Friday, September 09, 2022

ASICS Novablast 3 Multi Tester Review: Do it All-Slow to Fast. 11 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark, Michael Ellenberger, Ryan Eiler and Sam Winebaum

ASICS Novablast 3 ($140)


Introduction

Sam: The original Novablast (RTR Review) emerged sort of unheralded in 2020. ASICS was not that eager to seed us samples as it was said to be for the young and fast crowd and not really for serious core runners. 


Well..things turned out differently. Its modern geometry, high stack of softer (for ASICS) Blast cushion, and lively ride were very well received and it was a big smile for our test team and many others. There were issues for some of us though. The narrow high platform was not very stable, the upper was quite voluminous. Unless one was well aligned in the path of travel , its use was limited for many, including me, to those faster days when legs were fresh and steady. 


Novablast 2 (RTR Review) tried to patch things with a more rigid heel counter with quite substantial external plastic overlays running towards mid foot and a clearly more secure upper. The forefoot stack was increased while the drop went to 8mm from 10mm, Most significantly it went up in weight to nearly 10 oz, putting it outside of the light and lively feel of the v1. Some of the magic was lost as while more stable it just didn’t flow as well. 


With v3, ASICS drops the weight dramatically, more than a full ounce through the use of its Flight Foam Blast + foam which is about 20% softer and 20 % lighter than the prior Blast foam. 


On top of that they also:

  • eliminate the external  plastic stabilizing overlays 

  • provide some stability for this high stacked neutral shoe by making the all new geometry of the platform about 5 mm wider

  • give it a new more prominent rear landing outrigger of all foam and while not changing the stack height of 8mm drop. 

  • a new monofilament mesh upper and streamlined outsole design top off what appears to be a major update. 

Let’s see how they performed!   


Pros:

Do it all, light and lively shoe that will please many runner types and be for many run types:Sam

Dramatic drop in weight of 36g / 1.27 oz US8.5 to 8.32 oz / 236g : Sam/Jacob/Renee/Michael/Ryan

Good for short to long distance runs: Renee/Michael

5mm wider, softer more energetic midsole and less rear plastic around the heel counter and more  rear midsole flaring moves things along better than 2 while keeping the ride stable: Sam/Renee

75% of the main upper is made from recycled materials. Sockiner is dyed using 33% less water and with a carbon reduction of about 45%: Sam/Jacob/Renee/Michael/Ryan

Notably deep softer yet energetic cushion all around yet also never dragged down or mushy despite no plate: Sam/Ryan


Cons:

None! (the thin tongue might annoy some runners): Renee

A more substantial gusset to the tongue and slightly snugger upper would truly perfect fit: Michael/Sam

Below average wet pavement and especially wet road paint traction, no outsole grip profiling: Sam/Ryan

Unusual (for ASICS) 13g weight difference between my right and left shoes: Sam

Heel can feel blocky and disconnected: Ryan

Big toe a bit cramped on top/outside: Ryan


Stats

Estimated Weight: men's 8.57 oz  / 243g (US9)  /  women's 7.51oz / 214g (US8)

Sample Weights: 

men’s 8.32 oz  /  236g US8.5 (R: 229g, L: 242g) (v2 9.6 oz  / 272 US M8.5), 9.9 oz / 280 g US12

women’s 7.51oz / 214g (US8)

Midsole Stack Height: 

men’s 31 mm heel / 23mm forefoot :: women’s  30 mm heel / 22mm forefoot, 8mm drop

Estimated Full Stack Height: 

men’s 35 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot :: women’s 34 heel mm / 26 mm forefoot

Available now. $140 


Tester Profiles

Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago and is a patent and intellectual property attorney. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43. He has a 2:23 marathon PR (2nd place) from the 2021 Lakefront Marathon in Wisconsin.


Ryan Eller A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he has solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K with 10K’s close to 30 minutes and in 2021 set a marathon PR of 2:27 at the Maine Marathon.


Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he is lucky, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: The upper is made of an engineered monofilament mesh. It is considerably lighter and more pliable than version 2’s denser upper.  It is very easy on the foot, comfortable and more than adequately secure. I do wish for a return of more substantial Tiger overlays at midfoot as the v2 had. The current stitched in ones are quite minimal and in combination with the now non padded tongue a touch more mid foot hold would be appreciated.

A key to the upper update is a now more minimal rear plastic overlay around the heel. The overlays are now thin bonded TPU type bands and much less noticed than the higher thick and longer ones of v2 which for me gave a hitch in forward flow and were over clutching.

The fit is true to size for me and generous.

Renee: ASICS does not disappoint with the latest version of the beloved Novablast. The Novablast 3 has all of the goodness of the previous versions, within a lighter weight. A 7.5 oz shoe in a women’s size 8 is a great weight for a daily trainer with so much stack height (V1 was 8.20oz and V2 was 8.50 oz). I loved the previous versions of the Novablast for easy miles, especially mid to long distance runs with easy to steady paces, and the current version is now even better for those runs thanks to the lighter weight. The upper for the Novablast 3 features a thin tongue, which was never an issue for comfort. I did have some slight tongue slipping, but nothing that was uncomfortable. 

As compared to the previous version, the upper might not be as soft or comfortable, but that’s only something I noticed when I tried V3 and V2 on opposite feet for review purposes. The upper fit is generous, including a roomy toe box. I tightened the laces as much as possible and had no issues with security. Runners with low volume feet might half size down if they are already between half sizes. Otherwise, for sizing, I suggest true-to-size. 

Michael: A great shoe (spoiler alert, I guess!) can be made or broken by its upper - I won’t go as far as to say the NovaBlast 3 is “made” by its upper (because ultimately, it’s mostly unspectacular) but it’s definitely not enough to hold this terrific trainer back.


The most noticeable components here are (a) the tongue and (b) the thin material across the forefoot. Neither are problematic - the tongue is imperfect, and I wish it was fully gusseted to stop sliding around (it’s quite thin, so the likelihood that it moves around is high), but it didn’t cause any issues in my test. The material of the upper is thin, too, and comfortable but not particularly close-fitting; I think a slightly snugger cut to the upper would better suit the “performance trainer” vibe of the shoe here.


But ultimately - it’s all window-dressing; the upper services the shoe adequately, and the midsole (again, spoiler!) is so good, that it won’t really matter…


Ryan: Given the sheer girth of the loudly colored foam, its surprisingly low weight was the first pleasant surprise delivered by the Novablast. The styling of this shoe conveys its personality well: sporty, without getting overly serious.


The upper’s engineered mesh, while accommodative of a wide foot, is very capable at controlling movement. I also wish that it was sculpted closer to my foot to match its sporty demeanor. Overlays aren't necessary here with a mesh of this strength. 

It seems like ASICS saved a few grams here with a fairly thin but gusseted tongue. While there’s a bit of room for improvement on fit, it doesn’t hinder the ride in any meaningful way. The heel counter is solid, fairly standard, and works without drama.



While this shoe fits true to size, my big toe felt a bit cramped both on top and from the medial side. It isn’t a big enough issue to keep these off my feet, but it was readily noticed in comparison to the rest of the fairly wide toe box.


Midsole

Renee: Upgrade! The FFBlast+ feels just as soft and bouncy as the previous Novablast, but with a lower weight. The forefoot stack feels slightly higher to me (it’s not according to the spec sheet), which is great because I used the Novablast (any of the versions) for mid to long distance runs. The midsole feels great at slow to moderate paces. I had one day of strides with the Novablast, and it worked well enough. The midsole works for everything aside from speed workouts, in which I prefer a lower stack height and firmer midsole (personal preference).  

Michael: A really terrific platform here - there’s a lot of stack, but it’s not wobbly in the way the original NovaBlast ones. Instead, ASICS has really widened the platform here, which means that while you get more cushion, it doesn’t come at the cost of less stability. 


