Shoe Review: Asics Gel-Nimbus 16

Weight: 267g (Women’s 7) 329g (Men’s 9)

Heel-toe Offset: 13mm

Class: Netural

Cost: AU$230.00


I picked up a pair of the new Asics Nimbus 16’s about a month ago, at the Boston Marathon expo. My first ever marathon was run in the Nimbus 12’s. Since then, my marathon running has come a long way, and I now choose to race in a lighter shoe. (I raced the Melbourne Marathon last year in the Asics Skyspeed, and the Boston Marathon this year in the Asics Hyperspeed) but I still have a place for the Nimbus, as a high-mileage trainer, for most of my long runs, as the cushioning that this shoe offers is second to none.


So…. How does the new Nimbus 16 compare to previous models?

Not a lot of changes have been made between the 15’s and the 16’s. Gel units have been repositioned in both the forefoot and the heel, and more grooves added to the forefoot to improve flexibility, but the weight of the shoe remains virtually unchanged.

There has been a slight adjustment to the upper around the toe box (the heat moulded seam and the overlay have virtually swapped positions from the Nimbus 15’s). This is mostly an aesthetic change, but potentially minimizes rub on the toes.

There has also been a minor change to the clutch (heel) counter, but until somebody pointed it out to me, I didn’t even notice the difference.

All the features of the Nimbus 15’s have also been carried over to the 16’s, including the zip fluid fit mesh (to create a firm glove-like fit), clutch counter for the heel (to improve fit), gender specific cushioning (women’s forefoot material is softer than men’s to allow cushioning to be felt by a lighter frame), fluid ride platform (2 piece midsole), guidance line (for enhanced gait efficiency), and rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning (for shock absorption during impact and toe-off)

I think that lovers of the Nimbus 15 will also love the 16, because it has not had a radical overhaul. I tried to find reviews of the shoe from other runners. One site had 15 reviews posted. It turns out the 15 ‘reviews’ were complaints from 15 different people about the shoe colours. Unfortunately, nobody had anything constructive to say about how they found the shoe to actually run in, so the views expressed in this review are purely my own. So this is what I found when I pulled them on…

When I first pulled on the Nimbus 16, it felt bulky compared to the lightweight shoes I have been running in lately. However, it is very comparable in weight to other shoes in its class.

After a few k’s, I noticed that my toes were feeling a bit numb. I stopped and loosened the laces, and have not had the same problem since. I had probably done them up too tight.

The cushioning was evident, and they felt broken-in from almost the first step. They were very soft and comfortable. They are not the lightest pair of shoes I own…… But they are not trying to be a lightweight shoe. I don’t think I would like to race a marathon in this shoe anymore, but it will suit plenty of other runners for this distance.  As a high mileage trainer for my long runs, it is a great shoe.

Thus shoe would suit neutral runners or mild overpronators, who are looking for some protection without the correction.


i also feel they run true to size… I have worn a size 8 in Asics (all models) for 3-4 years and the Nimbus 16 is no exception. I have also found these shoes to be very durable. Lucky me, as I am a light runner with an efficient gait, who wears shoes evenly. They are definetly more durable than some of the more lightweight (and cheaper) shoes in my collection, so I think they are worth the price.

You can also read my review of the Nimbus 15’s here.

What do you think of the Nimbus 16’s? 


8 thoughts on “Shoe Review: Asics Gel-Nimbus 16

  1. Thanks for this review. I found your blog from the site you mentioned. I love the colors 🙂 I tried a lighter asics shoe for a long run and ended up with a blister. I think it was from lack of cushioning on my forefoot. I plan to get the nimbus and cumulus for summer training.

    1. Thanks!
      I have not run in the cumulus, but from what I have read, they would suit similar runners to the Nimbus.
      A few of the girls I run with have tried the cumulus. I also like the skyspeed, which is a little lighter and a little lower profile, but still good for long runs, up to marathon distance.
      I love the multicolour Nimbuses, but unfortunately they aren’t available in Australia.
      I just got home from a 33km run in my Nimbus 16’s, and they also accompanied me for 27 km yesterday, so I think they are well and truly broken in now, no blisters, no numbness, no problems!

  2. thanks for your lovely comparison. that was exactly i have been looking for quite some time.

    thank you very much. keep on running 🙂 and nice website by the way

    greetings from germany,

  3. Hello, and thank you for the review! I am running the NYC Marathon in November, and have been training in the Nimbus 16. I need to purchase a new pair (the ones I have are worn down), and am thinking of switching to the 15 to save some money. Do you think there will be a noticeable difference? Would love your opinion.. this is my first marathon!
    Rachel from NY

    1. Hi Rachel…
      First of all, I’m no professional, just a motivated amateur who has run in both the 15’s and the 16’s!
      Personally, I did not find much difference between the 15’s and the 16’s. Structurally, they are very similar and they weigh about the same.
      If you’d been training all year in the 15’s and needed a new pair and they were not available, any shoe salesperson would be likely to put you in the 16’s, so I don’t see a problem with going from the 16’s to the 15’s either… As long as you get them with enough time to make sure you can break them in. A few weeks should be fine!
      However…. Asics are releasing a special limited edition New York Marathon nimbus that looks really cool and would be an awesome souvenir too!

      Good luck with your first marathon… New York… amazing! I visited New York in April this year when I was in the USA for the Boston Marathon. I am very hopeful that Richard and I might get to run it next year!

  4. This is a very helpful review. I am still in my first year of running at 52 yrs old. I am in my second pair of Nimbus 15’s and these worked well for my half marathon in November. Today in noticed that towards the end of my 9 mile run that my toes were hitting the end of my shoe, (I haven’t noticed that in shorter 3-5 mile runs) I think that I will try a half size larger and need to decide between another 15 or the 16s.

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