Best ASICS Running Shoes for Training and Long Runs

by jacky chou
Updated on

ASICS got an early start into the industry nearly 70 years ago. Kihachiro Onitsuka, the founder, began making basketball shoes right in his living room in Kobe, Japan. He slowly got into running shoes, his business grew, and in 1977 his company merged with two other companies, and they began selling footwear in the United States. They changed the company’s name to ASICS, an acronym for the Latin Anima Sana In Corpore Sano that translates to A sound mind in a sound body to give the best ASICS running shoes in the market.

Some of ASIC’s hallmark technologies include the brand new Guidesole design and Gel cushioning. The Gel cushioning consists of a gel-like substance that is implanted on the midsole and helps absorb the impact for a much smoother ride. You’ll find both innovations in most of the company’s flagship shoes, including the ASICS Gel-Kayano, ASICS Gel-Cumulus, and the ASICS Gel-Nimbus.

Another key innovation is its Impact Guidance System, which combines its external heel counter and specially-designed plates on the midsole, which help provide additional support while you run. In addition, like other shoe manufacturers, ASICS has pushed past the EVA foam by coming up with its proprietary cushion, known as the FlyteFoam. Another of ASICS' latest developments includes the GuideSole, which made its first debut on the ASICS MetaRide.

With such an impressive and broad range of products, it can be a little overwhelming to settle on the best running shoes for your feet from ASICS.

The Best Asics Running Shoes for Training and Long Runs

1. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes

Vionic Tokyo Women's Lace Up Walking Shoe Black Black - 7 Medium
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The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 ASICS is a long-standing ASICS running shoe for decades now and a favorite among daily training runners and long-distance runners alike for its tough durability and comfortable fit. These training shoes feature ASICS’ patented FlyteFoam technology, which is designed to alleviate the foot's muscle strain and pain. It’s a great option for long-distance running, as well as daily training wear since it’s lightweight and incorporates a supportive gel heel that absorbs impact and shock.

The Gel-Nimbus is a neutral shoe designed to cover long distances, and its latest version, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus lite 2, has a few things tweaked here and there for a more forgiving feel and responsive ride. Furthermore, the soft mesh upper and Gel pod in the heel is fine-tuned to soak up the impact better.

At the same time, the midsole features a combination of ASICS's bouncy FlyteFoam Propel for great energy return. Also, it has a new gender-specific medial truss tuned for the minor differences in gait between the male runners and female runners.

  • Pros
  • It has a softer cushioning
  • It is more stable than the previous model Nimbus 22
  • It has an engineered soft mesh upper that is multi-directional to improve ventilation and stability
  • It uses a Gel technology cushioning to provide superb shock absorption
  • It has a Flyte
  • Foam Propel Technology to provide supreme bounce thanks to its unique elastomer compound
  • It has an OrthoLite X-55 sockliner 
  • Cons
  • The toe box feels a little narrow to some

2. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes

ASICS Men's Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes, 7, Black/Reborn Blue
  • GEL Technology: Cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
  • Gender Specific 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION: Addresses different compression rates at footstrike per gender.
  • Engineered mesh upper:
  • Reflective accents improve visibility in low-light conditions:
  • FLYTEFOAM Technology: Provides lightweight cushioning.

The Cumulus also formulates the stability ASICS lineup for decades now. The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 22 is known for its durability and soft cushioning, but the latest version, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23, adds a new feature: increased flexibility. The midsole in the heel is now made up of FlyteFoam with Gel for a plushy feel and great shock absorption, plus it also comes with deeper grooves on its sole to help give you a roll through your strides.

It features a new one-piece mesh upper with a 3D-printed construction for an improved comfortable fit as well. Many user reviews attest that Cumulus feels lighter yet still maintains a good cushioning that gives you enough support, even as a neutral shoe. If you’re looking for a lightweight stability ASICS running shoe, the Gel-Cumulus 23 is definitely worth considering.

It also features a midsole that’s specifically designed to support the natural gait of female runners.

