What You Need To Know
- We break down our top 10 best Asics running shoes for 2023
- From racing to tempo to slow days to trails, we got you covered
- Any questions? Drop it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s get you educated
NOTE: This is an ongoing list and is constantly updated to reflect our current opinion.
American running companies seem to dominate the landscape nowadays, but it’s tough to top the long and storied history of Asics. Launched initially as Onitsuka Tiger, the Japanese shoe company has over 70 years of experience packed into its laces. That’s good news for you, as there’s an extensive list of shoes to fall in love with.
Especially since Asics has really turned the corner over the last couple years. For awhile, Asics was a ho-hum brand with seemingly the same shoes every year; however, they’ve now morphed into one of the best across-the-board brands in running. With fresh looks and designs and the performance to back it up, Asics is leading the way in giving runners what they want. We’ve run a ton of miles in all of these shoes, and can tell you that these are the best they have.
And while our recommendations are packed with plenty of new hotness, we can’t forget a few of the workhorses that got Asics to where it is today.
Here are our picks for the best Asics running shoes to get you pounding out the miles.
Asics 101: What To Look For
Asics has had more than enough time to create some impressive running tech, which means a long list of cutting-edge terms. It’s pretty easy to get lost in all of the jargon, so here’s a bit of a primer to get you started:
- FlyteFoam: Asics’ primary (and most basic) midsole foam, designed to provide a lightweight shoe without sacrificing cushion and protection. FlyteFoam is tuned in different ways across ASICS products to optimize performance.
- FlyteFoam Blast: A cushioning foam material with excellent bounce. It absorbs high shock levels for long-distance runs and may provide some protection against ankle, shin and knee injuries.
- FlyteFoam Blast Plus: A lighter and bouncier version of FlyteFoam Blast, found in the more premium shoes like the Novablast 3 and Gel-Nimbus 25
- Flytefoam Turbo: Asics’ most high-rebound and energy efficient foam, used in its top-tier race day shoes like the Metaspeed Edge+ and Metaspeed Sky+
- GEL cushioning: Asics’ best-known midsole technology, GEL, is found in most running shoes and helps to absorb some of the impact of your stride. It’s never deployed as a standalone GEL midsole.
- GuideSole: Rocker-like midsole design for reduced ankle movement and more efficient strides, helping runners expend less energy and go further. Found on the GlideRide and EvoRide.
- Guidance line: Outsole groove that runs from heel to toe, boosts stability.
- AHAR rubber: More like AHARD, high-abrasion rubber that’s designed to be twice as tough as standard outsoles. Think of it as the shoe version of a car tire, but not on the same tier as AHAR Plus.
- AHAR Plus rubber: The most durable and sticky of Asics rubbers, AHAR Plus is what you’re looking for if you want the premium quality of outsole in an Asics shoe.
- Trusstic System: Outsole support that mirrors the structure of your foot to provide support. Depending on its application, Trusstic systems can also help increase responsiveness during your run.
The Best Asics Running Shoes
» Asics Superblast
Use: The ultimate do-everything shoe | Drop: 5 mm | Price: $220
Sometimes you get a shoe and you’re like, “Yeah, this is nice, but whatever.” And then you wear it more and more and find yourself reaching for it each time you head out the door. That’s the Asics Superblast, which has slowly come to be our favorite shoe in the Asics lineup. Not for any specific reason, but for a variety of them. Essentially, this is the ultimate do-it-all shoe.
Featuring a top layer of Flytefoam Turbo and a stack height of 45 mm in the heel and 37 mm in the forefoot, there is plenty of cushion to go around. But it’s not an unstable shoe, because it has a wide platform and your foot sits between the sidewalls. It’s also a pretty peppy shoe at only 8.4 ounces, able to pick up the pace and even be used as a race day option if you really need it to. Throw on some Ahar Plus rubber on the outsole and you have all the best things in one shoe.
So yes, while the price point is high, it covers all the bases you need in your running. Truly, one shoe to do it all.Read The Review Shop Asics Superblast – Unisex
» Asics Novablast 3
Use: One for the future | Drop: 8 mm | Price: $140
After the redemption arc on the Novablast 2, the third version is headed straight for the stars. Not least because it looks like a rocket ship for your feet. The only drawback we’ve been able to find so far is that the Novablast 3 won’t hit store shelves until September. Other than that, the latest speedster actually gets a few of the upgrades that we saw in the GlideRide 3.
For starters, ASICS swapped the FlyteFoam Blast midsole for a FF Blast+ compound, which is even softer and bouncier. It’s lighter, too — the Novablast 3 trimmed about an ounce of weight off its predecessor. We’ll bring you our full review once we’ve all had the chance to put our miles in, but this baby is still a 350-400 mile workhorse for sure.
