Asics Gel-Nimbus 26, premium daily trainer
Flytefoam Blast+ Eco midsole, Ahar+ and Asicsgrip outsole, modified lacing system
January 1, 2024 for $160
Sometimes change is incremental, sometimes it comes swiftly. Such was the case with the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25. Released earlier this year, that shoe took the Gel-Nimbus into the next phase of its legacy, removing the visible Gel portion, adding more comfort, and streamlining the look. The shoe was a massive hit by most measures, taking the recent success of Asics to the next level.
Typically, such big changes (especially successful ones) mean smaller tweaks in subsequent versions. After all, why mess up a good thing? So it is with the Asics Gel-Nimbus 26, an update to Asics’ flagship daily trainer, a shoe that takes the essence of the last version and adds some touch-up paint in places where it needs it, without changing the entire aesthetic of the shoe.
At first glance, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 is barely distinguishable from the Nimbus 25. The knit upper is almost entirely the same, with just a couple tweaks to the lacing system. It’s still ultra comfortable and even luxurious around the heel collar. The midsole sculpting is slightly different in that the heel isn’t quite as rounded, but the outsole geometry and base width remain exactly the same, as does the stack height (41.5 in the heel for men, 33.5 in the forefoot).
A PureGel unit sits in the heel for extra comfort and shock absorption.
While the midsole still uses Flytefoam Blast+ Eco, this version does seem tuned to be a bit more firm. So instead of that soft, sink-in feeling from the 25, this version is more responsive.
A bit more rubber has been added to the outsole, which will increase the durability of the shoe. The rubber has also been upgraded to Asicsgrip and Ahar+, which offers much better grip than the standard Ahar found in the Nimbus 25.
As a result of having more rubber (and possibly because of the Flytefoam Blast+ Eco formulation), the shoe picked up a half-ounce of weight over last year’s version, coming in at 10.7 ounces for a US M9.
Right out of the gate, we love that not too much was changed about this shoe. It was a great shoe, don’t mess it up.
The outsole rubber definitely needed improvement over the last version, so we’re glad to see a grippier and more durable implementation of that.
Comfort was key in the Gel-Nimbus 25, and this version of the shoe still has it in spades. The upper wraps the foot securely and we had no issues with lockdown, though the knit material may get a bit hot as the temperatures warm up. As winter settles in here in the Mid-Atlantic, we had no issues.
While we thought the Gel-Nimbus 25 was the best recovery or plush shoe of 2023, we felt it was a little too soft to do anything more than cruising miles. The Gel-Nimbus 24 midsole has firmed up a bit, probably because of the Eco treatment. Asics contends it’s the same exact foam formulation as far as the actual composition, but it’s not as soft as the last version. It’s definitely still a max cushion shoe, it’s just not a marshmallowy shoe anymore. Maybe you’ll like that, maybe you won’t. We liked it because it seemed to give the shoe another speed and a bit more responsiveness. Even though it picked up a half-ounce of weight, it somehow felt like a faster shoe than last year.
The weight gain is noticeable in comparison to the Nimbus 25; however, it’s not a dealbreaker. Perhaps because it’s dispersed over the wider platform, or maybe because the upper fit is solid. Whatever reason, it doesn’t feel as heavy as the scale says.
Some of us definitely appreciated the wider base on the shoe, creating a very stable platform, especially when running downhill.
So yes, while there are some changes to the shoe, they’re mostly minimal. If you fell in love with the softness of the midsole from the Nimbus 25, you may not get that same feeling in this shoe. But for what you lost in that, you’ll make up for in overall feel, performance, and durability.
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 is available on January 1, 2024, for $160.
Editor’s note: An earlier version incorrectly noted that the Gel-Nimbus 25 had a standard Flytefoam Blast+ midsole. It has the same midsole material as the Gel-Nimbus 26, Flytefoam Blast+ Eco.
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe