Mizuno Wave Rider 21 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 review

Mizuno Wave Rider 21 delivers a responsive ride with a secure yet comfortable fit. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a soft but responsive ride to neutral runners...

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 fall in the same category of neutral cushioning running shoes for runners who do not need much stability and support.

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The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 have uppers that consist of lots of exposed mesh with a minimum amount of overlays.

However, while the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 implements stitched-on overlays in its upper, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com makes use of 3D-printed overlays to keep the upper together.

But because the amount of stitched-on overlays has been kept to a minimum on the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 and only placed around the midfoot where you need the most support, the no-sew overlays on the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 kind of balance out the amount of support you would get from the upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

Whereas the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 does not come with overlays on its toe box, except for a stitched-on toecap, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 does have a few overlays running on its toe box, so the fit might be a bit tighter in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

One last difference between the uppers is that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a sturdy external heel counter at the back, while the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 only has a stitched-on overlay for additional support in that area.

All in all, while both running shoes might deliver a similar amount of support around the midfoot, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 provides more support around the heel, and the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 provides more comfort in the forefoot area, especially to runners with big bunions.

The midsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 look quite different, but both are meant to deliver quite a bit of cushioning to runners.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 does so through the use of midsole cushioning and a Wave Plate, which helps to absorb shock at heel-strike.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with two layers of foam in its midsole, and it also has GEL cushioning between these two layers in the heel and in the forefoot.

According to running shoe lab tests, both running shoes deliver an above average amount of forefoot and heel cushioning to both men and women, so you should be able to get a soft ride in either.

More specifically, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has a forefoot that is just a tiny bit cushier than the forefoot of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 for both men and women, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 delivers almost a maximum amount of heel cushioning to both men and women so has a cushier heel than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

While women also get a lot of heel cushioning from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 due to 3 mm of extra height under the heel of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for women, the amount of heel cushioning is still more in the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

The conclusion is that the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is a suitable running shoe for heel-strikers, and it might deliver a somewhat more responsive ride than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, but both running shoes provide a good amount of cushioning to neutral runners.

The Wave Plate in the midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 also serves as a midfoot shank to provide midfoot integrity and support, and it has a centering effect, which increases the stability of the running shoe a bit.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces under the midfoot to deliver midfoot integrity and support but not provide any corrections.

In terms of stability, running shoe lab tests rate both running shoes as delivering an above average amount, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is considered to be a bit more stable than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes look quite different, but both have large slabs of rubber and come with two deep flex grooves in the forefoot.

Both running shoes have been found by running shoe lab tests to be on the stiff side, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is a bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for both men and women.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (233 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for women weighs 8.8 oz (249 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.3 oz (292 grams) and 10.7 oz (303 grams), respectively, with the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 being the lighter one.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft ride from a running shoe, you could choose either the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 or the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is somewhat lighter, good for heel-strikers, and might deliver a somewhat more responsive ride than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 provides a secure fit, is considered to be a bit more stable, and has a cushier forefoot than the Mizuno Wave Rider 21.

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 | Mizuno

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