Asics vs New Balance: Unveiling the Best Running Shoes Choice

In the world of running shoes, two brands that often draw comparisons are Asics and New Balance. Both companies have a long history of producing high-quality footwear for athletes, with each offering a unique approach to design and technology.

As a result, runners often find themselves weighing the pros and cons of each brand when searching for the perfect pair of shoes to support their performance.

A key factor to consider when comparing Asics and New Balance is the specific needs of the individual runner. For example, Asics is known for its GEL technology in the midsole, which offers excellent cushioning and shock absorption.

On the other hand, New Balance is recognized for its wide range of fits, providing options for those with wide feet or specific comfort requirements. While both brands deliver a range of exceptional running shoes, the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference and the specific demands of the runner’s training and racing goals.

An important aspect to factor in when choosing between these two brands is the price range and durability.

New Balance shoes generally range from $80 to $130, while Asics models can start at a slightly higher price point of $110 to $160, with more popular models falling within the higher range.

As for durability, Asics claims their shoes typically last between 450 and 500 miles, while some sources suggest New Balance shoes might have a slightly shorter lifespan of 100-200 miles less.

Knowing your budget and expectations for your running shoe’s lifespan will aid in making an informed decision when comparing these two brands.

Brand History

Asics History

ASICS is a well-known global sports brand that has its roots in Japan. The company was founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949, starting as a two-person team and growing into one of the world’s most influential sports brands.

The name ASICS was created from the Latin phrase “Anima sana in corpore sano,” meaning “a sound mind in a sound body.”

This philosophy is central to the brand’s identity and can be seen in their high-performance sports products and development of innovative technologies, such as their GEL cushioning system.

New Balance History

New Balance is an American-based, historic athletic footwear company. Founded in 1906 by William J. Riley, the brand originated as Arch Support Company before evolving into New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc in 1956.

Initially, their focus was on providing orthopedic footwear, but they soon ventured into sports shoes, releasing their first running shoe, the Trackster, in 1960.

Throughout the years, New Balance has expanded its product line and solidified its reputation for offering a wide range of shoe sizes and widths to accommodate various foot types.

Product Offerings

Asics Product Range

Asics offers a wide variety of running shoes catering to various needs, preferences, and budgets. The brand is particularly known for its midsole technology, such as the renowned GEL cushioning system, which provides excellent shock absorption and support.

Some popular Asics models include the following:

  • Gel-Kayano: A stability shoe known for its excellent support and cushioning.
  • Gel-Nimbus: A neutral shoe with plush cushioning for a comfortable ride.
  • Gel-Cumulus: A versatile, lightweight option suitable for various foot types and running styles.

New Balance Product Range

New Balance also offers a diverse range of running shoes, catering to different foot shapes and running styles. The brand is particularly popular among runners with wide feet, as many of its models feature a spacious toe box.

Some popular New Balance models include the following:

  • Fresh Foam 1080: A cushioned neutral shoe with responsive Fresh Foam technology.
  • 860: A stability shoe with a blend of cushioning and support for overpronators.
  • Minimus: A minimalist shoe with a near-barefoot feel and minimal cushioning

Technological Innovations

Asics Technologies

Asics is known for its innovative running shoe technologies aimed at providing support, cushioning, and a snug fit.

One of their most iconic features is the GEL technology in the midsole, which offers excellent shock absorption and comfort.

Another standout technology in Asics shoes is the FluidFit, ensuring a secure fit while allowing the feet to breathe.

The support, breathability, and comfortable fit make the brand popular amongst runners with various foot types and running preferences.

New Balance Technologies

New Balance focuses on providing options for runners with wide feet or bunions, as their shoes often have a wider toe box. This design accommodates different foot shapes and allows for natural toe splay during the running motion.

In terms of cushioning and support, New Balance incorporates various innovative technologies in their shoe lineup.

One notable feature is Fresh Foam, a lightweight and responsive midsole material that delivers exceptional cushioning and energy return.

Another technology is the FlyteFoam Lyte technology, used in some models to provide support in the midsole and under the heel.

The brand’s commitment to catering to different foot shapes and preferences, combined with their advancements in shoe technology, continues to make New Balance a popular choice for runners around the world.

Fit and Comfort

Asics Fit and Comfort

Asics is known for its snug fit and comfortable running shoes.

The FluidFit technology in the Asics uppers helps keep your feet in place with little room in the toe box, providing a secure feel during your runs.

