Asics Kayano 25 vs Nimbus 21 – 2019 Edition

Asics Kayano 25 vs Nimbus 21 – 2019 Edition

The goal here is simple. We are going to unpack the key differences between the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 and the Gel-Nimbus 21. These are the latest versions of each respective shoe (as of this writing, in February 2019).

From an Asics perspective, this is pretty much the cream of the crop. They’ve been iterating and improving the Kayano and the Nimbus for over 20 years. With each different edition, their aim is to move closer to the ultimate goal of creating the perfect long distance running shoe. 

What's the biggest difference Between the Kayano 25 and the Nimbus 21?

The Nimbus 21 is a neutral road running shoe, while the Kayano 25 is a stability running shoe. 

Basically, that means the Nimbus 21 is designed for people with normal arches, that have been running in neutral/normal shoes for years.

On the other hand, the Kayano 25 is designed for people who overpronate. 

How do you figure out if you overpronate?

Overpronators tend to have flat feet (low arches) and their ankles tend to roll inward with each footstrike. To quickly assess if you fall into this camp, have a look at the bottom of your current running shoes. If the sole is worn along the inside (mainly beneath your big toe) there’s a good chance you’re an overpronator. 

If the sole is worn along the outside (mainly beneath your pinky toe), there’s a good chance that normal running shoes will suit you just fine.

What's the biggest similarity between the Kayano 25 and the Nimbus 21?

Both of these shoes are premium quality distance running shoes manufactured by arguably the best brand in road running. Both of them are built with the best quality cushioning and structural support that Asics has to offer. They are literally designed to take you across the finish line in any distance, and they are favored by ultra marathon athletes across the world. 
If you are getting into distance running (21km’s and over) these shoes are about as good as it gets. But you do need to figure out if you are a neutral runner (Nimbus 21), or an overpronator (Kayano 25). If you’re on the fence and you haven’t experienced any major injuries during your running career, it’s probably safer to go with neutral shoes. 

Kayano 25

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Nimbus 21

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Heel-Toe Drop



Spacious toe-box

Ortholite Sockliner

Optimized for Distance

SpEVA 45 Foam

Medial Support

Is there any difference in price?

They hold very similar status in the ASICS family. Usually they are exactly the same price, but you might find one or the other on special at certain times of the year. 

Which has more cushioning?

The Nimbus 21 has more cushioning than the Kayano 25. 

Where the Kayano 25 offers medial support (to make it a better shoe for overpronators), the Nimbus 21 adds SpEVA Foam. 

So with the Nimbus 21, you essentially get SpEVA Foam,  a FlyteFoam sole and Gel-Cushioning. Collectively, this adds up to a very well cushioned running shoe. This is one of the reasons the Nimbus 21 is such a trusted shoe for marathon veterans.

Which one would I buy, if I had to choose, today?

Fortunately I don’t overpronate, which makes it a pretty obvious choice in my case. Because neutral shoes work better with my feet, I would have to go for the Nimbus 21.

That being said, if you are an overpronator, the choice is equally clear. 

Go for the Kayano 25’s if you overpronate and need a premium running shoe with deluxe cushioning to help you maximize your mileage this year. 

Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes

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2 thoughts on “Asics Kayano 25 vs Nimbus 21 – 2019 Edition

  1. Great guide and review! I have been having trouble deciding mostly because the Kayano comes in a specific color that the Nimbus 21 doesn’t but I was also curious about which one was more comfortable.

  2. Awesome and clear guide. Was confused and this article cleared my mind about what of these two to go for. Thanks a lot

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