So we were all up in ASICS’ business when it came to the Nimbus Lite 2 and how they were potentially cannibalizing some of their flagship models. Then the Nimbus 23 rolls in and while things are still a bit muddy, it’s pretty clear there is still room for both and a clear delineation between the two and people can enjoy each model independently. If anything, their use of the Nimbus name is what threw us off because the 23 really sticks to ASICS roots and traditionalists will still find something great here.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Easy running long distance shoe for everyday runners who just want a solid do it all runner.
- Weighs in at 10.9oz or 309g for a US Men’s 9, 9.2oz or 261g 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 13mm for Women.
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in 8 colors for Men and Women.
Before we go on, we definitely want to tackle the differences between the Nimbus Lite 2 and the Nimbus 23. However, first, let us paint the picture of the GEL-Nimbus 23 itself and give you some thoughts on the feel and the run before we go too deep as to which shoe is right for which person. Having some background will definitely help when you get to that point because it kind of clears things up by itself.
So fresh out of the box, the Nimbus 23 is definitely a pretty shoe. The upper design is fantastic, the gradient pattern across the midsole works really well blending the two layers together, that exposed GEL in the heel adds a bit of brightness to the shoe, and it definitely sticks to a traditional ASICS profile. The shoe is definitely heavy, it is hard to get past it, and it will definitely affect your opinion of it overall. At just under 11 ounces for a size 9, the weight alone will deter quite a few people and this becomes one of the biggest separation points between the two models addressed above.
As you slip into the shoe, that sock-like gusseted interior holds your foot really well and this engineered mesh upper while only being 20% recycled material has an almost identical feel to the Lite 2, but with a snugger hold overall. The tongue is really well padded as is the collar and the heel cup holds you nice and tightly. The upper on here is fantastic, there is no slippage in any area, and once you get it locked in it really molds around your foot and doesn’t shift at all. If you like some movement up top, then you’ll want to look at the Lite 2. That FlyteFoam based midsole feels a bit squishy in the top layer and then firms up under that, and then that addition of GEL in the heel and under the forefoot provides just a bit more added comfort.
Running in these shoes is easy and by that, we do not mean it is a fast shoe, just a super comfortable shoe. The weight is noticeable, especially if you have a run in any other shoe lately, but when it comes to just putting down really easy miles at almost any distance, the Nimbus 23 is a fantastic shoe. That midsole has just enough energy to not feel too soft and as that upper holds you so well, things just never stopped feeling good. We took this on runs from 13 miles down and in every case had a very similar and consistent experience. It was easy on the legs and feet and post-run recovery was very quick, but we weren’t breaking any records. Lastly, we would point out the durability of the shoe, this thing is going to last you a while. There is a ton of rubber on the bottom and the upper has plenty of padding that doesn’t seem to degrade over time. Expect to get a lot of miles out of these.
Now we get to the part where we address the Nimbus Lite 2 versus the Nimbus 23. If it wasn’t clear, the biggest issue we see with the 23 is the weight but it actually extends a bit beyond this. Yes, the Nimbus 23 is 2oz heavier than the Lite 2, but the durability is much higher. The upper on the 23 is going to feel softer and snugger around your foot, whereas the Lite 2 feels airier and more breathable. The Lite 2 also has a bit wider midsole stance giving you a broader landing area, it lacks the plastic TRUSSTIC system, and has a lot less rubber on the outsole. The Nimbus Lite 2 will be faster, a bit more responsive, and will inevitably skew more towards the performance side of things. The shoe will probably be less durable than the 23 in the long run. The 23 is great for everyday runners who want a single shoe that just lasts them for a ton of miles and they have no interest in ramping things up or carry at all about the performance aspect. If you just want something simple to run in, the Nimbus 23 is going to work for you.
This is an engineered mesh upper made of 20% recycled materials and has a bootie-like design reinforced by a well-padded semi-gusseted tongue. That same padding extends into the collar and finishes in the heel, so you can expect that entire entry area for your foot to be highly cushioned. The heel counter is on the rigid side, and really locks you in place and that additional padding causes no abrasion or slippage.
The Nimbus 23 midsole uses ASICS FlyteFoam Propel in addition to their standard FlyteFoam which should give it a bit more bounce. They have added GEL in the heel as well as on the interior under the forefoot. This allows for a nice soft heel strike for those that need it while allowing for a decently responsive take off which is what FlyteFoam does so well.
The outsole uses ASICS high abrasion rubber (AHAR) and plenty of it, so traction and durability on the shoe are unquestionable. On the medial edge, you will notice their plastic TRUSSTIC system which on the men’s models improved torsion, and on the female models is there for some stability.
Style & Aesthetics
At launch, the Nimbus 23 only had a couple of colors, but now they have delivered on over 8 colors giving you a wide variety of options, so there is something for everyone. As we mentioned above, we love the material design of the upper as well as their gradienting on the midsole, and the splash of color of the GEL really rounds out the shoe.
ASICS has done a fabulous job updating the Nimbus 23 and the differentiation between it and Nimbus Lite 2 is clear. The 23 is for people who need an everyday shoe and just want a nice comfortable ride. This is truly something that will last you hundreds and hundreds of miles and if you are a single shoe runner, then this can be a fabulous choice. We would put it in the category with something like Brooks Ghost or the Saucony Ride. Lastly, if you have been running in the Nimbus 22, then this is a definite must upgrade because the upper alone is a drastic improvement.
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.