To top it all off (literally), the Novablast 3 features a slightly more accommodating upper with a funky glitch camo pattern that looks really sweet in person. We’ve always loved how ASICS designs uppers, and this one is no exception. This Japanese trainer is one to keep an eye on for September.Read The Review Shop Novablast – Men Shop Novablast – Women
» Asics Gel-Nimbus 25
Use: Daily training, easy runs | Drop: 8 mm | Price: $160
We’re only one month into the year as we write this, but mark our words– this will be Asics’ flagship shoe of 2023. Somehow, Asics took the boring old Nimbus (which, nevertheless, has always been a pretty solid shoe), and transformed it into a true head-turner.
Gone for good is the visible Gel (though a small section of PureGel remains embedded in the heel), the obtrusive overlays, and the lackluster looks. Instead, we have a sleek design featuring a Flytefoam Blast+ Eco midsole, a supremely comfortable knit upper with an incredible tongue, and some Ahar Plus rubber in the heel section of the outsole. This is now the definition of a max cushion shoe with loads of comfort designed to keep your legs feeling fresh for miles on end.
Did we mention that it looks really, really good?Read The Review Shop Gel-Nimbus 25 – Men Shop Gel-Nimbus 25 – Women
» Asics MetaSpeed Sky+ and Metaspeed Edge+
Use: Race day | Drop: 5 mm | Price: $250
I mean, what list of Asics shoes would be complete without the cream of the crop? This pair is probably what you’ve been waiting for, and now it’s time to dig in. Let’s get one thing straight, though — this should really be the Metaspeed Sky 2 and Edge 2, given the number of changes. It’s also technically the third attempt at a carbon-plated racer from ASICS (remember the Metaracer?).
The MetaSpeed Sky+ features even more nylon-based Flytefoam Blast Turbo foam in the midsole. It picked up 4% more foam while the Edge+ packed in 16% extra. Think of a Fast & Furious NOS-turbocharged version of the same foam used in the Novablast line. It’s light, bouncy, and smooth, and it’s as close to the Alphafly feeling as you can get. Asics has also toyed with the carbon fiber plate itself, moving it higher in the stack for even greater compression and bounce. On the Metaspeed Edge+, Asics moved the plate lower to assist in stabilization and provide more of a kick forward.
The Asics GRIP outsole is, well, super grippy and excels in wet conditions. The quality rubber outsole pairs perfectly with the wild midsole for a tame ride. The thin, one-piece mesh upper breathes incredibly well. It’s light on the foot and the environment, as it’s made of 100% recycled material. This environmentally conscious racer is here to save the world and shatter PRs.Read The Review Shop ASICS Racing – Men Shop ASICS Racing – Women
» Asics GlideRide 3
Use: Rockin’ and a-rollin’ Barbara Ann | Drop: 5 mm | Price: $150
Do you know how good a running shoe has to be for it to get the Jarrett seal of approval before the 2E version even arrives? Well, the GlideRide 3 fits the bill. He’s been drooling over it for months — since last year’s Falmouth Road Race — and the hype actually met his expectations.
The GlideRide 3 features a similar upper to the previous model, so it can get a little warm in the summer. However, the real goodness lies underfoot with this upgrade. It still packs a familiar plastic plate sandwich, but now you’re riding on FlyteFoam Blast+ instead of the classic FlyteFoam formula. This is a great max cushion option that keeps a little spice in the step. It all comes together with the beloved rocker design, so you can just keep rolling through your miles. As if you needed another reason to celebrate, the GlideRide 3 got lighter, too.
With both the glide and the ride in full effect, the shoe truly lives up to its name.Read The Review Shop GlideRide 3 – Men Shop GlideRide 3 – Women
» Asics Gel-Kayano 29
Use: Stability-focused daily training | Men’s drop: 10 mm | Women’s drop: 13 mm | Price: $160
Stability shoes ain’t as cool these days, but the truth is– some runners just need it. But that doesn’t mean you have to overdo it, and Asics manages to find that sweet spot between form and function.
Gone is the archaic Trusstic system, replaced this time around with LiteTruss, a simpler stability system that still manages to keep the foot in line, without feeling like you’re wearing a cage on your run. We also get an upgraded midsole with a top layer of Flytefoam Blast+, for additional bounce and comfort over hundreds of miles. Rearfoot Gel (gotta have Gel) provides shock absorption while a generous layer of Ahar outsole rubber provides durability over the long run.
One thing’s for sure– this is the best Kayano to date, so you should probably date it.Read The Review Shop Kayano 29 – Men Shop Kayano 29 – Women
» Asics GEL-Nimbus Lite 3
Use: Daily training | Men’s drop: 10 mm | Women’s drop: 13mm | Price: $160
The Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite has come so far in just three generations. We were pretty impressed with version two, and somehow this one is even better. It’s tough to call our review anything less than glowing, and not even the eco-friendly FlyteFoam could kill Thomas’s vibe. Just be aware that the men’s and women’s versions have different drop heights, so you might want to try the shoe on before you dive into an opposite-gender size.
