ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 provides a soft ride with a touch of stability to overpronators. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 delivers a soft and comfortable ride to neutral runners.
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 are both ASICS top-of-the-line running shoes in their categories. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 provides maximum comfort to overpronators, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 provides the same for neutral runners.
The upper of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 differs from that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 in that it provides structure and support through mesh, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 uses thin FluidFit throughout the entire upper to provide support.
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot and running over the toe box, but these are not as plentiful as the no-sew overlays running in the upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
However, what the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does not is a stitched-on overlays that runs from the top of the saddle toward the midsole and back of the shoe to really give you a good hold there.
Both running shoes have an external heel counter that really locks the heel down onto the platform. Overall though, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 may feel quite loose and comfortable in the forefoot area while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 might provide a slightly tighter fit, especially around the midfoot.
The midsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 are constructed similarly with two layers of foam and GEL cushioning in between.
What differs, however, is the angle at which the GEL in the heel runs in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 compared to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.
This GEL lies a bit closer to the foot in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and is angled for a more gradual effect when you land.
In the forefoot, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 exposes three pods of GEL cushioning, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 exposes only two.
However, this does not mean that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has a more cushy forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22, because running shoe lab tests have shown that they are equally cushy in the forefoot for women and that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is just a tad more cushy in the forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for men.
In the heel cushioning department, it is a clear win for the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 for both genders with the difference between the two running shoes being greater for men than for women.
So overall, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 turns out to be more cushy than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for both men and women.
Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 come with 3 mm of extra heel height in the women's versions of the shoes. This feature is to take stress off the Achilles tendon of female runners so increase comfort.
The main difference in the midsole can be found on the medial side where the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 has a support system in place but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does not.
The main support offered by the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 comes in the form of a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces with one placed on the medial side and the other on the lateral side under the midfoot.
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 also has a midfoot shank, but it connects the medial to the lateral side to offer more support than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 under the midfoot.
The rubber outsoles of the two ASICS running shoes look quite similar in layout with the same amount of horizontal and vertical flex grooves.
The main difference lies in the minor cuts in and structure of the rubber compartments. This should not have a big impact on the flexibility delivered by both running shoes, though.
Running shoe lab tests show that both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 are equally flexible for women, but that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is quite stiff and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 is quite flexible for men.
The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 weighs about 9.8 oz (278 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 for women weighs 9.6 oz (272 grams).
The men's versions of the shoes weigh 12.1 oz (343 grams) and 11.6 oz (329 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 being the lighter one.
If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft ride, you could consider the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18. Because the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 does not overcorrect your motion, you could also consider it if you are an underpronator.
And if you are a mild to moderate overpronator who is also looking for a plush ride, you may want to look into the ASICS GEL-Kayano 22.
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