Kihachiro Onitsuka founded Asics in his living room in Kobe, Japan, nearly 70 years ago, when he started producing basketball shoes. The Marathon Tabi, his first pair of running shoes, was released in 1953 as part of his rapid expansion into this field. As his company expanded, he combined it in 1977 with two additional businesses to start selling shoes in the US. He also changed the company’s name to Asics, an acronym for the Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (a sound mind in a sound body). Asics has developed into one of the leading manufacturers of running shoes since that time.
Going Beyond Gel
Asics, along with other shoe companies, developed its own exclusive cushioning material called FlyteFoam to replace EVA foam. With a special elastomer to increase energy return, FlyteFoam Propel and FlyteFoam Lyte are two subgroups of this material, which was created to be lighter and more resilient than standard EVA. The NovaBlast shoe’s notable pillowy, propelling ride is made possible by Asics’ more recent development of the light, springy FlyteFoam Blast formulation. The newest foam from the company, FlyteFoam Blast Turbo, can be found in the competitive MetaSpeed Sky. This new foam is made of nylon, which easily compresses to provide a plush underfoot feel but springs back to its original shape to provide long-lasting cushioning and good energy return.
Not all of the new technology in the Asics lineup is foam. GuideSole, which made its debut on the MetaRide, is another recent innovation from the company. It has a rocker-based sole design that is shaped to aid runners in rolling through their stride and lessen ankle movement for a more effective form. Although the shoe feels a little stiff and heavy on the foot during testing, the well-cushioned rocker ensures a smooth and controlled ride with a surprisingly snappy responsiveness.
What Are The Top Sellers From Asics?
At ASICS, we refer to our prestigious products as best sellers. The most popular running shoes are those that have stood the test of time. These well-known ASICS running shoes have been captivating runners for decades thanks to high-performance technology that was developed after careful research.
“It all starts with our product design philosophy,” says AJ Andrassy is ASICS’s global director of performance running shoes. “Following the lead of our founder, Mr. At Onitsuka, we prioritize the needs of the customer in all that we do. The GEL-NIMBUS, GEL-KAYANO, GEL-CUMULUS, and GT-2000 are the shoes we know today thanks to this mentality, which also gave rise to the innovations we now take for granted.”
Best Asics Running Shoes
Asics Gel-Nimbus 24
- Breathable design
- The toe box felt narrow to some testers
The Gel-Nimbus is a neutral shoe made for covering long distances and has been a staple in the Asics lineup for more than a decade. The most recent version has been modified to reduce weight—by 0.7 ounces for men and 0.5 ounces for women—while maintaining a forgiving feel and ride. A knit tongue that wraps around and supports your foot is added to the redesigned mesh upper, which also has more perforations at the forefoot for improved breathability. The midsole incorporates the recognizable Gel technology as well as a combination of FlyteFoam and the new, lighter FlyteFoam Blast Plus for cushioned propulsion. The Asics Lite outsole rubber, which further reduces weight without compromising durability, is also used. The Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 offers a lively and less plush feel underfoot and is even more lightweight.
- Breathable upper
- On the heavier side
The Kayano has been a part of the Asics lineup for many years and is still among the brand’s most well-liked footwear options. Designed for neutral runners and overpronators, the FlyteFoam Blast cushioning for a responsive, comfortable ride has been added to the Kayano 28 along with a new, low-profile heel clip for more support. The dual-density midsole and medial plate work together to prevent overpronation in your stride, and gel pods under the heel and forefoot add additional shock absorption.
Asics Metaspeed Sky
- Bouncy and responsive
- Fantastic grip
- Stable even at slower speeds
- Perfect fit
- Not so durable
- Not for cold weather
- No heel tab
The Asics MetaSpeed Sky is THE “it” shoe among all the carbon-plated racers. The best we’ve tried by far, without a doubt! It was difficult to find a problem with this shoe, and we love to pick things apart. You can easily set and break personal records on it because it is so bouncy. And the best part is that it’s not unstable. The carbon plate is there to balance it out despite the spring-like steps it produces.
This is by far the most stable racer we’ve ever encountered despite testing a lot of racing footwear. And, wow, it maintains stability even at low speeds!
We had to conduct our lab experiments in order to truly see the numbers. Furthermore, according to our durometer test, the shoe is stiffer than the average shoe, which measures 27.3HA, by a factor of 22.5. This means that it will keep the feet supported and that it is even more stable than the Nike Invincible Run 14.2HA!
And it doesn’t end there. Its lockdown is stellar. Since there isn’t much stretch, the foot is kept firmly in place. There are ZERO slips.
It’s one of our lineup’s lightest shoes, weighing only 6.7 oz. Running in this speed monster feels almost like we’re barefoot.
It has only been an ace on dry and wet pavement! We took steady, sure-footed steps as a result of its crazy gripping during sharp turns.
To top it all off, the Asics MetaSpeed Sky is a very attractive shoe. It’s a knockout in the performance department, and it certainly isn’t lacking in the style department.
Asics Gel Contend 7
- Fits true to size
- Good heel lock
- A fair amount of cushioning
- Value for money
- Durable, grippy outsole
- The guidance line keeps the foot steady
- The rubber outsole is squeaky
- Not comfortable on longer runs
- Inefficient arch support
The Asics Gel Contend 7 can compete with today’s higher-end shoes because it costs only $65.
