Asics NovaBlast 2 Review: Energy return at a bargain

The Asics NovaBlast 2 is a pair of running shoes designed to offer you an energetic rebound with good support for your daily runs.

Running shoes in this particular category, such as the adidas’ Ultraboost and Nike’s ZoomX series, tend to have less support and cushion in favour of better energy rebound. So, it will be interesting to see how the NovaBlast 2 fares.

SPECS
PRICE: S$199, available in Asics Online Store
MATERIAL: Asics’ Flytefoam Blast midsole and AHAR Plus outside with double-engineered jacquard mesh upper
HEEL DROP: 8mm
WEIGHT: 275g (Men’s US 9, version reviewed)

DESIGN
The review unit is part of Asics’ Celebration of Sport collection that features bright and bold confetti styling.

This particular NovaBlast 2 comes in a colour combination of glacier grey and thunder blue with orange stripes on the midsole and confetti details on the outsole. It looks a tad too bright and cheerful to my liking. But I guess some might prefer it this way.

The Asics NovaBlast 2 running shoes. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The NovaBlast 2 looks a bit unconventional for its genre that tends to be much thinner cushion. The cushioning looks really thick but this Flytefoam Blast midsole foam is said to have highly responsive cushioning and bounce for an efficient ride.

In addition, the shoes utilise an AHAR Plus outside that is supposedly to be very durable and 50 per cent more durable than standard Asics high-abrasion rubber. The outsole also features a trampoline-inspired design for a more responsive bounce.

This trampoline-inspired design on the outsole is said to offer more bounce during runs. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

A double-engineered jacquard mesh upper wraps around the shoes for comfort and support while keeping your feet cool.

PERFORMANCE
When I first wore the NovaBlast 2, I felt a little depression on my right toe. It is probably a little manufacturing defect in its upper for this review unit, as it pressed down on my right toe when I was running.

FOR
+ Great cushioning
+ Stable ride
+ Good energy return
+ Looks durable

AGAINST
– Grip can better
– A tad heavy

Wearing socks solved this irritant. But it is something to take note of when trying out the shoes in stores. Otherwise, the shoes are really comfortable to wear.

With a heel drop of 8mm, the NovaBlast 2 is a pair of neutral running shoes for those with a normal foot arc. Thus, it offers a pretty stable ride.

The NovaBlast 2 offers good energy return with superb feet support. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

I also like how my feet are nicely locked in place during runs, thanks to its heel stabiliser. My injury-prone ankles are very well supported as a result too. The thick cushioning also helps to soften the impact on my ageing knees during runs.

The energy return is good, but not as stellar as the likes of Ultraboost or ZoomX. But the NovaBlast 2 does have better cushioning and support than its direct competitors.

The thick cushioning helps to soften the impact on my ankles and knees. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

On the downside, the outsole’s can be better. It feels a tad slippery when I was jogging on a park connector in a drizzling night. So, you ought to be careful especially during this rainy month in Singapore.

In addition, the shoes do feel a tad heavy. This is especially so for running shoes designed with good energy return. Its direct competitors, as mentioned above, are much lighter.

But on the bright side, it does offer good training for your races (when it happens in the future) whereby you probably will be wearing a lighter pair of race shoes.

VERDICT
The Asics NovaBlast 2 is a pair of neutral running shoes with great cushioning and good energy return. It is suitable for your everyday runs and training. Just be careful of wet surfaces when running in it.

RATINGS
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8/10

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