Review: Asics Gel Cumulus 18

I’VE been looking for a running shoe for my long and steady runs, mainly on the road. I wanted something comfortable, with lots of cushioning, something that would last the miles.

I decided to return to the Asics Gel Cumulus, a shoe I ran in years ago when I first started running. I did the London Marathon 2006 in these shoes and although many things went wrong for me in that race, the shoes were not one of them. The only problem with the shoes came after the race when I was too exhausted to bend down to untie the laces. My dad came to my rescue if I remember rightly. But I digress!

The latest model is the Gel Cumulus 18, pictured here in a lovely blue and pink.

The minute I put them on and went for a run, it was like returning to an old friend. They were so comfortable and cushioned, that I just bounced down the road. The Cumulus is a neutral running shoe, suitable for high mileage. I liked them immediately, but I wasn’t sure if they’d be great for speed.

During the testing, I  ran around 80 miles in them, mainly for my long and steady runs, but also for interval sessions. I liked the cushioning, which is well-distributed throughout the shoe. It was just what I needed on my long runs.

I tried a size eight shoe. I take a seven normally, but tend to get a size bigger in running shoes. Compared to my usual long run shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider) the front of the shoe and the toebox felt a little snug at first. This felt strange, and I wondered if I needed a larger size. I didn’t. Asics has modified the toebox, making it smaller. I didn’t think this was a bad thing, and after a few miles it felt fine. My foot felt secure in what is a solid shoe. This might not suit everyone, of course.

I tried the shoes in December and January when it was wet and icy. Even when I splashed through a few puddles, the mesh upper didn’t let much water into the shoe, so I was pleased about that.

My longest run was ten miles and the shoes were absolutely fine. Given the name Cumulus, I knew there would be a cloud-like feel of cushioning, and this is what I loved.

I wouldn’t choose the Cumulus to do a speed session in. I think they’re designed for comfort, not speed. But that said, I did run an off-road interval session wearing them and they were great. It was icy and muddy (frozen puddles that were melting fast) but the shoes handled it well. I’m always a bit scared in icy conditions, but didn’t need to be. Here’s what they looked like afterwards.

image

They’ve lasted really well. I’ve put in some miles in these shoes, and they’ve been great. I don’t know why I ever stopped wearing them after my 2006 marathon. I think it’s fair to say I’ve been converted.

Thank you to Millet Sports for providing the Asics Gel Cumulus 18 in exchange for a fair and honest review. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 80 miles in them.

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