From the first time I slipped on the Asics Nimbus 21, my foot felt supported and snug. I was particularly impressed with the fit of the toe box – I take a Wide D fit and the new upper hugs my foot nicely without restricting movement or making my toes feel crowded. I have quite a broad forefoot with a slightly narrower heel and I felt that the heel counter fitted this nicely without any rubbing or slipping at the heel. There is plenty of lace length too, so I could comfortably do a lock-lace to ensure best fit around the ankle without having to hitch the laces tightly across the midfoot. This also works great given that I have quite a high instep and wear orthotics – again plenty of space in the shoe and plenty of lace length to accommodate this.
The midsole of the shoe I was really impressed with; the Flytefoam gives a plush feel underfoot, without compromising on stability and still manages to avoid feeling heavy or clunky. Given that I have a very flexible hypermobile foot, I have previously found issue with the level of stability in earlier models of Nimbus, but I found the 21 suitable for my range of activities. I was also very pleased to report that my toes didn’t go numb – something which I have become accustomed to during the wearing in period of previous Asics shoes.
As mentioned, I have worn the Nimbus for multiple activities. When doing weights at the gym (which I would previously have used a much firmer, more responsive shoe for) there was no loss of balance and minimal feeling of sinking into the lateral edge of the shoe, and I was able to go from this straight onto the treadmill without feeling that I was lacking any cushioning during a warm down. For doing walks along a maintained gravel track up and down steep hills I felt really safe in the shoe, which is no mean feat (excuse the pun) in someone like myself with chronic ankle instability.
Having also tested the Nimbus 21 both with and without my orthotic I was really impressed with how it held up during these walks. I felt really secure around the ankle and rearfoot, with the clutch heel counter fitting firm without being uncomfortable and I was pleased to note minimal heel counter wear and no blistering around the posterior heel – the upgrades to the heel counter fabric lining has been well worthwhile. While I am by no means a runner, I have done a few short jogs and was again very pleased with how the shoe felt. Being a heel striker and quite heavy footed, I did find the Nimbus slightly clunky, however this is as much my running style as it is the shoe.
One thing I have to note is that as a consumer, I would not pick this shoe off the wall for its aesthetic looks. Having a reasonably large and wide foot, a baby blue shoe probably wouldn’t be top of my list for what colour I would prefer to wear. But – and this is a big but – I would highly encourage consumers to look past the colour and read into the upgrades which this shoe has had. I have enjoyed the Nimbus 21 much more than I anticipated, and as a result it has joined the regular rotation of shoes for me. As with any shoe, getting the correct fit and style is what will make all the difference. I would recommend the Nimbus 21 to a runner or walker who enjoys a plush underfoot feel with good stability. It would be perfect for those with arthritic feet who require a well cushioned shoe, or runners who primarily run on concrete and require great shock attenuation.
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