Asics Novablast 3 Vs. Novablast 2 [Comparison Review]

Written By Sunny

The ASICS Novablast series has always produced shoes that deliver explosive energy and plush comfort.

Now, with the arrival of the Novablast 3, runners face a captivating question:

Upgrade or stick with the trusty Novablast 2?

In this article, I’ll dissect the subtle differences between these two road sneakers of the Asics lineup. I’ll delve into each shoe’s cushioning, responsiveness, upper construction, and overall performance, giving you the insights to make an informed decision.asics-novablast-3-vs-asics-novablast-2

So, lace up and get ready to dive into the world of Novablast!

A Brief Summary of ASICS Novablast 2 and 3

Both the ASICS Novablasts are energetic running shoes known for their plush cushioning and snappy toe-off. They’re not the lightest shoes on the market, but their combination of comfort and responsiveness makes them popular for daily training and tempo runs.

The Novablast 2 boasts a bouncier FF Blast midsole that feels soft and playful underfoot.

It’s a great choice for runners who prioritize comfort and want a shoe that can handle short bursts of speed. However, I’ve found the 2 a bit unstable in the heel, especially for heel strikers.overview-of-asics-novablast-2

The Novablast 3 addresses this by adding a firmer heel cup and a slightly denser FF Blast+ midsole. It provides better stability and support, making the 3 a more versatile option for longer runs and mixed paces.

While not as bouncy as the 2, the 3 still delivers a lively ride and feels light on your feet.overview-of-asics-novablast-3

Though we are discussing Novablast 2 and 3, surprisingly, the 4th iteration, Novalblast 4, just came out in December 2023. If you are wondering how it holds up against the Cumulus series, check out our complete comparison of ASICS Cumulus 25 vs. Novablast 4.

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of both running footwear and determine which is better for you.

Characteristics Comparison Between Novablast 3 and Novablast 2

Both shoes fall into the competitive category of performance running, yet they vary in aspects like cushioning, responsiveness, weight, durability, and overall design.

Familiarizing yourself with these traits enables you to make well-informed decisions that align with your training objectives, running style, and comfort preferences.

FeatureASICS Novablast 3ASICS Novablast 2
CategoryLightweight Padded TrainerNeutral Daily Trainer
Weight8.9 ounces (for men’s size 9)9.7 ounces (for men’s size 9)
Stack Height38mm in the Heel
30mm in the Forefoot
30mm in the Heel
22mm in the Forefoot
Heel-to-Toe Drop8mm8mm
UpperEngineered Jacquard meshDouble-layer engineered Jacquard mesh
MidsoleFlyteFoam Blast PlusFlyteFoam Blast
OutsoleAHAR rubberAHAR Plus rubber
CushioningFirmer and balancedBouncy and soft
SizingTrue to size, recommend going down a half-sizeRuns large, recommend going down a half-size
StabilityMore stableLess stable
BreathabilityBetter air circulationReduced airflow
FlexibilityMore structured platformEnhanced flexibility
TractionSecure traction on smooth pavementsBetter grip on rough landscapes and damp surfaces
PriceAround $140Around $130
Best forDaily training, long runsShort runs, speedwork

The table indicates that both Novablasts are outstanding joggers. But, upon a detailed analysis of each component, it becomes evident that one surpasses the other.

To determine which shoe is superior, go to the following section.

Fundamental Differences Between ASICS Novablast 3 and ASICS Novablast 2

Knowing the distinguishing features that set Asics Novablast 3 apart from its predecessor, the Novablast 2, is essential for individuals aiming for peak athletic performance or comfort in their running kicks.

These differences encompass shoe design, responsiveness, cushioning technology, and overall performance, all of which substantially shape a runner’s overall experience.

Here are the discrepancies between Novablast 3 and Novablast 2:

1. Upper Construction

The Novablast 3 features a Jacquard mesh upper that’s slightly stronger yet thinner and lighter. This configuration makes it more suitable for warm environments.

The thin, extremely lightweight, asymmetrical tongue is super breathable but tends to slide down inside my shoe, which is pretty annoying. I prefer the thicker tongue of the Novablast versions 1 and 2.

However, the internal heel counter of the Novablast 3 provides excellent lockdown. I’d argue that it is the best heel counter/internal collar combination that ASICS has ever produced. The plush collar padding adds to the rear comfort.

There’s no heel slippage. So, you don’t necessarily require a runner’s knot. But the laces are so long that you might as well do the knot.

On the other hand, the Asics Novablast 2 adopts a double-layer engineered Jacquard mesh for its upper, providing excellent heel grip. Additionally, external heel TPU overlays support the heel, enhancing stability.

The longer, padded tongue of the Novablast 2 adds to the comfort factor, although it’s thicker and less breathable compared to the 3rd iteration.

