If you’re getting into running for the first time, then there’s a good chance someone has mentioned Asics as a potential choice. This Japanese shoe brand has been making some of the best running shoes for a very long time, and it makes great shoes for all running abilities and levels.
In more recent years, it has dedicated more time to help the fastest runners go faster but also continues to produce shoes for those who need a little extra support or, indeed, for anyone who needs something built for lots of pavement pounding.
There are loads of choices in Asics’ current collection, so if you’re not sure about which ones to lace up, we’ve picked out the best Asics running shoes to buy now for all types of runners.
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Best Asics running shoes: At a glance
Best Asics shoe: Asics Novablast 2 | | Best Asics shoe for marathons: Asics Metaspeed Sky+ | | Women’s
Best cushioned Asics running shoe: Asics Gel Nimbus 24 | |
How to choose the best Asics running shoes for you
What type of running are you going to do in them?
This is a very important thing to think about before picking your ideal Asics running shoe. What kind of running are you going to use them for? Is this a shoe for gentle runs down the park or for logging a lot of running time in preparation for a race? Do you want to use them on race day?
Once you’ve identified that, you can better understand what kind of features to prioritise. That includes the level of cushioning, whether you need to go with a thin or thick upper or if you require a shoe with a carbon plate. Then you’ll be equipped to make a much better decision.
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How do you run?
When we talk about how you run, we’re primarily in the business of considering pronation – the way your foot rolls when you run. Different shoes are designed for different degrees of pronation, so it’s an important thing to determine before spending any money.
The way to understand your level of pronation is to get a gait analysis done; you can do this at many specialist running shoe stores. Once you know more about your pronation – whether you’re an over-pronator, an under-pronator or neutral – and you’ll be armed with better information to pick out your perfect Asics shoe.
Do you have narrow or wide feet?
Fit is everything. If you don’t get a shoe that fits well, then you’re not going to want to run in it a whole lot. One of the areas to pay attention to is whether any shoe you’re looking at is available in a range of fits. This is not always the case but if you’ve got particularly wide feet, then it’s the smart move to look for a shoe that offers a wide fit option.
Other things to look at in terms of fit and overall comfort is to look at construction of elements like the tongue, laces and padding at the heel collar. These will give you a strong sense of what the shoe can offer if you’re keeping those runs short or you’re planning to go long.
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1. Asics Metaspeed Sky+: The best Asics running shoe for speedy marathons
Price: £225 | | Buy women’s from Keller Sports
The Metaspeed Sky+ is built to help speedy runners go even quicker, all the way from 5k up to marathon distance and it’s right up there with Nike’s carbon plate super shoes.
The follow-up to the original Metaspeed Sky adds more of Asics’ bouncy and responsive FF Blast Turbo midsole to make it better suited for longer distances. Asics has also tweaked the position of the carbon plate and features a more curved sole to offer better energy return.
Asics has stuck with the same rubber outsole as the first Sky to offer strong grip on roads even when courses get wet and twisty. There are thinner laces to keep the overall weight down, while a revamped “Motion Wrap” upper offers better breathability and ventilation.
There’s quite a bit of exposed foam on the outsole, which means it’s definitely one to keep for race days or when you’re training at your race pace. But if you don’t get on with Nike’s super shoes and are looking for a light, quick-feeling shoe that can hold up for a marathon, this is a great alternative.
Key details – Weight: 205g; Drop: 5mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: FF Blast Turbo
2. Asics Novablast 2: Best Asics shoe for enjoyable daily runs
Price: £130 | Buy | from Sports Shoes
The Novablast 2 is made for those more uptempo weekly or weekend training runs, offering plenty of cushioning and a pleasingly bouncy feeling at easy and quicker paces.
That bounce is primarily generated by Asics’ Flytefoam Blast midsole foam, which helps keep the overall shoe weight down while offering a responsive feeling underfoot. Its trampoline-inspired outsole, meanwhile, helps create that more enjoyable feel when you go a little bit faster.
It doesn’t neglect its protective duties either, with a TPU stabiliser positioned in the heel to provide support further back and a sturdy mesh upper made from 30% recycled materials that delivers structure in all the right places. Asics’ AHARP Plus outsole is built with durability in mind, too, ensuring this is a shoe that’s fit to eat up plenty of road time.
Key details – Weight: 275g; Drop: 8mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: FF Blast
3. Asics Gel Nimbus 24: Best Asics running shoe for soft cushioning
Price: £165 | |
If you’re after a shoe for short or long runs that offers plenty of plush cushioning to make those runs feel comfortable and well protected, the Gel Nimbus 24 is the shoe for you.
The 24 signals a bit of a departure from previous models, with Asics using its FF Blast+ midsole foam and combining that with its firmer Flytefoam cushioning to create a shoe that feels soft, bouncy and responsive but also benefits from a little extra protection.
That combination definitely gives it a soft feeling underfoot and, while it doesn’t explode at quicker paces, it’s great for moderate and slower runs and is a shoe that maintains that feeling over distance.
The upper is spacious and can accommodate both narrow and wider feet. The tongue sits firmly across the top of the foot. There’s generous padding at the rear of the shoe and Asics’ Lite rubber provides good traction, bulking up the protection in key impact areas on the outsole.
Key details – Weight: 290g; Drop: 10mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: FF Blast and Flytefoam
4. Asics Gel Kayano 28: Best Asics running stability shoe
Price: £155 | Buy | from Sports Shoes
The Kayano is a bit of an icon in the Asics running shoe family. It’s built to eat up a lot of mileage and its design provides great support for overpronating runners.
That support is primarily delivered by Asics’ Gel cushioning technology packed into the front and the back of the shoe to absorb shock as your foot repeatedly hits the ground. In the midsole, meanwhile, Asics’ FF Blast delivers a good level of responsiveness.
Asics has taken its Trusstic technology that’s designed to offer greater stability and repositioned it to the middle of the Kayano 28 to improve that support and help create a smoother running motion.
The mesh upper is joined by an Ortholite sockliner to keep things comfortable inside of the shoe while the engineered mesh upper provides more breathable surroundings than the previous Kayano.
There’s an Asics AHARP Plus rubber outsole that focuses on providing strong abrasion resistance – this is a shoe Asics expects you to put serious mileage into.
If you want a stability shoe that gives you that protection, control and durability, the Kayano 28 is a top choice.
Key details – Weight: 308g; Drop: 10mm; Pronation: Overpronation; Midsole foam: FF Blast