RoadShoe ReviewsSite Feature

Best ASICS Running Shoes 2022 | A Guide From Real Runners

What You Need To Know

  • We break down our top 10 best ASICS running shoes to date
  • 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. Here are our picks for the best ASICS running shoes to get you pounding out the miles.

If you’ve read any of our ASICS reviews in past years, you know that they tended to start with feelings of dread. In a lot of ways, it seemed the company had turned stale. Lucky for us, the company has hit a serious stride with entirely new models and improved designs in the past year or so. Our recommendations are packed with plenty of new hotness, but we can’t forget a few of the workhorses that got ASICS to where it is today.

It’s hard to pick just a few favorites, so let’s get to it.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Flytefoam: ASICS’ primary 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: ASICS’ newest and most promising foam. Light and airy, it compresses easily for a soft underfoot feel while also delivering an energetic bounce with each stride. Found in the NOVABLAST.
  • 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, EvoRide, and MetaRacer.
  • 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.

The Best ASICS Running Shoes

» EvoRide 2

asics evoride 2 - lateral1

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

» GlideRide 3

asics glideride 3 angle

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. ASICS kept the beloved rocker design, too, so you can just keep rolling through your GRIT miles all summer long. As if you needed another reason to celebrate, the GlideRide 3 got lighter, too.

Read The Review Shop GlideRide 3 – Men Shop GlideRide 3 – Women

» GEL-Nimbus Lite 3

asics gel nimbus lite 3 rear side

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

» GEL-Kayano Lite 2

gel kayano lite 2 - best asics running shoes


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

» GEL-Cumulus 23

asics gel cumulus 23 - sidewalk

Use: Daily training | Drop: 10 mm | Price: $120

If the Lite running shoes are the ghost of ASICS’ future, and the GT 2000-10 is the ghost of ASICS’ past, then the Cumulus 23 is planted firmly in the present. It still has classic features like exposed GEL, but it continues to get lighter, even if not by as much as last year. The Cumulus has passed its Taylor Swift age, though the key redesigns freshen the newest model.

One of our reviewers’ favorite features on the Cumulus 23 is the full-length FLYTEFOAM. Yes, Robbe thought it was there last year, but the point stands — it’s a good foam. The rubber coverage across the midsole is great too. You should have no problem putting hundreds of daily miles on the Cumulus 23. If you’re going for a more conventional daily trainer from ASICS, this is probably going to be our number one pick.

Read The Review Shop GEL-CUMULUS 23 – Men Shop GEL-CUMULUS 23 – Women

» NovaBlast 3

asics novablast 3 - feature

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

» GEL-Nimbus 24

asics gel-nimbus 24 - feature

Use: Daily training, easy runs | Men’s drop: 10 mm | Women’s drop: 13 mm | Price: $160

ASICS bounces back and forth between new hotness and old reliables like this one, the GEL-Nimbus 24. Call it old faithful, ’cause we’re nearing the quarter-century mark for this shoe. While it’s as smooth and reliable as ever, this old dog finally has some new tricks. Well, FlyteFoam Blast+ counts as a new trick, at least. 

Despite Robbe’s well-tempered expectations, the GEL-Nimbus 24 actually blew him away. It was the adoption of a new midsole foam that really sealed the deal, as the engineered mesh upper is classic ASICS.

The engineered mesh lays on your foot with just the right amount of padding, and it won’t overheat. This is a shoe for people who want a solid trainer to log months of mileage. It isn’t fancy, but it works hard — it carries its food in a metal lunch pail to the construction site and doesn’t leave until the job is done.

Read The Review Shop Nimbus 24 – Men Shop Nimbus 24 – Women

» GEL-Kayano 27

GEL-Kayano 27 - best asics running shoes

Use: Stability-focused daily training | Men’s drop: 10 mm | Women’s drop: 13 mm | Price: $160

ASICS and stability running shoes go together like peas and carrots. Just look at the GEL-Kayano 27. Heck, the Kayano is on its 27th iteration, and it still rides on one of the most stable soles in the game. It’s also a textbook definition of ASICS packing as much tech as humanly possible into one pair of shoes, and the weight starts to add up.

The Kayano 27 mixes in a dash of GEL in the forefoot and heel, two flavors of FLYTEFOAM, Space Trusstic technology, and even more to achieve its perfect ride. We can’t argue the results, as it’s still a go-to in the stability category. The Kayano 27’s price tag is starting to creep up there, but we’re all getting used to more expensive trainers whether we like it or not.

Read The Review Shop Kayano 27 – Men Shop Kayano 27 – Women

» MetaSpeed Sky+ and Edge+

asics metaspeed sky+ - lateral

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 Trabuco Max

ASICS Trabuco Max - best asics running shoes

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

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.

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