Saturday, July 06, 2024

ASICS Superblast 2 Review: 4 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Sally Reiley

ASICS Superblast 2 ($200)


  • Bouncy and responsive ride: new foams including top end FF TURBO PLUS: Michael

  • Improved upper for better lockdown and comfort: Michael

  • More durable outsole with improved grip: Michael

  • Highly cushioned - love the max-stack of  45 mm heel /  37 mm forefoot for all sorts of runs: Michael


  • May be too firm for some runners (especially those who loved the v1 for its softness): Michael

  • Somewhat pricey at $200: Michael


Michael: The original ASICS Superblast (“v1”) was an absolute fan favorite among runners for its energetic ride and plush cushioning and very light weight. It was one of the first “super trainers” and a plateless one at that to hit the market, and (speaking without any scientific basis) one of the most popular - it’s certainly the max-stack trainer I see most commonly in the wild. 

The ASICS Superblast 2 takes those winning qualities and elevates them - it’s not revolution, but it’s definitely evolution, and while I don’t think those with a backstock of v1 need to long for the latest and greatest, there are enough upgrades here to make the newest model worthwhile (even at the relatively hefty $200 price point).

Sally's women’s colorway

Most comparable shoes

New Balance SC Trainer 

361 Eleos

New Balance FreshFoam More

Mizuno Neo Vista


Spec Weight: men's 8.7 oz / 249g 

Prior Version Spec Weight: men’s 8.43 oz / 239g (US9) men’s 8.54 oz /  242g US8.5

  Sample Weights: 

men's men’s  8.6 oz / 243.8 g US 8.5

            women’s 7.9 oz / 224 g (US W8) (prior version weight 7.55 oz / 214g US W8)

Stack Height: men’s  45 mm heel /  37 mm forefoot (  8mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 90 mm heel / 80 mm midfoot / 120 mm forefoot 

$200. Available now including at our partners below.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Michael: Stepping into the Superblast 2, the first thing you'll notice (well, at least the first thing I noticed) is the significant improvement in the upper. The now woven engineered mesh feels comfortable and breathable, while still providing a secure and locked-in fit. Unlike some reviewers who found it roomy, the engineered mesh did a great job of conforming to my foot, especially during runs. This improvement addresses a common critique of the v1's upper, which could feel sloppy at times - there’s just something more refined here, and while I can’t necessarily guarantee this across the board, I just found v2 to fit my foot better, with adequate but not excess room in the toebox.

My size 8.5 was proper, if a touch short (which I tend to prefer). I would recommend going true-to-size, but those on the cusp will likely want to size up.

Sally: The ASICS Superblast was an instant hit when it came out two years ago as one of the first running shoes to be dubbed “super trainers,” and it has gone on to define this new category. I was one of the few who struggled with the OG (v1), finding the fit too generous and sloppy (I blamed the unisex sizing and assumed my pair was simply too large) with the ride was a bit harsh at first. They did improve with a break-in period, but I never quite understood the universal love that other runners seemed to have for this shoe. As a fan of most every ASICS shoe I run in,  I was interested in giving the newest Superblast iteration a fresh chance and determined to be more patient. 

But this one was different right out of the box: the same W8 fit nicely TTS, and the feel was immediately softer and bouncier and more responsive. The new engineered woven mesh upper improves the fit for me, cradling my foot with more structure and without the baggy overly spacious feel of the OG. The tapered toe box might feel snug or short for some feet, but was perfect for my narrowish feet.

The 45mm heel stack height is impressive and somewhat imposing (although the foot does sit down in the midsole side walls), but no longer unique. I like the attractive colorway of this Paris edition and received many compliments on it. The tongue is a Goldilocks just right in terms of length and padding, and I always appreciate a good heel loop for ease of pulling the shoe on.

Midsole & Platform

Sally Reiley’s women’s colorway

Michael: The midsole, as they say, is where the magic happens in the Superblast 2. With the advance caveat that I really find these names confusing, ASICS swapped out the FF Blast PLUS and FF Blast Turbo midsole of the v1 for a combination of FF Blast PLUS ECO and the new FF TURBO PLUS. The new Turbo Plus foam also used in ASICS top end Metaspeed Paris racers  is said by ASICS to be 8% lighter, have 8.2% more energy return and is 6% softer. The changes deliver a noticeably bouncier ride - yet also slightly firmer underfoot one than its predecessor, but still sufficiently soft and bouncy for runs fast and slow, in my book. The width of the Superblast 2 is also a big benefit here - there’s just so much shoe beneath you - and such a large platform to land on at 90 mm heel / 80 mm midfoot / 120 mm forefoot  - that there’s no sensation of being out-of-control. 

