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? 

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Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

The original Brooks Ricochet was one of the brand new shoes using the DNA AMP cushioning.  Most people know Brooks for their soft cushioning (BioMoGo DNA) in shoes like the Brooks Ghost 12 or Brooks Glycerin 17. A few years ago, Brooks came out with a firmer cushioning called: DNA AMP, which you see in shoes like the Brooks Ricochet 2 or Brooks Levitate 3. Is firmer, better than softer? Only you and your body can decide. There is no best or right cushioning, but whatever feels best to you.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review
Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Quick Facts:

Weight: 8.1 Ounces

Heel to Toe Drop:

Brooks Ricochet 2 Fit:

Both the Brooks Ricochet 2 and Brooks Levitate 3 use a stretchy, flat knit upper. The heel collar is much higher than almost every shoe, so it “fits like a glove.” The flat-knit upper ensures you have a lightweight, but a breathable shoe with a sock-like fit.

I don’t love it when brands do this.  When Brooks started adding a higher heel collar and heel wrap with the Brooks Levitate 2, it cut me like a dagger. I was bleeding from the run.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

The updated suede heel tab seems to do a better job, although not perfect.  Typically in running shoes, I wear between a 9.5-11 wide. In the Brooks Ricochet, I found the 10.5 to fit well.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet 2 Ride:

As I mentioned, the Brooks Ricochet 2 uses DNA Amp Cushioning. According to Brooks, this provides a light-responsive ride that gives more energy back. It’s lighter than the Brooks Levitate 3 but firmer than the Brooks Ghost 12.

The bottom has an “arrow point pattern outsole.” Together with the DNA, AMP cushioning works to roll from heel to toe quickly and smoothly. The energy return from the DNA Midsole is apparent when running faster. On slower, more comfortable runs, I felt like the shoe was weighing me down, and like a ton of bricks on my foot. With faster long runs and tempo runs, the DNA Amp Midsole responded to my movement and it felt like an energized ride.

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review

For me, the Brooks Ricochet 2 fits best for a long run or tempo run. It feels too cumbersome as an easy road running shoe.

Brooks Ricochet Conclusion:

While I believe Brooks did a better job in the update of the Brooks Ricochet 2, I don’t think it’s perfect or “the best shoe ever.” I wish they would get rid of the sock-like upper fit and go towards a regular fitting upper. I’ll continue to use it for longer and faster runs. Between the Biomogo DNA and DNA Amp, I’m personally more of a BioMogo gal and prefer the soft and cushioned Brooks Ghost 12 or Brooks Glycerin 17.

The Brooks Ricochet 2 is a solid daily trainer and can handle mileage. It fits best as a faster effort and energized shoe but can be used as an easy run shoe too.  The Brooks Ricochet 2 is not my favorite shoe, nor my least but I’ll keep it around.

Current Rotation:

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

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

Long Runs: Brooks Richochet 2, 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:

What is your favorite shoe? 

Have you tried the Brooks Ricochet 2 

Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review

Let me cut to the chase here. The Saucony Triumph 17 has gone through a massive update. Usually, when people come to the store and ask: “has the updated version of my shoe changed much,” the answer is no. The Saucony Triumph 17 is completely redesigned (along with many Saucony shoes coming out). It’s not changed in a bad way, but it’s very different than the last five years of ISO and everun models.

What’s new with the Saucony Triumph 17?

Big things. The cushioning has changed from “everun midsole” to “PWRRUN+ midsole.” What is “PWRRUN”? According to Saucony, it’s lighter and softer.

Saucony Triumph 17 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.2 oz

Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm

Saucony Triumph 17 Fit:

Like many running shoes, the Saucony Triumph 17 engineered mesh upper is soft, seamless, and flexible. If you have bunions or a wider forefront, your feet don’t rub. The Saucony Triumph has had a more freeing upper compared to other brands. This hasn’t changed and there isn’t a lot of structure in the Saucony Triumph 17 upper.

The massive change is that the Saucony Triumph 17 no longer uses the ISO fit. It’s gone back to regular shoelaces. I’ve worn the Saucony Triumph since the original model of the ISO. (The Saucony Triumph ISO was the best version of this shoe and I still stand by that). The formfit acts like a luxurious bucket seat to holds the foot into place. I’ve worn anywhere between a 10-10.5 wide and the 10.5 wide seems to fit the best this version.

Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph 17 Ride:

Since the Saucony Triumph 17 no longer uses everun, the ride will feel different. The new PWRRUN+ midsole makes the Saucony Triumph 25% lighter and much softer. It feels like a higher cushioned shoe. With the everun, the Saucony Ride and the Saucony Triumph began feeling too similar. Why pay for the Saucony Triumph when the $120 felt basically the same? Now, there is a separation and you can feel that soft cushion in the Saucony Triumph.

The PWRRUN+ has a springy and responsive underfoot feel but also allows you to finish a run strong and feeling fresh. With the amount of cushion in the Saucony Triumph, you don’t feel beat up.

The traction of the Saucony Triumph 17 is great. There is plenty of crystalized rubber and with the rubber outsole hard to lose traction in an inclement weather day.

I’ve run easy runs, long runs, and a workout. I feel (for me), the Saucony Triumph 17 works best as an easy run shoe.

Saucony Triumph 17 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph 17 Conclusion:

The Saucony Triumph 17 has changed a lot. It’s lighter and softer than everun. It’s a good shoe, but it is very different than previous models. I like it and I’m glad Saucony has updated it.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6, Saucony Triumph 17

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

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka 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:

Hae you tried the Saucony Triumph 17? 

