New Balance 890v4 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 review

New Balance 890v4 is a very lightweight daily trainer that is suitable for heel-strikers. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 provides lots of protection from the road along with comfort and a secure fit.

The New Balance 890v4 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 are neutral cushioning running shoes for runners who do not need any kind of stability and support.

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The New Balance 890v4 is not the exact counterpart of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, but would rather be comparable to the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 or the Brooks Ghost 7, but it still stacks up well again the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

The upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 differs a lot from that of the New Balance 890v4 in that it consists of a mixture of traditional stitched-on overlays and no-sew overlays.

The upper of the New Balance 890v4 consists almost entirely of no-sew overlays. This keeps the running shoe light, but it also makes it a little bit less supportive than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, which has sturdy overlays wrapping the midfoot and a very supportive heel counter at the back of the shoe to really lock the heel down on the running platform.

And then in between the main overlays, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has FluidFit no-sew overlays to finish off with making the shoe fit like a glove around your foot.

However, the New Balance 890v4 does have no-sew overlays where you would need them most, that is around the midfoot and a stitched-on piece at the back of the shoe to cup the heel.

But overall, you should get a more secure fit from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 than you would from the New Balance 890v4.

The main purpose of these two running shoes is to provide you with a soft ride, and both can deliver that.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is known to offer lots of protection from the road and a very soft ride. It does this through a midsole that provides heel-to-toe cushioning.

The cushioning in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 consists of several parts: 1. GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot, 2. The FluidRide midsole itself, and 3. A softer layer of foam that is closest to the foot.

But the New Balance 890v4 does not lag far behind in the amount of softness it provides through its midsole.

The New Balance 890v4 also provides heel-to-toe cushioning through its REVLite midsole with an Abzorb crash under the heel that runs till the midfoot on both sides of the shoe.

Absorb tends to be very good shock absorbant cushioning that also feels soft. And running shoe lab tests confirm this.

The New Balance 890v4 has a very soft heel for both men and women. But it is especially in the men's versions of the shoes where the New Balance 890v4 excels above the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 in heel cushioning.

So if you are a heel-striker, the New Balance 890v4 would suit you better than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 wins in the forefoot cushioning department, but not by much. And this is probably because the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has a thicker midsole than the New Balance 890v4.

The latter also means that the New Balance 890v4 would feel more responsive than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, so could make you feel faster.

Another point of difference between the New Balance 890v4 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is the outsole where the New Balance 890v4 provides full ground contact and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 does not, since it has separate forefoot and rearfoot areas that are joined by a midfoot shank.

The full ground contact of the New Balance 890v4 should help it give you a smoother heel-to-toe transition, and a more stable ride than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16.

There is good separation between the rubber compartments under both running shoes, so both should allow shock to be dissipated well.

However, the configuration of the rubber pods under the New Balance 890v4 coupled with the fact that it has deep flex grooves and blown rubber in its outsole to provide more cushioning and flexibility, allows it to be a very flexible running shoe.

And running shoe lab tests confirm that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is way less flexible than the New Balance 890v4, which is super flexible for a running shoe in its category.

The women's version of the New Balance 890v4 weighs about 6.8 oz (193 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 for women weighs approximately 9.7 oz (275 grams). The men's version of the New Balance 890v4 weighs approximately 8.1 oz (230 grams), while the New ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 for men weighs 11.9 oz (337 grams).

If you are looking for a running shoe that can not only deliver a soft ride, but also a smooth and stable ride at a very light weight, then the New Balance 890v4 is definitely worth looking into.

And if the weight of a running shoe is not an issue for you and you area looking for a plush and comfortable ride from a shoe that provides a secure and glove-like fit, then the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 might fit the bill.

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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