We are back at it again with another tried-and-true from ASICS, it is the new GEL-Cumulus 23. While ASICS has been killing it lately with some of their Blast and Lite models, they continue to make minor updates to their more traditional lineup. We saw this last with the Nimbus 23 and here we are again with the Cumulus 23. To kick this off, let us say this update is not going to knock your socks off and will be better for running newcomers or loyalists simply because ASICS has WAY better shoes in their lineup right now. That being said, it’s still the decent run so here are our thoughts.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Best for running newcomers and Cumulus loyalists.
- ASICS has way better shoes in their lineup in our opinion, looking at you Nimbus Lite 2.
- Weighs in at 10.2oz or 289g for a US Men’s 9.
- Features 23mm of cushion and has a 10mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $120.00 USD and comes in 4+ colors for Men and Women.
ASICS is really known for these models that have stood the test of time and have an almost fanatical following. We know people who’ve been wearing the Kayano for years and you can never get them to try anything new and that is simply the kind of loyalty ASICS inspires. Now the Cumulus model gets an update in the new GEL-Cumulus 23. This is really their moderately priced easy everyday runner that has an amazingly comfortable upper with a little less cushion underfoot from something like the Nimbus. This update is not as transformational as many others from ASICS have been lately, but it does improve on prior iterations.
The upper on the Cumulus 23 is so ASICS in so many very ways. It kind of fits you like a glove, the toe box has just enough room, the heel cup really holds you tightly and provides a solids rear foot stability. If you’re a heel striker, the heel and collar, as well as the tongue, are all nicely padded for a plush experience. This is really a shoe you can give to a newer runner and they will find it pretty enjoyable. What they are not going to find is something that delivers a lot of kick, or even necessarily a lot of innovation or fun. It isn’t a knock against the shoe or ASICS as they are still developing shoes like the Nimbus Lite 2 or even the Novablast which we love. This shoe is merely for the traditionalists, people who are passionate about the models that they love and can not be deterred.
As for the run experience, expect it to be a little less cushioned, they fall on the medium to firm side. It does use FlyteFoam and also has a decent amount of GEL under the heel which will make heel strikers happy. It weighs in a little bit over 10oz and normally we would knock it for that because there are so many sub-10oz neutral runners now, but it sticks to the Cumulus formula so weight loss was not a priority. A lot of that weight is coming from the amount of rubber on the outsole as well as those additional structures in the heel. Distance-wise, expect it to work for 10K or under, and if you really want to push it, a half marathon is not out of the question in these.
Our problem stems from the fact that ASICS has way better shoes and if you have the money to branch out a little bit and try something different, then we would probably push you in a different direction. If you like to stick with a traditional recipe, then we probably push you towards the Nimbus 23 simply because you get a bit more cushioning overall which allows you to use the shoe for a larger variety of distances and the weight difference is minimal. The GEL-Cumulus 23 Is not a bad shoe in any way, it just is more of the same with some subtle tweaks. Cumulus loyalists will be very happy with the upgrade so they are a success in that way as they will not rock the boat.
The upper on here is a single piece of engineered mesh that breathes fairly well. At the mid-foot, you get a bit more in terms of side to side stability elements and the heel and collar are well-padded. It then ends in a very rigid heel counter that locks you in place. The tongue is moderately padded and non-gusseted and note that it can roll a bit to the lateral side during a run.
The midsole is a full length of FlyteFoam and then in that heel, you get a nice swath of GEL which will benefit heel strikers. width 23mm of cushion oh, you do get a bit more ground fuel than you would on something like the nimbus and definitely sits on the medium to firm side in terms of feel.
There is plenty of ASICS High Abrasion Rubber on this outsole for grip and durability, so expect these things to last. They have added grooves to the outsole to improve forefoot flexibility which does help a bit with any stiffness from the rubber.
Style & Aesthetics
The styling on here feels very ASICS and this may sound odd because we say it a lot, but certain shoes have always had a very distinct styling to them especially with those models that have been around for quite a while and ASICS falls into that camp. When you see their silhouette, you just know it. It has a very nicely designed upper and we love the little design elements that add a bit more pop, but pretty safe overall.
The consensus on the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is that it’s fine. It is a very capable everyday shoe, but it’s not going to blow your mind in any way and you’re not going to be setting any records in it. We do truly believe ASICS has a lot better shoes in their repertoire now, but there is always a place for those tried-and-true models. If we had to choose between the Nimbus 23 and the Cumulus 23, we would choose the Nimbus simply because you’re getting a bit more cushioning throughout. if you prefer a little more ground feel then the Cumulus makes a lot of sense. If you have a few extra bucks, then definitely take a look at the new Lite series or even some of the Blast models. We definitely prefer those much more and hope they catch on.
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.