Shoe Review: ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25

A woman stands on a brick walkway in the new ASICS Cumulus 25.

If you could build a custom running shoe suited to your own preferences, which features would you focus on? Maybe you’d like to fine-tune the cushioning to be the perfect blend of soft and sturdy. Perhaps you’d like a light yet supportive upper that gives your feet just enough room to flex and breathe. For Fleet Feet reviewers, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 hits that perfect balance of “in-between.” And the best part? It’s available in Fleet Feet-exclusive colorways to help you stand out from the crowd.

The latest version of the Cumulus has more cushioning and less weight than before, making it a great companion for your daily miles. ASICS’ new PureGEL technology shines in the midsole, while FF BLAST PLUS foam provides a softer, smoother underfoot feel.

Fleet Feet reviewers took the GEL-Cumulus out for easy miles, recovery runs and even some speedwork. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest version of the Cumulus.

Tech Specs

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25

Weight 8 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 8 mm
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 36.5 mm/28.5 mm (W), 37.5 mm/29.5 mm (M)
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... New Balance 1080v12, Brooks Ghost 15

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Cumulus Lives Up to It’s Namesake With Soft, Light Cushioning

Two runners run down the street in the ASICS Cumulus 25.

Cumulus clouds are fluffy and soft-looking, although no one’s actually been able to confirm their texture. What we can confirm is the plush sensation of the new ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25. Thanks to an increased stack height (2 millimeters, to be exact) and upgraded midsole technologies, the Cumulus 25 feels like a cloud – or, more accurately, what we think a cloud feels like.

The Cumulus 25 uses a blend of FF BLAST PLUS cushioning and PureGEL technology to create its cloud-like underfoot sensation. FF BLAST PLUS foam is ASICS’ softest foam yet, which you may have experienced in the ultra-plush GEL-Nimbus 25.

If you were wondering where the gel went in the latest version of the Cumulus, it’s been replaced with PureGEL, an internal gel cushioning system that’s lighter and softer than the previous technology. It sits right below your rear foot, invisible to the outside eye, to absorb impact during landings.

“I love the cushion and comfort that the new Cumulus brings with the soft and bouncy PureGEL and FF BLAST PLUS cushioning,” Mandy says. “I’ve used this shoe for everything from walking the dog and running errands to easy runs and speedwork and am always excited to put this shoe on my foot. ASICS really knocked it out of the park with this one.”

Despite the added cushioning, the Cumulus 25 is about .8 ounces lighter than the previous version, making for a seamless ride that allows you to focus on the road ahead.

“The Cumulus is the kind of shoe that’s kind of just there, you don’t really think about your feet or the fit of the shoe during your run, which is a good thing,” Caroline says. “I took the Cumulus for a 6-mile recovery run right in the thick of marathon training. Needless to say, my feet and legs are pretty sore and fatigued so nothing really feels good right now…but I do enjoy the soft cushioning underfoot and the flexible transitions that this shoe offers.”

The Cumulus 25 is equipped with AHARPLUS rubber, which ASICS says has an abrasion resistance that’s three times higher than conventional rubber. The AHARPLUS rubber is placed in areas that see the most wear and tear–the edges of the heel and the forefoot. Leaving exposed midsole foam in the center of the sole helps shave weight, keeping these shoes as light and floaty as clouds. Reviewers noticed that the sole feels a little slick on wet pavement, which is something to keep in mind if you frequently find yourself braving rainy runs.

“I wore these shoes for a fartlek workout right out of the box,” says Ashley. “While I have always liked the Cumulus, I truly loved this latest version. For a daily trainer, they handled uptempo miles like a secret race-day shoe. I felt both light on my feet and protected. This shoe is quickly becoming one of my favorites.”

Sustainable Upper Comes in Fleet Feet Exclusive Colors

The ASICS Cumulus in men's and women's Fleet Feet exclusive colors.

Do you want to buy shoes that are made with environmentally friendly materials? Do you want to stand out from the crowd and have all your running buddies ask where you got your shoes? With the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25, you can do both.

The upper in the latest version of the Cumulus is made with more than 90-percent recycled materials, part of ASICS’ commitment to sustainability. You won’t have to sacrifice comfort for sustainability, because the Cumulus is soft, padded and offers just the right combination of stretch and structure.

“The Cumulus 25 fits really nicely,” Nate says. “The upper comfortably contours my wide, high-volume feet perfectly, and the plush, soft heel collar wraps around my ankle well. The fit is true to size and has a business-class step-in feel.”

The shoe is plenty breathable, too, as our Floridian reviewer, Caroline, noticed.

