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Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 Performance Review

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3

The Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is the lighter, trimmer version of Asics’ flagship Gel-Nimbus 24 but it’s actually a really different shoe. And seeing that they both sit at the same price point, it’s worth digging in to see which is you’d prefer.

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3

Release Date: January 2022

Price: $160

Weight: 9.2oz

Drop: 10mm (15mm forefoot, 25mm heel)

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  • Rundown: Supportive, versatile, and durable with medium cushion

Pros

  • Comfortable upper
  • Wide, stable base
  • Outsole durability

Cons

  • Lack of long run cushion
  • Winter traction
  • High drop
Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 Pros

Pros

Comfortable Upper

The upper on the Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is made of engineered mesh but feels more like knit. It’s super stretchy, accommodating and feels smooth on your foot. I didn’t have any hot spots and felt surrounded by plush materials and padding. Also, the gusseted tongue is made of a stretchy knit and, at least right now, it’s one of the most comfortable tongues in the running shoe world. Just a great fit that’s not too tight but doesn’t move around and feels really nice on the top of your foot. Asics did an all around good job on the upper and to me it’s the best part of the shoe.

Wide, Stable Base

In my photos, you can see how the midsole slopes down and out from the upper. It’s like having an outrigger that surrounds your foot. Even though you don’t sit down inside the midsole, you’ll feel completely secure on the road and around tight turns. I still wouldn’t take these on any technical trails but they’ll work well on cinder or packed dirt paths. Angles in the pavement or random out of place bricks won’t be enough to affect the Nimbus Lite 3. This is one of the main reasons we put it on our list of Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet.

Outsole Durability

I’ve run a bunch of miles in the Nimbus Lite 3, and other than some dirt in the grooves, you can’t tell. It seriously doesn’t even look like I’ve worn the rubber down. How is that possible? I have no idea. I do most of my runs on asphalt or pavement and my shoes usually show it. Whatever rubber compound Asics is using is almost impervious to wear. It was an unexpected surprise. Anyone who regularly burns through the outsoles of their running shoes should take note.

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 Cons

Cons

Lack of Long Run Cushion

The FlyteFoam midsole of the Nimbus Lite 3 is well-cushioned for most runs. But once you start getting to 8-10 mile long runs (or above) it just isn’t quite enough. It’s not a shoe with super plush cushioning but you feel the impact protection. However, once those miles start adding up you’ll start using more of your ankles, back and knees to absorb the impacts. I wouldn’t consider this a problem. Just use a different shoe for long runs if the Nimbus Lite 3 is your daily runner.

Winter Traction

The super durable outsole does have a flaw, traction in wintry conditions. In dry conditions, it grips well. In wet conditions, only a ridiculously mildew covered boardwalk caused any slippage. But, add the teeny tiniest bit of frost and this outsole finds its kryptonite. You’ll get slight slippage with every step. If there’s even a hint of frost, ice or snow, keep the Nimbus Lite 3 in the garage or be extra careful. This rubber compound just can’t fight through frozen moisture.

High Drop

This isn’t a Con per se, more of something to be aware of. The Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 features a 10mm drop, which is higher than the industry average of 8mm. And remember, drop increases proportionally with the shoe’s size. So my larger than average shoes had an even greater drop. My knees didn’t appreciate it. But, people with achilles issues may appreciate the extra height to protect that tendon. If high drop shoes have bothered you in the past, this isn’t the shoe for you. But if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 Summary

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 Summary

The Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is a really good shoe. It’s stable, accommodating, extremely durable and impressively comfortable. Just be aware it’s got medium cushion, subpar winter traction and a high drop. If none of those bother you, you’ll really enjoy the Nimbus Lite 3 on your daily runs.

8.5/10
Total Score
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Pros

  • Comfortable upper
  • Wide, stable base
  • Outsole durability

Cons

  • Lack of long run cushion
  • Winter traction
  • High drop

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