or the Nimbus 25 were just too mushy, squishy, or unstable for your liking, the Cumulus 25 could be your knight in shining armor. It brings a welcome dose of stability to the table, making it a dependable choice.
Talking about stability…
As we examine the outsole, it’s evident that the Cumulus’ footprint is notably wider than previous Cumulus models. This design change introduces an extra dimension of stability to the shoe without relying on traditional stability features.
The broad footprint, which covers the forefoot where the foot’s pads are located and the heel where the base rests, combined with the tall sidewalls, creates a sense of stability that cradles the heel and ensures a secure landing, no matter how your foot’s landing.
The engineered mesh upper strikes a nice balance between durability and breathability. Just judging by the looks and feel of this mesh, I thought it was going to be a little bit hot and sweaty, but on the colder days that I’ve run in this shoe, I have felt some wind passing through that forefoot.
The upper has some structure to it, ensuring that it can withstand the daily grind while remaining stretchy and comfortable.
What’s really impressive is that 90% of the polyester fibers used in this engineered mesh are sourced from recycled materials. It’s fantastic to see brands, like Asics, making strides in sustainability and eco-friendliness.
As you move towards the midfoot, you’ll notice that there’s nothing too extravagant in terms of overlays, but there’s the trusty Asics logo, adding a touch of structural support.
Heading towards the heel, you have a nice sturdy heel counter and a handy pull tab. They’ve toned down the excessive padding in the rear of the shoe, a wise choice for a daily trainer. However, it remains comfortable with moderate padding. Plus, that gusseted pull tab ensures it stays put, preventing any unwanted sliding around.
The tongue is not only nicely padded but also gusseted for a secure fit. It provides just the right amount of cushion around the ankle – not too much, not too little, just perfect. During my runs, I didn’t experience any problems with blisters or irritation.
Overall, the upper of this standard daily trainer does an excellent job.
The Cumulus 25 provides a nice amount of room in the midfoot, and I appreciate that the forefoot area offers a bit more space for your toes. This extra room allows your toes to breathe and spread out comfortably.
Alright, with those specs covered, let’s dive into the running experience.
When it comes to outsoles, I really like how Asics consistently delivers a blend of durability and pavement grip that’s hard to match.
Asics is using two versions of their AHAR rubber compound in the outsole: AHAR+ and AHAR Low. AHAR+ is a high-abrasion rubber compound used in a pattern somewhat reminiscent of what we saw in the Nimbus 25 earlier this year.
The grip this outsole provides on the pavement is impressive, offering a sense of security when tackling turns or going about your everyday training in these trainers.
While there are some exposed areas without full rubber coverage to shed a bit of weight, the high-traction regions have enough rubber you need for optimal grip.
All right, now with those specs taken care of, let’s talk about what it was like to run in the Asics Cumulus 25…
I’ve taken this shoe for lots of easy runs and I chose to run in it after a workout where my feet are super beat up. At an easy and steady pace, I found that the Cumulus doesn’t put up a fight; it seamlessly adapts to the rhythm of my run.
I also decided to test it during some faster bursts, pushing it to see if it could handle a change of pace. It performed admirably, although it wouldn’t be my first pick for intense tempo day workouts.
I feel like because it is on the firmer side, it responded well when I was pushing into the ground a little bit harder. However, the wide platform might get in the way and be a little bit bothersome if I were doing a threshold mile repeat workout or a long run with marathon effort.
But when it comes to my everyday, bread-and-butter easy runs, and daily training, the Cumulus 25 proves itself as a reliable workhorse. But you know what? That’s pretty much how I used last year’s shoe as well.
What to pair the Asics Cumulus 25 with
If you’re looking for a racing companion to go along with this workhorse daily trainer, the clear choice for me is the Metaspeed Sky+. I’ve achieved most of my marathon PR’s in the last couple of years with this racing shoe, and I believe they make a great combo for everyday training, workouts, and races.
Now, if you’re leaning towards recovery and seeking something comfier than the Cumulus, that’s where the Nimbus 25 steps in. The Nimbus 25 boasts extra plushness in the upper, ample padding, and enhanced midsole cushioning.
So, on those days when you’re looking to switch gears, slow down, and enjoy some relaxed, easy-paced long runs, the Nimbus could be the perfect one-two punch. Plus, they both offer a fresh look, especially for those summertime miles.
Cumulus 24 vs 25
The Cumulus 24 and 25 may seem different on the surface, but underneath, they share a similar running experience. The main difference is that the Cumulus 25 offers enhanced stability thanks to its wider platform.
If you’re open to the appearance and design of the Cumulus 24, you might want to consider grabbing it while it’s on sale. Then, when the Cumulus 25 gets discounted in the future, you can add it to your collection.
This approach makes sense unless the Cumulus 25’s improved aesthetics and stability features are absolute must-haves for you, which might sway your decision.
When it comes to pairing the Cumulus 25 with other shoes, you’ve got a few intriguing options if you want to stay within the Asics family.
If you feel the Cumulus is not the right shoe for you, I do have some alternative options for you…
Asics Cumulus 25 vs Novablast 3
If you’re looking at the Asics Cumulus 25 because you’re trying to figure out what’s the daily trainer from Asics, there’s another compelling option available for the same price: the Novablast 3.
In my opinion, I’d choose the Novablast any day over the Cumulus 25. I adore its plush feel and responsiveness, making it versatile for various types of runs. Plus, it’s stylish enough for casual wear. However, if the Novablast’s squishy nature or stability concerns you, I feel like the Cumulus 25 kind of makes a lot of sense.
Asics Cumulus 25 vs Nimbus 25
Let me tell you, the Cumulus 25 feels incredibly lighter on your feet compared to the Nimbus. It’s no surprise, considering it’s designed as the standard daily trainer while the Nimbus is all about max cushioning. The Cumulus offers a firmer ride with different foam, making it feel more in line with what you’d expect from a daily trainer.
The best part is, it’s incredibly versatile. Whether you’re planning a long, steady run or tackling your weekly workouts, the Cumulus 25 has you covered. As for the Nimbus, it’s my go-to for those easy, longer runs.
But for an all-around daily trainer, I’m genuinely impressed with the Cumulus 25. It adds an element of fun to your runs, and I believe many runners will appreciate its capabilities for various types of runs.
At the time of writing this review, you won’t be able to find Cumulus 25 on sale. It’s a bit disheartening to see that the regular price for daily trainers has climbed a bit, but that seems to be the trend these days.
It seems like Asics is targeting the Brooks Ghost audience with the Cumulus 25. While the Ghost and Cumulus share some similarities, I personally favor the Cumulus 25 over the Ghost. It’s as if Asics had the Brooks Ghost buyer in mind when designing the Cumulus. Interestingly though, both these options are priced at the same price.
|Where to buy
Let’s try to summarize some of those thoughts and put it in a way that is a little bit more concise…
I think that the Cumulus 25 is best for those looking for a workhorse daily trainer. It’s the shoe that’s up for just about any kind of run you throw at it, and it’s durable enough to handle daily wear and tear, even when you’re not hitting the pavement. It may not be the flashiest shoe out there, but it brings a refreshing change to the Cumulus line.
For those of you who might have overlooked the Cumulus in the past or found it a bit underwhelming, the 25 could be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. I’m on a mission to shift your perspective, whether you’ve written off the Cumulus line, got bored with it, or have always been a fan. The Asics Gel Cumulus 25 might just leave you pleasantly surprised, showcasing the improvements Asics has made. Give it a go, and you might find it’s the daily trainer you’ve been looking for.