New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe Review

The New Balance Fuelcell TC is a shoe I’ve wanted to try since it first came out.

The New Balance Fuelcell TC is designed to be the carbon plated New Balance shoe. Unlike the New Balance 5280, which is designed for racing the mile, the New Balance Fuelcell TC is designed for training and racing a marathon. But how would it compare?

It’s no secret that me running in the carbon plated Nike Next % led to Achilles injuries, which probably led to a calcaneus stress fracture. So I was excited to try a new carbon plated shoe.

New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe Review

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Nike Vomero 14 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Nike Vomero 14 Shoe Review

Wow, it’s been a few years since I’ve run in the Nike Vomero. For whatever reason, I gravitated towards other shoes. In fact, except for the Nike React Infinity Run Shoe, I haven’t trained in many Nike shoes lately.  Since the Nike Vomero 14 uses Nike React cushioning, the Nike Infinity React and Nike Nike Vomero 14 are more similar than you might thing.

Anyway, the Nike Vomero 14 is a high cushioned shoe. While I haven’t trained in the Nike Vomero since 2015, I’ve tried most of the previous models on.

Nike Vomero 14 Shoe Review

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Brooks Glycerin 18 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Brooks Glycerin 18 Shoe Review

Brooks Glycerin 18 Shoe Review

I always seem to have a Brooks Glycerin in my running rotation. I started with the Brooks Glycerin 14 and went into the Glycerin 15, Brooks Glycerin 16, Glycerin 17 and now the Brooks Glycerin 18. I don’t have a favorite and have generally liked all of them. The Brooks Glycerin is an excellent recovery shoe with plenty of cushion for easy days.

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New Balance 880v10 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

New Balance 880v10 Shoe Review

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10 Shoe Review

The New Balance 880 has been one of my favorite shoes for the last few years. The NB 880v10 is light, but with a lot of cushion. I’ve run in the New Balance 880v8 as well as the New Balance 880v9.

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Asics Cumulus 21
Gear Review, Running

Asics Cumulus 21 Shoe Review

Asics Cumulus 21 Shoe Review

Asics has been around the running world for years. The Asics Cumulus, the Asics Nimbus, and the Asics Kayano are all over 20 models old. A few years ago, Asics changed factories and their shoe quality went down.  The shoes were narrow and tight and many people went wider and even a full size larger. Shoe size is just shoe size but when you order the same shoe year after year and suddenly you’re a size bigger, it doesn’t do the brand any favors.

My point with that is from about 2015-2019, Asics was not great. In late 2019, they came out with the Asics Nimbus 22 and it was the first shoe in years I was impressed with from Asics.

Asics does win the award of most consistent with their technology.  The same Asics Gel from the 1990s is the same Asics gel now.

Now that we have that long introduction about Asics let’s get to the Asics Cumulus 21, also known as the Asics Gel Cumulus 21. Although there is no non-Asics Gel Cumulus 21 and there is no shoe called the “Asics Gel.”

The Gel Cumulus 21 is a lighter, less cushioned version of the Asics Nimbus 22.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21

Asics Cumulus 21 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.9 ounces

Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm

Asics Cumulus 21 Fit:

The fit of the Asics Cumulus 21 is what so many people are curious about!  Now, the Asics Cumulus 21 uses a  dual-layer mesh.  The toe box is wider and the Asics Cumulus 21 fits more true to size than it has in years.

First, Asics Cumulus 21 now uses a dual-layer mesh.  While more durable, the engineered jacquard mesh upper doesn’t breathe as well as I hoped.

One thing I wish Asics would remove (from all of their shoes) is the heavy Asics logo. It takes up a lot of space and just seems like unnecessary weight. Many brands have already gone towards screen printing their logos on shoes, so Asics should go that route too. Although the Asics logo doesn’t hinder anything with the fit of the Asics Cumulus 21, it just adds unnecessary weight.

I do appreciate is the higher heel collar in all Asics shoe. The higher internal heel counter and holds the foot in position. My foot feels secure when running in the Asics Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Higher heel counter in the Asics Cumulus 21

In running shoes, I typically wear between a 10-11 wide and I find the Asics Cumulus 11 wide to be the best fit. For a while, I couldn’t comfortably fit into the Asics Cumulus, but I can once again.

Asics Cumulus 21 Ride:

Asics, in general, is one of the heavier brands out there. That’s because Asics uses gel in (most) of their shoes and gel is a heavier substance. While the Asics Cumulus 21 is one of their lighter offerings, it’s still heavier compared to the Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost, or Hoka Clifton. The Cumulus 21 is no different. The following is some of the features for the midsole and outsole of the Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21 upper

The staple in most Asics shoes is the silicone-based gel, which absorbs shock. Gel is no better than other cushioning systems, but there is more cushion in the heel. The rear and forefoot gel technology is designed for shock absorption with a Flytefoam, low-density foam, in the midsole.

The midsole is made up of both Flytefoam and Flytefoam propel midsole technology. What is Flytefoam? It’s softer, low-density foams that provide bounciness and responsiveness. Asics introduced Flytefoam into many of their staples shoes to reduce weight but also provide a more responsive ride.  With the mixture of foams, I’ve found the Asics Cumulus 21 to provide responsiveness no matter the type of run.

Finally, like many shoes, the Asics Cumulus 21 uses “AHAR,” also known as ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. The rubber makes it great on rainy, wet, or icy days. If it’s icy or snowy, I’m more likely to grab the Asics Cumulus 21.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21 outsole

The Flytefoam Propel Technology, together with the rearfoot and forefoot gel technology, makes the Asics Cumulus 21 the softest and most responsive ride in a long time.

I’ve run a few different types of runs in the Asics Cumulus 21 and I find the best use is as a daily trainer or a shoe I’m standing around or at the gym in. I prefer the durable gel for long days at work or to reduce shock on easy runs. Lately, I’ve used the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 a lot for warmups and cooldowns for workouts and races.

Asics Cumulus 21
Asics Cumulus 21

Asics Cumulus 21 Conclusion:

The updated Asics Cumulus 21 is better than it has been in years. It’s exciting to see Asics getting back in the game. The Asics Cumulus 21 fits more comfortably and is a great trainer for someone looking for an everyday shoe for easy runs. It’s one of my favorite shoes to stand around, go to the gym, or even work in (yes, a running shoe that I use a lot for nonrunning). If you’ve run in the Asics Cumulus before, the major changes are the upper and a better fit than previous versions.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6, Asics Cumulus 21

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review, New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Altra Escalante 2.0, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Asics Cumulus 21?

What is your current favorite running shoe?