ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 vs. Saucony Zealot ISO review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is a plush and comfortable neutral running shoe for long runs. Saucony Zealot ISO provides a smooth ride with a very cushy forefoot...

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Saucony Zealot ISO are neutral cushioning running shoes that have similar properties with both being very plush running shoes.

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The first similarity between the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Saucony Zealot ISO can be found in the upper where both running shoes have a mainly seamless upper.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has FluidFit overlays, while the Saucony Zealot ISO has ISOFIT overlays. Both tend to wrap your foot well and provide comfort without too many irritation points.

The only difference between the overlays is that they are somewhat broader on the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The second similarity can be found at the back of the shoes where both support the heel well. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a Heel Clutching System at the back while the Saucony Zealot ISO has a Support Frame.

So as far as support in the upper goes, you can expect to get a similar amount from both running shoes with perhaps the Saucony Zealot ISO providing a tighter wrap around the midfoot.

The midsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the Saucony Zealot ISO differ considerably in technologies used and their construction.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has two layers of midsole foam with GEL cushioning in between those two layers. In addition, the female version of the shoe has a higher heel than the men's version to take strain off the Achilles tendon.

The Saucony Zealot ISO has a more traditional midsole with a crash pad under the heel to soften your landings.

Both running shoes provide heel-to-toe cushioning, but running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is much more cushy than the Saucony Zealot ISO, especially in the heel.

The amount of cushioning in the forefoot does not differ that much between the two running shoes, but if you are a heel-striker, you may want to look into the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 more than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

Another difference between the midsoles of the Saucony Zealot ISO and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is that the Saucony Zealot ISO extends till the ground under the midfoot, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a midfoot shank on the lateral and medial sides under the midfoot.

This midfoot shank is to provide structural integrity under the midfoot. However, the full ground contact of the Saucony Zealot ISO allows it to provide smoother transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.

The outsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is pretty traditional with large slabs of rubber, so it should last long.

The Saucony Zealot ISO deviates somewhat from tradition having more separation between the rubber lugs and much smaller rubber lugs in the forefoot.

The larger degree of separation does not help the Saucony Zealot ISO be more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, though. While there isn't much difference in flexibility between the two running shoes for women, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is much more flexible than the Saucony Zealot ISO for men.

The women's version of the Saucony Zealot ISO weighs approximately 7.2 oz (204 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for women weighs 10.0 oz (283 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 8.5 oz (241 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Zealot ISO being the lighter one.

If you are a runner who does not need a whole lot of support and stability, but who is rather looking for a soft running experience, either running shoe could give you that.

However, if you are looking for a lightweight running shoe that brings you closer to a level plane with the ground, the Saucony Zealot ISO would fit the bill. And if you are looking for luxury all over and lots of protection from the road, then the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 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.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Saucony

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