ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 provides a very cushy and protective ride for long runs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a secure fitting upper and a plush ride to moderate overpronators...

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both ASICS top-of-the-line running shoes in their categories. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides maximum comfort to overpronators, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 provides the same to neutral runners.

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 look very much like each other in their properties with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 being the one to provide more stability and support.

Stability starts in the upper of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, where it has a combination of traditional stitched-on overlays with no-sew overlays, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 has mostly a no-sew upper.

Stitched-on overlays tend to be more supportive than no-sew overlays, especially when they wrap the midfoot, since there is where runners tend to need the most support.

Where the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are similar is at the back of the shoes where both have a sturdy heel counter to lock your heel down on the running platform.

But all in all, you can expect to get more support from the upper of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 than from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have a very similar midsole construction. Both have a FluidRide midsole with GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot.

Both also have two layers of midsole foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest one and the one closest to the ground the more responsive one. This helps provide you with a very soft running experience.

While both running shoes are at the top end of plushness, running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is more plush than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, especially for men. For women, the difference between the softness of the two running shoes is not that big; they are equally soft.

The big difference between the midsoles comes in the form of the Dynamic DuoMax reinforcement of the midsole on the medial side of the midsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 that helps stop your foot from rolling too far inward after touchdown and before takeoff.

This reinforcement is missing from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, since the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 is intended to be worn by runners who do not need any kind of stability and support.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, however, look very similar in construction. They have good separation between the rubber compartments for shock dissipation and to increase flexibility through flex grooves.

They also both have components to help you with your gait efficiency, including the vertical flex groove called Guidance Line.

The biggest difference is probably under the midfoot where the midfoot shank of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 connects the outer and inner parts of the shoe, while the midfoot shank of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 does not.

This again is an indication that you can expect to get more stability and support from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 than you would from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17.

As far as flexibility goes, both running shoes are almost equally flexibible or stiff, depending on how you look at it, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for men is a little bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women is a little bit more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 for women.

The women's version of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 weighs approximately 10.0 oz (283 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's versions of the shoes both weigh 11.3 oz (320 grams).

If you are looking for a plush and comfortable ride, either the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 or the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 could give you that. But if you are an overpronator, you may want to choose the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 over the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17, since the former is the one that provides more stability and support to runners.

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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