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An all-time favourite from ASICS, the neutral Gel-Cumulus running shoe has had its 20th update in a new attractive SP colourway.

The Gel-Cumulus has always been my go-to shoe for road marathons and ultra marathons and I distinctly remember doing my first marathon in 2014 in a pair of Cumulus 14’s in bright purple and pink shades. Fast forward to 2018, they are still my shoes of preference for the marathon distance and in my opinion,  just keep getting better and better with each update.

The women's shoe stats for this medium- to long-distance neutral running shoe:

The Cumulus 20 is lighter compared to its predecessor models as the old EVA-foam has been swapped out for the new FlyteFoam midsole. I personally prefer the feel of this durable, higher-density foam compared to the older Cumulus models. The FlyteFoam Propel is a responsive layer which sits on top of the cushioning layer, making the shoe a good mixture of both cushioning and response

Previous models of the Cumulus had a plastic support shank under the medial and lateral arches known as the Trusstic System, which reinforced and supported the shoes’s midsole. The structure played a key role in giving the shoe strength during the loading mid-stance phase in the running gait cycle. But the new 20’s model, with the addition of the firmer FlyteFoam, has removed this plastic 'Trusstic' shank and now relies on the Impact Guidance System (I.G.S) to promote more natural foot movement, whilst still giving enough support and structured strength. The Guidance Line in this system is exactly that - a vertical sole groove that helps balance, guide and control the foot landing mechanics. It efficiently aids the foot as it moves, promoting a smoother heel-to-toe transition and a more satisfying performance through the gait cycle. 

The Guidance Line helps balance, guide and control the foot landing mechanics.

The cushioning has remained similar to previous models, with gel in the heel and forefoot, as well as in the midsole in combination with the FlyteFoam. The gel is silicon-based, which helps attenuate shock during impact whilst also giving some springiness to make each step more alive. This translates to great shock absorption and protection throughout the running gait cycle, from foot strike to toe-off. Additionally, the new full ground contact outsole provides a larger and more comfortable landing surface. 

The upper of the Cumulus 20's has also been modified for enhanced breathability, comfort and fit. The seamless upper construction reduces possible friction or irritation caused by seams and stitches, whilst the perforated jacquard mesh fabric allows efficient airflow and keeps the foot cool and dry. I have always found the Cumulus to be accurate and true to size from each model to the next, but also noticed that the toe box is much broader in the updated 20's, which may accommodate several foot shapes. 

The new SP colourway is really striking and I’ve received so many compliments when out running in them! The women’s shoe comes in a navy blending into turquoise colour and the men’s shoe is available in black going into a burgundy/red. 

The attractive and striking colourway of the new Gel-Cumulus 20 SP model.

I have noticed that the 20’s do feel slightly stiffer to start off with, but after a few runs they start to feel more and more like all the previous Cumulus models. I believe this initial stiffness of the shoe has to do with the updated full ground contact and FlyteFoam changes. The Cumulus is made for distance, and even though I have only done a few runs in this model, I trust that it will perform similar to all the previous models in that they always lasted through my high-mileage marathon training. Compared to the other shoes I train in (DynaFlytes, Roadhawks, DS Trainers etc), Cumulus remains as the highest performing shoe in terms of the mileage it can cover.

My overall take on the Cumulus 20’s? I cannot find a fault in them and really like all the updates: from the FlyteFoam midsole to the new upper in it's attractive colours to the full ground contact outsole. I was already a huge fan of the neutral Cumulus running shoe and this has only remained true with the new 20's model.   

GEL-CUMULUS 20 SP

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Anna Pearce

Physiotherapist from Bristol

Club: Bristol & West AC

MY DISCIPLINES
ultra marathon marathon half marathon 10k trail
MY DISCIPLINES
ultra_marathon marathon half_marathon 10k trail