Brooks Glycerin 13 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 review

Brooks Glycerin 13 provides a comfortable, soft, and smooth ride to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 offers a soft ride and lots of protection from the road for long runs...

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The Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 are at the top end of the neutral cushioning running shoe category for both ASICS and Brooks, so they should compare well against each other.

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The uppers of the Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 are very much alike in that both consist of mesh with no-sew overlays for structure and support.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 implements FluidFit in its upper to hold your foot in place, give you a close-to-foot fit, and not cause irritation points.

The Brooks Glycerin 13 has 3-D Fit Print overlays in its upper to provide the same things as the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 does.

However, in addition to that, it has a pretty broad overlay that contains stitches and that wraps the midfoot to really give you a good lock down there. While the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has no-sew overlays that do a similar thing, you can expect to get just a bit more support from the Brooks Glycerin 13 in that area.

Both running shoes provide good support behind the heel, although the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a sturdy heel counter to really lock your heel down and keep it in place during the gait cycle.

The midsole is where all the action takes place for these two running shoes, since they are meant to provide you with a great deal of cushioning.

The Brooks Glycerin 13 has Super DNA cushioning in its midsole, which provides 25% more cushioning than Brooks' standard BioMoGo DNA midsoles.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a FluidRide midsole that provides heel-to-toe cushioning. And in addition to that, there is GEL cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 also has a thicker midsole, so sits higher off the ground and should provide you with more protection from the road than the Brooks Glycerin 13.

Figures obtained from running shoe lab tests show that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is more cushy than the Brooks Glycerin 13 for men in both the heel and the forefoot. However, the difference is not huge.

For women, it is a different story, though. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 again turns out to be more cushy than the Brooks Glycerin 13, and the difference is greater by about almost 20%.

So all in all, if a very soft ride is what you are after, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 would do a slightly better job of this than the Brooks Glycerin 13 would, but this does not mean that the Brooks Glycerin 13 does not provide you with a soft ride, because it offers lots of cushioning.

The rubber outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Brooks Glycerin 13 differ considerably in that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a more tradional outsole with a separation between the forefoot and rearfoot, while the Brooks Glycerin 13 has an outsole that provides full ground contact throughout.

Therefore, you can expect to get much smoother transitions from heel-strike to toe-off from the Brooks Glycerin 13 than you would get from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

The outsoles are similar in that they both have good horizontal flex grooves to help the flexibility of the shoes. However, running shoe lab tests have shown that both running shoes are pretty stiff for women and offer an equal amount of flexibility or stiffness.

For men, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 turns out to be stiffer than the Brooks Glycerin 13 with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 offering an average amount of flexibility and the Brooks Glycerin 13 an above average amount that tends towards being very flexible.

The women's version of the Brooks Glycerin 13 weighs approximately 8.9 oz (252 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for women weighs 10.0 oz (283 grams). The men's version of the Brooks Glycerin 13 weighs about 11.0 oz (312 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

The Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 are two neutral cushioning running shoes that come very close to each other.

If you are looking for a supportive running shoe that is relatively light and can provide you with a soft and smooth ride, then the Brooks Glycerin 13 would fit the bill.

And if you are looking for cushioning above anything else and lots of protection from the road especially when going on long runs, then the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 would be worth looking into.

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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