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Propelling into the new year with the ASICS Superblast

The Superblast is a brand new edition to be ASICS running lineup. It is a “MAXIMUM” maximum shoe, technically illegal to utilize for elite runners due to exceeding stack height limitations. But considering that most reading this will not fall into that category, we get to enjoy this new footwear. The Superblast is also one of the few unisex running shoes that we have tried, so we are providing a male and female perspective within this review. Let’s get to it.

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Here’s how ASICS describes this shoe:

The SUPERBLAST shoe is the newest hero of the BLAST series. It creates a lightweight and responsive ride that makes it functional for long runs, tempo runs, and everything in between.This shoe’s upper construction features an asymmetric mesh design. It features different colors on the medial and lateral angles of the shoe for visual interest.The midsole features a combination of FF BLAST™ PLUS and FF BLAST™ TURBO cushioning. Also used in our METASPEED™ racing models, this foam helps creates one of the lightest and bounciest running experiences.

Looks:

Matt: This is now called the “sherbet shoe” – a delicious combo of creamy orange on the midsole and green on the outsole. Independently, its an interesting color scheme that seems like it shouldn’t go together but actually does quit well. The is quite the treat to look at overall. ALSO, the first time I glanced at these I pictured the orange part as a silhouette of the Oregon Cascades and now I can’t unsee it. Let’s just pretend I’m right because it’s fun that way.

Rachel: I have a close family member who swears by Asics, so I was stoked to get my own hands on a pair of the Asics Superblast. My initial impression upon opening the box was just how pretty they were. I love the contrasting colors; the off-white mesh upper and the bright neon orange outsole with a hint of neon green just below. I’m admittedly a sucker for bright shoes, so that pop of orange and green is chef’s kiss.

Fit & Construction:
Upper:

The grey woven upper is quite nice. It is lightweight and has proved to be breathable during these winter runs. It has a padded, winged  styling to it that held in place quite well with no significant movement during runs. I have had no major issues with lockdown due to this fit, as well as the lacing (which go directly into the minimally structutred eyeholes in the upper itself) and a supported heel counter. All in all its a pretty standard upper construction with minimal frills.

Midsole:

Matt: Even with all the stack height and max cushioning (a whopping 44.5 mm!) its still really light. Chalk this up to the multiple Flytefoam cushioning – Blast Turbo (for compression and responsiveness) and Blast Plus (for impact absorption and rebound). This allows for a the ability to have that height without the added weight.

For shoes so high, I expected a huge bouncy feel to it – but that was surprisingly not the case. Honestly, the cushion was more evident at slower paces that faster ones. On my first wear, I ended up taking out my dog on a quick walk to break things in. I could feel the cushion with each walking step, and was expecting a lot of bounce going forward. However, as I picked up the pace into a run, the expected spring died down and I got a much more stiff and dense run. It has taken a few weeks of runs, but I finally feel some of the stiffness has worked itself out and it’s more snappy now.

Just to be clear, this is not necessarily a bad thing, and for some people it may be quite a possible. Honestly, while my feet are generally forgiving in shoes, they struggle more with too much cushion than too little. Even though the stack is massive, it actually feels a few inches lower in actuality. For runners who prefer a little more road feel, I think the Superblast might be up that alley. However, if you are going into it, expecting a ton of spring and bounce, you may not find it here.

Rachel: I immediately slipped the shoes onto my feet and was just as immediately met with a delightfully cushioned fit, most noticeable in the collar and heel counter lining. I have relatively narrow feet, so they’re a bit more roomy than I’m used to. Despite this, I was able to get a nice secure fit after tightening the laces, made easier by the thin gusseted tongue. These shoes have a much wider outsole than any of my other trainers, so they do admittedly have a boat-like look to them, but overall, they fit and feel great on the feet.

My first run in the Superblasts was a small 4.5 mile loop around town. As my feet initially found the pavement, I was pleasantly surprised at how noticeably lightweight and bouncy these shoes are. The outsole design is noted as “trampoline-inspired” and I definitely felt that bounce with each and every step. I had moments throughout the run where I found myself mentally comparing the Superblasts to another carbon-fiber plated super shoe I own as the ride felt incredibly similar between the two. Even though the Superblasts are plate-less, the Turbo and Blast Plus cushioning does an amazing job at creating a responsive rebound, resulting in a seemingly effortless run. And despite boasting a stack height of 45.5mm, I had absolutely no issues with stability.

Outsole:

The outsole has strategically placed, mildly raised, rubber pads around the outside of the shoe, and one strip under the forefoot. This rubber is super grippy and provides some durability on the bottom. It does it’s job super well.

Overall:

Matt: It took a tad bit of patience to really get into the Superblast. Perhaps it was heightened expectations (pun intended) for a max cushion shoe, but the more rigid feel at the onset was hard to get mentally used to. That being said, after giving it some break-in time it really came to life and I have been enjoying it’s work.

As with most “super“ shoes, the technology comes at a premium. While generally priced under most other top of the line max shoes out there, it still rings up at $220. I think it can be worth the price of admission, but it’s definitely an investment in taking the plunge so. This is not unique to ASICS, to be clear, and we continually hope that more race companies getting into the elite footwear spear will assist in eventually driving costs down.

Rachel: Now that I’ve logged nearly 40 miles on the Superblasts with runs of varying paces and distances, I can easily say that they’re one of my favorite pairs of trainers. These probably wouldn’t be my first pick for a tempo run or a speed workout, but the overall cushioning of the shoes seem just right for my longer efforts. While not completely necessary, it would be cool to see a plated version as I think they have potential to be a great race shoe. Until then, I’m still gushing at just how comfy and cushy the Superblasts are in their current state. They’re undeniably bouncy and truly just an overall fun shoe to run in.

ASICS Superblast $220

Specs:

Weight: 8.43 oz – Men’s 9

Offset: 8mm [Forefoot: 37.5mm, Heel: 45.5mm]

ASICS

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Thank you to Asics for providing us with sample pairs. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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