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Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23 REVIEW

Journalist and shoe guru Brian Metzler puts the ASICS GEL Nimbus 23 through its paces. He shares what this new edition has to offer for runners in 2020 and 2021.

THE BUZZ

The GEL-Nimbus 23 is a premium, neutral daily trainer with loads of cushioning and comfort. The Nimbus has always been reliable daily trainer. It serves up softness and durability and this new version remains true to that with a little bit of energetic pop in every stride.

asics gel nimbus 23 - what's new

WHAT’S NEW

There are a few minor updates to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 that make it a softer, smoother shoe. The GEL cushioning wedge in the heel is more expansive. This helps create a softer and more absorbing feeling in every foot strike.

The upper has been adapted slightly with a more accommodating lace eyelet configuration. It also features a more pliable mid-foot panel that allows for optimal mid-foot flexibility.

GENDER-SPECIFIC DESIGN

The men’s and women’s versions of the Nimbus 23 are specifically designed for the slight differences in the gait patterns between genders.

The women’s model has decoupled flex grooves in the forefoot and a softer plastic Trusstic support brace under the mid-foot. This encourages optimal flexibility and a slightly steeper heel-toe offset (13mm, as opposed to 10mm for men) for a more active transition from heel strike to toe off.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The GEL Nimbus 23 has the classic true-to-size fit ASICS is known for. It shares a snug, narrow-medium volume interior that secures the heel and mid-foot. However, it provides just a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.

The step-in feel of the new Nimbus is nothing short of luxurious. This is thanks to the premium sockliner, padded heel collar and cushy, wide tongue. The slightly updated engineered mesh upper contributes to improved comfort, flexibility and breathability while also helping cinch down each foot to the chassis of the shoe.

The ride is soft, smooth, supple and flowy without any sense of awkwardness between heel strike and toe off. This edition of the Nimbus retains that vibe, only it’s slightly softer and more comfortable.

asics gel nimbus 23 - midblog

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The GEL-Nimbus 23 has always been a great shoe for a wide range of runners with neutral stride patterns and a heel-striking gait.

TheNimbus is a neutral shoe, but it does provide a little bit of stability in every stride. This comes from the plastic Trusstic shank embedded in the midsole under the arch. That extra bit of structure makes this shoe a very good choice for longer runs when your gait starts to show signs of fatigue.

No matter whether you’re running 10 miles a week or 50 miles a week, the GEL-Nimbus 23 is a durable workhorse of a training shoe.

It’s best for slower to moderate paces, but its range can extend from short runs to long runs. It’s not going to be ideal for speedier workouts, but it can suffice for tempo runs and fartlek runs with longer fast segments.

asics gel nimbus 23 - pros

PROS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

The Nimbus 23 has an invigorating dual-compound midsole that consists of a layer of light, soft and durable Flytefoam and a secondary layer of lively Flytefoam Propel, which serves up a bouncy feel with considerable energy return. The bottom line? It’s sufficiently cushions every foot strike and puts a little bit of a spring into every new stride.

The step-in feel and interior comfort features of the GEL-Nimbus 23 are exceptional. The soft heel collar secures the foot but goes easy on the Achilles, while the partially gusseted padded tongue wraps around each foot and stays in place as each foot moves through the stride cycle.

Our wear-testers love this shoe for long runs, recovery runs and random group runs at conversational pace. It’s one of those shoes that’s so comfortable, you barely remember you’re wearing it.

asics gel nimbus 23 - cons

CONS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

As far as training shoes go, the weight of the Nimbus falls in the mid-range of the category. It’s not heavy, but it’s not as light as some of its contemporaries. You will probably only notice it if you have a penchant for lighter shoes.

TECH SPECS

asics gel nimbus 23 - tech specs

SHOP ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - trail running

Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL NIMBUS LITE 2 REVIEW

Coming to JackRabbit, the ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 is a fabulous update on the well-received first edition from 2019. Read Brian Metzler’s review and ready yourself for it’s arrival at JackRabbit stores and online late November 2020.

THE BUZZ

The encore edition of last year’s inaugural ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite is a soft, lightweight, neutral-oriented everyday trainer that will put a bit of a spring in your stride. It’s a reliable high-mileage shoe for a wide range of runners. The new edition is much more versatile, comfortable and stylish than the original.

The Nimbus Lite 2 is somewhat of a hybrid between a traditional cushioned everyday training shoe and a lightweight performance trainer.

