Brooks Ghost 9 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 review

Brooks Ghost 9 provides an overall soft and smooth ride with a touch of stability to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 delivers a soft and comfortable ride for long runs...

NEW! Brooks Ghost 10 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 19

The Brooks Ghost 9 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 are neutral cushioning running shoes that are not each other's counterparts but are both for runners who do not need a whole lot of stability and support.

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The uppers of the Brooks Ghost 9 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 are quite similar in that they both have very light no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot and the forefoot.

Stitches have been kept to a minimum in both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Ghost 9 to minimize irritation points and provide a maximum amount of comfort.

The biggest difference between the uppers of the Brooks Ghost 9 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 can be found at the back of the shoes, where the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 comes with a sturdy external heel counter that increases the amount of support in that area.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 might also provide a tighter fit in the forefoot due to the fact that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has some very thin and light welded-on overlays along the sides of the forefoot, while the Brooks Ghost 9 implements mesh that has a structure that mimics overlays but are not really overlays.

All in all, though, you should be able to get a similar amount of support around the midfoot from both running shoes. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 might provide a bit more at the back.

The biggest differences between the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Brooks Ghost 9 can probably be found in the midsole.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 consists of two layers of foam with GEL cushioning between them, while the Brooks Ghost 9 consists of one main layer of foam that has a crash pad that runs along the entire outer length of the shoe.

The crash pad in the Brooks Ghost 9 has a similar function as the GEL cushioning in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, but because the crash pad connects the heel to the forefoot in the Brooks Ghost 9 and the GEL cushioning in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is not connected, the smoothness of transition from heel-strike to toe-off might be better in the Brooks Ghost 9.

In addition, the Brooks Ghost 9 provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and provides a more stable platform to run on, according to running shoe lab tests.

What running shoe lab tests also show is that the amount of cushioning differs quite a bit between the two running shoes, especially for men.

For men, the Brooks Ghost 9 turns out to have a very cushy heel and a somewhat less cushy forefoot but still cushy enough to provide comfort.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, on the other hand, provides a lot of forefoot cushioning and somewhat less heel cushioning to men.

The differences are less pronounced between the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Brooks Ghost 9 for women.

For women, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is overall more cushy than the Brooks Ghost 9. This includes the heel, where the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 provides a tiny bit more cushioning than the Brooks Ghost 9.

The latter is probably due to the fact that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women comes with an extra 3 mm of height in the heel to help take stress off the Achilles tendons of women. This extra height also helps increase the amount of cushioning in the heel.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 also provides more forefoot cushioning than the Brooks Ghost 9 although the Brooks Ghost 9 does not lag too far behind in that department.

The outsoles of the two running shoes also differ quite a bit with the Brooks Ghost 9 having small rubber pods and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 having large rubber compartments.

Both come with three main flex grooves in the forefoot, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 also comes with a vertical flex groove to help with the efficiency of your gait.

The great amount of separation under the Brooks Ghost 9 should help with the smoothness of your ride, but according to running shoe lab tests, it does not help much with the flexibility of the running shoe, because it turns out to be quite stiff for both men and women.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is also quite stiff for men but somewhat more flexible for women.

The women's version of the Brooks Ghost 9 weighs approximately 9.0 oz (255 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women weighs 9.8 oz (278 grams).

The men's version of the Brooks Ghost 9 weighs about 10.5 oz (298 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for men weighs 12.1 oz (343 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft ride, you could go either way, thereby keeping in mind that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is more plush for women, and the Brooks Ghost 9 good for male heel-strikers.

If you are looking for something lighter, the Brooks Ghost 9 might be able to provide what you want more than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is good for long runs during training, while the Brooks Ghost 9 is good for runners who are not looking for a very plush ride but who rather want a soft and smooth ride that is still quite responsive.

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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