FF Blast Plus (aka FFBlast+, for short) is a truly awesome compound here - it’s soft and springy enough to connote that this shoe is for fast running (think about putting on a Vaporfly - before you feel the plate, you feel the cushion!) but it’s also not jello - there’s enough firmness here that it the midsole can handle slow and fast paces alike. I’d argue that the platform here is one of the best on the market now for a do-it-all, slow-to-fast trainer (say, a progressive long run when you don’t need racing speed, and want comfort for the duration). 



Ryan: This shoe has come a long way since V1, most notably in the categories of stability and rebound. One of my biggest gripes with the original version had to do with how tall and unstable the heel could feel. This wider, more balanced geometry, paired with a refined FFBlast+ midsole compound, has largely remediated that issue.


The others describe FFBlast+ well, and I agree that its behavior underfoot makes it an exceptionally versatile midsole material. It’s soft enough to provide a delicate foot strike, yet energetic and firm enough to handle all but the fastest paces. There is plenty of bounce and depth of cushion, especially at the heel, yet it rebounds energetically enough to handle some harder efforts. It’s worth noting that while the stack height is reportedly 31/23mm, the fact that the midsole wraps up and around the heel several more millimeters makes it feel deeper than 31mm at the heel.


I’ll caveat this praise by saying that the tall, wide stack isn’t as nimble around corners. There are better options for a speed session (especially on the track), as the soft, unplated FFBlast+ is too soft when things really get moving. The large volume and footprint of the heel were one drawback for me, as the heel tends to dominate the overall feel of the shoe and can feel a touch blocky for midfoot strikers.


Sam: Flight Foam Blast + is a key improvement. Energetic, just soft enough and with excellent vibration reduction it is truly a modern top notch foam. It is also fantastic in the plated Magic Speed 2.  No GEL and no plates so the geometry plays a key role and it too is improved for me.  I am particularly struck by the 2 “ends” of the shoe’s midsole.  

The now 5mm wider platform and more prominent rear outrigger provides well cushioned landings at any pace while also stabilizing without resorting to all the prior plastic.

It is now close to the v2’s stability yet easier to move along. The stability is dramatically improved over v1 for me, and just through geometry, with now even slow paces well handled which was not the case in v1. The forefoot is notably well cushioned and energetic with a soft lively any pace rebound that is just darn pleasing 


Outsole

Renee: The outsole is quite similar to the previous versions, now with a wider base. (Photo above: left, version 3 outsole; right, version 2 outsole) 


For me, the wider base did not affect the ride, but it did provide a more stable landing. I hesitated to wear the Novablast 1 or 2 on my hilly country/gravel roads because of the stability. For V1, the high drop (10mm) and loose fitting upper was not ideal on uneven surfaces and V2 had too firm of a heel cup. Those were not issues with the Novablast 3, which makes me happy because I can now wear the Novablast 3 for long runs on pavement or gravel, country roads (note: I need the trail version!). 

Michael: No major issues here; I did notice that on a day with light rain (when the road is slick, but not saturated and wet), there was some slipping. But, frankly, that’s unavailable with almost any road shoe (or, just shoe!) and I had no problems besides. I expect these to last north of 400 miles (and I hope to take them that far, too!).


Sam: The outsole is flat in profile, extensive enough and helps provide nice consistent response and this even with the soft(ish) midsole and a nice stiffer/snappy but present flex point at around the second lace hole. They are a bit slappy.


As Michael notes while the dry grip is tenacious truly and excellent, on wet pavement and even more so on wet road paint I noted some slipping. ASICS Grip is an excellent compound but here the profile of the outsole is for all intents smooth with only some decorative it seems cuts  and is far smoother than v2’s and thus I think the cause of the slipping.


 

Ryan: As you can see, there is a relative lack of rubber in the forefoot. The grooves which traverse the forefoot are really only noticeable when standing in place. While this channeled design diminished the smoothness of the foot strike, it seems to add a sense of depth to the cushion in the forefoot. While the geometry of this design isn’t too dramatic, it didn’t inspire confidence on wet or loose surfaces. On dry surfaces, grip is hunky dory, and the durability of this midsole is likely to be better than most.


