Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]


ASICS Superblast Review: 45.5mm!
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein

While super racing shoes have been around for several years, the concept of a "super trainer" is still fairly new. These shoes are defined by new-age foams, stiffening agents, and their outlandish stack heights deemed illegal for racing. While New Balance (SC Trainer) and Adidas (Prime X) have had their super trainers out for some time, ASICS has entered the ring with the ASICS Superblast. This shoe runs firmer than the SC Trainer and Prime X, sits in between them in regards to price, shares the ability to pick up the pace like the Prime X and the solid training ability of the Supercomp. Coming in as the lightest of these super trainers at 239g, the Superblast manages to balance training, workouts, and is a blast to run in.

Price: $200.00 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.4 oz, 239 g (men's size 9), Women's Weights Not Provided
Stack Height: 45.5 mm / 37.5 mm
Drop: 8 mm 
Classification: Super Trainer


Matt: The ASICS Superblast is the lightest of the current super trainers. It functions as a maximal stack height, lightweight trainer that can handle long runs, daily miles, and workouts. A slightly snug fit sits up top with a lightweight mesh providing the security of a performance shoe. The ride is rockered in the heel, stiffer in the forefoot, compressive, responsive and protective for almost every type of run. Those who want a shoe that can handle daily training, longer runs, uptempo efforts and almost any workout in a premium super maximal stack height should consider the ASICS Superblast.

David: The ASICS Superblast is a unique trainer in the maximum cushion category that provides a light weight package and a responsive ride. The shoe is as at 45 mm of stack in the heel and features the FlyteFoam Turbo that is also in the Metaspeed Edge and Sky models. The geometry and upper do a good job of creating a sense of security for how much foam there is. This is a high stack training shoe that can do a little bit of everything pace wise.

SIMILAR SHOES: New Balance SuperComp Trainer, Adidas Prime X, Nike Invincible


Matt: The ASICS Superblast fits me true to size in my normal Men's US size 10. The fit is slightly snug throughout. This is most noticeable in the forefoot with a snug fit that does break in thanks to a light mesh upper. The mesh does stretch over time while still providing a secure fit throughout the length of the foot. The midfoot is normal to slightly snug in width. The tongue is thin but gusseted. I did have some bunching at the top of the tongue, but this was easily corrected while putting the shoes on. The heel is also normal to slightly snug in fit. The heel collar is well padded and covers a small heel counter that is moderately flexible. I had no issues with the counter given that it only comes up halfway and is offset well by the rearfoot padding. This connects into the sidewalls, which also do a great job of centering the heel. The security is great in this shoe due to the slightly snug fit sidewalls and ASICS logo overlays that provide gentle structure. The inner side of the upper is fairly seamless and can be used for sockless running if the toe guard does not bother you. While light, it made me nervous so I elected to use socks with this upper.

The ASICS Superblast has a more performance-oriented fit that still stretches for training, making it a great option for those with normal to narrow-width feet. 

David: The ASICS Superblast fits true to size in my men's 9.5, though a tiny bit long. The material is nearly a solid hybrid between the slightly more plush Novablast and the thinner race ready Metaspeed Sky and Edge. The material does not stretch much, but still has a sense of comfort and softness. The width throughout the shoe is normal in the heel and midfoot and slightly wide in the forefoot. The dimensions are pretty solid and the lockdown throughout feels secure. I had a tiny bit of heel slippage in my right shoe, but after lacing it down a little tighter it did just fine without using the other eyelet. Altogether, I am pretty happy with the upper and feel like its a really nice blend between performance and comfort. 

Video: Asics Superblast vs. Asics Novablast
Video: Asics Superblast vs. New Balance SuperComp Trainer


Matt: The ASICS Superblast features full-length FF Turbo with a small bottom layer of FF Blast +. Despite the lack of a plate and large amount of foam, the ride is actually firmer and stiffer than expected. Initially, the ride was so stiff I was convinced there was a plate. This is a shoe that definitely needs a few miles to break in. The FF Turbo sole does compress underfoot and the large amount of foam is noticeable underfoot. However, the ride varies depending on the effort you are doing. I found that at easier/training paces, the ride is slightly firmer and protective, giving it a traditional daily trainer feel. The centered heel bevel is prominent in the rear but it extends farther forward, so I did not notice the lateral sole flare. There is an 8mm drop that I did not notice given the compressive sole and large heel bevel. The toe-off is stiff thanks to the later forefoot rocker, which does break in with some miles. When the pace picks up, the FF Turbo compresses and rebounds considerably more. It still does not feel like a soft ride, but one that compresses and rebounds.

The lighter weight (8.4 oz) makes it easy to transition into workouts/faster efforts. The size of the shoe and the grounded ride also make it comfortable at easier paces. The forefoot feels much better at uptempo/faster efforts as I am able to transition through the stiffer front faster. This makes this shoe excellent as a maximal lightweight training shoe.

