ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 vs. Brooks Transcend 3 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 offers a soft ride and lots of protection from the road for long runs. Brooks Transcend 3 provides a very plush and comfortable ride with a touch of stability....

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Brooks Transcend 3 fall in two different categories but share many properties. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is a neutral cushioning running shoe, while the Brooks Transcend 3 is considered to be a stability running shoe.


The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Brooks Transcend 3 are very similar in that they do not have stitched-on overlays in them. It is mostly mesh and no-sew overlays that wrap the entire foot.

Both the Brooks Transcend 3 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 also have an external heel counter at the back to provide a good amount of support there.

The Brooks Transcend 3 The preceding link takes you to implements several layers of mesh that wrap the foot more than those on the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 tends to provide a socklike fit but leaves the top of the shoe open and free. The Brooks Transcend 3 also provides a socklike fit through its different layers in the upper but the top of the shoe is not as open as that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

All in all, you should be able to get a similar amount of support from the uppers of the Brooks Transcend 3 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Brooks Transcend 3 provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles and are meant to be very plush running shoes.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has two layers of foam with GEL cushioning between those two layers. The top layer is the softest and the bottom the more responsive.

The Brooks Transcend 3 has one main layer of foam in its midsole that is 25% more cushy than the standard foam Brooks uses in most of its running shoes, except for the Brooks Glycerin 13.

Running shoe lab tests indicate that both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Brooks Transcend 3 are very cushy running shoes and come close to each other in the amount of cushioning they provide in both the heel and the forefoot.

But for women, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 comes out on top where cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot is concerned, and for men, it is the Brooks Transcend 3 that is the overall more cushy one.

However, whether the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 or the Brooks Transcend 3 comes out on top, the amount of cushioning that one provides in the heel or the forefoot is not far off from the amount provided by the other.

Because the Brooks Transcend 3 is also meant to provide stability and support, it comes with Guide Rails at the top of the midsole that borders the foot and helps align it and encourages it to follow a more natural motion path.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 does not come with any stability features other than a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces that are not connected to each other under the midfoot. This is just to provide some midfoot structural integrity.

The Brooks Transcend 3 comes with more stability features in its rounded heel to take stress off joints, a wider midfoot for more stability, and a good amount of ground contact for stability and a smoother ride.

The outsole of the Brooks Transcend 3 is also more separated than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, which tends to consist of large slabs of durable rubber.

More separation generally means more shock dissipation for a smoother ride.

Running shoe lab tests show that this separation in the outsole of the Brooks Transcend 3 does not benefit flexibility much, though, since it turns out to be a pretty stiff running shoe for both men and women.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 also turns out to be stiff for women but somewhat more flexible for men.

The women's version of the Brooks Transcend 3 weighs approximately 9.2 oz (261 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for women weighs 10.0 oz (283 grams).

The men's version of the Brooks Transcend 3 weighs about 11.4 oz (323 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a running shoe that can provide you with a soft ride for long runs, you may want to look into the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

And if you are a moderate overpronator who needs a bit of stability and support but who is also looking to get a soft and smooth ride, then the Brooks Transcend 3 might be what you are looking for.

Because the Guide Rails in the Brooks Transcend 3 do not overcorrect motion, the Brooks Transcend 3 could also be worn by neutral runners.

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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