Thursday, November 03, 2022

ASICS Superblast Multi Tester Review: Super Light, Super Max Cushion

Article by Peter Stuart, Renee Krusemark, Sally Reiley, Jacob Brady, Michael Ellenberger, and Sam Winebaum


ASICS Superblast ($220)


Introduction


Peter: The ASICS SUPERBLAST™ is a brand new shoe. It is a highly cushioned and lightweight daily trainer with a high stack featuring a combination of two different FF Blast™ midsole foam technologies:  FF Blast™Plus and FF Blast™ Turbo, a supercritical foam. The same Turbo cushioning is also used in the Metaspeed™ Sky and Edge  racing shoes.


 It is topped off by an “asymmetrical” mesh upper. Confused? Don’t be, we’re here to help you out!  The simple version is that this is a big block of two different foams with a mesh upper. 

Sam: The Superblast sure makes a statement that ASICS is a contender in the emerging max max cushion game with a strikingly light 8.43 oz / 239g (US9)  shoe with a big 45.5mm heel ,so beyond the "elite" legal near or at 40mm of race super shoes such as ASICS Metaspeed + racers. 

It is a clear challenge to others in its category such as the adidas Prime X Strung (RTR Review) which sits on a 50mm high heel on a narrower platform and with Energy Rods for propulsion and to the New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer (RTR Review) with its plate,at about the same heel height but weighing about 2 oz / 56g more. I wondered how ASICS excellent and responsive FF Turbo foam would perform in a plateless shoe with a rigid rocker and big 37.5mm forefoot and how stable they would be. Let's just say I was mostly delighted!

Pros: 

Extremely lightweight for the massive amount of cushioning. Peter/Renee/Sally/Jacob/Michael/Sam

Very comfortable upper Peter/Renee/Jacob/Michael/Sam

Not too mushy, not too firm  Peter/Renee/Sally/Jacob/Michael/Sam

Smooth, cushioned, stable ride Jacob/Sam

Quick-moving given the high stack—not ponderous Jacob/Sam


Cons:

Ride is kind of blah  Peter/Sally/Michael

Not a ton of energy return  Peter/Renee/Sally/Michael

Costly for a daily trainer  Peter/Renee/Sally/Jacob/Michael/Sam

Heel hold is a bit loose Jacob/Michael

Upper needs to be over-tightened to perfect fit: Michael/Sam

Needs more decisive front roll with such a big front stack of 37.5 mm Sam


Stats

Official Weight: men's oz 8.43 oz / 239g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s 9.18 oz / 260g US 11

                  women’s (unisex sizing): 7.5 oz / 213 g, 7.55 oz / 214g (US W8 or M 6.5)

Stack Height: 45.5 mm heel / 37.5 mm forefoot, 8mm drop 


$220. Available now including Running Warehouse HERE.  


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Peter: The upper is composed of 66% recycled content. The shoe is surprisingly light for the amount of foam. The rear sections of foam come up pretty high on the sides of the heel with the foot sitting down in the foam. This makes  the shoe look even taller than it feels but recall the heel is 45.5 mm, so 5.5 mm more than the World Atheltics “legal” standard for elite racing.

The upper holds the foot well and there’s a nice pull-tab on the back. The upper fits well and is true-to-size. 

The tongue is gusseted and is perforated, and is relatively thin with a little bit of padding. Overall a nice looking and fitting package from ASICS. 


Renee: I’m still enjoying the Novablast 3 (RTR Review ) for easy and long miles, so the Superblast is a welcomed surprise. The two shoes are about the same weight, with the Superblast offering even more cushion underfoot for long runs. My first impressions were great. And then I noticed the price. $220. Worth it? Read on my running shoe geek friends. RTR is here to help you decide!  


The upper is comfortable, and I find it a touch softer and more flexible than the upper of the Novablast 3. Like the Novablast 3, the tongue is thin, but the material is soft and I had no issues with the tongue bunching. My first run was 14 miles followed by another run of 9 miles. I ran a few shorter (6-10 milers)  asn well. The heel hold is good for a high stack shoe and the forefoot is roomy. Sizing is true-to-size.  


Sally: I love a good secret… so I was excited  to receive the latest hush hush ASICS entry that had only been rumored about. It arrived with a huge stack of FF Turbo Foam in Halloween appropriate colors. ASICS has been killing it lately with their innovative and cutting edge technology coupled with great looks, so I was looking forward to my first run.

