Asics Gel-Cumulus 26 Review

When it comes to running shoes, there are few brands out there that are more reliable, trusted, and reputable than Asics. Since it was founded in 1949, the company has consistently put out fantastic and dependable products designed to help people attain “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”.

Decades later, the brand continues to create innovative and highly-trusted shoes for runners and athletes from all walks of life. From elite athletes to casual gym-goers and everyone in between, Asics offers shoes that help people move and feel their best during any activity. 

For proof that the brand has stood the test of time, look no further than the Asics Gel-Cumulus running shoe line. After 26 different iterations, the Cumulus series continues to serve as a well-loved and reliable running shoe for brand loyalists and new runners alike. 

Advertised as a daily trainer, the Gel-Cumulus is a great option if you’re looking for a moderately cushioned, no-frills daily driver. Over 26 versions, the shoe has remained a consistent, well-established core model among Asics’ running shoe line

Of course, since the release of the Gel-Cumulus line in 1999, the shoe has undergone plenty of changes as Asics has incorporated more modern and innovative running shoe technologies. But with the Asics Cumulus 26, they’ve maintained the aspects of the shoe that long-term fans love with a few adjustments to improve the overall design, look, and feel. 

Wondering how the Gel-Cumulus 26 stacks up against previous versions and other popular running shoes? We’ve put together a comprehensive review to help you decide if the Gel-Cumulus 26 might be the perfect shoe for your next daily trainer. 

Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Electric Lime lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Sheet Rock/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 White/White lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 - White/Cool Grey
+5

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Mint Tint side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Mint Tint side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 French Blue/Light Sapphire lateral side
Asics Womens Gel-Cumulus 26 side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Dark Jade lateral side
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
+4

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Women's Shoes
price:$139.95 – 140.00

Our Review Process

At Marathon Sports, we know that finding the right running shoe for your needs can feel like a lengthy and stressful process. That’s why we aim to make it as simple, easy, and stress-free as possible for you. 

We get to know each and every running shoe so when you walk into one of our New England stores, we can help you find the perfect option for you. 

In order to fully know each shoe inside and out, our team of reviewers has a thorough review process for each shoe. Along with diving deep into the details of every new shoe, we take them out on a variety of different runs, on pretty much every type of terrain. 

Now that we’ve put the Asics Cumulus 26 through the test, we have a deeper understanding of how the shoe feels and performs. And with a better understanding of the shoe, we can help you decide if it might be the perfect option for you and your running needs.

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26: Some Fast Facts and Specs 

  • Men’s weighs 8.9 oz, women’s weighs 7.8 oz
  • Stack height of 38.5 mm heel and 30.5 mm forefoot
  • 8 mm drop 
  • Utilizes FF Blast Plus Foam for a cushioned yet responsive ride
  • Asics PureGEL technology adds softness and absorbs impact
  • Engineered mesh upper with OrthoLite X-30 sock liner provides immediate comfort
  • New Fluidride outsole designed for greater traction and durability
  • More sustainable design – upper is 90% recycled materials
  • Comes in regular and wide width
  • Fits true to size
  • Price: $139.95

A Deep Dive Into the Asics Cumulus 26

Now that you have a rundown of the Gel-Cumulus 26 specs, here are a few in-depth highlights and features to help you make a more informed purchase. 

FF Blast Plus Foam

With the most recent iterations of the Gel-Cumulus, Asics has been focused on adding more cushioning to the shoe while maintaining a lightweight feel. With the FF Blast Plus Foam used in the new Gel-Cumulus, they definitely achieved this goal. The shoe adds an extra mm of stack height in comparison to the Gel-Cumulus 25 while lowering the overall weight of the shoe. 

This innovative and lightweight foam offers a plush feel while still being energetic and responsive. And while the cushioning in the shoe’s predecessor felt too soft to many runners, the FF Blast Plus foam in the newest version offers a much more balanced ride. 

PureGEL Technology

One of the most defining features of many Asics shoes is the innovative gel technology. In previous iterations of the shoe, this gel took the form of a visible gel layer above the midsole. More recently, Asics began transitioning to PureGEL tech, which includes gel strategically placed within the midsole. 

The PureGEL technology works together with the more responsive foam to give the shoe a plush and soft feel underfoot. And not only does it feel comfortable, but the gel also helps absorb impact and provide smoother landings during every run.

While our reviewers did find the Gel-Cumulus 26 firmer overall in comparison to the Gel-Cumulus 25, the gel technology and increased cushioning still give this shoe its signature soft, padded, and balanced feel that earned it its reputation as one of the best running shoes around.

