I just got back from my Christmas Day run in my Asics Gel Cumulus 15 running shoes. The weather forecast today calls for snow and so I made it out there before the snow was supposed to hit and while the temperatures were still in the upper 30s. I ran for about seven miles and this put my overall mileage on the Asics Gel-Cumulus shoes at over 162 miles. I have used them for shorter runs (six to eight mile runs) as well as I have used for several longer runs (twelve to fifteen mile runs) and so I think I have enough miles run in these shoes to write a review about them. So, here you go – my review of the Asics Gel Cumulus running shoes.
The Asics Gel-Cumulus is a neutral running shoe. It is known for its well-cushioned midsole and that is one of the biggest selling reasons for this shoe. For this version Asics has also added more Gel to the forefoot section of this shoe and that appealed to me as I am mainly a forefoot runner these days. The weight of the Gel Cumulus is approx. 9.3 oz. and so it is not one of lightest running shoes out there at this point. On the upside I have to say it does not feel overly heavy either – which is especially a good thing when heading out for a longer run, but these a training runs and I would probably not use these shoes for a full marathon race because of the weight. The cushioning itself feels very good. The Gel Cumulus features the Asics trademarked Personal Heel Fit (P.H.F.) memory foam. Since this has been my very first Asics running shoe ever I am not sure how it compares to other shoes made by Asics, but I can confirm that my feet did not hurt a single bit after a fifteen mile run. So, from that side of things the Gel Cumulus with the personal heel fit seems to do the trick.
At the heel the shoe provides a high collar that also has a great level of cushioning. In the front the shoes seem a bit narrow and I got two small blisters independently on two of my long runs. At first I thought it would be because the first run I did in regular sport socks, but when I switched to special running socks and also used some anti-chafe lotion I still got a blister and I was not too happy about it. I had the blisters at the top of my toes and I would point at the very top end of the toe box to be the issue. I did not have any issues on my shorter runs which average at around seven miles per run. I did some research and heard similar complaints from other people – I guess the toe box is more suited for smaller, more narrow feet. I know that some vendors offer a wider version of their shoes, but I never bought into that. Whenever I tried on shoes at the store, the wider version did not provide me with the same stability. I have not checked if there is a wider version of the Gel Cumulus available and how it would compare to the regular model of this running shoe.
I ran with the Asics Gel Cumulus in warm weather (60 degrees), but I also used it in temperatures below ten degrees and I had the impression that the material had problems. The sole felt very stiff and made it more difficult to run. I was able to compare it directly to the New Balance 880 running shoes which seemed to have less problems with the same type of cold temperatures. The New Balance 880 also provided better traction when I was running on snow and ice. Granted, most people will not run at those type of temperatures or in snow and ice, but for those of us who do it is important to know that the running shoes can handle these conditions properly. Overall it was Ok to run in the Asics Gel Cumulus on shorter runs (~seven miles) in cold weather conditions, but I would not want to attempt a long run with these shoes in similar conditions.
The Asics Gel-Cumulus running shoes are well known for its comfort and its cushioning. The Gel-Cumulus 15 is no exception here. From how the show performs for me and from what I found out during my research it is a great running shoe for beginners and casual runners. It also seems to be a good fit for short to medium long runs, but the higher weight seems to be an issue when it comes to long runs unless an extremely high level of cushioning is needed. As mentioned my feet never hurt after a long run, but I would probably not use the Gel Cumulus for a run of 20 miles or longer. I am not chasing a PR or a certain pace per mile, but during my own marathon runs I felt more comfortable with a less heavy shoe. I live in Colorado and we can have some very cold days. During those the Gel Cumulus did not perform at its best either and I would not recommend this shoe for these type of conditions. However, when I used these shoes on warmer days on runs for up to 15 miles I never had any issues. My feet never hurt and the shoes provided a great level of comfort.