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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.