The fit is generous, so I put on thick socks right off the bat. The tongue is thin but padded, and the mesh is soft enough. The upper features an asymmetrical design of dark with white logo on the medial side and light with dark logo on the lateral side - very cool looking.

I struggled a bit with the heel hold, even when using the extra lace loops, but attribute that to the overall generous fit of the upper on my narrow feet. 

All in all a very comfortable, easy fit! Is this going to be a shoe that runners are willing to spend the extra money on for more foam, more stack? Let’s see.

Jacob: I have liked every shoe I’ve run from ASICS in the “Blast” series: the Dynablast and the Novablast 1, 2, and 3 have all been fun, comfortable, bouncy, versatile trainers. The Novablast 3 is on track for trainer of the year for me. Thus I was excited by the more dramatic Superblast which takes the series to the next level with its massive stack height and use of the lightweight and energetic FlyteFoam Turbo superfoam. 


Out of the box, the styling is excellent. I like the monotone upper with the dark medial side and light lateral side. 


The light orange and mint midsole colors are unique and noticeable but not flashy. The weight is very low for a 45mm heel stack shoe at just 289 g / 10.2 oz in my US Men’s 12, it is in the lightweight trainer category even without considering the high stack. The low-density FlyteFoam Turbo being the  key contributor. 


The upper is fairly minimal for a trainer with vibes of the Metaspeed line with its thin single-layer, relatively unstructured mesh. The upper is composed of 66% recycled materials—decent, but I’m looking forward to near 100% becoming the norm. The tongue is is thin but ample and the heel counter medium height and semi-rigid. On foot it is very comfortable. 


For me the sizing is perfect. On my first run however, I had to re-lace and tie it much tighter as my heel was moving around. Even with a tighter lace there is still a bit of heel movement but not problematic. Underfoot, it has a sense of deep cushion, especially in the forefoot, but is not overly soft.


Michael: I’ll echo what others have said - the Superblast looks and feels tremendous on-foot. The upper is breathable and virtually seamless, and even thought my first run in these was a hard 15 miles, averaging around 5:25, I had not a hot spot nor blister to report. Across treadmill runs, easy turf loops, and quick intervals, I found the upper nothing short of perfect,on the run.


On sizing and fit - I found my usual 8.5 to be the right size, but I did have to tug at the laces a little more than I’d expect to get a complete fit - the upper is a superbly comfortable material, but there’s just a little too much volume for my foot. Still, once laced, I had no issues here whatsoever.


Sam: ASICS clearly wants us to visually focus on the big stack height. The orange layer is FF Turbo while the slightly softer lower layer is FF Blast +. The midsole side walls rise to support the foot while the heel sits way down in the foam with heel seemingly but not actually low and very secure and stable.

The upper is a soft, very pliable and thin engineered mesh. As Michael says the upper is "superbly comfortable". The toe box is somehow secure, broad and roomy tribute to the nature of the mesh. The midfoot could use some more structure. Yes, we have a gusset tongue but not much else as the "Tiger" overlays are most decorative and the lightly padded tongue and laces thin. Not a huge problem but some underlays or stouter more reinforced mesh might help here.


The fit is true to size and I think broader feet than mine should do very well here as the pliable mesh has some give with the un structured toe box particularly fine and well held. I do think a mesh more like the Metaspeeds with denser secondary fibers for support in the mix would improve the hold.


Midsole

FF Blast Turbo top layer

FF Blast + bottom layer

Renee: Cushion for hours and hours. The midsole feels like a more cushioned Novablast 3. The stack is higher, but the drop seems lower than its actual 8mm, which I like under the forefoot. 


The shoe is extremely light weight for its stack, but it doesn’t necessarily run fast. While ASICS labels the shoe as a potential “tempo” shoe, it’s more of a long run/easy day shoe for me. With the light weight, I think many runners can use the shoe for faster paces. As someone who prefers a lower stack shoe for faster runs, the Superblast midsole works best for me at easy to moderate paces only (which is basically what I use the Novablast for . . . at a much lower cost). ASICS states the FF BLAST PLUS Cushioning creates an “energized rebound at toe-off.” The ride and feel is fun, but not necessarily energized or fast for me, mostly because of the overall stack height. 


