We Tested Every Running Shoe Asics Offers. These Are the Best


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Asics is one of the most popular running shoe brands on the market. Beyond the sheer number of different shoes the brand offers, Asics has a loyal following due to their consistent year-over-year improvements. In my experience testing Asics shoes, the company does a great job of keeping what works and tweaking what doesn’t. Slow, steady innovation leads to some of my favorite running shoes from any brand (like my overall best pick, the SuperBlast).

The best Asics running shoes share common traits, including secure, comfortable uppers and excellent midsole foams. The various FlyteFoams—Blast, Blast Plus, and Blast Turbo—are particularly soft and springy underfoot. And better yet, most of these shoes don’t take long to break in, so you can enjoy comfort and performance almost immediately.

Related: The Best Running Shoes Out There, Tested and Reviewed

Best Overall Asics Running Shoe: SuperBlast

Asics Superblast

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The Asics SuperBlast has been one of my favorite shoes from any brand this past year. Fun and versatile, this max-stack shoe is lightweight, fast, and comfortable.

The Asics SuperBlast was one of two pairs of shoes first out of my closet on any given long run Sunday this year (the other being the New Balance SuperComp Trainer 2). They don’t have a carbon fiber plate, but they don’t need one. I find plates too rigid for most training runs, and the appeal of these shoes is their very supple feel underfoot. Plus, the FlyteFoam (FF) Blast Turbo foam is so peppy that no plate is needed to achieve speed. Even late in 10-plus mile efforts, the SuperBlast felt comfortable, stable, and bouncy. I would happily race in this shoe, because the low weight and high-energy midsole foam perform great.

Beyond the excellent long-wearing performance, the Asics SuperBlast excels at faster paces as well. I gravitated toward these shoes over other speed-oriented options because they are so plush. Speed work can be hard on the feet, and the SuperBlast was a welcome comfort.

SuperBlasts are sold as gender-neutral shoes, and Asics has created some of their coolest colorways for this shoe. I tested the White/Lilac Hint color and it remains one of my favorite looking shoes from this year. My only real qualm with the Asics SuperBlast is their minimal outsole. The outsole is mostly exposed midsole foam, with some small sections of a low-tread rubber. Although this minimalist outsole helps keep the weight down (only 9 ounces), the exposed foam has indents that pick up small rocks, and the rubber isn’t very grippy, especially in wet weather.


  • Super plush and bouncy.
  • More versatile than chunky appearance indicates.
  • Lightweight and speedy.
  • Comfortable upper.
  • Very stable for stack height.
  • Great colorways.
  • Dual foams (FF Blast Turbo and FF Blast Plus) are ideal combo.


  • Outsole is not very durable or tacky compared to other high-performance trainers.
  • Pricey for a trainer.

Weight: 9 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$200 at Asics
$200 at Zappos

Best Everyday Asics Running Shoe: NovaBlast 4

Asics NovaBlast 4

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The new Asics NovaBlast 4 is as an excellent all around trainer. I loved the NovaBlast 3 and named it best Max Cushion shoe for our latest running shoe guide. My two gripes about the previous version were that the upper wasn’t super secure, and the excessively soft foam led me to overpronate (and I don’t typically overpronate). The NovaBlast 4 fixes both of those previous issues. 

While the NovaBlast 4 is not a speed shoe, the new version feels a bit firmer underfoot (but still plenty comfortable). The upper is now slightly thicker, which makes it easier to lock your foot in—though this comes at the cost of breathability. 

I love how this shoe felt on long, slow efforts as well as mid-length faster-paced runs. While I’d opt for the SuperBlast over the NovaBlast for speed work, this fourth iteration is still more lightweight and nimble than something like the Gel-Nimbus or Gel-Kayano.


  • A little firmer and peppier than the NovaBlast 3.
  • Still extremely comfortable underfoot.
  • Really smooth transitions.
  • New upper is easier to lock-in fit.
  • Looks great.
  • Improved outsole.


  • New upper doesn’t cool as well as the previous model.
  • Still not the most versatile—lackluster for speed work and other fast efforts.
  • Outsole grip felt lacking.

Weight: 9.2 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$140 at Asics
$140 at Zappos

Best Value Asics Running Shoe: GT-1000 12

Asics GT-1000 12

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Also on our best running shoe guide, the Asics GT-1000 12 provides excellent value. While competitive runners might find it lacking some of the premium features of higher-priced shoes, like peppier foams or lock-down uppers, the latest in the ever-popular GT-1000 lineup packs a lot into a $100 shoe.

If you tend to overpronate, the GT-1000 12 is a stable, solid shoe for casual runs and walking around town. It’s great for runners of all sizes, and the breathable, pliable upper kept my feet comfortable on hot summer runs. While this shoe isn’t performance-oriented, it’s comfortable, available in wide and trail versions, and weighs less than 10 ounces. For $100, few shoes offer that much.


