ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 vs. 15 review

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 already provided excellent cushioning and enough stability to run mile after mile. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 takes this a step further. Learn how...

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is the updated version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15, so naturally, they should not differ too much.


Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and 15 are ASICS running shoes for underpronators to neutral runners, leaning a bit towards runners with mild overpronation, but not too much, since the GEL-Nimbus is all about providing runners with superb cushioning and not extreme support.

Starting with the uppers, ASICS maintained the breathable mesh with synthetic overlays when going from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. However, the position and location of the overlays have changed a bit in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

In the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, you should get a little bit more comfort around big bunions – if you have them – and your small toe, since the overlays that were on those locations have been moved up a bit.

What has also changed is the location and amount of FluidFit in the upper. Those little dynamic somewhat stretchy overlays that move with your feet are much more discrete in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, meaning that ASICS has reduced the amount of them, but placed them more strategically for a more effective fit.

The upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should hug your foot much better than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 without smothering it.

Moving on to the midsole, ASICS maintained the FluidRide midsole in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. In the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15, it already provided bounce back and cushioning at a reduced weight.

Speaking of weight, the women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 weighs about 9.7 oz (275 grams), which is 0.2 oz (6 grams) lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15. The difference in the men's versions is 0.1 oz (3 grams) with the Nimbus 16 weighing in at 11.9 oz (337 grams) instead of 11.8 oz, so it got heavier.

For women, the lower-density top layer in the midsole for enhanced comfort and the 3 mm of additional heel height to relieve Achilles tendon stress are both still present in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, so there aren't big differences to be noted there with the GEL-Nimbus 15.

Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 have GEL in the forefoot and under the heel to add cushioning to the midsole of the running shoe, and the Heel Clutching System that was already present in the Nimbus 15 is also there in the Nimbus 16 to keep your heel firmly locked down on the platform.

The Guidance Trusstic System under the midfoot has been updated to provide smoother transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.

Other than that, the outsoles have remained pretty much the same with Guidance Line still being there and forming part of the Impact Guidance System of the GEL-Nimbus that guides your foot throughout the gait cycle.

AHAR durable rubber is still present on the outsole and placed in all high-wear areas. What I like about the GEL-Nimbus is that this durable rubber is pretty thick, so it should take you a while to wear these running shoes down.

The rubber compartments on the outsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 have changed a bit in shape compared to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15, but not that much to significantly affect your stride. The rearfoot should still provide you with enough shock absorption.

Note that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 was already a pretty stiff running shoe. Data shows that the forefoot of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has become a tad stiffer than in the previous version.

All in all, making a choice between the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 and 16 is a tough one, because the Nimbus has not changed much other than providing you with a better fit and a smoother ride.

Both ASICS running shoes should feel and work the same on your feet, and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should still feel as cushiony as the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 did, if not, a little bit more comfortable. If anything, the big difference will be in the price.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

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This review falls under: ASICS

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