Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2

What is the difference between Asics Nimbus 23 between Asics Nimbus Lite 2?  Which is best for you: Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

The Asics Nimbus 23 and Asics Nimbus Lite 2 are two high-end trainers under the “Nimbus” family. The Nimbus 23 is obviously much older than the new Asics Nimbus Lite 2.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2

This guide will share Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Asics Nimbus Lite 2 and help you decide which may be better for you. They are both good shoes, but they are both different shoes.

First, If you asked me a few years ago: is Asics a good running brand?

I would have laughed at you. Asics has come a long way in the last few years, and I’m excited for the changes they’ve made. Until recently, most Asics shoe ran narrow. In fact, for a while, I couldn’t even wear a women’s wide shoe. But in 2019, Asics reentered the running space better than they’ve been for a while.

The Asics Nimbus has been around 23 years. It’s a staple in the running world for that long. Wow. So if the Nimbus is so popular, why make a second version (or lite version)? The Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Asics Nimbus Lite 2 can get confusing, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what you want in a shoe. Neither is a “better” trainer.

Many people love the brand Asics but find their gel cushioning to be too heavy all of the time. Running shoes are only getting lighter, and it’s hard to lighten up gel. That’s where “lite” came from. Asics now has “lite” versions of a couple of shoes, including the Nimbus and Kayano. These versions still use gel but also use more of the lighter flytefoam.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2
Asics Lite 2 (top) vs Asics Nimbus 23 (bottom)

First, what are the similarities between the Asics Nimbus 23 and Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

  • Both are neutral
  • Same price $160
  • About the same durability for mileage (the traditional 300-500 mileage)

The Asics Nimbus 23:

You can see the full review of the Asics Nimbus 23 here.

  • More cushion in the heel. If you strike more towards the heel, you may appreciate more cushion in the heel.
  • Gender-specific “TRUSTIC” technology gives the sole more support. What is “TRUSTIC”?  It supports stable movements by reinforcing the middle part of the sole plus prevents the shoe from twisting.

Asics Nimbus 23 Shoe Review

 

Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2:

You can see the full review of the Asics Nimbus Lite 2 here.

  • Use of more Flytefoam: The Nimbus Lite 2 uses a single layer of Flytefoam. Flytefoam is lighter and makes the transition from heel to toe much easier. The Gel Nimbus Lite 2 can perform and roll through the gait cycle at faster speeds.
  • Wider platform than the Nimbus 23 (this can also compensate since it’s not available in wide)
  • Removal of “TRUSTIC” to make the Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 lighter and more flexible.

Asics nimbus 23

What are the Differences in the ride for the Asics Nimbus 23 and Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

The Nimbus Lite 2 is a lighter and softer version of the original Nimbus. The Nimbus Lite 2 is over an ounce lighter than the Nimbus 23.

The Nimbus 23 now integrates the FlyteFoam midsole as well as gel. This makes it durable and great for easy runs and high mileage. The Nimbus Lite 2 uses more FlyteFoam, which is actually created from sugarcane biomass. This Flytefoam has more airy and lighter.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2
You can see the difference in uppers.

You can physically see the gel in the Asics Nimbus 23, whereas in the Asics Nimbus Lite 2, the gel units hide since they are in the rearfoot and forefoot on the shoe. Does that mean there is less cushion in the Asics Nimbus Lite 2? No, it means there is a lighter cushion. If you are a heavy striker (I am), you might prefer something more durable like gel. The biggest difference you can physically see in the Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2 is the lack of gel in the Nimbus Lite 2.

Another difference in the Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2 is the TRUSTIC technology. The Nimbus 23 uses it whereas it has been removed in the Nimbus Lite 2. The TRUSTIC technology makes the shoe more stable. This is one of the many features that makes the Nimbus Lite 2 lighter and more flexible than the Nimbus 23.

While both shoes still use the AHAR rubber, it does feel and look more durable in the Asics Nimbus 23.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2
The Asics Nimbus Lite 2 (top) versus more rubber on the Asics Nimbus 23 (bottom)

What are the Differences in Fit For Asics Nimbus 23 and Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

The fit between the Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Asics Nimbus Lite 2 is more drastic since they are made from different materials. The Asics Nimbus 23 is made from traditional mesh. Like almost every other previous version, the Nimbus thrives on being traditional and plush. The entire shoe feels well cushioned and plush. Everything from the tongue to the shoelaces is plush.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2
Both are extremely plush.

The Asics Lite 2 is made from different materials. In fact, most of the Asics Nimbus Lite 2 is made from recycled materials! As most people know, in 2021, I’ve been trying to purchase from more environmentally friendly brands, so I was already in love with the Asics Nimbus Lite 2. That being said, the upper of the Nimbus Lite 2 is less durable than Nimbus 23. I’ve run over 100 miles in both pairs of shoes, but neither appear as though they are breaking down, and I don’t think it’s anything for concern.

Finally, the Nimbus 23 is available in several widths from narrow, medium to wide, and double-wide, whereas the Lite 2 is only available in medium (regular) width. As someone with a wider foot, I still fit comfortably into the Nimbus Lite 2.

So which should you buy, Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

If you prefer a durable, high cushioned trainer, the Nimbus 23 is a good option. I appreciate how much cushion is underneath my foot.

If you prefer a lighter and smoother ride, the Asics Nimbus Lite 2 is a great option. It’s one of the softer options out there while still maintaining a lot of cushion. If you have an extremely wide foot or bunions, I suggest trying on a pair of Nimbus Lite 2, so you can make sure the fit is good for you.

Personally, I prefer to use the Nimbus 23 as an easy run day shoe and the Nimbus Lite 2 as a shoe when I might run easy, or I might pick up the pace. It’s more of a daily run shoe for me. While the difference between Asics Nimbus 23 and Asics Nimbus Lite 2 are there, they both maintain to be both trainers. You have to figure out which fits well for you.

Asics Nimbus 23 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 2
Only you can decide!

Love running? You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter or read more about running shoes in my ebook

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Asics Nimbus 23 or Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

What is your current favorite shoe?