The upper is made from recycled polyester, which both diverts plastic from landfills (or bodies of water) and requires less energy to produce than new polyester, according to ASICS. But the repurposed materials don’t end there.
Here’s where ASICS used recycled materials in the Nimbus Lite:
Percent of Recycled Material
Heel counter mesh
Tongue, collar, ankle mesh
One tester says the upper felt a little stiff when he put it on; it dimpled slightly at the toe when he bent down to tie his shoe. After one run, though, the mesh relented and became more pliable.
The upper has a slight bit of loft between the two layers of mesh, which gives it a cushioned feel all the way around. That cushion continues around the heel collar, giving it a narrow shape. But padding on the collar creates the narrowness, so it squishes and conforms to the shape of your food for a snug feeling around the Achilles and locked-in fit in the heel.
To go with the snug heel, ASICS nailed the midfoot fit. Designers gave the shoe enough width in the midfoot for easy entry and exit, and it cinches up smoothly without a second thought. The toe box is similarly roomy, making the shoe comfortable for a range of testers.
Round laces criss cross through six eyelets, and ASICS punched an empty seventh into the top of the Nimbus Lite to give you more options for lacing your running shoes. None of our testers needed to lace the shoe differently, but it makes the shoe accessible to more runners.
The FlyteFoam midsole also packs material that otherwise could have ended up in a landfill. Cellulose nanofiber is a byproduct of sugarcane processing, and ASICS says it enhances the foam’s durability while also making it more sustainable.
In addition to using as much recycled material as possible, ASICS also designed the Nimbus Lite with different fits for men and women. The women’s Nimbus Lite has a higher heel-to-toe drop (13 mm) than the men’s (10 mm), which ASICS says is due to differences in gait patterns, leg mechanics, weight and general foot shape.
The Nimbus Lite goes for subdued style. With the exception of the ASICS logo and a wrap around the heel, there aren’t any overlays on the upper. The mesh construction creates a subtle wavy pattern, and there are a few color variations on the sidewall, but the shoe doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself, which some runners will prefer.