I feel like we just went through this with the ASICS GEL-Kayano Lite, but here we are with the new GEL Nimbus Lite 2 and apparently we have to say it again. What on Earth is ASICS thinking producing incredible shoes like these when they still are supporting their existing model platform (like the Nimbus 23 which is coming out shortly). These Lite models represent such a departure from the traditional ASICS mold, but we are entirely here for it from the overall look to the materials and performance. It is really hard going back to those original models after you check these out.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- ASICS continue to make the Lite platforms even more compelling…
- Weighs in at 9.1oz or 258g for a US Men’s 9, 7.8oz or 221g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 25mm of cushion for Men and 27mm for Women.
- Has a 10mm heel/toe drop for Men and 11mm for Women.
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in 1 color for Men and Women.
The shoe on the foot feels like no ASICS you’ve ever tried it, unless you’ve tried the Kayano Lite of course. However, even then this upper even better in terms of comfort and really just an overall freshness to the shoe itself. From the time you pull them out of the box, you will be excited to wear them and while the women’s colorway wins the color battle in our opinion, the men’s is still pretty solid and something that still turn some heads. Note that like many of you, a lot of us were really traditional ASICS fanboys or fangirls where there was that one model that you wore continually and every year you got the latest, but over the years the industry has changed. The Nimbus Lite 2 really feels to us like ASICS is changing or at the very least willing to change because it shows us they can do something all new.
The shoe feels light and fresh because it’s lost almost 2oz from its platform parent. That recycled upper breathes really well and provides plenty of movement for your forefoot. We do have a slight nitpick from the mid-foot to heel in that it just doesn’t grab you a lot, so mid-foot stability is just so so. So if you like a really firm hold from mid-foot back for either control or stability, then be warned here a bit or plan on lacing accordingly. The FlyteFoam midsole is spot-on always providing a ton of responsiveness and cushion even from the first time you put them on, it has an almost slipper like feel. Additionally, the wider overall stance in the Lite midsole design is something we hope to see on even more shoes over time.
On the roads, we put plenty of miles on them, and is honestly hard to paint these into a corner in terms of a sweet spot. Going for long runs at a nice easy pace, the shoe still felt fresh and even for shorter runs, it’s just a nice everyday runner. It is obviously not a performance shoe, but this doesn’t mean you can’t run fast in them. As a daily trainer, though it is one of the best things, we have seen in a while. The biggest overall concern we have with the shoe is the upper and it’s actually that mid-foot area. There’s a little bit of sloppiness for us in there, but this is a stretch. The shoe is really just a nice everyday shoe.
The upper on the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 is a lightweight breathable engineered knit that is made from fully recycled materials. It breathes and flexes well, allowing for stretching in the right areas which gives it a very roomy feeling. The internal heel counter holds you really well and we experienced next to no slippage. The only caveat here is that mid-foot support as there isn’t a ton of it, but the wider midsole definitely helps mitigate this. The upper can also feel a bit too big for some, so narrower feet may just find it too roomy.
The midsole uses their FlyteFoam technology which is lighter and the incorporation of cellulose nano-fiber increases the overall durability of the material. Also like the Kayano Lite, the midsole stands a bit wider overall which gives you a much larger landing area and improves over all stability. The ride is light and bouncy and then the addition of GEL in the heel and forefoot gives just a touch more comfort and better shock absorption.
The outsole makes use of small pieces of rubber which help with traction and durability. They have kept the use to a minimum to maintain a lighter weight, but this was a really efficient way to keep the numbers down.
Style & Aesthetics
As with other Lite versions, sadly we only get one color option for the Nimbus Lite 2. That being said, both the men’s and women’s versions of the shoe look hot, so we don’t have a lot of complaints. The use of color on the upper is spot-on and that nice pop from the midsole and how it gradients into the upper is a nice touch.
ASICS have really been delivering lately starting for us back with the Novoblast and again while we have some minor gripes with the GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 we hit on above, the net result is a shoe that honestly might be one of the best things we’ve seen from them in a long time. It will be interesting to see how true ASICS fanatics react to the shoe because this doesn’t really seem like a Nimbus anymore, but we think it’s something better and we love the fact that ASICS is pushing out of their traditional comfort zone and capturing new fans.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.