The durability is extremely high as I have 70 miles with almost no wear to the sole. Combined with the higher level of cushioning and inherently stable ride, this makes the Superblast excellent for training miles. I have found it provides plenty of cushioning over longer efforts once the rocker of the shoe has broken in. It is also versatile as a uptempo/workout shoe. I have done several longer threshold/tempo efforts and fartleks in this shoe. While it is not the fastest shoe out there, it transitions extremely well between training and faster efforts. The smoother outsole is meant for road as rocks seem to get stuck easily in the outsole gaps. Additionally, traction is not the best in these on wet road, so dry pavement is a better option for the use of this shoe.

The ASICS Superblast provides a unique ride for the category. Initially standing in the shoe you do not feel like like you have 45mm of foam underneath you. You actually feel decently centered and grounded. The Turbo foam to be has always had a sense of firmness and resilience to where it doesn't comply much to just standing on it like Blast+ foam does. With that said the foam still provides plenty of cushioning upon landing. There is no plate but because of the amount of foam there is still some rigidity through the forefoot. The geometry is similar to the Novablast 3, but still rides a little bit differently. The foam does not feel pillow soft upon landing, but it springs you forward much more at toe off.

The weight of the shoe is really good for the amount of foam present and you actually feel like you can turn over a little bit as well. The outsole design is also set up with a crash pad design and a "trampoline pod" in the forefoot. This does seem to give the shoe a tad more compliance and bounciness. The heel is beveled and seems to transition into the midfoot well. The forefoot toe spring is moderate to high and provides a good balance of rolling and bounciness sensations when popping off of the region. This is the one shoe over 40mm of stack that I actually feel decently comfortable running on dirt with. I still don't take it into trails that have moderate technicality but for packed dirt and runnable trails it seems to actually work pretty decent. Because of the versatility, I think the shoe does raise some appeal. I think this could be a solid long distance racing shoe for those that are sensitive to plates, as well as a daily trainer/long run shoe.

The price point is quite high and could be hard to justify in some ways, but if the runner is using as a Swiss army knife for everything I could see it stacking up (pun intentional, let's see if Matt reads this). 


Matt: The ASICS Superblast checks off all the boxes as a stable neutral shoe. Pointed sidewalls are present on both sides of the foot in the heel and midfoot, providing guidance and security. The sole is on the wider side with a midfoot that stays wide as well. There is plenty of sole flare in the heel and forefoot to add to the guidance in those areas. The large heel bevel rolls the foot in well. The forefoot rocker is a bit stiff, but breaks in and transitions quickly. Despite not having a plate, the Superblast is quite stiff torsionally even more so than longitudinally (as mentioned). There are also the inherent guidance lines in the sole that come partially from sole removal for weight saving, but also clear lines in the outsole. How much these actually contribute to guidance is unknown, but the combination of all these factors makes for a shoe that is highly stable neutral ride.

David: For having 45mm of stack with a new generation midsole the stability is quite good. With that said this still runs very neutral throughout. The shoe does a good job of creating some inherent stability by having good upper lockdown and integration with the sidewalls. You feel decently centered throughout the whole ride. The high abrasion rubber seems to do okay in most situations. I have not had the opportunity to take it into wet environments and cannot speak on its usage there. It seems to be okay in dirt, despite maybe some small moments of slipping on turns. The Turbo foam holds its shape pretty well upon load and I have never felt like I was sinking into or fighting the platform. The geometry keeps things moving forward and linear pretty well too. The Superblast certainly rides neutral throughout but has some decent components to help with giving you a more stable experience. 


Longitudinal Bending Stiffness
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

The ASICS Superblast is a great example of the fact that plates are not the only way to increase longitudinal bending stiffness. Despite not having a plate, the thick midsole and lack of flex grooves provide a stiffer ride. So much so that they were actually quite uncomfortable, requiring a break-in period over a few miles. Initially, I actually had some anterior knee pain, which is a compensation I completely expected.

Longitudinal bending stiffness refers to how much resistance there is to a force bending the shoe or material front to back. This is different from torsional stiffness, which refers to the resistance to a torsional force. Longitudinal bending stiffness can occur from anything that limits a material's ability to bend. That can be from a plate, it can be from the thickness of the material, the density of the material, the use of several materials of different densities and many others. We have discussed previously that each person responds best to a different level of bending stiffness (Mcleod et al., 2020). Stiffer shoes need rockers (heel, ankle, forefoot rockers) to facilitate forward motion as they replace the natural ankle rockers lost to the stiffness of the midsole. If the artificial rockers are not enough, the body will compensate in other ways to get around this. A lack of - or too-aggressive of - heel and forefoot rockers will only leave the ankle rocker. This refers to the talocrural or ankle joint, which will flex (dorsiflex) excessively to attempt to maintain the body's forward momentum as it travels over the shoe. Excessive dorsiflexion will lead the tibia bone to travel farther forward, taking the knee with it. Increased anterior translation of the knee and kneecap increases stress through those areas. If the body is not prepared for that, the increased strain at the posterior ankle (Achilles tendon) or anterior knee (Patellar tendon/patella) can be irritating.

