Asics Gel Cumulus 14 Women's and Men's Running Shoes
The Asics Gel Cumulus 14 is a solid daily trainer for the neutral runner who wants to rack up miles in comfort.
(View Men’s Gel Cumulus 14 and Women’s Gel Cumulus 14)
- Weight Fluctuation: The Men’s Cumulus 14 comes in about a half ounce lighter than the outgoing model, but the Women’s Cumulus 14 is actually an ounce heavier than the prior model. The lighter Men’s weight is likely due to a more sculpted midsole and slightly reduced Gel cushioning. We have not been able to determine the source of the weight increase on the Women’s model.
- Full Length Guidance Line: This line, now running the length of the outsole, is designed to improve gait efficiency.
- Firmer Ride: The Cumulus 14 offers lots of cushioning but has been tuned to deliver a more responsive ride than last year’s model.
All right, kids – time for Latin 101. Did you know that cumulus means “pile” or “heap”? Betcha didn’t. But now you do. And while our testers found plenty of cushioning in the latest Cumulus, it feels dialed back a bit from the “heap” of cushioning in prior generations.
That said, the Cumulus 14 certainly is not a firm shoe, but the updated ride helps to make it feel more stable. Though the Cumulus weighs about the same or even a bit more than the Nimbus 14, Asics’ top-of-the-line neutral trainer, several testers reported that it actually feels lighter than that model.
The upper received lots of positive remarks, with testers commenting on the fantastic heel fit and slightly closer fit in the forefoot compared to recent generations. Those of you who have been fans of this shoe for many years might feel that the latest version harkens back to the closer fit of versions 8 and 9. If you’ve purchased the Cumulus in the past for a more generous fit, definitely give the new model a thorough try-on to see if you might need to bump up to a wide width.
The latest Cumulus carries on its mission of high-mileage comfort, but takes a bit of a different direction by becoming a touch more responsive and closer-fitting for a more connected feel with the road.
“Really smooth transition in this shoe. I think the full-length Guidance Line helps to keep the shoe moving forward fluidly.” – Matt
“The ride of the Cumulus 14 is firmer than I expected, and the upper feels a bit more streamlined than the prior model.” – Moe
“Great landing for heel strikers. It’s pretty good for a midfoot strike too, but I’d probably go with a different shoe if I regularly landed on my forefoot.” – Daniel
Asics GT-1000 Men
As we wrote a few weeks ago, the popular GT-2100 series is getting a revamp this fall and relaunching as the Asics GT-2000. If you follow the Asics lineup closely, you’ll know that the company currently also produces an 1100 series. So what’s happening with that?
The 1100 series is also set for a retake, launching as the GT-1000 this October. The GT-1000 will continue to be a cushioned support shoe with many of the characteristics of the 1100 series. We’re fans of the current 1170 and think that the new GT-1000 will deliver a very similar ride and strong value.
What to Watch For
- Completely New Design: Though it retains many traditional Asics design cues, the GT-1000 sports a new platform and upper.
- Guidance Line: A full-length guidance line helps to keep the transition smooth from foot plant to toe-off. This is a feature being added to most of Asics’ new models, and from what we’ve seen so far, it works as advertised.
- Pink Ribbon Edition: Asics has partnered with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women foundation, which provides assistance to women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon edition of the GT 1000 highlights the partnership, with $2 of every sale in October going to the foundation (up to $100,000).
Asics GT-1000 PR Men
Asics Gel DS Racer 9 Women's Running Shoe
Fit, feel and fast come together beautifully in the Asics Gel DS Racer 9, a lightweight racing flat with just a bit of pronation support.
(View Men’s DS Racer 9 and Women’s DS Racer 9)
- Soft Mesh Upper: A new mesh design maintains ventilation and provides a soft feel.
- Lower Stack Height: The platform height of the latest DS Racer has dropped 2mm compared to the prior version.
