For a mysterious reason, Asics decided to launch the next iteration of its Gel-Nimbus franchise 10 months after releasing one of the best running shoes of 2023, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25. If you follow running shoe news as much as I do, this might come as a surprise, as the shoes were received so well; one wonders why the brand launched the Gel-Nimbus 26 so soon?
It's not like I'm unhappy. Although even Asics admits the Gel-Nimbus 26 introduces 'minimal changes', the fit and grip of the shoes have been improved, ensuring that the 26th edition of the brand’s flagship cushioned running shoe delivers an even smoother ride.
The most significant update is the addition of the new HYBRID ASICSGRIP technology. The combination of ASICSGRIP technology and AHARPLUS outsole rubber delivers better traction, improved softness, and advanced durability, allowing runners to feel at ease when running on wet and slippery surfaces.
Improvements to the midfoot fit, due to the use of an engineered knit upper and an update to the construction of the eyelets, generate a softer yet more supportive midfoot hold. The upper is made from a lightweight, breathable knit material.
Like its predecessor, the Gel-Nimbus 26 uses the FF BLAST PLUS ECO cushioning, 24% bio-based and made from renewable sources such as leftover waste from sugar cane processing. Other key features include the rearfoot PureGEL technology (65% softer than conventional GEL) and a knit collar construction for a more modern look.
The Gel-Nimbus 26 will be available for £180 (approx. $227/ AU$ 334) directly from Asics and specialists running regional outlets starting 15 January 2024. Come to think of it, the release date of the shoes is only a couple of weeks before the Gel-Nimbus 25 was launched in 2023, so I guess it makes sense?