  • Pros
  • It has a rubber sole
  • It uses a Gel Technology Cushioning to provide superb shock absorption
  • It has a gender-specific 3D space construction that addresses the different compression rates at the footstrike on each gender
  • It has an engineered mesh upper
  • It has reflective accents to improve visibility in the low-light or at night
  • It uses Flytefoam Technology to provide lightweight cushioning
  • Cons
  • It is a bit heavy and not suited for speedwork

3. ASICS NovaBlast Running Shoe

ASICS Men's Novablast Running Shoes, 7, Black/Black
  • FLYTEFOAM BLAST -Lightweight, midsole foam with energetic and highly responsive cushioning and bounce for an efficient ride.
  • AHAR Plus Outsole -Strategically positioned in critical areas of the outsole, this exceptionally durable compound is 50% more durable than standard ASICS High Abrasion Rubber.
  • Engineered Mesh Upper -Multi-directional mesh material improves ventilation and stability.
  • Ortholite Lasting -This lasting material features plush underfoot comfort while providing excellent moisture management and a high level of breathability (Ortholite is a registered trademark of ATP...
  • Reflective accents improve visibility in low-light conditions

If you’re looking for a supportive and soft shoe with plenty of stability, cushioning, and support, the ASICS NovaBlast running shoe is your best bet. Unlike the ASICS’ traditional formula of using multiple layers of foam to give a stiff, stable ride, the ASICS NovaBlast uses a single slab of thick, high-rebound yet lightweight FlyteFoam. In addition, the midsole comes complete with an angular shape and bright colors.

It is the most exciting shoe that ASICS has made in a while, and it’s clearly targeted towards runners who are not on their eighth pair of the ASICS Gel-Cumulus. The NovaBlast has a delightful springy underfoot, with a seemingly endless cushioning that does not 'bottom out' despite the shoe's low density.

Its heel-to-toe transfer is smooth and gives a brief moment where your heel and forefoot sink into its foam before going up on your toes again. Then the material returns to its original form, helping propel you onto your next stride. The NovaBlast features a thick wedgy heel, plush insole, and light in weight foam midsole, all of which help runners land a soft yet exceptionally bouncy ride.

Despite being this highly cushioned, most users note that the NovaBlast's ride is still responsive and light in weight, making it the best option for sprints or long-distance runs.

  • Pros
  • It has a lightweight, midsole flytefoam
  • Its construction gives an energetic and highly responsive cushioning and bounces for an efficient ride
  • It comes with an AHAR plus outsole that is strategically positioned in the critical areas of its outsole
  • The AHAR Plus outsole is an exceptionally durable compound that is 50% more durable than the standard ASICS highly abrasive rubber
  • It has an engineered lightweight mesh upper that is multi-directional to help improve the shoe's ventilation and stability
  • It has an Ortholite lasting material that features plush underfoot for comfort and excellent moisture-wicking with its high level of breathability
  • It has reflective accents that improve visibility in the dark or low-light places
  • It has a springy and comfortable midsole
  • Cons
  • It can be unstable at times

4. ASICS Men's Metaracer Tokyo Running Shoes

ASICS Men's Metaracer Tokyo Running Shoes
  • Material: Outer Material: Fabric Lining and Insole: Fabric, Shoes: Other Material (Plastic)
  • Parts of animal origin: no

The ASICS MetaRacer running shoe is the company's first carbon fiber-plated racing shoe. It is a limited-edition ASICS running shoes 2021 release model that dons a fiery neon upper to celebrate the 2021 Olympics city. It is best for racing and is a culmination of some of the new ASICS technologies.

The big drawback of these ASICS running shoes 2021 release models is the GuideSole construction. The GuideSole construction uses a rocker sole that helps the runner roll easily onto their toes and improves the efficiency of their stride. Additionally, the FlyteFoam cushioning further absorbs the impact forces while the carbon-fiber plate that is tucked into its midsole gives the runner an added support and extra jolt in energy return.

Its rocker-style midsole comes with an aggressive toe spring that’s designed to help keep your ankle in place and reduce the excess movement of the ankle to save runners energy. This, plus its carbon-fiber plate in the forefoot, helps improve efficiency to help quicken your pace. While digging in for that second-half speed in the marathon, it helps that the shoe is radically light in weight to help your feet use the little gas you have left well.