The loss of a rocker will cause compensation at an adjacent one. This is why carefully considering how the rockers, overall profile/geometry, and stiffness of a shoe integrate together is so important. We often focus heavily on one component of a shoe, but this is why you must look at the entire thing and how all the pieces interact.

In the case of the ASICS Superblast, the high level of stiffness up front does improve as the shoe breaks in. However, those not used to stiffer shoes should know there is a break-in period despite there not being a plate. This is likely due to how thick the midsole is and the late forefoot rocker. For me, it required extra range of motion at the ankle joint which put some stress on my knee joint. Once things broke in, it was fine. This is another great example of all shoes needing time to break in. Whether it is the shoe breaking in or your body getting used to the shoe is a whole different question (the answer is probably both).


McLeod, A. R., Bruening, D., Johnson, A. W., Ward, J., & Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. 
Footwear Science12(2), 79-89.


Matt: Despite the steeper price tag, the ASICS Superblast is one of my top shoes of the year. The ability to shift gears from a solid trainer to a faster but protective workout shoe is why I love lightweight trainers. To have an 8.4 oz super trainer that can handle all those things without feeling crazy underfoot is awesome. That being said, this shoe was rough getting into. The stiffness up front was enough that I actually experienced some anterior knee pain from my ankles going into excessive dorsiflexion (driving my knee forward) to compensate for the difficulty I had transitioning into toe-off. Once this shoe broke in it was fine, but I would highly suggest that ASICS look at the aggressiveness of the forefoot rocker. Adding a longer rocker up front would make for a smooth forefoot transition. I don't think flex grooves are a great idea given the height of the sole, so the geometry of the forefoot rocker should be the focus. The other thing I would consider is the price. While I love this shoe, $220 is a little steep given the similarities to the $140 Novablast. While I would pick the Superblast every time over the Novablast 3 (which I did like), I think $180-200 is a more reasonable and accessible price range than getting over $200.

The ASICS Superblast is a really fun shoe to run in. I think because this shoe plays on rigidity through the forefoot and geometry, I wouldn't mind a little more outsole coverage and grip throughout the shoe. I think the small add in weight wouldn't hurt a shoe that is at 8.4 ounces size 9 when there is this much foam on board. I think that would actually add some value and versatility to an already versatile shoe. I think it'd be interesting to see the experience if they dropped the Blast+ foam altogether in the lower layer. 


Matt: The ASICS Superblast is a lightweight super trainer for those that a performance-oriented fit/ride that can handle longer training and workouts. The fit is slightly snug with a lightweight mesh, making it best for those with normal to narrow feet. The ride is well-rockered in the rear, stiff at the forefoot and has a slightly firmer bounce from the FF Turbo. 

David: The ASICS Superblast is a highly versatile maximum cushioned training shoe. The FlyteFoam Turbo is certainly noticeable and does give you a solid bounce forward at toe off. Because of the price point I would see someone most likely using this as a Swiss army shoe to get some daily and long miles, potential workout companion, and even racing if they don't want a plate or are sensitive to them. Those that want a shoe that blends the performance shoe world and that of a daily trainer this could be worth looking into.


Fit: A- (Slightly snug fit that is secure. Light mesh upper that will work for those with normal to narrow feet)
Performance: A- 
(Slightly firmer ride with sole that compresses and rebounds well. Can handle easy miles, long runs and workouts, transitioning easily between them)
Stability: A/A- [Stable Neutral] (Wider sole, well-integrated sidewalls and slightly firmer ride make for a highly stable neutral ride)
DPT/Footwear Science: A-/B+ (Excellent heel bevel and stable geometry. Forefoot rocker may be too aggressive for most people, but does lend to being able to handle faster miles)
Personal: A- (After a rough start, this is one of my favorite trainers of the year. Light and responsive enough for workouts, but grounded and solid enough for daily training/long runs.)
Overall: A- 

Fit: A- (Slightly long but pretty good security and lockdown throughout. Mesh material nice balance.)
Performance: A- 
(Because this is also a trainer I would like to see it perform a little better off of strict road conditions, but it still holds its own. Highly versatile in pace ranges on road and provides good experience.)
Stability: B+ (Honestly not bad for how much shoe is here. Still runs neutral, though good usage of upper integration, sidewalls. Outsole could be a little more grippy, but not the end of the world.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (A solid implementation of taking new generation materials and placing it into a training shoe and not sacrificing weight or responsiveness)
Personal: A- (A fun shoe to run in that I can use for most situations on my runs)
Overall: A-


Price: $200.00 at Running Warehouse

*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!


Altra Vanish Tempo - Zero drop, non-plated performance
Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature - A highly eco-friendly daily trainer
Path Projects Apparel - Technical running apparel for road and trail
Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280 - Lightweight trail runner with a nitrogen-infused foam
Fractel Performance Headwear - Check out running hats from the Aussie-based brand
Mizuno Wave Sky 6 - Mizuno's premium cushioned trainer returns with recylced materials

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at ASICS USA for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at

Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>