Peter: While there is a ton of foam here, the Superblast is not at all mushy. In fact, it is firmer than you might think when you’re looking at that huge block of foam(s). I think it actually  has a pretty decent level of cushioning. I might prefer it to be just slightly softer as I think this shoe would be better as a recovery/long run shoe than as a tempo shoe. I think these 2 layers of foam  Blast + above the outsole and firmer and thinner and Turbo (underfoot) work well together to create a good level of cushioning and a stable ride. 


Sally: There is ALOT of midsole here - 45mm - with the thick thick layer of orange FF Turbo Foam (the same foam used in the Metaspeed racing models that I love so much) on top of the thin green layer of FF Blast + foam. 

I was expecting either a Nike Invincible or a New Balance SC Trainer or an Adidas Prime X… it is none of the above. The top foam is lightweight and squishy, but not as bouncy as I would have thought, and actually firmer than I expected. This is unique in that it is a very high stack “non-conforming” (to the WA rules, aka illegal for elite racing) shoe that does not have a plate. But it is far from bottomless. This midsole makes for a well cushioned stable feel, but by no means is it a tempo runner.

Jacob: The Superblast midsole is a massive stack of two foam types. The majority is the upper layer: a firmer, lighter, more intensely energetic foam called FlyteFoam Turbo (as used in ASICS Metaspeed plated racers). It wraps around the sides of the foot leading to the appearance of an even higher stack height. 

The lower layer is FlyteFoam Blast + which is the entire midsole of the Novablast 3. FF Blast + is softer and bouncier. High stack, light and bouncy foam shoes are common these days, even for trainers (e.g. Nike Tempo NEXT%, NB Supercomp Trainer, Adidas Prime X)  but usually they have an embedded plate to direct the foam’s energy. The Superblast is unique in being unplated. The midsole is surprisingly firm for a high stack with no plate but feels softer while running especially at faster paces. The forefoot cushion particularly feels very deep. The foam is quick to rebound though is not as overtly bouncy as I expected.

Michael: There’s a really nice blend to the “cantaloupe” midsole here. While ASICS nomenclature can be confusing (and they’re certainly not alone in that), we’re basically coupling FlyteFoam Blast+ above the outsole (“lower layer”), with firmer (and, in my experience, better) and Turbo as the top, orange (in my pair) layer. It’s really sublime in how well this evens out to a comfortable ride - as I’ll describe below, I don’t think this is quite the SC Trainer killer some may have suspected, but darn if it isn’t a smooth and even ride. If you’re going out for an easy long run - and especially if you’re an ultra runner or someone who is logging high miles - it’s really hard to imagine a more perfect ride than this. Your legs are basically guaranteed to feel fresh (but not without caveats - keep reading!).

Sam: We have a superb midsole here. Incredibly light, very responsive and more than adequately cushioned And how could it not be with such a huge stack height! 


The FF Turbo foam as in ASICS top end Metaspeed really shines here "unplated" but in a rigid rocker type profile. I find the Metaspeed midsoles overly rigid and borderline harsh I think due to their carbon plate geometries. The Magic Speed 2 is better in the sense that its plate doesn't over prescribe and is flexible.

The foam combination and geometry deliver a stable, consistent, and leg friendly feel which is quite a contrast to the wildly fun and not very stable all Zoom X no plate Nike Invincible Run for example (RTR Review). Yes, the foam is firmer than Zoom X or FuelCell but that is exactly what is called for here making the Superblast a practical super light super max cushion pretty much any run but speed ASICS option.

Outsole

Renee: Nothing exciting here, which is good. The outsole is very much like the Novablast 3. The shoe does not look like it would be stable, but it is. I ran on crushed rock (flat) and gravel hills and found the outsole/platform stable enough for me. The outsole does not have much for traction, but enough for what a road shoe needs. Small rock/pebbles will wedge in the small outsole grooves. 


Peter: There’s enough hardened rubber covering most of the perimeter of the shoe with a “trampoline pod outsole” right at the center of the forefoot. Unfortunately, the trampoline doesn’t really live up to the name. The outsole rubber is fine and feels stable, but there was some noticeable slip on wet roads. I think the outsole will hold up well and that the exposed midsole sections are mostly not going to have ground contact or wear down. I’d like for the outsole to have some more grip. 


