ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 is a stability running shoe that provides stability, flexibility, and a smooth ride, while ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 is a cushioning running shoe that provides comfort and a stable platform to run on. Learn more about the differences and similarities between these two ASICS women's running shoes.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 is a stability running shoe that tends towards being motion control, while the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 is a cushioning running shoe that provides a you with a stable and comfortable ride.

In two previous articles I reviewed the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 running shoes for women, but let us take a closer look at these two ASICS runners to see how they differ and are similar.

Looking at the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 side-by-side gives a good comparison of these two women’s running shoes.

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 falls in the cushioning category of running shoes, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 falls in the structured cushioning running shoe category. So while both running shoes are expected to provide you with a good amount of cushioning, the main difference between these running shoes is in the midsole technology used.

Because the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 was specifically designed to provide runners with stability and pronation control, it has reinforcement (DuoMax) in its midsole to provide this stability. This reinforcement is completely absent in the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12, although it does provide stability through its wide platform. But if you are more of an overpronator than a neutral runner, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 would be more suitable for you.

Looking at the outsoles of both running shoes, we can see that they have a similar structure. Both running shoes make use of guidance line, which is a vertical flex groove that runs from the back of the heel to the forefoot, and which helps you maintain an efficient stride.

Both running shoes also have a separation between the heel and the forefoot. The main difference between the outsoles of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 lies in the amount of lugs. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 has more separate lugs in its heel area and on the outsides of the forefoot area. The ones in the heel area are more or less symmetrically placed which is in favor of neutral runners, unlike those on the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16, which are more suited for runner who land either on the back or outsides of their heels.

Another noticeable difference is the amount of horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 seems to be a running shoe that would feel soft and flexible to runners who transition from the outsides of their feet towards pushing off with their big toe, while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 has a more evenly distributed flexibility in the forefoot area.

The uppers of both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 and ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 look very similar. While there are some minor differences in the placement of synthetic overlays, both running shoes should wrap your feet well. However, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 seems to wrap the heel and provide you with back to front stability around the ankles more so than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 weighs approximately 10.5 oz (298 grams), which is 0.7 oz (20 grams) heavier than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12, which weighs 9.8 oz (278 grams). So if you are looking for a lightweight ASICS running shoe, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 might be ideal, but do not forget that the extra weight in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 comes from the extra reinforcement in its midsole that helps control overpronation.

If you're looking for an ASICS stability running shoe that provides you with a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off and a snug and secure fit, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 might be worth considering.

If you are looking for a lightweight ASICS running shoe for women that is ideal for neutral runners or runners who exhibit mild overpronation, then the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12 might be the running shoe to go with.

The suggested retail price of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 is US $140, which is US $15 more expensive than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 12, which costs around US $125 when you compare women’s running shoes by price.

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