The NovaBlast is a new ASICS training shoe that doesn’t include gel. That’s right, no gel at all. This trainer is a desert island shoe that can be used for tempos, long runs or easy runs alike. If you’re looking for a neutral shoe that does it all, this is the trainer for you. I’ve spent most of my running career with the mindset that high-cushion shoes weren’t for me. I’ve always liked feeling the road, and as a track runner, a high-cushion shoe was not my first choice for the surface I run on most often. However, I’m no longer that person because the ASICS NovaBlast converted me. Here’s what I love about this shoe.
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Category: Neutral cushion
Drop: 10 mm
Stack height: 37 mm
Weight: 7.8 oz for women’s size 5.5
Surfaces tested: Gravel, road, track
The upper is made with an engineered mesh which has good airflow and kept my feet cool on warm days and also aired out well after wet runs. The upper also has several reflective details that are good for early-morning or evening runners. I had no issues with chafing or hot spots in this shoe and have found the upper to be quite durable.
The shoe features ASICS’ new FlyteFoam Blast midsole, which is truly bouncy—even trampoline-like—in its ride. This trampoline effect creates fast turnover with a soft landing, which is a difficult balance to strike. The midsole is what really sold me on this shoe. The only place I wouldn’t recommend the NovaBlast would be on the track, where it does feel too soft, but on the road or even gravel trail, it’s perfect.
This midsole carried me through many tempos and easy runs. While I never ventured beyond 16 consecutive kilometres in this shoe, I could see it being a worthy contender for a long run.
Another note for ASICS lovers–this shoe doesn’t have any gel, so if you’re looking for a neutral training shoe with gel you’ll likely prefer the Cumulus 22.
The strategically placed outsole of the NovaBlast has been designed to accentuate the energized feeling that comes from the midsole. The AHAR outsole is exceptionally durable, with no signs of wear after about 300K of running. It also handled really well on wet roads.
If you’re someone who’s just getting into running and looking for a shoe to do it all, the NovaBlast would be a great shoe to start with. If you’re a seasoned runner who likes racing, this is a great shoe to have in your rotation for easy days or even tempos. The NovaBlast is a little heavy to be a racing shoe and certainly too soft for track work, but on the roads it’s awesome. It’s become a staple shoe in my lineup and something for runners to get excited about training in.