Lifestyle

Asics Gel Cumulus 21: Your everyday training sneaker

This lite-show edition is perfect for evening runs

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The Asics Gel Cumulus 21. That 21 isn’t just some random number. We’ve been through 20 previous versions of this everyday trainer sneaker, and if a sneaker line has survived over 20 iterations, they must be pretty good, right?

According to Asics, these are neutral running shoes designed to cushion and support your feet over runs. It’s a neutral every day trainer with a 10mm drop, that competes with other sneakers like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus.

Unlike the Asics Nimbus which is more premium and made for distance, the Cumulus 21 is intended to be a go-to shoe.

Can they deliver on this promise? Let’s see!

Made for day-to-day comfort

The Asics Gel Cumulus 21 has a similar design to its previous version, the Gel Cumulus 20, which is probably a good thing because it was already a pretty good looking shoe considering how this classic design is in style right now.

It’s a pretty mature, balanced, and the Cumulus series also includes some of the top tech in running shoes from Asics which includes enough cushioning for runs.

The first thing I noticed when I took them out of the box was that the Cumulus 21 is a really well-built pair of training shoes. They’ve got a little bit of weight to them but that’s not a surprise since these aren’t really meant to be racing shoes. I’ll talk more about the weight later on.

At the top of the Cumulus 21, there’s the breathable Jacquard mesh — a welcome choice and will be much appreciated during hot summer runs. Plus its a nice, flexible mesh, so it’s pretty comfortable.

Speaking of flexibility, the toe box has a lot of space, and I’m saying that as someone that has pretty wide feet. The Asics Cumulus 21 fit true-to-size so you won’t have to worry about the sizing.

There’s also a stronger overlay over the mesh in the parts of the upper where you need stronger materials. Places like the front of the shoes, toe caps, and the eyelets for the laces. This is all so that the mesh does not tear because of your toenails.

Undeniably Asics

There’s also prominent Asics branding on the sides but this isn’t just aesthetic. There’s a functional role since it helps you secure and tighten the shoes.

Coming to the collar, its thick but soft, just like the tongue. They’re a bit larger than on most running shoes but the thicker layers do help with comfort.

There’s also an internal heel counter. It keeps the heel area stiff so that your heel doesn’t slip. This definitely helps with the stability of the shoe. Also on the inside of the shoe, is an eva sock liner which offers a nice amount of cushioning.

Overall the design of the Cumulus 21 is pretty nice, and it certainly looks like an Asics sneaker, for sure. They’re available in a variety of colors, so you should be able to find one that’s your style.

This particular sneaker is the new lite-show version of the Cumulus 21 which has reflective elements on the upper and midsole to help with those evening runs.

This was shot with flash on to show how it reflects light

Cushioning great for absorption with a modest return

I wore the Cumulus 21 for quick morning runs, and at the gym for my boxing, crossfit, and dance fitness classes, so that I could really put them in a variety of situations.

The shoes are really comfortable to jog in, and the excellent cushioning on the sole means you can probably wear them for hours.

As you walk in them, you can feel how the gel sole compresses under your foot and absorbs all the pressure. As you start to run, you won’t feel the same kind of soft cushioning, but its still really comfortable, with the forefoot area nicely cushioned off as well.

I should make it clear that there is very low energy return on this sole. The Gel sole just absorbs pressure but unlike Boost from Adidas or React from Nike, there’s not much energy returned to bounce back as you stride. But it’s also what makes the Cumulus 21 really comfortable to wear.

The sole is made of a combination of different cushioning tech — There’s the forefoot which is a bit more stiff but still has a bit of cushioning, there’s the rear gel cushioning, and then there’s the Flytefoam propel technology.

The Flytefoam offers additional cushioning, with some amount of energy return to help push you forward.

Coming to the outsole, there’s a thick layer of Asics High Abrasion Rubber, or AHAR, as they call it. This hopefully means the shoe will last a while and won’t get worn out too fast, which is appreciated since this is meant to be a daily training sneaker.

The outsole is pretty grippy and I never felt like it was slippery, even on wet surfaces.

All in all, the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is made to last, with good quality materials, and offers about medium-to-high levels of comfort as an everyday training sneaker.

Perfect for short runs at any time of the day

The Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is pitched as a pair of running shoes but also everyday training shoes, and the exceptional cushioning and support definitely does help.

That being said, I do feel like they’re too heavy to be used for a race or long distance running. I found them a little too heavy and maybe a little stiff after a while on a long distance run. Don’t get me wrong, this sneaker is great for short distance runs and that cushioning is good, but it has a sweet spot in terms of distance before it does start to feel a little bottom heavy.

So yes, short distances, there’s no problem. However, these are just not built for long distances where you’ll really start to feel that weight. For that, the Asics Gel Nimbus might be a better option.

But for your morning jogs, or as everyday training sneakers, these are pretty great. They perform as expected, and you never really feel like you want any more from them.

If you’re just starting out with a fitness routine and you’re looking for an all-around fitness sneaker, the Gel Cumulus might be the best choice around because they offer good cushioning, great build quality, and solid stability.

Is this your Sneaker Match? 

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 21 is a slightly tweaked update to a very successful line of neutral everyday workhorse shoes. It is priced well for the amount of tech packed into this shoe, and they’re nice enough that you could wear them around casually, at the gym every day, and even for your morning and evening runs.

