Sneakers

ASICS Running Shoe Guide: Novablast vs Superblast vs Gel-Nimbus

4 Mins read

As a runner, choosing the right pair of shoes can be a difficult choice with endless pairs available on the market. ASICS is no stranger to this – in fact, they are at the forefront of running shoes and the technology behind it. Their renowned stability and cushioning come in a variety of lines, each targeting different purposes. Let’s break down three popular choices: the Novablast, the Superblast, and the Gel-Nimbus, to see which pair pushes you to your limit

ASICS Novablast: The Ride for Neutral Runners

The ASICS Novablast is known for its well-cushioned ride and responsive foot feel. 

These shoes feature a generous amount of ASICS’s trademark foam, FLYTEFOAM, in the midsole which delivers a high energy return in every stride. 

The upper is engineered from a breathable mesh, keeping your feet cool and light during runs. Additionally, a wider platform and improved heel stability enhances comfort on longer distances.

The Novablast is meant for neutral runners who enjoy daily runs, tempo sessions, and recovery runs. It’s a versatile option if you’re looking for a comfortable and bouncy shoe that can handle different paces.

 

ASICS Superblast (Discontinued): Pushing the Limits of Performance

Meet the ASICS Superblast, the Novablast’s bouncy (and briefly discontinued) big brother. Priced at a premium (around $220USD at launch), it was a step up from the Novablast, cost and technology wise.

 At 47mm, the Superblast had an even higher heel stack than the Novablast. Consisting a combination of FF Blast™ PLUS and FF Blast™ Turbo technologies, it was ASICS’ tallest and most cushioned shoe.

The result was an incredibly soft landing and a highly propulsive feel, pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible in a running shoe.

The Superblast was so tall and cushioned, World Athletics, the governing body for track and field, declared it as ‘illegal’ to be worn during race days due to its stack height. 

Despite being banned in official races, the Superblast is catered for runners with neutral arches and ideal if you’re looking to break records, or do some speed training and tempo runs.

Although officially discontinued, rumours of a Superblast 2 set for a 2024 release have been making waves across social media. One thing’s for sure – we’re excited to see what ASICS has in store for the future.

 

ASICS Gel-Nimbus: The Peak of Plush Comfort

The ASICS Gel-Nimbus series is your number one daily beater for long-distance running. It prioritises plush cushioning and shock absorption, making it ideal for daily runs and high-mileage training.

Named after the nimbus clouds, the Gel-Nimbus offers a cloud-like experience with a prominent GEL™ unit in the heel and a soft, responsive midsole. 

Additionally, the breathable upper provides comfort during your long runs, keeping your legs cool and airy while reflective details enhances visibility during low-light situations.

If you’re a neutral runner prioritising comfort and support for your daily training, the Gel-Nimbus is for you as it’s a versatile option. It’s great for beginners, casual runners or if you’re a mile muncher.

Detailed Comparison: Asics Novablast vs Superblast vs Gel-Nimbus

Features Asics Novablast Asics Superblast Asics Gel-Nimbus
Cushioning
High
Maximum
Maximum
Suitable For
Neutral runners - Comfort & responsiveness
Neutral runners - Speed training & tempo runs
Long distances, marathons, high-mileage training
Long Distance
Good
Good
Excellent
Weight
9.26 oz/262.3g on average
8.4oz/239g
10 oz/283g on average
Tech
FF Blast™ PLUS
FF Blast™ PLUS + FF Blast™ Turbo
FLYTEFOAM cushioning, GEL™ technology
Price (Original Retail Price)
$160 USD
$220 USD
$160 USD

Summary: Choosing Your Next ASICS Running Shoe

  • Asics Novablast: A balanced choice for neutral runners seeking comfort and responsiveness during training. Ideal for daily runs, tempo sessions, and recovery runs.
  • Asics Superblast: A maximalist shoe designed for neutral runners preferring propulsion and comfort. Great for speed training and tempo runs.
  • Asics Gel-Nimbus: A reliable partner for neutral runners offering combinations of cushion and response. Best for daily usage, long distances, and a good beginner shoe.

Finding your running partner? Explore our extensive selection of ASICS running shoes on Novelship and find the ideal pair for your running goals and needs. 

FAQs

What technology is used in each shoe?

  • Novablast: FF Blast™ PLUS 
  • Superblast (Discontinued): FF Blast™ PLUS and FF Blast™ Turbo
  • Gel-Nimbus: FLYTEFOAM cushioning, GEL™ technology

Which shoe is the most cushioned?

The Superblast offered the most cushioning, but it’s discontinued. Currently, the Novablast provides high cushioning, while the Gel-Nimbus offers maximum cushioning.

Are these shoes good for running on trails?

These shoes are designed for road running. For peak performance and traction on trails, consider exploring ASICS’s trail running shoe collection.

Why was the Superblast discontinued?

The Superblast’s midsole height was illegal for competitive racing according to World Athletics standards. 

What is ASICS's GEL™ technology?

GEL™ is a silicone-based cushioning system used in ASICS shoes to absorb shock and improve comfort during impact.

Can I still use the Superblast for training runs?

Yes, the Superblast is a training shoe meant for speed workouts and tempo runs, despite being banned from competition.

Is the Novablast comfortable for long runs?

Yes, the Novablast’s high cushioning makes it comfortable for long runs. However, if maximum cushioning is your top priority, the Gel-Nimbus might be a better choice.

What kind of terrain are these shoes suitable for?

These shoes are primarily designed for running on pavement or smooth surfaces. 

Can I use these shoes for running on a treadmill?

Absolutely. All three shoes are perfectly suitable for treadmill running.

Do these shoes have good breathability?

Yes, all three models generally feature breathable mesh uppers to help keep your feet cool and comfortable during your runs.

Is the Gel-Nimbus a good shoe for beginners?

Yes, the Gel-Nimbus is a great choice for beginners thanks to its comfortable cushioning and brilliant shock absorption.

Can I machine wash my ASICS shoes?

It’s generally not recommended to machine wash your ASICS shoes. This can damage the materials and adhesives. Spot clean with a mild detergent and a damp cloth for best results.

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