Initial Thoughts on the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 is part of a special limited edition called the “Blue Collection in Honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness.” This is the second straight year that ASICS America has teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to promote this cause. ASICS will support the cause with this bold, bright blue product collection in November 2014, promising to triple the fundraising amount over last year.
The first thing I learned when I agreed to review the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 was that ASICS is an acronym for “Amina Sana In Corpre Sano” which means “a sound mind in a sound body.” Did you know that? I have to say, that foundation and dedication to “soundness” can be extended to this stable, firm and solid shoe. I’m very excited to put this shoe through its paces. I play no favorites. This was tested on concrete sidewalks, asphalt road, gravel trails, and dirt single tracks (with a few rocks and roots mixed in). ASICS Prostate Cancer Foundation collection
Testing the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16
I am a distance runner with severe bunions, and nerve damage in one ankle that impacts my ability to effectively sense subtle changes on the road surfaces or dirt trails. Therefore, it’s very important for me to wear a stabilizing shoe with a solid structure. It needs to offer an open toe box with few or no stitching or seams along the big toe (yeah, my footwear options are limited with hooves like these), and the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 is a perfect match for my feet.
Assessment of the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16
The ASICS GEL series was designed for runners seeking flawless stabilization, structure and comfort (again, “soundness”), and the Gel-Cumulus 16 offers all that. This new Cumulus model also provides additional cushion and shock absorption, and is lighter than previous models. While the shoes are lighter than earlier Gel-Cumuls models, they’re still a fairly heavy shoe but acted great as my go-to training shoe. I happen to prefer a lighter racing flat for my races. I do two mid-distance runs in my ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16’s each week. I then wear a slightly lighter shoe for my speed and tempo workouts. I honestly think that simply running with a slightly heavier and supportive shoe twice a week has made me stronger.
I had the opportunity to test this shoe while the season was changing from fall to winter in the Midwest, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 handles ice and snow. The gel shock absorption softened the impact of running on hard, frozen ground and the wide sole was fantastic for balance on ice. I actually bragged to my husband about how well the Cumulus performed and its comfortability when I got home from my first ten mile run in snow and sub 20o weather.
I’m also an early morning and night runner, so the silver reflective strip on the heel of the ASICS Cumulus is another small, but important feature to note. Winter days are short. Runners need to embrace all forms of reflectiveness and illumination no matter how large or small when they’re on the roads.
Testing the ASICS quick lyte performance sock
I also tested the ASICS quick lyte performance socks. These are an anklet sock with light cushioning along the sole, and a breathable mesh on the top of the foot. The ASICS socks are nearly seamless, so there is no bunching in the toe box or at the heel. These are perfect for runners who wear their shoes snug, but still want to be pampered with a little cushion.
The quick lyte socks also hold up amazingly in the wash. They don’t pill, or lose their cushion after going through the wash/dry cycle. After numerous washes, I have not noticed any shrinkage. I do want to make mention that the socks run a little small. I have a size 9 foot, and the size chart recommended I purchase a size medium. I wish I would have bought the large socks. In my opinion with the seamless form, a sock that is slightly too big is better than a too small anklet that slips off while running.
Final Thoughts on The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 and ASICS Quick Lyte socks
I wholeheartedly recommend the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 16 to runners who like a strong, stabilizing training shoe. They’re great on the roads and the trails, and the GEL Cumulus is truly comfortable footwear. Even though it’s a slightly heavier stability shoe, I was able to test its versatility on a wide range of sufaces and in extreme conditions. While you’re at it, treat yourself to some ASICS quick lyte socks. Reasonably priced (3 pairs for $14), and they are a perfectly structured minimalist sock that provides nice cushion with no bulk.
I think it’s great that ASICS has teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and funding. Aside from making high quality running shoes and apparel, it places ASICS into a tier of top notch companies in my book. What a way to spread the word with the blue colors making a loud and bold statement.
For more information and purchase please visit: www.asicsamerica.com