Gear Shoe Review: ASICS NOVABLAST 3



Finding the right shoe that offers both stability and lightness isn’t easy. As a recovering heel-striker, this is a combination that can make all the difference by giving me the added support needed to kick this bad habit and keep me on my toes. When ASICS brought out the NOVABLAST, in 2020, it was one of the first shoes featuring FlyteFoam (FF), a material that has since been adding more bounce across the brand’s stellar lineup. More bounce—and lightness—is a frequent rally cry among runners, and ASICS had answered the call with innovation in this popular neutral shoe.

When the NOVABLAST 3 landed on my front porch in early October, a lunchtime test run was in order. Even on a quick fall run through my neighbourhood, I felt a welcoming energetic bounce off the sidewalks in every step. In early fall, with conditions and temperatures fluctuating erratically, I’ll take all the energy I can get. Feeling that power underfoot, propelling me forward a little lighter, it’s exactly what I need to keep going.

The NOVABLAST 3 also features that pillowy sensation that has come to be expected from the shoe, and it’s still a welcomed and consistent level of comfort. Even better for this runner who still finds herself lapsing into those old heel-striking habits? This new version also includes the addition of foam to the heel and forefoot—along with a trampoline pod on the outsole. And really, who couldn’t use a little more bounce in every stride? My feet are grateful.

Lightness and durability don’t always hit the right mix in a shoe. The NOVABLAST 3 is a pleasant surprise, with the outsole giving runners the right combination of both thanks to the addition of AHARPLUS. This lightweight material is the secret to added traction underfoot, a feature that’s welcome for runners navigating these rapidly changing weather conditions of fall. In addition, the heel stabilizer offers the support needed to help runners establish a more balanced stride.  

There’s something subtly different, too. As runner’s know, when your favourite shoe changes—even ever so slightly—you can feel it, like a pea buried somewhere deep down beneath your mattress. In the NOVABLAST 3, you can pinpoint the difference to the midsole. Along with this added lightness, the shoe’s newfound responsiveness is thanks in part to an upgrade in the full midsole with the FF Blast, PLUS cushioning. With its subtle changes combined at 7.8 oz, it’s officially the lightest NOVABLAST to date: 30 percent lighter than its predecessor.

Thankfully, runners are taking into consideration their impact on the planet and brands, as a result, are opting for practices that reduce their overall environmental impact. With an ongoing focus on creating more sustainable production methods, ASICS continues its strong committed to the environment.

In the NOVABLAST 3, the upper is constructed of at least 75 percent recycled materials while the dying process of the sock liner reduces water usage. This makes the shoe better for runners and better for the planet.

Wherever running is taking you this season, the NOVABLAST 3 will help you get that extra spring into every step—making you feel a little lighter all season long.

Anna Lee Boschetto is a writer, runner and iRun contributor. She lives north of Toronto with her two daughters. NOVA BLAST 3 launches November 1. For more information, please click here.