- 95/100 by Running Northwest
- 90/100 by Believe in the Run
- 86/100 by Road Trail Run
- 82/100 by Runner Expert
- 93/100 by RunningXpert
- 91/100 by Runner's World
- 90/100 by Canadian Running Magazine
- 80/100 by T3
- 80/100 by SHOEGUIDE
- 90/100 by Sportitude
- 85/100 by News18
- 80/100 by Running Shoes Guru
- 96/100 by FRONTRUNNER
- 95/100 by Running Warehouse
- 89/100 by Shoes Feet Gear
- 89/100 by Sound Health and Lasting Wealth
- 83/100 by Evening Standard
Have Asics have finally stepped out of their comfort (boring) zone? “Novablast” is not a name familiar with the old Asics line up. I have not been tempted by an Asics shoe for at least 10 years as all of their shoes seem to be exactly the same as the previous version. It feels like Asics have been stuck in the ’90s. Then BOOM! Along comes the Novablast!
Is it just a rebranded Kayano or Nimbus? Not according to the latest reviews released when the shoe dropped. All reviews have been raving about the new flyte foam blast midsole and the trampoline effect. Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I had to take these so-called trampolines for a spin.
My initial thought is that they look pretty much like a standard Asics upper but without all the bells and whistles. Then there is the midsole!
Wow, what a crazy looking midsole. It looks super stacked in the rear and really oddly shaped - kind of bulky. The build is as expected with any Asics, really well made and good quality. Not the lightest shoe but indeed not overly heavy.
The upper consists of a couple of layers of woven mesh. It’s not soft or overly flexible but it does the job and is very breathable. There are minimal overlays, pretty much just the Asics stripes on the inner and outer sides of the shoe and some on the heel counter. There is a lot of room in this shoe for my foot. I could probably go a half size down.
The tongue is standard, moderately padded, and comfortable. The shoelaces are very long and quite thin, so I utilized the runner’s knot to avoid excess laces flopping around.
The heel counter is firm and robust, maybe a little too much structure. The toe box is roomy with plenty of space for the toes to splay while running.
The midsole is made up of stacks and stacks of soft and bouncy FlyteFoam Blast. The heel of the midsole is aggressive in shape and smooths out towards the front of the shoe.
Did I mention the stack is huge? It feels like I am a mile off the ground walking in high heels (not that I know what that feels like) ha! My best description for the foam is “energetic”. It really feels like there is a lot of energy transferring between my foot, the midsole, and the road. So much so, I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing.
Rubber covers almost the entirety of the outsole. There are exposed foam pockets that do not have any ground contact. It doesn’t appear to be a thick layer of rubber, but I anticipate this shoe will last - the durability looks great. This outsole is grippy in the dry conditions and not too bad in the wet.
My first run was an early morning flat 5kms at a steady pace. Soon as I stepped off, the bounce was there but I was actually expecting more. That was until I played around with my stride and tried a more midfoot to heel strike. These things finally came to life and really started to bounce. The offset on this first run felt high and I honestly was not enjoying the experience. Not the most comfortable shoe to pick up the pace in.
The second test was a 75-minute medium-long run on the road. They felt a little better than the first run as I knew what to expect. The first 40-50min I was quite comfortable and bobbing along and then they started ever so slowly appear to bog me down. I’m unsure if this sensation was fatigue or increasing the pace a little or a combination of both, but they felt like I had to really work to maintain my pace. No bounce for the last 15min. Definitely had some foot fatigue around the ankle and a little in the arch from the high offset.
The next test was a tempo/threshold run. I had a feeling that the Novas were going to make me work hard in this workout. Again, it’s an effort to get them going however once you have settled they can motor along ok. Not an ideal faster-paced shoe, but they did the job.
The offset feels a lot higher than 10mm. The heel on these things is enormous. The design doesn’t really accommodate or benefit a forefoot striker. The Novablast is definitely suited to the heel striker.
In terms of responsiveness, I have found these are hard work to keep up the pace over the longer runs or to increase speed. They a bit too spongy to get any sort of quality speed work done in. Yes, they are springy, but there is a little too much going on down there with the reactionary forces.