Ride


Renee: Bravo, ASICS! The Novablast 3 is a soft, bouncy ride. From 3 mile to 20 mile runs, the Novablast 3 delivers. Even on somewhat uneven gravel country roads, the Novablast 3 felt smooth. I think the only “ride” of the Novablast 3 that isn’t my favorite is simply walking in the shoe. The heel feels chunky, but that’s not an issue at all while running. I recommend judging the shoe after a short run rather than on the initial step in. I’d prefer a lower-stack, firmer shoe for speed days, but otherwise the Novablast 3 handles everything. There is a roll from the forefoot, but not a harsh rocker. While I occasionally like a rockered shoe, my preference is a more traditional ride for daily runs. 


Michael: One of the first runs in the NovaBlast 3 was a 20 miler along the Chicago Marathon course; it was a pretty poor run, for me, but it should inspire confidence that a solid 20 miler was my worst run in the NovaBlast. Seriously, the upside on these shoes is terrific - they genuinely do feel good at true easy paces, but they also can rip marathon pace without an issue. The platform is stable and generous - plus, there’s a spring here that almost mimics a plate, without any of the harsh downside at slower paces. The stack is so nice here that I wouldn’t hesitate to pull these out for both workouts and recovery days (can you tell I’m a fan?).


Ryan: I would have believed it if you told me that this shoe had a 10-12mm drop. The predominant feeling from the Novablast’s ride for me was the sense that I was being urged to lean forward, and to use the volume of FFBlast+ to hold my pace, if not accelerate. The low inertia of the lightened midsole heightens this feeling, and encourages a quick turnover. And this is coming from a midsole with a fairly traditional, non-rockered shape to it. I think most people will really appreciate the feeling that this ride delivers, unless you’re a fan of a shoe with a lower-drop and more subdued characteristics.

Where I have to nitpick the Novablast is in regard to the chunky heel’s effect on the shoe’s ride. There is so much soft, wide FFBlast+ that on occasion, the heel felt a bit blocky and disconnected from the forefoot. The height of the stack is very noticeable, but in V3 it’s at least wide and stable enough to not be of concern. While this midsole is likely to win over many hearts and minds for its versatility, it might be a smidge too mushy and unstructured for hard running. 


Overall, the ride is fantastic for anything from slow to tempo-like paces. There’s tons of rebound to inspire faster running, and bottomless cushion to encourage you to run longer than you planned on. FFBlast+ is certainly a keeper.



Sam: Not much to add to what the others have said about the ride. Light, energetic, pleasing and versatile the ride sure has “matured” from v1 keeping that shoe’s big smiles factor while making the Novablast more practical for more runners and run types. No longer requiring near perfect “alignment” in the path of travel to keep things stable or faster paces of v1 or the somewhat stilted compensation of v2 the Nova now handles it all with great polish and with yet more fun from the Blast + midsole foam and new geometry although as Renee notes the heel is a bit "chunky" at slow paces. Very light for substance at about 8.5 oz/ 243g in a US9, it is now much more of an all around daily trainer for me with the Magic Speed 2 the faster days and race complement in an ASICS rotation for those not needing pronation control type shoes.


Conclusions and Recommendations


Renee: The Novablast 3 will likely be an overall favorite daily trainer (or overall shoe) for many runners in 2022. For review purposes, I had 80 miles in the Novablast 3 during a two-week period, and every run was fun. For speed days, I prefer a shoe lower to the ground with a firmer midsole. Otherwise, the Novablast 3 works for every other type of run from easy 3 milers to 20 milers with marathon paces worked in. The only possible negative of the Novablast 3 is the thin tongue and upper fit, which wasn’t an issue for me necessarily running at easy to moderate paces.

Renee’s Score: 9.8/10 (-.20 upper/tongue)

😊😊😊😊😊


Michael: Novablast 3 is awesome. To be blunt, I was hesitant to pull this shoe out, because (a) the flame colorway looks a little goofy and (b) the first generation was so wobbly that it could be tiring to train in-full time. I’m glad I took the leap - the NovaBlast 3 is an obvious contender for shoe of the year. Paired with the terrific Magic Speed 2 (review to come, as I’m writing this), I think ASICS has produced two of the finest training shoes of the year - and with all of the podium finishes from the MetaSpeed line, I’m really glad to see ASICS keep up its momentum and push running shoes forward.

