Asics Novablast - Pair asics-novablast-1 asics novablast Asics Novablast - Toe Asics Novablast - Toe
Editor rating:
8/10 on
JEREMY WHITE
User's rating:

PROS

  • Ample cushion that is very responsive.
  • Breathes well, keeps the feet cool on runs.
  • Lightweight .

CONS

  • Cushioning can take time to get used to…once you do…move this to the pro section!
  • With the new cushioning included, the NOVABLAST looks odd.
  • There is too much room in the toe box.

OUR VERDICT

The ASICS NOVABLAST is a lightweight/maximal (I think this is an oxymoron) road running shoe that offers a comfortable ride that is noticed mile after mile.

I plugged away chunks of miles in these shoes (on the road, on the treadmill and on trials) and my feet (and my lower back) felt good after short runs as well as long runs.

After getting used to the newly installed Flytefoam, I found that the responsiveness of the shoe made for a comfortable run.
SHOE INFO
Brand
Novablast
Model
9.5 oz. (269 gr.)
Weight
130 US$
MSRP
10 mm
Heel Drop
WHO IS IT FOR
The ASICS NOVABLAST is for anyone who is looking to experience running comfort. ASICS has hit a home run with the new FlyteFoam.

FlyteFoam provides not only a responsive feel to the NOVABLAST but it felt like I was running on a mini padded trampoline due to the fact that there is bounce while running. It is hard to say who the idea runner for the NOVABLAST would be.

I say this due to the fact that I could see running some short sprint distances in these as well as longer races like a 10k to a half marathon.

Asics Novablast Intro

Take a deep breath and get ready for a running shoe that is not your typical shoe that we have grown accustomed to being released by ASICS.

To date when a new shoe has been released by ASICS, one could make some basic assumptions regarding the shoe. As I reviewed the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22, I was in this boat.

I thought I was in for a typical ASICS ride (run) and that before even trying on the ASICS NOVABLAST that I could make some logical assumptions as to what the ASICS NOVABLAST had to offer. Well, folks…this is not the case.

Coming in at 130 dollars a pair, the ASICS NOVABLAST are in my opinion a slightly high price point for a pair of shoes. I love new technology and don’t get me wrong when you read this review.

There is a lot of good about the NOVABLAST line. Many will use terms like innovative and breaking the mold. In the end, I as well as you want to know one thing…is the shoe worth all the hype.

I don’t throw around the term innovative (at all) but it appears that ASICS is trying to distance themselves from their competitors, i.e. Nike, HOKA, Adidas and Altra… and even break away from their own go-to line of the Nimbus and Kayano.

The new tech offered with the FlyteFoam, and the new tread system is innovative and appears to be headed in a good and interesting direction. If you think that this is your typical ASICS running shoe…think again and read on.

Asics Novablast First Impressions

Asics Novablast - Closeup

Asics Novablast – Closeup

My honest/blunt first impression of the ASICS NOVABLAST was that these shoes were ugly. You will never again need to run with reflectors on because no one will miss the bright blue shoes with neon orange laces.

The sole unit, in my opinion, is a bit aggressive in terms of style. If we first talk about aesthetics, as I have mentioned before, the visual aspects of the ASICS NOVABLASTS left a lot to be desired.

From the aggressive colors to the heel geometry, I was not a fan… visually. Then came the first run… and I was able to accept some of the eccentricities of the shoe design.

Upon trying them on, I was surprised since the shoe looks narrow. However, after lacing up…they provided ample room. The toe box allowed for movement of the toes.

I am not used to this aspect so I initially thought that I needed a half size smaller. However, that was not the case.

I logged a few miles for the first run on the road. The cushion!!! WOW…heel to toe comfort. After the first stride…I was sold…on the cushioning that is.

Asics Novablast Sole Unit

Asics Novablast - Sole

Asics Novablast – Sole

The sole unit for the ASICS NOVABLASTS is all about the new FlyteFoam. This is what the shoe was built around.

If you recall the old Moon Shoes from back in the day, you will instantly be transported back in time to jumping around your neighborhood in those bad boys.

When you lace up for the first time you are going to feel the responsive nature of the shoe. You feel the cushion from heel to toe. The sole has energy. Like James Brown had soul…but again…it comes at a price.

The hard angles and cuts that are in the heel are not something that I see as visually appealing. Another item worth mentioning is the fact that the cushioning did take some time to get used to in terms of gait.

I felt that the heel on the outside of each shoe felt to slope inward slightly. This made me feel as if I was pigeon toeing myself while running. I did eventually get used to the gait and have no issues now.

The outsole of the shoe is constructed so that all of the areas of the foot that can strike the ground are all covered with tread. I found that outsole gripped well on all surfaces and held up well in general.

ASICS has made the outsole out of high abrasion rubber.

The claim here from ASICS is that,” Strategically positioned in critical areas of the outsole, this exceptionally durable compound is 50% more durable than standard ASICS High Abrasion Rubber.”

I myself could not tell the difference between this type of rubber used for tread and the rubber used on the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 or other similar running shoes.

Asics Novablast Upper Unit

Asics Novablast - Toe

Asics Novablast – Toe

Let’s start off with size and if the ASICS NOVABLAST fits true to size. As I have mentioned throughout, with the room in the toe box and the slippage while running, I felt that I needed a smaller size by a half a size.

However, once I laced up tighter (as I will address below) and got used to the fit, I found that they fit true to size. The upper unit follows suit to running shoes that you regularly encounter.

It is made of a net mesh that is very breathable. My foot was never hot. You can see that the mesh that covers the toe of the shoe is made of two different layers.

It has almost an elastic feel to it as it stretches and rebounds and still, it does not lose shape. When the shoe is laced, the foot (my foot) felt secure but I never felt as though my heel was locked into place.

I did feel slippage regularly. This did not cause excessive rubbing or blistering. All I can say here is lace these tighter than you think that you may need to.

As for the actual material used, I found it to be durable. When addressing the tongue, I am always a fan when the tongue is not excessive in size. I like it when the tongue is not noticeable…and this was this case here.

Asics Novablast Conclusion

Asics Novablast - Heel

Asics Novablast – Heel

I really like the ASICS NOVABLAST…but I do not love them. I feel that the shoe holds up to the claims by ASICS that they are responsive, cushioned and that they do offer an “energetic ride.”

In the end, I feel that there was a bit too much bounce for my own personal preference. With that said, I did not mind the bounce, I just prefer a more neutral or minimalist feel in my running shoes.

I will be taking these shoes to Disney because I want a shoe that is comfortable, that stays cool and where I know that my feet will not be aching after chasing my kids around the park all day!

We purchased a pair of Asics Novablast from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Asics Novablast Price Comparison

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