In terms of fit, there is a lot of volume in the shoe and the laces are too long. I am still struggling to get the lockdown right. It’s either too tight or too loose. They are a big beast of a shoe.
Overrated! I think this shoe is fun (for heel strikers). In my opinion, it is too heavy and bulky with an offset that seems way too high. Heaps of bounce (for heel strikers) but there is too much going on underfoot, bouncy but messy. It’s happy at slow paces and chills out on those recovery runs. It’s a daily trainer with lots of durability. I’d love to see a lightweight, snappier version with a lower offset.
- Weight - 9.5 oz (M 9)
- Price - $130 US
- Offset - 10mm
- Stack - 22m/32mm (FF Blast)
- Carbon Plate - No
- Durability - 500+ miles (800km)
- Use - Everyday trainer
- Surface - Road
The Novablast is the newest addition to Asics’ lineup of performance running shoes. It is a highly cushioned everyday running shoe that is built for the low-mileage runners seeking for comfort and protection.
The Novablast is the first shoe to utilize the new FlyteFoam Blast™ cushioning technology, which is used in place of the well-known Gel technology. The brand new midsole material is engineered to deliver a more responsive and cushioned ride than the traditional running shoes.
The Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR®) Plus outsole is featured in the Asics Novablast for durability and protection. The outsole of this neutral running shoe is designed to accentuate the energized feeling of the FlyteFoam Blast™ midsole, creating a trampoline effect that helps propel the runner forward.
Engineered mesh fabric is incorporated into the upper for breathability and support. The mesh is a soft and lightweight material that allows for continuous airflow, keeping the foot dry and cool for an extended period.
The Asics Novablast is available in standard shoe length for both men and women versions. Runners are welcome to get a pair in their usual sizing preferences, though it should be noted that several users highlighted that it is a bit narrow. It is recommended to test the shoe in-store or check the general feedback about sizing to ensure a perfect fit.
The technical components that affect the fit of the shoe include the lace-up closure, sockliner, and padded tongue. These elements are used to ensure a secure and snug fit every time.
All points of the shoe in contact with the ground are covered by a highly durable rubber material called AHAR® Plus technology. It is made from a rubber compound that is 50% more durable than the standard AHAR® outsole. Four pieces of AHAR® Plus materials are strategically placed in critical areas of the Novablast’s outsole for enhanced durability. This element also supplies lasting traction on various surfaces.
The outsole of the Asics Novablast is designed to boost toe spring for a more energetic takeoff. It helps create a trampoline effect, which enhances propulsion.
The Asics Novablast utilizes a full-foot FlyteFoam Blast™ midsole that makes the platform higher off the ground than most Asics running shoes. The unique midsole geometry and sculpting are designed to improve comfort over longer distances.
The FlyteFoam Blast™ is the latest cushioning technology developed by Asics. It is a lightweight midsole foam created to help enhance the running experience by providing a bouncy and responsive ride. The outsole and midsole materials work together to deliver a more efficient ride.
The Ortholite® sockliner is positioned above the FlyteFoam Blast™ midsole for added cushioning. It possesses moisture management properties that help prevent perspiration from remaining next to the skin. This component also offers additional underfoot protection and support.
The Asics Novablast features a minimal upper design that supports the foot in key areas. It utilizes the multi-directional mesh material for secure and breathable coverage. The soft mesh fabric allows for continuous ventilation while effectively preventing small rocks and debris from getting inside the shoe.
For a pleasant in-shoe feel, a breathable fabric lining is added. The soft lining is used to cover the inside seams of the shoe and improve the shoe’s durability.
Reflective details are infused in the upper to increase the runner’s visibility, especially on low light running conditions. Other popular running shoes that feature reflective detailings are the Newton Gravity 8 and Adidas Solar Drive.
The laminate midfoot cage is used to provide support and structural integrity. The traditional lacing system is also utilized for a snug and personalized fit. The shoelaces can be easily adjusted to fit the preference of the user.
A padded tongue and heel collar are integrated into the shoe for extra comfort. The tongue helps provide a snugger fit while protecting the top of the foot from getting pinched by the shoelaces. The collar, on the other hand, provides comfort around the heel area and keeps the foot in place while walking or running.
Size and fit
How Novablast compares
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