The latest version of the DS Racer series gets a serious style makeover but thankfully the guts of the winning formula remain the same. Testers were expecting a light, responsive feel and that’s exactly what they got.
The light feel comes from a combination of low weight and a responsive midsole that’s got more spring than a mattress factory. The DS Racer 9 provides plenty of heel cushioning, which testers found great for long distance running. Still, with all that cushioning you never lose a connected feel to the ground. The added pronation support is noticeable but not distracting or blocky feeling.
Some testers felt that the close-fitting upper gave them the race-day feel they were looking for in this shoe, while others thought the shoe was cut just too close, particularly in the forefoot. Our measurements and those of Shoefitr indicate that the DS Racer 9 is in fact a little more snug in the forefoot than the DS Racer 8. Women who want a little extra width might want to consider bumping over to the Men’s model.
All told, the DS Racer 9 delivers a light, flexible, and stable ride for the runner needing a touch of pronation control.
“Near perfect shoe for a tempo workout, if you need the support. It could almost be a daily trainer except that the upper is pretty narrow.” – Daniel
“I feel like the DS Racer 9 was built just for me, since I’m a heel striker that needs a little pronation control.” – Matt
“Wow. This shoe feels incredibly fast but still gives you a very cushioned heel.” – Joanna
Asics Gel Cumulus 14 Women's and Men's Running Shoes
No messin’ with a good thing here – Asics made subtle tweaks to the successful Cumulus formula. It’s still a well-cushioned shoe with responsive toe-off, making for an enjoyable ride mile after mile.
What to Watch For
- Lower Weight: The Men’s and Women’s Cumulus 14 is estimated to weigh about a half ounce less than the prior models.
- Full-Length Guidance Line: Asics extended the guidance line in the mid/outsole to the heel to improve gait efficiency.
Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Women's Running Shoe
The Big Papa of Pillow for the neutral runner goes on a bit of a diet but still maintains a plush ride.
What to Watch For
- Lower Weight: The Men’s and Women’s Nimbus 14 is estimated to weigh about a half oz less than the prior models.
- Better Breathability: Asics designed the mesh upper for better breathability to keep your feet cooler and drier.
- Flatter Platform: An increase of 1mm in the forefoot and decrease of 1mm in the heel flattens out the Nimbus just a bit but is not likely to result in a noticeable difference.
A Mountain of New Models from Asics
Our Asics field rep was kind enough to drop by today with two big ol’ bags of Fall 2012 shoe samples. Our desks runneth over with running shoes!
As you can see, one of the big stories for the Fall ’12 collection will be color – and lots of it. Asics is going big on the color front with many shades of neon and fantastic color combos. There are also some new additions to the 33 family as well as updates to the Nimbus and Cumulus.
Stay tuned for more pics of each shoe, along with several First Looks to give you the technical background on what promises to be a very exciting Fall collection.
Asics Gel-Fuji Racer (sample shown)
Not long ago, you couldn’t find a trail shoe under 10 oz. But in 2011, our trail shoe sales have been dominated by sub-10 oz models: New Balance MT101 and MT10 Minimus Trail, Saucony Peregrine, and Inov-8 f-lite 195 and f-lite 230. So it’s no wonder that Asics has come out with a trail shoe based on elements from its road racing line.
The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer weighs in at a reported 8.7 0z (men’s sample size 9.0) which includes a forefoot rock plate and looks to be a neutral hybrid of the Hyper Speed 5 and DS Racer 9 with trail components. The outsole pattern of the Fuji Racer follows the Magic sole pattern from the upcoming Gel-DS Racer 9 and Gel-Hyper Speed 5, but is more filled in and utilizes a more durable tread material. The midsole is composed of Solyte for a resilient ride and a Trusstic System helps maintain midfoot integrity and proper flex points. A thin rock plate is sandwiched above the outsole to help protect against stone bruising. A minimal upper takes advantage of welded overlays for lightweight support and delivers great breathability and drainage.
