Asics Novablast 4 Review: My Favorite Novablast Yet

The Asics Novablast 4 refines the formula of the Novablast line to create a versatile and fun daily trainer

Asics Novablast 4
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

It may not be as springy as its predecessors but the Asics Novablast 4 is an excellent daily trainer that’s now more stable and has a smoother ride than the Novablast 3. It’s a small but impressive update and should be on your radar if you’re looking for a highly cushioned all-rounder.


  • Comfortable
  • Bouncy, versatile ride
  • Smoother transition than previous versions


  • Outsole grip is merely OK
  • Less bouncy than previous versions
  • Heavier than Novablast 3

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The Asics Novablast 4 is the best version of this shoe yet, even though it loses some of the bounce of previous iterations. The ride is tamer, but smoother, and I found the shoe a great all-rounder and one that’s particularly enjoyable for longer runs.

It’s up there with the best running shoes and reasonable value too, though on that front there’s a case for finding a deal on the previous model, which is a good shoe itself and likely to pop up in sales regularly now the Novablast 4 has launched.

Asics Novablast 4: Price And Availability

The Asics Novablast 4 costs $140 in the US and £135 in the UK, the same price as the Novablast 3. The price is in line with other daily trainers like this, and similar to rivals like the Nike Pegasus 40, Adidas Supernova Rise and Saucony Ride 17.

How I Tested This Shoe

I’ve run around 32 miles in the Asics Novablast 4, using it for a mix of training runs, including a 13-mile long run, an interval session and a progression run. I have also tested the past three generations of the shoe, as well as a range of the best Asics running shoes and daily training options from other brands.

Design And Fit

Asics Novablast 4

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Asics has made changes to the upper, midsole and outsole of the Novablast 4, and while they’re all minor, they add up to make the shoe feel different to the Novablast 3. The most minimal change is in the upper, which is now made from a woven material and is meant to be more breathable. It’s a comfortable upper that holds the foot well, and the shoe fits well in my usual running shoe size, but that is true of the Novablast 3 as well.

More notable changes are found in the midsole and outsole. The latter now offers slightly better grip, and while the Novablast 4 is still not an outstanding shoe for wet paved surfaces—Adidas and Puma in particular offer road shoes with better outsoles—I didn’t slip too much in the shoe even on greasy all-weather paths.

The midsole is now made from FF Blast Plus Eco foam, rather than the standard FF Blast Plus used in the Novablast 3. It’s not the most eco-friendly of foams, since only 20% is made from bio-based materials. But it is nice and bouncy, and Asics promises even more energy return.

With a stack height of 41.5mm at the heel and 33.5mm at the forefoot, the Novablast 4 has an 8mm drop and is slightly higher and wider than the Novablast 3. This has increased the weight, with the new shoe 9.5oz/270g in my UK size 9, compared with 9oz/257g for the Novablast 3. It’s still a light shoe given its stack height, and didn’t feel heftier than the Novablast 3.

Running Performance

Asics Novablast 4

Asics Novablast 4, left, and Novablast 3 (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

While I thought the Novablast 3 was a good shoe, I found that the bounce I got from the midsole dulled after a few runs, and I didn’t find it as enjoyable an all-rounder as many other reviewers, preferring to use it only for easy runs.

Although it’s less springy than the Novablast 3, I’ve found the Novablast 4 a more versatile shoe. The ride is smoother and the foam is firmer, which gives a more responsive ride that I found helped me pick up the pace in the shoe.

For my first run I did a session running 20 x 60sec on, 30sec recovery, before going into a parkrun pacing a friend to a sub-20min. The Novablast 4 felt smooth and lively on the short reps, running around 5min 20sec/mile pace, and cruising through the parkrun felt great in the shoe.

The next day I did a hilly half-marathon long run in the shoe and again I was impressed with its versatility. It was comfortable and protective when running at an easy pace, but lightweight enough to not be a burden when ascending hills, or when speeding up in the last few miles of the run.

Asics Novablast 4

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

It wouldn’t be my go-to pick for all-out speedwork, or hard long runs aiming for race paces, when I’d use a plated racing shoe or super-trainer, but it can do those runs if you don’t have a running shoe rotation. The Novablast 4 is great for anything at slower paces, especially long, relaxed runs.

I’ve also found the bounce from the midsole, while less noticeable than the springy feel of the Novablast 3 initially, is more long-lasting. The Novablast 3 would lose some of its lively feel over the course of long runs while the Novablast 4 is more resilient.

Is The Asics Novablast 4 Worth It?

Asics Novablast 4

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Novablast 4 is a great daily trainer and good value at its list price. For me, it’s an improvement on the Novablast 3, though if you can find the older shoe available at a substantial discount it’s the better-value pick, since the difference between generations is not night and day.

There are other great options in this category, like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2, which is cheaper than the Novablast 4 and has a better outsole, though it’s less cushioned. The Nike Pegasus 40 is another strong option, as are the Adidas Supernova Rise and Saucony Ride 17, but I prefer the ride feel of the Novablast 4 to those shoes and find the Asics more versatile.

If you don’t mind paying the extra $60, the Asics Superblast is also worth looking at. It does everything the Novablast 4 does, but a little better, thanks to the bouncier FF Turbo foam in the midsole. The Superblast is expensive though, and so the Novablast 4 is better value.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

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.