Engineered Mesh Upper Design

First impressions matter when you’re shopping around for your next daily workhorse. A comfortable step-in feel will ensure that you’re excited to lace up your shoes and hit the road for each run.

Asics has always excelled when it comes to creating a comfortable upper that offers immediate comfort, and the new Gel-Cumulus is no exception. 

The engineered mesh upper is light, stretchy, and breathable, so your feet can stay cool even during hot summer runs. The OrthoLite X-30 Sockliner also made the shoe feel snug and comfortable around our feet right out of the gate. And while some reviewers prefer a more padded tongue, others were big fans of the thin and stretchy knit tongue. 

The high heel counter was hit-or-miss with the new Cumulus design. While it did make stepping into the shoe easier, it can also rub and pose some issues for blister-prone runners. 

New FluidRide Outsole

One of the biggest changes you’ll find in the Asics Gel-Cumulus 26 is the new and improved outsole. The FluidRide outsole relies on an EVA foam blend strategically placed along the sole to help improve the shoe’s traction and durability. 

We took the Cumulus out on a variety of different terrains to put this new upgraded outsole to the test. While there was an improvement in comparison to previous versions, we still felt that the Gel-Cumulus 26 didn’t quite hold up in terms of traction on wet or slick terrain. The outsole is still relatively sleek and slippery when you veer from typical road runs on the sidewalk or pavement. 

Overall, the Gel-Cumulus still has some improvements to make when it comes to the rubber outsole. But as a standard road shoe, the Gel-Cumulus 26 outsole does appear to offer more durability and can help you log more daily miles and long runs.

Overall Fit

It’s no secret that every brand and running shoe fits differently. Fortunately, the Asics Cumulus 26 remains consistent and fits pretty true-to-size. 

The stretchy upper and thin tongue leave plenty of room for your foot. However, like many other Asics running shoes, the Gel-Cumulus does run pretty narrow throughout the entire shoe. If you prefer a roomier shoe, consider trying out the Cumulus in a wide width.

Sustainability

Asics has consistently been a leader when it comes to sustainability in running shoes. With a strong focus on sustainable materials and business practices, they’re shooting for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The Gel-Cumulus’s sustainable design is a perfect step in the right direction. The upper is made primarily of recycled materials, and the shoe even comes with a carbon footprint label. If you’re looking for a new trainer and prefer buying from environmentally friendly companies, the Gel-Cumulus 26 might be the right choice for you. 

Road Results

We could talk about the details and features of a shoe all day long. But until you take the shoe out on the road, you don’t truly know how it will feel. So our team of reviewers laced up the Gel-Cumulus 26 and hit the road for a better idea of how it performs on runs. 

Once we slipped on the shoes, the step-in comfort and plushness were immediately evident. The stretchy upper is a huge improvement from past Cumulus iterations, and most reviewers felt that it perfectly wrapped the foot without any uncomfortable pressure points or hot spots. 

Once we hit the pavement, we found that this tried-and-true shoe continued to live up to the dependable and no-nonsense reputation it’s earned over the years.The 38.5 mm heel stack height offered plenty of cushioning, while the gel incorporated in the midsole created lots of shock absorption and a smooth landing. 

The cushioning didn’t feel quite as soft as the Gel-Cumulus 25, which, depending on your running shoe preference, could be a point in favor or against the new Cumulus. But even our reviewers who prefer a softer shoe felt that the Gel-Cumulus 26 had plenty of plushness and offered a nice balance between soft and responsive cushioning. 

One of the biggest downsides we noticed over the course of our testing was related to the new outsole. While it did add a bit more traction, the shoe doesn’t hold up quite as well as some of its competitors when it comes to running on dirt, wet pavement, or any other more slippery terrain. 

The shoe also seemed to serve us best when it came to easy days or slower recovery runs. Despite a slightly firmer cushion, the shoe is still named after a cloud, and our reviewers still found that the cloud-like cushioning was a bit too soft for uptempo runs or workouts. While that soft underfoot felt great on recovery runs, it didn’t quite give us the springiness we needed to easily pick up the pace. 

The Gel-Cumulus may not be anything particularly new or exciting in the world of running shoes. But as a reliable daily trainer, it held up well on runs and got the job done. And after 26 versions, it continues to work well as a neutral, moderate-cushion shoe for beginner runners to more experienced athletes. 

Pros and Cons

The Asics Cumulus boasts a huge number of pros. But like any running shoe, there are a couple of downsides to keep in mind if you’re considering trying it out as your new running shoe. 

