ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 vs. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a soft but responsive ride to neutral runners. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 provides a secure fit with a touch of stability.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 are neutral cushioning running shoes that can be worn by bigger runners.

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The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 differ in that the New Balance 1080v8 has stitched-on overlays around its midfoot, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with 3D-printed no-sew overlays.

Therefore, the amount of support delivered through the upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is more lightweight than that of the New Balance 1080v8.

The overlays that are closest to the toe box of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com have been pulled back a bit to open up some space for bunions and the sides of the toe box have been kept free from overlays so that the amount of constriction is minimized.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has some overlays on its toe box and the bunion window is smaller than in the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, but the amount of possible constriction would not be great, because the overlays are lightweight and not solid; they are like stitches in the upper.

While the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a sturdy external heel counter at the back and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 does not, the overlays at the back of the New Balance 1080v8 are pretty solid so should also deliver a good amount of support in that area.

Overall, the upper of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 is less covered around the midfoot and forefoot, but delivers support in all the right places.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, on the other hand, delivers a lot of support around the heel and lightweight support elsewhere in the upper.

The New Balance 1080v8 has an all-in-one midsole, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has a midsole that consists of two layers of foam and GEL cushioning between those two layers.

The bottom layer of foam is meant to be more responsive than the top layer, so you do not only get softness from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, but it is also meant to deliver a responsive ride.

According to lab tests, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 has a cushier forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for both men and women, with both delivering an above average amount of softness.

However, the heel of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 is a bit firmer than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, which has a very cushy heel for women.

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The amount of heel cushioning in the New Balance 1080v8 is less for men than it is for women, with men getting a moderate amount of heel cushioning.

All in all, you should be able to get a soft ride from either running shoe, but the ride would be overall softer but still responsive in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 despite the fact that the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 has slightly more forefoot cushioning; the difference in forefoot cushioning is not that big.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is also a bit more suitable for heel-strikers than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8.

Neither the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 nor the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 have pronation control devices, because they are meant to be worn by neutral runners who do not need such support.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 comes with a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 provides full ground contact under the midfoot, both of which help increase the stability of the running shoes.

According to lab tests, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is more stable than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, which delivers a moderate amount of stability.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes differ, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 having wider flex grooves than the New Balance 1080v8.

While there is lots of separation between the rubber pods in the outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, the deep cuts are not plentiful.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has large areas of rubber with wide and deep flex grooves. This includes the vertical flex groove that is meant to help with gait efficiency.

Nonetheless, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is not a super flexible running shoe, according to lab tests, but it is more flexible than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 for both men and women.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 weighs approximately 8.8 oz (249 grams), and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 for women also weighs 8.8 oz (249 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.7 oz (303 grams) and 10.8 oz (306 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 being the lighter one.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 are very close in weight and as a neutral runner you could get a soft ride from either, thereby keeping in mind that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 might feel a bit more responsive and provide more protection to heel-strikers.

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 | New Balance

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