Road Shoes

Shoe of the Week: Asics GEL-Nimbus Lite 2

The updated Nimbus Lite 2 brings even more sustained springiness for your legs, eyes and the earth.

Asics GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 Review

Weight: M 9.1oz, W 7.8oz

Offset: W 13mm (27mm heel/14mm forefoot); M 10mm (25mm heel/15mm forefoot)

Price: $150

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Asics Nimbus Lite 2
Photo: 101 Degrees West

Top Line

This modern, long-distance neutral lightweight trainer brings it all together, balancing lightness in weight, comfort in fit and seamless performance that helps rack up seemingly effortless miles while looking great. We’re not in Nimbus anymore, Toto.

What’s New

At first glance, it may not be obvious that this was a substantial update from the original Nimbus Lite. Asics stayed with FLYTEFOAM midsole and eco-friendly upper materials. The shoe, however was re-engineered by sculpting the midsole to make it leaner and meaner, resulting in the Lite 2 being more flexible and performance-oriented than the original.

This Is The Shoe For You If…

You want to run long without thinking about your feet. The overall comfort and performance of these neutral trainers, with outstanding energy return and strategically-placed shock attenuation, make them ideal for half and full marathon training or when you simply want to run long and unwind without thinking about your shoes.

First Runs

Asics retooling of the Nimbus Lite feels almost magical, because the rather dramatic and totally welcome change in underfoot running experience was achieved simply by re-shaping the same resilient midsole materials of the original Lite. The second version has a flared out rearfoot and a reshaped platform, based on Asics’ biometric testing, resulting in a ride that our testers were enthusiastic about.

“I wore these for a 20-mile run and never thought about them: the perfect compliment for a shoe,” remarked one tester. Another commented, “I don’t want to say these shoes were near perfect, but I really felt this way.” A third found the update “impressive” calling the ride well-cushioned with “a less viscous feel than the traditional Asics gel, bottoming out a bit, in a good way, to allow for a quicker, more responsive rebound — especially under the first metatarsal.” That was affirmed by another tester, who observed, “The cushioning (even off road) felt complete, no squishiness along with solid responsiveness.”

Asics GEL-Nimbus Lite 2
Photo: 101 Degrees West

While the cushioning ranked high, it didn’t feel overly absorbent because the bounce-back energy return of the Flytefoam served its purpose, enough so that there was proprioceptive, confidence-building ground feel that, but for the midsole’s resilient firmness, would have felt minimal and exposed. Asics moved the GEL to directly under the heel forefoot and heel for better impact dampening. The forefoot flexibility (unusual in this age of stiff rockers) helped to keep the foot moving smoothly from strike to toe off, a fluid feeling that was duly observed and adored by the test team.

The fit retains that proven, snug-to-very-secure, heel-hugging ankle collar known well by Asics-lovers. The midfoot saddle is better suited for those with higher arches and the forefoot is more open than in many Asics models. The upper, like the first Nimbus Lite, is constructed with a majority of recycled materials, and was updated with pliable engineered knitting and thin overlays that are soft and supportive.

Not to be overlooked, the midfoot designs and stack heights are gender specific, with more stability and durability for men and a lighter weight and higher heel-toe drop for women.

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