The original Asics Novablast launched with little fanfare but runners took to its bouncy ride and it quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation. The line has remained popular, with the Asics Novablast 2 and Asics Novablast 3 being among the best running shoes for those seeking a lively and versatile daily trainer.
Sometimes brands shy away from making too many changes to popular shoes, but Asics has made significant updates to each generation of the Novablast so far, and that looks set to continue with the Asics Novablast 4, which will be available from December 1st, 2023.
The Novablast’s key feature has always been the high stack of bouncy foam in its midsole, and this remains the case with the Novablast 4, but the foam is now FF Blast Plus Eco foam, rather than the standard FF Blast Plus used on the Novablast 3.
Asics says this Eco version of the foam still delivers the shoe’s signature bouncy feel, but is made from at least 20% bio-based materials. Whether something being 20% bio-based is enough to earn the eco tag is another question—I’d expect a completely bio-based material if it’s to be described as eco.
The Novablast 4 has a new woven upper, replacing the mesh upper on the Novablast 3. Asics says this change will make the new shoe more breathable, although I didn’t have any trouble with the Novablast 3 upper myself during testing. I did find that the 3 did struggle to grip wet pavements at times, so I’m pleased to see that the Novablast 4 promises improved grip.
I’m also pleased to see the UK price remains the same as the Novablast 3 at £135. While the US price hasn’t been confirmed yet, it is also likely to remain unchanged at $140. The Novablast 4 will launch globally on December 1st, with the main colorway being all light green for the men’s shoe, and cream for the women’s.
Asics has been on a roll in 2023 with impressive updates to long-running lines including the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 and Asics Gel-Kayano 30, while the Asics Superblast has established itself as one of the best all-rounder shoes available, even if it is very expensive. It will be interesting to see how the Novablast 4 fits into this line-up and whether it slots into our selection of the best Asics running shoes, but hopefully it remains a versatile daily trainer with plenty of bounce.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.