ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 review

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 provides a soft, comfortable, and smooth ride to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 offers lots of stability, support, and comfort to overpronators.

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The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 are running shoes that are geared towards two entirely different audiences. The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is for underpronators to neutral runners, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is for mild to moderate overpronators.

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The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 both provide good structural support around the midfoot with sturdy stitched-on overlays.

However, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has more of them especially on the medial side of the shoe where overpronators need the most support.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 also has more no-sew overlays in the form of FluidFit to provide a glove-like fit.

And while the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 does not have stretchy FluidFit overlays like the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, it does have some no-sew overlays to provide more structure and support in the upper.

And finally, what is missing on the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is the Heel Clutching System at the back of the shoe that really gives you that extra firm lock down around the heel.

So all in all, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 should provide a tighter and more secure fit than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16. But that is to be expected of a running shoe that is meant to provide stability and support as opposed to just cushioning.

What is also expected of a stability running shoe is that it slows down the process of overpronation. For this the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 implements lots of GEL cushioning on the lateral side under the heel to aborb initial impact and then as your foot rolls inward, there is a post on the medial side of the shoe to stop your foot from rolling in too far inward.

Since the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is not a stability running shoe, it does not have such a mechanism. Instead, it only has GEL cushioning in the heel for shock absorption at heel-strike.

Both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 have a FluidRide midsole with GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot.

Running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 has more heel cushioning but less forefoot cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 for men, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 has more heel and forefoot cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 for women.

So if you are a heel-striker, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 would be better for you if you are a man, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 would be better for you if you are a woman.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes have a similar layout. The main differences lie in the separation of the rubber lugs under the heel with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 being more segmented than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, so the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 might provide better shock absorption.

What also differs is the midfoot shank. The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 has two plastic pieces on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe to provide midfoot integrity, while that midfoot shank has two bars connecting the medial and lateral sides of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20. This is again a good indication that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is meant to provide support and stability.

The rubber compartments in the forefoot of the two running shoes are laid out almost exactly the same. The main difference lies in the structure and cuts in the rubber compartments. The extra smaller horizontal grooves in the rubber compartments of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 should make it feel more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 weighs approximately 9.4 oz (266 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's versions of the shoes weigh 11.9 oz (337 grams) and 11.2 oz (318 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 being the heavier one.

If you are a runner looking for a running shoe that provides lots of stability and support both in its midsole and in its upper together with a good amount of cushioning, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 would be worth considering.

And if you do not need any kind of stability in a running shoe, but are primarily looking for a soft ride, then the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 could provide that.

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.

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This review falls under: ASICS

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