ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 delivers a plush and comfortable ride to runners who want protection and cushioning for long runs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 just adds some minor tweaks...
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus has always been ASICS' top-of-the-line neutral cushioning running shoe that is well known for the amount of comfort and protection it provides.
The changes made to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 to create the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 have been minimal.
Starting with the upper, the main changes have been to the FluidFit overlays running in the upper to provide structure and hold, and to the external heel counter at the back of the shoe.
The overlays in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 now run from the laces down toward the midsole and the back of the shoe whereas those in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 run more from front to back.
The overlays tend to increase the further back you go on the upper of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18, thereby opening up the toe box a little bit more.
So the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has moved away a bit from the glove-like fit of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and concentrates the amount of support it provides more from the midfoot toward the back of the shoe.
The external heel counter at the back of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has been redesigned compared to that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, but both should be able to lock your heel in well and keep your foot on the running platform.
Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles that consist of two layers of foam with GEL cushioning in between those two layers.
While the configuration of the midsole has not changed, the positioning and angle of the GEL cushioning at the back of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 is different compared to that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 has a more gradual angle for its rearfoot GEL with the GEL lying a bit closer to the foot. This might impact the softness of the shoe and make it differ from that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.
The GEL cushioning in the forefoot has also changed with the GEL being more uniform in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 than it is in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 where you can see a bigger distinction between the three pods of GEL.
Running shoe lab tests have revealed that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has a slightly more cushy forefoot than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for women, but that the heel cushioning of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 tips a bit over that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.
For men, both running shoes have about the same amount of forefoot cushioning, but the heel of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 turns out to be slightly more cushy than that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
So other than very small changes in the structure of the foam and the angling of the GEL, there aren't many differences to be noted in the midsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 versus that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.
What has also not changed is the fact that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 still has a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces with one on the medial side and another one on the lateral side under the midfoot to provide midfoot structural integrity and support but not with a whole lot of correction, since the ASICS GEL-Nimbus is meant to be worn by neutral runners.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 also still has the vertical flex groove – albeit a bit newer and improved – like the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 to help with gait efficiency.
Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 have the same amount of flex grooves in their outsoles. The main change has been to the structure of the rubber compartments, but this should not affect the flexibility of the running shoes much.
Running shoe lab tests show that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is much more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 for men, which turns out to be on the stiff side.
For women, it is the other way around with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 being more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, which turns out to be on the stiff side.
The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 weighs approximately 9.8 oz (278 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for women weighs 10.0 oz (283 grams).
The men's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 weighs about 12.1 oz (343 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).
Overall, there are not many huge differences to be noted between the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 other than the small minor tweaks made to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18.
So if you are a neutral runner looking for a soft ride, you could go with either the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 or the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18. If nothing else, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 may feel a bit more comfortable and secure.
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