Michael’s Score: 9.8/10

😊😊😊😊😊


Ryan: The Novablast 3 has matured a ton since V1, and is now a shoe I’ll be reaching for at least once per week. Thanks to a much more versatile and energetic midsole, reduced weight, and a higher stack, this shoe can handle a wide spectrum of running. The upper remains very comfortable, although I think there’s a bit of room for minor improvements to the fit. Its ride encourages you to lean forward, compress the FFBlast+, and spring forward for mile after mile. It’s such a crowd-pleaser of a shoe, that I can easily see ASICS retaining the Novablast line for many years to come.

Ryan’s Score: 9.2/10 (deductions for upper’s fit, blocky heel, wet weather grip)

😊😊😊😊


Sam: Light, Fun & Energetic, All Arounder. Those are the words that come to mind. The Novablast at last checks all the boxes which prior versions got close to but didn’t quite get to for me. It is a shoe I want to reach for daily unlike the prior: the v1 unstable, the v2 duller in ride and over stabilized. Flight Foam Blast + is a great midsole foam and here it shines in delivering the energy and light weight that allowed ASICS to broaden the platform 5 mm to deliver a bit more stability without add ons while also amping up the ride feel. I think a bit more outsole coverage up front might improve faster paces response.  


The upper is close but could use a touch more support as the mesh is so light and pliable but this is a minor quibble. The outsole matches well to the platform and should prove durable but could use more patterning to improve its wet grip, a weak point and one of the few here.


Value is strong at $140 for a thoroughly modern riding, light daily trainer that can serve many tasks in a runner’s rotation.

Sam’s Score: 9.49 / 10

Ride: 9.5  Fit 9.2 Value: 9.8  Style: 9.5

😊😊😊😊


11 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


ASICS Novablast 1 (RTR Review) and 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: In comparison, both V1 and V2 were heavier shoes. V1 was a 10mm drop shoe and the upper was somewhat loose on me, making the shoes feel somewhat unstable on certain surfaces. That said, the high drop gave a fast ride from a forefoot landing. The fast forefoot bounce changed in V2 because of the 8mm drop and stiffer heel cup. V2 was more stable, but not quite as fun. The Novablast 3 is smoother and lighter than either version while being more stable because of the forefoot width. While I understand some runners liked the 10mm drop of the Novablast 1, the Novablast 3 is overall the best of the three especially for a runner who wants a lightweight, long distance shoe. V3 is lighter, more refined, more stable, and still fun and bouncy. 

Michael: I remember having issues with the upper on v1, and so even if not the best portion of the v3, we’ll call it an improvement - and every other facet of the NovaBlast 3 is a clear improvement over an already awesome shoe. Go with the new!

Sam: v1 fun, fast and unstable, v2 dull are rigid at the rear, v3 refines and perfects the concept delivering enough stability for neutral runners and at least as fun a ride as v1 with more energy and more pace and runner type versatility.


ASICS Noosa Tri 14 (RTR Review)

Michael: The Noosa Tri was a pleasant surprise for me - way, way lighter than I expected, and a propulsive, engaging, and fun ride that was genuinely simple in its composition. There was nothing there but foam and (and a really, really colorful) upper! The NovaBlast feels more like a modern, tech-ridden shoe, and I think that’s to its benefit - while the Noosa could feel bottomed-out and at slow paces, I think the NovaBlast 3 will appeal to runners who never touch speedwork.


ASICS GEL-Cumulus 24 (RTR Review)

Sam: A more traditional geometry daily trainer also with Flight Foam Blast + in a layer,  I found the latest Cumulus less versatile, softer, more ponderous than prior. It is a full ounce heavier than the Nova. Clear preference for Novablast 3 as a more modern and energetic substitute here.