  • Tons of options to dial in fit and utility.
  • Great price.
  • Good blend of comfort and weight.
  • Breathable upper.
  • Stability features for overpronators.


  • Lacks some structure and rigidity of higher-priced options.
  • Lightweight upper doesn’t “lock-down” as well as other shoes.
  • Lacks premium foams found in other Asics shoes.

Weight: 9.5 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$100 at Asics
$100 at Zappos

Best Asics Racing Shoe: Magic Speed 3

Asics Magic Speed 3

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Don’t get me wrong, Asics super-shoes like the Metaspeed Sky+ and Metaspeed Edge+ are excellent marathon shoes. But I’m going to urge readers to consider the Asics Magic Speed 3 for your racing efforts.

The Magic Speed 3 package appeals to more runners. Categorized as a speed trainer and shorter distance racer (think less than marathon distance), the Magic Speed 3 features a full-length carbon plate, dual-density FF Blast Plus foam, and a lightweight upper. At 7.8 ounces, this is nearly as light as the top super-shoes, and the lower profile design feels more stable and less tippy than some higher-stack competitors.

And last but not least: You’d be hard pressed to find another racing shoe so good for $160. I’m often weary to break out the $250-plus super-shoes for fear of wearing them out. But knowing I can get a solid training life and racing life out of a pair of shoes just over the $150 mark is really appealing.


  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Dual-density FF Blast Plus foam is comfortable and fast.
  • Full-length carbon plate.
  • Surprisingly accommodating Motion-Wrap upper.
  • Great heel-structure for racing option.
  • Less expensive than a super-shoe.


  • Lacks premium foams of Asics super-shoes.
  • Lower profile design may not appeal to longer distance racers.
  • Takes some mileage to fully break in.
  • No FF Blast Turbo foam.

Weight: 7.8 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 7mm

$160 at Asics
$160 at Amazon

More Asics Running Shoes We Love

Best Versatile Asics Running Shoe: GT-2000 12

The GT-2000 12 is a true jack-of-all-trades, which is exactly why it’s such a versatile trainer. While I still prefer the NovaBlast 4, if you want something with a little less cushioning or a little more stability, this is a capable trainer.

At 9.5 ounces, it is lighter than the max cushion options, but at the same weight as the GT-1000, the 2000 feels more rigid and responsive. Plus, it has better foam (FF Blast Plus) and a better upper. If the NovaBlast doesn’t appeal to you as a daily trainer, the GT-2000 is a great alternative.


  • Lightweight.
  • A tad more rigidity and bounce than the GT-1000.
  • Similar upper to other leading Asics shoes.
  • Gel and FF Blast Plus are upgrade over GT-1000 foam.
  • Stability features for overpronators.


  • Less fun than the similarly-priced NovaBlast.
  • Use-case limited to everyday training.
  • Added cost over GT-1000 might not be justifiable for some runners.

Weight: 9.5 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$140 at Asics
$140 at Zappos

Best Max-Cushion Asics Running Shoe: Gel-Nimbus 26

I broke out the Gel-Nimbus 26 on a super easy run after a three day drive home to the midwest. I went as slow as I could possibly go, and the soft foam gently helped my legs regain their poise. I tested a previous version of the Gel-Nimbus about a year ago, and while the refinements aren’t drastic, subtle improvements to the upper and increased softness in the midsole are welcome for a shoe in the max cushion category.

The Gel-Nimbus 26 isn’t for everyone. It can feel a little clunky if you try to go fast or don’t tend to land on your heel. However, bigger runners, walkers, or folks who want a ton of cushioning will love the latest Gel-Nimbus. I’ve been happily breaking these out on slow runs and neighborhood walks. While this shoe is a bit pricey for its somewhat limited use, you’re sure to find one that fits you perfectly, as the Gel-Nimbus 26 is available all the way up to extra-wide.


  • Gel layer in heel lends to extremely plush feel.
  • Comfortable, stretchy sock-like liner.
  • FF Blast Plus Eco foam is soft, bouncy and 20 percent bio-based.
  • Variety of widths, colorways and outsoles.


  • Transitions aren’t as smooth as NovaBlast.
  • Doesn’t perform well when running fast.
  • Expensive compared to other Asics.

Weight: 10.7 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$160 at Asics
$160 at Zappos

Best Asics Stability Shoe: Gel-Kayano 30

This super popular stability shoe feels like the Gel-Nimbus 26 out of the box. However, the Asics Gel-Kayano 30 has more appeal for many runners. I don’t tend to overpronate, but I occasionally experience inward collapse when my legs are gassed, and to help ease the burden on my ankles, I often don a well-cushioned stability shoe. Few, if any, are better than the newest Gel-Kayano.