“I really like the soft mesh upper on the Cumulus 25,” she says. “It’s slightly stretchy but it still holds your foot in place with some structure, so it’s got a really nice, balanced feel. It’s super breathable, too! I wore these for a six-mile recovery run in 75-degree weather and my feet stayed happy.”

The Cumulus 25 is available in fun, fresh, Fleet Feet exclusive colorways that are only available in store at your local Fleet Feet or online at fleetfeet.com.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 vs GEL-Cumulus 24

A side by side comparison of the Cumulus 25 and Cumulus 24.

Tech Specs

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 24

Weight

8 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

8 mm

8 mm

Stack height (heel/forefoot)

36.5 mm/28.5 mm (W), 37.5 mm/29.5 mm (M)

23 mm/15 mm (W), 24 mm/16 mm (M)

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Surface

Road

Road

There have been several key updates to the GEL-Cumulus, but the first one we want to call out is the added stack height. While it appears from the tech chart that the Cumulus 25 has added 13.5 millimeters in stack height, it’s actually only added 2 millimeters. This is because, since the Cumulus 24 was released, ASICS has changed the way they measured their midsoles.

“Previously, for the Cumulus 24, we only measured the midsole foam,” says Frank Locascio, ASICS Account Marketing Manager. “The new measurements in the Cumulus 25 include the midsole, outsole and tooling, which is more inline with industry standards. Since last year, there has been a 2 millimeter increase to the midsole height in the GEL-Cumulus 25.”

When we reviewed the Cumulus 24 in 2022, the stack height measurement was only taking into account the midsole foam.

PureGEL technology replaced the previous GEL technology and FF BLAST PLUS foam replaced the FF BLAST foam used in the midsole of the Cumulus 24. These new materials are lighter and softer, creating a smoother ride than ever before.

“I can definitely tell that the Cumulus 25 is a major upgrade from the 24,” Caroline says. “It’s softer, more energetic and more flexible, making it more enjoyable to run in.”

The upper, which uses over 90-percent recycled materials, is even more sustainable than the previous model, which used 70-percent recycled materials. Plus, ASICS added a handy pull tab in the back of the heel, making it easier to slip into the shoe.

How Does the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 Compare?

We took a look at some comparable models and how they stack up against the Cumulus 25. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25

New Balance 1080v12

Brooks Ghost 15

Weight

8 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)

8.3 oz (W), 10.3 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 9.8 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

8 mm

8 mm

12 mm

Stack height (heel/forefoot)

36.5 mm/28.5 mm (W), 37.5 mm/29.5 mm (M)

34 mm/26 mm


25 mm/13 mm


Price

$140

$160

$140

Fleet Feet reviewers found the cushioning and ride in the Cumulus 25 similar to the New Balance 1080v12 and the Brooks Ghost 15. All three shoes offer what’s considered a “moderate” level of cushioning, with stack heights on the rise, and neutral support. Both the Cumulus and the 1080 have an 8 millimeter heel-to-toe drop, which is considered average among industry standards, while the Ghost has a larger heel-to-toe drop of 12 millimeters.

While the Cumulus, the 1080 and the Ghost are all similar in terms of stack height, it’s interesting to see where each shoe falls within its respective brand’s lineup.

The Cumulus was originally created as ASICS’ “entry-level” shoe, with a moderate level of cushioning–like the Brooks Ghost or the New Balance 880–while its cousin, the GEL-Nimbus, is ASICS’ premium cushioned shoe (similar to New Balance’s 1080). After the Nimbus 25 got a major overhaul this year with the addition of 4 millimeters of midsole foam, the Cumulus followed suit and now has approximately the same stack height as last year's Nimbus, the Nimbus 24. This is a prime example of how running shoes have grown taller and taller in the past year as a result of changing industry standards to align with consumer demand.

A man is wearing the new ASICS Cumulus 25.

Who is the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 Best For?

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 stays true to its roots as a moderately-cushioned neutral trainer that offers a pleasing combination of softness and support. It’s got some extra midsole foam compared to last year’s model, but reviewers still consider it to be a moderate level when compared with other models, both from ASICS and other brands.

“This shoe has enough cushioning that it will feel great over long distances, and it’s got just the right amount of softness,” Caroline says. “I think this is a great choice for ASICS loyalists who need a neutral shoe but find the new Nimbus to be too soft.”

While we recommend the Cumulus for easy runs and long runs, Mandy wore them for a few speed workouts and couldn’t complain.

“Although there might be better shoes for speedwork, the Cumulus was light enough for me to pick up the pace,” she says. “The bit of extra cushion and comfort on my faster runs was definitely welcome.”

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