ASICS is clearly in the business of crushing it lately and with each iteration across their lineup, we’re not exactly sure how much or how little they’re going to change, and with the Novablast, this was definitely the case. We were worried that they were gonna take what was a gradually improving shoe and potentially derail it, but instead, they have delivered what we consider to be the best shoe of the year so far, it’s the ASICS Novablast 3. This is a shoe for almost everybody and something you can wear for pretty much every distance out there. It is a perfectly capable daily trainer that can even also be used when you want to dial it up or down. Let’s get into it.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- ASICS delivers what we feel will be the shoe of the year.
- If you are worried about the outsole and durability or grip, grab the Novablast 3 Trail instead. The only difference is the outsole!
- Weight – 8.9oz or 252g for a US Men’s 9, 7.8oz or 221g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 35mm of cushion (34mm for women) and a 4mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $140.00 USD
- Colors – 7 colors available for men and women
Construction and Materials
- Upper – Features a jacquard mesh upper which offers decent comfort and support while keeping feet cool. Improved winged gusseted tongue system improves the midfoot fit and reduces tongue sliding and pressure.
- Midsole – Uses ASICS FlyteFoam Blast+ cushioning.
- Outsole – Very thin layers of standard AHAR (ASICS rubber blend)
What we loved
First things first as it comes up a lot, the Novablast 3 is not dramatically different from the Novablast 2 in terms of feel, and a lot of this review might feel really similar if you read the prior. However, the areas that ASICS did improve on are close to perfect in terms of improvements to the platform, and the one gripe we have they have already solved and we’ll get to that in a minute. This makes them an easy upgrade if you liked the prior.
That jacquard mesh upper is comfortable against the foot and definitely does skew more performance given a lack of too many support overlays or structures. It can run a bit narrow for some and potentially a half size long, so again something to take into account when you’re trying it on. They have moved to a new winged tongue that is semi-gusseted, but stays in place really well and puts no pressure on the top of your foot which almost feels like a no-brainer now that we’ve tried it. The heel stabilizer has also been improved to provide an enhanced lockdown and guarantees almost no slippage in the heel.
The midsole has been improved as they have moved to the FlyteFoam Blast+flown cushioning. This provides a nice mix of cushion in terms of the ability to handle impact while also delivering a nice roll-through and rebound. The propulsion on the shoe feels a lot better than it did on the 2 giving it a much more up-tempo feel without a lot of leg work. This Novalblast 3 has added 1mm additional of cushion from the Novablast 2 while also coming in more than 1/2 ounce lighter.
The outsole has this trampoline-style design which is supposed to be more responsive and deliver more bounce back, and then it uses a small bit of their AHAR rubber for durability
What we didn’t
Our biggest nitpick of this shoe comes with the outsole and that is the quantity of rubber on there. It just isn’t great, in fact, it is almost something that could deter you away from the shoe if you live in a wetter climate. However, ASICS already has a solve and that comes in the form of the Novablast 3 Trail. Now hear us out here, this is essentially the identical shoe in every single way to its road counterpart except it has a better outsole and a minimal lug design. If anything the Novablast 3 Trail is a better all-weather road shoe than it is a trail shoe because it only really functions well on a hardpacked trail. So if you are considering the Novablast 3 and you live in wetter environments, have a look at the trail counterpart because you are sacrificing nothing if you go that route.
We said it at the start and we will say it again, this will definitely be in the running for the shoe of the year by most outlets. The Novablast 3 is one of the best shoes that ASICS has delivered in quite a while. It will be a bit narrow for some, but when it works, it really works delivering an easy daily trainer ride, or solid up-tempo speed day work, and even will function well on race day. It will be fun to see where ASICS takes this platform going forward, but for now, you’ll find us running in the Novablast 3.
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.