74888Owner Review: Asics Gel Cumulus running shoes - André
- Jan 1, 2008
> Owner Review: Asics Gel Cumulus running shoes - AndréHi all, here's my Owner Review of my most walked-in shoes. Couldn't
find my camera for a while and only found it just before midnight.
Them's the breaks, eh? A happy New Year for all of you who aren't in
2008 yet, and a happy new year to all!
html here: http://tinyurl.com/yqjndb
ASICS Gel Cumulus running shoes
BY ANDRÉ CORTERIER
December 31, 2007
NAME: André Corterier
LOCATION: Bonn, Germany
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 176 lb (80.00 kg)
CHEST 100 cm (39.5 in)
WAIST 84 cm (33 in)
STD. CLOTHING SIZE L
SHOE SIZE 11-12 (US), 46 (EUR)
I have started out with backpacking slowly single-day 24 km (15
mi) jaunts by myself or even shorter hikes in the company of my
little daughter. I am getting started on longer hikes, as a
lightweight packer and hammock-camper. I've begun upgrading my old
gear and now carry a dry FSO weight (everything carried From the
Skin Out except food, fuel and water) of less than 9 kg (22 lb) for
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website: www.asics.com
MSRP: US$ 90
Listed Weight: 11.5 oz (326 g) (assumed per shoe, size not given)
Measured Weight: 16.23 oz (460 g) (per shoe, size 13)
I have worn these shoes a LOT. I initially bought these as running
shoes, and have used them extensively in this function. I have also
worn them as my casual pair of sneakers a lot. Having done so, I
sometimes just left them on when I left for a spontaneous day hike.
I have progressed from there to wearing them more and more on the
trail. My longest trail experience with these was one week spent on
the Rheinsteig (Rhine Trail) in Germany, during which time I walked
roughly 210 km (130 mi) in them, with about 8000 m (26000 ft) of
elevation changes. I have worn these shoes in temps from -5 C to 35
C (23 F to 95 F) and all sorts of rain, across terrain both smooth
and rugged, dry and soggy, level and steeply inclined. These shoes
have gotten wet on my feet and dried on my feet.
I have other shoes that I sometimes hike in. I have a pair of low
cut waterproof/breathable shoes and a pair of high cut (just above
the ankle) waterproof/breathable shoes. They are both heavier, but
of course waterproof. They are nearly as comfortable as my running
shoes. I tend to choose them when I know or expect that I will be
encountering a lot of rain or very muddy terrain. I tend to go for
the high cut shoes when I plan to carry a lot of weight (like my
daughter in her child carrier). These are the reasons I choose shoes
other than my running shoes, which is to say that unless there are
particular reasons to choose other shoes, I wear the Asics Gel
Cumulus running shoes to hike in.
I've found that these shoes do not insulate my feet much. That is
good in higher temperatures, less so in the lower ones. Below
freezing (and even just above), I've found thick socks (or even two
pairs worn over each other) helpful. At just above freezing, thick
hiking socks and a brisk walking speed kept my feet (and the rest of
me) warm enough, thank you. But below freezing these shoes are still
decent running shoes (though they confer no grip whatsoever on icy
surfaces), but at slower speeds my feet quickly freeze.
Toward the high temperatures, anything up to and including the high
twenties C (say 80 F) is fine. The thin mesh upper makes for good
moisture transfer to the outside, so as long as the socks worn in
them do a good job of wicking the moisture away from my feet in the
first place, I've been comfortable. At higher temperatures, my feet
start swimming. At a reported 35 C (95 F) - in the shade, which
unfortunately wasn't where I was walking - they were drowning.
I find this a rather broad temperature range and have been happy
with it. No complaints there at all.
These shoes do nothing to keep moisture out (except help it
evaporate quickly). So in the rain, the mesh upper gets soaked
pretty quickly, and after that my feet get wet. This has happened a
number of times already. I've tried using an aftermarket water
repellent treatment, but that didn't seem to change anything (maybe
I used it wrong - by the time I found out it hadn't helped, I'd
thrown the package away).
