ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 vs. Brooks Glycerin 16 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 delivers a smooth and stable ride to neutral runners. Brooks Glycerin 16 is a premium cushioning running shoe that delivers a very soft and smooth ride...

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 are neutral running shoes that are meant to deliver premium cushioning.

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They can be placed at a similar level so are supposed to be comparable.

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Glycerin 16 display many differences.

While the Brooks Glycerin 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com is overall quite open and only closed around the midfoot, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 exposes mesh mainly in the forefoot and the midfoot but has no-sew overlays running throughout the entire upper.

In addition, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 comes with a sturdy external heel counter at the back to give you a better heel fit. The Brooks Glycerin 16 is missing such a feature and provides a standard amount of support around the heel.

Because of the construction of the uppers, the Brooks Glycerin 16 might feel overall looser and more comfortable than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

However, because the Brooks Glycerin 16 comes with an internal bootie, you would still get a close-to-foot fit from its upper.

The toe box of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is more unrestricted than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21, so runners with wide feet should be able to get more room from the toe box of the Brooks Glycerin 16 compared to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 has 3D Fit Print overlays around the midfoot that connect well to the midsole and cover a good area around the midfoot, so it might deliver a bit more support around the midfoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21, which is a bit more open around the midfoot despite the ASICS logo covering a good amount of mesh.

All in all, you should be able to get a good amount of comfort from the upper of either running shoe, but the Brooks Glycerin 16 might feel a bit more comfortable with enough support around the midfoot to keep your foot on the running platform, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 might feel overall a bit tighter and more supportive around the heel.

The midsoles of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 also display quite a few differences.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 comes with one main layer of foam in its midsole, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 has two different layers of foam plus GEL cushioning in the heel and non-visibly in the forefoot.

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The two layers of foam in the midsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 cover two different areas of the running shoe, with the top layer running from heel to toe but is thicker under the forefoot than it is under the heel.

The top layer of foam is meant to feel softer than the bottom layer of foam that runs from the heel to a bit past the midfoot, and ASICS claims that it propels you forward with a maximum bounce on the forefoot.

The bottom layer of foam connects well to the top layer of foam at the midfoot to offer a good amount of ground contact on the lateral side. This should help you to achieve smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

However, the amount of ground contact is a bit less on the medial side where the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 has a small midfoot shank to deliver midfoot integrity and support.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 provides overall a bit less ground contact than the Brooks Glycerin 16, which does not have a midfoot shank and thus provides a good amount of ground contact on both sides of the running shoe.

In addition, the midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is more segmented than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21, so your ride might feel overall smoother in the Brooks Glycerin 16 compared to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 makes use of a midsole material that delivers a maximum amount of cushioning, and it has been found to really do so, so you should be able to get an overall very soft ride from the Brooks Glycerin 16 whether you are a man or a woman.

On the other hand, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 has been found to have a cushy forefoot for both men and women, but its heel could feel firm to some runners.

Therefore, the Brooks Glycerin 16 might be better for heel-strikers than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 are traditional rubber outsoles that display a good amount of separation, which should be good to absorb and dissipate shock.

While both running shoes have rubber pods that are small, the separation is a bit greater in the outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16. In addition, the Brooks Glycerin 16 also has more flex grooves than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

However, because both running shoes deliver a good amount of forefoot cushioning, they both turn out to be on the stiff side for both men and women.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 is a bit lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 for both men and women, although both running shoes are seen as relatively heavy running shoes.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a comfortable and luxurious ride from a running shoe, you could choose either the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 or the Brooks Glycerin 16.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 sticks out in that it might offer overall more comfort and especially to those who have wide feet. You can also get an overall softer and perhaps smoother ride from the Brooks Glycerin 16 than from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 sticks out in that it comes with more stability features than the Brooks Glycerin 16, so it might turn out to feel overall more stable and supportive than the Brooks Glycerin 16, which is good for neutral runners who are looking for a running shoe that offers a bit of stability too.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 might also suit runners who prefer a cushy forefoot but might turn out to be somewhat less suitable for heel-strikers.

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 Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


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