I think the revamped midsole foams probably contribute to that as well - it’s a really fine combination of propulsion and stability that not all max-stack (“super”) trainers nail. ASICS has done it here. 

The energetic feel is there without being overwhelming, making the Superblast 2 perfect for daily training runs, especially those that involve a little pace pushing. All of that said, if you absolutely loved the softer feel of the v1, you might find the Superblast 2 a touch firmer on the first run. I’ve now put about 25 miles on my pair (including a light progression workout) and note they may be softening up slightly, but only within the realm of what you’d expect from a modern (2024) shoe. If softness is your game, look for a pair from last year.

Sally: Michael is 100% right when he says the magic is in the midsole here. And there is a lot of midsole underfoot! I appreciate the well - cushioned stable ride and the high 45mm stack. Perhaps I did not give the OG v1 a fair shot, but I find this v2 to be softer and bouncier and more responsive than the OG right out of the box, and even better after 25 miles. The faster I push the pace, the more it responds, and yet it also feels smooth and energetic at slower speeds. Its versatility at all paces is a huge plus for this shoe.


Michael: Even though this is one of the biggest (and most welcome) changes, I don’t have a ton to say here - my testing of the Superblast 2 was limited entirely to suburban streets and treadmill. However, it’s clear that the improved outsole of the Superblast 2 is another welcome upgrade. It's significantly more durable than the outsole on the v1, which some reviewers found wore down quickly. 

ASICS Superblast Outsole Comparison: Top v2, Bottom v1

This improved durability ensures that the Superblast 2 can handle many miles without sacrificing traction, especially in wet conditions, which was a weak point on v1.

Sally: I had the pleasure of testing the Superblast 2 on a rainy run and can say that the ASICS Grip of the outsole provides great traction on wet roads. And it did not escape my notice that the gravel catching cutouts on the bottom of v1 (see above) are gone - no more stopping to pry stones out of the outsole cutouts during runs! As someone who runs on coastal roads with lots of gravel, I greatly appreciate this modification.


Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: The ASICS Superblast 2 builds upon the strengths of its predecessor to create an even better all-around running shoe - one of the best do-it-all trainers to exist, in my opinion, and a clear leader in the “going on vacation, need to bring only one shoe” category. The combination of a bouncier midsole, improved upper, and more durable outsole makes the Superblast 2 a great choice for runners seeking a comfortable, cushioned, very light for its giant stack and versatile daily trainer that can cross into workouts and long runs seamlessly. There’s no longer a concern about slick conditions, and the improved outsole durability also, in my book, mitigates some of the value concerns,. While some runners might miss the v1's softer feel, the overall improvements in the Superblast 2 make it a worthy and improved successor.

Of course, the true beauty of the Superblast 2 lies in its ability to excel at both easy runs and tempo efforts - and readily and comfortably transition between them. The energetic FF Blast PLUS ECO/FF TURBO PLUS combo propels you forward with a springy feel, making easy runs feel effortless. Yet,when you pick up the pace, the shoe responds with surprising responsiveness - despite “lacking” a plate. This versatility makes it a great choice for runners who don't want to swap between multiple shoes for different types of runs, and (once again) provides a basis for that $200 cost. We’ve seen running shoe costs creep up across the board, for all categories of shoes, and a $200 trainer should feel shocking. It does! But I can at least attest to the range that the Superblast 2 brings, and the subtle improvements that make an already great option even better. You’ll just need to brace yourself for the bill.

Michael Score: 9.5/10 😊😊😊😊😊

Sally: The many many fans of the OG Superblast are probably waiting with baited breath to see if ASICS has messed up their favorite all-around trainer with this new model. Rest assured, v2 is not that different but just that much better! The fit is improved with the new engineered woven mesh upper, and the durability and traction is improved with the new ASICS grip outsole. 

It is once again an incredibly versatile do-it-all supertrainer that is great for logging daily miles, whether they be long runs, short pace workouts, easy runs, or even races. The well-cushioned ride is even bouncier and more responsive than the OG v1 and does not need as much of a break-in period as previously. Runners everywhere will find this supertrainer to be an even better do-it-all shoe than its beloved predecessor. The versatility combined with the durability justify the $200 price tag. Let’s just hope ASICS can keep up with the demand!