Sally: I always say a good outsole is one I do not notice too much: is not too loud, has good traction on wet surfaces and good durability, and does not catch gravel. This outsole checks all the boxes, though I did not have the opportunity to put it to the test on really wet roads. As Peter noted, the “trampoline pod” does not live up to its name, as I did not feel any trampoline effect whatsoever.


Jacob: The Superblast outsole has a rubber coverage around the perimeter of the shoe and at the center of the forefoot. The rubber is textured and fairly thick but traction is unfortunately only average. The Superblast runs quietly and the outsole is not in the way on the run—however with the high stack of foam it's hard for me to tell the effect it has on the ride. Though it’s not poor enough to be an issue, I wish that the traction was better.


Michael: I logged about 40 miles in these in time for the review, and have noticed no wear or other issues. I’ll give that the disclaimer that I ran on (a) roads; (b) treadmill deck or (c) turf, and in basically no wet conditions (though, on some morning runs with dewy leaves, I experienced no issues). Plus, no rocks collected (yet!). Below shows any wear after these first 4 or 5 runs.


Ride


Renee: The ride is smooth, soft, bouncy, and fun. For me, the Superblast is a pumped up version of the Novablast. I use the Novablast for long runs and sometimes also 

for short, easy runs. With its higher stack and similar weight, the Superblast sort of replaces the Novablast for me. That said, I don’t consider the Superblast a daily trainer or a shoe I would choose for tempo runs. 


While lightweight, in my opinion the ride isn’t fast.. The landing is fun and comfortable, and given the light weight, a person could race a marathon in these shoes if they don’t like plated shoes and need the stack height. For a road or crushed rock ultra, the Superblast would make a good race shoe as well. Yet at  $220, the uses of the Superblast seem limited. For a long run shoe, I can’t match the comfort and weight of the Superblast with any other shoe. However, is $220 a good price for a shoe I use only for recovery and long day runs? As someone who prefers a daily shoe with a lower stack, $220 is a tough sell.


Peter: I’ve put a half dozen runs into the Superblast and it’s been a vexing shoe for me to get my head around. I really want to love it, but I don’t. 


I think the high stacked foams combine to make a pretty stiff, inflexible shoe. If there were a plate or a more rockered geometry then the whole shoe might roll through my gait cycle better.


 As it is, I feel like I have to put more work into the Superblast to run at similar paces as other shoes in its class. In all the runs I’ve done I’ve had moments where the shoe feels great, but overall I’ve felt like I’m working harder than I should and that I’m having to push the shoe forward rather than having the shoe help propel me. 


The Superblast’s ride falls in a weird middle ground for me where it’s not fast and fun like a tempo shoe and it’s not cushioned and effortless like a long run or recovery shoe. I think the ride could be more exciting. 

Sally: I have come to the same conclusions as Peter about the ride of the SuperBlast: I really want to love it, but somehow I just can’t. It is indeed a vexing shoe for me as well, not qualifying as an easy long run shoe nor as a quick paced tempo shoe. It definitely requires more effort to hit the paces I would expect, and as a result the fun factor is not what it should be. There are some shoes that just make you feel like you are flying, and that was my hope for the SuperBlast. Perhaps it simply is not a good fit for my running style/stride/gait/whatever, and perhaps I am being unnecessarily harsh because I am spoiled by the recent super shoes I have been privileged to wear, but the bottom line is that I was disappointed in the ride.


Jacob: The ride is smooth, cushioned, stable and bouncy. It is quick-moving given the high stack—not dull or sluggish. Although it doesn’t have a plate, I find the geometry along with the large amount of energetic foam leads to a fast ride. It’s not snappy, it is more work than a plated shoe, but it is smooth, stable, not overly dramatic in feel, and easy to get in a rhythm at a moderate pace.


I had some interesting test runs in the Superblast including a Strava segment effort which led to what Strava has calculated as my best estimated 1/2 mile effort (2:19). I would have been faster in a racer, but I didn’t feel bothered by the Superblast at that pace at all. I followed that up with a slow run with my dog (9:30 min/mi) where it was effortless but I felt like I was going too slow for the shoe to work well. I also did a track workout—somewhat unexpectedly as the Superblast would not be my first choice for that, but I wanted to get in more testing time. It went fine, the Superblast had good energy return but with a bit less direction and more unnecessary cushion (for the track speed paces) in the forefoot. The deep forefoot cushion is a striking aspect of the ride for me especially compared to plated shoes. In summary, I think it works for fast running, though is best for somewhere in the endurance to tempo pace range. I think it would be amazing for a cruising upper endurance long run.


