Finally, after 250 miles, the Asics Gel Cumulus 10 Review…

cumulus-10When I first got my new Cumulus 10s, I really thought that the changes from version 9 were merely cosmetic. After all, while they felt firmer and more supportive, that’s pretty much what you’d expect, comparatively speaking, when your other running shoes have 200 and 400 miles respectively on the clock.

But after reaching the 250 mile mark in my Cumulus 10s, I’m no longer sure that I was right about changes being cosmetic, as these still feel like a firmer ride than my Cumulus 9s which have only a few miles more on them.

Just to generalise for a moment, the Gel Cumulus is a shoe for neutral runners, and while it isn’t quite as cushioned as the Gel Nimbus, it’s still designed for high mileage runners who need a fair degree of cushioning. At least, that’s been the case with the Cumulus from versions 5 through to 9, which shows how many years I’ve been wearing them.

Now, as someone with fairly slim feet, I’ve always been able to get a perfect fit out of the Cumulus right up to version 9, but the version 10 shoe seems designed for bigger, fatter feet than mine, causing me to lace them a little tighter than I’d like in order to get a decent fit.

Looking at some of the web forums, this looks like a popular move with most people, but hasn’t done me any favours, and seems strange when the general fit of the Cumulus hasn’t really changed much in some years. And I’m sure that Asics appreciate as much as anybody that ‘shoe loyalty’ is even more important than ‘brand loyalty’ to running enthusiasts.

On the upside though, the heel cushioning of version 10 seems to be much more ergonomically-shaped, which seems to be reducing the wear I’m putting on them, from the inside anyway.

I’m putting a little more wear on the soles than I’m used to though, so presumably they’ve used a softer sole compound than usual. Again, I’ve spotted complaints about this on web forums, but as the shoes have an average effective life of 4-500 miles from a cushioning point of view, I’m surprised that anyone is bothered what the sole looks like, as the soles really aren’t going to wear out before the cushioning does.

Compared to the Cumulus 9, the Cumulus 10 does actually feel more stable, in fact, very much like my Asics GT-2120s, which are designed to reduce over-pronation. I suppose the question is: if this is now a stability shoe, do I need to get myself to a running store for a full gait analysis again?

Well, it’s about 5 years since I last had this done, so I guess that I really should. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? They tell me I’m now so devoid of knee tissue that I need to wear the Gel Nimbus? Or my local Asics dealer ‘fesses up that the Cumulus 10 is no longer a completely neutral shoe and recommends something that is?

5jellybaby2To be honest though, my knees feel happier than ever in the Cumulus 10s, so whether they’re verging towards being a stability shoe or not, I’m still pretty sure that one day, hopefully a long time from now, I’m going to meet the man at the pearly gates, and he’s going to say: “Hey man, is that the New Cumulus MCMXXIVs you’re wearing? Cool!”


8 thoughts on “Finally, after 250 miles, the Asics Gel Cumulus 10 Review…

  1. Great write up…i’ve been wearing Cumulus since version 3 or 4 as well. Haven’t stepped into the 10’s yet and I’m debating ordering another couple of 9’s before they’re gong forever. I have not found a better fitting shoe than cumulus for me, and I’ve certainly tried.

  2. I just got a pair of Cumulus 10s – I’ve had at least a half dozen pairs of the 8s and 9s – I love these shoes – especially the 9s – I moved upto the 10s about two weeks ago – and so far I’m a little worried – the outside of my left foot just below the toes is getting sore – it is not so bad while I’m running, but to touch it afterwards leaves a stinging sensation – this never happened with the 9s and I’ve never had a problem with my feet before – anybody got any advice?

  3. I have also noticed some redness around the outside of my foot since I got these shoes. They are not causing any problems, and maybe it will go after the shoes are worn in as they are still brand new, only done 20 miles

  4. I’m a little to the cumulus crowd. I had 2 pairs of 8s which I really liked until foam failed for me (around 450mi for both pairs). I really liked the 9s out of the box, but thought they broke down much quicker then the 8s did (350mi).

    The 10s definitely had a different feel at first. Not bad, not better just different. Around 250mi, I thought they were making my feet sore, so I switched to a free pair of some Sauconys I came across. Due to mud season, I switched back to the same pair of 10s, and have really liked them since for miles 250+ (I’m at near 400 with them now).

    Go figure….

  5. Yep, I agree that the Cumulus range breaks down quicker as time goes on, but it’s definitely a concern if they’re out of ideas after 250 miles. I expect 350-400 before I retire my running shoes, and I only accept that figure because I’m 14 stone these days. I’d hate to stop wearing Cumulii, but if they start wearing out any quicker, I might just have to seek out an alternative…

  6. I’ve been wearing Gel Cumulus for ever! I just bought my 12th pair in the last 7 years and DO NOT like the Gel Cumulus 10, the squishy bouncy fun I used to have running is no longer there and my knees ache. Where can I find the earlier models?

  7. Jess, there are still Cumulus 9s available on ebay. That’s where I get mine anyway. And you may find that the Gel Nimbus gives you even more cushioning than the Cumulus if your knees are suffering.

  8. I loved used to love the Cumulus, but the 10s just didn’t cut it for me. The back of the shoe comes up higher–they made my heels bleed terribly. I found them to be stiff and clunky as well. They really don’t feel like a neutral shoe anymore. I ran probably about 150 miles before giving up on them completely. I’ve gone back to Wave Riders.

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