The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22 is a standard, no-frills running shoe that works as well for logging miles on pavement as it does for cross-training days at home.
As more running shoes with carbon-fiber plates hit the market and super-bouncy foams make shoes feel like rocket ships, having a solid, dependable everyday training shoe can be a relief. That’s where the Cumulus 22 comes in.
The Cumulus won’t topple course records or make waves on the runway. But it’s as reliable as they come.
With more than two decades of experience beneath the laces, the newest ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22 is an ideal everyday training shoe for most runners. Fleet Feet runners tested out the latest version of the Cumulus to see how it stacks up to previous generations. Here’s what they thought.
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22
6.9 oz (women’s), 10.1 oz (men’s)
Stack height (heel/forefoot)
22mm/12mm (W), 23mm/13 mm (M)
ASICS created the Cumulus 22 for a comfortable, straightforward fit, and the shoe delivers.
Designers covered the Cumulus in a one-piece engineered mesh upper for a lightweight feel, and they used 3D printed overlays to give it flexible structure. ASICS printed the overlays on the midfoot, but they left the toe box and vamp completely clear.
The decision not only gives the Cumulus a clean, modern look, but it also makes it more flexible, so nothing interferes with the natural bend of your foot at toe-off. ASICS did use a thin internal support for the toe box, though, so the shoe still provides enough height for your toes to wiggle comfortably.
One thing you’ll notice right away is the cushioned step-in feel. From the upper to the heel, premium materials make the shoe feel more comfortable all around.
There’s a slight bit of loft in the mesh upper, which adds a lightly cushioned feel, and the padded tongue enhances the plushness. A cushioned heel collar covered in a smooth fabric helps reduce rubbing or chafing.
One tester says the fit was a little narrow for her when she first put the shoe on, but she was able to loosen the laces for a better fit all around. The fit worked well, she says, once the laces were loosened up in the forefoot.
She says the heel cup hugged her foot well, but she also used the marathon lacing technique (or heel-lock lacing technique) to get a more locked-in fit.
The best part of the new Cumulus is how it blends into the background of your run.
One Fleet Feet tester says blending in is a good thing for the shoes you plan to run the majority of your miles in.
“The Cumulus 22 is honestly a shoe I don’t notice too much when I run. For me, that’s a good thing,” she says. “It does its job (offers cushion, comfort and some bounce) without me having to think too much about it.”
ASICS dialed in the consistency by using a Flytefoam midsole and GEL units to cushion the ride. Flytefoam creates a soft underfoot feeling while maintaining a light weight, and the signature GEL units in the heel and forefoot absorb and disperse the repeated impacts of running.
Flex grooves in the forefoot let your foot bend more naturally, creating a smooth transition from heel to toe, and a generous covering of abrasion-resistant rubber coats the outsole for improved traction and durability.
Another benefit of a standard running shoe like the Cumulus 22 is its versatility. The midsole isn’t too tall or too bouncy, which means the shoe will perform well on your run and give you a stable platform for post-run cross training.
“I’m going to add these into my shoe rotation,” says a tester. “They feel like a good change of pace for my feet, especially on days when I’m running easy and adding in circuit training.”
There are several obvious aesthetic differences when you compare the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 21 and GEL-Cumulus 22, but ASICS also fine-tuned some functional details to create a better ride.
ASICS gave the Cumulus 22 a cleaner, more minimalist upper than the Cumulus 21. While the 21 used more textured overlays around the heel and midfoot, the Cumulus 22 only sports the simple printed overlays that add a bit of structure to the mesh. Designers also hid the toe cap beneath the mesh in the latest model.
A larger GEL unit in the heel provides extra cushioning in the Cumulus 22 than the 21. The GEL extends farther up the lateral side of the shoe and wraps farther around the back of the heel than before.
Underneath, ASICS tweaked the outsole. Designers added more flex grooves in the mid- and forefoot and uncoupled the rubber pieces in the heel and midfoot for smoother transitions.
The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22 is a stellar update to one of the most popular running shoes of the last 20 years.
ASICS gave the shoe a slimmer look and feel by removing bulkier overlays and textures, and they improved the ride by creating a more flexible outsole and adding larger GEL cushioning units. By packing all the technology into a Flytefoam midsole, you still get the same consistent ride you’ve come to expect from the Cumulus.
Built with premium materials and protected by a durable, hard-wearing rubber outsole, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22 is a runner’s running shoe that’s capable of taking on your long runs and weight-training sessions with equal ease.
Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $99 and free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.
By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.