Pros:

  • The ProGEL technology and innovative foam work together to create a soft but balanced cushion 
  • Moderate stack height and balanced feel make this an extremely versatile shoe
  • The new version adds more foam while taking away overall weight
  • The shoe remains dependable and consistent for loyal Gel-Cumulus fans while adding upgrades that appeal to all runners
  • The upper and sock liner create a snug, soft, and comfortable step-in feeling

Cons:

  • New outsole doesn’t add quite as much traction as our reviewers would have liked
  • High heel counter could cause blisters

Who Should Try the Asics Gel-Cumulus 26?

One of the things we loved the most when testing the Gel-Cumulus 26 was its versatility. With a neutral design, moderate amounts of cushion, and balanced foam, nearly every runner can find something to love about this popular running shoe. 

If you’re looking for a trusted and reliable daily trainer, you can’t go wrong with the Gel-Cumulus 26. Between the light and breathable design, moderate cushioning, and soft yet responsive foam, this shoe offers a traditional running shoe feel that can easily carry you through daily training runs and recovery days. 

Along with working as a daily trainer for any runner, the Gel-Cumulus 26 is one of the best running shoes for beginners. For those just starting out, it offers unparalleled comfort with plenty of cushion to absorb impact and prevent injuries as they build strength and mileage. 

The Gel-Cumulus is pretty versatile and definitely has a place in the shoe rotation of beginner runners, elite athletes, and those looking for a comfortable everyday shoe. But if you want a shoe that you won’t sink into or feel too soft during uptempo runs or workouts, you may want to consider the more responsive Asics Novablast 4 instead.

How Does the Gel-Cumulus 26 Compare to Other Popular Running Shoes

Year after year, Asics has shown why their shoes have earned such a popular following. But these days, runners looking for a neutral, moderate-cushion shoe are spoiled for choice. So how does the Asics Cumulus 26 stack up?

Our reviewers found the Gel-Cumulus 26 to be pretty comparable to another popular quintessential running shoe, the New Balance 880v14. While the Cumulus has significantly more cushion, both shoes share a traditional and lightweight running shoe feel, an 8 mm drop, and a soft but balanced cushion. The 880 also fits slightly wider overall than the Cumulus. 

If you like the general feel of the Gel-Cumulus but want something a little bit more versatile, consider trying the Saucony Ride 17. The shoes have a similar stack height and drop, but the Ride’s stiffer, more responsive cushioning helps it carry over easier from training runs to workouts. 

Like the fit of the Cumulus but want slightly more cushion underfoot? The Gel-Nimbus 26 from Asics has a similar, stretchy construction and gel-infused midsole with a few extra mm of cushioning.

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26: The Final Verdict

So after extensive testing, how does the Gel-Cumulus 26 hold up next to previous models and comparable shoes? 

Our reviewers weren’t surprised to learn that the 26th version of this well-loved and long-established shoe provided a comfortable and dependable ride. With the updates to their gel technology in recent years, many of Asic’s most loved shoes saw a major design overhaul. But with this new Cumulus, Asics returns to its roots with a reliable, no-nonsense daily trainer. 

Sure, Asics doesn’t reinvent the wheel with the newest edition of the Gel-Cumulus. But for runners who want a break from all the major changes and trends in the running shoe game, the Cumulus offers a trusted, comfortable option for runners of all skill and experience levels. 

Our reviewers also saw a few major improvements in the most recent release from the Gel-Cumulus shoe line. The firmer cushion provides a soft but springier ride, making the shoe more versatile and adaptable. And while the shoe could still use some improvements when it comes to traction, the new rubber outsole is a step in the right direction. 

If you’re in the market for a dependable daily trainer that will carry you through your recovery days and training runs, the Gel-Cumulus 26 could be perfect for you. When you swing by any of our New England Marathon Sports stores, you can try on the Gel-Cumulus 26 and uncover the newest running shoes, technologies, gear, and so much more!

Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Electric Lime lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 Sheet Rock/Concrete lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 White/White lateral side
Asics Men's Gel-Cumulus 26 - White/Cool Grey
+5

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Mint Tint side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Mint Tint side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 French Blue/Light Sapphire lateral side
Asics Womens Gel-Cumulus 26 side view
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Dark Jade lateral side
Asics Women's Gel-Cumulus 26 Black/Concrete lateral side
+4

Asics Gel-Cumulus 26

Women's Shoes
price:$139.95 – 140.00

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