I love the sound of the verb “to bounce.” Literally “bouncing.” Bouncing is what the ASICS NOVABLAST™ 3 can do very well.
Put like that, you might think of a trampoline more than a pair of shoes, but if you think about it a little bit, the boost that a shoe is capable or not capable of giving you is exactly what we are all looking for: we want, in other words, that the energy we push to the ground by landing during the run not to be wasted and, in short, to be recovered in another form. Like in forward propulsion, helping to get you further, faster and with less effort. Or rather: with as economical and rational use of forces as possible.
It’s in the DNA
Novablasts have always had this characteristic. From the first model introduced in 2020 to the present, extreme cushioning has always translated into great (very great) comfort and forward propulsive force.
When you run in shoes with a similar mechanical setup, you always wonder if great comfort is achieved at the expense of responsiveness and speed. In short, isn’t it the case that to run more comfortably one has to pay performance token?
In fact, we are talking about really comfortable shoes, not only during running but also in daily use. The risk is to become addicted to them because, without much ado, you feel very comfortable in it.
On the road
The answer to the previous question is no, and for a very simple reason: this third version of the Novablasts is even lighter than its predecessors (-22 grams), and despite this, the mechanical behavior of the midsole has improved: you never feel as if you are sinking into comfort, and the dynamic response (the famous “bounce”) is even more pronounced.
And then shall we say a few words about how good it is to run in total comfort? One might think that more stiffness in response would guarantee a few tenths of a second more speed, but one would have to prove this with a comparison test calibrated to the smallest fraction of time and distance, and ultimately the benefit of a truly comfortable and snappy ride outweighs these thoughts. Sometimes you can and should run just for the sake of it. Doing it under the best conditions.
A little obsession
There is one detail of many running shoes that always attracts me. It is not fundamental but not secondary either. If it’s well designed you forget it, if it’s not well resolved you realize it, that’s it. I’m talking about the tongue.
There are different kinds: built-in, padded, lightly padded, very thin, not to mention the different materials they use. That of the Novablast 3 is very thin and has a bifurcation at the top so that the instep is left free. Certain very thin tabs have a tendency to fold inward, insisting with the very thin upper edge on the sock and then on the skin, irritating it.
The ASICS solution, creating a fork in which the front of the ankle can move freely, elegantly solves the problem. You just have to be careful to arrange it before lacing up: used to the usual shape of the tongue, I often didn’t notice that half was hidden. Once the “throat” of the tab is centered on the ankle axis, one can forget about it. Just remember it first.
NOVABLAST™ 3 have changed, and the third version represents a degree of design simplification of a certain elegance. Beyond their very flamboyant personality, the technical substance is high: these are very balanced shoes in terms of dynamic response, weight, and comfort, and they are noticeably so compared to previous versions.
While they have an undeniable look, they are very light and comfortable, and above all, they give the very pleasant feeling of being able to run endlessly with them.
Born as hybrid shoes suspended between training and running, they are increasingly proving to be skewed toward pure running. Maybe not to get the most resounding times but to accompany you on very enjoyable long runs, never weighing down your feet and legs and letting you ride comfortably, to speed up when you feel like it.
ASICS NOVABLAST™ 3 are on sale in specialty stores and the ASICS online store for 150 euros.