There are two factors which mitigate this finding, however. One is
the fact that the shoes do not seem to change their comfort level to
the worse when wet. Except for the squelching sounds and the fact
that the shoes feel a few degrees colder than the ambient
temperature would seem to suggest, they work wet just as well as
dry. The other good thing is that they dry quickly, and will even
dry on my feet while I walk (once it's stopped raining, that is). On
my Rheinsteig hike, I got totally soaked by hard rain and hail. I
kept the shoes on (with wet socks, too) and kept walking briskly for
two or three more hours, trying to warm myself up (and dry the
clothes on my body). This worked pretty well, even thought the
temperatures hovered around 10 C (50 F). While the shoes weren't
bone dry after that, they weren't sodden any more, either. I hung
them from the ridge line of my hammock that night and they felt
pretty dry the next morning.
Well, whether it's a gel pack or an air pad between me and the
ground, running shoes - to me - seem to be the most comfortable
shoes around. These are no exception. I truly feel like I'm walking
on clouds - the thick, heaped eponymous ones, too. My other hiking
shoes have less in the way of cushioning between my feet and the
trail, yet I've always found them sufficient. Even with my light
hiking shoes, I've never been tempted to carry "camp shoes" with me
on a trip. If I had, I'd probably taken my running shoes...
So it seems that I save a lot of weight with these!
They weigh what I say they did up top, of course. I felt it
opportune to mention at this point that these are the lightest pair
of shoes I have by several ounces (100 g or so). The shoe
manufacturers invariably seem to base their given weights on the
smaller sizes. I'm generally between size 11 and 12 in shoes, which
means I go for size 12 in hiking shoes, but was told to go even
higher for running shoes. I've never regretted it. These seem to fit
like a glove. In my experience, they are very lightweight for a pair
of shoes in size 13.
Their comfort, apart from their excellent cushioning, is very good
as well. I can lace them tightly or less so depending on my
perceived needs at the time. Rugged terrain and fast travel make me
go towards tighter lacing (and - particularly! - steep inclines and
declines), while smooth trails and leisurely paces make me relax the
lacing as much as it relaxes myself. I've never had a blister in
these shoes (of course, I wear them with decent socks - no hiking in
cotton socks for me). I've had a few hotspots during the latter
third of long, hard hiking days in high temperatures. Airing the
shoes (and my feet!) out for a few minutes and a change of socks
usually let me continue soon thereafter without any problems.
I'm impressed with the way the shoes have held up. I'm guesstimating
(with a rather significant margin of error, I'm afraid) that I've
put about 1500+ km (1000 mi) on these shoes. I've read somewhere
that after 1000 km (620 mi) or so one should get a new pair of
running shoes because the midsole etc. begin to break down, with a
concurrent loss of support for the foot. I do not know whether this
was cooked up by the shoe manufacturing industry to keep us
consumers retooling at higher speed and of course do not know
whether this is happening - I can't see any such indication. With
the exception of the top of the toe protection becoming partially
unglued on my right shoe and a few blemishes where my feet tend to
contact each other while I walk, these shoes show no significant
signs of wear. I'm impressed - the sole does not seem to continue
coming off, and other shoes I have show much more signifcant damage
at my feet's contact spot after much lower mileage.
I have nothing good or bad to report in this section. Their traction
seems no worse than my dedicated trail shoes, though a look at the
sole seem to indicate that they're not meant for cross country use.
They don't do anything for me on ice and very little on snow, but
that wasn't unexpected at all. They do comparatively okay on muddy
ground - better than I had initiatlly feared. On smooth, dry
surfaces they're excellent, but then I've never had a pair of shoes
which had problems there.
The one thing I really don't like about these shoes is their stupid
shiny silvery appearance. If I could get a pair in subdued nature
colours (without reflective tabs, too) I'd be totally happy.
This is the second pair of these shoes that I own. The earlier one
was in dark blue - didn't look like a hiking shoe, either, but
looked a lot less bad. But I liked them so much that when they began
to look quite unappealing to do accumulated damage (though much of
it cosmetic), I bought another one. Finding these on sale was an
added bonus. I may well go for another pair of these with my next
shoes, though I'm still thinking of maybe going to a very similar
one with a more subdued "look".
Excellent runing and hiking shoes. Not waterproof, but very durable
and comfortable and light. Not easy on the eyes, though.
This report was created with some help by the BackpackGearTest.org
Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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