The Asics Novablast 4 is continuing to build on the success of this max cushion running shoe. In comparing it to the previous Novablast, you can see some significant changes have happened, but mostly for the better. It’s now a cushioned shoe that provides some natural stability to the foot strike.
Unlike some of the other brand, Asics hasn’t yet increased stack height a massive amount, but they are for sure looking at how to get more cushion in your daily trainer. I’ve always been a fan of the Novablast, so honestly that makes me a little nervous when I see changes to the shoe.
But I think this is going to be a winner for many of you from the cushion to fit to weight.
As you know I’m always honest in my running shoe reviews with what I like, dislike and what might work for you that wasn’t a fit for me!
I’ve only had the chance for a few 6 mile runs in the Asics Novablast 4, so more updates coming. But I wanted to give you some insights in case you’ve been hearing about this new shoe.
There isn’t a single ideal running shoe that suits every runner, so I’d like to share my discoveries. However, I strongly recommend visiting a running store and trying them on yourself! Take a run around the shop and gauge your thoughts.
Asics Novablast 4 Overview
Asics had a major hit with the Novablast 3 and personally, I’d have just let that shoe run for a bit longer. But that’s why I’m not in charge of a shoe brand! They’re always looking to come out with something they believe is just slightly better and maybe this is.
Though for me it’s now more in the realm of just a daily trainer and not one for much speed work. Certainly it’s going to feel really great for long runs or even some tempo work because it is lighter. Right now I’m using it as my daily trainer and pretty darn happy with how my feet and legs feel.
The midsole is Flytefoam Blast+ Eco, made from 20% bio-based materials to keep moving toward a goal of sustainability. I love that they are putting a carbon footprint number inside the shoe too. This is great focus to see among the brands.
But more importantly this is their proprietary foam (like each brand) that is softer with less weight. I appreciated that this wasn’t a super plush shoe that you sink in to, but rather a really nice cushion.
Novablast 4 Specifications
- Heel toe drop: 8mm
- Weight: 7.9 oz women’s, 9.1 oz men’s
- Style: Max cushioned, neutral shoe
- Usage: Daily trainer (not a speed shoe)
- Available in six colors
- Available at Zappos $140 (my favorite for easy returns)
According to Podiatrist Richard Blake, “Running in maximalist shoes can help alleviate the pain with conditions and injuries like metatarsalgia, capsulitis, neuromas, sesamoid injuries and hallux limitus/rigidus symptoms.” This is further amplified by the rocker design of the Novablast 4, simply helping to move you off the ball of foot quicker.
I didn’t notice the rocker so much, until I compared it to the new Asics Gel Nimbus 26. Then it was clear there were an intentional rocker to help the Novablast retain some of the speed features.
While this is a neutral shoe, with no guiderails or anything for stability, it absolutely has some of that built in to the design. The width of the platform from toe to heel reduces pronation and provides a really good ride.
This visual of the Novablast 2 vs Novablast 4, gives you an idea of what I mean about the width of the platform (and the tongue padding) having expanded and that the toe box feels a bit wider.
Novablast 4 Fit
In general, Asics running shoes are a pretty standard width. I do think these have a bit more room in the toebox than On or New Balance recent shoes.
The tongue is thin, but not sharp, which was an issue other brands had in trying to cut weight. It still has a little padding to it and doesn’t ride too high on the ankle.
The tongue is also connected about mid-way to create that sock like fit where it doesn’t slide all over your foot, but also isn’t restrictive around the ankle (aka a gusseted winged tongue if you want to be technical).
It’s breathable as you’d expect from pretty much all of our running shoes at this point.
Interestingly, I haven’t loved the stack height in some shoes, but didn’t notice it at all here. I think this due to that wider base I mentioned creating such a stable feeling. The outsole has been updated with newer rubber as well, but to be honest I never noticed an issue previously so this wasn’t a big focus of my testing.
On 90% of my running shoes, I use a heel lock lacing and these have enough laces to make that easily doable.
Asics Novablast 4 vs Asics Gel Nimbus 26
One of the issues I have with many brands right now is their shoes are getting so similar, that it’s hard to know if there’s really a difference that’s going to matter to you. In this case, I’d say there is a feel difference that’s noting.
The Novablast just feels like a softer shoe and has a little more rocker too it.
- Nimbus is a heavier shoe by 1-2 oz
- Same heel to toe drop
- Nimbus is slightly firmer shoe
- Both are cushioned, but the Novablast is slightly softer
- Tongue on the Nimbus remains more padded and hits higher on the ankle
- Novablast has a bit more rocker effect
- Same stack height to both
- Different rubber on the outsole, the Novablast feels a little stickier
Who Will Like the Asics Novablast 4?
If you like a cushioned daily trainer this is going to be a winner. It is absolutely a shoe that is going in to my consistent rotation because it’s just a really comfortable fit and has that underfoot feeling that makes you feel good.
You know what I’m talking about. When you slip on a shoe and just think “ahhh nice” because of the cushion.
The 8mm heel drop is also within my preferred range. I have found over the years that a lot of runners seem to have less IT Band and other issues when they are in shoes from 4mm to 8mm. Could I tell you why, not really. Just one of those things that has held pretty true.
- Training for anything from 5K to marathon
- Good long run shoe due to both cushion and weight
- Enough stability to also keep you feeling good on long runs without actually correcting your footstrike
- Not ideal if you want a snappier speed shoe
- Not a good choice if you prefer lower stack height or like a firmer shoe like the Nike Pegasus
More About Asics
Established in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Japan, ASICS derives its name from the Latin expression “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano,” which translates to “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”
In 1950, the company introduced a basketball shoe, and by 1953, it expanded its product line to include running shoes. One notable creation from this era is the Onitsuka Tiger, a running shoe that remains popular today, albeit predominantly used as a casual rather than a marathon shoe.
Presently, Asics showcases a diverse range of footwear, encompassing designs for running, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, and golf.
All right there you have it! My review of the Asics Novablast 4!
At the $140 price point, it really is a shoe that’s going to hit the mark for so many runners.
Looking for other running shoes??
- Best Treadmill Running Shoes
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- Altra vs HOKA Running Shoes
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