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Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 26

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Ben Kaplan

ASICS GEL-NIMBUS has been called their most comfortable shoe yet, and it's hard to hear hyperbole like that and quantify it and obviously it invites skepticism. How do you measure "comfort," objectively? I put the shoes on during objectively uncomfortable circumstances. It was freezing. This much I know for sure.
I've worn many different types of ASICS, from the KAYANO I started in fifteen years ago to the METASPEED EDGE+, a super shoe that costs more than three hundred dollars and has a carbon-plate and weighs just over seven ounces. All of these shoes are comfortable, certainly. But I've been thinking about it ever since reading that initial statement and hot damn, I believe it's true. The GEL-NIMBUS 26 might just be the Most Comfortable Shoe I've Ever Worn in My Life.
Built upon PureGEL Technology, combined with FF BLAST PLUS ECO, types of trademarked foam that elevate the toe box and heel, the ride almost goes beyond smooth. Cloud-like is practically cliche in shoe descriptions, but in this case: it's apt. The fit is snug and, yes, comfortable, and feels like an innovation we might see aped by other shoe companies.
It's just that good.
The tongue and upper are form-fitted, embracing the foot and lower ankle, and I could immediately feel the innovation upon landings and transitions. Of course, most shoes feel energetic and responsive when upon a Peloton straight out of the box. I wore the GEL-NIMBUS 26 on a long run in the snow and, afterwards, the shoe felt just as good on the treadmill in my gym. The GEL-NIMBUS 26 isn't only comfortable, it's durable. And there's a reason it felt so good in the (uncomfortable) cold—it has special HYBRID ASICSGRIP tread, so it's the perfect shoe for right now. It's actually designed for all conditions, without adding weight to the shoe or making a runner purchase trail sneakers.
These additions are what I've been asking the industry for since the advent of the super shoe: value. It's no secret that in the Era of the Super Shoe prices have crept up to beyond four hundred dollars. And I think it's great that technology has helped athletes achieve faster finishing times and quicker recovery, and I also love that amateur runners are now able to wear dynamic sneakers that objectively help bring down times. However, running's initial beauty lied, in part, tin hat you could just leave home in a pair of old shorts and kicks, and it was a democratic, accessible sport for EVERYONE. Four hundred dollar sneakers move us well beyond that territory to a place I feel isn't terribly terrific for our sport. Besides, most of us don't need rocket ships to run in.
What we need are comfortable shoes reasonably priced that are durable and comfortable and, especially in Canada, built to sustain the long (long) winter. It's hard for me to say the GEL-NIMBUS 26 is the most comfortable shoe yet from ASICS—winner of the 2023 Golden Sneaker for Brand of the Year.
I think it's the Most Comfortable Shoe of All-Time.

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