Best Asics Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed 2021

Last updated: November 29, 2021

Running Shoes / Best Asics Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed 2021

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Founded in 1949 in Japan, Asics is a corportation that produces sports equipment for a wide range of sports. As such it is not a surprise that Asiscs has some of the best running shoes available today.

Even if you aren’t a runner, you’ve probably seen a pair of Asics running shoes. They’ve modernized the industry and even created somewhat of a cult-like following with their gel technology footwear.

We’ve reviewed some of the best Asics running shoes to suite a wide variety of runners, whether you’re one for the trails or for road running. We’ve compared them against purpose, durability, function and of course, popularity. Having the right pair of running shoes is extremely important and its comforting to know that Asics makes some of the most reliable ones around.

Best Asics Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed

Best Overall
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23
Most Durable
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
For Trails
ASICS Gel-Sonoma 6
ASICS Gel-Sonoma 6
Most Lightweight
ASICS MetaRacer
ASICS MetaRacer
Zero Drop Shoe
ASICS MetaRide
ASICS MetaRide

1. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM Technology
  • OrthoLite X-55 Sockliner Technology
  • Lace-up recycled upper
  • 16 color variations
  • Standard and wide width
  • Weight: 310 g (10.9 oz)
  • Drop: 10mm

Reasons to buy

  • Improved heel cushioning
  • Gender-specific foot support
  • Soft yet durable midsole
  • Accommodates bigger fits

Reasons to avoid

  • Solid arch support can be uncomfortable
  • Cushioning in the arch and toe area is not enough

No line of shoes is more appropriately named than this Asics product line – wearing them is exactly what we imagine it’s like to run on clouds.

The newest addition to the family, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23, is a perfect example of that. In fact, it has everything great about the Nimbus product line and more.

For one, it utilizes Asics’ very own FLYTEFOAM technology that feels as light as it sounds. The Gel-Nimbus 23 further capitalizes on this by packing more GEL into the midsole, especially around the heel area, promoting increased heel compression and efficiently absorbing shocks. It also sports an improved fit so that it can accommodate wider widths.

More than that, the Gel-Nimbus 23 uses gender-specific Trusstic articulation support to allow for optimized comfort and protection during the heel-to-toe transition. It also utilizes the OrthoLite X-55 sockliner technology to keep your strides secure yet responsive.

For the price that it’s being offered, the amount of support is plain impressive. Keep in mind, though, that the arch support might even be too much for some people, despite it being marketed as a neutral shoe. It could be uncomfortable if you’re used to more cushioned insoles.

A workhorse pair of runners designed to improve support and provide comfort over long distances and durations of running, there’s no doubt that the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 is one of the best Asics running shoes you can buy today.

2. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM Technology
  • Lace-up upper
  • 19 color variants
  • Weight: 309 (10.9 oz)
  • Drop: 10mm

Reasons to buy

  • Good all-around shoes
  • Cushioning in the midsole
  • Comfortable and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

  • Runs a bit narrow
  • Toe box may be restrictive for some

As great as specialized running shoes can be, there’s also something to be said about the good ol’ basics – the kind that you can just slip on whenever you want to go wherever the wind takes you. That’s exactly what the all-rounder Asics Gel-Cumulus 23 is for.

It has FLYTEFOAM cushioning in the midsole, primarily focused around the heel, which keeps the shoes comfortable without extra weight. This allows you to focuses on your mileage, letting you run longer and better.

Made to be durable, the upper is created with engineered mesh. There’s also a water-repellant variant that makes use of Gore-Tex technology called the Gel-Cumulus 23 GT-X.

Plus, unlike in the Nimbus 23, the arch of the Cumulus 23 isn’t too pronounced. However, it also has imperfections, as these pairs tend to run on the narrow side. Perhaps, as a result, the toe box can sometimes be restrictive.

In short, the Gel-Cumulus 23 is designed to last longer and stride smoother than your typical running shoes, no matter the weather – as long as you don’t mind the slightly narrow fit.

3. ASICS Gel-Sonoma 6

Key Features

  • AmpliFoam and GEL midsole
  • OrthoLite sockliner
  • Lace-up engineered mesh upper
  • 5 color variations
  • Weight: 300 g (10.6 oz)
  • Drop: 8mm

Reasons to buy

  • Cost-effective
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable and protective midsole
  • Omnidirectional grip
  • Widened toe box

Reasons to avoid

  • Less cushioned than previous versions

For the free spirit who wants to make their path, the Asics Gel-Sonoma 6 will keep your feet safe and secure while you forge into unknown places.

A dedicated trail running shoe, the Sonoma 6’s main attributes are protection, comfort, and functionality. For the midsole, this shoe has both Amplifoam and GEL technology strategically placed in higher-impact points where runners should feel the most protected.