The upper is designed to be softer, giving my feet a cozy feel.

Ultimately, when craving a featherweight, ultra-breathable shoe for steamy runs, the Novablast 3 reigns supreme. But when I prioritize comfort and plush lockdown, the older version remains my top pick.upper-construction-of-asics-novablast-3

2. Midsole and Cushioning

In the third Novablast edition, Asics introduces the newer FF Blast+ midsole foam, offering a slightly firmer ride with enhanced cushioning.

When I compare Novablast 3 and Nimbus 25, as they use the same cushioning, I’ve found the midsole less squishy and resistant to compression in these runners.

The widened base and redesigned midsole sidewall in the Novablast 3 contribute to less compression and a more balanced feel during runs.

The flatter sensation, coupled with a gentle rocker and deep cushioning, makes it an ideal choice for long runs, effectively absorbing impact and keeping my legs feeling fresh.

Conversely, the Novablast 2 relies on the FF Blast midsole, providing a bouncy and soft feel.

The thick midsole allows your foot to sink into the foam, and a deep channel underneath creates a trampoline effect, which I’ve missed in the newer iteration.

While the Novablast 2 offers that signature bounce and sink-in sensation, the Novablast 3’s advancements in foam technology, broader base, and sidewall design contribute to a flatter, more cushioned, and balanced running experience.

In this matchup, the Novablast 3 takes the lead for its innovative features and improved performance.midsole-and-cushioning-of-asics-novablast-3

3. Outsole Material

The ASICS Novablast 3 has an AHAR rubber outsole, which provides decent durability for the long runs.

However, the flatter outsole design is not that good on wet surfaces. So, you don’t want to get caught in a sudden rainfall while wearing these road shoes.

Additionally, the rear foot’s rubber doesn’t stretch over the edges like it did in the Novablast 2, affecting the grip.

On the other side of the ring, the Novablast 2 showcases the AHAR Plus rubber, which is not only soft and flexible but also boasts a whopping 50% more durability than the regular ASICS High Abrasion Rubber on the newer version.outsole-material-of-asics-novablast-2-and-3

The rubber lugs strategically cover high-wear areas on the heel, ensuring longevity.

Even after cruising through 55 miles, the wear and tear are minimal. I’ve only noticed some damage on the outer lateral heel area.

Add a trampoline-inspired outsole design to the mix, and you’ve got a winner in both performance and durability.

So, when it comes to outsole supremacy, Asics Noveblast 2 still holds the crown.

4. Weight Distribution

ASICS trimmed down the Novablast 3 to 8.9 ounces for a men’s size 9, compared to the Novablast 2 weighing in at 9.7 ounces in the same size.

They have pulled off this weight loss with design tweaks and material choices.

Asics have incorporated a lighter and more advanced FlyteFoam Blast Plus in the Novablast 3, making it lighter on the scales.

Also, with the refined structure, the Novablast 3 can maintain performance while reducing weight.

This reduced load on my feet feels more comfortable and delivers an agile running experience. I feel lighter on my feet, which can make a significant difference, especially during long runs or intense workouts.

It can enhance your running efficiency and reduce fatigue, allowing you to go the extra mile.

Ultimately, I’d pick the Novablast 3 over its predecessor because of the feather-light feel.weight-distribution-of-asics-novablast-3

5. Fit and Comfort

Both the Novablast 3 and 2 runs long. So, go a half-size down to nail the perfect fit.

Now, the ASICS Novablast 3 takes the lead with its thinner and more breathable upper. It’s like a second skin for your feet, offering a snug fit, which I adore. The gusseted, thinner tongue adds to the locked-in fee.

In contrast, the Novablast 2 leans towards plush comfort.

Its slightly thicker upper provides extra coziness. The tongue is thicker and padded, catering to those who appreciate more cushioning around the ankles.

So, if you want a snug, breathable feel, choose the Novablast 3. But for a more comfortable and plush experience, go with the Novablast

6. Performance Comparison


The Novablast 3 generates a slightly firmer and more stable vibe than its predecessor.

Thanks to its FF Blast+ foam, you’re getting a decent energy return, but it’s not as bouncy as the FF Blast foam in the Novablast 2.

On the flip side, the Novablast 2 is softer and bouncier, giving you a more lively and fun feeling when pounding the pavement. It’s the go-to for tempo runs and those shorter distances where you want extra springiness in your step.

So, if you’re looking for constancy, go with the 3, but if you want a more bouncy ride, the Novablast 2 takes the crown.


The Novablast 3 boasts a slightly firmer platform, an improved heel counter, and a wider platform, all working together to provide better overall stability.

The updated midsole geometry adds an extra layer of support, making it a winner for both neutral runners and those with mild overpronation tendencies.