Magic Speed 2 ( Review soon. For ASICS fans I think a good complimentary shoe)

Ryan: The Magic Speed 2 is a more serious, speed-oriented version of the Novablast, and comes in about 10g lighter. As both shoes rely upon FFBlast+ to deliver a soft feel with an energetic rebound, their differences come primarily from their underfoot geometry and from the stiffness that the MS2’s plate adds. The MS2’s stiff, rockered toe provides more explosive toe off, but isn’t as friendly at slower paces. I preferred the MS2’s more traditional outsole design for the smooth and sure-footed transition that it delivers. Despite having a reportedly lower stack, the Novablast feels more deeply cushioned, as its midsole wraps up and around the sides of the heel.


The Magic Speed slots in above the Novablast on the pace scale, covering the fastest of efforts where the Novablast starts to feel a bit too soft and unstructured. For easy/moderate runs, the Novablast will be preferable for most folks. While the Magic Speed 2 is relatively versatile for a plated shoe, it’s still likely to feel too stiff and harsh for longer, easier running. Both fit true to size, and have plenty (some might say too much) room in the forefoot. Having both of these shoes in the arsenal would cover almost any time of road running, from casual recovery to race pace – and at a relatively affordable price.  


Michael: The Magic Speed 2 is perhaps a better compliment, rather than comparator, to the NovaBlast 3, but I’ll give it a go - the NovaBlast is softer and bouncier than the Magic Speed, but with a more expansive upper and without that snappiness than ASICS has really done well in the Magic Speed line. For racing, I’d obviously take the Magic Speed. If you’re looking for a shoe to break out for workouts (i.e. something for everything besides easy days), it is a close call, but the Magic Speed is going to feel better at tempo and marathon paces than the Magic Speed. For an all-arounder, though, it’s hard to beat the NovaBlast. 


Hoka Mach Supersonic (RTR Review)

Ryan: Both the Supersonic and the Novablast are highly capable daily trainers, built for reliably tackling gobs of mileage. They come in at nearly the same weight, and deliver a pleasant feeling of low inertia on foot. Another similarity is an extended midsole tail (‘swallowtail’ on the Hoka) which helps to stabilize heel impact. 


Where they differ most notably is in regard to their midsole behavior. The ASICS feels much softer, higher stacked, and energetic than the Hoka. While the signature feature of the Novablast continues to be its soft, high rebounding midsole – which is greatly improved by FFBlast+ this iteration – the Hoka takes a more mellow and straightforward approach in delivering a delightful ride. One small complaint of the Novablast was that it felt a bit ‘slappy’ on the pavement, while the Hoka’s rubberized foam outsole was anything but. Whereas the Novablast urges your center of gravity forward, its tall midsole bouncing you along, the Supersonic offers a silkier, more casual style of a ride. I’m fairly confident that the thick rubber of the Novablast will far outlast the rubberized EVA outsole of the Supersonic.


On most days, I’d pick the ASICS more often than I’d reach for the Hoka. It features superior cushioning, can tackle a wider array of paces, and although its upper could be slightly improved, it’s a more lively experience overall. However, if you’re a traditionalist looking for a buttery smooth transition and a conventional feeling underfoot, the Hoka might be the way to go.


Hoka Rincon 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: Similar intentions here: light, very well cushioned, high stack daily trainers. A simple design and less expensive shoe at $115, the Rincon is a bit firmer and more responsive  as well as lighter by a full ounce. Its foam is denser and not as energetic and may not last as long. Both true to size for me with the Nova having a more accommodating and comfortable fit.


