Asics Gel Nimbus 26 VS Brooks Glycerin 21: What Should I Buy?

Looking for your next pair of running shoes? The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 and Brooks Glycerin 21 are two of the most popular neutral cushioned trainers on the market.

Both provide soft, pillowy cushioning and comfort for logging high mileage, but they differ in their technologies, fit, and overall running feel.

This in-depth comparison review analyzes the key features and performance of the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 and Brooks Glycerin 21 to help you decide which shoe is the better option for your running needs.

We’ll compare their stability, cushioning, upper, weight, price, and more to determine where each excels. Read on to find out if the Nimbus 26 or Glycerin 21 is the right pick for you!

Similarities And Differences Between Gel Nimbus 26 And Glycerin 21

ModelAsics Gel Nimbus 26Brooks Glycerin 21
Launched In20242024
StabilityHint of stabilityMild stability
FlexibilityNot very flexibleModerate flexibility
SizingMen 7-13, Women 5-12Men 7-13, Women 5-12
Weight9.2 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)9.30-10.50 oz
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberDurable rubber
UpperBreathable meshEngineered knit mesh

Features Comparison:

Materials: Outsole, Midsole, and Upper

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 uses a durable rubber AHAR+ outsole that provides grip on varied surfaces. The responsive FF BLASTTM PLUS ECO midsole offers moderate cushioning from landing to toe-off. The engineered mesh upper is breathable to keep feet cool.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26


In contrast, the Brooks Glycerin 21 features a rubber outsole engineered for traction and durability. The DNA Loft v3 midsole delivers an ultra-soft and plush underfoot feel. The knit mesh upper molds comfortably to the foot for a sock-like fit.

Overall, the Glycerin 21 prioritizes delivering the most luxurious step-in feel, while the Nimbus 26 focuses more on moderate cushioning and support.


The sturdy materials of the Nimbus 26 make it quite durable for moderate to high-mileage training. The AHAR+ rubber outsole is 20% more durable than standard AHAR and can withstand significant wear and tear. The mesh upper also resists breakdown over time.

Similarly, the Glycerin 21 is crafted to go the distance. The DNA Loft midsole foam maintains its cushioning properties even after hundreds of miles. The thick rubber outsole also remains intact over high mileage. Both are great options for high mileage neutral trainers.


The Nimbus 26 runs true to size for most runners, but some report the toe box fits narrow. The upper adapts well to wider feet. The padded tongue and collar provide a secure midfoot wrap.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 Top view


The Glycerin 21 also fits true to size. The knit upper molds smoothly to foot shape for a glove-like fit. The midfoot and heel areas securely lock in feet. Overall, it fits a wider range of foot shapes thanks to the engineered upper.


While designed for neutral runners, the Nimbus 26 offers a hint of stability from the midsole technology. The FF BLASTTM midsole foam helps guide feet gently through the gait cycle. However, overpronators would need to look for shoes with more corrective features.

The Glycerin 21 also provides mild stability for natural foot positioning. The midsole is not completely soft, giving just enough support while still feeling plush. However, it lacks features to control overpronation. Neutral runners should feel comfortable in both.


The FF BLASTTM midsole of the Nimbus 26 offers a moderately soft and responsive cushioning experience. It absorbs shock well but doesn’t have an overly plush feel like maximal shoes. The foam provides bounce-back during toe-off as well.

In comparison, the Glycerin 21 delivers extremely soft cushioning from the DNA Loft foam. It has a 10mm drop to put runners up higher off the ground. The plushy experience makes each step feel like walking on clouds, smoothing out the impact forces.

If you want luxurious softness underfoot, the Glycerin 21 is the winner for cushioning. But the Nimbus 26 offers sufficient comfort for neutral runners seeking a moderately cushioned trainer.

Value for Money

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 delivers features you’d expect from a $160 premium neutral shoe. The blend of cushioning, flexibility, upper comfort, and outsole durability makes it a well-rounded option at this price point.

Similarly, the Brooks Glycerin 21 justifies its $160 price tag by providing supreme cushioning and comfort. The DNA Loft foam and knit upper create an incredibly plush ride that runners will appreciate. Overall, both provide great value depending on if you prioritize moderate support or softness.

Walking Performance

The Nimbus 26 performs well for walking training and all-day wear. The moderate FF BLASTTM cushioning absorbs shock from heel-strike to toe-off while feeling responsive. The breathable upper keeps feet ventilated on long walks. The grippy outsole also supplies traction.

The Glycerin 21 is also a great walking shoe. The plush DNA Loft midsole softens every step, reducing fatigue from long distances. The knit upper provides a secure and irritation-free fit. The durable outsole holds up to everyday wear. Overall, the Glycerin 21 may feel slightly softer underfoot.

Running Performance

As a neutral trainer, the Nimbus 26 works best for easy to moderate pace runs. The cushioning provides sufficient comfort for long distances without feeling overly soft. The upper locks down feet well enough for quick turns or strides. However, the stiffer midsole isn’t ideal for faster paces.

The Glycerin 21 also delivers its smoothest ride at easy paces. The highly cushioned DNA Loft foam absorbs shock well from longer strides rather than quicker turnover. The upper fits securely during long distances but lacks the snugness needed for speedwork. Overall, it’s better suited to recovery runs and long mileage days.

Plantar Fasciitis Performance

The moderate cushioning of the Nimbus 26 helps absorb shock that can aggravate plantar fasciitis. The soft heel collar also prevents irritation at the ankle and heel. However, some may need more arch support from this shoe.

Conversely, the plush cushioning of the Glycerin 21 excellently minimizes impact on the feet and legs. This helps reduce strain on the plantar fascia ligament. The DNA Loft foam runs the length of the foot for all-around shock absorption. Thus, the Glycerin 21 may be better for plantar fasciitis.

Standing All Day

The Nimbus 26 performs decently for all-day standing thanks to the cushioned and responsive midsole. However, some may find it lacks the plushness needed for prolonged periods on your feet. The upper fits comfortably but can cause some rubbing for sensitive areas based on foot shape.

In comparison, the Glycerin 21 is extremely comfortable even when standing for extended periods. The DNA Loft foam maintains its softness and doesn’t pack down when stationary. The upper also delivers irritation-free comfort all-around the foot. Overall, the Glycerin 21 is the better choice for standing all day.

Final Verdict:

For runners seeking moderate cushioning and support in a durable package, the Asics Gel Nimbus 26 is an excellent neutral trainer.

But for those wanting maximum plushness to absorb impact and fatigue, the Brooks Glycerin 21 takes the cake with its DNA Loft foam.

Both deliver a comfortable experience for neutral gaits. So consider if you prefer moderate support and responsiveness from the Nimbus 26 or the cloud-like softness of the Glycerin 21 before deciding which is the better running shoe for you!

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