In addition to the protective and moderately responsive cushioning, the Sonoma 6 also uses the OrthoLite sockliner technology on the insole to further minimize shocks. As a result, every step feels softer and more secure.

These Asics running shoes are also made to be functional in whatever outdoor activities you have in mind. The treads are made of solid rubber with multi-directional grip, providing maximum traction whatever the surface. This makes the Gel-Sonoma 6 something that you can wear whether you’re hiking, trail jogging, or camping.

If you want extra durability in wetter conditions, you can also get the water-repellant GTX variant.

For the incredibly affordable price that it’s being offered, we love the versatility and durability of the Gel-Sonoma 6. If you love the previous version, though, keep in mind that this isn’t as cushioned as the ones before, but a little cushioning is a small price to pay for its reliable, no-nonsense functionality.

4. ASICS MetaRacer

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM midsole
  • Carbon fiber midsole plate
  • Guidesole technology
  • Lace-up engineered mesh upper
  • Weight: 190 g (6.7 oz)
  • Drop: 9mm

Reasons to buy

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Specially designed for comfort
  • Better heel-to-toe transition

Reasons to avoid

  • Not as durable as other models
  • Rigid shoe design can be uncomfortable
  • Relatively more expensive

Designed to carry you through the finish line, the Asics MetaRacer is a shoe made for speed.

Its main draws are its breathability and comfort. It’s also equipped to handle rain or shine weather, thanks to its specially designed drainage ports so that water won’t pool inside when it’s raining. Plus, when training under the heat, the shoe has targeted perforations that capture as much air into your feet for natural cooling so that your body won’t have to. Like many other Asics shoes, it’s a pair that you can run on no matter the weather.

More than that, it’s also incredibly functional. It uses Guidesole technology to improve the shoe’s toe spring and a carbon fiber plate to strengthen the FLYTEFOAM midsole. These two components work together to make the heel-to-toe transition more efficient, reducing your ankle joint’s motion and assisting your propulsion.

However, it’s pricier compared to other Asics models on the list. Also, some people might not like how stiff the interior is, which is made with a rigid contour to transfer force more efficiently. Lastly, some of the durability might have been sacrificed to make the shoes lighter, as they wear down quicker compared to other models.

Overall, the MetaRacer offers an innovative shoe design that results in a supportive, lightweight, and springy running experience.

5. ASICS MetaRide

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM Technology
  • Guidesole technology
  • GEL technology
  • Lace-up circular knit mesh upper
  • Weight: 306 g (10.8 oz)
  • Drop: 0mm

Reasons to buy

  • Protective cushioning
  • Attractive futuristic aesthetics
  • Responsive
  • Improved load-bearing and transition

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive
  • Runs narrow in fit
  • 0mm heel drop not for everyone

With an undeniably futuristic look, distinct silhouette, and purposeful design, the Asics MetaRide can carry over long distances in style.

One of the first things about the MetaRide that makes an impression on runners is the shape. Although it’s reminiscent of typical running shoes, it has a uniquely chunkier design with a more aggressive toe spring that will draw some eyes on the tracks.

It might look showy, but every inch of the MetaRide is actually purposefully designed. The upper is circular knit mesh for increased fit, comfort, and breathability. The sole makes use of Asics’ Guidesole technology for better load-bearing and heel-to-toe transition.

The midsole of these Asics running shoes is made of maximum-cushioning FLYTEFOAM Propel for springy propulsion that will decrease your movement needs, saving you a significant amount of muscle energy over long runs. Maximum cushioning is implemented when designing this shoe, and Gel technology is even used to protect the ankle, reduce joint movement, and prevent strain.

One of its biggest downsides is that it sits on the pricier end of the scale, even when compared to other running shoe brands. Runners with wider feet should also be wary, as this pair seems to come narrow in the toe box and forefoot area. Lastly, this is a zero-drop running shoe, so keep that in mind in case you’ve never tried one.

Overall though, the Asics MetaRide is a solid choice for distance runners who want to stay stylish while they’re at it.

6. ASICS NovaBlast 2

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM Blast technology
  • TPU Heel Stabilizer
  • Lace-up engineered mesh upper
  • 12 color variants
  • Weight: 275 g (9.7 oz)
  • Drop: 8mm

Reasons to buy

  • Sturdy upper construction 
  • Protective heel cushioning
  • Improved heel support
  • Extra propulsive midsole

Reasons to avoid

  • Loose upper fit
  • Outsole can be slippery on wet surfaces
  • Toe section not as comfortably supported

With innovative technology and a fresh look, the Asics NovaBlast 2 is one of those running shoes that you either love or hate.

From the innovative design alone, it’s certainly not your average trainer. This shoe is made for hardcore sportspeople or athletes that need maximum support on their heels. 

The design focuses on improved heel support, with a TPU stabilizer inserted in the upper and a thick wedge of new FLYTEFOAM Blast technology that enhances the cushioning and responsiveness of the classic FLYTEFOAM midsoles.