Similar to the Gel-Nimbus, the Gel-Kayano can feel a bit clunky in transitions if you get moving too quickly. But for a slower-speed daily trainer, the 4D Guidance system is very noticeable at balancing the inward roll overpronators experience. The gel heel is soft as ever, and the sock-liners are really supple. The stability features and wide, planted geometry also make this a great choice for bigger runners.


  • Excellent choice for bigger runners.
  • Wide sole geometry makes for very stable ride regardless of pronation.
  • FF Blast Plus foam has surprising bounce for a heavier stability shoe.
  • Gel is great for heel-strikers.
  • Similarly high-quality upper to Gel-Nimbus.


  • Midfoot strikers may experience a clompy ride.
  • Not versatile or fast.
  • Stability might be overkill for many runners.

Weight: 10.7 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 10mm

$160 at Asics
$160 at Zappos

Best Everyday Trail Running Asics Shoe: Gel-Trabuco 12

The Asics Gel-Trabuco 12 is a true workhorse trail shoe, not unlike its competitor the Brooks Cascadia. It wasn’t the quickest or lightest shoe I ran trails in, but it’s a stiff, stable, and durable shoe designed for meat-and-potatoes trail runs. 

My final test run in these was an easy effort in a local desert wash. The trail had loose dirt, jagged rock, smooth granite, tree roots, and lots of puddles from recent rain. The Gel-Trabuco was perfectly suited to the varied footing. The integrated rock plate and firm midsole foam felt protective but adaptable to conditions. And the upper, while stiff, felt protective and kept my feet dry in the puddles (for even more wet-protection, opt for the GTX version). If you’re looking for something more fun, see the Fuji Lite 4 below. But if you need a versatile, long-wearing trail running shoe then the Gel-Trabuco 12 should serve you well for the bulk of your trail miles.


  • Stable and poised on variety of surfaces.
  • AsicsGrip outsole surprisingly grippy.
  • Integrated rock-plate and firm, comfortable foam created protective feel.
  • Gel in heel softened hard landings.


  • Not particularly nimble or peppy.
  • Heavy-feeling on the foot.
  • Upper takes some break-in.

Weight: 11.1 Ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm

$140 at Asics
$140 at Amazon

Most Fun Asics Trail Runner: Fuji Lite 4

The Asics Fuji Lite 4 makes up for what the Gel-Trabuco lacks in excitement. This lightweight trail runner is quick and nimble, and the flexible upper and soft cushioning make for a great experience right out of the box.

Like with the Gel-Trabuco, I’m really impressed with the AsicsGrip outsole, which feels tacky but not overly stiff. However, this shoe does lack a rock plate. Despite the plush cushioning, I got a ton of trail feedback because of the soft feel. The mesh upper is really breathable, so these are great desert bombers and warm weather trail shoes. Also, the lower drop makes them feel a bit more comfortable when running downhill.


  • More fun out of the box than the above Gel-Trabuco.
  • Really comfortable bio-based FF Blast cushioning.
  • Soft and breathable upper.
  • Well-performing AsicsGrip outsole.


  • Less protective and less stable than Gel-Trabuco.
  • Upper more prone to wear.
  • Sometimes excess midsole squish leads to hard trail impacts.

Weight: 9.5 ounces

Heel-Toe Drop: 4mm

$130 at Asics

Related: The Best Marathon Shoes to Run Your Next PR

Why You Should Trust Me

Over the past year, I ran hundreds of miles in over 60 pairs of running shoes. I’ve been testing many of these Asics shoes since early 2023, and have even had the opportunity to test older and newer versions side-by-side for many of the choices on this list.

In addition to my individual testing, I worked with a team of testers over a variety of reviews and gleaned insight from all types of runners, from heavier men looking for maximum support to elite, sub-4:00 minute milers. There were different Asics models that appealed to every runner I worked with this year. Some shoes, like the SuperBlast and NovaBlast, appealed to a wide range of testers.

As an average runner, I find a lot to love about Asics running shoes. They make the best shoes for the money. Not many companies have high quality racing shoes for under $200 or multiple versatile trainers for under $150. No matter your budget and running goals, Asics seems to offer an excellent choice for everyone.

We tested numerous pairs of Asics running shoes to pick the very best the brand has to offer.

Nathan Lemin

What We Look for in a Great Running Shoe

My three go-to questions when testing running shoes are as follows:

  1. Do I want to wear it again?
  2. Is it holding up to frequent wear?
  3. Does it serve its intended purpose?

Indeed, our testing team at Men’s Journal is concerned with recommending comfortable, durable shoes that perform the job they were designed for. That means a racing shoe should provide speedier transitions, long-wearing comfort and lightweight fit, an everyday trainer should provide durable outsoles, accommodating fit and plenty of support, and a trail running shoe should provide excellent tread and enhanced protection.

Asics shoes check all the boxes. They’re durable, comfortable, and versatile running shoes that look classic and speedy. 

Related: We Tested Every Hoka Running Shoe—These Are the Best

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