ASICS Nimbus 26 Vs Nimbus Lite 3 [6 Major Differences]

Written By Sunny

The Asics Gel-Nimbus shoes are widely known due to their premium cushioning, comfort, and support for neutral runners.

But, choosing the best shoes from this lineup can be confusing.

If you’re also perplexed about which one to choose between the regular Nimbus 26 and Nimbus Lite 3, I’ve got your back.asics-nimbus-vs-asics-nimbus-lite

Throughout this article, I will compare both shoes to track down the major differences and the ultimate pair for your running needs.

So, let’s get started!

Overview of Asics Nimbus Lite and Asics Nimbus

The mystic journey of Asics Gel-Nimbus was initiated in 1999. Since then, Asics kept improving this shoe lineup and introduced 26 models.

In 2020, Asics introduced ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite with more lightweight materials and, most importantly, a reduced price tag.

Recently, Asics demonstrated the most recent model of the Gel-Nimbus Lite series, the Nimbus Lite 3.

Asics Nimbus Lite 3

The Nimbus Lite 3 is a max-cushioned, featherweight, stable trainer made for high-mileage runs and faster paces.

The Nimbus Lite 3 is a flexible shoe with a highly breathable Engineered mesh upper, making it preferable for hot climates and long distances.

With traditional lacing and a flat tongue, this pair offers a secure and snug fit for neutral runners.

The FLYTEFOAM and the mesh upper make it extremely lightweight which ensures faster movements and turnarounds.

Compared to the predecessor GEL-Nimbus Lite 2, Nimbus Lite 3 weighs less but has a higher price tag.

Asics Nimbus 26

Nimbus shoes are widely popular due to the extensive cushioning and plush comfort for high mileage runs.overview-of-asics-nimbus-26

Nimbus 26 is no exception. Utilizing the FF BLAST PLUS ECO and proprietary PureGEL technology, this pair features a pillowy feel and ultra-soft landings.

Undoubtedly, Asics shoes are best known for their stability and high performance.

After using the Asics Novablast 3 and Nimbus 25 for years, when I received the Nimbus 26, I was excited to explore the improvements from the predecessor version 25.

To be frank, the GEL-Nimbus 26 satisfied me with its enhanced comfort and extraordinary cushioning.

Attribute Comparison of ASICS Nimbus 26 and Nimbus Lite 3

As the name suggests, the Nimbus Lite is an economical version of the premium Asics Nimbus shoes.

Hence, there are several similarities and dissimilarities between both shoes. The primary divergences are in the materials, cushioning, offsets, stability, and price points.

For a better understanding, consider the following attribute comparison table.

AttributeAsics Nimbus 26Asics Nimbus Lite 3
UpperEngineered knit upperEngineered mesh upper
InsoleOrthoLite X-55 socklinerSolution Dye Sockliner
MidsoleFF BLAST PLUS ECO, PureGEL technologyFLYTEFOAM, PureGEL technology
ComfortExtremely comfortableVery comfortable
Weight304 g/ 10.7 oz (US M-9)261 g/ 9.2 oz (US M-9)
FitTrue to sizeTrue to size
Heal-to-Toe Drop8 mm10 mm
Stack Height (heel)41.5 mm25 mm
Stack Height (forefoot)33.5 mm15 mm
BreathabilityExcellent breathabilityMore breathable
DurabilityVery durableDurable
FlexibilityLess flexibleMore flexible
StabilityMore stableLess stable
Price Range$130-160$80-150
ClassificationPremium Maximal Daily TrainerLightweight Neutral Trainer
Best forMaximum cushioning and comfort for high-mileage runsLighter weight, faster runs, and warmer weather

Differences Between Asics GEL-Nimbus 26 and GEL-Nimbus Lite 3

You can effortlessly visualize the primary divergences between these models by staring at the above attribute table.

But for more accurate and personalized information, you should go through the following discussion as I will share my experience with both shoes.

1. Upper Materials

For the upper of the Nimbus 26, Asics utilizes a fully redesigned engineered knit upper, which is more breathable and slightly more traditional than the Gel-Nimbus 25.

The upper of the Nimbus Lite 3 is a lightweight recycled technical mesh that features excellent breathability and a comfortable fit.

Compared to the Nimbus Lite 2, this new upper is a little tightened and offers less room.

While the Nimbus 26s upper features a snug and comfortable feel, the Nimbus Lite 3s upper prevents foot sliding and improves overall fit.

Both shoes use a non-stretchy, flat lacing system to ensure the best and secure lockdown.