This feature allows your feet to breathe while maintaining the desired fit and support.

The brand’s popular models, such as the GT-2000, provide adequate cushioning and support for various types of runners. With a wide range of shoe options, Asics caters to different running styles, preferences, and foot shapes.

New Balance Fit and Comfort

New Balance shoes offer a different kind of comfort compared to Asics. They feature breathable uppers, with some models even being made from knitted fabric.

The shoes’ small slopes provide stability, and the variety of sizes accommodates different types of feet, making them a suitable choice for a wide range of runners.

One of New Balance’s flagship models, the 1080, is touted as “the best running shoe they make”.

The shoe offers a supremely cushioned running experience, thanks to its versatile design and updated sole, catering to runners seeking comfort during their runs.

In summary, both Asics and New Balance prioritize fit and comfort, with slightly different approaches.

Asics shoes are known for their snug fit, FluidFit technology, and cushioning, whereas New Balance shoes emphasize breathability, stability, and a variety of sizes to cater to different foot shapes.

Ultimately, runners should consider their unique preferences and requirements when selecting a shoe from either brand.

Performance and Durability

Asics Performance

Asics offers a wide range of running shoes that cater to different runner needs, including performance and durability. Along with their popular Gel-Cushioning technology, Asics shoes are known for their combination of performance and durability that suits various terrains and running conditions.

UpbeatRun mentions that Asics shoes are popular as cross trainers among a diverse range of athletes.

Asics recommends replacing their shoes after accumulating 450 to 500 miles, which is a testament to their durability.

This shoe lifespan recommendation is supported by Runner’s Goal and RunToTheFinish.

The actual lifespan of the shoes could vary depending on factors such as running style and environmental conditions.

New Balance Performance

New Balance shoes are known for their focus on comfort, featuring wider toe boxes and an overall more accommodating fit compared to Asics.

The Wired Runner points out that New Balance still maintains a great running feel despite their emphasis on comfort.

Regarding durability, New Balance shoes’ life expectancy ranges from 300 to 500 miles or three to six months, depending on your monthly mileage.

Similar to Asics, the durability of New Balance shoes can be influenced by factors such as running style and conditions.

Price and Value

Asics Pricing

Asics offers a variety of running shoe models with varying price points.

Their prices generally start at around $110 for lower-end models and can go up to $160 or more for higher-end options, such as carbon fiber shoes and trail shoes.

The average price for a popular Asics model, like the GT-2000, is around $120

New Balance Pricing

Similar to Asics, New Balance also provides a range of running shoe models at different price points. Their prices typically range between $80 to $130, with popular models skewing towards the higher end of that range.

However, both New Balance and Asics offer standard shoes starting at as low as $50, and premier models can cost $200 or more.

In general, Asics and New Balance deliver quality running shoes at various price ranges, making them attractive choices for runners with different budgets.

For those looking for shoes under $100, both brands have options that can provide good value for the money.

Environmental and Social Impact

Asics Sustainability Efforts

ASICS is a company that takes its commitment to sustainability seriously. Centered on two main pillars—people and planet—their sustainability framework aims to address important issues such as human rights and climate change, as well as reducing pollution.

In an effort to minimize their environmental footprint, ASICS focuses on using more sustainable materials, cutting down on waste, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

They also prioritize the ethical treatment of their workforce in the supply chain, emphasizing the importance of fair labor practices and safe working conditions. By pursuing these goals, ASICS strives to make a positive impact on both the environment and society.

New Balance Sustainability Efforts

New Balance, too, has implemented sustainability measures in its operations, receiving a “Planet” rating from Good On You, in which they are rated as “It’s a Start” with regard to their environmental policies.

New Balance as made efforts to incorporate lower-impact materials throughout its supply chain, thereby reducing the potential for pollution and waste.

While there is room for improvement in terms of the extent and scope of New Balance’s sustainability initiatives, the company has taken steps to address its environmental impact. As a result, New Balance customers can be more conscientious in their purchase decisions, knowing that the brand is working to minimize any negative effects on the environment.

Conclusion

In the comparison of ASICS and New Balance running shoes, several factors can influence a runner’s decision. Both brands offer various models to cater to different running styles, budget ranges, and personal preferences. Determining the right shoe ultimately depends on individual needs and priorities.

ASICS shoes are known for their snug fit and supportive design, making them a popular choice among runners who prefer a stable and responsive feel.

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