It sometimes feels like the running shoe industry is a never-ending game of one-up the winner.
Whenever one brand accomplishes a breakthrough technology, it is only going to be a matter of time before the other brands try their hand at the same trick.
Such is the case in the realm of “super-stacked” shoes that feature midsoles over 40mm.
When products such as the Adidas Prime X and New Balance SC Trainer hit the market, you just knew that every other brand out there would be quick to follow suit.
For Asics, that shoe is the Superblast.
With a whopping heel stack of 45.5mm and a price tag that is equally steep, Asics is maxing out on all fronts with this innovative shoe.
But is all of the excess really worth it?
Keep reading as we break down all aspects in this Asics Superblast review!
Asics Superblast Overview
The Superblast is Asics’ foray into the world of ultra-stacked trainers. It is the company’s first product to clear the 40mm threshold, with the heel stack checking in at an eye-popping 45.5mm to rival the gaudiest midsoles on the market.
What is a bit different about the Superblast compared to other “super shoes” in its class is that it does not contain a carbon-fiber midsole plate. While carbon-fiber midsoles are all the rage for blending the lines between comfort and responsiveness, Asics feels like their combination of FF Blast Turbo and FF Blast+ midsole foam makes carbon fiber superfluous.
They might not be wrong, as many runners feel like the Superblast is cushioned without being gooey and performs more like a daily trainer than a max cushioned shoe.
As a result, the Superblast makes its mark by appealing to runners who want to blend the lines between versatility and cushioning.
- Great for long distance runs at moderate paces
- Extremely lightweight
- Excellent cushioning
- Surprising stability
- No carbon fiber plate for extra propulsion
- Not the most durable outsole
- Not the greatest bang for your buck
Now that you have a general overview of what makes the Superblast tick, let’s zero-in on some of its more specific performance attributes!
As you probably guessed seeing that it is a max-cushioned shoe, the Superblast is not one of the most durable products on the market.
Like other shoes that prioritize comfort, it features a high degree of exposed outsole foam that tends to pick up rocks, sticks, and other sharp debris that can do a number in quick order.
With that said, runners actually feel like the Superblast is a bit more durable than other shoes in its class.
This is due to the strategic manipulation of its midsole foams.
As noted, the Superblast features both of Asics most premium foams, the lightweight FF Blast Turbo and the bouncier FF Blast+.
Asics chooses the FF Blast+ for the exposed areas on the outsole. It is a more durable product than FF Blast Turbo–and the exposed foams used in other brands’ max-cushioned trainers–leaving the outsoles less prone to scuffing and wear than similar shoes in its category.
Unfortunately, there is just not enough outsole rubber to ever confuse the Superblast with a highly durable shoe, but it does hold its own for the amount of cushioning it provides.
There have been some reports floating around that the Superblast runs big, with some users recommending to go down half a size when ordering a pair.
This runs contrary to conventional wisdom for sizing a running shoe, and there is a strong pushback from runners saying to just stick with your normal size for the Superblast.
The shoe features an internal heel counter to prevent rear foot slippage. It also has an ample toe box to appeal to runners with wide feet.
With a heel stack of 45.5mm and a forefoot stack of 37.5mm, one look at the Superblast sort of tells the story when it comes to cushioning–there is a lot of it.
With alternating layers of lightweight FF Blast Turbo and bouncy FF Blast+ midsole foam, Asics has created one of the most highly cushioned running shoes on the market. Despite its thickness, the Superblast is also amazingly lightweight, checking in at a mere 8.4 oz (it is a unisex shoe).
However, unlike similar max-cushioned trainers, the cushioning in the Superblast does not necessarily feel gooey. In fact, some runners describe the midsole as more padded than soft.
Although it is not a stability shoe, the Superblast is surprisingly stable for a shoe with its stack height.
Runners attribute this to the strategic deployment of midsole foam, which does not melt during foot strikes and cause the foot to lean one way or the other. The shoe is also built on a wide base with a jacquard mesh upper and heel counter that keep the foot firmly locked in place between strides.
There is no denying that the Superblast is pricey. It checks in at around $220 on most outlets, and it is highly unlikely you will find it for under $200 anywhere.
In fact, the cost is the most significant drawback for most runners, who feel like you can get the same benefits from the Novablast 3 at a much more palatable price point.
Asics Superblast Engineering
Let’s take a closer look at the specific engineering features of the critical areas of the Superblast.
The upper in the Superblast has everything you would expect to see from a high-end running shoe in today’s market. Some of the specific features include:
- Soft, jacquard mesh upper that is noted for its ability to conform to the foot and enhance lockdown.
- Spacious toe box to allow toe splaying.
- A “winged” tongue, as Asics dubs it. It is basically their name for a semi-gusseted tongue that prevents the tongue from slipping laterally and causeing uncomfortable distractions during runs.
- Slightly padded heel tab and collar.
- Internal heel counter to promote rearfoot stability.
The sum of all of these features is a breathable and stylish upper that keeps the foot comfortable and secure during all types of runs.
As a max-cushion shoe, Asics spent the majority of their engineering innovation beefing up the midsole. In fact, the Superblast evolved in large part due to runners wanting more cushioning and stability in the popular Novablast line. Here are some of the characteristics you can expect in the Superblast midsole:
- Expert blend of FF Blast Turbo and FF Blast+ foam for a lightweight, deeply cushioned, highly efficient running experience.
- Engaging ride with surprising responsiveness despite almost no ground feel.
- Minimal flexibility due to the extreme levels of midsole foam present.
- Surprisingly stable landings thanks to a wide base and minimal foam compression.
Many runners feel like the Superblast is the most versatile of all the ultra-stacked midsoles. While these midsoles are at their best on long, easygoing runs, they can effectively blend the lines of an everyday trainer and serve a number of different running needs.
