ASICS Dynablast 2 is the younger sibling to the brand’s popular Novablast which features ASICS’s Flytefoam Blast (FF Blast) midsole technology. The FF Blast has brought ASICS back on the radar for many runners due to the trampoline-like characteristics and very soft cushioning. The Dynablast 2 retails at S$149.00 or US$100.00 and puts in at the same price point as the ASICS’s GT-1000.
The ASICS’s Dynablast 2 brings welcomed updates from its previous version in 2021. The first version featured a drop (heel to toe) of 12 mm which made it too aggressive for many. This second version brings the drop down to only 8 mm, a welcomed move. Based on Running Warehouse, the Dynablast 2 comes in at about 250 grams (8.9oz) in Men’s size 9. The heel measures at 33mm while the forefoot is 25mm, giving it an 8 mm drop.
Since acquiring the Dynablast 2, I have accumulated with more than 50 km of running in various types of runs. For example, in easy recovery runs or target pace runs as well as long runs up to 16.5 km. In this review, I will bring you through the pointers to take note for Dynablast 2 and will it be a worthwhile pair of running shoes for you.
Prior to the review, it is important to establish my runner profile and provide you with a better gauge for my opinions on the shoes. For example, a lighter runner will experience differently the effects of midsole compared to a heavier runner.
I am on the heavy side for a runner (75kg – 80kg) range and stands at 1.75m tall. My average weekly mileage ranges from 25km to 35km. I am a mid-foot/fore-foot strike with a neutral foot. I am normally a US size 11 and a 11.5cm at the widest point-to-point of my foot. Went for an update check at the running speciality store, Running Lab, and I do have a wide foot. Now that the profile is up, lets get into the review starting with the Upper.
The upper of the Dynablast 2 is made up of a circular knit which provided a very comfortable on feet feel. The circular knit upper was accommodating to my wide feet as the knit stretches at certain part while supportive at others. Given its knit upper it isn’t the airiest of upper, but it does allow for smooth airflow into the shoes. This is through the pockets of opening that allowed for air flow although limited in numbers. I found this as a compromise between structural support and providing an airy upper. Too many of these pockets and the structural support characteristics of the running shoes would likely reduce.
The tongue of the Dynablast 2 is padded throughout giving it a soft touch. However, I cannot help but find it in the way of lacing up for my runs. In addition, the tongue is only attached at the end of the eyelets, allowing it to move around. But this has almost always been ASICS’s style for attaching the tongue. That said, the tongue does provide sufficient cushioning when lacing up as the laces do come up thin and could have dug onto my foot. It is certainly different from the other laces used by ASICS, for example in the Gel-DS Trainer which has a premium touch to it.
Overall, the upper works well enough as a running shoes at this price point. What ASICS could do is to improve its tongue as it is really blocks up much of the airflow. In addition, the upper of the Dynablast 2 is supported with some overlay which can be seen internally. In this case, perhaps they can introduce some more pockets of opening in the area where there isn’t overlay materials to improve the upper airflow. Given its knit upper, it certainly can accommodate runners with varying feet shapes and sizes. The laces do its job when you knot them up and seldom give you a problem.
On to the FF Blast midsole and we are welcomed with a very comfortable step in feel. While the comfort can be attributed to the soft FF Blast midsole, we cannot forget another component. The insole of the Dynablast 2 is a staggering 5 mm in thickness, which I felt provided the need cushioning during runs especially when the FF Blast starts to flat out. In addition, I tried on foot one with and another without the insole, the difference can be felt right at the get go. The insole of the Dynablast 2 certainly play an important role here. Not surprisingly, the insole comes from Ortholite and based on ASICS’s webpage is the Ortholite X30.
The Dynablast 2, even with its stack height and the thickness of its insole, does flatten out earlier than expected. This is most evident when picking up the pace or going for a longer than 10K run. During my long runs, at the tail end, I could feel the ground as if I was wearing a racing flat. The FF Blast provides the road feel through the foam evidently even with thick insole. For runs within the 10K range, the Dynablast 2 was a joy to run as it provides both the cushioning, rebound, and the trampoline effect.
The outsole of the Dynablast 2 is covered with rubber outsole pretty much along the ridges. At more than 50 km, the outsole does not show many signs of wear except at the trampoline area and the typical spots I see. Given the amount of rubber outsole, this pair of running shoes will likely last quite a while.
One unique feature of the Dynablast 2 is the asymmetric design between the lateral and medial side. The lateral side of the outsole, around the mid-foot area, raises in thickness more than the medial side. This likely is to provide the support through the gait cycles and possibly create the trampoline effect in conjunction with the entire midfoot design. The Dynablast 2 is catered towards Neutral runners.
An important point to note is that the outsole of the Dynablast 2 should not be used during wet weather. The traction on the Dynablast 2 switched off when it encounters a puddle of water or wet surfaces. There were times when I had to slowed down significantly to get over those wet surfaces. For runners in areas with more rainfall, do take note! I would not take chance on this!
This is a new sub-section to provide a mapping of alternative models from different brands in comparison to the model in review.
In terms of alternatives, what are the options out there which are good for runners. The figure below sets out alternative models from ASICS as well as other brands in the market based on price differences. The price Dynablast 2 is represented by the dashed red line with yellow glow. For models which are in the same price range/price point, they are in the middle together with the dashed red line. For models which are above and below, they are more expensive and more affordable respectively.
The ASICS GT 1000 v10 and New Balance Propel v3 belongs to the same price category as the Dynablast 2. However, it should be noted that the Propel v3 might vary in price depending on the region (e.g., in the US and in Asia). Based on New Balance webpage in the US, the Fuelcell Propel v3 comes in at US$100.00 which is the same as Dynablast 2.
For models which are more affordable, runners have options such as the ASICS’s Gel Pulse v13, the Nike Rival Fly v3, and the Under Armour Charged Bandit v7. For runners who have a bit more cash to spare, options include the Nike’s Winflo v8 and the Adidas SL20.2. The SL20.2 is the most expensive pair within these while the Charged Bandit and Gel Pulse are the least expensive pairs. The Supernova is listed as US$110.00 which is the same as SL20.2 but in Asia the latter is more expensive.
The updates to the Dynablast 2 are a welcomed move by ASICS as it now appeals to a wider audience. The upper is an accommodating and provide sufficient ventilation during runs, except during the summer days. The FF Blast midsole, complement with the insole, provides a comfortable step in feel while cushioning the legs during runs. Taking the design language of the Novablast, the Dynablast 2 provide indeed provides a trampoline like ride. However, the midsole is less suited for longer runs and speed workouts as the midsole can flatten out over a longer duration run. Dynablast 2 is well-equipped in its outsole department to ensure its durability.