The tongue of the Nimbus 26 is thin and stretchy, with a partial gusset that provides a snug fit.upper-materials-of-asics-nimbus-26

However, the thin tongue causes a lace bite on my feet. Fortunately, the thicker and more padded (with a full gusset) tongue of the Nimbus Lite 3 has no such issues and provides better comfort.

Both shoes feature a large, reflective pull tab on the heel for efficient on and off.

2. Sole Materials

Let’s begin with the insole.


Nimbus 26 has an OrthoLite X-55 sockliner which dramatically improves step-in comfort.

Conversely, the Lite 3 has a Solution Dye Sockliner, which is more environmentally friendly but lacks the premium comfort of the Nimbus 26’s insole.


Certainly, the main differences are in the midsole technologies.

While version 26 features FF BLAST PLUS ECO foam and PureGEL technology, the Lite 3 comes with lighter FLYTEFOAM and PureGEL.

The FF Blast+ ECO foam is firmer than the Nimbus 25 and 25 and has much more cushioning and additional stability.

On the contrary, the FLYTEFOAM is lighter, plush,  and medium-soft, making it suitable for faster runs.

Moreover, model 26 features the gel in the heel section that assists in soft landing and smooth transitions.

Nimbus Lite 3 has encapsulated gel in the forefoot and rearfoot. Though this gel didn’t offer a lot of comfort, it does help in shock absorption.


For the outsole, Nimbus 26 uses a combination of AHARPLUS and ASICSGRIP rubber, dramatically increasing durability and traction.outsole-of-asics-gel-nimbus-26-and-gel-nimbus-lite-3

I never slept wearing the Nimbus 26, even after running in the light rainy days.

The outsole of the Lite 3 is made of AHARPLUS rubber. This shoe’s strategically placed rubber sections also ensure longevity without sacrificing the lightweight nature of the Nimbus Lite shoes.

Though both shoes have similar durable outsoles and comfy insoles, the Asics Nimbus 26 outshines the Nimbus Lite 3 with additional cushioning and more premium materials.

3. Fit and Comfort

In terms of fit, both shoes are true-to-size.

However, Asics Nimbus 26 has a wider toe box for further stability. On the other hand, the Nimbus Lite 3 has a narrower and more streamlined fit than the model 26.

If you’ve bunions or other serious foot conditions, the wider toe box of the Nimbus 26 will be an advantage.

Now, let’s get back to the overall comfort.

Undoubtedly, both shoes are extremely comfortable. I enjoyed the ample cushioning from the FF BLAST PLUS ECO foam of the Nimbus 26 during my half marathon runs.

With the lightweight FLYTEFOAM, the Nimbus Lite 3 is more responsive but lacks the plushness of the Model 26.

Unfortunately, the Lite 3 is not for overpronators and long runs due to the thinner upper and less cushioning in the midsole.

The Nimbus 26 is heavier than the Lite 3 and can often cause leg pain due to the bulky fit.

In summary, both shoes offer a secure and snug fit, but the Nimbus 26 excels in cushioning, making it more suitable for long

4. Performance & Durability

We all know that regular Nimbus shoes are highly performance-oriented, and the same goes for the newer Gel Nimbus 26.

To evaluate the overall performance of Nimbus 26, I collaborated with my friend who is a shoe enthusiast and marathon runner.

According to him, Nimbus 26 is the ultimate pair to conquer long distances without sacrificing the cushioning of the predecessors.

After using this shoe for various training and races, I enjoyed the smooth and responsive ride.

The discussion is incomplete without appreciating its stability and ability to handle various terrains. You will surely feel very stable regardless of your foot shape and the surface.

Conversely, the Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is a lightweight trainer made for daily runs and relaxed workouts.

You cannot expect the same level of performance (like regular Nimbus) from this lighter model.

However, combining the FlyteFoam midsole and Gel technology, the Nimbus Lite 3 is a perfect balance of cushioning and responsiveness.

I honestly appreciate the comfortable ride of the featherweight Nimbus Lite 3.featherweight-nimbus-lite-3

But what about longevity?

Due to the same AHAR+ rubber outsole, both shoes have a lifespan of around 400-500 miles.

But the regular version is more durable and grippy because of the ASICSGRIP. Moreover, the knit upper remains sturdy and resilient over the years.

The lightweight mesh upper of the Lite version somehow maintains decent durability.

In short, the Nimbus 25 is more performance-oriented and durable due to its premium materials and solid construction. The Gel-Nimbus 3 is a lighter option for daily runs that is also highly durable.

5. Stability and Flexibility

Asics Nimbus lineup is renowned as one of the most stable running shoes. However, Asics Gel Nimbus is still not as stable as the Asics Gel Kayano.