As a result, the NovaBlast 2 is an incredibly comfortable experience, especially for those suffering from heel problems.

Compared to the first version, the NovaBlast 2 has revamped the shoe’s Ahar Outsole, creating a more responsive, trampoline-inspired bounceback action. It’s even stronger than typical Asics rubber. With this new outsole, your foot lands softer on the ground and bounces back harder.

As for the upper, it’s made of lightweight yet sturdy engineered jacquard mesh that is created to be breathable, supportive, and comfortable.

However, toe-strikers are unlikely to enjoy this shoe. Although the heel is comfortably supported, the forefoot and toe areas are not that cushioned, resulting in discomfort for those who hit the ground in that region of their feet.

More than that, the new outsole design can also be slippery on wet surfaces, and the upper – although lightweight and sturdy – doesn’t fit as well as other models.

Nevertheless, for those who fit right into this shoe, the Asics NovaBlast 2 is an incredibly high-performing pair at a great price point.

7. ASICS GlideRide 2

Key Features

  • FLYTEFOAM Propel technology
  • AharPlus technology
  • Guidesole technology
  • Lace-up stretch mesh upper
  • Weight: 285 g (10.1 oz)
  • Drop: 5mm

Reasons to buy

  • Protective cushioning throughout
  • Accommodating upper construction 
  • Energy-efficient midsole
  • More durable outsole
  • Smoother heel-to-toe transition

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive

True to its name, Asics GlideRide 2 can help you glide through long distances with less effort than needed.

The GlideRide 2 exhibits the Asics signature Guidesole technology that facilitates a more efficient heel-to-toe transition. The AharPlus technology used in the outsole also improves its durability over long distances, so you’re not likely to wear out this shoe anytime soon.

It also sports a thick wedge of Asics’ patented FLYTEFOAM Propel technology to cushion the entire foot area, reducing ankle wear and allowing runners to feel less strain over distances. More than that, it’s also more propulsive compared to the typical FLYTEFOAM technology, which promotes energy efficiency during long runs.

The upper is also a primary feature. Made out of recycled materials, it’s an innovative stretch mesh that can accommodate many foot shapes and sizes.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly due to all its benefits, this is one of the pricier shoes on the list. If you want a more budget-friendly option, the Asics GlideRide 2 is probably not the one for you.

How to Choose the Best ASICS Running Shoes

With its distinct style, superb functionality, and innovative technology, Asics is a well-known performance shoe designer and manufacturer. As such, they have a wide range of products to choose from, with different technologies, advantages, and disadvantages.

If you’re a beginner to the brand, you might have a bit of difficulty in choosing the best Asics running shoes to buy. If so, you can narrow down your choices by considering a few factors: comfort, stability, fit. Budget, of course, is intertwined tightly with all three factors.

Comfort

Running shoes, in general, are made to be comfortable. However, Asics have a range of cushioning for their products to suit various needs and preferences. Your first step is considering the level of comfort you want to achieve.

For example, if you’re looking for everyday trainers that you can wear to different running tracks, you’d be better off with moderate to high levels of cushioning, like the Asics NovaBlast or the Asics MetaRide. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, the Gel-Sonoma can also get the job done for a much lower price.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to forgo comfort over speed, then something less padded such as the Asics MetaRacer might be for you.

Stability

Another factor to seriously consider when buying Asics shoes is support. Support levels are especially important if you’re an overpronator, as supinators and neutral runners generally don’t need to worry about this all that much.

If you need additional support to reduce ankle joint movement, pick Asics shoes that offer extra help in the form of ankle collars and even medial support.

An example would be the Asics NovaBlast, which has a TPU heel support and extra-thick midsole foam on the heel to improve load-bearing and minimize joint movement.

Fit

How your Asics shoes fit is also an important consideration. The best way to test the fit would be to wear the shoes, of course, but if you’re buying online, the best thing you could do is to make sure that the measurement is accurate. 

Luckily, Asics offers a wide range of sizes and widths to choose from. If you have wider feet than average, you should consider models with wider variants like the Gel-Nimbus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Asics shoes are the best for running?

The best Asics shoes for runners depend on what kind of running you do. Maybe you’re into speed work, everyday training, support, or trail running – different shoes suit those situations. Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide the best Asics running shoes for you by considering comfort, stability, and fit.

Are Asics shoes true to size?

Most Asics shoes are true to size. However, some pairs allow for size discrepancies more than others. For example, shoes with loose uppers such as the NovaBlast 2 might be more accommodating to half-size bigger or smaller sizes than more rigid designs such as the MetaRacer.

Will Asics running shoes stretch?

Most Asics running shoes use a stretchy material for the upper to allow better conformity to your feet’s shape. If you’re worried they might become stretched out in the future though, don’t worry – Asics running shoes are actually quite durable and long-lasting.

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