You can consider this edition your trusty everyday-of-the-week shoe. Alternatively, you can pick and choose the days you’ll use it based on the running on your schedule.

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

Even though last year’s original GEL-Nimbus Lite was well-received, this year’s version has been exceptionally revamped and refined. The eco-friendly Flytefoam midsole is softer, more pliable and more sculpted this time around. The internal GEL cushioning packets are softer and noticeably more resilient.

The revised seamless, engineered knit upper is comfortable and effective. This has helped lower the overall weight by a half ounce per shoe.

The wide outsole remains unchanged, with a mix of exposed foam and carbon rubber segments at key places. These are placed to align with common foot strike patterns. The slightly wider footprint allows for maximal ground contact and a touch of inherent stability. The small carbon rubber sections provide enhanced durability and traction in high wear areas.

As with the previous edition, there is no hard plastic support shank under the arch. This means the Nimbus Lite 2 is infinitely flexible and rolls easy from heel to toe.

The bright color motif and modern aesthetics of the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 puts among the most attractive shoes in the market. We all know that feeling good on a run starts with looking good and this one delivers! There are numerous reflective elements integrated into the shoe, providing greater visibility at night and low-light hours.

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 2 - new and improved

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The step-in feel of the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 has a soft and plush feel with a performance-oriented fit. The rear of the shoe has a compact fit with a lightly padded heel collar and a thin exoskeleton heel clutch. The saddle is nicely integrated with a lacing system and new engineered knit upper that adapts to different foot shapes and volumes.

The GEL Nimbus Lite 2 feels moderately light the moment you lace it up. When you start running though, it feels light and energetic once you’re in motion.

The midsole is comprised of a single layer of next-generation Flytefoam. The high heel-toe offset gives it a thicker/softer sensation in the heel and a slightly firmer feeling in the forefoot. That allows for comfortable heel-striking strides and snappy toe-offs, especially at higher speeds.

The ride is soft and smooth but also extremely agile and lively. This combination inspires quick-cadence running and a slightly faster pace than most everyday trainers.

The new engineered knit upper of the GEL Nimbus Lite 2 is soft and pliable, but it also offers a touch of support from thin, lightweight 3D-printed overlays (built into the ASICS logo). These help keep the foot locked down on the run. The shoe is just wide enough in the forefoot for the toes to wiggle and splay, but not loose enough to feel sloppy.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 is a great choice for a wide range of runners who run with a neutral-oriented gait. Those who appreciate lightweight everyday training shoes will be well-suited to this new edition.

It can be a do-everything training shoe for runners who prefer neutral shoes without much structure or support. It’s also capable of inspiring long runs and faster efforts like tempo runs and fartlek runs.

It could also be a race-day shoe 5K to the half-marathon for novice to intermediate runners.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GEL Nimbus Lite 21

SHOP ASICS GEL NIMBUS LITE 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - trail running
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Asics

EKIDEN WORLD CHALLENGE 2020

ASICS EMBRACES THE JAPANESE CHALLENGE OF THE EKIDEN RELAY

The Ekiden Relay is a historical part of Japanese running culture. First debuted in 1917, it’s a long distance multistage relay race. The original event was a three day, 23 stage run from Kyoto to Toyko over 507 kilometers.

The name Ekiden draws upon an old Japanese transportation system. Mail and officials would travel by relay across the country by horse or by foot. The first relay was inspired by this method of traveling long distances; it’s become an integral part of running in Japan.

The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 will embody everything about the spirit of the relay. It’s an accessible 26.2 marathon distance for six team members. You’ll compete with teams from all over the world to be part of this global adventure.

Johnny Gregorek receiving the tasuki sash from his team-mate

Listen to middle distance runner Johnny Gregorek explain more about the Ekiden.

SIGN UP FOR THE ASICS WORLD EKIDEN

THE TASUKI: SHARE THE SASH

As each runner completes a leg of the relay, they wear a tasuki, a cross-body sash, that is passed from runner to runner. The tasuki represents passing the spirit of the race from one to another, embodying the team effort of the Ekiden.

ASICS World Ekiden 2020 - Tasuki

ASICS WORLD EKIDEN 2020

The World Ekiden 2020 will be the ultimate virtual team challenge. The 2020 relay celebrates ASICS’ Japanese heritage and introduces runners to the heartbeat of Japanese running culture.

