The right shoes for your running needs should be comfortable, offer immense support and be built to last. While there are many brands on offer, an ideal pair of sneakers should be durable, fit comfortably, handle your range of needs and offer protection against injury. Asics and New Balance are two of the more popular options. Both brands have built up a reputation of great sport shoes, thanks to different high-quality models. But which brand delivers the better overall shoe? We compare both in our New Balance vs Asics review.
Established in 1906, New Balance is an American brand that offers a variety of footwear options. Since the brand debuted the Trackster, the first running shoe featuring a rippled sole for improved traction, it has developed great popularity globally. The brand is a popular choice for comfortable sneakers for different needs. They also offer different sports apparel, equipment and gear.
What do the New Balance shoes offer?
New Balance shoes offer impressive comfort and support, which makes them well suited for exercise and other needs. The range of features available with New Balance shoes includes foam padding, sturdy leather builds, arch support and heel cushioning among others. New Balance shoes are also very trendy and often feature a very attractive finish. The stylish aesthetic, ergonomic build and comfortable fit make them well suited for a variety of needs. Some New Balance shoes may be made for specific needs, but most options will work well for different uses.
Established in 1949 as ONITSUKA Co., Asics is a Japanese shoe manufacturer that has gone global. The brand features a large number of sneaker options for different needs. Asics shoes will deliver in terms of comfort, flexibility and overall performance. The brand also offers a variety of inserts and gel options to help boost the quality of support provided.
What do Asics shoes offer?
Asics shoes are very comfortable, and often carry a lot of features. Most of the shoes revolve around a minimalist but ergonomic design and offer an enhanced fit for added comfort. Some of the top sellers, including the Kayano, Gel Nimbus, Venture and Tiger feature foam padding for a superior level of comfort. The shoes will handle heavy duty use and mileage rather well, thanks to their superior build. These shoes are versatile, with different models being suited for cushioned training, marathon running and jogging. Like New Balance shoes, some models will only be suited for specific needs.
How do they compare?
Asics and New Balance seem very similar at first glance. With their commitment to the latest technology in athletic footwear, it is often tough to tell models by the brands apart. Both Asics and New Balance will deliver a great sneaker, but key differences still exist between their products. So, how do Asics and New Balance Shoes differ? Which is the better brand?
Design and build
Asics shoes are designed to handle the toughest routines and terrains. They feature an all-terrain tread exterior with an ACTEVA rubber midsole. Most shoes are very securely fitting, with flat laces that are very easy to adjust. Alongside the compact fit, they ensure minimal rollover and imbalance with aggressive stops. Asics shoes will focus more on performance than aesthetics, with the minimalist sneakers offering very little compared to New Balance alternatives.
On the other hand, New Balance shoes offer a more stylish fit. They might not be as snug as the Asics, but they are very fashionable and better suited for versatile use. New Balance shoes also feature a tough exterior, but they do not meet the high standard of Asics shoes for performance.
Size and weight
Asics shoes will often be more securely fitting than New Balance shoes due to a wider toe box in the latter shoe. Their narrow toe box may make them less comfortable for people with wider feet. While the difference in weight is not too big, Asics shoes may be lighter than New Balance options.
Unlike the minimalist Asics shoes, New Balance sneakers tend to be marginally heavier. They have a wide toe box and may not be well suited for people with narrow feet. New Balance shoes are more likely to offer to size challenges for a slight fit, but customers have worked around this by shopping for shoes that are one size smaller.
Comfort and breathability
The quality of cushioning is about the same for the two brands, despite the different approach to padding. Asics shoes feature gel padding, while New Balance shoes feature a foam alternative. Thanks to advancements in the athletic footwear technology, either alternative will work well for enhanced cushioning. The shoes are highly comfortable, with some models from each brand even being dedicated to healing and wellness. Both Asics and New Balance feature highly padded and specially designed models for Plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions.
That said, New Balance shoes will often run a little hot. This suggests that Asics shoes are more breathable, and comfortable when worn over a long time. Both New Balance and Asics shoes feature sufficient cushioning to increase stability and enhance shock absorption. Asics shoes work better for grueling tasks and very aggressive use, including seamless sprint starts and stops. New Balance shoes may cause some toe jamming with aggressive application, but are just as comfortable otherwise.
There are so many choices on offer when it comes to running shoes. The best brands on offer carry shoes that offer an impressive number of features, are light in weight and are designed with a characteristic slope. Both Asics and New Balance deliver high quality when it comes to this regard.
From extra padding, modulation, zippers and inserts, both brands will meet your expectations for a great running shoe. It is difficult to pick an outright winner, as both brands deliver in terms of quality and comfort. Both brands also offer specialized shoes for specific needs. However, Asics shoes will tend to be more durable, while New Balance models provide better comfort overall. Depending on the specific needs, either brand could be well suited for you!