As we enter a new year, not only do we get to say goodbye to a rollercoaster 2020, runners alike welcome a new lineup of running shoes. After reviewing the ASICS Gel-Nimbus Lite 2, we can safely say that this is going to be one of the best daily trainers of 2021, and up there with the top trainers ASICS has ever released.
The Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 is as innovative as any other shoe on the market, and is vastly different from its traditional models like the longstanding Cumulus, Nimbus, Kayano, and co. Ignore the fact that this shoe shares its name Gel-Nimbus; the Lite is very much its own, and not just a variation. The Gel-Nimbus Lite 2, designed for runners who underpronate or who have a neutral landing pattern, has a wide landing base built of Flytefoam, thick cushioning for long runs, and a soft lightweight mesh upper.
When you first put the shoe on, it’s about assessing the comfort. For us, the plushness of the tongue was immediately noticeable. Plus, the upper is a single breathable slab of mesh that reduces any sort of hotspots in and around the toe box. Even in -10 C conditions, the mesh was insulated enough to keep in the warmth.
- Second generation of the Gel-Nimbus Lite
- Everyday neutral trainer
- Optimized for the roads
- Heel drop: 8 mm (men), 11 mm (women)
- Weight: 258 g/9.1 oz (men), 220 g/7.8 oz (women)
Now, on to how the shoe actually performs. We put roughly 100km on these shoes in the first two weeks of testing, and the single slab of foam underfoot makes for a smooth transition from landing to take-off. The foam and feel most closely resembles Nike’s Epic React foam—springy, light, and durable.
ASICS’s tech team used 3D modelling to improve the overall feel of the shoe including a softer heel for maximum absorption, and a midsole constructed for durability. On the soft-to-stiff scale, the Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 would be on the softer side in regards to cushioning.
Typically, with soft midsoles, durability is sacrificed, but given the thickness of ASICS’ underfoot here, these trainers should last 500+ kilometres. In fact, there is additional rubber on the outsole in areas of high use (heel, outer edges of the sole, and around the toes) to extend the life of the shoe. That said, this isn’t necessarily designed to be a winter shoe with meaty treads, so be extra cautious in slippery conditions.
Given its versatility for shorter and longer runs, we see this shoe fitting in nicely in a runner’s lineup, alongside a faster racing shoe, and a lightweight workout shoe. A really good shoe that’s a value for the money and a great addition to the 2021 pursuit of PBs.
Get your pair here or at your local running retailer.