I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with trial-running. Whilst the trails offer me a more relaxed pace (along with gorgeous views) – I struggle to stay upright, I’m useless at hills and I get frustrated that it takes me so long. Send me out on technical trails and I’ll be out there all week!

I prefer routes that combine my love of road with a bit of light trail thrown in for good measure. This allows me to get some decent running pace on the road and to take it easier on the trail bits (and stop to admire the views and take pictures!) And now I’ve been introduced to a shoe that fits this style of hybrid running perfectly – The Novablast 3 TR.

Part of ASICS NATURE BATHING™ Collection, this shoe is inspired by the Japanese phrase, “shirin yoku.” Its colourway draws inspiration from the calming hues found in nature. Meanwhile, its trail-specific outsole is functional for running on off-road surfaces.

The TR is essentially a road Novablast 3 with an outsole, giving it off-road appeal as well as making it more durable. What’s more, the upper has been tweaked to make it a more comfortable shoe and reduce overall weight. While the Novablast 3 TR may not be a fully-fledged trail shoe like the GEL-Trabuco – they do offer something that sits more in that road-to-trail category – which is exactly what I’ve been after.

The tech spec

  • Jacquard mesh upper provides comfort and support while keeping feet cool
  • The heel stabilizer helps support the foot and create a more balanced stride
  • The gusseted tongue wing fit system improves the midfoot fit and reduces tongue sliding
  • FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning provides lightweight impact absorption and a responsive rebound
  • Trampoline-inspired outsole design provides a more responsive bounce back
  • AHAR™ outsole improves durability
  • At least 75% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions
  • The sock liner is produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage by approximately 33% and carbon emissions by approximately 45% compared to the conventional dyeing technology
  • Reflective details help improve visibility in low-light settings
  • Trail-specific outsole

Putting them to the test

I wore the Novablast 3 TR for my week in Portugal, where I was running on dry, dusty trails, roads, and a track session with no issues at all. On my return, I took them for a spin on my local trails. Smooth and stable, they easily transitioned from mud to gravel paths to the pavement. I loved their ability to mix up road and trail – as long as those trails aren’t too demanding. I will say that these are definitely more road-to-trail shoes – rather than an all-out trail option. They are a very solid, comfortable trainer that has been perfect for my local parkrun which is 2/3 trail to 1/3 road!

A great hybrid shoe
Good grip for light trails and a variety of terrain
Comfortable upper. For me, personally, the fit is better than the Novablast 2 as I found them a little big across the top.
Light, responsive and bouncy.

A little heavier than Novablast 3
I wouldn’t say they are built for technical trails – if it’s technical trails you crave go for the GEL-Trabuco


*Ambassador – Shoes gifted – ASICS frontrunner