ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 vs. Brooks Ghost 8 review

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 is a good entry-level trainer that provides a soft ride to neutral runners. Brooks Ghost 8 delivers a soft and smooth ride with a touch of stability...

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The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 and the Brooks Ghost 8 are neutral cushioning running shoes that are suitable for beginners and that are comparable to each other.

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 and the Brooks Ghost 8 are similar in that both come with no-sew overlays to minimize irritation and provide a comfortable fit.

However, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 has more no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot than the Brooks Ghost 8 does, so should also provide you with a slightly more secure fit.

Both running shoes have overlays running over the toe box, but those of the Brooks Ghost 8 are much lighter and thinner. In addition, the bunion window of the Brooks Ghost 8 is more open than that of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, so all in all, the Brooks Ghost 8 should feel pretty comfortable in the toe box if you have large bunions.

Both the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 and the Brooks Ghost 8 have some stitches at the front and at the back of the shoes, but these should not affect any comfort provided by the shoes.

The Brooks Ghost 8 provides heel-to-toe cushioning through its BioMoGo DNA midsole, while the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 does the same through its FluidRide midsole.

However, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 adds extra cushioning in the form of GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot between two layers of foam.

This does not automatically make the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 more cushy than the Brooks Ghost 8, though, because running shoe lab tests have shown that for women, the Brooks Ghost 8 is overall more cushy than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17.

For men, it is the other way around with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 coming out as being very plush compared to the Brooks Ghost 8.

The GEL cushioning in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 has a similar function as the segmented crash pad in the Brooks Ghost 8. But unlike the GEL cushioning that is localized in the heel and forefoot of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, the crash pad of the Brooks Ghost 8 runs along the entire outer length of the shoe.

This causes the Brooks Ghost 8 not only to provide you with soft landings, but also to have a stabilizing effect from heel-to-toe, and the ability to provide you with smoother transitions.

This combined with the fact that the Brooks Ghost 8 provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, makes the Brooks Ghost 8 come out as the more stable running shoe of the two.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 has a midfoot shank on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe to provide midfoot structural integrity.

The Brooks Ghost 8 does not have a midfoot shank, which allows it to more seamlessly join the forefoot and rearfoot areas. This again helps you to transition more smoothly from heel to toe.

The rubber outsoles of the Brooks Ghost 8 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 display a good degree of separation for shock absorption and dissipation.

While the two running shoes have the same amount of horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 tends to have large slabs of rubber, while the Brooks Ghost 8 has smaller rubber pods, so a larger degree of separation.

This larger degree of separation might help with shock absorption and dissipation, but it does not necessarily make the Brooks Ghost 8 more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 comes out at the top in the flexibility department according to running shoe lab tests. While the difference is not that big for men, women should notice a big difference between the two running shoes.

The main difference between the outsoles of the two running shoes is that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 has a vertical flex groove to help with gait efficiency while the Brooks Ghost 8 does not. It does have a vertical flex groove, but not one that has specifically been designed to help with your gait cycle.

The women's version of the Brooks Ghost 8 weighs approximately 8.5 oz (241 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 for women weighs 9.3 oz (264 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.9 oz (309 grams) and 11.4 oz (323 grams), respectively, with the Brooks Ghost 8 being the lighter one.

If you are a neutral runner who does not need any kind of stability and support, you could go either with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 or the Brooks Ghost 8.

However, if you are looking for a very cushy running shoe and are a man, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 may suit you better than the Brooks Ghost 8. And if you are a woman, the Brooks Ghost 8 would offer you a softer ride.

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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