Asics Novablast 3 VS Hoka Mach 5: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner looking for a responsive yet cushioned daily training shoe, the Asics Novablast 3 and the Hoka Mach 5 are two of the hottest new shoes on the market.

Both offer a lightweight feel and bounce in your step, but they achieve it in different ways.

Keep reading to see how these shoes stack up across a range of key performance factors.

With insights on construction, durability, fit, stability, cushioning, and value, this guide will help you decide which of these trainers is the better choice for your running needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Asics Novablast 3 And Hoka Mach 5:

SpecsAsics Novablast 3Hoka Mach 5
Launched In20222022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityMediumMedium
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight9.7 oz (M), 8.5 oz (W)8.5 oz (M), 7.4 oz (W)
CushioningFlyteFoam Blast+Profly+
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberDurabrasion+ rubber
MidsoleFlyteFoam Blast+Profly+
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$140

Features Comparison:

The Novablast 3 is an exceptional sneaker but Mach 5 is not behind. To make things easier we will compare the features of both against each other to see who outperforms the other.

Material

The Asics Novablast 3 uses a combination of FlyteFoam Blast+ cushioning in the midsole along with AHAR+ rubber on the outsole.

The upper is made from engineered mesh for breathability. The materials provide a good balance of cushioning, durability, and comfort.

Asics Novablast 3
NOVA BLAST 3

Hoka Mach 5
MACH 5

The Hoka Mach 5 utilizes Profly+ foam in the midsole for responsive cushioning. The outsole is made of Durabrasion+ rubber, which unfortunately isn’t very durable.

The upper uses an engineered mesh that is lightweight and breathable.

Durability

The Novablast 3 is fairly durable thanks to the AHAR+ rubber outsole, which holds up well over miles of use. The FlyteFoam Blast+ midsole also maintains its bounce and responsiveness longer than many foams.

Overall, runners can expect around 300-500 miles out of the shoe before signs of wear.

The Mach 5 unfortunately doesn’t have great durability due to the weak Durabrasion+ rubber on the outsole. The thin rubber wears down quickly, especially in high-abrasion areas.

The Profly+ midsole is susceptible to creasing and compacting after a few hundred miles. The lifespan is around 200-300 miles.

Fit

The Novablast 3 runs true to size for most runners, with a medium width through the midfoot and toe box. The engineered mesh upper contours comfortably around the foot.

The fit works for medium to wide feet, but narrow feet might swim a little.

Asics Novablast 3 TOP VIEW
NOVABLAST 3 TOP VIEW

Mach 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

The Mach 5 has a snugger fit in the midfoot and heel but opens up for a roomy toe box.

It works well for average to narrow feet, but some wide-footed runners may find it too restrictive. Go up a half or full size if you want a little extra room. The upper is not very stretchy.

Stability

The Novablast 3 is a neutral shoe without any pronounced stability features.

The midsole is soft but not overly squishy, giving it a stable but not rigid feel. The shoe allows for natural foot motion while discouraging overpronation.

Similarly, the Mach 5 is a neutral trainer that encourages neutral foot motion. The sculpted midsole provides a subtle guiding sensation but no corrective features. This makes the Mach 5 suitable for neutral runners.

Cushioning

The Novablast 3 provides plush cushioning thanks to the FlyteFoam Blast+ foam. It has a soft, bouncy feel that remains consistent, even at higher paces.

The foam isn’t overly squishy or unstable. There’s enough cushion for long miles, without an overly padded feel.

The Profly+ foam in the Mach 5 focuses more on responsiveness than pure cushioning.

There’s still ample softness to protect joints, but the foam rebounds quickly for a snappy sensation. Overall, the cushioning is soft yet performance-oriented.

Value

With a retail price of $140, the Novablast 3 offers strong value for a durable daily trainer with ample cushioning. Similarly, the Mach 5 retails around $140 making it a reasonably priced option in the category of lightweight, responsive trainers. Neither shoe breaks the bank.

For Walking

The Novablast 3 performs decently for walking thanks to its cushioned yet stable midsole. The breathable upper also allows airflow to keep feet cool on long walks.

The outsole provides adequate traction and flexibility. Overall, it makes a good lightweight walking shoe.

The Mach 5 isn’t quite as ideal for walking activities. Though the Profly+ foam is comfortable, the shoe lacks the stability and structure needed for all-day wear.

The thin outsole also doesn’t grip well on uneven surfaces. There are better walking options.

For Running

As a lightweight trainer designed for high mileage, the Novablast 3 excels for daily running.

The bouncy FlyteFoam Blast+ provides cushioning and energy return during any run, while the grippy outsole keeps the ride smooth. The shoe works for easy jogs, long runs, and tempo days.

The Mach 5 is similarly built for running with features like a lightweight responsive midsole and breathable mesh upper.

It provides bounce and speed during faster workouts but can also handle easy miles. The shoe works best for versatile neutral runners.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The Novablast 3 is a decent option for runners with plantar fasciitis. The soft FlyteFoam Blast+ midsole helps reduce pressure on the foot, while the 8mm drop encourages a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The mesh upper relieves pressure across the arch. It provides cushioning without being too squishy.

Conversely, the Mach 5 is not ideal for plantar fasciitis due to the firm Profly+ foam.

The low 5mm drop also encourages more strain on the arch, rather than promoting a gradual heel-to-toe motion. There are better options for this condition.

For Standing All Day

Though designed for running, the Novablast 3 can handle all-day wear fairly well thanks to its cushioned midsole and supportive yet flexible upper.

The breathable construction also helps during prolonged standing or walking. It provides a comfortable experience.

However, the Mach 5 is less suitable for all-day standing wear. The thin outsole doesn’t provide adequate support and cushioning, while the low drop and responsive foam add strain over many hours. There are better-dedicated lifestyle shoes.

Final Verdict:

For most runners, the Asics Novablast 3 is the better daily trainer choice over the Hoka Mach 5. The Novablast provides a good balance of durability, cushioning, stability, and value in a lightweight package.


Though still a solid shoe, the Mach 5 suffers in key areas like durability and versatility. However, the right shoe ultimately depends on your foot type, running needs, and preferences.

Make sure to consider your individual requirements when choosing between these two models. Both are strong options in the lightweight neutral trainer category.

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