Thursday, September 10, 2020

ASICS Dynablast Review

Article by Bryan Lim

ASICS Dynablast ($110 US)


Introduction

Bryan: Asics have really turned around with their introduction of the Metaracer, Glideride, Evoride, Nimbus Lite and Novablast. But wait, there’s more! The Dynablast is the third shoe in the “Blast” range, and also featuring the ever popular FlyteFoam Blast midsole that the Novablast debuted with. I’ve been very fortunate to have been provided a pair by Asics Australia on our launch date, which for once is ahead of the rest of the world! While the Novablast is a ‘maximal’ high-cushion trainer, Asics has marketed the Dynablast as a lighter trainer with ‘extra’ cushioning. In other words, this is potentially a worthy lightweight alternative for fans of the FlyteFoam Blast midsole.


Pros:

Bryan: Energetic, cushioned and lightweight 


Cons:

Bryan: Voluminous toe box, which may be a plus for some, huge drop, breathability concerns with the knit upper

Stats

Weight: men's 237g, 8.4 oz (US9) 

  Official:    249g, 8.8 oz  (US M10 Asics Australia)

  Samples: 237g, / 8.4 oz (US9)  / 232g (US8.5)

Stack Height: men’s 28mm heel / 16mm forefoot, women’s 27mm heel / 15mm forefoot

Offset: 12mm

Available  $  $110 USD


Tester Profile

Bryan is a road and trail runner living in Melbourne, Australia. He is a consistent sub 1:25 half marathoner and is presently chasing a sub 3-hour marathon. He is 176cm tall and weighs about 63kg / 140lbs. 


First Impressions and Fit


Bryan:

True to its sibling, the Novablast, Asics has done a superb job in the styling with its sculpted midsole and patterned upper that looks and feels similar to the adidas Clima upper. The lime green and black/grey colourway is certainly very ‘current’, and one of many new shoes that sport it, including the Nike Vaporfly, Dragonfly, Skechers Razor+, Go Run 7 and NB Fuelcell RC among others. 


RTR Editor Sam and US reviewers (multi tester review soon)  received this gray with blue midsole heel color. They will be joining the review soon


As with the first time I held the Metaracers in my hands, the Dynablast surprised me as to how far Asics has come in terms of innovation. It felt modern, light and screamed for me to put them on!  As mentioned, the toe-box is extra roomy and I found it to be a little long but not to the extent that I would need the size down. Overall I felt that I was in between half sizes so it may be worthwhile sizing down if you prefer a more snug fit.


Upper

Bryan:

I may be incorrect here but it appears that this is the first of the current Asics lineup to feature a knitted upper. Unlike Nike’s flyknit or Adidas’ Primeknit, the knitted upper in the Dynablast especially in the forefoot is not stretchy and snug, but roomy and rather thick. Whilst not necessarily a bad thing, I would be concerned about utilising these shoes on warmer days. 


Despite the voluminous toe box, the upper is partially saved by the tongue and heel counter. The tongue like the Novablast’s is more modern looking and less padded than the ones found on the Evo and Glideride. Yet it is traditional as it is non-gusseted. 

It also seems like Asics made the tongue in the Dynablast less obstructive than that in the Novablast. 


The heel counter provides ample cushion and a decent amount of lockdown with two triangle plastic plates adding on to the reinforced construction. This is a similar build to the Reebok Floatride Panthea and many Adidas models. 


Midsole

This is the likely winner of the shoe. Asics have done well in developing the FlyteFoam Blast aka. FFBlast midsole, not to be confused with the FlyteFoam midsole found in the Metaracer, Evoride and Glideride. The FFBlast is marketed as a high-bounce midsole. My observation is that the firmer FlyteFoam midsole found in the aforementioned shoes are aptly accompanied by a rocker that the Novablast and Dynablast do not sport. 

Compared to the Novablast with its 32mm heel / 22 forefoot stack the Dynablast at 28 mm / 16mm is clearly a lower stack shoe with 2mm more drop so the lower stack and removing the outrigger heel must  clearly help reduce the weight from about 271 g / 9.55 g for the Nova to 237g, 8.4 oz for the Dyna.

Whilst energetic and fun, the midsole does provide a relatively bouncy ride that isn’t soft as New Balance’s Fuelcell midsole nor as responsive as Saucony’s PWRUN . In terms of comparisons, the FFBlast midsole is in my opinion somewhat similar to Nike’s React foam found in the Pegasus. Regardless, it is a unique offering that will be pleasing for many runners for its intended purpose which Asics has marketed as a distance and everyday trainer.


Outsole

The darkhorse feature of the shoe. It is a very nondescript and almost generic looking outsole that is functional and somehow lightweight also. As an everyday trainer, the outsole rubber has been extensively placed for durability. Whilst Asics claim that the cutout of the outsole in the centre rear provides a trampoline effect, I think it serves a functional purpose of weight-saving. On my runs the outsole provided me with ample traction, even in slightly damp conditions on grass.



Ride

Bryan:

Barring the slight issue with sizing, the ride was pleasing and energetic. They were comfortable and generally nimble for an everyday shoe, also given its general bulk. The bulk of the shoe doesn't hinder the ride in any way as it is overall a well balanced shoe which allows for smooth transitioning. The bulk is also caused by a general wide base which provides good stability. 


