Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 Review - Pound on Clouds of Gel

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Edit - 01/07/2019

The Cumulus 21 is now out. The main changes from the Cumulus 20 model include:

- More comfortable cushioning with new grooves under the heel for a softer landing. 

- More foam in the heel collar for added comfort. 

- The fit of the toe box is wider and taller, fitting far better compared to the previous model

- Weight has decreased notably by 23g to 264g

- More shoes have subsequently been released that are similar to the Cumulus 21

As a result, the PowerKnapp Rating has improved massively to 85/100

Asics doesn't tend to come to mind when you think of a unique, quirky or 'out-there' brand when it comes to their running shoes - although arguably they have been making big strides to change this. But nothing says reliable and trustworthy better than the Gel-Cumulus, a long running series of running shoes - it's actually Asics third oldest series of running shoes, up there with the like of the Kayano and Nimbus. And there's a reason why these models have continued to push boundaries and continue to survive when many other models have been discontinued - the people. People literally vote with their feet and the Cumulus is just one of a few shoes which has such a strong following that people will buy the Cumulus again and again just because they know what they're going to get for their money - an enduring, well-made, comfortable training shoe.

Quick Stats:

Price: £120

Cushioning/Type: Standard/Everyday Training

Weight: 287g (Size UK8)

Stability: Neutral

Durability: High (~450 miles)

Offset: 10mm

Stack Height: Medium - 29mm (Heel) - 19mm (Toe)

Surface: Road

Fit: Slightly fitted

Waterproof: No


Similar Shoes: Asics Gel-Pursue 5, Asics Quantum 360 v4, Asics Quantum 360 Knit 2, Brooks Dyad 10, Brooks Glycerin 16, Mizuno Wave Sky 2, Reebok OSR Harmony Road 2


- Fairly good for your money, but there are similar shoes for cheaper

- Size range is really good, however lacks variety in width

- Really Lightweight for a high mileage shoe

- Perfect Stack Height for durability and long miles

- Fit is great. It's a touch fitted i.e. slightly narrow - but only marginally so

- Heel Offset is a little steep for some

- A shoe with several competitors to compare to within it's niche

Cushioning and Fit:

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 is a shoe geared towards runners who want to rake up some mileage without over-the-top cushioning. Despite still having a more than adequate amount of Gel cushioning (Asics most beloved cushioning), it's far more streamlined than it's superior, the Nimbus. The Gel cushioning, despite being a bit weighty for a shock-absorber, it is by far one of the best on the market. But the cushioning isn't all just about Gel. Asics also use their more recent development - Flytefoam - to help pad out the shoe to keep it comfortable, but to also make it lighter than ever. This shoe actually has not just one, but FOUR different foams to optimise comfort and lightness. The most significant of which are the Flytefoam twins, Propel and Lyte. The former is all about additional spring and bounce whilst the latter uses nano-fibre technology to increase durability and, you guessed it, make it very light! The other two are actually throwback to past generations of the Cumulus including Fluideride and SpEVA to bulk out the cushioning to give it a more stable and well-rounded feel.

One of the more significant changes with this version of the Cumulus is that you'll notice that the trussic system (the plastic plate on the bottom of shoes to prevent twisting) has been practically removed. This reduces the firmness in the arch, so overall a good move by Asics. The arch of the shoe and the outsole has also changed to a full ground contact outsole (i.e. there's no space between the shoe and ground) with the idea to help guide runners to a better for heel-to-toe transition.

The fit for the Gel-Cumulus 20 is consistent with past generations, being a touch (and I mean a touch) on the fitted side to the average running shoe, but it does give it a cosy, secure feel for someone about to run a load of miles in them. The slightly narrower elements are in the arch volume and the heel.


As with the past 19 editions, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 is completely neutral allowing the ankle to go where it naturally wants to. The Cumulus 20 does have the Guidance Line, a system in Asics shoes which means the outer heel is softer to aid better heel-to-toe transition and mildly improve the overall alignment but nothing significant enough to alter pronation of the ankle.

Stack Height and Offset:

The Cumulus, like most of the Asics family, has an offset of 10mm which, in the constantly growing running community, is looking ever steeper as running shoes evolve, with many new runners being taken by shoes with lower offsets.

The stack height is also pretty standard, sitting at an average of 24mm. This is a perfect compromise of enough cushioning and protection underfoot for the long miles without being over the top and holding you back with unnecessary weight.

Surfaces and Durability:

The Asics Cumulus is built primarily for road. Yes, as ever, it will survive on tracks, gravel, mud and grass etc., but the rubber is simply not designed for that. So if you want to make the most of these shoes, keep them to the road. If you look after them, you'll be rewarded with the full mileage of the Cumulus which is a high mileage, sitting around 450 miles.

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 is a true staple in the Asics family. Asics are getting ever better at innovation and really producing some brilliant new and interesting ideas and concepts, but the Cumulus is evidence that they haven't forgotten their roots and are able to churn out the reliable and trustworthy shoes that the brand has got a such reputation and following for.

You can check out the Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 at the brands website here:

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