The RW Takeaway: A new bouncy midsole and a 2mm reduction in the heel-to-toe drop results in a cushioned, lively ride.
- The midsole uses a new FlyteFoam Blast material
- The drop has been lowered to 8mm
- The shoe is just as durable as it ever was
Weight: 9.7 oz (M), 8.0 oz (W)
Drop: 8 mm
, , : These titans of training have been staples for so many runners for so long that they need only one name. And there’s a good reason: They work for most runners, most of the time.
Shoes so widely loved tend to see minimal changes from year to year, simply because “why fix what isn’t broken?” But the Cumulus has really evolved in the last couple of years from the chunky, durable training shoe it had been. A decade ago, the Cumulus checked in at more than 12 ounces for a men’s 9. This lighter version is more lively and fun but still delivers that protective, everyday trainer feeling we’ve always loved.
A big change for the Cumulus is that the heel-to-toe drop has been lowered to 8mm (it was 10mm). Asics says it made the change to give the shoe a smoother ride. In our wear-testing, we can’t definitively credit the drop for the shoe’s performance without separating out the other updates—a thicker midsole, new foam, and a change to the geometry of the sole.
Testers unanimously praised the shoe’s midsole for its bouncy, cushioned ride that delivers all the protection they need for long runs but doesn’t feel too soft. “This is kind of my ideal cushioning, focusing on quality over quantity,” said one former collegiate runner who tested the Cumulus. “I like a softer shoe, but have found if there is too much cushion it can cause my shins and arches to hurt, especially over long miles. This one wasn’t an issue for me. In fact, it has been my go-to shoe lately and I find myself pulling it out for runs and walks around the neighborhood.”
That long run comfort comes from the lighter, bouncier FlyteFoam Blast midsole, which has allowed Asics to alter its conventional construction techniques. Gone are all of the plastic midfoot bridges that the company used to embed in the soles. Because the foam is so much livelier and more responsive than EVA, the underfoot sensation and transition from heel strike to toe-off has improved without the extra elements.
Fear not, Cumulus fans: There’s still plenty of rubber underfoot to go the distance during your marathon training—or just to eke out even more miles in an age when running shoes are getting far more expensive. The sole of the 24, however, takes on a wavy shape. The rounded edges, where rubber meets foam, gives the shoe a little smoother ground contact, so there’s no hard, slapping sounds when you hit the sidewalks.
Jenn A. | Age 45
Weekly Mileage: 40
“I wore the Asics Gel-Cumulus throughout most of my training, up until 2018. Then, I kept complaining that the toebox continued to get narrower and I finally had to try another shoe. I tried as long as I could to stay in Asics, but unfortunately had to break up with them. It was a sad day for me. The great people at my local running store put me into the New Balance 880 and I have been wearing them since, including for five full marathons. When I got my test pair this time around, I looked at the box and it was like seeing an ex for the first time since a break up: I got instant anxiety, excitement, nervousness in my stomach. I went straight home and put them on my feet again, wondering, “How much narrower will the toebox be now?” To my pleasant surprise the toebox was perfect and I am back in love.”
Runner-in-Chief Jeff is Runner-in-Chief for Runner’s World, guiding the brand’s shoes and gear coverage.
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