Michael: I mentioned above that my first run in the Superblast was a hard 15 miles (my last longer effort before Indy Monumental, my secondary marathon this fall after Chicago - my legs are tired!). Part of the reason I took the Superblast out for that run was that they had just arrived, and I love testing new shoes… but part of it was that I thought this super-stacked, next-generation trainer would be terrific for marathon-pace work. In reality… I was kind of right? 


The ride on the Superblast isn’t quite “dull,” but it’s definitely not “lively” either. It’s super comfortable, and super smooth, but it is not to be mistaken for a plated trainer. That is, it’s much more like the Saucony Endorphin Shift (and actually, as I’ll describe below, better than the Shift 3) than it is the SC Trainer. Is that good? Bad? I mean, ultimately it’s just different - this shoe is so cushioned and so enjoyable that I’m still going to wear it regularly. It’s a lovely ride, just not quite that up-tempo trainer I thought it might be.


Sam: The ride is light very light in feel with bottomless and responsive cushioning. The flow is a bit cumbersome given the giant stack height and could use some more toe off roll effect. Maybe more toe spring or a final roll element for what, while plateless, is a rigid rocker type ride. To repeat, every run I was struck by how seemingly weightless and also stable this giant shoe was. I wouldn't call it a speed shoe but what a fine ride for long runs and the middle miles of training where you want to keep the legs fresh.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Peter: The SUPERBLAST is a near miss for me. I wanted to love it and was really excited by the idea of a shoe with this much cushioning being so lightweight. Unfortunately, the ride just feels a little laborious and flat to me. At $220, it’s a pretty expensive shoe and I don’t think I’d pull it out to run in it often enough to make that worthwhile. I’m hoping that they find a way to make the SUPERBLAST roll forward with more ease in future iterations. This may be a great lightweight option for heavier runners who can naturally push the foam around a bit more, but for me the shoe doesn’t flex and the foam seems to hold me back. 

Peter’s score: 7/10 

Ride 6, Looks 8, Value 7 

Smile score 😊😊


Renee: The Superblast is a super blast underfoot. I guess that’s why ASICS named it as such. The midsole is fun, bouncy, and comfortable. Overall, it’s everything runners would expect from a shoe similarly named  to the Novablast. The stack/height/cushion ratio is awesome. The Superblast is the high cushion option for runners who really dislike heavy shoes. While some runners might like the Superblast for daily training, it’s a bit too high stack for me to wear for anything but long runs and maybe some recovery days. I can’t fault the shoe in terms of performance. Sure, it doesn’t run as “energized” as ASICS suggests, but it’s a high stack shoe, not a speed day shoe. Fun factor is 5 stars, but that price ,yikes. If  you have $220, great!  If not, maybe wait for a sale. 

9.10/10 (.-10 a bit slow for its weight, -.80 cost for usage)

😊😊😊😊😊

Sally: I want to love this shoe, but just can’t. On paper it sounds amazing, and yes, it looks amazing, but the ride was jolted and flat for me. Not the fun bouncy foam for miles run I had hoped for, but rather a stiff more perceived effort than the pace merits type of running experience. 


ASICS has been noteworthy of late with such innovative design and amazing technology in their shoes, so this was to me an aberration and a bit of a surprise (and disappointment). But as Peter pointed out, perhaps this shoe would work well with its massive foam and no plate for a heavier runner? At barely 100 pounds, I am not going to be able to appreciate a shoe’s ability to respond to and work for runners with greater body mass. So let’s just say it did not work for me. And at $220, it is a pricey for a trainer.

Sally’s score: 7.2 / 10

Ride    6.5     Fit    8.0      Value    6.0     Style       8.5

😊😊😊


Jacob: The Superblast is a fun, effective, maximal modern training shoe. It is comfortable, has a world-class cushion to weight ratio, moves quickly, and works at a variety of paces. It doesn’t have a plate which is good to differentiate it from most similar shoes in its stack height and weight class. The forefoot has very deep energetic cushion which is a unique experience. I think many runners would get a lot of mileage and solid runs out of the Superblast. 


