Asics Superblast Review (2023): Is This the Ultimate Trainer?
Published on: 01/18/2023An impressive new super stacked everyday training shoe from Asics, the extremely light Superblast gives max cushioning, but not enough speed.
A very good max cushion daily trainer with supreme comfort but lacking propulsion!
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
Asics has produced exciting shoes with lots of innovations lately. So, it’s no wonder the running world has been looking forward to meeting the new Superblast: the brand’s high-cushion option for runners who dislike the weight in other max-stack shoes.
In a nutshell, Asics’ new running shoes are a blast – as the name suggests! While not a proper speed shoe (despite the brand claiming they work well for faster paces, too), it’s soft and light. The Asics Superblast is a fantastic recovery shoe thanks to the dual foam midsole. Using the FF Blast Turbo foam technology also present in Asics’ racing shoes (think MetaSpeed Sky and Edge series), coupled with FF Blast Plus foam, it’s bouncy. But does it have enough energy return? The jury’s still out on that one, leaving the Superblast a less versatile shoe than it markets itself as.
Surprisingly light for the impressive stack height (45.5 mm heel, 37.5 mm toe), it’s a fun shoe for many runs. It will appeal to serious runners looking for relaxed extra cushioning on easier days. It could also be a marathon shoe for beginners.
Asics says the goal of creating the Superblast was to “reduce the impact of repeat training on the body.” For that, this is absolutely a great shoe. It has a fantastic upper, good foot lockdown, “feels awesome underfoot,” according to some reviewers, and looks quite stylish.
But does this new offering present a true challenge to rival brands and even to Asics’ own super shoe range? Read our full Asics Superblast review below to find out!
Please read our full review of the Asics Superblast for more information.
- Extremely lightweight for the cushioning levels
- Super comfortable
- Great breathable upper
- Quicker than expected for such a high stack
- Very stylish
- Not a lot of energy return (less responsive ride)
- Cannot compete with plated shoes despite its price
- Heel hold can be a bit loose
- High price tag
Asics Superblast Complete Review Analysis
Maximal cushioning and high stack heights are not new. In fact, Nike launched its Air Max shoes back in 1987. The 2022 question, however, is whether the running shoe industry can come up with a high stack that keeps the bounce in a tempo shoe. This is what Asics has asked with the Superblast – and seems to have come just short of delivering.
Yes, the Superblast looks fantastic and features a dual combo of super foams that helps keep legs fresh throughout long runs. It offers comfort and some responsiveness in an otherwise light shoe (239 g only). Its lightly padded tongue and soft yet great fitting upper make it a delight for athletes with wide and narrow feet. And it features an ingenious heel bucket design with the foam’s disposition (more on that later).
However, it doesn’t quite tick all the boxes for being a versatile shoe for daily training and racing. For true racing excellence, experienced athletes will reach for a carbon plate alternative (think the Asics Magic Speed 2, to begin with). And, for the price tag, they probably should. Would you spend upwards of $200 for a soft padded daily trainer, even at the lighter weight? Let’s see if it’s worth it in this in-depth review.
Asics used a dual FF turbo foam design in the Superblast – FlyteFoam F Blast Turbo dominates, followed underneath by FF Blast Plus foam. This FlyteFoam Turbo technology is the same as in Asics’ racing shoes. It is the lightest foam used by Asics to date. It’s excellent and responsive and has been earning rave reviews. Interestingly, you can see the two types of foam in the design: the first edition of Asics Superblast features an orange-colored section of FF Blast Turbo, with the mint green FF Turbo underneath. A great visual.
The bounciness from this dual foam setup is further enhanced by a stiff rockered geometry, which should help with toe-off and energy return. It’s a nice blend and works pretty well for most reviewers (check out the ride reviews below). Finally, the back sections of foam rise high on the sides of the heel, creating a cool cradle for the rear of the foot.
Going back to the incredible stack height, this is one of the biggest you’ll see on the market, rivaled only by Adidas Prime X Strung (50mm heel height) and the New Balance FuelCell SC trainer (47.5mm heel height). Luckily, the Superblast stays stable and nimble enough from its 45.5mm, which is no mean feat!
Foot lockdown (Upper)
Made of 66% recycled content, the Superblast’s upper fits well and provides good lockdown. Some users recommend going a half size lower than your usual fit to avoid a noticeable slip in the heel (one of the few quibbles with an otherwise excellent upper). Many have mentioned needing to fiddle with the laces until they got the right fit.
The tongue is thin but padded and has an asymmetric woven design, which makes the shoe look cool, too. Finally, there’s a spacious toe box to accommodate feet swelling during marathon racing efforts (or just a hot day!).
The minimalist thin mesh upper reminds many of the Novablast 3, which is actually a great alternative at a lower price point. There is light padding around the ankle, and the tongue is, of course, gusseted.
Grip and Durability (Outsole)
The Superblast features an upgraded AHAR Plus rubber outsole, which provides decent traction on the road and hard-packed trails. While not good on wet surfaces, this is a minor grip.
The one letdown comes in the self-entitled “trampoline pod” placed at the center of the forefoot. This is meant to set the Asics Superblast apart from, for example, the Novablast, having more bounce and dynamism. However, there’s no noticeable difference from the trampoline pod outsole design.
Finally, the outsole rubber is likely to catch small pebbles in its grooves, but this is a minor issue.
The new Superblast is a fun and bouncy trainer if worn for recovery runs and possibly long runs short of racing. It’s also one of the more stylish running shoes in the max cushioned market, and many runners will enjoy it at moderate paces rather than during tempo runs.
Most reviewers agree that the foam feels stiff when first running in these shoes, but they loosen up after the first 15-20 miles to give an almost perfect ride for recovery days. Light but not particularly fast, the Superblast doesn’t deliver much in the speed department. There is a bit of stiffness, but the rockered design and dual foam technology don’t quite manage to deliver a spring in the step.
There is a general feeling of a near miss with the Superblast – perhaps a great first attempt to be developed further?
Compared to the more versatile Asics Novablast 3, the Superblast will be a tough sell as a daily trainer because of the high price tag. Yes, it’s made of superbly comfortable material and extremely lightweight. It feels fun and bouncy underfoot. And it certainly looks great. However, at $220, most runners will prefer to buy a plated shoe to benefit from the forward propulsion for the extra cost.
The Superblast remains a great daily trainer, surprisingly stable for the high stack, but unfortunately a bit of a hit and miss from Asics at this point, especially compared with better value offerings from the same brand.
|Heel height||45.5 mm|
|Forefoot height||37.5 mm|
|Weight (men)||239 g/8.4 oz|
|Weight (women)||239 g/8.4 oz|
|Features||Heavy runner, Recycled materials, Unisex|
|Midsole||FlyteFoam Blast Turbo & Plus|
|Upper||Jacquard woven mesh, gusseted tongue with wing fit system|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Reference: Asics's official site