ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 vs. Saucony Ride 9 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 delivers a soft and comfortable ride to neutral runners. Saucony Ride 9 is lightweight and provides a soft and comfortable ride to high-mileage neutral runners...

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Saucony Ride 9 are neutral cushioning running shoes that are not really each other's counterpart. The counterpart of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is the Saucony Triumph ISO 2.

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com is supposed to be at a higher level than the Saucony Ride 9, but the Saucony Ride 9 can rival the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, as you will see shortly.

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Saucony Ride 9 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com are very much alike with no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot and in the front part of the shoes.

They both also increase the amount of support toward the back of the shoe with the Saucony Ride 9 implementing stitched-on overlays and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 having an external heel counter.

While the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 may provide some more room in the toe box due to less overlays, both running shoes should feel comfortable on your feet.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Saucony Ride 9 provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles and both come with layers of foam.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has two pronounced layers with the one closer to the foot being the softest one and the one closer to the ground the more responsive one.

The Saucony Ride 9 has one main layer with a top layer of softer foam just under the sockliner to give you a bouncy feel.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 throws GEL cushioning in the mix to soften your ride even more, but this does not necessarily make the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 more cushy than the Saucony Ride 9.

Running shoe lab tests show that both running shoes are quite cushy running shoes, but the cushiness varies per gender.

For men, both running shoes have a very cushy forefoot with the Saucony Ride 9 displaying slightly more cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

However, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has above average heel cushioning for men, the Saucony Ride 9 displays a large amount of heel cushioning and certainly much more than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

The latter is different for women, though, who get an extra 3 mm of height in the heel of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, which also increases the amount of cushioning in the heel and which makes the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 have a slightly more cushy heel than the Saucony Ride 9.

However, the Saucony Ride 9 provides slightly more forefoot cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does to women.

One could say that the Saucony Ride 9 displays a balanced cushioning profile for both men and women. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 displays a bit more variation, especially for men.

Running shoe lab tests indicate that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 provides a bit more stability than the Saucony Ride 9.

Both running shoes are neutral running shoes so are not meant to provide stability. The stability noticed in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 might be due to the fact that it has a midfoot shank that does not connect the two sides of the shoe but still delivers some degree of support.

The Saucony Ride 9 does not come with a midfoot shank but provides a good amount of ground contact, which increases the stability of the running shoe a bit and its potential of giving you smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Saucony Ride 9 look very different but both display a good amount of separation for shock absorption.

And while the flex grooves of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 may run more favorably to benefit the flexibility of the running shoe, running shoe lab tests rate the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the Saucony Ride 9 as being equally stiff for men.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 turns out to be somewhat more flexible than the Saucony Ride 9 for women.

The women's version of the Saucony Ride 9 weighs approximately 7.9 oz (224 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women weighs 9.8 oz (278 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 9.5 oz (269 grams) and 12.1 oz (343 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Ride 9 being the lighter one.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a very soft and comfortable ride from a running shoe, you could go with either the Saucony Ride 9 or the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

If you are a heel-striker, women may prefer the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and men the Saucony Ride 9 for the amount of heel cushioning each provides to each gender.

And if lightness is what you are after, the Saucony Ride 9 can give you that more than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.

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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