Review: Asics Cumulus XII
After 5 years of reliable service, the Asics Cumulus has finally let me down. Or at least, the newest model has. Up until now, the shoe has performed great, taking me through season after season of training. But this new model has been such a pain that I’ve decided to call it quits… At least until Asics fixes one important problem.
First, the good stuff:
1. The Gel. As is the case with any Asics running shoe (at least, those costing more than $85), this shoe’s heel is chock-full of gel. It’s heavier than the foam that fills most of the midsole, but it works wonders for attenuating shock. I’m a heavy distance runner and a heavier heel-striker. Switching over to the Cumulus years ago gave me the shock absorption I need, and my poor shins rejoiced.
2. The Cushioning. The entire interior (say that ten times fast) of the Cumulus is lined with memory foam. The result is extremely plush, soft-feeling cushioning. The Asics Gel allows for this without a decrease in shock-absorption; compare this with many Adidas shoes, which have such soft cushioning– with nothing below it– that heavier runners aren’t protected from the impact of running.
3. The Trusstic System. Many other shoes have something similar to Asics’ Trusstic system, but it’s worth mentioning here. The Trusstic System is a rigid plastic shank that connects the heel to the forefoot of the shoe. It’s meant to keep the foot from twisting too much or too little; amongst other things, this prevents the knee injuries to which I’m prone.
4. The price. The Cumulus runs about $100 in most stores. For some runners, that no doubt sounds expensive. But compare this to the very similar Asics Nimbus or Saucony Triumph, both of which are usually $20-30 more expensive.
Now, the bad:
1. Gel defects. Most runners never experience this, but it does deserve mention here. Any shoes containing Asics Gel has a low chance of being defective (when I say low, I mean that it’s only happened to me once in about 20 pairs; this is probably high compared to the runnerwide average). This defect allows water or air to get into the chamber which usually holds the gel. I haven’t noticed any difference in the shock-attenuating abilities of the shoe, but it does squeak. It sounds nit-picky, but imagine 20+ mile runs, in the silence of morning, with one squeaky shoe.
2. The profile.
The newest iteration, number 12, has a profile cut to make room for the calceneus (the bone that sticks out on the sides of your ankle). Sounds like a good idea, right? But the profile was raised dramatically in the back of the shoe. This makes the Cumulus about as effective as high-top basketball sneakers when one is doing repeats. Worse yet, it has been shredding my socks and blistering the skin underneath. It took me forever to figure out why my achilles suddenly began sporting such extensive abrasions.
Imagine my disappointment when the culprit turned out to be the faithful Cumulus, my running partner of so many seasons. This is the reason why the Cumulus and I have parted ways (at least temporarily). It isn’t a bad shoe. Quite the opposite; it’s a great shoe with one very fixable problem. Asics, if you hear me, please give me my favorite shoes back.Share on Facebook