However, the Superblast’s major weakness is in value. At $220 it is comparable in price to many plated trainers and racers—most are faster or more dramatically effortless due to the impact of the plate. Also, though there is some advantage in long-run or road ultra usage over the excellent and similar Novablast 3, the Novablast 3 is $80 less and I would recommend it over the Superblast for versatility even if they were the same price. Thus, although the Superblast is a capable shoe for training from long runs to workouts, I think having either slightly less stack height or a plate makes a shoe evenmore versatile, so especially when considering the cost, I can only recommend the Superblast to runners who specifically want a uniquely deep foam experience without a plate. 

Jacob’s Score: 8.6 / 10

Ride: 9 (50%) Fit: 9 (30%) Value: 6 (15%) Style 10 (5%)


Michael: The Superblast won’t replace your plated racer or trainer for hard efforts, but with its leg-saving cushion and why-not-add-on upper, it might make those efforts feel a lot better. Ultimately, I’m not disappointed in this shoe, but I do think it’s a tough sell at $220. Those who have it will love it, and you can count me among them. But walking into a running store and choosing this over either (a) a faster, plated option or (b) a cheaper, basically-as-awesome option like the Novablast 3 is… hard to imagine. I’ll keep running in mine (unless and until same size editor Sam snatches them up from me!), and high mileage runners who want to give their legs a break should definitely look this way, but I think Super is not for everyone!

Michael’s Score: 9.1/10.


Sam: Wow we have some differences of opinion here. I lean to the positive side as while the Superblast could use a better mid foot hold and a smoother roll, the light, light weight for so much stable responsive cushion is amazing. 


The foam feel is near perfect for me as it is in no way mushy and over soft or dead dull. Neither is the platform over broad (to stabilize) or narrow and unstable (to save weight) the two key elements which often sink a big cushion shoe for me and especially a plateless one. 


I do think given the relatively simple construction- 2 layers of foam and no plate, and yes understanding supercritical foam is not inexpensive, ASICS pricing at $220 is a negative. 

The much heavier SC Trainer but with super effective rocker is $180 as is the Nike Invincible Run but you truly get what you weigh for here. The Prime X Strung is in another planet of fun, and pricing at $300, but in the right hands (feet) is much much more dynamic and fun but far far less practical than the Superblast.


In addition to pricing, midfoot hold and roll what would I like to see? The same concept on a slightly lower platform (say 40mm) which would lead to lighter weight and I think a smoother roll to toe off.


Nothing is ever perfect on the first go around but the Superblast sets a very high bar for me in the emerging max max cushion category due to its category leading light light weight, stability, and its foam ride feel. It is versatile from long runs to recovery to basic daily miles for me and the light weight and deep responsive cushion makes me smile every time I run them.


Sam's Score: 9.38 /10

Ride; 9.5 Fit; 9.3 Value: 9 Style; 9.8

😊😊😊😊


5 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


ASICS Glideride 3 (RTR Review)

Sam:: The Glideride is ASICS other high stack trainer checking in at 42mm at the heel and 37mm at the forefoot so very close to the Superblast’s 45.5mm / 37.5. It weighs a reasonable 9.6 oz / 274g to the Superblast’s stunning 8.43 oz / 239g (US9). Unlike the Superblast it has a prominent directed rocker. It is also considerably less expensive at $150. . 


NB FuelCell SC Trainer (RTR Review)

Peter: This is the big comparison for me. While the SC Trainer is WAY heavier, I’d still pull it out for a run before I’d pull out the Superblast. Every. Time. The SC Trainer just rolls. And rolls and rolls. It’s a joy to run in and manages to be both a cushier and more efficient feeling to me. 

Sally: I love the SC Trainer!  It is definitely a big smiles  shoe that has that quick bouncy rolling geometry that makes the miles go by quickly and comfortably and seemingly effortlessly. Possibly my top pick for Shoe of the Year 2022! With that said, no contest with the SuperBlast, SC Trainer for the win.

Michael: My biggest issue with the NB (and one that kept me from using the SC Trainer long-term) was the upper - so painful at the heel that I had to stop wearing them. But for my limited use case, I think the firm cushioning of the New Balance with the carbon plate propel the Trainer to a more dynamic level than the mellow-but-fun Superblast. Both are great shoes, don’t get me wrong - but I think if you’re choosing one, I’d take the New Balance. It’s close!


Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 (RTR Review)

Michael: I found the Superblast to be more firm than the Shift 3. In turn, whether it’s changed geometry or just the shifter firm on the Shift 3, I found it less responsive. The Superblast isn’t a hyper-lively shoe (as my review suggests - I wish it was more so!) but it is a noticeably firmer ride and doesn’t have quite the same squish/drop-in feeling, especially at faster paces. There’s less of a rocker-geometry in the ASICS, to my foot, but I still found it a better ride with the high stack and less-mushy platform! The upper on the Superblast is also better, but not markedly so. 

Sam: I agree with Michael take that the Superblast is firmer but I think its foam is considerably more responsive and springy and there is more of it at yet lighter weight than the Shift 3. So while the Superblast could use for sure some of the Shift's SpeedRoll to toe off, in the end I prefer it. That said at $150 for what end up quite similar shoes in terms of ride the Shift is a better value for sure.


adidas Prime X Strung (RTR Review)

Sally: THere are not enough superlatives to describe my feelings for the Prime X Strung. Wow, what an amazing and FUN shoe! I don’t think I have ever experienced the sensation of flight that I do while running in the Prime X, and my mile splits have never been faster. The Prime X has an even higher stack (close to 50mm) so again not conforming to WA rules, but this is a shoe I would wear for many long fast marathon training runs. Again, no contest. Prime X for the win.

Sam: I agree with Sally, the Prime X truly has an amazing and unique sensation of flight but.. it is considerably more expensive at $300, far less stable at the heel and less practical day in day out than the Superblast. I wish SB had some of that incredible front impulse of the Strung and if so it would be no contest.


NB FuelCell Fresh Foam More v4 (RTR Review)

Peter: The FF More is way mushier than the SUPERBLAST and feels less stable to me. Of the two I’d probably pick the Superblast. 

Sam: I agree with Peter here, More v4 is comparatively a mushy overly broad on the ground mess, if a less expensive one.


ASICS Novablast 3 (RTR Review)

Renee: The shoes weigh basically the same. The Superblast offers more stack and more cushion, and in terms of performance, it has that as an  advantage for a long run shoe. The Novablast will make a better daily trainer, particularly because of the much lower cost. I use the Novablast for long runs rather than daily training, and the Superblast is better in that regard. The upper seems to be slightly softer and more comfortable too. 


Jacob: Both shoes have a similar vibe as lightweight trainers with bouncy, energetic midsoles. They both have a relatively fast ride and run well at a range of paces. Likewise, fit for both is excellent—comfortable, true to size. The Novablast is a bit more secure and it is easier to find an ideal lace tighterness. The Novablast has notably less forefoot cushion which makes it feel snappier, more laterally flexible, and more connected. The Superblast is more stable, muted, and has a more dramatically deep cushion. I would pick the Novablast for a daily trainer as it is more versatile and less extreme; the Novablast 3 also costs $80 less, making the decision easier.

Michael: The Nova is like 90% of Super shoe for $80 less, so it’s really hard to vote against it. I’d recommend most runners go for the Nova, but I will say this - if you’re not going to work out (i.e. run hard) in either of these shoes, and are just looking for a cruiser - and if you have a little extra cash to splash - I’d rather wear the Superblast for a 20 miler than the Nova. But if you want this potential ASICS option to really have an upside for pace work, I think the Novablast just is the more dynamic option. Both great!


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4 comments:

Michael said...

Following!

Anonymous said...

Michael,

You mentioned the Superblast being better than the Shift 3, but it looks like you didn’t end up explaining why (or perhaps I missed the connection). What makes this shoe better than the Shift 3? Less firm? More volume? Better rocker design?

Thanks!

70's Teen said...

Same question re Shift 3?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon and 70s. I found the Superblast to be more firm than the Shift 3. In turn, whether it’s changed geometry or just the shifter firm on the Shift 3, I found it less responsive. The Superblast isn’t a hyper-lively shoe (as my review suggests - I wish it was more so!) but it is a noticeably firmer ride and doesn’t have quite the same squish/drop-in feeling, especially at faster paces. There’s less of a rocker-geometry in the ASICS, to my foot, but I still found it a better ride with the high stack and less-mushy platform! The upper on the Superblast is also better, but not markedly so.

Michael