Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Initial Review + How It Compares to the Nimbus 25

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Hey there, fellow runners! Today is a bit of a bonus round as the embargo on the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 has just lifted. However, it is not available yet. Officially, the Nimbus 26 is going to hit the market on January 15th, 2024 

It’s funny how time flies; it feels like we were just chatting about the Nimbus 25 yesterday. Well, in reality, it’s been about eight months, but who’s counting when you’re having a blast, right?

Now, I’ve had the pleasure of logging around 18 miles in the Nimbus 26, and I’m eager to dive into the nitty-gritty of what’s changed and what’s stayed the same since the Nimbus 25.

There’s always that mix of excitement and skepticism when a new version hits the market. But at the same time, it’s always fascinating to see how a new iteration builds upon its predecessor or sometimes takes a whole new better path altogether.

Let’s roll with it…

Related:

Asics Gel Nimbus 26 Review

First off, a little transparency – Asics sent me this pair of shoes. Now, don’t worry, they won’t get a sneak peek before you do. They can’t influence what I’m about to say, and every word you’re about to hear is straight from my own experience.

Now, let’s rewind a bit to the previous Nimbus. the 25 was a game-changer for runners seeking that super max cushioned sensation or a ride that felt like sinking into a soft, pillowy cloud.

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If I had to sum up the Nimbus 25 in a few words, it would be the epitome of pillowy soft cushioning.

Now, let’s talk about the recently unveiled Nimbus 26. To be completely honest, it’s like déjà vu in the best way possible.

The similarities between the 25 and the 26 are so subtle that it’s a real challenge to spot and feel the differences. As I logged miles in the Nimbus 26, that familiar, luxurious softness enveloped my run, much like its predecessor.

As a blogger and an avid reader of other blogs myself, I always want the best stuff first.

So, let’s address the elephant in the room – the biggest difference I felt.

What was the biggest difference between the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 and the 26?

For me, it’s a curious and somewhat unexpected observation. As I hit the pavement in the Nimbus 26, there’s a distinctive element that caught my attention – it feels loud, almost tappy on the ground.

It’s not a resounding slap, more like a rhythmic tapping, almost as if I’ve unintentionally joined a tap dance troupe mid-run.

So, what’s the deal with this peculiar symphony underfoot? Well, my hunch is that it boils down to a revamped outsole. The layout and pattern are different, and I reckon that’s where the tap dance vibes are originating.

It might just be my pair. Every shoe can have its own personality, right? But, I wanted to lay it out there for you. It’s an intriguing quirk that doesn’t necessarily hinder the performance but adds a unique soundtrack to the miles.

One other thing I noticed that was also a little different is we have these felt eye stays as opposed to the loops. I imagine is there to give you that better lockdown.  

As we continue this shoe journey, I’ll keep a keen eye (and ear) on these nuances and share my thoughts on whether this tapping sensation is a one-time gig or a characteristic of the Nimbus 26 lineage. Stay tuned for more insights!

The million-dollar question on everyone’s mind: is it worth shelling out a little extra cash for the shiny new kid on the block, the Nimbus 26 or should you snag a few more pairs of the Nimbus 25 while you still can?

Here’s my take…

Related:

Should You Get the Nimbus 26 or the 25

If budget is your main squeeze right now and you’re looking to save a few bucks, my advice would lean towards the Nimbus 25.

Why?

Well, these two shoes are like long-lost twins. The differences are so subtle that distinguishing between them is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

In cases like these, where the family resemblance is striking, saving some cash seems like a smart move.

Now, let’s flip the coin. If you’re in possession of the Nimbus 25 and the itch for something new, different, and a tad more exhilarating has struck, then my friend, the Nimbus 26 is calling your name. It’s not just about replacing what you have; it’s about upgrading the experience even just by a tiny bit.

Ultimately, the decision between the two comes down to your budget and what you’re hunting for in your next pair of running companions.

If you’re on the prowl for the next big thing, the Nimbus 26 is your ticket to a fresh running adventure.

Remember, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is set to hit the shelves on January 15th, 2024 – make a note in your calendars and get ready for a stride into the future!

Now, let’s take a peek under the hood, or in this case, the midsole of the Nimbus 26.

Related:

Midsole

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Asics brings to the table their FlyteFoam Blast+ Eco (FFBlast+ Eco) material, a sustainable foam that’s been making waves in their recent shoe releases.

In the Nimbus 26, it’s not just sustainable, it’s a soft, plush, and pillowy dream – all the buzzwords that make us runners grin from ear to ear.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be a Nimbus without a dash of gel magic in the rear. The rear Pure Gel technology in the Nimbus 26 is like the secret ingredient that completes the cushioning recipe, a nod to the signature comfort we’ve come to expect from this line.

Now, here’s the magic trick – when I say the Nimbus 26 feels identical underfoot to its predecessor, I’m not tossing around empty words. That cloud-like softness that you fell in love with in the Nimbus 25? It’s here to stay.

This shoe is your go-to companion for those days when your legs are begging for a break, and you’re tackling some serious mileage on those easy-paced runs. No pun intended, but this shoe shines in those scenarios.

Let’s be clear, though – the Nimbus 26 isn’t the sprinter of the shoe world. It’s big, it’s a bit bulky, and it’s not your speed demon. But when it comes to eating those slow, long-distance miles, the Nimbus 26 is a beast like nothing else.

Having logged about 18 miles in the Nimbus 26, I must say it’s been a rather delightful journey. Now, if you’re a fan of the ultra-soft shoe experience, you’re stepping into my world. The Nimbus 26 fits that bill perfectly.

