Anima Sana In Corpore Sano. A Latin pronoun that’s incorporated in the brand name Asics. It means ‘a sound mind in a sound body’. Japanese are not to be messed with – when they say it, they mean it. I’ve been working with the Japanese for a long time and thought they do a quirky side in their nature, trust, respect, and integrity are at their very core.
Asics has kept that over their 70 years long history. They’ve never stopped researching and trying to build a shoe, especially a running shoe, that will last and keep the body healthy. Their research lab has gone far and beyond to study motion and foot biology, skeletal and muscular system, the materials and footwear designs that support and inspire our athletic habits.
In this article, I will guide you through top-notch running shoes, so you can find the best Asics running shoes for you.
Below you will find the table of contents with an overview that can help you choose the shoe that’s meant for you. Disclaimer – all the shoes are awesome and more than that. Asics always goes a step ahead to provide great shoes, each generation better than the last one.
|Best Asics Running Shoes||Best for||Pros||Cons||Features||My rating|
|Metaracer Tokyo||Racing||Rocker sole|
|Cushioning can be softer||FlyteFoam|
|Unstable at tight cornering||FlightFoam Blast|
|Gel-Cumulus 22||Marathon training||Flexible midsole|
|Not good for speedwork||One-piece mesh upper|
8mm drop good for midfoot strickers
|Less cushioning||FlyteFoam Propel||4,66|
|Gel-Nimbus 23||Cushioning||Soft cushioning|
Good energy return
|Narrow toe box||Soft mesh upper|
FlyteFoam and FlyteFoam Propel
Gender-specific medial truss
Best Asics Running Shoes #1: MetaRacer Tokyo
MetaRacer Tokyo is a new shoe model that is designed specifically for racing. It practically sums up all the technological advancements the teams in Kobe (their research lab’s there) have developed over the recent years.
The first one is the GuideSole lower construction, a curved, rocker-style sole that practically rolls over the track providing propulsion and energizing every stride and naturally preparing the foot on the toes for the next one. Asics officials claim it improves the efficiency of strides. I just love how it feels when I run in them. Truth to be told, I didn’t feel any resistance when running, and I do feel it in other shoes.
The next big thing is the FlyteFoam technology, a replacement of EVA foam which is already outdated with most big footwear manufacturers. FlyteFoam is the name for their new cushioning technology that absorbs a lot of impacts, protecting your foot during long exertions. To be honest, there are softer running shoes on the market, but this one does make the cut.
The midsole is awesome with MetaRacer Tokyo. It is carbon-fiber plated, and this gives extra support where it’s needed the most. The plating also gives a bit of energy back to the next stride.
- Carbon-fiber midsole
- Rocker sole
- Cushioning should be softer in running shoes
Best Asics Running Shoes #2: NovaBlast
Want some speedwork? Don’t worry, Asics’s got you covered. NovaBlast may seem like a regular shoe, but oh boy, is that wrong. It has this wedge of light foam created only for one thing – awesome energy return. You can feel how the shoes bounce you back when doing speedwork. Have in mind though that this was at a cost of support tech, so the stability is not the best with this one.
Then you have a version of the new cushioning called FlyteFoam Blast at the sole. Flytefoam Blast improves the bounce even further. I don’t do speedwork myself, but a good friend of mine bought them a while back and he is really happy with what they give him back.
NovaBlast may appear a bit tall, concerning the stack height. The truth of the matter is – it doesn’t matter. FlyteFoam is extremely low-density, so the height doesn’t add to the overall weight. It’s still springy and responsive, don’t worry.
Mesh upper doesn’t help with stability that much which can be annoying to some.
Doesn’t matter, most reviews I’ve checked and testimonies I gathered from friends only had words of praise. Most say that they’re the fastest shoes they’ve worn, that it feels like they are on a springboard. Yet they are tough and durable, and they will last you long.
