First Impressions of ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23

Run Oregon receives and tests running shoes from time to time. This initial post about the GEL-Cumulus 23 from ASICS.

Company: ASICS
Shoe: GEL-Cumulus 23
Price: $120
Specs (from ASICS Website): 

  • Heel Drop – 10mm
  • Weight – 9.9oz (US men’s size 9)
  • Support – Neutral
  • Cushion – Extra
  • GEL® Technology
    • Cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
  • Gender Specific 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION™
    • Addresses different compression rates at footstrike per gender.
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Reflective accents improve visibility in low-light conditions
  • FLYTEFOAM® Technology
    • Provides lightweight cushioning
  • Recycled Material Upper
    • At least 20% of the primary material of the shoe’s upper is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Initial Impressions:

Looks

I’ll be honest right out of the box – the media pair for samples are not my favorite look. Black on black (on black on black) is fine – but this guys needs a little bit of flair. However, colorways are really the least important thing in a pair of shoes, and I know some runners will appreciate the simple and straightforward look. ALSO (and that’s a big also), there are variety of other colors outside of this sample pair, so don’t let this hold you back from purchasing!

The look itself seems pretty straightforward, which is good considering how long this shoe has been around for. Really the only other “surprising” visual is the FLYTEFOAM bottom layer – a full length sole with 3d construction. I think it looks like a series of canyons on your feet, and ASICS states the science behind it is helping runners compress into a specific area without sacrificing stability.

Fit

The ASICS-GEL Cumulus is a staple of the running world – occupying a space of relatively predictable comfort and fit and a lower price point. I am pretty sure one of the first pairs of running shoes I EVER wore was a GEL Cumulus. Given it’s longevity it’s clear that it’s a classic fit. The features may not be groundbreaking with technology, but if you are looking for a solid fitting and performing pair of running shoes, you could do MUCH worse than these. In fact, the fit has perhaps everything you want in an everyday trainer – a simple design and consistent fit that doesn’t have you thinking too much – just head out the door and go.

There are some updates this year – a full lenghth FLYTEFOAM bottom layer and a new construction (3D gel cushioning) under the heel. It fits well and everything seems sort of in the middle ground. It’s not too cushiony, but also not too hard. There is some flexibility to it, but also enough support. It seems to occupy a space that most people can find some sort of value in. It’s pretty light as far as an everyday trainer goes, and really gets the job done. I anticipate being able to put a few hundred miles in this with relative ease.

First Run

My first run in this was at the Xicha Brewing 5k in Salem. It held up admirably and I did not notice any issues with it. It’s not really what I would go to for most “races”, but seeing as this was an untimed, family fun-run, it seemed apropos. Though the weight would typically land it near the point of toeing the line between a good racing/everyday trainer, even just a few outdoor runs in this really have it feeling like something in the latter part of that equation. It just doesn’t feel splashy and technologically sound enough to achieve many speed PR’s – and that’s OK!

Since my first run, I have utilized these on my early morning treadmill runs and really feel this is a very solid option fin this lane. When I do treadmill work, I am generally running 20-30 minute classes via Peloton that don’t require much in terms of shoes outside of holding up to miles on the belt. As I continue to run indoors in these, I strongly anticipate them being a go-to as they are light enough to keep my moving well into those treadmill speed intervals and also hold up to these short bursts of miles on a daily basis.

Overall, I will echo that there are a reason why these are #23 and have been around for years and years (and years). It’s a solid shoe option, with a good price point, that will let you get out the door and running without the frills. And in the world of running shoes, when new tech is coming in hot all the time, having some consistency is definitely not a bad thing.

About Matt Rasmussen (1612 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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