ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 provides enough cushioning to neutral runners for long runs. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 introduces a new modern look with a couple of other minor tweaks.
The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 are neutral cushioning running shoes that are the little brothers or sisters of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus.
The first thing you will notice when you compare the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is the way the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 looks.
The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 has mostly stitched-on overlays wrapping the midfoot on both the medial and lateral sides, which provide a good lockdown around the midfoot and a good amount of support.
These overlays have been replaced by no-sew overlays in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17. While no-sew overlays tend to be less supportive than traditional stitched-on overlays, they are much lighter and provide a more comfortable fit that reduces the chance of irritation.
In addition, there are enough no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 that it should be enough support to keep your foot in place.
The only stitches in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 are at the front of the shoe, around the collar, and at the back of the shoe on the medial side.
While the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 also has no-sew overlays in its upper, they are mostly used to provide extra structure to give you a better fit.
Overall, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 offers more support than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 in its upper, but the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 should feel more comfortable on your feet than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.
Finally, the mesh of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 is also slightly more open and breathable than that of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.
Both the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 provide heel-to-toe cushioning with their midsoles, which consists of two layers of foam with GEL cushioning in between those two layers in both the heel and the forefoot.
While the material used in the midsole is the same, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 has an improved version of it. In addition, when you look closely at the midsole, you will see that its structure and geometry has also changed a bit.
In addition, the GEL cushioning in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 is also more like an extra soft layer in the heel rather than pods of GEL as in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.
However, running shoe lab tests have shown that the amount of heel cushioning is almost the same in both running shoes with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 being just a tab more cushy for men.
The big difference can be found in the forefoot, where the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 provides much more cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 for men.
The difference is not that big for women with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 being just a tad more cushy but not by much.
Because the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 are neutral cushioning running shoes, they don't really come with stability features.
However the midfoot shank, which consists of a medial and a lateral piece, can be seen as a stability feature as well as the GEL cushioning in the heel. However, this midfoot shank differs between the two running shoes.
The midfoot shank of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 is somewhat broader than that of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and offers a better connection between the rearfoot and the forefoot, so should provide better midfoot structural integrity as well as a smoother ride.
And whereas in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 the shank reached the top of the bottom layer of foam, it reaches only halfway in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, meaning that it makes room for more cushioning and a better integration of the layers.
All in all, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 can be seen as a running shoe that is a bit more stable than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.
The rubber outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 look similar in amount of horizontal flex grooves, but different in configuration due to a slight difference in the vertical flex groove (Guidance Line), which is meant to help you achieve a better gait.
What has also changed are the smaller cuts in the rubber compartments. They are much more lineair in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 than they are in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16. This linearity might help the flexibility of the shoe.
The latter turns out to be true according to running shoe lab tests, but only for women, where the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 is almost twice as flexible as the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16. For men, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 a bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, but not by much.
The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 weighs approximately 9.4 oz (266 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 for women weighs 9.3 oz (264 grams).
The men's versions of the shoes weigh 11.9 oz (337 grams) and 11.4 oz (323 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17 being the lighter one.
ASICS has done a really nice job with updating the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 to create the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 17, which should feel much more comfortable on your feet, while still giving you what you already expected to get from the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.
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.
This review falls under: ASICS