I was excited for this one, the Asics Nova Surge, which has been hailed as a top combat sneaker parallel to AJ32, or an equivalent to AJ32, and you should be thrilled at it too! Here in this article I am gonna present to you my comprehensive Asics Nova Surge performance review.
I’ve been playing in these for a period of time, maybe about 4 months up to now, exclusively on outdoor rough courts, like the blacktop and the concrete courts. Although they are not so unforgiving, they are still much harder than those indoor wooden courts.
In this article then, I’ll break down the shoe from the fullest possible perspectives so that you may form an idea of your own and decide whether this is the one for you. I know you may be wondering whether the shoe can live up to the reputation of being “an equivalent to AJ32”. Let’s find out here.
1.Fit and Comfort
Does the shoe go true to size? What’s the feeling in it? Comfortable? Or intolerable?
Sizing: down 1/2 a size
It’s definitely not an exaggeration: I don’t think that the majority of people can go with their regular size, which means that the shoe cannot be available for all foot types.
Nevertheless, while I think this way, there must be some people who’ll think my words impertinent. The truth is that the inner-bootie is a bit slender and to ensure a more excellent and after-your-heart wrapping, it is essential to go down 1/2 a size lest there should be left too much extra room inside the shoe. I’ve also seen the feedback from some consumer that it was suggested to go down one size, but I do think it is a bit overkill.
Going down 1/2 a size actually fits me snugly, which is just what I ideally want. During the numerous plays on courts, I’d never come across such issues as heel slippage or side-to-side movements inside the footbed. Therefore, I don’t think the majority of people should go down a full size because the fit will become just the opposite to what you wish: you are mostly likely to run into feet containment issue with that.
Comfort: Above average
Before I bought and played in the shoes, one of my friends, also a loyal Asics fan, told me that they were more comfortable than the AJ33 SE. To be frank with you, I thought it was a little overblown at the time. Then after personally experiencing it, my impressions of its comfort are here.
Firstly, it seems like a pair of AJ32 without air cushion. But even so, the shoe is ,in fact, not so lightweight. I’d little idea as for how it is constructed, but I felt I got something on my feet the first few times I played in it, though hardly burdensome. Nonetheless, it is fortunate that I’ve now get entirely accustomed to it.
And then I deem that it’s the closest thing to a Hyperdunk in the sneaker market today. Besides that, the ventilation, in contrast to the weight, is fairly good, which enables me to play to my heart’s content even in summer days. At the heel, there are also sufficient lining that efficiently improves heel comfort while also ensures flexibility for the ankle.
Bottom line here. Do remember to go down 1/2 a size and have the laces tightened, and then you’ll enjoy the ride. Although this is not the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn, you’ll still find it agreeable once you are used to it.
The vamp of this one is of an unattractive appearance. However, “Never judge by appearances.” also applies here. Though it uses the most commonly seen engineering mesh cloth, it actually offers me quite a wonderful and comfortable wrapping. What the sneaker gives me is a kind of omnidirectional, seamless wrapping and protection, which causes no press to my feet.
As is mentioned earlier, the inner-bootie is slender, leading to some extra room in the toe area, which is inevitable for a lot of people. In spite of that, its wrapping performance is not in the least affected. On top of that, it should also be made mentioned of that part of the brilliance of this great wrapping is also credited to the shoelaces, making the model all the more enjoyable.
In static state, the wrapping performance of heel is very solid. On the one hand, the high-top design along with the laces can enable players enjoy a nice wrapping. On the other hand, there is a noticeable inward design of the welt and the spongy padding there is also super thick. So you can imagine how excellent the wrapping is.
As for the durability, I haven’t seen any damage in my shoes as of today, which reflects that the materials used are really brilliant. In terms of the support, because of the hard material on both sides of the upper, the overall support is also very reliable, and when doing some big change of direction or making breakthrough, the support provided by the sneaker is very reassuring.
Let’s look at the midsole cushion then.
The midsole of this shoe is definitely something I’ve never experienced before. Unlike Zoom, which offers great feedback, and Boost, which is super bouncy and addictive, the cushion of this one made me feel like I was stepping on the floor when I was in static state. But when it comes to the actual play on court, a question naturally emerged on my mind: “Am I wearing the same shoes as before?” Chances are that you will go through the same thing that I’ve experienced.
The ride height of the forefoot is relatively low off the ground, which is somewhat similar to the experience offered by Lillard 6, and I can feel some feedback in the moment of startup. As for the cushion of the rear area, it’ll be more than satisfactory for heavier and bigger players. There are mainly three technologies in the rear cushion and the feedback it offers me is indescribably nice. Usually I tend to land on my heels and I can obviously feel that the shock is not acted on my feet or joints but absorbed by the cushion.
In a word, the midsole is heavenly for me.
The outsole is actually amazing, judging from my own experience.
Now let me begin by saying that the traction will never fail you, even on the courts with much dirt or dust. Checking over the lines of the outsole, you’ll find that that they are very finely made, leading to aggressive traction.
In the past, I sometimes ran into models whose cushion setups or vamp wrapping had reached a point where it was almost too much for me. When it comes to the traction on this one, well, I am more than satisfied with it because it is just right to the point.
While I was making various movements, say, side-to-side movement or breakthroughs, the traction bit so aggressively that sometimes it felt like it were going to throw me off balance. But please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying the traction has gone over the top, but it’s just brilliant and dandy and doesn’t cross the line. Whether I am playing on infield or outfield, the traction is nearly perfect. Although there does exist one flaw that the dirt on courts has an affinity with the soles, it has no implications for the traction performance. So, my friend, just rest assured and play to your heart’s content.
Outdoor durability: Pretty good
However, can the outsole be reliable for constant and high-intensity outdoor plays? Well, ostensibly, the fine and shallow lines there, specifically designed for indoor courts, seem not that reliable to stand the test of time.
Nonetheless, quite a few consumers, including me, actually think highly of the outsole durability. In the soles there are actually two layers of lines, the outer one being the bionic, and the other the ultra wear-resistant water ripple. Therefore, with the super thick soles, the shoe can be a reliable companion even if you want to play high-intensity plays on concrete floors.
5. Other details
Anti-rollover: Good, if not excellent
In terms of anti-rollover, it is definitely not top-ranking, but I feel it quite smooth in step transitions. While I am simply walking, I can feel a noticeable resistance underfoot, which should be credited to the extension of the forefoot. And while I am changing directions the shoes are overall very stable.
There is a large arch support plate in the midsole, though not obvious. When you bend it over you’ll see that the deformed position is basically where the forefoot exerts force and the setup indeed plays a significant role in offering support for players. Even for people like me who have flatfoot, the setup won’t bring on any unbearable pain to my arch. So this is for me quite impressive.
This Asics Nova Surge is a breath of fresh air in my view. Without outstanding look, eye-catching designs and techs, and its price even a bit inconceivably low, many people probably will take no notice of it. But, buddy, only after you play in it for one round, you can see how impressive and amazing it actually is.
The performance of this one is really balanced—there is nothing particularly weak about it. But for guards seeking super lightweight models, it may not be that suitable. Meanwhile, because the feedback of the forefoot cushion is not that obvious , players who belong to the explosiveness style and require forward impetus may also find it dissatisfactory. And for the rest of us, if you just need a pair of shoes for high-intensity plays, this is probably the best choice.