Like the Asics Gel Nimbus 25, the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 got a radical redesign for 2023 updating its look to be more modern and sleek while adding more of that wonderful FF Blast+ squish. But how does the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 differ from its FF Blast+ packing brethren, the aforementioned Nimbus 25, and the Asics Novablast 3?
That’s a really good question and one that on paper looks clear but was harder to pin down during testing. Here’s my best attempt and pointing out the differences so you can choose which shoe is best for you.
Asics Gel Cumulus 25
Weight: Men’s 9 oz., Women’s 7.6 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: An updated Asics Gel Cumulus 25 packs a nice squish, a fairly standard running shoe upper, and a smooth ride. At $140, it delivers value but is hard to choose over the Asics Novablast 3 and Asics Gel Nimbus 25.
It’s an Upgrade
The Asics Gel Cumulus 25 is an upgrade over the previous Cumuli (Editor’s Note: Yes, that’s actually the plural, I looked it up). The base feels wider so the Cumulus 25 feels hyper-stable. The upper is a standard running shoe upper but it’s plush all the way around so it’s comfortable for lots of running and casual wear (Editor’s Note: It passes the theme park test).
I found the outsole’s traction solid, though there’s not a ton of rubber down there. The lack of rubber will hurt durability. The FF Blast+ at the center of the forefoot is starting to fray a lot after testing. It won’t change traction long term but it may shorten the lifespan of the shoe depending on where you land and push off.
There is some Pure Gel in a geometric pattern hidden in the heel but it’s not a lot. The FF Blast+ is doing the majority of the cushioning work in this shoe. And that’s not a bad thing. The midsole feels squishy and does a good job of impact protection.
Cumulus 25 vs Nimbus 25
Remember how I said the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 is hyper-stable? Well, the Nimbus 25 has an even wider base and is even more stable. So if stability is most important, I’d say pay the extra $20 and grab the Nimbus 25.
And the upper…well the Cumulus 25’s very standard running shoe upper can’t compete with the comfort of the Nimbus 25’s knit upper. The Nimbus 25 upper and its glorious tongue combine to create one of the best uppers of the year. It’s easily Asics’ most comfortable shoe. Neither upper is particularly breathable…but that’s a trade-off made to increase overall comfort.
The Nimbus 25 also has more rubber on the outsole but picks up more pebbles due to the circular cutouts. So the pattern is better on the Cumulus 25 but the durability is better on the Nimbus 25. That makes the outsoles a mixed bag where there’s not enough difference to guide your purchase.
Both shoes are best for easy running. Long, slower miles where you can let all the FF Blast+ in both shoes protect your body. They both feel great when you can get in a groove at your typical pace. And while you can pick up the pace in either shoe, it doesn’t feel like the shoe is doing much to help you when you do speed up.
Are you a jogger who also wants to use their running shoes for casual wear? Or maybe an avid runner who needs a protective, comfortable shoe for easy recovery runs? Either shoe will fit that use case. Which one you choose will come down to the details you prefer.
Cumulus 25 vs Novablast 3
The Asics Gel Cumulus 25 and Asics Novablast 3 share the $140 price point making for an interesting decision. They’re very similar shoes but we have the Novablast 3 higher rated. Why?
The Novablast 3’s FF Blast+ is squishier and your feet will feel like they’re popping off the ground faster. Basically, the Novablast 3 can speed up better than the Cumulus 25 and features a more minimal, breathable upper to complement its poppier feel underfoot. The Novablast 3 also looks a lot cooler.
That said, the Cumulus 25 is more stable and has better traction. So…while for me the Novablast 3 is unequivocally the better shoe, it depends on what you’re looking for. You may not need the pop or the cool looks and prefer something more conservative (Editor’s Note: He says conversative like it’s not a good thing and everyone wants their shoes to look like flames or safety gear, but if you like more subdued color palettes and solid shoes, just ignore him).
Is the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 wide foot friendly?
While the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 is fairly accommodating, Asics offers a wide version in a ton of colorways to make it easier for wide footers.
Is the Asics Gel Cumulus 25 worth $140?
Given the technology and comfort included, the Cumulus 25 is right-priced at $140.
Asics Gel Cumulus 25 Summary
The completely refurbished Asics Gel Cumulus 25 packs a nice midsole squish, a standard running shoe upper, and a smooth ride. At $140, it delivers plenty of value but it might be hard to choose it over the Asics Novablast 3 (same price point) and Asics Gel Nimbus 25 (+$20).