  • Pros
  • Its carbon-fiber midsole plate is light in weight to help improve feet energy return
  • It has a Rocker-style sole that helps promotes a smooth heel to toe transitionIts FlyteFoam midsole is springy, moderately soft, light in weight, and quite responsive
  • The rockered forefoot and its carbon-fiber plate reduces excess ankle movement on your feet for a more efficient, smoother, and propulsive transition while training
  • Its engineered mesh is light in weight and breathable for exceptional temperature control and moisture wicking on your feet
  • It has a versatile cushioning for your feet that is suitable for 5K races and marathons
  • Its heel to toe difference is 24-14 mm
  • It falls under A3 - maximum cushioning running shoe category
  • Cons
  • Some users find that the toe box rubs the pinky toes

5. ASICS Women's NOVABLAST SPS Running Shoes

Compared to the rest, the ASICS Women's NovaBlast SPS running shoes are a bit more radical: here’s a neutral shoe that comes with a thick wedge of lightweight foam that’s tuned for such superb energy return on your feet. It uses a FlyteFoam blast that creates a soft landing for your feet and an exceptionally bouncy ride.

Despite the Women's NovaBlast SPS running shoes having a tall stack height, its low-density foam helps keep the shoe from feeling heavy on your feet, not forgetting its springy responsiveness. Its loose-fitting mesh upper might create some stability issues, but overall, the NovaBlast SPS still earns such high praise from many users. Also, it performs best in dry conditions since the outsole may feel a little slippery on your feet on wet roads during training.

  • Pros
  • Its FlyteFoam blast midsole is springy, lightweight, and comfortable
  • Its engineered Jacquard mesh upper improves on overall breathability
  • It has a rubber sole
  • It uses a lace closure
  • It has reflective details that help you become visible
  • Its AHAR is positioned in the critical areas of your shoe's outsole
  • The AHAR is an exceptionally durable compound than the standard ASICS high abrasive rubber.
  • Cons
  • It can feel slightly unstable at times, especially during very tight cornerings

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Asics Running Shoes for You

A) Comfort

Generally, all Asics running shoes are designed for maximum comfort, but some come with more padding than others. Long-distance runners and daily training runners should also look for shoes that are designed with a breathable mesh upper or special sock liner to reduce moisture and sweat.

B) Stability

If you overpronate, always consider a running shoe that is designed with extra stability; this includes a thick ankle collar and extra medial support for extra stability.

C) Cushioning

Asics running shoes come with a variety of cushioning levels. The level of cushioning depends on the type of running you plan to be doing, the surface you're running on, and your personal preference as well.

D) Fit

The best way to evaluate a running shoe is by physically trying it on. However, if this isn't an option you have, make sure to check on the return policy before purchasing it.

Frequently Asked Questions on The Best Asics Running Shoes

1. What are the best ASICS running shoes for each category?

  • Best overall running shoe- ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23
  • Best women’s running shoe - ASICS Gel-Cumulus 22
  • Best men’s running shoe - ASICS Gel-Kayano 27
  • Best running shoe to splurge on - ASICS MetaRun
  • Most affordable running shoe - ASICS Gel-Contend 6
  • Most cushioned running shoe - ASICS NovaBlast
  • Best trail shoe for trail runners - ASICS Gel-Sonoma 6
  • Best ASICS running shoes for distance runners -ASICS MetaRide
  • Best ASICS for stability and support -ASICS GT 2000 9

2. Which ASICS running shoe has the best arch support?

The most popular and well-known model from ASICS running shoes is the ASICSGel Nimbus lite 2, and the latest is the ASICS Gel Nimbus 23. The ASICS Gel Nimbus lite 2 provides excellent shock absorption and a GEL-Cushioning with a high arch, extra support, and supination for excellent arch support and rearfoot support.

3. What are the best ASICS running shoes for men?

  • The best men's shoe overall - ASICS Gel-Kayano 27
  • The best daily training shoe to splurge on - ASICS MetaRun
  • The most affordable -ASICS Gel-Contend 6
  • The shoes with the most cushioning- ASICS NovaBlast
  • The best training shoes for trail runners- ASICS Gel-Sonoma 6
  • The best for long-distance runners- ASICS MetaRide
  • The best stability running shoes - ASICS GT 2000 9
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