ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is a supreme cushioning athletic shoe that provides comfort and a stable platform to run on, while ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is ASICS's top-of-the-line stability sneaker that provides a smooth ride. Learn more about the differences and similarities.

NEW! ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 24

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is a stability running shoe that tends towards being motion control but isn't quite one, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is a supreme cushioning running shoe that provides a stable and comfortable ride.


Looking at the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 side-by-side gives a good comparison of these two women's running shoes.

The uppers of both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 and ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 look very similar. Both consist of breathable mesh with synthetic overlays and make use of FluidFit in their uppers, so they should both fit and move very well with your feet.

The synthetic overlays that provide structural support in the upper are very similar in placement in both running shoes.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has less overlays on the medial side of the shoe and also thinner overlays over the toe box, so your foot should feel a bit more free in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 than in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 also has more FluidFit than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, which adds to the glove-like feel of the Kayano 20. Both running shoes make use of a Heel Clutching System, so your feet should stay well put on the running platforms.

Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 are expected to provide a good amount of cushioning, because the former falls in the cushioning category of running shoes, and the latter in the structured cushioning running shoe category. So the main difference between these running shoes is in the midsole technology used.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 was specifically designed to provide runners with stability and pronation control, so it has reinforcement in the form of Dynamic DuoMax in its midsole to provide this stability. This reinforcement runs along the complete midsole.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has a FluidRide midsole that sits on top of the Dynamic DuoMax reinforced foam. The Dynamic DuoMax is completely absent in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16; it just has a FluidRide midsole with no extra reinforcement under the midfoot. So if you are looking for arch support, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 would be better than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

However, what is similar between these two ASICS running shoes is that they both have forefoot and rearfoot GEL cushioning, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 having a bit more than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20. So together with the FluidRide midsole, which gives you more energy return, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should feel softer than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20.

Looking at the outsoles of both running shoes, we can see that they have a similar structure. Both running shoes have the shape of a normal foot, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 having a somewhat wider forefoot area. This should provide the stability required that is otherwise missing due to the absence of midsole reinforcement.

Both running shoes have the Impact Guidance System, Guidance Trusstic System, and Guidance Line to provide you with an effective gait cycle and midfoot structural integrity.

The horizontal flex grooves are somewhat different in structure with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 being more flexible in the forefoot and also more shock absorbant in the rearfoot. In addtion, the durable rubber lugs on the outsole are broader and a bit thicker on the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, which perhaps adds a bit to its weight.

Neutral runners who would land more on the back of their heels would benefit from the nicely separated thick rubber lug at the back of the rearfoot of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, while runners who tend to overpronate would benefit from the lug separation on the rear outsides of the outsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20. So each running shoe would suit its target audience.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams), which is 0.2 oz (5 grams) lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, which weighs 9.7 oz (275 grams). So the weight difference between these two runnings shoes can be seen as insignificant.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 does not differ much from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 where weight and features are concerned. However, if you want a very soft, comfortable, and flexible ride, are looking for a running shoe you hardly feel on your foot, and are a runner who is looking for more cushioning than support, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 would fit the bill.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is like the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, but then a bit stiffer with a little bit less cushioning, but more stability and support. So if you are a moderate overpronator who requires a bit more support and are looking for a smooth ride that is stable but not too soft, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 might just be the running shoe for you.

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.

The two links above will take you to where you can read more about the running shoes.

This review falls under: ASICS

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