Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 review

Brooks Glycerin 16 is a premium cushioning running shoe that delivers a soft and smooth ride. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a soft but responsive ride to neutral runners...

The Brooks Glycerin 16 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 are neutral cushioning running shoes that can be said to be comparable, because they are both premium running shoes that are meant to give you a luxurious ride.

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The uppers of the Brooks Glycerin 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 are similar in that they expose quite a bit of mesh and use 3D-printed overlays.

The overlays are thinner and more plentiful on the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com than on the Brooks Glycerin 16, which has broad overlays around the midfoot.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has overlays running throughout its entire upper but mainly around the midfoot, where the ASICS logo also provides some support on the lateral side.

The mesh of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is tightened and loosened in areas to adapt to your foot.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 has something similar, but then instead of the mesh doing that, it has an internal bootie that wraps your foot in softness and moves with your foot.

Therefore, you should be able to get a close-to-foot fit and feel from both running shoes.

Because the toe box of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is more open than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, the Brooks Glycerin 16 might offer more comfort in the forefoot area.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is the one that delivers lots of support around the heel, where it has an external heel counter to help lock your foot in.

All in all, the uppers of both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 have been kept light to deliver comfort while still providing enough support where you need it most.

Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 are meant to deliver lots of cushioning to runners.

Their midsoles differ in construction, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 having two layers of foam and GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot between those two layers.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 comes with one main layer of foam that is well segmented on both the medial and lateral sides and that provides a good amount of ground contact to not only give you soft landings but also smooth heel-to-toe transitions thereafter.

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

Because the bottom layer in the midsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is more responsive and thus a bit firmer than the top layer, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is likely to be overall cushier than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, because the Brooks Glycerin 16 has one layer that consists of Brooks' softest midsole foam.

Neither the Brooks Glycerin 16 nor the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is meant to provide corrections, but they do come with some stability features.

For example, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has a midfoot shank that consists of two parts under the midfoot and that provides midfoot integrity and support. The somewhat firmer bottom layer of midsole foam also adds stability to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

In addition, its external heel counter in the upper can also be seen as a stability feature, because it helps reduce heel rotation.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 has a midsole that is well segmented and a crash zone under the heel, and it provides full ground contact, all of which add stability to the running shoe.

Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 are stable neutral running shoes but do not deliver enough stability and support required by overpronators.

However, they could be worn by very mild overpronators who need just a little bit of stability and support.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes look quite different in construction and layout, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 having large areas of rubber with a couple of flex grooves and the Brooks Glycerin 16 having lots of separation with small rubber pods and quite a few flex grooves.

The layout of the Brooks Glycerin 16 would be better for absorbing and dissipating shock, and because it provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 right under the midfoot, the Brooks Glycerin 16 would also be better for smoother rides.

However, it does not have the vertical flex groove that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has to help with gait efficiency.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is not a very flexible running shoe, and the Brooks Glycerin 16 is not expected to be either, because both running shoes deliver a good amount of forefoot cushioning.

However, because of the larger degree of separation and amount of flex grooves, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is exptected to be a bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 weighs approximately 8.8 oz (249 grams), and the Brooks Glycerin 16 for women weighs 9.4 oz (266 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.7 oz (303 grams) and 10.6 oz (301 grams), respectively, with the Brooks Glycerin 16 being slightly lighter.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a stable ride from a neutral running shoe that delivers a soft ride, you could choose either the Brooks Glycerin 16 or the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 have a lot in common, especially in the way they wrap your foot and the luxurious feel they provide, so making a decision between them is not an easy one.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 would be a notch ahead of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 in delivering a smooth ride, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 would be a notch ahead in being a bit more stable than the Brooks Glycerin 16.

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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