ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 18 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 provides a plush and comfortable ride to heavier runners. Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a very light and high performance running shoe for neutral runners.

NEW! ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 19

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 are neutral running shoes that are suitable for runners who do not need extra stability and support.

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The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 differ considerably in that the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has a minimum amount of overlays in its upper and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 a good amount of overlays.

The main overlays in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 are located around the midfoot as the Mizuno logo that connects the saddle to the midsole to give you a good lockdown around the midfoot, and an overlay at the front and at the back of the shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 on the other hand has many stitched-on overlays that wrap the midfoot and especially on the medial side of the shoe where support is needed most.

And on top of that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has thinner no-sew overlays in between the traditional overlays to provide you with a more custom fit. And then there is a sturdy heel-counter at the back of the shoe.

So overall, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should provide you with a more secure and glove-like fit, while the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 should feel somewhat looser, but still comfortable and supportive enough.

The midsoles of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 also differ considerably.

While both running shoes provide heel-to-toe cushioning in their midsoles, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has an extra plate – a parallel Wave Plate – in the heel for extra cushioning and shock absorption.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot to achieve the same result. In addition, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 also has a softer layer of foam that is located just under the foot to add more softness to your ride.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is also 1.4 mm thicker in the heel and 4.4 mm thicker in the forefoot than the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 for men. For women, the differences are 4.2 mm in the heel and 3.6 mm in the forefoot with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 having the thickest midsole.

Therefore, you can expect to get a much softer ride from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 than you would from the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

But the thinner midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 makes it feel much more responsive than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, and because the heel-to-toe drop is 13 mm compared to 10 mm in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 for men, it should also feel more like a performance running shoe – the heel-to-toe drop does not differ that much in the women's versions of the shoes.

Because the Wave Plate in the heel of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 also has a stabilizing and centering function, it makes the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 more stable than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 are pretty similar in that they both have separate forefoot and rearfoot areas that are joined at the midfoot by a "shank" of some sort.

The Wave Plate serves partially as a midfoot shank in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has two plastic pieces that reinforce the medial and lateral sides of the midsole.

The rubber compartments in the outsoles are also well-segmented for shock dissipation, and the forefoot areas have a good amount of flex grooves for flexibility.

But because the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has a thicker midsole in the forefoot area, it turns out to be less flexible than the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

However, this is only the case for women, since running shoe lab tests have shown that the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is almost as stiff as the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 for men.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 weighs approximately 9.7 oz (275 grams), while the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 for women weighs approximately 7.6 oz (215 grams).

The men's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 weighs about 11.9 oz (337 grams), and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 for men weighs 9.3 oz (264 grams).

If you are looking for a very light running shoe that provides a good amount of cushioning, while maintaining the ability to make you feel fast and do uptempo runs, then the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is definitely worth looking into.

And if you are looking for a very plush and comfortable ride in a running shoe that wraps your foot well with a custom fit, then the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 would be the one to consider.

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.

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This review falls under: ASICS | Mizuno

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