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Asics Novablast Review: Enough Style And Substance To Be Your Next Running Shoe

Asics Novablast Review: Enough Style And Substance To Be Your Next Running Shoe

The Asics Novablast are priced at Rs 11,999. That means compete against the Nike Joyride Dual Run (around Rs 10,995), not just because of the price but also in terms of what they offer.

Vishal Mathur
  • Last Updated: July 19, 2020, 10:35 AM IST
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It seems that we will need to return to normalcy at some point. With our daily lives. Our daily routines. Our fitness regime also. With due and necessary precautions, of course. And if you are thinking of stepping out for your daily runs now, a new pair of running shoes might be in order. Right on cue, Asics has launched the Novablast shoes in India. The positioning is simple—there is the attempt at ticking off the comfort and responsiveness checkboxes while not trying to punch above their weight, try anything radical or use complex tech that would make them more expensive. The thing is, not only is simplicity a strong point of the Asics Novablast, but these shoes get the job done while looking very good too. The Asics Novablast are priced at Rs 11,999. That means compete against the Nike Joyride Dual Run (around Rs 10,995), not just because of the price but also in terms of what they offer.

It is actually good to see a rather cool colorway from Asics. The Asics Novablast seems to have a mix of many things—black, blue, white, fluorescent green, a fading dash of pink and even some stripes. If this is Asics deciding to go down the path of exciting designs, then it is a very welcome change. It is not to say that Asics shoes didn’t look good over the past few years, but they did err on the side of restrained colours and elements (the Gel-Nimbus series, for instance), at a time when the likes of Nike and Puma were trying out some rather bright and attractive designs.

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Good start that, and happily enough, that continues once you slip your foot in. You’ll immediately notice the generous amount of cushioning cradling your feet, which oozes comfort and luxury. Asics have redone the upper as well, particularly near the front, for a lighter and thinner (yet no compromises on strength) mesh which allows for better breathability. Not exactly sock-like, but this is certainly closer to Nike’s knit uppers than ever before. Better ventilation is on the cards, and particularly in the summer months, this will keep your feet cooler for longer. The Asics Novablast has a fairly wide toe box and you’ll probably not have to worry about going half or one size up than your regular running shoe size.

Asics Novablast-2

If this is Asics deciding to go down the path of exciting designs, then it is a very welcome change. It is not to say that Asics shoes didn’t look good over the past few years, but they did err on the side of restrained colours and elements

The offer of 10mm (its 32mm height at the heel and 22mm height at the forefoot) is well in range of most running shoes designed for speed. The weight is whereabouts of 260 grams, which is also lighter than the 290 grams the Nike Joyride Dual Run tips the scales at.

Under your foot sits the Flytefoam Blast midsole. It is supposed to be springier than the Flytefoam in previous Asics shoe launches, and lighter than the GEL midsoles too. In theory, the added responsiveness should help you push that much more as you run, reducing the stress on your legs and retaining your energy for longer. How much responsiveness you actually get is dependent on what running shoe you are using right now. I did notice that on hard and unforgiving surfaces, this does absorb the impact feedback rather well, not letting it filter through to my calf muscle. On softer surfaces, it really does feel very stable well-tuned. Yet, it is hard to choose between the Asics Novablast and the Nike Joyride Dual Run in terms of how the midsoles respond—they both take a different route to achieve the same result. This is perhaps a testament to the good work Asics have done with this midsole.

Flip the Asics Novablast over and you will notice some rather sharp cuts and angles on the outsole. A lot of that has been done to reinforce the outsole with additional rubber for better grip, in certain areas. Asics say they have used the AHAR Plus rubber for the outsole, which is designed to last longer than the Asics High Abrasion Rubber that some predecessors have. On the face of it, you really won’t be able to tell the difference, but this is grippy and that’s all that matters. Yet over the years, Asics has used outsole materials that last quite long and this should be no different. Time will testify to how long that actually is, but it isn't something you should be worried about. There is lots of grip on offer and even surface transitions from dry to uncomfortably moist or dry to one with standing water, don't trouble the Asics NovaBlast at all. And that means you have nothing to worry about too.

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The thing is, the Asics Novablast is delivering on what it promises. This is one of the better-looking Asics shoes in a while, and we hope this is a permanent change. It does feel very comfortable for long runs and wearing for longer durations. The midsole is responsive for sure, and the energy feedback does supplement your efforts as you run—though it isn’t as radical as what Nike has done, in terms of materials or the visual treatment of it. At the same time, coupled with the new approach to a more ventilated upper, Asics have made some serious forward progress with regards to comfort levels too. In the end, it is a close call between the Asics Novablast and the Nike Joyride Dual Run, which has the TPE beads that also do a very good job with energy return. I would guess the final decision will reside with you, and which one you prefer more.

Under your foot sits the Flytefoam Blast midsole. It is supposed to be springier than the Flytefoam in previous Asics shoe launches, and lighter than the GEL midsoles too

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