We are excited to see how this shoe runs, because, on paper, it looks dynamite. But like you, we have to wait for its February 2012 release date. The Asics Gel-Fuji Racer will have an MSRP of $110 and will be available in both men’s and women’s versions with the same colors and graphics. (Estimated stack height: 22mm heel, 16mm forefoot).
Asics Gel-DS Racer 9 Men's Shoe (sample shown)
Regardless of what is happening in the minimalist running movement, some runners still need racing shoes with support for over-pronation. Although the number of support racing shoes has been limited, the Asics Gel-DS Racer, and in its absence, the Asics Bandito, have been reliable go-to shoes for the speedier over-pronators among us.
The Gel-DS Racer 9 (MSRP $100), available in February 2012, carries on the tradition of being light, supportive and purpose-built for speed. The newest DS Racer will be more flexible than the DS Racer 8. The enhanced flexibility comes from deep forefoot notches and a new outsole that takes design cues from the Hyper Speed 4 and the old Magic Racer. As a result of integrated support elements, the new upper promises a secure fit that is ideal for speed.
DuoMax is included for reliable pronation control and a Solyte midsole is combined with Rearfoot Gel for light and resilient cushioning. At a reported 7.7 oz (men’s sample size 9.0), the DS Racer 9 is the lightest support racing flat on the market (see the Brooks Racer ST 5 at 8.6 oz and the adidas adiZero Mana 6 at 9.1 oz for comparison). And for the first time, the DS Racer will be available in a women’s version.
Asics Gel-Hyper Speed 5 (sample shown)
The ever-popular Asics Gel-Hyper Speed racing shoe is a favorite among marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor. So when runners shouted don’t mess with a good thing, Asics took heed of those words and developed the new Hyper Speed 5 with few changes.
The shoe carries over the same Wet Grip outsole and Speva midsole from the last few iterations. These aspects continue to be combined with a slightly wider than average forefoot base. The result is a racing shoe that offers a bit more of a cushioned ride than typically found at the reported 7.0 oz weight (men’s sample size 9.0) and 14mm forefoot stack height. Additionally, the 7mm heel-toe offset finds a sweet spot among many runners.
So what was changed? The Hyper Speed 5 sports a new upper that maintains the key fit aspects of the Hyper Speed 4 but delivers a fresh look and a weight reduction of a reported 0.2 oz. The shoe will be available February 2012 and although the price has increased by $5.00 to an MSRP of $80.00, the shoe is still a bargain.
Asics Noosa Tri 7 Women's Shoe (only Noosa Tri text in heel and forefoot glow in the dark)
It glows in the dark. Need we say more? Well, maybe a little more.
The Asics Noosa Tri 7 (MSRP $120) is a variation of the popular, performance-oriented DS Trainer. By using the platform of the DS Trainer 14, the Noosa Tri 7 rides on a system proven to be successful for long, uptempo running. As such, it is great for the marathon portion of an Ironman triathlon. If you don’t do triathlons, that’s fine. This shoe has the balance to be used daily, for tempo runs, intervals or racing.
Overshadowed by the loud colors and unique glow-in-the dark components, this shoe’s upper delivers supreme breathability, making it ideal for hot, humid conditions.
The standard run of Asics technologies are here: Solyte midsole for enhanced cushioning and durability; Asics Gel in the heel and forefoot for added cushioning; DuoMax for mild pronation control; AHAR for outsole heel durability and a Durasponge forefoot for added flexibility and response; and so on.
Weight should be nearly identical to the Noosa Tri 6 (10.6 oz for a men’s 9.o, 9.5 oz for a women’s 8.0) and the heel-toe-offset is 10mm. But who really cares about that. The ride will be smooth and responsive for any foot-strike and the shoe is wildly cool. Look for the Noosa Tri 7 to be available February 2012.
Asics Noosa Tri 7 Women's Shoe (sample shown)