In terms of comfort, it is a lock. Thanks to the shoe’s impact-dampening Gel technology, every step is not only comfortable but also very safe. Our feet and legs still feel good despite having pounded the pavement for a very long time.
Even better, it has endured our rigorous wear testing. And it has done so OUTSTANDINGLY. Both the outsole and the midsole are resilient.
It offers superior support, keeping with Asics’ roots. The upper snugly embraced our feet, so we weren’t worried about stumbles or slips.
Additionally, it is very light, which allowed us to focus on the road and completely forget we were wearing shoes during our runs.
The Asics Gel Contend 7 accomplishes many tasks for such a low cost. This shoe is fantastic for daily runs, jogs, walks, and workouts.
- Smooth ride
- Responsive, lightweight
- FlyteFoam cushioning
- Not suited for speedwork
The Cumulus has been a part of the Asics lineup for decades and is renowned for its sturdiness and plush cushioning, much like the Nimbus. The 22nd iteration received an upgraded FlyteFoam midsole with a Gel pod in the heel, and this latest version maintains that combination for a smooth, cushioned ride that can withstand high mileage. A seamless mesh upper offers a tight fit. For the men’s model, Asics modified the sole to provide better compression and cushioning in the heel, and for the women’s model, to provide better cushioning in both the forefoot and heel.
Asics Novablast 2
- Fits like a glove
- Springy, responsive ride
- Superb breathability
- Really tall
- Untrusting grip
Our feet felt right at home in the Asics Novablast 2, which is designed for comfort! Everywhere!) It has a springy, soft texture.) – much like a spa day treat in long, easy miles. And given how plush it is, you might assume that this shoe will wear down quickly. Thankfully, IT DOESN’T. We can confirm that it is designed to travel 300–500 miles per gallon.
Asics Glideride 2
- Very soft and comfortable
- Perfect for long or recovery runs
- The rubber outsole is squeaky
- Inefficient arch support
The ASICS Glideride 2 is the brand’s response to a cutting-edge running shoe for long races like half marathons and marathons as well as high mileage training. It differs from other Asics models by having a curved forefoot designed to help you run more effectively so you can go farther without expending more energy.
With the ASICS Glideride 2, you can have a distinctive and cutting-edge running shoe without sacrificing comfort. The ASICS Glideride 2 has plenty of shock absorption and bounces without feeling overly soft.
Asics Gel-Kayano 29
- Breathable upper
- On the heavier side
The true ruler of stability running shoes is the ASICS GEL-Kayano 29! The shoe has been made even lighter and softer in this 29th iteration by ASICS. The ASICS GEL-Kayano 29 is the lightest model of the line. Because of their IGS technology and the addition of a layer of LITETRUSS, a firm type of foam, to the midsole in addition to a strong layer of FF Blast+, ASICS has maintained the stability in the shoe. Your running experience will be more enjoyable and springy than ever thanks to the heel reinforcement, LITETRUSS, and FF Blast+, which all work to provide stability, support, and softness. In general, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 29 is a superb shoe for high-mileage training.
How We Test Running Shoes
Our goal is to help you choose the best Asics running shoe out of the nearly 300 models available. To maintain the integrity of the reviews, we buy every pair of Asics shoes ourselves.
Spending at least 7 hours on each shoe, our team of dedicated testers puts it through the wringer in our shoe testing lab:
- In order to put the pair to the test in real-world scenarios and provide thorough feedback, we first run, on average, 30 to 50 miles.
- Second, each Asics shoe is disassembled in our lab. Have you ever wondered what a Kayano looks like on the inside?
- We measure 30+ parameters using scales, durometers, calipers, and even a customized smoke machine. It helps us translate what “durable” and “breathable” look like in concrete data.
- In order to maintain objectivity, our scoring also takes into account over 200,000 user and expert reviews of all Asics shoes.
Finally, a CoreScore is assigned to each Asics running shoe. The rating, which ranges from 0 to 100, indicates how the shoe compares to others.
4 Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Asics Running Shoe
- Terrain: Will you be running on paved roads or trails?
- Do you need arch support in your running shoes?
- How far will you run during your runs?
- How much cushioning will you need to be most comfortable?
Are Asics Shoes Suitable For Cross-training?
Look for a shoe that is made to support your chosen activity, whether you’re weightlifting or doing cross-training. Your cross-training shoes should ideally optimize balance with a level platform connecting you low to the ground. Along with the forward motion, they should also stabilize lateral transitions when there is excessive ankle movement.
How Do I Determine The Best Style Of Asics Footwear For Me?
Pick footwear made with your level of activity in mind. Different support is required by footwear for speed drill athletes compared to long-distance runners. The best ASICS running shoes to suit your specific needs will also depend on your gait, preferred terrain, foot shape, and more.
Coming into your neighborhood Road Runner Sports shop to find your ideal pair is advised for the best shopping experience. The Nimbus and the Cumulus can be contrasted. Additionally, one of our Fit Experts can analyze your gait for free and help you decide which kind of cushioning you prefer. This will enable us to assess whether your feet require additional support in any particular area.
Directly from our feet to your screen are all of our suggestions. Here at Believe in the Run, we test a ton of running shoes and base our decisions on our reviews. Since not every runner has the same experiences, we also take into account customer reviews and feedback from the BITR community. Additionally, we try to stick with shoes that are currently in stock so you can try out our suggestions.