It’s a great pair of all-around shoes. If you could only own one pair of running shoes, the Asics Gel Cumulus 21 is worth considering.

 

Accessories

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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Apps

YogiFi is a yoga mat that corrects your form in real-time

Your personal yoga instructor

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Many of us are coming up with new routines as we stay indoors. If you’re finding it hard to find a physical activity that you can do in a limited space, yoga is something you can try.

Practicing yoga may look easy, but doing it right can be pretty challenging, especially when you’re only following a YouTube video. YogiFi is an AI-powered yoga mat that provides guided instructions and real-time corrections on your poses.

The sensors on the mat tracks your yoga sequences and tracks your vitals before and after each session. This lets you track your progress so you can feel more motivated the next time you hit the mat.

It comes with a companion app that offers 25 programs. You can select your personal trainer and set your goals.

YogiFi is live on Kickstarter and is currently available for backers at US$ 199.

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Features

Peloton vs excuses: Mind tricks that can help you squeeze in a workout

For those struggling to keep a routine

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If anyone tells you that having a personal gym at home will remove all barriers to working out, they’re lying.

The Peloton bike packs an insane amount of tech that should help me stay on track, so I should have no excuses not to exercise, right? With it I can do live and on-demand spin classes, strength training, yoga, even meditation and sleep courses. Having it at home also means not needing to make time to travel to the gym. And yet, despite all of this, I still find reasons to shun fitness on the daily.

If you’re like me who typically gets a good week of workouts and then hits a slump when life happens, I’ve compiled some tips that you might find useful. Here are some ways I tricked myself into working out more regularly whenever I struggle to do classes on my Peloton.

Find the time that makes sense for you

After doing your workouts for a while, take note of when you enjoy it the most. For me, sweating it out in the morning works best. If I tell myself that I’ll workout later in the day, it just never happens. I’m just not someone who enjoys exercising in the afternoon or evening as much.

Make it habit

While some people make plans, I just tell myself that I’ll work out everyday and figure it out later.

Peloton has workouts that are as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Even when pressed for time, 15 minutes is just that — 15 minutes. 

Those days I end up not exercising I would just consider recovery days. Our muscles need time to rest after all.

Take a scenic ride

Another trick I do is telling myself to do 10 minutes of a scenic ride. This is an option on the bike if you don’t feel like doing a class. You can ride at your own pace while the monitor shows beautiful landscapes and cities.

What usually happens when I do this is I end up doing an additional 10 minutes of arm workout. Often, I’ll feel warmed up and ready for a regular class afterwards.

Warming up at my own pace without any pressure to perform gets me in the right mindset to actually do a full workout. There are lots of other warm up rides available, too, but they’re usually pretty tough. Picking something that has no pressure eases me in.

Low impact doesn’t mean low effort

When I discovered the low impact ride, I wondered why I hadn’t been doing them all along.

I’m an old lady, or at least my body feels that way. I’ve gotten injured a few times riding the bike: the tendonitis in my thumb flared up, and the muscles that aren’t used to being used so much protested.

You still get a great workout when you choose low impact, but you’ll never achieve a personal best — and that’s perfectly okay.

Put the leaderboad away

Now we’re going to dip into the tech side of things. The leaderboard pushes you to get your personal best, which is great. But when I don’t want to work out, I’ll tell myself that a 45min class will be more doable if I take the leaderboard away. As a competitive person, I always get horrified at my performance when I check it because I don’t push myself nearly as hard apparently.

Pick a class with a gimmick

Peloton offers so many kinds of classes with different genres of music. I’ve done Guns N’ Roses as well as Madonna rides. Jess King has a show tunes series, and there are rides with a DJ.

Whenever I don’t feel motivated to exercise, I think of it as entertainment first and that’s how I trick myself into doing a full workout.

Save classes that made you feel good

When you save classes that made you feel good, you’ll be reminded of that feeling when you see it again on the monitor.When struggling to pick a class, I choose from a bunch of saved classes that I don’t mind doing again.

If I can’t bring myself to face a new challenge, doing one that I’ve already smashed is the best way to go!

Lower the instructors voice

If you have classes where you loved the soundtrack, save them and then choose to have more music and less instructor. It’s amazing how much having motivational music blasting helps.

Forgot how to change the audio mix? Hit the volume button on the right hand side of the display and then change the mix. You have to do it each time as it always resets back to an even mix of music and voice.

Find more tips and tricks on how to maximize your bike here.

Do a class with weights

Doing weights is challenging, but it gives your legs some rest. A 45-minute class is sometimes better than 30 minutes because I know I’ll get breaks to do weights.

Pick your feel-good instructor

Sometimes, picking an instructor that fits your your mood is all you need. When I just want to do a feel good class, I pick Cody because he’s like my gay best friend and his classes are always entertaining. Seeing instructors have a bit of a hard time with the workout is also the energy that motivates me to give the workout everything that I got.

Should you be taking workout advice from someone who struggles with working out? Probably not. Was this entire article about how to work out a little less hard? Maybe.

It would be unfair to say that fitness isn’t a big part of my life. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about working out more than working out itself. It’s one of my favorite past times.

Keeping a consistent workout routine is what I’m struggling with right now. These mind tricks have at least helped me get my ass on the bike and squeeze a workout in even when I don’t feel like it. And for someone who isn’t a disciplined fitness freak, that’s all that matters.

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