As for the shoe itself, it stars a tech-infused midsole of eco-friendly FLYTEFOAM with hidden pockets of GEL in the heel and behind the big toe for a comfortably plush ride. The wide base provides a solid, stable landing, and the icy colorway is sleek as can be. All of our reviewers noted that the upper offered just the right amount of padding, and it’s a bit more breathable than the previous version.
The GEL-Nimbus Lite 3 also puts a premium on sustainability. The upper utilizes approximately 80% recycled polyester, and as mentioned, the eco-friendly FlyteFoam midsole blends cellulose nanofibers, more specifically, the waste product from the sugar cane manufacturing process to reduce weight and increase durability. It comes in 100% recycled packaging to boot.
What else is there to say besides the fact that Robbe, Thomas, and Brandon heaped even more praise on this version than last year.Read The Review Shop Nimbus Lite – Men Shop Nimbus Lite – Women
» Asics GEL-Kayano Lite 2
Use: Daily training | Men’s drop: 10 mm | Women’s drop: 13 mm | Price: $160
Sticking with the Lite theme, we’re also big fans of the GEL-Kayano Lite 2. We can’t say that we understand the need for two different versions, but Asics isn’t kidding about shedding the weight — the Kayano Lite 2 is still significantly lighter than the standard version. The Kayano Lite 2 keeps the signature silhouette of its predecessor, and it’s packed with plenty of updated tech, though most of it is hidden safely inside the midsole.
Stability is achieved through the return of Asics’ 3D Space Construction technology. Engineered differently for men and women, Asics imprints shapes into specific midsole areas to allow the runner’s foot to engage the stability technology. Allowing for a more subtle but highly effective stability trainer.
Asics’ GEL-Kayano Lite 2 bids farewell to the exposed Trusstic system, and it’s pretty much down to a one-piece recycled mesh upper and a thick, juicy FLYTEFOAM midsole. All of our reviewers seem poised to keep the Kayano Lite 2 around for future runs though it tends to run toasty on summer days.Read The Review Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Men Shop Kayano Lite 2 – Women
» Asics GEL-Cumulus 24
Use: Daily training | Drop: 8 mm | Price: $120
You could call this the Asics budget trainer– simple and straight to the point, good enough to gobble up some miles without breaking the bank. The good news for this version is that it includes an upgraded Flytefoam Blast midsole for a little more bounce in the step. And while the stack height (24 mm/ 16 mm) is significantly lower than shoes like the Novablast 3 and Gel-Nimbus 25, it still offers enough protection for those everyday runs.
The weight is also pretty in-line with most standard trainers at 10 ounces for a US M9. Essentially what you’re getting here is a pretty straightforward shoe that will give you enough ground feel without feeling firm. It’s a nice option for those not wanting to dish out the cash for Asics’ more premium models.Read The Review Shop GEL-CUMULUS 24 – Men Shop GEL-CUMULUS 24 – Women
» Asics Trabuco Max
Use: Variety of trail conditions, from light to technical | Drop: 5 mm | Price: $140
Not especially known for their trail game, Asics has quietly dropped a very solid trail shoe in the Asics Trabuco Max. Though it has a fairly high stack at 27 mm in the heel, it still provides decent stability with a wide base. Aggressive lugs, hefty outsole, and a thick rock plate provide plenty of security, while the shoe also has built-in gaiter attachments to keep out dirt and debris. It works great in various conditions, and we think it looks pretty nice too — until you get it muddy, of course.Read The Review Shop ASICS Trail – Men Shop ASICS Trail – Women
» EvoRide 2
Use: Performance training at an affordable price | Drop: 5 mm | Price: $120
We weren’t in love with the original EvoRide, as it left us wanting more out of a cushioned, light daily trainer. The EvoRide 2, on the other hand, impressed Thomas and even surprised him a bit. Similar to the GlideRide 2, this shoe features a rockered midsole that easily rolls through your stride. It’s one of the smoothest rides on the market, and it gets major brownie points for an affordable price at $120.
The EvoRide 2 also includes Asics’ GUIDESOLE technology that provides tremendous toe-off that propels you forward along with that nice rocker. Speaking of propel, the FlyteFoam Propel from the original EvoRide has been swapped in favor of normal Flytefoam for a tad softer feel underfoot. This is an excellent option for those who don’t want to feel beat up in the legs after speed days.Read The Review Shop EvoRide 2 – Men Shop EvoRide 2 – Women
How We Make Our Picks
All of our recommendations come directly from our feet to your screen. We test countless running shoes here at Believe in the Run, and we let our reviews guide our decisions. However, we also consider other reviews and our BITR community, as not every runner has the same experiences. We also aim to stick with shoes that are currently available so you can give our recommendations a try.