Asics vs New Balance: Which Is Better?

As an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for high-quality athletic shoes that can keep up with my active lifestyle. Two brands that consistently rise to the top are ASICS and New Balance.

Both companies have been making excellent footwear for decades, but they each have their own strengths. In this article, I’ll compare the key features of ASICS and New Balance shoes to help you decide which brand is better suited for your needs. Whether you’re a marathon runner, gym-goer, or casual walker, read on to discover which shoe company offers the best fit, feel, and performance for you.

Comparison Table

FeaturesAsicsNew Balance
Founded In19491906
Comfort & FitGel and foam cushioning technologies provide excellent shock absorption. Designed to support neutral, underpronation and overpronation.Offers wide range of sizes and widths. Known for comfort and support. Foam and gel cushioning.
Color OptionsWide variety of color options. Bold colors and color combinations.More subdued color palettes. Some bright accent colors.
DurabilityVery durable shoes thanks to quality materials.Well-made shoes with excellent durability.
PerformanceDesigned for high performance athletic activities. Advanced technologies for support and responsiveness.Provides both athletic performance and everyday versatility. Responsive cushioning.
Design & StyleAthletic aesthetic with sleek, lightweight designs. Contemporary and stylish.Classic and retro design elements incorporated into modern athletic shoes.
PopularityOne of the most popular athletic shoe brands. Known for running shoes.Also a very popular athletic footwear brand. Known for wide range of sports and activities.
Best Selling ModelASICS Gel-Kayano880v11 for versatile cushioning and support

ASICS Overview

Asics was founded way back in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Kobe, Japan.

Kihachiro Onitsuka

The name “Asics” actually comes from the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano,” which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body.” Asics shoes really align with that mission, aiming to provide runners with equipment that enables peak performance.

Throughout its long history, Asics has continuously innovated and evolved its shoe technologies.

Key components that provide the renowned Asics fit and feel include the IGS (Impact Guidance System) for a natural gait cycle, Trusstic System tech for light stability, SpevaFoam cushioning for soft landings, and Dynamic DuoMax support for optimal alignment.

The outer soles utilize Asics’ specialized rubber compounds called AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) that hold up to heavy mileage on roads.

From fast, feather-light racing flats to well-cushioned trainers, Asics offers a diverse range of running shoe models to suit different needs.

But across the board, Asics shoes are known for their structured, classic look and feel.

If you want a running shoe with proven performance and durability from a brand that’s withstood the test of time, Asics is a solid choice.

New Balance Overview

Founded in 1906 by William J. Riley, New Balance began by making arch supports and prescription shoes for people with foot issues.

Based in Boston, the brand gained popularity for technical innovations like ripple soles and heel counters to stabilize and customize fit.

While New Balance makes athletic shoes across sports, they remain deeply rooted in running due to their origins in correcting overpronated feet.

Core neutral shoes like the 880 use injected EVA midsoles for soft landings and Ortholite insoles for support.

Iconic models like the 990 integrate dual-density midsoles and Abzorb foams to combine cushioning with compression resistance for smooth transitions.

New Balance leans into retros styles while also incorporating new 3D printed midsoles and engineered mesh uppers. With masterful attention to fit adjustments for all foot shapes and biomechanical needs, New Balance delivers versatile performance and classic appeal across running categories.

Major Differences between the Brands

Comfort and Fit

Both ASICS and New Balance are known for comfort, but achieve this through different specialized technologies. ASICS employs Gel cushioning for excellent shock absorption while New Balance uses Fresh Foam cushioning to provide soft, responsive comfort.

When it comes to fit, New Balance offers more width sizes and variations while ASICS focuses more on designing shoes tailored for foot type (neutral, overpronated, etc).

Durability and Performance

The shoes from both brands are impressively durable and can withstand repeated athletic use. ASICS incorporates features like DuoMax support to maintain structural integrity mile after mile.

New Balance uses high-quality materials like leather and mesh to create shoes that hold up through years of training. In terms of performance, ASICS targets athletic shoes for specific sports like running while New Balance aims to create versatile shoes that can be used for a wide range of athletic purposes.

Price

ASICS shoes tend to come with a slightly higher price tag, ranging from $100-$200 on average for their performance running shoes. New Balance shoes have a wider spectrum of pricing ranging from $70-$165 based on the style and technologies incorporated into the shoe. Both brands offer good value given the exceptional quality, performance and durability of their footwear.

Design and Style

In terms of aesthetics, ASICS shoes have a sleeker, athletic look with more bright and bold colors while New Balance shoes incorporate more vintage design elements and utilize subtler color palettes.

ASICS embraces a lightweight, performance-focused style while New Balance aims for a blend of athletic capability and fashionable streetwear versatility. It comes down to personal preference based on your unique sense of style.