However, and it’s a small “however,” there are moments where I sense it might be a tad too soft, a sentiment I shared with its predecessor, the 25.

Sometimes, I find myself yearning for just a smidge more responsiveness to smoothly transition me into the next stride. Now, if you’re not seeking that extra bounce in your step, this shoe is going to wrap you in pure satisfaction.

Diving into the midsole realm of the Asics 25 and 26, it’s a bit like encountering identical twins. There’s an undeniable familial resemblance, and when it comes to the feel underfoot, they’re practically inseparable. If you loved the 25, you’re in for a treat with the 26.

Now, let’s shift our focus down to where the rubber meets the road – the outsole…

Related:

Outsole

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Asics has thrown in some changes for the Nimbus 26, bringing in hybrid rubbers into the mix. Enter the Asics Grip, combined with a dash of AHAR+ rubber, all geared towards enhancing traction and upping the shoe’s durability game.

One glance at the lateral side of the midfoot, and it’s clear that the Nimbus 26 has beefed up its rubber coverage. The pattern takes on a new identity, and the groove, oh, the groove is more substantial than its predecessor.

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This isn’t just for show; it’s a strategic move to inject a bit more bounce into the Nimbus 26’s step.

Now, in terms of durability and traction, it’s a thumbs-up from my end. While I’m not witnessing any earth-shattering wear in the early stages of my 18 miles with the shoe, I reckon the true test lies ahead – a solid 50+ miles to truly assess the outsole’s mettle.

As with many aspects of a running shoe, the real story unfolds over time. It’s not a spectacle you witness within the initial miles.

So, while I’m not predicting any outlandish breakthroughs, I’m reserving my final verdict until the rubber has met a more substantial chunk of the road.

In the grand scheme, nothing too crazy to report at this juncture.

Related:

Upper

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On the upper, Asics maintains the use of an engineered knit, a close cousin to what graced the Nimbus 25. But, if you ask me, there’s a subtle yet noticeable tweak in the aesthetic.

The Nimbus 26’s upper exudes a more pronounced knit appearance, giving it a distinct personality compared to its predecessor. The material is light, almost airy, particularly in the forefoot where you can feel a gentle breeze passing through.

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Transitioning to the midfoot, there’s a welcomed sense of structure. Asics claims it’s a revamped midfoot, engineered to provide enhanced support. And, on my runs, it does seem to play its part in securing that midfoot, preventing any unnecessary wobbling.

And if you go to the back, the heel counter stands its ground with a sturdy construction, ensuring your heel stays right where it should be.

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Yet, I must admit, the upper of the Nimbus 26, much like its predecessor, gives off a substantial vibe. It’s a big shoe, and you’ll feel it. But, for those who appreciate that enveloping sensation, it’s all part of the Nimbus charm.

Related:

Tongue and Laces

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The tongue on the Nimbus 26 is a mirror image of its predecessor, the 25. Featuring that stretchy knit, the tongue gracefully lays over the top of my foot, holding its ground without being sloppy and falling around everywhere.

The laces are able to give me a nice tight fit across the midfoot. But one thing I will say is that I do have to make sure that I cinch the laces down or I feel a little bit of heel slippage in the back.

Yet, fear not, for the magic fix lies in giving those laces an extra cinch. Problem solved, and the remainder of the run glided by without a hitch.

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Comfort reigns supreme in the Nimbus 26’s upper. If you’re in the market for an upper that matches the cloud-like comfort of the midsole, you’re in for a treat.

It’s a snug fit that embraces your foot with a reassuring hug. Now, if your foot tends to lean on the narrow side, you might find the fit a tad generous. However, for those with average or wide-sized feet, it’s a match made in comfort heaven.

I threw a variety of challenges at the Nimbus 26’s upper—no hot spots, blisters, or irritating surprises. The differences, if we’re being honest, are subtle.

It’s a case of ‘tweaking what wasn’t broken,’ and Asics managed to maintain the essence of what we loved about the Nimbus 25. It’s a win-win, and in the world of running shoes, that’s always cause for celebration.

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Price

Again, looking ahead to January 2024, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 will make its grand entrance with a price tag of $160.

Now, in the world of max-cushioned shoes, that seems to be right on the money, aligning with the standard pricing for such performance.

It’s worth noting that this is precisely where the Nimbus 25 made its debut. However, here’s a little insider tip—currently, you can snag the Nimbus 25 for a sweet $120. That’s a tempting offer for those looking to dive into the Nimbus series without breaking the bank.

So, as we eagerly await the Nimbus 26’s arrival, it’s a balancing act between the allure of the new and the appeal of a pocket-friendly option with the Nimbus 25.

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Wrap-up

In wrapping up this initial review of the Asics Gel Nimbus 26, I find myself in a familiar and comfortable place, much like slipping into the Nimbus 25.

The similarities are uncanny, and I’m eagerly anticipating putting these shoes to the test through the chilly winter miles.

While it’s entirely plausible that the nuances between the Asics 26 and the 25 might reveal themselves over time, I’m content with the present state of affairs. The Nimbus 25 has been a reliable companion, and its twin, the 26, shows all the signs of following suit.

Now, the question extends to you—will the Nimbus 26 find its way into your running arsenal? Perhaps you’re already lacing up the Nimbus 25, debating whether to stick with a trusted companion or dive into the new iteration.

Your thoughts and experiences are what make this dialogue complete, so drop your comments below, and let’s keep the conversation rolling.

This marks the end of our initial review of the yet-to-be-released Asics Gel Nimbus 26. I’ll see you in the next one 🙂

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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