The outsoles in the Superblast feature a high degree of exposed outsole foam to provide extremely soft landings, similar to those in the Hoka Mach 5.
Despite the softness, the FF Blast+ used for ground contact is a bit more resistant to damage than other types of exposed foam. It also has strong tackiness to enhance traction on smooth surfaces.
While there is some outsole rubber in key landing areas of the heel and forefoot, it is not really anything to write home about. The shallow grooves and relative lack of volume do not allow the outsole rubber to provide many benefits in terms of traction or durability.
Alternative Asics Shoes to the Superblast
If you are not necessarily in the market for a max-cushion trainer, then the Superblast may not make a ton of sense for you. Fortunately, there is a huge variety of other Asics products tailor-made to your needs.
Best for Everyday Training: Asics GEL-Cumulus 25
The Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 running shoe seamlessly blends functionality and style, offering exceptional cushioning and a dynamic ride that runners will appreciate for logging their daily miles.
Designed with neutral runners in mind, it features the advanced FlyteFoam Blast technology, providing a lightweight and responsive underfoot experience. Its engineered mesh upper promotes breathability, ensuring optimal ventilation during intense runs.
The 3D Space Construction enhances midfoot stability, allowing for smooth transitions and preventing overpronation. Equipped with a GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot, the Gel-Cumulus 25 effectively absorbs shock, offering superior comfort and protection. The Ortholite sock liner adds an extra layer of plush cushioning, while the AHAR outsole enhances durability and traction on various surfaces.
With its sleek design and vibrant color options, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 is a must-have for runners seeking a combination of comfort, style, and performance.
Best for Stability: Asics GEL-Kayano 30
The Asics Gel-Kayano 30 running shoe delivers pronation control and luxurious cushioning. It neutralizes overpronation with late-stage Metaclutch technology, a dynamic heel construction that encloses the foot for a more locked-in fit during your run.
The reimagined FlyteFoam Blast+ technology in the midsole provides a softer landing and more responsive toe-off with each step. A combination of FF Blast+ and GEL technology delivers lasting comfort, and 3D SPACE construction optimizes compression at footstrike for a more comfortable and efficient stride.
For extra durability, the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 shoe features a full ground contact design that creates a smooth transition from footstrike to toe-off. The Ortholite sockliner boosts comfort, while the AHAR outsole enhances durability.
With its exceptional comfort and support, this shoe is perfect for runners seeking a dependable and high-performance running companion.
Best for Road Racing: Asics MetaSpeed Sky
The Asics MetaSpeed Sky is a revolutionary running shoe meticulously engineered for unparalleled speed to help runners unlock their highest potential.
This aerodynamic masterpiece boasts a meticulously crafted Flytefoam Turbo midsole, renowned for its exceptional responsiveness and lightweight energy return. Each stride propels you forward with effortless efficiency, maximizing your momentum and minimizing energy expenditure.
The meticulously designed carbon fiber plate within the midsole acts as a springboard, harnessing the power of every step and catapulting you towards the finish line with unprecedented velocity. The result is a seamless transition from heel strike to toe-off, reducing the time your feet spend on the ground and empowering you with an unmatched acceleration.
The engineered mesh upper envelops your foot with a feather-light and breathable embrace, ensuring optimal comfort and ventilation throughout your run. Its aerodynamic design reduces wind resistance, slicing through the air with ease.
The proprietary rubber outsole and redesigned curved shape help this shoe attain exceptional traction and durability. This high-performance compound provides unwavering grip on any surface, empowering you with confidence as you push the boundaries of speed.
As the signature Asics shoe designed for racing performance, the Metaspeed Sky is engineered to shatter personal bests and elevate your running to unprecedented heights, making it the ultimate companion for runners seeking to redefine the limits of human performance.
FAQs – Asics Superblast Review
A sample of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Asics Superblast.
Is the Superblast the Best Asics Running Shoe?
To each their own, but it is a stretch to make that claim.
Based on the price tag, it appears that Asics wants you to believe that the Superblast is a preeminent shoe that will propel you into the realm of the elite.
However, it is a bit more of a niche shoe for those who like the idea of a max-cushion shoe with a bit more versatility.
It is also important to remember that some races don’t permit shoes with 40mm stacks.
Who Should Buy the Superblast?
As mentioned, the Superblast is a great option for runners who want a smooth ride and a lot of cushioning with more versatility than is typically found in a super-cushioned shoe. It is a great shoe for easygoing recovery days or simply pounding the pavement when top-end speed is not your ultimate priority.
With that said, it can be easy to assume–based on the price tag–that the Superblast is a performance racer. This is not the case, as it lacks a carbon-fiber plate and the associated propulsion assistance that carbon-fiber plates purportedly provide. Those looking for that type of super shoe should bypass the Superblast in favor of the Nike Alphafly or Vaporfly.
What Is the Latest Version of the Superblast?
While there are rumors of Asics dropping a new version of the Superblast in January 2024, for now, there is only the original Superblast.
One point to note is that due to its similarities to the Novablast line and the fact that it was partially designed as a user response to the Novablast, some runners humorously refer to the Superblast as the “Novablast Pro.”
Final Thoughts: Asics Superblast Review
The Superblast is Asics’ attempt to match its competitors in the realm of ultra-stacked midsoles.
While it does have its strong point in terms of versatility and responsiveness in the realm of highly cushioned trainers, it is hard to justify the price tag unless these are the specific features you are looking for in a shoe. If not, you would probably be better off sticking with the Novablast line or ever choosing a more traditional everyday trainer such as the Gel-Cumulus 25.
Whichever category you fall into, explore the Asics catalog and start running toward your goals today!