Asics Novablast 2 VS Novablast 3: What Should I Buy?

The ASICS Novablast series has become a favorite among runners and trainers alike for its soft, responsive FlyteFoam Blast cushioning and smooth, stable ride. ASICS recently released the Novablast 3, the latest iteration of this popular maximalist neutral shoe. But how does it compare to its predecessor, the Novablast 2?

This in-depth comparison examines all the key features, performance, and value differences between the Novablast 2 and Novablast 3 models. Whether you’re considering upgrading from the “2” or are debating between the two versions for your first Novablast purchase, read on to see how they stack up across critical categories like materials, cushioning, and stability.

Similarities And Differences Between Novablast 2 And 3:

FeaturesNovablast 2Novablast 3
Launched In20212022
StabilityModerateModerate
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight9.9oz (M), 8.9oz (W)9.9oz (M), 8.9oz (W)
CushionFlyteFoam BlastFlyteFoam Blast
OutSoleAHAR+ rubberAHAR+ rubber
Mid SoleFlyteFoam BlastFlyteFoam Blast
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$120$140

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Novablast 3 utilizes the same cushioning and materials as the previous Version 2 model – including full-length FlyteFoam Blast energetic midsole foam, hard-wearing AHAR+ rubber covering high-abrasion areas of the outsole, along with breathable engineered mesh throughout the upper.

Asics Novablast 2
NOVABLAST 2

Asics Novablast 3
NOVABLAST 3

So no major material component changes here. Durability and underfoot feel remain consistent coming from the Novablast 2 based on the continued use of ASICS performance materials across key areas of both neutral trainers.

Durability:

With identical cushioning foams and outsole rubber utilized on the Novablast 3, there is no discernible difference in durability expected between the two models with regards to midsole breakdown or outsole wear over time.

Just as with the preceding version, the Novablast 3 should deliver over 500 miles of use for most runners based on ASICS durability testing data under simulated wear conditions.

The continued use of ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR+) outsole material plays a key role in promoting outsole lifespan by resisting wear in high-contact areas.

Fit:

The Novablast 3 makes some subtle but noteworthy tweaks to the engineered mesh upper design around the midfoot and rearfoot areas for a slightly more secure fit. The updates provide a touch better midfoot lockdown and heel security without negatively impacting the comfort.

Asics Novablast 2 top view
NOVABLAST 2 TOP VIEW

Asics Novablast 3 TOP VIEW
NOVABLAST 3 TOP VIEW

Runners needing a more dialed-in fit should appreciate the adjustments addressing potential slippage some experienced in the Novablast 2 under foot-swelling marathon conditions or sprints where the heel can lift slightly. However, the majority of runners will still find both versions deliver an accommodating, roomy upper fitting.

Stability:

Moderate stability focused primarily on foot guidance is comparable across both Novablast versions to cater to neutral runners. No major enhancements aimed at stability or pronation prevention were made to the platform or midsole design coming into the 3rd edition.

Outside of the refinement to upper fit, the overall platform ride remains centered around responsive cushioning over-pronation support for high-mileage training.

Cushioning:

Plush cushioning remains a major standout feature as the Novablast franchise built its reputation on the soft, energetic FlyteFoam Blast midsole foam. No changes or updates were made to the acclaimed cushioning design that provides plenty of bounce-back mile after mile.

The Novablast 3 retains the same thick, flexible midsole as the popular previous edition for a balanced ride that cushions impact while encouraging smoother transitions.

Value:

With an unchanged $120 And $140 retail price tag, runners receive the same acclaimed underfoot ride and NDurance rubber outsole for similar durability at the same financial investment when choosing either the Novablast 2 or 3.

The 3rd edition makes small upper fit tweaks but stacks up almost identically to its preceding version from a midsole and outsole perspective.

Performance Comparison:

Walking:

Both Novablast 2 and Novablast 3 models offer well-cushioned, flexible walking shoes able to go the distance whether your days include casual strolls or hours on your feet.

The smooth heel-to-toe transition caters well to walking gaits with the responsive FlyteFoam Blast midsole providing some extra propulsion and energy return to each step over multiple blocks or when navigating hilly urban terrain.

For all-day wear while standing or walking, both versions deliver comfort although the dialed-in fit of the 3 may work better if debating between sizes.

Running:

Seasoned Novablast runners will feel right at home transitioning into the 3 with the familiar soft, energetic FlyteFoam Blast cushioning working in harmony with the guidance systems to encourage smoother foot strides.

The touch better midfoot security from upper refinements gives the Novablast 3 a slight performance edge for higher mileage training and faster sessions when quicker cuts or foot swelling later into runs could compromise the fit.

However, moderate-pace long runs and easy days will have most neutral runners pleased with either option.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The plush, shock-absorbing FlyteFoam Blast cushioning aims to cut down on common triggers like heel or arch pain associated with plantar fasciitis inflammation.

While providing cushioned relief on recovery days, runners with severe plantar fasciitis may still lean towards maximum stability options with features explicitly preventing overpronation linked to irritation.

Nonetheless, the soft heel and arch cushioning lend well to mild to moderate cases.

Standing All Day:

Well-cushioned without feeling overly soft or unstable, both the Novablast 2 and 3 offer suitable comfort for extended periods of standing or walking during a work shift.

An anti-microbial treatment applied to the sock liner helps reduce odors that can develop spending 8+ hours on your feet. The Novablast franchise strikes an effective balance between cushioning and support for all-day wear.

Final Verdict:

The Novablast 3 makes small but beneficial upper fit updates to improve security around the midfoot and rearfoot areas prone to slippage while maintaining the exact same full-length FlyteFoam Blast cushioning platform that defines this popular neutral trainer.


Unless ill-fitting or worn out, current Novablast 2 runners may not find enough incentive to upgrade based solely on cushioning performance. However, the more dialed-in fit could appeal to runners experiencing minor heel or midfoot slippage in the previous version.

New runners have two equally great options to select between – just choose the model with the size and upper fit you anticipate working best for your foot shape and running needs.

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