Saucony Ride 15 (RTR Review)

Ryan: While both of these shoes can be used for tempo-type runs, the ASICS is the far more versatile shoe. The midsole of the Saucony is comparatively harsh, which means a bit more control and response, but the Ride lacks the pleasant, energetic rebound of the Novablast’s FFBlast+ foam. For short, fast workouts where stability and a feeling of being lower to the ground are preferable, I’d choose the Saucony. But, for any other type of running, the ASICS wins on quality of ride hands down. Other commonalities include their weights, with both clocking in at exactly 249g, as well as their uppers, which are both made of comfortable and capable mesh. I prefer the upper of the Ride by a slight margin, only because it accommodated my big toe better. There is plenty of width in the toe box in each of these shoes. Both outsoles also have a lower than average amount of rubber underfoot, making them a touch untrustworthy in wet conditions. Otherwise, the outsoles provide solid, comparable levels of grip. The fit was true to size for me in M9.5.


Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Endorphin Speed 3 adds a flexible nylon plate to a similar feeling and softness foam. It leans a bit more towards up tempo uses and for sure is snappier but less so than version 1 and 2 were.  Its latest version softens, is more flexible and gets more stability than before. The Nova still leans slightly more daily trainer and less uptempo than the Speed but not by much and can range to slower runs better.  


ASICS Glideride 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: ASICS more rigid rocker “mini plated” big trainer, the Glideride is a heavier duty and yet more cushioned if somewhat firmer shoe. It is somewhat more stable and with its layer of FF Blast + has plenty of energy. The Novablast 3 may be not quite enough shoe and you want a modern ASICS ride the Glideride 3 is the choice for me. 


Saucony Tempus (RTR Review)

Michael: This was the comparison I jumped too first - which was not what I expected when unboxing the NB3. But truly, both shoes are fun, fast, damn enjoyable trainers with stable platforms that appeal to all sorts of runners. I’m going to take a split decision here - the Saucony is better if you prefer a more traditional stability system and a firmer midsole ride. The ASICS is probably more fun, and is a softer, livelier ride. Both are awesome so…. Break open that piggy bank?!

Renee: I agree with Micheal here. Both shoes are relatively light weight for their stack height/cushion and both are fun. The Novablast 3 has a softer midsole and is generally more exciting to run with as compared to the firmer Tempus. Runners who need stability and like firmer midsoles won’t be disappointed with the Tempus. Otherwise, my choice is Novablast. Sizing is comparable.  

Sam: If you think you lean stability and also want a more secure upper the Tempus is a top choice for a light non traditional more “guidance” oriented shoe for those days when the legs are tired and you need to stay well aligned. Agree with Michael they would be a great pairing of daily trainers, and this for neutral runners.

The Novablast 3 is available now including at our partners below

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors

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8 comments:

70's Teen said...

RW lists the full stack of the Novablast 2 at 42/34 - I doubt the NB 3 reduced down to 35/27. You might want to re-check that.

Ryan (RTR) said...

@70s Teen,
I think RW may have used a different measurement or the wrong info. ASICS lists 30/22 as the official drop for V2: https://www.asics.com/us/en-us/novablast-2/p/ANA_1011B192-002.html

Anonymous said...

Hello thanks for the very nice review!
Could you please tell us how it compares to the
saucony triumph 20 ,
The craft pro endur distance,
And the salomon glide max.
Thank you very much!

Roy Hampton said...

Great review team, thank you. Been looking for this especially the Magic Speed 2 comparison.

70's Teen said...

ASICS typically doesn't include outsole or insole in its measurements.

seung.kim said...

I'd probably really love Novablast V3 since I'm still using V1 almost daily after 870+ miles. I can see why some people might say that NB 1 needed to be improved in its stability, though it's never bothered me. So a shoe that improves on stability and bounce--that sounds like a winner. The only issue is price. I know that these days $140 doesn't seem all that expensive, but I still have a hard time spending more than $100 for running shoes. Maybe I can pick up a pair of these by the time Novablast 4 or 5 is out.

Anonymous said...

Hi !

Thanks for the review (and great work in general !)

Do you think this could be a good option for a first marathon (4h goal more or less).

Thanks in advance and cheers from france

Francis

Lidodido said...

Question to Sam: you've tried both this one, and the Craft Pro Endur Distance. Which one do you prefer for a fun, steady to tempo shoe which can do it all?

Which one feels more propulsive, and which one is more stable? Are they even in the same category or is the craft more of a long/easy run shoe?