Hoka Clifton 9 VS Asics Gel Nimbus 25: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Clifton 9 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 are both premium cushioned neutral road running shoes that launched in 2023. They provide soft, padded rides for easy runs and recovery days.

But with differences in weight, cushioning, stability, and price, it can be tough to choose between them. This comparison breaks down the key features and performance to help you decide which is better for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Asics Gel-Nimbus 25:

FeatureHoka Clifton 9Asics Gel-Nimbus 25
Launched In20232023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingRuns smallRuns small
Weight8.7 oz10.9 oz
CushionCMEVA midsoleFlyteFoam Blast+ midsole
OutsoleRubberAHAR+ rubber
MidsoleCMEVA foamFlyteFoam Blast+ foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$145$160

Features Comparison:

You now have a clear idea of the similarities and difference between both shoes. So we are now going to deep dive in the features comparison to find you an ideal winner.

Materials

The Hoka Clifton 9 uses a CMEVA foam midsole which is softer and lighter than previous versions for a plush feel. The mesh upper has been re-engineered for better breathability and comfort. The rubber outsole provides durability.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Asics Nimbus 25
NIMBUS 25

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 features FlyteFoam Blast+ cushioning in the midsole which gives responsive padding. It also uses a bouncy Gel cushioning unit in the rearfoot. The upper combines mesh with synthetic overlays for structure and support.

Both shoes use high-quality materials for premium cushioned trainers. However, the Clifton 9’s new softer midsole foam gives it a slight edge for softness underfoot.

Durability

These neutral trainers are both built to last, with rugged rubber outsoles and durable cushioning foams. The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 tends to be a bit more durable, thanks to its AHAR+ rubber outsole which is resistant to abrasion.

The FlyteFoam Blast+ midsole material also maintains its bounce and responsiveness for a good amount of mileage. While the Hoka Clifton 9 is designed for durability too, some runners have reported the foam cushioning packs out a bit quicker than the Asics.

However, the Clifton 9’s rubber outsole still provides protection against wear and tear. So both are designed to go the distance, but the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 seems to have a slight edge in long-term durability.

Fit

The Hoka Clifton 9 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 both run small and have a narrow toe box area. So sizing up half a size is recommended for those with wider feet. The Clifton 9’s upper has been re-engineered to be more breathable and supple around the midfoot while providing security around the heel.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

Nimbus 25 Top View
NIMBUS 25 TOP VIEW

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 uses a fairly thick mesh upper with synthetic overlays that provide a secure fit but aren’t very flexible. The toe box area is quite narrow and snug on the Asics model.

Overall, while neither shoe provides much room for wide feet, the Hoka Clifton 9’s more breathable and foot-conforming upper gives it a better fit for more foot shapes. The Asics has a more secure but stiff fit.

Stability

The Hoka Clifton 9 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 are neutral cushioned trainers, not specifically designed for pronation control. However, they both offer decent midfoot support and stability for neutral runners. The Clifton 9 has a lower heel drop which promotes more natural foot positioning, while its Meta-Rocker geometry encourages smoother transitions.

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 uses a guidance line along the sole for enhanced gait efficiency and Gel units to absorb shock. While the Nimbus 25 has a bit more structured stability from its firmer midsole and synthetic overlays, the latest generation Clifton also provides a stable platform without controlling motion as aggressively.

Overall, the Clifton 9 will suit more neutral runners while the Nimbus 25 gives a little more support for mild overpronators.

Cushioning

With their thick foam midsoles and pillowy constructions, both shoes excel at providing soft cushioning. The Hoka Clifton 9 features a softer, lower-density compression-molded EVA foam than prior versions for plush comfort without compromising responsiveness. Full ground contact maximizes shock absorption too.

Meanwhile, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 uses FlyteFoam Blast+ foam which gives energetic cushioning rebound along with Gel units in the rear and forefoot. The Nimbus 25 feels firmer and denser underfoot while still attenuating shocks.

Overall, the Clifton 9 wins out with its plusher ride that adapts to the foot and smooths out impact while remaining lively. The Nimbus 25 is still well-cushioned but doesn’t soften its impact quite as much.

Value for Money

At their premium price points, neither shoe is exactly cheap. The Hoka One One Clifton 9 retails for $145 while the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 costs $160. Given the Nimbus 25’s extra stability features, crunchier gel pads, and slightly more premium construction, its price makes sense. For what you get technology and comfort-wise with both, the prices are justified.

However, lighter runners or those wanting maximum softness may find the Clifton 9 more worth it. Heavier runners needing support and longevity could get more value from the Asics.

Overall, for neutral cushioning, advanced midsole foam and smooth rides deliver decent value. But the Clifton 9 wins if you want ultra-softness.

Performance Comparison:

After features we are going to compare the performances of both shoes. This will give you a clear idea on what shoes you should buy next.

Walking

The thick, shock-absorbing midsoles of these shoes make them both comfortable options for walking. The Hoka One One Clifton 9 provides very smooth heel-to-toe transitions while walking, with its rockered sole encouraging natural foot motion.

Similarly, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25’s guidance line technology provides a nice gait cycle when walking. While the Nimbus 25 is slightly stiffer, it also feels stable underfoot. Overall, the Clifton 9’s softer ride gives it the edge for all-day walking comfort, while the Nimbus 25 offers a bit more support.

Running

For easy-paced training runs and recovery days, both shoes provide plenty of cushioning to soak up mileage. However, the Clifton 9’s softer foam feels bouncier and more resilient, giving it a strong performance for mid to long-distance runs. Its smooth rockered sole design also encourages fluid heel-to-toe transitions.

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 has a firmer feel that doesn’t soften impacts as much but does provide stable guidance. The Nimbus 25 can feel stiff and heavy on faster runs though, lacking responsiveness.

Ultimately, while the Nimbus 25 is adequate for slower paces, the Clifton 9 is more versatile – cushioned for recovery runs yet light and responsive enough to pick up the pace. The Clifton 9 makes running any distance feel easier.

Plantar Fasciitis

With their well-cushioned builds, both models can provide relief from plantar fasciitis pain during walking and running. However, the Hoka One One Clifton 9 seems optimal for this issue, with its softer foam absorbing more shock from heel to toe.

Its smooth rockered sole also encourages a natural foot roll that minimizes strain on the plantar fascia. While the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 has adequate cushioning too, its firmer and less dynamic midsole doesn’t soften impacts as effectively. For reducing plantar fascia inflammation, the Clifton 9 looks to be the preferable choice.

Standing All Day

Cushioned athletic shoes can relieve people who need to be on their feet all day. The plush Clifton 9 is likely the better option for standing comfort throughout long shifts. Its soft foam conforms to the foot for customized cushioning and reduces fatigue build-up.

Meanwhile, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 has a dense foam that doesn’t absorb shocks quite as smoothly. However, the Nimbus 25 could potentially offer more arch support for pronators which some may prefer when on their feet frequently.

Overall, while both deliver ample cushioning, the Clifton 9 wins out with its more adaptive, forgiving foam that maximizes standing comfort. The Nimbus 25 is also adequate but feels stiffer and thinner underfoot compared to the indulgently padded Clifton.

Final Verdict:

For neutral runners and walkers seeking a comfortable, premium trainer packed with cushioning, both the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 are solid options.

However, the Clifton 9’s softer, more responsive midsole along with its smoother transitions and more breathable upper make it the superior choice for most.


The only exceptions are overpronators who may benefit from the Nimbus 25’s stability features or heavy runners who need heightened durability. For optimized cushioning and versatility among training paces, the Clifton 9 comes out on top for more runners.

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