I am mostly late to the ASICS Novablast 3. It’s continuously one of the most asked about shoe reviews on the blog and always a shoe I say I’ll get to but never do. So here I am, finally seeing what all the hype is about!
ASICS Novablast 3 Quick Facts:
Weight: 8.9 oz
Heel to Toe Drop:
ASICS Novablast 3 Introduction:
The ASICS Novablast 3 is a daily trainer meant for easy runs. While they might say that, it never feels like Novablast is intended for easy runs, and ASICS makes it easy to pick up the pace. The third version has more cushion, is smoother, and not as bouncy. I know the Novablast has a cult-like following, but I was never one of those people. It’s okay, but not the best.
The Novablast has also gotten a pretty significant update. The first two versions had a decoupled groove underneath the shoe that started in the rear foot and came up to the forefoot. The midsole also had indentations which allowed for deep compression and “bounce” and allowed you to get more of that “bounce.”
This year, the ASICS Novablast 3 has a new upper, midsole, and outsole. The long story short is the shoe is entirely different. Immediately when I picked it up, I was like, wow, this shoe is light (nearly a full ounce lighter).
ASICS Novablast 3 Fit:
The ASICS Novablast 3 has been stripped down. It looks less premium, and there is no cushioning around the shoe. If you like a cushioned heel and tongue, it’s gone. But it is lighter and more breathable.
I firmly believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet. Once you find the right size, the ASICS Novablast 3 mostly does that. I’m not a massive fan of the stripped-down upper, but it doesn’t bother my feet, and it’s lighter and airier.
Generally, ASICS shoes fit long and narrow, and the ASICS Novablast 3 is no different. In running shoes, I wear between 10-11 wide. The 10.5 do the best, although I would probably get a ten wide in that was an option. It feels like I have skis on my feet.
ASICS Novablast 3 Ride:
The Novablast 3 reminds me of the young person’s shoe. If you find the Cumulus or Nimbus too clunky, you might enjoy a more poppy and responsive ride of the ASICS Novablast 3.
The ASICS Novablast 3 seems like it’s always a work in progress. The midsole geometry has been updated again with a broader base and midsole that flares out. This makes it more stable (although not a stability shoe). It would be interesting to see if they could make a stable version of the ASICS Novablast 3.
The midsole sidewall has also been changed. It now has less midsole compression, and the shoe generally is less bouncy. People liked previous versions of the Novablast because it felt like you were bouncing to the moon. Now it’s an overall less a”bouncy” shoe. I’ll wonder how this will appeal to their already large following for the Novablast.
The decoupled groove is less deep to allow a firmer and smoother ride. The ASICS Novablast 3 is better, more responsive, and flatter than the previous versions.
Most people don’t realize that the ASICS Novablast 3 also shares the same cushioning, the FF Blast + Foam” as the Nimbus 24. It does not feel the same way. It feels like the ASICS Novablast 3 is in a transition year. They didn’t want to commit to a massive update (although it is), but Novablast could use a softer FF Blast Foam + like the Nimbus.
Durability and Traction: ASICS has always been good with durability and traction, and the ASICS Novablast 3 is no different. I’ve run a few times in inclement weather with no issues, and if I run on the sandy path, I don’t have to worry about sliding around. Regarding durability, I think I’ll get a total of 400 miles out of them.
I had no idea where the ASICS Novablast 3 would fall in my running shoe rotation. I thought it would be an “easy run” shoe as marketing tells me, but it doesn’t feel that. I prefer it for a daily run or if I want to pick up the pace. ASICS has done an excellent job transforming the shoe to compete with models like the Nike Pegasus or Brooks Ghost, but it’s less cushioned than shoes like the Brooks Glycerin or Asics Nimbus. To me, it’s an excellent daily trainer for when I may want to pick up the pace but not a shoe I would solely choose to run easy. If you are already a fan of the ASICS Novablast, you will find the third version very different. I don’t think the update is “bad”, but I do think it makes the shoe unrecognizable to previous versions.
ASICS Novablast 3 Conclusion:
If you wondered: did the ASICS Novablast 3 have a big update? The answer is yes. Almost every part of the shoe was updated. That isn’t necessarily bad, but it will fit and feel different than the previous models and most ASICS shoes in general. I’m wondering if there are even more updates to come in future updates for the ASICS Novablast. Right now, it’s an okay shoe, but it’s not as fun or exciting as the first two versions.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Easy/Daily Runs: New Balance 1080v12, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, Saucony Triumph 19, Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra
Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Reebok Floatride Energy X
Long Runs: Saucony Freedom 4, Hoka Clifton Edge,
Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12, Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL:PDX,
Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky,Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro,New Balance Fuelcell 5280, Nike Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro 2, Reebok Run fast Pro
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
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Questions for you:
Have you tried the ASICS Novablast 3?
What is your favorite running shoe?