The 2020 relay is a virtual, team challenge. Taking place on ASICS’s Runkeeper platform, the relay features teams of six runners will complete a marathon distance over six legs.

JOIN THE 2020 WORLD EKIDEN CHALLENGE

Dates: November 11th – November 22nd, 2020

ASICS invites runners to discover the exhilarating challenge and team-on-team rivalry of the Japanese Ekiden—virtually.

Sign up and start a team of up to six runners. Get ready to compete with teams from all over the world as you run a marathon, leg by leg. Create or join a team of up to six runners. Each teammate will run between 5K and 10K, totaling the marathon distance.

Virtually log your leg of the race on the ASICS RunKeeper app between November 11 and 22. Work hard and run fast as you strive to pass the virtual tasuki to your teammate!

Sign up here to join the ASICS Ekiden World Challenge race.

SIGN UP FOR THE ASICS WORLD EKIDEN

Finishers will get a place on the ASICS global leaderboard & unlock access to exclusive rewards. Share your results with friends and family on social, and don’t forget to tag #ASICSWorldEkiden!

PREP FOR YOUR EKIDEN, SHOP ASICS
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Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL-KAYANO LITE REVIEW

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite is a new kid on the block in 2020. Brian Metzler takes a look at this new, innovative twist to the GEL-Kayano family.

THE BUZZ

There are few runners who haven’t loved the ASICS GEL-Kayano through the years as a smooth-riding stability shoe. What has ASICS done now? They made a dreamy, maximally cushioned version of the Kayano that’s lighter, more energetic, faster and more eco-friendly than the original.

While the GEL-Kayano 27 still exists in the line as a reliably secure stability shoe, the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite is a lightweight stability model with a softer and livelier vibe that weighs 2.5 ounces less than its legendary predecessor.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - what's new?

WHAT’S NEW?

A lightweight and very resilient midsole configuration combines a thick amount of luscious FlyteFoam cushioning with ASICS GEL packets embedded inside. Other aspects that differ from the GEL-Kayano 27 include a new engineered mesh upper made from recycled polyester, an overall reduction in componentry and an adaptive stability dual-density foam setup that helps offset pronation.

The new engineered mesh upper helps provide a better, more accommodating fit and noticeable breathability. It’s feathery soft and form-fitting, one of the most comfortable uppers we’ve ever slipped our feet into.

Strategically placed segmented rubber sections on the outsole provides plenty of traction and stability while also helping to keep the overall weight down. The mid-foot cutout sections also allow for greater flexibility and heel-toe transitions while still assuring full-ground contact for inherent stability. 

The midsole has a design feature known as 3D Space Construction, which is a grid of hollowed out chambers in the heel and forefoot that allow a runner compress the foam more for an improved cushioning experience. It also allows the cushioning to provide a “tuned” experience for men’s and women’s specific gait qualities.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - New and Light

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite fits true to size with a classic, medium-volume fit. It has a snug, secure heel that utilizes the brand’s renown exoskeletal Heel Clutching System that provides a reliable, wrap-like fit around the back of the heel.

The recycled polyester upper provides support in the mid-foot but flexibility in the forefoot and wiggle room for the toes. The step-in feel and soft interior feel luxurious and comfortable the moment you slip them on, but also when you’re out on a run.

The ride is exquisitely soft and smooth with a touch of bounciness, providing sufficient cushioning and energy return for long runs, tempo runs and recovery runs.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who enjoy lightweight shoes with a resilient but stable ride will love this shoe as a versatile everyday trainer.

Whether you over-pronate all the time or you just need stability in the late miles of a long run or race, the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite could be a great shoe for you. Although it’s not a featherweight racing flat, it could be an ideal choice for racing a 10K to a marathon.

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - Pros

PROS: ASICS KAYANO LITE

ASICS has reimagined how to provide overpronating runners with a stable ride. A slightly firmer section of foam that runs along the inside of the sole helps support the foot as it rolls through the gait cycle.

This shoe inspires you to run better by providing comfort and energy return in every step. It provides subtle stability that isn’t overbearing or awkward. Just lace it up, and it will take your fitness to new heights!

This shoe has an amazing green story. Aside from the upper being made from recycling polyester, the lightweight Flytefoam midsole is made eco-friendly, durability-enhancing Cellulose Nanofiber and the shoe is colored with non-toxic, water-based dyes.

