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Asics Novablast 4 Review (2024): Top Daily Trainer?

Asics Novablast 4 review
The Asics Novablast 4 is a very popular and highly versatile and responsive daily trainer.

Our Verdict

9.1Overall Score

Very versatile running shoes for daily training.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The Asics Novablast 4 is visually impressive (41.5 mm heel height) and comes from a very popular series praised by runners.

This new version undergoes a few changes, introducing a new midsole foam: FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS ECO, which is more eco-responsible and softer. The midsole geometry also changes, with a trampoline-inspired design for a more effective forward bounce.

The Engineered Woven Upper (EWU) is more comfortable while maintaining good ventilation with laser perforations. The AHAR outsole is much the same for good traction on city surfaces.

In summary, the Asics Novablast 4 offers a number of improvements over its predecessor. It’s a versatile daily trainer with good protection and a touch of performance with a responsive enough ride for all types of sessions.

Please read our full review of the Asics Novablast 4 for more information.

Comfort
9
Responsiveness
9
Foot lockdown and protection
9
Stability
9
Durability
9.5
Value
9
Design
9

PROS

  • Highly versatile
  • Good shock absorption thanks to the high stack
  • Comfortable and breathable upper
  • Recycled materials
  • Good durability

CONS

  • Medium grip on wet surfaces
  • A bit less responsive than its predecessor

Introduction

review Asics Novablast 4 by Julien Guyod

The Novablast series has managed to become very popular in a short amount of time. Having won numerous awards and the hearts of many runners with the Novablast 3, it’s an understatement to say that this new iteration was eagerly awaited.

The Asics Novablast 4 arrives with a few changes, and the question is whether it lives up to expectations. We’ll analyze its strengths and weaknesses in this test carried out with more than 180 miles / 300 km with different types of runs.

Cushioning

Novablast 4 engineered mesh upper lateral side

One of the main changes is the replacement of FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS foam by FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS ECO foam. The feel is between firm and “soft,” an ideal combination for varying paces.

Impressive dimensions: 41.5 mm stack height in the heel and 33.5 mm in the forefoot. Shock absorption is very good, so you can confidently tackle the asphalt regardless of weight or distance. The heel-to-toe drop of 8 mm is classic and requires no adjustment.

FLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS ECO foam

Energy return

Asics’ new midsole geometry was inspired by the trampoline. This can be misleading, as one might expect a very high bounce. However, in the case of these Asics shoes, the bounce is more forward and less pronounced than in carbon plate models, for example.

runner wearing Novablast shoes

The rocker facilitates and accelerates transitions from heel to toe, making them smooth. However, some reviewers noted slightly less responsiveness compared to v3. This can be due to the new foam or the increased weight (9.2 oz / 260 g). But the latter is still decent, near lightweight for a pair of daily trainers, enabling the Novablast 4 to retain its versatility, including for speed workouts.

Support and stability

Novablast heel

We’ve come a long way since v1, described as unstable. The improvement continues in this area with a 5-mm wider platform and a better-fitting upper. The transformation continues, and this model is definitely a stable, all-round training partner. The shoe is designed for neutral runners.

Foot Lockdown

Asics Novablast 4 engineered mesh upper

The woven upper is one of the changes highlighted by Asics. The upper is very snug-fitting and stretchy to adapt to all types of feet. It’s also ventilated for breathability. Comfort is great, with just the right amount of padding at the back. The heel counter is effective and keeps the foot firmly in place to prevent slippage.

wing-shaped gusset tongue asics running shoes

The brand must have read our reviews because it has indeed corrected the concern raised in the Novablast 3 review about the tongue’s tendency to slip. As we suggested, the Novablast 4 adopts a wing-shaped gusseted tongue that improves the midfoot fit and prevents it from shifting. All in all, a good foot lockdown.

The shoe fits true to size with enough room for the toes, even for wider feet.

Traction

The AHAR outsole is slightly improved for durability. Performance remains unchanged, with good grip and efficient ground contact for to push off.

sturdy rubber outsole with good grip

On the other hand, it’s not so good on wet surfaces, and some slipping can occur. Other than that, you can even take the Novablast 4 on easy trails (e.g., dry, unobstructed paths).

Use

If you liked the previous versions (including 3) for training, you’ll love this new version too. However, the loss of responsiveness noted by some testers may limit its use for pure speed sessions like fartlek or interval training.

Novablast 4 pair of running shoes EU size 41

On the other hand, they were unanimous in pointing out that the Novablast 4 comes with a smoother ride and is more enjoyable, making it even more versatile. I tend to agree. From recovery jogging to long-distance tempo runs, the max cushion makes it possible to tackle all the scenarios you’ll encounter on the preparation road to your race at any level of experience.

Important note: you’ll have to keep the Novablasts for training, as it exceeds the regulatory stack height (40 mm) for official races set by World Athletics. The obvious goal is to make you turn to higher-performance models in Asics’ line-up like the Metaspeed Sky+.

Quality and Durability

ASICS AHAR outsole

The Asics Novablast 4 is a sturdy pair: resistant mesh, improved outsole, and massive foam with enough density to retain its cushioning properties for a long time. All this adds to good durability and value for money ($140 at launch).

Carbon footprint and animal welfare

The shoe’s main upper material is made from 75% recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions. The dyeing process to manufacture the insole also reduces water consumption by around 33% and carbon emissions by around 45% compared to the conventional dyeing methods.

The Asics Novablast 4 is vegan.

ASICS CO2e label eco-friendly materials

Conclusion

The Asics Novablast 4 is extremely versatile. Its impressive dimensions ensure maximal cushioning while remaining responsive for all types of daily runs.

The most demanding runners will turn to higher-performance models for racing while keeping the Novablast 4 for their preparation.

Facts

Asics Novablast 4 unboxing

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop8 mm
Heel height41.5 mm
Forefoot height33.5 mm
Weight (men)255 g/9 oz
Weight (women)221 g/7.8 oz
FeaturesVegan, Recycled materials, Rocker, Eco-friendly
Athletes
Release year2023
PriceCheck prices

Cushioning

SoftnessBalanced
ResponsivenessMedium

Technologies

OutsoleAHAR
MidsoleFLYTEFOAM BLAST PLUS ECO
UpperEngineered Mesh

Use

SpeedSlow, Moderate, Fast
DistanceShort, 5K, Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running

Comparisons

Asics flagship daily trainers

Asics Novablast 3

New, more eco-friendly FF Blast foam, new, better-fitting upper, and a new geometry for smoother transitions are the main changes.

The Novablast 4 is a little less responsive but softer and continues to evolve into the ideal daily trainer accessible to everyone. Nonetheless, you can still pick the v3 if you see on sales.

Other comparisons

Julien Guyod

Julien Guyod

Julien Guyod, 40, is a math teacher and freelance writer. He took up running in 2015 and specializes in marathons, clocking in with a 2:38 personal best at the La Rochelle marathon in France. He's passionate about running shoes and loves to share his impressions of the models he's tested, always pushing the mileage further to discover more insights!

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