The Gel Nimbus line from ASICS is well-known for providing exquisite gel cushioning to runners.
Many runners swear by the Gel Nimbus 17. The Nimbus 18 was released with a few tweaks to the 17’s design.
But which of the models is best for you? We’ve put together a review to compare.
Comparison Table: Asics Gel Nimbus 17 Vs 18
|Product Name||Toe Box Fit||Support||Level of Cushioning|
|#1. Nimbus 18|
Our Best Pick
|#2. Nimbus 17|
#1. Asics Gel Nimbus 17
The Gel Nimbus 17 is a neutral shoe that offers heel-to-toe cushioning for runners. In comparison to its previous version, the Gel Nimbus 16, this shoe has a greater amount of comfort and better fit.
This line of shoes is known for the gel cushioning. The FluidRide midsole has a huge amount of cushioning to streamline the heel-to-toe transition.
In addition, both the forefoot and heel are given more cushioning than previous models.
The outsole of the shoe is made with high abrasion rubber, which continues through the heel area. Because of how durable the rubber is, you can expect the outside of the shoe to survive through many miles of impact.
The forefoot of the sole has DuraSponge material, making the cushioning smoother than ever. There’s also a Guidance Trusstic System incorporated for support, along with a Guidance Line to increase overall runner efficiency. The result is a shoe that responds well to the changes in your gait.
Because the outsole uses Solyte material, there’s even gender-specific cushioning, which adapts to the needs of runners of different genders.
The entire upper of the shoe is comprised with no-sew, seamless mesh. There are also synthetic mesh overlays that utilize FluidFit technology, wrapping comfortably around the foot. The light and breathable material ensures your feet stay dry and cool throughout your run.
The lightweight construction of the upper and the composition of the mesh material make the shoe flexible. At the same time, the fit continues to be secure and comfortable.
The heel collar secures your foot in place, while the FluidFit technology ensures any foot shape is comfortably wrapped.
Overall, this shoe is a leader in the field of neutral trainers for runners of any kind.
#2. Asics Gel Nimbus 18
The Gel Nimbus 18 is the next update to the Gel Nimbus line. Unlike the jump between the 16 and 17, the Gel Nimbus 18 doesn’t sport a lot of massive redesigns. Instead, the shoe just has some minor tweaks.
The Gel Nimbus 18 has a clean, streamlined look, while still providing the same cushioning that’s made the line famous.
You have a plush insole, a plush liner running underneath the insole, and a foam layer beneath that. Then there’s the gel cushioning, the FluidRide foam, a plastic plate to provide stability, and the rubber of the outsole.
The sole has a slightly different composition for each gender. The women’s version has a 13 millimeter heel drop, while the men’s is a standard 10 millimeters.
The shoe’s outsole is made with thick rubber. Like the Nimbus 17, this shoe uses the Trusstic System and Guidance Line to provide a smoother, more efficient gait.
The upper includes a comfortable sock liner that wraps your feet and wicks away moisture. The shoe’s tongue and the area surrounding the heel have a thick and squishy fabric.
It cradles your foot and prevents ankle irritation, but it may be too loose for some runners.
The external plastic heel counter helps grip your feet to ensure the shoe stays in place. There’s also reflective material patches, ideal for people who run in dim lighting conditions.
While there isn’t an advanced system for tension distribution, there are metal eyelets that help with distributing the tension from your laces. The upper’s FluidFit technology can conform to the unique shape of your foot.
There are only minor differences between the two shoes. Both provide the comfort and support you’ll want when you run.
The FluidFit overlays are different in each model. In the Nimbus 17, the overlays run from the front of the upper to the back.
With the Nimbus 18, the overlays run from the back of the shoe to the midsole and laces. The Nimbus 18’s overlays also increase as they move further back, which helps to open the toe box.
The opened toe box means that the Nimbus 18 doesn’t fit like a glove the way the Nimbus 17 does. Instead, the Nimbus 18 is focused on providing support from the middle of the foot to the heel.
The Nimbus 18 has a redesigned external heel counter that better locks your foot, although the Nimbus 17’s is still effective.
The heel of the Nimbus 18 has slightly different angling and positioning of its gel cushioning. The angle is more gradual.
For women, the Nimbus 17’s toe is slightly cushier than the 18’s. However, the 18’s heel cushioning is just a little more effective than the 17’s.
For men, the toe of both models has the same cushioning level. With the heel, though, the 17 outperforms the 18 in cushion strength.
The outsoles of both models have the same number of flex grooves. There have been some changes made to how the rubber outsole is structured, but there’s not a significant impact on performance.
For men, the Nimbus 17 far outperforms the 18 in terms of flexibility. The Nimbus 18 tends to be a little stiffer. For women, the opposite is true, with the Nimbus 18 being more flexible than the stiffer Nimbus 17.
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There aren’t many notable differences between the Nimbus 17 and Nimbus 18. For neutral runners who want a cushioned, comfortable ride, either model is a good fit. Both employ technology to increase gait efficiency and reduce potential pain throughout your run.
If you prefer a glove-like fit, you may be better suited by the Nimbus 17. However, if stability and support is a higher priority, the minor tweaks to the Nimbus 18 will serve you well.