Brooks Ghost 11 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 review

Brooks Ghost 11 provides a responsive ride with a touch of stability to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a soft but responsive ride with a good fit to neutral runners...

The Brooks Ghost 11 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 are neutral cushioning running shoes, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is seen as a more premium running shoe than the Brooks Ghost 11, which is more of an entry-level neutral running shoe.

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The uppers of the Brooks Ghost 11 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 are similar in that both expose quite a bit of mesh and do not come with many stitches, all of which are meant to increase your level of comfort.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com has more and better-running overlays than the Brooks Ghost 11, which makes use of a closer structure in the mesh around the midfoot towards the back of the running shoe to provide some support.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has the ASICS logo on the lateral side that keeps the mesh together, and then there are no-sew overlays throughout the entire upper to deliver more support in addition to the structure of the mesh itself.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is expected to deliver a somewhat tighter fit through its upper compared to the Brooks Ghost 11.

On the other hand, the Brooks Ghost 11 might deliver more comfort in the toe box, which is more or less completely open and with makes lots of room for big bunions.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 increases the amount of support it delivers through its upper by having an external heel counter at the back that locks your heel in.

The Brooks Ghost 11 also has a heel that is pretty closed and a sturdy piece wraps the top of the heel, but the external heel counter of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 provides a better cup for your heel to sit in.

All in all, you should be able to get enough support as a neutral runner from either running shoe, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a bit more support through its upper, while the Brooks Ghost 11 delivers a bit more looseness and thus also comfort.

While the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 was built to deliver a soft ride, the Brooks Ghost 11 is a running shoe that is meant to deliver a good amount of cushioning yet still remain responsive.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a responsive layer of foam at the bottom of its midsole and a softer layer at the top. GEL cushioning sits between these two layers in the heel and in the forefoot to soften your ride.

The midsole setup of the Brooks Ghost 11 is slightly different by having one main layer of foam, and then there is a crash pad of softer foam under the heel.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers enough cushioning to make your ride feel overall soft, and women tend to get more heel cushioning than men due to the 3 mm of extra height they get under their heels to take stress off their Achilles tendon.

The crash pad of the Brooks Ghost 11 is of the same material used in the midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16, which delivers a maximum amount of cushioning, so not surprisingly, the Brooks Ghost 11 delivers lots of heel cushioning compared to the amount of forefoot cushioning that is more on the moderate side.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has a more balanced cushioning profile than the Brooks Ghost 11 for men who get lots of heel cushioning from the Brooks Ghost 11.

Because women get a more moderate amount of heel and forefoot cushioning from the Brooks Ghost 11, the Brooks Ghost 11 is more balanced than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for women who get lots of heel cushioning from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

On average, the Brooks Ghost 11 has a higher heel-to-toe drop than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 by having a thicker heel and a thinner forefoot, but because women get 3 mm extra heel height in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 tends to have a higher heel-to-toe drop for women.

The conclusion is that the Brooks Ghost 11 is a good running shoe for male heel-strikers, but female heel-strikers might be better off in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 also provides overall more protection from the road by having on average a thicker midsole than the Brooks Ghost 11 for both men and women.

Neither the Brooks Ghost 11 nor the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is meant to deliver stability and support, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a midfoot shank that increases the amount of support you get right under the midfoot.

The external heel counter in the upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 can also be seen as a stability feature.

The Brooks Ghost 11 is also a stable neutral running shoe, because it provides a good amount of ground contact, and your heel-to-toe transitions should feel smoother in the Brooks Ghost 11.

However, neither running shoe would be suitable for overpronators who require a good amount of stability and support.

The outsoles of the two running shoes look quite different, with that of the Brooks Ghost 11 displaying a greater degree of separation and segmentation, which is good for shock absorption and dissipation.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has larger areas of rubber, and it comes with a vertical flex groove that is meant to help you achieve a more efficient gait.

Both running shoes have three flex grooves in the forefoot, but because they deliver a good amount of forefoot cushioning, they might feel stiff.

However, because the flex grooves in the forefoot of the Brooks Ghost 11 run nicely from side to side and because the Brooks Ghost 11 has a somewhat thinner forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, it is likely to feel a bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The women's version of the Brooks Ghost 11 weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for women weighs 8.8 oz (249 grams).

The men's version of the Brooks Ghost 11 weighs about 10.9 oz (309 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for men weighs approximately 10.7 oz (303 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft and comfortable ride from a running shoe, you could turn to either the Brooks Ghost 11 or the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is good for runners who prefer a close-to-foot fit and who are looking to go on long runs so who want lots of comfort.

The Brooks Ghost 11 is good for runners who are looking for a more basic running shoe that provides everything they need in addition to a soft and smooth 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 Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Brooks

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