Asics Gel Nimbus 23 Review

The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is back for its 23rd year and comes with some updated styles and even more cushion.

Asics has long been known for their reliable and comfortable running shoes with popularity across the globe.

In recent years, the Asics Nimbus line struggled to obtain the right fit for the masses and the right level of cushioning, but Asics listened to the reviews and the Nimbus 23 comes with some nice updates.

This new and improved model offers a slightly roomier toe box, revamped cushion, a gusseted tongue, and better styles.

Pros Cons
High CushionKind of Heavy
Extra DurableNot Made for Speed
Great for Easy MilesSnug Fit
More Volume in Toe-Box

The Quick Stats

The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 definitely falls in the plush category for running shoes. Asics has long used a gel and foam combination to achieve its soft and cushioned feel.

Asics stuck with their Gel Technology in this model but they combined it with their new FLYTEFOAM giving the shoe a softer feel with a smoother transition.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is a neutral shoe but offers a wider platform under the midfoot and heel to provide a feeling of support.

The durability of this shoe is pretty spectacular and can handle upwards of 700 miles! The range is anywhere from 350-700 miles with the average on this model right at 500 miles.

Having so much gel and cushion contributes greatly to its ability to withstand high mileage.

One downside to the Asics Nimbus 23 is that it is still a fairly heavy shoe because of the dense gel material.

The women’s shoe weighs 9.2oz (261 g) and the men’s weighs 10.9 oz (310g).

The shoe has a 10mm drop with a lower stack height than other high cushion models on the market. Asics has kept it traditional and stayed with a 25mm heel height and a 15mm forefoot height.

In fact, compared to many other shoes on the market, Asics has kept their shoes a little old school but the familiarity of comfort is actually the selling point for this shoe.


Long Haul Comfort ready to Fly

The key part of the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is the cushion. This is what people come back for year after year – the cushion is simply comfortable to run in.

And, in the doldrums of marathon miles that is exactly what you want, pure comfort.

So how does Asics achieve such cushion and comfort?

They added layers of their two best materials to create a plush, soft, and comfortable landing pad under the heel and through the midsole.

The first material is the tried and true Asics Gel Technology.

This material is made to create long-haul comfort by reducing the shock effect on the body and giving a soft landing pad feeling.

The shoes are named after clouds after all.

The Gel is made of inert polymers to form silicon, and upon impact, these gel beads absorb the shock from the stride to reduce the stress on the body.

Asics uses this gel formula in almost all their models and it is their hallmark.

In the Nimbus 23, the Gel Technology increases comfort and provides a more stable feel.

The second foam Asics uses is the FLYTEFOAM which is a newer design created to give the feeling of flying.

FLYTEFOAM is much lighter and helps reduce the weight of the Nimbus 23 (albeit still heavy).

This foam is found primarily in the midsole and works with the FLYTEFOAM Propel technology.

By adding this to the Nimbus 23 model there is greater responsiveness and spring to the shoe. It is the secret weapon that gives the semblance of flying in this model.

FLYTEFOAM is not only soft but also lightweight and durable so combining it with the Gel technology gives the Gel Nimbus 23 a competitive comfortable feel for any long-distance runner.


Plush Heel and Padded Tongue

Asics does not just focus their cushion under the foot, but there is added plushness all the way through the shoe.

The updated gusseted tongue and heel cup are a silky smooth material that feels like slipping your foot into a cozy security blanket all the way around.

In this model, Asics employed the gusseted or attached tongue to create a secure fit around the arch area.

There is added padding on the tongue and it is made of a single material so there are no bothersome seams pressing into the top of the foot. This is extra nice!

Asics chose to use the traditional engineered mesh upper on this model.

It does not have a lot of breathability because of the tighter holes in the fabric, so it keeps the foot pretty insulated.

I personally like a more insulated mesh because my feet stay pretty cold, but if you have sweaty or hot feet this may be mildly irritating if the weather is warm.

The materials are also not super stretchy or flexible but they do offer a smooth and soft feel without much bunching at the bottom.

As for the heel, there is a generous amount of padding and a nice squeeze around the base of the Achilles.

The heel’s shape and padded collar minimize slipping and the materials feel cozy and secure.

Both the gusseted tongue and the padded heel contribute to the fantastic feel of the Asics Gel Nimbus 23.


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The Fit

In previous Nimbus models, the fit of this shoe was hit or miss. However, a great change to the Nimbus 22 and Nimbus 23 have been their more forgiving and spacious fit.

The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is still a shoe for regular to narrow-shaped feet, but it is wider and has more volume compared to previous models making it available to more runners.

It offers a structured and snug fit without being too tight and Asics improved on the toe box shape by giving the big toe more room.

You will not find your toes hitting the top of the mesh compared to previous years which is a huge plus!

The fit around the mid-foot is ideal for someone without a lot of volume or instep to their arch – It can feel a little tight if you have super high arches.

Having a gusseted tongue around the midfoot also adds to its snug fit.

Even after the updates, the shape of this shoe is still not ideal for me. I have a pretty wide and high volume foot so it is still too tight.

What I did appreciate was that in this model my toes had enough room to move at the front. Whereas in previous models they were hitting the top because the volume was too low.

However, I have had many people try this shoe on and they LOVE it. The fit has definitely improved for most people.

Asics listened to their reviews and the fit is better than previous models.

This change offers more accessibility to various foot shapes and sizes which is a huge plus for the Nimbus 23.


A smooth yet traditional ride

In a day and age where carbon plates and new responsive foams rule the market, the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is an outlier for its traditional and almost nostalgic feel.

The technology in this shoe is up to date and constantly improving but the feel remains consistently comfortable and traditional.

This neutral trainer has a heavier yet soft feel. It is perfect for easy miles on the road and offers a smooth and plush ride.

But, without the trendy elements in today’s market, this is shoe is by no means meant for speed.

You will want to use this shoe as a recovery day and easy miles-only shoe. For this category of running, you could not choose a better shoe.

When you place your foot in the Gel Nimbus 23 it feels familiar and comforting. It is secure and soft all at the same time and in all the right places.

Once you start walking or running in it, you immediately notice how much pressure is off your body and you can almost feel the cushioning taking the impact.

Luckily, the addition of the FLYTEFOAM in this model helps balance the GEL TECHNOLOGY cushion and gives the shoe a little more spring and transition in the stride.

Overall, the ride is nice and perfect for a leisurely run on your favorite path.



All and all the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is a classic go-to model and remains competitive as a high cushion running shoe.

It effectively combines the Gel Technology and FLYTEFOAM to create a very plush landing under the heel and through the mid-foot while seamlessly moving the foot through the stride.

The only real downside to this model is the weight because it is still a heavy shoe especially in the world of lightweight racing and training shoes.

Where this shoe lacks a lightweight feel, it shines in being durable and comfortable for countless miles.

The Asics Gel Nimbus is a well-designed long-distance trainer that will comfortably help you through all the mindless miles.



Ride: 6/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Cushion: 9/10

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Durability: 10/10

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Upper: 8.5/10

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Weight: 4/10

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Overall: 7.5/10

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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Amanda Martin is a dedicated club runner and running shoe guru. When she's not racking up 60+ mile weeks, Amanda spends time working in a running shoe store, helping other runners choose the right shoe for them - as well as studying PT.

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