Asics Novablast 3 Review (2023): The Ultimate Daily Trainer?
Published on: 08/07/2023The Novablast 3 is one of Asics' most versatile and fun shoes. This new model is much more stable, correcting the v2's main drawback.
The embodiment of versatility as a very good road running shoe!
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
With the new Novablast 3, Asics has developed one of its most versatile shoes. Both light and lively, the Novablast 3 offers soft, comfortable cushioning. The Japanese brand has taken the best of the two previous versions while correcting their major shortcomings: a lack of stability and a lack of energy return due to excessive weight.
The use of the new Flytefoam Blast+ foam and a reworked geometry give the soft midsole greater stability, responsiveness and lightness. Something all runners will appreciate, whether for daily training or long runs. Only the fastest runners will find them a little lacking in firmness.
Please read our full review of the Asics Novablast 3 for more information.
- The use of the new Flytefoam Blast + foam makes the model even lighter
- New midsole geometry offers greater stability
- Thinner, more breathable mesh
- Very versatile shoe
- A very thin tongue that tends to slip off
- May lack grip on wet roads
Asics Novablast 3 Complete Review Analysis
The Asics Novablast 3 was greeted with circumspection by the running community, as the two previous versions had difficulty convincing (although we appreciated Asics’ efforts on the Novablast 2). The original Novablast lacked stability and the second version, in an attempt to correct the various errors (lower drop, wider platform for greater stability), saw its weight increase considerably. As a result, runners lost the lightweight feel that made the model so attractive in the first place.
The Novablast 3 has all the qualities of its predecessors – energetic, comfortable, and versatile – but at a much lighter weight. Quite a pleasant surprise!
From geometry to composition, Asics has completely redesigned the Novablast 3 midsole. The new Flytefoam Blast + foam, also used on several Asics models such as the Glideride 3 or Gel-Nimbus 24, provides softer cushioning and as much bounce but is considerably lighter than the Novablast 2. This brings the Novablast 3 down to 8.9 oz / 253 g for men (and 7.4 oz / 212 g for women).
Testers were surprised by the lightness of the shoe, which appears rather bulky at first glance. In fact, the midsole appears more imposing due to its new geometry. However, it retains a heel stack height of 31 mm and a heel-to-toe drop of 8 mm.
What has changed, however, is the 5 mm wider platform for a more stable yet cushioned ride. Of course, it’s a shoe for neutral runners, not a stability shoe for overpronators, but it’s made significant progress on this front.
The new outsole solves the major shortcoming of the original version, namely the lack of heel stability and some spring.
Foot lockdown (upper fit)
Asics has also redesigned the Novablast upper. It is lighter and thinner than the previous version, yet just as comfortable. The technical monofilament mesh of the upper, while adapting to a wide foot, is able to provide sufficient lockdown for a thinner foot.
The lightly padded tongue, because of its thinness, tends to slip. Incorporating a fully gusseted system on future versions of the Novablast would be a good idea.
The padded heel is comfortable and locks in the foot for a secure fit to prevent heel slippage.
In terms of fit, this new Novablast runs true to size but it’s spacious, so you may need to go for a half size down if you have low volume feet.
It should be noted that 75% of the main upper is made from recycled materials. The dyeing process also uses 33% less water.
Grip and durability (outsole)
The outsole is the part of the Novablast that has undergone the fewest changes. It’s similar to the previous versions but wider to provide runners with greater stability. This is a logical change given the new midsole geometry.
The grip remains excellent on both roads and trails. But it tends to diminish on wet roads. The testers were surprised by a few slips during rainy outings.
However, the testers appreciated the sole’s resistance despite the accumulated miles thanks to the sturdy AHAR rubber outsole coverage.
Testers were unanimous in their praise for the new Novablast 3, with many placing it among their favorite Asics models. Light, comfortable and responsive, the Novablast 3 seduced testers with its versatility.
The new midsole geometry offers a forward rocking sensation despite the absence of a carbon plate. This gives the stride a certain lightness and ease.
However, this new, larger heel can block midfoot attacks. You’ll also need to be careful about heel lockdown when cornering. It should be noted that the testers went down half a size.
The cushioning is soft enough to provide maximum comfort on both short and long runs, and energetic enough to suit all but the fastest paces. This is where the Novablast 3 loses its appeal. Indeed, faster runners will most certainly prefer firmer cushioning and will turn to models with carbon plates.
It’s a shoe that works for everything, from long to short runs, from marathon paces to fundamental endurance… Except for pure speed training on the track.
Asics has learned from past mistakes, offering a Novablast 3 that combines the best of the first two versions: gentle yet energetic cushioning, improved stability and lighter weight. And all with their new Flytefoam Blast + foam and new midsole geometry.
Light, energetic and versatile, the Novablast have it all and will appeal to runners looking for great daily trainers with a comfortable ride and responsive cushioning, for easy everyday sessions to faster sessions for half marathon preparation (or even a full one) except racing.
|Heel height||31 mm|
|Forefoot height||23 mm|
|Weight (men)||253 g/8.9 oz|
|Weight (women)||212 g/7.5 oz|
|Midsole||ASICS FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS|
|Upper||Jacquard mesh, tongue adjustment system|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
Reference: Asics's official site