Brooks Glycerin 13 provides a comfortable, soft, and smooth ride to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 delivers a soft and comfortable ride to neutral runners...
The Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 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.
The uppers of the Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 are similar in that both have no-sew overlays in their upper that tend to wrap the entire foot well.
However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does not have the broad overlay that the Brooks Glycerin 13 has that contains some stitches and that wraps the midfoot well to provide a good amount of support there.
But the same thing can be said of the external heel counter of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 that the Brooks Glycerin 13 does not have and that provides a good amount of support behind the heel.
So the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 tends to give a good amount of support in the upper toward the back of the shoe and the Brooks Glycerin 13 does that across the midfoot.
The toe box is not free of overlays in either running shoe but the toe box of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is more open and free than that of the Brooks Glycerin 13 so may feel a bit more comfortable.
Both the Brooks Glycerin 13 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 are meant to deliver lots of cushioning through their midsoles.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does this by using two layers of foam with GEL cushioning between those two layers.
The layer closest to the foot is the softer layer and the one closest to the ground the more responsive one, and the GEL cushioning in the heel is positioned in such a way to benefit landing on the outer edge of the heel.
The Brooks Glycerin 13 has a midsole that provides 25% more cushioning than Brooks' standard midsole foam and the entire midsole functions as a crash pad.
But according to running shoe lab tests, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is the more cushy running shoe for women in both the heel and the forefoot but especially in the heel, where the Brooks Glycerin 13 has above average cushioning but still lags a bit behind the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
For men, the Brooks Glycerin 13 has a slightly more cushy heel than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and somewhat less cushioning in the forefoot.
The cushy heel of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women is largely a consequence of the 3 mm of extra height that is added to the heel of the female version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 to take stress off the Achilles tendon. The men's version does not have this extra height.
The Brooks Glycerin 13, on the other hand, provides stress reduction for both genders through a rounded heel for better alignment of joints and pressure distribution under the shoe.
Because both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Brooks Glycerin 13 are geared toward neutral runners, they do not provide any kind of stability other than a good amount of ground contact and segmentation in the Brooks Glycerin 13, which is why the Brooks Glycerin 13 is the more stable one according to running shoe lab tests.
The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes look very different. The Brooks Glycerin 13 has three separate zones in the outsole for pressure distribution and a good amount of ground contact, especially under the midfoot, for smooth transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has a more traditional outsole with large slabs of rubber for durability, a vertical flex groove to help with gait efficiency, and a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces to offer some midfoot integrity but not much support.
Running shoe lab tests show that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is more flexible than the Brooks Glycerin 13 for women but that the Brooks Glycerin 13 is way more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for men.
The women's version of the Brooks Glycerin 13 weighs approximately 8.9 oz (252 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women weighs 9.8 oz (278 grams).
The men's version of the Brooks Glycerin 13 weighs about 11.0 oz (312 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 from a running shoe, you could go with either the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 or the Brooks Glycerin 13.
For a much smoother and somewhat more stable ride from a lighter running shoe, you may want to consider the Brooks Glycerin 13 more than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
And if you are a women, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 seems to be in a more favorable position than the Brooks Glycerin 13 as far as a very cushy ride goes.
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.