Asics Kayano vs Nimbus – A Bit Similar Yet Very Different


Today, I’m going to be doing an “Asics Kayano vs Nimbus” comparison.

So, you need a new pair of running shoes and you’ve turned to Asics. You’ve heard great things about the Asics Gel Nimbus and you’ve heard great things about the Asics Gel Kayano.

But which shoe is right for you?


Let’s dive right into it…

Asics Kayano vs. Nimbus


I decided to clarify a few things about these two great Asics workhorses because this is a very common question amongst those who are new to Asics.

I’ve noticed that this question has been addressed to very specific models like for example the Gel Nimbus 18 compared to the Gel Kayano 23, the Gel Nimbus 22 compared to the Gel Kayano 26 … You get the point.

These comparisons are absolutely great, but they can still be a little bit confusing because each model of the shoe experiences little changes year by year that make the newer models quite a bit different than the older models.

With that being said, I am going to start talking about the general difference between the Gel Kayano and the Gel Nimbus and which one is suited for you no matter which year you pick it up.

Then later in the article, I’m going to compare the Asics Gel Kayano Kayano 27 to the Nimbus 22



Stable vs Neutral


This is the shoe that neutral runners are going to love. But what does that mean?

This means that you are one of the lucky ones and that you have normal arches. Your arches stay intact as you are stepping or walking.

So when you take a step, your feet are not rolling inwards or outwards. They are staying in line as you are walking.

This is thought to be the ideal arch type and if this is you, then the Gel Nimbus is for you.

The Asics Gel Nimbus is quite simply one of the softest shoes Asics makes. Although this shoe is built for anything from 5k to full-fledged marathons, a lot of nurses and teachers swear by the Nimbus.

The reason being that these are jobs where you’re on your feet all day and you want something that’s very nice and soft yet supportive.


So, if you have neutral or normal arches and you like a soft ride, the Asics Gel Nimbus is 100% for you.


The Kayano is a shoe that does wonders for overpronators.

What is overpronation, you ask?

Overpronation happens when the foot has a low arch aka flat-footed. When you are stepping, the arch collapses on itself and causes your foot to roll inwards.

No disrespect to anyone else, but this is thought to be the not so ideal arch type. The reason being that if you are flat-footed and you end up overpronating, this puts strain on your tendons, your muscles, and your ligaments.

And if it’s done excessively over time, it can lead you to foot issues and those sort of things.



If you are someone who is flat-footed and/or roll inward as you step, then the Asics Gel Kayano is for you.

The Asics Gel Kayano tends to be a little bit stiffer in the midfoot compared to other Asics shoes. That is because it has what is called the DuoMax technology that Asics uses on the medial side.

This DuoMax is what stops your overpronation, but it tends to be a little bit stiff. If you ever hold a Gel Kayano and you squeeze on that DuoMax material, you’ll notice that it’s much stiffer compared to the other parts of the midsole.

As an overpronator myself, I’ve owned the Gel Kayano 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27. I can honestly tell you that although the Kayanos start off stiff with the DuoMax, they break in very nicely and get super comfy over time.

So there you have it.

No matter which year or which model of either shoe you are picking up, it does not matter because that is the general difference between the Asics Kayano vs. Nimbus.


The Asics Nimbus is for someone with neutral or normal arches and the Kayano is for people who are flat-footed and for people who overpronate.

The truth that matters is that one shoe is not necessarily better than the other. It depends more so on you and your arch type.

Asics Kayano 27 vs. Nimbus 22


Before we jump into it, there’s going to be a few people that say these shoes don’t go up against each other. You’re pretty much correct because the Kayano is a stability shoe and the Nimbus is a neutral shoe.

I’ve discussed this in the general difference of the Asics Gel Kayano vs Nimbus above.

If you skipped the general comparison above, let me just clear a few things quickly.

The Asics Gel Kayano 27 is a stability shoe. So, if you’re someone who overpronates and goes to roll in a little bit and you want that little bit more guidance on the medial side of the foot, the Kayano is going to work really well.

If you’re a neutral runner or someone who comes down quite straight throughout the gait cycle and holds that line quite nicely, the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is going to work well.

Also, if you supinate/underpronate meaning your feet tend to roll out, the Nimbus does have that potential to kind of bounce you back in and hold you nice and straight.

Overall, both the Kayano and the Nimbus are great daily trainers but very different in terms of your stability structure underneath the foot.

With that out of the way, what are the Kayano and the Nimbus going to be good for?

If you’re someone who wants to do lots of miles or even a gym workout in these, both shoes will work quite nicely.

Asics designed these shoes to be those max mileage daily trainers so you’re going to get tons of miles out these guys.




You’re going to be getting about 600 miles of pop out of each one. That outsole durability is guaranteed by the ton of rubber on the bottom.

You’ve got that slightly softer air-blown rubber in the forefoot area and more durable carbon rubber towards the heel zones and just in high striking zones in general.



Flexibility-wise, you do have more flex grooves in the Nimbus 22. Those flex grooves are going to make for that more flexible forefoot area.

Although the flex grooves on the Kayano 27 are deeper than the previous models, they’re not as deep as the Nimbus.

So, the flex grooves on the Nimbus will give you a more flexible toe-off whereas if you’re a little bit more unstable in your forefoot area, the Kayano will work slightly better.


Cushioning & Support


The Kayano 27 has a much firmer cushioning system wrapping around the heel and also on the medial side. This Dynamic DuoMax stability system is there to give the foot a little bit more support.

Then, you’ve got that nice FlyteFoam Propel at the forefoot which does feel quite soft.

Again, the Gel Kayano 27 is going to feel a lot firmer than the Nimbus 22.

