ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review TL;DR: Beyond-comfortable daily trainers for jogging and slow sessions on the road. Despite the many changes, the latest iteration of the Gel-Nimbus franchise feels familiar in a good way. Highly recommended.
I adored the Asics Gel-Nimbus 24 when it came out in 2022 (read my Asics Gel-Nimbus 24 review). It was comfortable beyond measure, and I used it quite a lot in the first half of the year for training. So when I got wind of the Gel-Nimbus 25 launch, I jumped on the opportunity to test the shoes as soon as possible.
Asics claims the Gel-Nimbus running shoes are the most comfortable running shoe money can buy, and I think they aren't wrong. The shoes have been completely revamped, which initially made me slightly concerned, as I loved the predecessor so much, I was worried the new shoes wouldn't be as captivating as those. Thankfully I was wrong.
In this ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review, I'll run through the usual stuff, such as what's changed since the Gel-Nimbus 24, how well the shoes fit, how it feels to run in them, and offer some alternatives at the end. For more info on the best running shoes, read T3's buying guide (linked in this sentence), curated by yours truly.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Price and availability
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 was announced on 9 January 2023 and will be available globally from 1 February 2023 for a recommended retail price of $160/£175 (approx. AU$290). Visit ASICS US, ASICS UK and ASICS AU for more info. For the best prices, check the widgets at the top and bottom of this ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review. The shoes are available in eight colourways at launch, including the tested Island Blue/Sun Peach.
For comparison, the Gel-Nimbus 24 was initially sold for more or less the same price, but you can get them for half price these days. The Brooks Glycerin 20 is slightly cheaper at RRP (£155 in the UK). The Hoka Bondi 8 sells even less (£145 in the UK) and has similar running characteristics.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Tech and specs
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 has been completely revamped. For starters, it uses the new PureGEL technology, which is said to be softer than previous GEL technology. The PureGEL isn't visible from the outside (as the Gel used to be) – it's now integrated into the midsole, under the heels.
The foam has also been changed. The FF BLAST PLUS ECO cushioning features 20% more foam compared to previous iterations of the shoe, and it's made from at least 20% bio-based material from renewable sources, such as leftover waste from sugar case processing.
The knit tongue and collar construction are also new. The tongue, in particular, is stretchier than ever and super soft. It's said to deliver a more adaptive fit, helping the shoe to feel like an extension of the foot and making each stride more comfortable and smooth. The collar now has a sock-like fit, which is great, as I felt the collar ran a bit too low on the Gel-Nimbus 24. (At least 75% of the shoe's main upper material is made with recycled content to reduce waste and carbon emissions)
Finally, the outsole is also new and is shaped differently from its predecessor. It's called AHAR LO, and in all honesty, I haven't been told much about it; I will update the review once I find out more about what makes it different. As for specs, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 weighs 11.3 oz/319g (men's US 11/UK 10) and has an 8 mm drop (30 mm under the heels and 22 mm under the forefoot. The Gel-Nimbus 24 has a 10 mm drop and lower max stack height (26 mm-16 mm).
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Fit and ergonomics
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus franchise has always been about comfort, not energy return, not performance, not anything else – comfort and comfort only. ASICS has always been very specific about its shoes, rendering anything that's in the way of providing the desired result unimportant. This is why the ASICS METASPEED EDGE+ is heavier than the original EDGE: the aim was to make the shoes faster, not lighter.
Knowing this, it's no surprise the Gel-Nimbus 25 behaves and fits the way it does. It's plusher and more comfortable than before because of the PUREGEL and the added foam underfoot. The new Gel-Nimbus 25 is taller and more voluminous than the Gel-Nimbus 24 and feels exceptionally soft on the feet. It reminds me of max-cushioned shoes, and to some degree, it is a max-cushioned shoe, although not quite as tall as the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 (34 mm) or the Hoka Bondi 8 (39.5 mm).
I love the tongue construction, and I'm an even bigger fan of how the collar fits on the new shoes. The upper has also been changed, and it's now knitted, as opposed to an engineered mesh. All this elevates comfort levels to the next level, which is precisely what ASICS wanted to achieve with the updates.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Running performance
The material and technological updates made ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 more comfortable overall and made the shoes less peppy. The new foam and the PUREGEL feel softer and squishier than before, which is excellent for comfort but not so much for helping you move forward. This isn't an issue if you're looking for a daily trainer for jogging and walking, but it might be a problem if you need a pair of running shoes for all manners of training.
The softness and comfort take away from the shoes' versatility, even though I don't think anyone used the Gel-Nimbus 24 for tempo training. The Gel-Nimbus 25 is a bit squishy, which hurts energy returns – that's all. It's not sluggish or too heavy or painful to run in; not at all. I liked running in the shoes, but I wouldn't use them for anything more uptempo.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Aesthetics
The new knit upper, colours, and shape finally make the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 look like a proper modern trainer. Better still, it looks better without compromising on running performance (i.e. comfort), which is wonderful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know, but I hope we can all agree that the Gel-Nimbus 25 looks better than the 24.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Verdict
Despite the overhaul, the Gel-Nimbus 25 looks and feels like Gel-Nimbus. The shape is almost identical to its predecessor, and the running dynamics are similar – it's a familiar experience while feeling fresher and newer. I had the same feeling about the new METASPEED shoes in 2022 (here's my ASICS METASPEED SKY+ review for proof), and it happened again. Only ASICS can pull something like this off!
It's hard not to recommend the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25. It sells for a similar price as the Gel-Nimbus 24 and fulfils its purpose better. It might be a bit less agile than the previous iteration, but it looks better, feels softer and is generally a more modern running shoe. Well done, ASICS.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review – Also consider
Brooks' Glycerin range is an obvious alternative to the Gel-Nimbus franchise. The Glycerin 20 went the other direction and made the shoes ever so slightly firmer than the Brooks Glycerin 19. If you need daily trainers that are a bit faster, go for the Glycerin.
Another faster, slimmer option is the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39. Nike doubled the Air Zoom units and added more React foam and rubber to make the Pegasus 39 usable for any type of running. That said, it enjoys a more moderate tempo the most; however, joggers will find it equally as comfortable to wear as people who run a bit faster.