Saturday, April 30, 2022

First Runs with the Asic Novablast 2

Nova Blast-off!
The Asics Novablast 2

  • A well cushioned neutral running shoe that uses resilient Flytefoam Blast midsole foam.
  • Ride is best described as lively, but slightly unstable.
  • Weight for men’s size 11 is approximately 10.5 oz
  • MSRP - $130

Conclusion: Even with more structure and weight than I typically prefer, the Novablast 2 provides an excellent balance of responsiveness and protection.

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Last Sunday I walked into Runners Edge ready to try on some shoes. I had watched and read many running shoe reviews and narrowed it down to three stability models. In my last post I determined that under-pronation was causing major heel wear on my running shoes. I thought stability shoes might be the best way to counteract it, but what did I know? Making the Choice I told the salesperson that I was looking for a responsive stability model and showed him the heel wear pattern on one of my current pairs. He said that type of ablation was due to heel dragging and suggested that I stick with a neutral shoe. I questioned that, but since this was Runners Edge and not Foot Locker, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Plus he said ablation which is a word I like.
Brooks Launch 8

Instead of stability shoes, the salesperson brought out two neutral options: the Brooks Launch 8 and the Asics Novablast 2. I’ve run in Launch 4s for the past three years and thought it was a solid shoe, but not particularly responsive. The Launch 8 felt a little more energetic than the 4, but not exactly compelling. The Novablast 2 was a very different story.


Once I put the shoe on my foot I knew it was the right choice. The Novablast 2 is nowhere as light as my Reebok Fast 3s, but it had a similar feel underfoot. The cushion and rebound were exactly what I was hoping to find, but the thick midsole was intimidating. Unfortunately, taking them out for a spin wasn’t an option, so I took a chance and bought them anyway.

 34mm stack height - yikes!
First Impressions

INSIDE I was so anxious to run in the Novablasts when I got home that I immediately tried them out for a mile on the treadmill. The first moments of the run were confusing. The Novablasts felt energetic but also a bit unstable. I eventually acclimated to the shoes, but couldn't help wishing they were a few ounces lighter and a touch lower. When I checked my data at the end, I was surprised to see that I’d run much faster than my normal treadmill pace. OUTSIDE The next day I took the Novablasts for their first outdoor run. The midsole cushioning was substantial and it minimized harsh ground contact. The soft rebound kept my stride efficient and the hip and leg twinges I’ve felt over the past weeks were barely noticeable. I found the high platform and slight heaviness disconcerting and a few times around corners I wished for more stable footing. With all that, I ended up doing my fastest run in many months.

The handsome couple
Time will tell whether I should have tried on more shoes or waited to look for other models that the store didn't stock. Overall, the cost of the Novablast 2s was reasonable and the bounce and comfort I get from them is indeed compelling. I’m hoping the Novablasts will be the shoe that gets me back into long runs and provides the protection for recovery that I don’t get from the other shoes in my rotation.

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