ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 vs. Hoka One One Clifton 5 review

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a soft but responsive ride to neutral runners. Hoka One One Clifton 5 delivers an overall soft ride and a bit of stability at a light weight...

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Hoka One One Clifton 5 are neutral cushioning running shoes that are at a comparable level.

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The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Hoka One One Clifton 5 differ quite a bit in the way they are constructed.

While both have engineered mesh that provides lightweight support throughout the entire upper, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers extra support around the midfoot in the form of the ASICS logo on the lateral side and small thin no-sew overlays that look like stitches but that keep the mesh together.

The Hoka One One Clifton 5 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com also has some no-sew overlays in its upper, but these are located more around the heel and around the toe box, while the midfoot has been kept pretty open and free from overlays.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 delivers a bit more support around the midfoot compared to the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

The mesh of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 might also provide a somewhat tighter and closer-to-foot fit than that of the Hoka One One Clifton 5, and because it also has some overlays running on the toe box itself, the Hoka One One Clifton 5 might turn out to be the one that delivers a bit more room and comfort to those who have big bunions.

Both running shoes are fairly closed at the back, but the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 increases the amount of support by means of a sturdy external heel counter that locks your heel in to prevent heel rotation. This can be seen as a stability feature in the upper.

When you consider the entire upper, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is the one that delivers support where you need it most, but the Hoka One One Clifton 5 might provide a bit more comfort, especially in the toe box.

The midsoles of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 differ in construction, with the Hoka One One Clifton 5 having one main layer of foam and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 having two layers of foam.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 also comes with GEL to provide more cushioning under the heel and in the forefoot.

Because the bottom layer of foam in the midsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 is more responsive and thus a bit firmer than the top layer, the average cushioning the two layers deliver is not super soft.

The Hoka One One Clifton 5 has been found to have a very cushy forefoot for both men and women, but while men get a cushy heel, the heel is more moderately cushioned for women.

Because women get an extra 3 mm of height under their heels in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 to take stress off their Achilles, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 tends to have a very cushy heel for women. However, the forefoot is more moderately cushioned.

Men can get an overall soft ride from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, but their ride would be much softer in the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

Women, more or less, have a dilemma in that they need to choose whether they want lots of heel cushioning and a moderate amount of forefoot cushioning as in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20, or a moderate amount of heel cushioning and lots of forefoot cushioning as in the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

Neither the Hoka One One Clifton 5 nor the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 come with a device to control pronation, but they are still considered to be stable neutral running shoes.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 does not deliver as much ground contact as the Hoka One One Clifton 5 does, but it comes with a midfoot shank that consists of two pieces that add support under the midfoot. As mentioned earlier, the external heel counter in the upper is also a stability feature.

The good amount of ground contact of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 adds stability to the running shoe and also helps you to achieve smoother heel-to-toe transitions coupled with the curve that the midsole makes to help you go from heel-strike to toe-off.

The midsole/outsole of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 is also broad under the midfoot and stays broad under the heel, which adds more stability to the running shoe.

The outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 and the Hoka One One Clifton 5 differ in that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has large areas of rubber, while the Hoka One One Clifton 5 has rubber only in high-wear areas under the heel and the forefoot.

Therefore, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 would provide more durability than the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

The outsole of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 displays a good amount of separation, so it would absorb shock well under the heel, and then there is a vertical flex groove that is meant to help you achieve a more efficient gait.

The Hoka One One Clifton 5 also displays a good amount of separation under the heel, which is good for shock absorption.

Because the Hoka One One Clifton 5 delivers so much cushioning, it is a stiff running shoe. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 has also been found to be stiff, but might turn out to be a bit more flexible than the Hoka One One Clifton 5 due to its more moderate amount of forefoot cushioning compared to the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

The women's version of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 for women weighs about 7.6 oz (215 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for women weighs 8.8 oz (249 grams).

The men's version of the the Hoka One One Clifton 5 weighs about 9.4 oz (266 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 for men weighs approximately 10.7 oz (303 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft ride from a running shoe, you could choose either the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 or the Hoka One One Clifton 5, thereby keeping in mind that men would get an overall softer ride in the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

If you are a women and prefer a cushy forefoot, the Hoka One One Clifton 5 can give you what you want, and if you prefer a cushy heel, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 would be the one to look into.

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.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS

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