What is your favorite shoe? 

 

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review
Gear Review, Running

Asics Nimbus 22

Asics Nimbus 22 Shoe Review:

Well…it’s been a long long time since I’ve run consistently in any Asics shoe. The Asics Nimbus 22 is the first shoe in several years that has worked for me from Asics. I used to run a lot of mileage in the Asics Nimbus but Asics got too narrow for my feet and they no longer felt comfortable.  The Asics Nimbus 21 made significant improvement over previous versions, but the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is even better.

The Asics Nimbus 22 is a high cushion, neutral shoe. The Asics Nimbus been around 22 running shoe generations and is known for the gel and soft cushioning, shock absorption, and gel technology. It’s been a staple of neutral runners for years.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Fit:

The updated Asics Nimbus 22 finally has a more roomy toebox. It’s not a wide shoe by any means, but it runs more true to size. For several years of the Asics Nimbus, the shoe fit almost a size and width short. So most people not only went up a half size-full size, they also went wider to get an appropriate fit.

The Asics Nimbus 22 update now uses a monofilament engineered mesh upper. The jacquard mesh provides excellent moisture management and a high level of breathability.

Plus it provides a more roomy toebox and breathability of the shoe.  The mesh upper is more durable and just fits better.  The heel counter fits better for the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 as well.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Ride:

The Asics Nimbus 22 has always been well known for the premium cushion. It has plenty of cushion to protect the body. The updated version of the Asics Nimbus 22 uses a thicker version of Asics softest and most resilient midsole foam. Plus now, the Asics Nimbus 22 has wrap around gel cushioning in the heel and better-shaped gel inserts in the forefront.

The new wrap-around gel allows your Asics Nimbus 22 to protect your feet no matter how the foot strikes. Whether you are a forefront runner or heel striker, you are going to get the cushion you need. The transition from heel to toe is a lot more seamless as well and it feels less clunky.

How does the Asics Nimbus 22 feel less clunky? The Asics Nimbus 22 now uses Flytefoam Lyte Propel foam.  What is Flytefoam Propel Technology? While it’s also a mouthful, Flytefoam Propel foam is lighter, with a soft and energetic return. The Asics Nimbus 22 now has 2 mm more of this foam.

With the updated Asics Nimbus 22, it’s less rigid. The gel in the Asics Nimbus, made the shoe firmer and less flexible. The deep flex grooves allow the Asics Nimbus to be more flexible and move with your foot.

asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Asics Nimbus 22 Conclusion: 
I’ve run just over 100 miles in the updated Asics Nimbus 22 and for me, it fits nicely into an easy run or recovery run day. I like the Asics Nimbus 22, and this is the best update they’ve had in several years.

me asics gel nimbus 22 shoe review

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

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

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka 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 Nimbus 22?

What is a staple running shoe you use?

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review:

The New Balance 890v7 was the last shoe I tried before deciding what I wanted to wear for the New York City Marathon. While I like the New Balance 890v7, it feels more like a tempo running shoe or trainer to me. I wanted something a little more responsive so I decided the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel was my go-to.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

When someone asks: “did my running shoe change much,” usually the answer is no. Between the New Balance 890v6 to the New Balance 890v7, it changed a lot. The latest update is over an ounce lighter. The cushion is still there, but New Balance made the upper lighter and more breathable as well as removed some of the rubber.

New Balance 890v7 Quick Facts:

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6 mm
Weight: 5.6 oz

New Balance 890v7 Fit

The updated fit of the New Balance 890v7 reminds me of the Fuelcell series. The upper has completely changed from version 6 to 7. The New Balance 890v7 uses one single-layer knit highly breathable fabric and engineered mesh. Since it’s all one seem, the top is more of a bootie-like fit. The engineered knit breathes and moves well with your foot. One thing I can appreciate about New Balance is with their higher cut shoes; they don’t tub or irritate the foot. Other brands have tried a higher cut shoe, but it often digs into the foot.  The padded collar and heel counter doesn’t bother the back of your foot during runs.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

It’s all on one seem and even with the sock like fit, it doesn’t rub bunions. Typically I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the 10.5 fits well.  Even with the engineered knit, the toe box still has plenty of room.

New Balance 890v7 Ride:

A reason I thought I would prefer the New Balance 890v7 for the New York City Marathon, is because it’s more of a speed shoe. The New Balance 880 and New Balance 1080 both have more cushion and are designed for easier runs.

If you have run in a previous model of the New Balance 890v7, you’ll notice version 7 is significantly lighter.  The New Balance 890v7 has a 6 mm drop which helps to feel more responsive.

Like the New Balance 1400v7, New Balance 890v7  uses REVlite midsole foam. The REVlite foam is more firm than the fresh foam but softer than the fuelcell cushioning. Since New Balance is such a large brand, they can use various foams. I appreciate how responsive it is. I’ve done easy runs as well as hard runs and for me, I prefer it for hard or distance runs.

The New Balance 890v7 also has a lot of traction if you’re running in inclement weather. If it’s torrentially raining, I think I would gravitate more towards the New Balance 890v7.

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

New Balance 890v7 Conclusion:

The New Balance 890v7 has been completely updated and only shared the name: New Balance 890 with previous versions. I do believe the update is good and it separates it from the New Balance 880. The New Balance 890v7 is designed for speed and fast running. I appreciate the minimal upper and while I don’t think I’ll run my marathon in them,I’ll continue to do hard runs in them afterward.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

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

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka 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 tried the New Balance 8090v9?

Have you had a shoe completely redesigned lately?