Another thing to remember is that they work best on dry surfaces. It can get slippery after rain. What can you do…
- Springy and comfortable
- Highly breathable mesh upper
- Unstable in extreme situations
Best Asics Running Shoes #3: Gel-Cumulus 22
Looking for Asics for flat feet? I can say that Gel-Cumulus is a great example of shoes that have awesome stability for running, and they are a good replacement for Gel-Kayano 27 which is still unbeatable for flat feet running. Gel-Cumulus is also considered the best Asics running shoes for women. Don’t worry guys, you won’t be less manly for buying them.
The fact is that the nut-jobs from the Asics research team have figured out that the gait and stride in men and women are different, and then they went ahead and adapted the soles of their shoes according to the differences in gait.
Asics Arch support is designed so that the shoes can correct our natural pronation – that’s just a fancy word for how weird we step on the ground. It’s important though because different and exaggerated pronation or supination (stepping weird in other direction) can lead to injuries. Sprained ankle? Might be pronation.
Anyways, Gel-Cumulus 22 are one of the flagships of Asics, and for a good reason. They are very durable, amazingly soft, and with cushioning to die for. Now with increased flexibility. The heel is protected with FlyteFoam, they added deeper grooves, and they fit like a glove.
- Smooth and flexible
- Soft cushioning
- Not that great for speedwork
Best Asics Running Shoes #4: GT-1000 9
New to running and don’t know how much the trip will last? Don’t want to experiment with a ‘buy the expensive ones, they’ll make you run more often’ trick? That doesn’t mean you have to wear your feet in card boxes.
GT-1000 9 are great affordable shoes that have many of the features mentioned in other products, maybe not as intensely, but they do the job. I’ve got one pair at home for myself (my rent is killing me), and they’re doing a great job.
They added FlyteFoam to the ninth iteration of the GT series, and that made a difference. The cushioning is much better now, and lighter. FlyteFoam Propel’s out of the game, and many will say ‘good riddance’. The old models didn’t have as great shock absorption as these, and my feet are thankful for the new ones.
Impact Guidance System is in the game here. That’s the weird stepping correction I was going on about. This makes GT-1000 9 great affordable flat-foot / stability running shoes. Dual-density midsole is a part of the IGS, and it’s there to counter slight to mild overpronation.
Sockliner is there and it’s removable of course. They’re still using Eva which is okay since it gives a soft feel when stepping in. It doesn’t feel slippery when walking, mind you.
- Lighter than earlier iteration
- Impact Guidance System
- Not as great cushioning as GT-2000
Best Asics Running Shoes #5: Gel-Nimbus 23
Another flagship in Asics assembly, Gel-Nimbus is filled with this gel-like substance that absorbs a lot of the shock while running. You know what a Nimbus is? Yeah, Harry Potter’s broom, ok. But nimbus is also a type of cloud. Yeah, I googled it, it’s true. Cumulus is also a cloud. No wonder – when you put them on, you do feel like walking on clouds.
The legs don’t tire as much and you do feel more energized making you a bit faster, like the Nimbus broom Harry pulls off on several occasions. They are great for gaining explosiveness since they don’t slow you down.
They don’t wear you down as well. They are made so that you can cover longer distances without even feeling it. It’s got a softer mesh upper, the heel is filled with the gel that absorbs shock like my girlfriend absorbs Harry Potter books. Not in one night – again and again. FlyteFoam and FlyteFoam Propel are combined for cushioning and energy return. Finally, the male and female models are different to compensate for the natural differences in gait.
- Very soft cushioning
- Slightly narrow toe-box
With this, I conclude my list. Asics is a great company that really takes care of their products, and make effort to improve them once a good occasion comes out. As for the best Asics running shoes, I think that Gel-Nimbus 23 are the best because they look great, the shock absorption is amazing, and the gait correction is awesome. I’ll be getting a pair for me and another for my girlfriend, as soon as I pay the rent.