Sally’s score: 9.6/10.0

Smile Score: 😊😊😊😊3/4

4 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE Roadtrailrun 

New Balance SC Trainer v2 (RTR Review)

Michael: The Superblast 2, while firmer than the SC Trainer v2, is decidedly softer and bouncier than the New Balance - driven more by its foam than its geometry, it feels, and with a less “kinetic” feel underfoot. I like both, but they ultimately approach the supertrainer game slightly differently, as the NB feels more aggressive “racer-turned-trainer” whereas the ASICS is decidedly more of a “fast, cushioned trainer.” Comes down to preference, mostly, and while I tend to prefer a firmer ride, I think the ASICS is a more usable and overall enjoyable shoe. Both are great.

Sally: I love both of these super trainers, but I would confidently race in the Superblast and not in the SC Trainer v2. The SC Trainer is softer and bouncier for me, and fun for training runs, but the Superblast is firmer and more versatile.

361 Eleos (RTR Review)

Michael: A real surprise here from 361, which has been stepping up its game. A really squishy PEBA/EVA midsole on the 361 gives it some legs, and I find the wide platform of the 361 combined with its lower stack height to be even more stable than the Superblast. But at quicker paces, I do think the 361 lags slightly behind, with more of a sink-in sensation than a distinct “pop” back. Both are genuinely good shoes, but the Superblast is more fun if..$55 more..

New Balance FreshFoam More v5 (RTR Review soon)

Michael: My testing on the More v5 is quite preliminary, so I don’t have a complete conclusion here, but the More v5 is a very soft, very bouncy trainer that doesn’t quite have the same forward-leaning geometry of the ASICS or at 4mm the greater 8mm drop of the Superblast. In that regard, I don’t think the NB will stack up as a “do-it-all” shoe, but instead tries to tackle the “all-cushion” market. Again, I need more runs in the NB, but I’m thinking the ASICS is a better call for those looking to run fast.

Mizuno Neo Vista (RTR Review)

Michael: I am a big fan of the Neo Vista, which has a firmer (but slightly more energetic) midsole than the ASICS. The biggest differentiator here is the platform; the wider body on the ASICS helps it feel more stable when cornering (or just, in general). The Neo Vista is springier and more lively, though, as it includes a fiberglass infused plate, and is probably the closest shoe to the Zoom Fly FK (one of my favorite trainers ever) that I’ve tried. It’s a definite candidate for shoe of the year… but so is the Superblast. Two great options.

Tester Profiles

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Sally is a lifelong runner and mother of five who agreed against her better judgment to run her first marathon at age 54; she has since run the past ten Boston Marathons, two NYC Marathons, one Chicago, and one London with the WMM Six Star Medal now in her sights. With a Boston PR of 3:25:55 in 2022 (9th place in AG) and two consecutive 2nd place in Age Group W60 awards in NYC, she competed in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Age Group World Championships at the 2022 London Marathon and ran an all-time PR of 3:24:02, placing 6th in the world in her women’s 60-64 age group.  She also competes in USATF races with the Greater Lowell Road Runners team. To add meaning to her Boston Marathon races she runs with Team Eye and Ear and has raised over $275,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital. Sally is 5’2’’ and 105 pounds and lives in Marblehead, MA, training outdoors year round. She blames her love of skiing out West for any and all Boston Marathon training challenges.

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

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Anonymous said...

For me the neo vista is way too slow to be compared to the superblast 2. The neo vista at faster paces is like running mud.

T H said...

It's worth noting that some other reviews I have seen agree with Sally's impression of v2 being softer than v1. But I think this all makes sense as to a diverging opinion.

- FFB+ECO is firmer than FFB+
- FFT+ is softer than FFT

So I think it might just be the difference of whether you notice the softness of the Turbo+ more or the firmness of the bottom layer of Blast+ECO more. Either way, ASICS has tweaked the Superblast 2 with the same ethos as the original, so it accomplishes the same thing just with different ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Great review. I enjoyed the first iteration, and still have some miles left in my pair. Having now run in the Neo Vista, I think it will fill the slot that the SB2 would have otherwise taken. The NV is just so much fun to run in, and feels great at such a variety of paces, it’s hard to pull the trigger on the SB2 for now

Michael (RTR) said...

Thanks, all, for the comments - I definitely did not find the Neo Vista to lag at faster paces, but potentially its (lack of) plate could contribute to some dullness, depending on your foot strike (and expectations).

@TH - that’s really interesting, and once I started clicking through others’ impressions (after I completed my review), I saw what you’re describing - some saying it’s firmer, some saying it’s softer. Sam also pointed out the more firm outsole of the SB2 could contribute (if slightly) to the feel here. Either way - I think most agree (I certainly do) that it’s as fun, if not more fun, compared to its predecessor.