Despite its lightweightness, it isn’t a pair I would take on speed sessions or uptempo runs given the construction of the upper. In saying that, the FFBlast however is capable of doing quicker runs. Without a rocker, this shoe will appeal to those who are looking for a traditional, versatile and cushioned trainer. In saying that, many will be concerned about the 12mm drop. As mentioned in my video review, it feels more akin to 10mm. These days, even 10mm may serve to be too large a drop. While it runs fine, I personally prefer a 8mm drop in my everyday running shoes.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Bryan

The Dynablast was released amid the hype of the stacked arrival of many super shoes, which seems to have taken the spotlight from the staple that is everyday trainers. Bar the slight fit issue for me, I would have loved rather than liked the Dynablast. It is a great looking shoe that offers a lot of value. I can’t extrapolate as to how it would fit had I sized down but the fit is overall the only qualm of the shoe for me. The second slight issue is the breathability of the knit upper. Putting those aside, the ride of the FFBlast is truly a step in the right direction by Asics. It is a great looking shoe that looks and certainly feels fast given its low weight in a moderately large package. Having never been a fan of Asics, their products have impressed me recently, and the Dynablast is yet another worthy showing. Note that my below score is largely downed by the fit, which I wish I could provide a conclusive rating had I been able to try half a size down.

Bryan’s Score 7.7/10

Ride: 8 (40%) Fit: 6 (30%) Value (including durability): 9 (15%) Versatility 9 (10%) Style: 9 (5%) 

Watch Bryan's Initial Video Review on the RTR YT Channel


Comparisons


Asics Dynablast vs Adidas SL20 (RTR Review English)

Bryan: Both are everyday trainers that offer great value, but in very different packages. The SL20 is lower-stacked and firmer and is able to serve as a budget racing flat. Often available at bargain prices, the SL20 may be the more attractive option but I find it too harsh to use it on a regular basis. The SL20 wins on speed and lockdown but the Dynablast is generally a better everyday trainer.


Asics Dynablast vs Reebok Floatride Panthea (RTR Review English)

Bryan: The Panthea is my favourite all time daily trainer and features an Pebax and EVA midsole that works a treat at all paces. While there is no official stack height, the Panthea offers me ample protection. It's 8mm drop also suits me better than the Dynablast’s 12mm drop. The Pebax in the Panthea edges the FFBlast in the Dynablast in providing for an exciting ride. It also edges the Dynablast on weight, albeit by only 10g (0.35 oz). The Panthea is overall a better shoe in my opinion in terms of versatility and ride. It is also a touch lighter.


Asics Dynablast vs Nike Pegasus 37 (RTR Review English)

Bryan: The Pegasus 37 is arguably the best looking everyday trainer out there at the moment. However it is a shoe that I have struggled with. Whilst it seems to work for many, the ride and or fit of the Pegasus provides for a rather clunky experience. It weighs in at 30g heavier than the Dynablast. The Dynablast wins here.


Asics Dynablast vs Saucony Endorphin Speed (RTR Review English)

Bryan: Probably not a fair competition here where the Endorphin Speed is a Nylon plated trainer that is aimed at speed sessions. However, if I needed one shoe that does all, the Endorphin Speed would be my go to as it is capable to train daily in and responsive enough to race in. That said, the Dynablast in having ample outsole will most certainly outlast the Endorphin Speed.


Asics Dynablast vs Adidas Boston 8 (RTR Review English)

Bryan: Adidas’ well-loved Boston is a versatile daily to uptempo trainer. Unfortunately, Boost is considered to be heavy these days, but the combination of Boost and EVA / Lightstrike (depending on the Boston 8 variant) works a treat in providing for a responsive and versatile ride. Fans of high-stacked and cushioned shoes will likely favour the Dynablast but I would pick the Boston 8 over the Dynablast. 


Asics Dynablast vs New Balance Fuelcell TC (RTR Review English)

Bryan: The TC is in my opinion just shy of the Endorphin Speed in terms of versatility, weighed down… by its hefty weight. It does provide for a softer ride than the Dynablast and Endorphin Speed, although not as bouncy. The ride whilst a little bottom heavy is more energetic and exciting than the Dynablast with a full length plate sitting within the Fuelcell midsole. It also retails for a full AUD$100 more. The Dynablast offers better value but the TC provides for an unmatched experience when placed side by side. 

Releasing Sept 2020. Available at ASICS now here and other retailers below

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no charge for testing. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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4 comments:

phl0w said...

The Roadblast was ASICS second shoe in the Blast lineup.

Anonymous said...

It would be good too add a comparison with the Asics Novablast too since that's what people refer too. Is it a similar ride, as bouncy, versatile, stable etc, thanks :)

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Terrence said...

All the other Dynablast reviews I've seen mentioned how FF Blast in this shoe felt different vs the Novablast - firmer/more responsive, but not really getting that bouncy feeling. I think more comparisons to Novablast are worth mentioning, since that's the primary audience for this shoe wondering how it works in a sleeker package.