The GEL-Nimbus 18 continues to make bold steps from its predecessor. This year’s model introduces new technology in the midsole and upper, which are geared towards improving the runners, all round comfort and ride, without compromising on durability. One of the key standout features is the new Convergence GEL in the Fluid Ride midsole.

Fluid Ride has proven to provide plush cushioning whilst reducing weight and giving a bounce back feel every time the foot hits the ground.The introduction of Convergence GEL with Fluid Ride is a step forward to making the shoe more adaptive as it can now deform in multiple directions (saggital and frontal planes) as opposed to the one direction of previous GEL configurations (frontal). Being adaptive allows the midsole foams and GEL to bend more easily and deform to the varied foot strikes runners make with the ground. This multidirectional adaption stops breakdown and compression of the midsole by strengthening the lateral heel and forefoot where compression occurs the most. This gives a stable platform at heel contact for heel strikers and lateral stability for midfoot and forefoot runners.

Research has shown the majority of runner’s heel strike and Convergence GEL is positioned closer to the heels spherical shape for improved cushioning shock dispersion. Furthermore, the adaptive convergence GEL creates a smooth transition from heel contact to the Guidance Line to enable the foot to transition from impact to toe off with the least amount of resistance. This reduces muscle fatigue, and with a minimal trusstic, there is the right level of torsional support to guide the foot to toe off should fatigue set in and impacts become harder placing more emphasis on the shoe to support the body.

An important component to comfort is managing the side to side movement while running. An upper which is too sloppy can cause the runner to slide off the shoe when power is needed the most. The new seamless Fluid Fit upper has a strengthened mesh to resist side to side movements and provide a stable platform to propel from. Combined with a strengthened clutch heel counter to prevent midsole compression in the rearfoot this new upper gives the runner greater stability and improved comfort.

The Nimbus 18 is ASICS's premium cushioned running shoe and the 18th edition has addressed key areas that enhance comfort and fit. Technology, materials and manufacturing has allowed shoes to become more adaptable (adaptable technology) and when applied correctly, improves comfort, durability (reduces breakdown of the midsole or upper's from ripping) and the ride of the shoe. Convergence GEL's multidirectional deformation properties is a stand out feature to improve this years model's ability to adapt to varied impact surfaces. Furthermore, it creates a firm platform that won't breakdown laterally reducing side to side movement and combines beautifully with the midsole to bend much more cohesively for a better ride from contact to toe off.

Comfort is a vital ingredient in shoe design and key features of this are heel and forefoot cushioning, effective forefoot flex, and reduction in side to side movement. The Nimbus 18 address's these areas well.

The Nimbus will work well for the neutral runners looking for a cushioned feel underfoot and a smooth ride while running. It will suit both heel strikers, forefoot runners, and endurance athletes who impact the ground harder as muscles fatigue late in the race and want added cushioning with an effortless ride from heel to toe. Runners who found the Nimbus 17 less supportive will notice a marked improvement with this season’s model that’s worth re-considering. Nimbus 18 has hit the mark in comfort and fit.