When you put the Nimbus on, the whole shoe feels a lot softer in general in comparison to the Kayano because it uses that plush FlyteFoam Propel through the whole midsole and not just in the forefoot.

The FlyteFoam Propel is really soft underfoot and it’s one of the better cushioning systems out there.

The Nimbus is not the plushest shoe on the market, but the durability of the foam will work really nicely.

As for the Gel, both shoes have Gel around the heel and the forefoot to help with that little bit of shock absorption.


Trusstic System


The Trusstic system coupled with that Dynamic DuoMax stability system in the Kayano does provide the foot with a lot more structure, especially at the rear and midfoot.

It’s built up a lot more on the medial side of the foot and that does provide that foot with a little bit more stability when your feet tend to overpronate.

Also, the Trusstic system on the Kayano runs all the way through the width of the outsole whereas, on the Nimbus, it’s only on the medial side.

So, although the Nimbus does have that Trusstic system on the bottom, it’s not as pronounced and it is a lot lighter in general, as well.

So, why is Asics putting the Trusstic system in a neutral shoe like the Nimbus?

I guess the Trusstic system on the Nimbus does not interfere with your gait if you don’t need it to. I think it’s there to help you as a neutral runner only if you tend to get a little bit lazy later into the run and you do have that moment of instability.

So in that sense, the Nimbus does provide a little bit of stability, but with the Kayano, the Trusstic system is a lot more pronounced to give you that support nicely to kind of guide you throughout your gait cycle.


One last thing, the Kayano’s stability system makes it a really nice alternative to the discontinued New Balance 1260. Give it a read!

Heel-to-toe drop

The Kayano 27 has a 10-mm heel-to-toe drop for men and women whereas the Nimbus 22 is running with a 10-mm drop for men and a whopping 13-mm drop for women.

I don’t know why the women’s Nimbus has a 13-mm drop, but I guess Asics have found that women need that little bit extra underneath the heel just to kind of get you forward and propel you quite nicely.

Heel, Collar, Tongue, Laces

asics-gel-kayano-27-upper (1)

The heel counter in both shoes is quite pronounced and kind of gives you that nice snug fit around the back.

With the Kayano, you do have a little bit more of an external heel counter.

Both shoes have a ton of padding around the collar to give you that nice snug fit around the back with plenty of cushioning around there.

The tongue and laces are quite padded and they shouldn’t cause any irritation.


Fit & Feel

Both shoes are going to wrap around the foot really nicely. You’ve got that really good midfoot lockdown as well as that forefoot lockdown.

I would say in the Nimbus you do have that ability to wiggle your toes a little bit more with that kind of more airy mesh. The upper will also breathe a little bit better in the Nimbus.

The upper on the Kayano is a slightly more dialed in upper that’s going to lock down that forefoot a little bit more, but that’s what you want for someone who’s quite an unstable runner.

So if you are someone who goes to toe-off and rolls in quite a bit, you don’t want something that’s going to move around a whole lot.

And if you’re someone that has a slightly stronger foot, you want that ability to kind of wiggle your toes a bit more and it’s going to give you a little bit more room. So the upper on the Nimbus is that kind of lighter nicer upper, overall.


The standard width of the Asics Kayano and the Nimbus is kind of quite tapered, but both shoes do come in multiple widths, as well.

So, if you’re someone who does have a wider foot, these guys can accommodate your feet really comfortably.


The Kayano weighs in at 11.11 oz for men and 8.7 oz for women whereas the Nimbus comes in at 10.8 oz for men and 8.9 oz for women.

So, the Nimbus 22 is a little bit lighter than the Kayano 27 but nothing to get excited about. However, if you really take weight seriously, Asics decided to release a lighter version of both shoes, the Kayano Lite and the Nimbus Lite.


The Asics Kayano is a tad bit more expensive than the Nimbus. You’re pretty much just paying a little bit extra coins for that little bit of extra stability.

Which One?

So, with the Asics Kayano vs Nimbus, which one would you pick up?

As I said earlier, you shouldn’t probably have one over the other. It just depends on who you are as a person.

Again, if you’re someone who needs a little bit more guidance and doesn’t mind that little bit more of a structured feel, look towards the Kayano because it will guide your foot a lot more.

And if you’re someone who wants a more plush feel on the foot with a more flexible forefoot area, look towards the Nimbus.

If you want to learn more about stability shoes, we’ve done a comparison of two Saucony Stability shoes, the Guide vs Hurricane.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you did, please be sure to share it with the people you know.

If you have absolutely any further questions about either of these two models, please let me know in the comments and I will get back to you.

Or, let me know also which shoe you end up going with.

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy, and I hope you all are having a wonderful day.

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.

6 thoughts on “Asics Kayano vs Nimbus – A Bit Similar Yet Very Different”

  1. Hey. Good article. Only concern I have is that along with over pronation I also have a bunion on both feet but worse on my right. Does the kayanos stabilizing structure cause not enough room in the toe box to accommodate for the bunion?


    • Thanks for the comment, Ryan. The Kayano 27 has a wide toe box that it can accommodate bunions comfortably. However, if you have super wide feet or big bunions, I suggest you try them out and see if they work. If not, the return policy on Amazon is really convenient.

      Just remember to share your experience if the Kayano has helped you.

  2. Very nice article! I was just wondering that when you said the Nimbus is not one of the plushest shoes on the market, what shoes did you have in mind then?

    • Hi Rudy,
      Thanks for stopping by. The new Hoka Mach 4 has taken plushness to a whole new level and it’s currently the best Hoka to date when it comes to cushioning and plushness, at least in my opinion.

  3. Totally helped me decide on a shoe, thank you! I went with the Nimbus 23 for the extra cushioning and softer feel. Thanks so much.


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