When it comes to running footwear, I think that quite a few brands think that if it ain’t broke they won’t try to fix it. But for ASICS, as I discovered at their recent AW 2014 presentation, tinkering and trying to improve on their range is an always-on activity. In fact they have a schedule for changing their shoes.
The ASICS footwear range includes shoes that are described as structured and cushioned (amongst other types of shoe) and they develop the structured shoes one year and the cushioned shoes the next year. For the late 2014 season it is the turn of the cushioned shoes and I was given a first look at the Nimbus 16 which is at the heart of that range.
The theme is pretty much that the shoes are getting lighter and more flexible. There is technology called Fluid Fit which is a mesh upper that flexes and stretches to give the runner the best possible fit with the least weight and warmth. On the sole there are also deeper and wider flexing grooves which make the shoe feel much less clunky in the hand and I guess will give a more responsive feel on the feet.
There is also new mid-sole technology being deployed for the autumn and winter this year – Fluid Ride. This is a way of layering spEVA and Solyte so that there is the optimum balance of plush cushioning and responsiveness.
I have not had a chance to run in either the Cumulus 16 or the new Nimbus, but if you are looking for a go-to shoe then these might be worth considering. I have tried a pair of the Kayano 20 and I love them for the everyday runs that make up so much of the mileage in a marathon training run. And the Super-J 33 is a great shoe for recovery runs where I was looking for comfort and a lack of structure. Mine have now gone to trainer heaven after at least 500 miles, but they were good while they lasted!
If I get to try the new shoes I will update this with a review. And if you have tried them, please let me know what you think.