But, undoubtedly, you will love the stability of Nimbus 26 for long-distance running.

It has a smooth heel-to-toe transition, thanks to the fusion of PureGel in the heel and FlightFoam Blast Plus Eco.

Though the Nimbus 26 prioritizes cushioning and support, it still offers decent flexibility.

The forefoot flex grooves of version 26 allow a perfect bent during the gait cycle.

As the Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is designed for relaxed runs, it lacks the stability of the regular Nimbus shoes. Yet this moderately stable shoe is suitable for neutral runners.

Nimbus Lite 3 shines in terms of flexibility.flexibility-of-gel-nimbus-lite-3

The FlyteFoam midsole allows a responsive, flexible ride and bends naturally with your foot during fast movements.

In summary, if you prioritize stability, the Gel-Nimbus 26 is the better choice. If you seek a more flexible and lightweight option, go for the Gel-Nimbus Lite 3.

6. Price & Significance

The average price of a Nimbus 26 shoe is around $160.

This price is in the mid-to-high range of the premium running shoes. Considering all the premium materials, maximal cushioning, and thoughtful design, this is certainly an excellent investment for serious runners.

On the other hand, Asics Nimbus Lite 3 is more budget-friendly and costs around $80-150.

This model is a perfect blend of performance and cost-effectiveness. You can grab this comfortable pair without breaking the bank.

While not as iconic as the classic Nimbus, its significance lies in providing a lighter and more economical alternative.

Nimbus Lite shoes are more budget-friendly while offering the best performance and flexibility. Regular Nimbus shoes are more costly, but they are worth every penny due to their enhanced comfort and durable materials.

Pros & Cons of Asics Gel Nimbus 26 and Gel Nimbus Lite 3

By analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of both shoes, you can make an informed decision to pinpoint the perfect pair that meets your preferences and running styles.

So, before concluding, consider all the advantages and disadvantages of Nimbus and Nimbus Lite.

Asics Nimbus 26

  • »Supreme comfort due to the plush cushioning.
  • »Excellent stability for neutral runners.
  • »Durable AHARPLUS & ASICSGRIP rubber.
  • »Breathable engineered knit upper.
  • »Well-balanced cushioning & responsiveness.
  • »Comparatively heavier than other trainers.
  • »Lack of flexibility.

Asics Nimbus Lite 3

  • »More nimble and responsive for fast runs.
  • »Significantly lighter than the Nimbus 26.
  • »Buttery-smooth ride due to the FlyteFoam.
  • »Maintain stability during runs.
  • »Suitable for relaxed and easy-paced runs.
  • »The outsole is less enduring.
  • »Less stability compared to the Nimbus 26.

Asics Nimbus 26 vs Asics Nimbus Lite 3: Which Option Stands Out As the Top Choice?

Now that we are at the very end of this comparison, it’s time to choose the ultimate one. But the selection highly depends on your foot shape, running style, preferences, and budget.

Asics Nimbus 26 features advanced cushioning, stability, historical significance, and a secure and snug fit with excellent plushness.

On the other hand, Asics Nimbus Lite is more focused on relaxed runs and lightweight daily training. This shoe is ultra-lightweight, comfortable, and affordable.

So, if you’re looking for a shoe for long-distance runs with maximum cushioning and great stability, the Gel-Nimbus 26 is the top choice.

If you want a lighter, affordable everyday trainer without compromising too much on comfort, the Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is the ultimate choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Nimbus Lite model is comparable with Nimbus 24?

The ASICS Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is comparable with the Gel-Nimbus 25. Though it is firmer than the model 24, it still has a decent level of comfort and flexibility.

What are the differences between Nimbus Lite 2 and 3?

Several improvements place the Lite 3 over its predecessor. For instance, version 3 has an improved and lighter upper with a thin knitted tongue. In addition, Asics has reduced the overall weight and made the Lite 3 more lighter without sacrificing durability.

Which one is better, Asics Nimbus 23 or Asics Nimbus Lite 2?

Due to the increased cushioning, the Nimbus 23 is more suitable for heel strikers and long distances. The extensive cushioning of the Model 23 also affects the overall weight, making it bulkier than the Lite 2. Choose the Nimbus Lite 2 for more relaxed runs and faster paces; conversely, pick the Nimbus 23 to conquer the marathons.

Is the Nimbus 25 comparable with the Nimbus Lite 3?

Yes, the Nimbus 25 is comparable with the Lite 3 because they share the same design and fit. But, the Nimbus 25 has more premium materials and is mostly suitable for long runs whereas the Nimbus Lite 3 features cheaper materials and is made for short runs and versatile training.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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