Popularity

ASICS and New Balance are two of the most popular and well-known athletic shoe companies in the world. ASICS has risen to prominence through their specialized performance running shoes worn by elite competitors.

New Balance’s popularity stems from their comfortable shoes catering to a wide range of sports and activities with varied sizing options. Both brands benefit from decades of excellence in shoe manufacturing and innovative technologies.

Target Market

The target market for ASICS skews towards serious runners looking for shoes to improve performance and time. New Balance appeals to a broader demographic of both hardcore athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts who want shoes to wear for both sports and lifestyle needs. ASICS excels at making running shoes while New Balance aims to be a versatile shoe option for all types of athletic pursuits.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

For nurses who are on their feet all day long, New Balance shoes are likely the better choice for comfort. Their Fresh Foam technology provides exceptional cushioning and support which helps reduce foot fatigue.

The wide range of sizes and widths ensures a good fit for narrow or wide feet. New Balance also offers slip-resistant shoes designed for the demanding hospital environment.

For Walking

For regular walking and fitness walking, both New Balance and ASICS are excellent options that provide cushioning and support mile after mile. ASICS uses rearfoot and forefoot Gel units to cushion impact while New Balance utilizes Fresh Foam to soften every step. Those with overpronation issues may benefit more from ASICS walking shoes tailored for stability.

For Running

When it comes to running shoes, ASICS emerges as the winner with their shoes designed specifically to improve performance for runners. Technologies like the Guidance Line and Propulsion Trusstic in ASICS shoes help runners move efficiently and transition smoothly through each stride. New Balance does make quality running shoes but ASICS has more superior models catered to enhance running gait.

For Flat Feet

For individuals with flat feet and overpronation, ASICS offers sturdier stability shoes with features like the DuoMax Support System, Guidance Line technology and firm midsoles to prevent excess inward rolling of the feet. New Balance stability shoes can work for mild overpronators but those with serious overpronation would benefit more from ASICS shoes.

For Back Pain

New Balance shoes tend to excel at helping to relieve back pain through arch support and cushioning technologies like Abzorb that minimize impact transferred to the back.

Some ASICS shoes like the Gel-Nimbus also effectively absorb shock but New Balance overall may have more options tailored specifically for back pain sufferers.

For Standing All Day

Cushioning is crucial for occupations that require long hours of standing. In this case, New Balance shoes edged out ASICS with technologies like Fresh Foam and Encap that offer pillow-like comfort underfoot to battle fatigue. The wide range of sizes and widths from New Balance also helps get the perfect comfortable fit.

For High Arches

For runners and walkers with high arches who need good arch support, both New Balance and ASICS offer shoes that accommodate high arches. ASICS uses technologies like DuoMax and Trusstic to fight inward rolling and provide stability while New Balance uses a Stabilicore medial post for arch support. Overall, both brands can work well for high arches.

For Hiking

When it comes to hiking shoes, New Balance tends to provide better traction and stability on uneven terrain compared to ASICS. New Balance hiking boots and shoes often have grippy Vibram outsoles, supportive midsoles, and waterproofing – features that are perfect for hiking trails.

While ASICS does make some quality trail running shoes, their shoes are not specifically designed for the demands of hiking. For serious hikers looking for performance and protection on the trail, New Balance is likely the better choice. Their hiking shoes are built to handle mileage while carrying packs over rocky, root-strewn, and wet terrain.

For Plantar Fasciitis

Both ASICS and New Balance offer good options for people with plantar fasciitis thanks to their ample cushioning technologies. The Gel cushioning system from ASICS helps absorb shock and impact that can aggravate heel pain.

New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology also provides exceptional softness underfoot to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia. Those with wider feet may appreciate New Balance’s wide width size options to accommodate swelling.

Overall, both New Balance and ASICS make shoes that can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis. The extra cushioning and support from both brands provide comfort mile after mile.

Final Verdict

In the battle between ASICS and New Balance, there is no single clear “winner” – both companies manufacture excellent athletic shoes.

ASICS specializes in performance running shoes designed with advanced technologies to improve gait efficiency and comfort. Their shoes are tailored to foot type and excel at meeting the needs of runners.


New Balance offers a wider range of sizes and widths to accommodate more foot shapes. Their shoes promote versatility, with performance and lifestyle design elements combined. New Balance wins when it comes to hiking shoes and accommodating wide feet.

For serious runners looking to improve times, ASICS takes the lead with their innovative performance-driven models. In the end, it comes down to personal priorities and individual needs to determine which brand is better for you. Both ASICS and New Balance continue to push shoe technology and design forward to meet the demands of athletes worldwide.

Leave a comment