ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 vs. Brooks Glycerin 12 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and Brooks Glycerin 12 are neutral running shoes that deliver an unsurpassed amount of cushioning. But how do they differ and how are they similar?

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and Brooks Glycerin 12 are both top-of-the-line neutral running shoes by two different manufacturers.


Because of this, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and Brooks Glycerin 12 can be considered each other's counterpart.

The uppers of both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Brooks Glycerin 12 consist of a combination of breathable mesh with overlays. But the main difference is in the overlays.

The overlays of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 consist of a combination of stitched overlays with FluidFit in between to securely fit the upper around your foot like a glove.

On the other hand, the overlays of the Brooks Glycerin 12 have been printed on the shoe using 3D print technology to apply structure to the uppers but still keep the overlays flexible and light. These overlays also wrap around your feet well just like the FluidFit in the Nimbus 16.

So both running shoes should provide you with a flexible and customized fit with their uppers, in addition to a great and soft in-shoe feel.

However, the attention that Brooks has placed on lightness helps the Brooks Glycerin 12 win from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 in being a lightweight running shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is known for its cushioning properties with lots of GEL cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. The Brooks Glycerin 12 does not lag much behind in amount of cushioning, though, because it has almost as much cushioning as the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 wins by just a tiny notch.

Where the difference comes in is in the structure and construction of the midsole. The Brooks Glycerin 12 offers full ground contact with a segmented crash pad for a smooth heel-to-toe transition and stability, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has a midfoot shank, which separates the heel from the forefoot and provides midfoot structural integrity.

This means that the Brooks Glycerin 12 is expected to deliver a much smoother ride than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. However, the Guidance Line and Impact Guidance System built into the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should still help you achieve an efficient transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

Both the Brooks Glycerin 12 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should have a bouncy feel to them. FluideRide in the midsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should provide you with enough bounce back, cushioning, and durability, while full-length Super BioMoGo DNA in the Brooks Glycerin 12 should not only provide you with customized and adaptable cushioning, but also more energy-return.

The outsoles of both neutral running shoes differ considerably. The outsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 consists of blown rubber and durable rubber in high wear areas. And it has lots of thick rubber under it, so this shoe should take a while to wear down.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 also has segmented rubber lugs under the heel to absorb and dissipate shock, and horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot for added flexibility.

The Brooks Glycerin 12 also has a combination of blown and durable rubber in its outsole, but its forefoot has more soft blown rubber to supply more cushioning and grip in that area.

Brooks has also put lots of thought in distributing the pressure while running in zones under the heel, midfoot, and forefoot to give you a more comfortable ride.

The placement and structure of the rubber on the outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 12 reflect this in 3 differents zones where the rubber under the heel is intended to absorb shock, while the rest provides a smooth transition to toe-off.

In addition, the Omni flex grooves in the forefoot should help your feet feel more natural and comfortable when taking off. And since the Brooks Glycerin 12 has one more horizontal flex groove in the forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, it should also feel a tiny bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and Brooks Glycerin 12 come close to providing a similar soft and plush feel while running. But if you are looking for a lightweight neutral running shoe then the Brooks Glycerin 12 would be the one to choose, since it is approximately 1 oz (28 grams) lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

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 | Brooks

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