There are plenty of pressing questions assaulting you daily from the moment you awaken to the time you (hopefully) nod off after powering down your smartphone to get a good night’s sleep.

One of them may relate to your search for a new pair of running shoes, so I’d like to share my experience so you can judge for yourself whether you should follow in my footsteps and take a step forward into the Land of Gel.

Should I dwell in the Land of Gel or take a pass?

Although being the flagship plush trainer of the ASICS line for twenty years, I must admit that the only gels I was aware of until I started hearing about gel were those handy little power boosters I carried when I ran long distances and required more energy.

Little did I know that athletic shoe industry engineers had been working behind the scenes for years, testing silicone heel cushions and soles destined to become futuristic shock absorbers that would forever change the landing experience for runners.

This technology began life as insoles before finding its way to fully-attached soles. Early adopters fell in love fast. Folks with sensitive feet and myriad foot issues discovered in gel soles answers to their prayers.

An educated consumer is a wise consumer

My friends know that I wouldn’t think of opening my wallet unless I had first applied due diligence to my search for background material on products I intend to buy. But in fact, I felt predisposed to like the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 after finding out someone who puts several thousand miles on running shoes annually and had nothing but good things to say about fit, cushioning and size. Okay. I can relate. I’ll give ’em a try.

The ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 is an attractive shoe that’s appropriate for any number of occasions on and off the track. The rear-foot cushioning is the shoe’s best feature and from the moment I took the shoes for a walk followed by a run, I could feel the difference in the ways my hips reacted each time I made contact with the ground.

Nimbus look handsome on my feet; they’re a cool sulphur spring and black mix so the shoe scores points for style, too. My initiation complete, it was time to set up my scorecard.

Runner’s Boon

  • That rear-foot cushioning system deserves first place on my list of positives because it mediates shocks effortlessly each time my foot hits a surface. Transitioning to mid-stance is as smooth as downing a Bandung.
  • No matter how much my feet sweat (buckets on the humid days), the Ortholite Sockliner wicks it up so I don’t cut runs short because I feel miserable from my ankles down. Ortholite material breathes. I’m a believer.
  • I defy anyone to point out a seam. There are none. Kudos to ASICS for getting this right since I’m a guy who is prone to rubs and blisters that migrate to my skin, no matter how dense the socks I wear happen to be.
  • I was sceptical when I read that the vertical flex groove configuration had the power to enhance my gait, but ASICS didn’t exaggerate.
  • The cushioning is, in a word, luxurious.

Runner’s Bane

  • Especially firm, and stabilising, ride may not work for true neutral runners.
  • Veteran runners who feel insecure wearing an ultra-light shoe may have to give the break-in period some time. The Nimbus is feather light at 10.8-ounces.
  • For guys who are known for their pavement-pounding running styles, you run the risk of wearing down that heavenly sole faster—not exactly what you want to read when you’re considering buying a shoe with a healthy price tag at S$259 MSRP, right?

ASICS Gel Nimbus 20 Adventure

Call me a convert—both to gel soles and to a lighter shoe than I was used to wearing in the past. Personally, I feel this shoe suits my lifestyle because I’m not an endurance runner so there’s no chance I’ll run my Gel Nimbus into the ground precipitously.

It’s been several years since gel soles debuted but not everyone has tried them. Have you? If not, why not?

Chia Kangjin

Kangjin loves running and with a bike between his legs, he believes that while life can push you down, you’ll always come back up like a pedal.

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