Shoe Reviews: ASICS Novablast 3

ASICS Novablast 3

Specs

  • Price: $140.00 (Shop Now)
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: Men 8.9oz (size 9) / Women 7.8oz (size 8)
  • Category: Lightweight Neutral Cushioned Trainer 

 

 

Intro: ASICS is on its 3rd iteration of the Novablast. We at PRC are very excited that the latest and greatest Novablast 3 is making this model's first appearance on our shoe wall. With a midsole inspired by geometric origami, the Novablast 3 is designed to be a cushioned everyday neutral trainer with a little extra bounce.

What’s New:

  • New Flytefoam Blast Plus foam midsole for more spring
  • 1mm increased stack height
  • About 30g lighter
  • New mesh upper and tongue

Impressions from first run: I took the Novablast 3 on an easy 4 mile run for the shoe’s first time hitting the concrete. While fairly lightweight, the Novablast 3 felt substantial enough to hold up on much longer runs. The new Flytefoam Blast+ midsole was definitely soft and provided a springy ride as well as a very smooth midfoot transition at an easy pace. Overall, I was very impressed with the Novablast 3 on my first run. With such a soft and responsive midsole, I imagine it being a great option for recovery runs and long runs. 


Upper/Fit: The Novablast 3 fits true to size for me as a men’s 9.5. There is a little more space in front of my toes than I am used to, but not enough to go down in size. If you already wear your shoes on the bigger size, you might need to go half a size down. Besides the space in front of my toes, the rest fits slightly snug, almost like a performance shoe. I wouldn’t say it is overly tight, and I actually really enjoy the snugger fit as my foot feels very secure in it. The mesh upper is a nice thin material, and when you pair it up with the thin tongue it is a very breathable shoe. Where you do get more thickness in the upper is in the heel collar with very soft cushy padding. It really ties the overall feel together with a comfortable fit leaving little to complain about.

On the Run: The ASICS Novablast 3 has become my go-to easy run shoe. It has such a soft and smooth feel the entire length of the foot. The Flytefoam Blast+ does feel a bit squishy standing and walking. Once I got running in it, I could feel the responsiveness and spring and the squishiness became a non-issue. There is a slight rocker to it that provides some propulsion and a very seamless midfoot transition. The Novablast 3 does have a fairly substantial heel that looks like it may be a hindrance while running, but I almost didn’t notice the heel at all. I did test out the Novablast 3 with various paces and its limit for me was around my 10k pace. Anything faster that requires a higher heel recovery, and I start to clip my calves with the big heel. It does seem to have an extremely wide range of paces that it feels great with, but it wouldn’t be my pick for a speed shoe.


Summary: The ASICS Novablast 3 is a fun and bouncy, well executed everyday neutral trainer living in a category that can sometimes feel mundane and unexciting. It performs so smoothly at easy paces and has the ability to provide enough spring for some faster running as well making it one of the most versatile shoes we carry right now. If you’re looking for an everyday trainer with some extra cushion and bounce, or just a little more excitement, the ASICS Novablast 3 is an excellent option.

- PRC Footwear Lead Clay Lambourne (clay@portlandrunning.com)

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