Asics Gel Kayano Lite Cons

CONS: ASICS KAYANO LITE

There are precious few cons to bring to the table with the new GEL-Kayano Lite. It’s a stability shoe, so not for those who do not need that support. But for those who do, the Kayano Lite is a game-changing addition to the stability category.

TECH SPECS

ASICS Gel Kayano Lite - tech specs

TESTER’S FINAL THOUGHTS

ASICS is on the right track with redesigning its classic models. As much as I love the stability of the original GEL-Kayano, I love this shoe even more. The GEL-Kayano Lite offers plenty of stability, but it’s also considerably lighter and much more fun to run in!

SHOP ASICS GEL-KAYANO LITE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - trail running
Brian Metzler - Trail racing
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GT 2000 9 REVIEW

Brian Metzler reviews the ASICS GT 2000 9, the classic stability shoe from the brand. The 2020 edition has a new look and an easy performance update. The previous version of the GT 2000 was a good shoe, but the new upper and the lighter weight make the ninth edition an exceptional shoe.

THE BUZZ

One of the enduring legacy shoes in the ASICS’s line, the GT-2000 is a reliable stability shoe with an energetic vibe and it showcases a clean new look.

Our wear-testers love the fit, the feel, the easy-striding performance and consider this one of the best updates of the year.

ASICS GT 2000 9 What's new?

WHAT’S NEW?

The ninth edition of this shoe has been redesigned with a one-piece mesh upper to create an improved fit. It also features added support as the foot rolls through the gait cycle.

A lighter, softer and more resilient Flytefoam midsole in the GT 2000 9 pairs well with GEL cushioning packets in the lateral side of the heel and forefoot.

And best of all? It’s a half ounce lighter than last year’s model.

The traction-enhancing, durable rubber outsole sections are broken up and separated by grooves. This allows decoupling at the heel and easy flexing in the forefoot. 

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

With the classic fit ASICS is known for, the GT-2000 9 fits true to size with a medium-volume in the heel and midfoot (with slightly more room under the arch). It has just enough room in the toe box for the toes to wiggle and spread.

A stiff, internal heel counter helps keep the heel locked down throughout the gait cycle. This helps ensure the foot is in the optimal situation.

The step-in feel is moderately soft under the foot with a comfortable but not extravagantly padded tongue and heel collar. Out on the run, the shoe straddles the line between being moderately soft and moderately firm. What’s more important is the subtle stability the GT 2000 9 provides along the medial side of the foot.

The FlyteFoam midsole compound provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance or pace. It utilizes organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low-density foams. These three layers of cushioning help reduce impact shock and create a smooth, rolling sensation as the foot transitions from heel strike to the toe-off phase.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Review 2020

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate a comfortable, energetic shoe that provides a little bit of stride-stabilizing structure will love the ASICS GT 2000 9.

It’s workhorse of a training shoe, capable of high-mileage weeks, long weekend runs, moderate tempo runs and fartlek workouts. For runners who need stability in a longer race, it could be a smart choice for a half marathon or marathon.

The ASICS GT 2000 9 also performs as a great shoe for beginner and middle-of-the-pack runners who want a comfortable, reliable, do-everything shoe to wear every day of the week.

Our wear-testers liked it for long runs but appreciated it as a go-to shoe for other workouts and recovery efforts.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Pros

The new, one-piece upper offers a combination of smooth, pliable comfort and reinforcing structure. It holds the foot in place through the saddle but gives plenty of room for the toes to wiggle and splay as the foot flexes.

This shoe is nicely light and nimble for the amount of stability, cushion and comfort it provides, thanks to the lightweight midsole package that helps the shoe maintain a high cushion-to-weight ratio.

The stability and structure the GT 2000 provides comes from the slightly flexible plastic Trusstic frame under the arch and the firmer layer of Dynamic Duomax foam in the heel and along the medial edge of the foot. It’s a system that still allows the foot to flex naturally, but it inhibits the inward rolling motion caused by over-pronation.

ASICS GT 2000 9 Cons

Cons: ASICS GT 2000 9

There aren’t many drawbacks to this shoe, but one thing that was slightly annoying was how tiny pebbles had a tendency to get caught in the grooves of the plastic Trusstic frame under the middle of the shoe.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GT 2000 9 Tech Specs

SHOP ASICS GT 2000 9

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - Boulder Running Company
Brian Metzler - trail running