On the other hand, the Novablast 2 offers decent stability for the neutral runners.

But this road shoe won’t be very helpful if you’re an overpronator or need extra support.

So, regarding stability, the Asics Novablast 3 takes the crown with its upgraded features.stability-of-asics-novablast-3


The Novablast 3’s thinner, single-layer mesh construction provides superior air circulation compared to the double-layered, thicker mesh of the Novablast 2. It translates to a cooler, more comfortable foot experience, especially during warm-weather runs.

The Novablast 3 also features a gusseted tongue design, further improving the airflow and preventing heat buildup.

Conversely, the Novablast 2’s double-layered mesh traps the heat, making it feel warmer in hot climates.

Therefore, regarding breathability, the Novablast 3 emerges victorious.


Both shoes offer good agility in the showdown of flexibility between the Novablast 3 and 2, allowing for a natural toe bend during your stride.

However, the Novablast 3, while still flexible, leans towards stability and support, making it less willing to bend than its predecessor. It delivers a smoother, more controlled ride for longer distances or runners seeking added security.

Conversely, the Novablast 2 provides slightly more flexibility.

With more agility and responsiveness, these runners feel better suited during my tempo runs, delivering a zippier feel.

So, I’d pick the ASICS Novablast 2 as the winner due to its nimbleness.flexibility-of-asics-novablast-2


Both shoes feature the AHAR rubber outsole, but the Novablast 3 opts for a standard version, while the 2 has the upgraded AHAR Plus.

This slight difference delivers a noticeable grip advantage for the Novablast 2, especially on wet surfaces. The AHAR Plus boasts a higher coefficient of friction and a more textured design.

Even though the standard AHAR in the Novablast 3 is still solid on dry terrain, it can feel a bit slippery when the rain falls.

Therefore, when it comes to tackling wet surfaces, the Asics Novablast 2 reigns supreme over the Novablast 3.

Pros and Cons of Novablast 3 and Novablast 2

By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of both runners, you can make a knowledgeable decision according to your running preferences, performance objectives, and comfort criteria. This approach will guarantee that you select footwear that best matches your requirements.

Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of Novablast 3 and Novablast 2.

Asics Novablast 3

  • »Thinner, lighter, and more breathable upper.
  • »Excellent lockdown.
  • »Firmer ride with enhanced cushioning.
  • »More balanced and less compressible feel during runs.
  • »Lighter weight enhances running efficiency and reduces fatigue.
  • »Improved stability.
  • »Suitable for longer distances.
  • »Less grip on wet surfaces.
  • »Slightly less bouncy ride compared to Novablast 2.
  • »Reduced flexibility.

Asics Novablast 2

  • »Double-layer Jacquard mesh upper for better comfort.
  • »Softer and bouncier ride.
  • »Superior outsole durability.
  • »Better traction on wet surfaces.
  • »A thicker and padded tongue adds to comfort.
  • »More flexibility.
  • »Less breathable upper.
  • »Heavier weight.
  • »Less stable for fallen arches.


In the battle of ASICS Novablast 3 vs. 2, it all boils down to personal preferences and priorities in a running shoe.

If you’re into a featherweight, ultra-breathable experience for steamy runs, the Novablast 3 is the clear winner. Its features, like the FF Blast+ midsole foam, thinner and breathable upper, and improved stability, make it ideal for those seeking a more balanced and controlled ride.

On the other hand, if you prioritize plush comfort, a bouncier ride, and superior traction on wet surfaces, the Novablast 2 remains a strong contender.

With its FF Blast midsole, thicker and padded upper, and the upgraded AHAR Plus rubber outsole, it delivers a more cushioned and lively experience, especially for shorter distances and tempo runs.

Remember, regardless of your pick, both Novablast runners are tremendous options to help you go beyond your limits and strengthen your running adventures.


Is Novablast 3 better than Novablast 2?

Whether Asics Novablast 3 is better than 2 depends on your priorities. Novablast 3 is lighter, breathes better, and offers more cushioning for longer runs, while the Novablast 2 feels bouncier and more flexible for faster paces.

Can you run a marathon on Novablast 2?

The ASICS Novablast 2 is a well-cushioned shoe, great for easy runs and long distances, but it is not the best choice for a full marathon, especially for runners seeking high speed.

Which Novablast is best?

The Novablast 4 is considered the best due to its improved upper fit, increased cushioning, and smoother transitions while maintaining the signature bouncy feel. However, if you prefer a slightly firmer ride and prioritize affordability, the Novablast 3 will be the better choice.

How many miles will Novablast 3 last?

The lifespan of the Asics Novablast 3 can vary depending on your running style and terrain, but you can expect to get between 300 and 400 miles out of them before they show signs of wear and tear.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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