The Asics Novablast 4 has huge shoes to fill (pun intended). The Asics Novablast 3 was one of the most interesting and fun shoes of 2023. It took the Novablast line to a new level and skyrocketed the Asics brand to another level of coolness among the running public. Asics was making great shoes before the Novablast 3 but that shoe cemented the brand as a resurgent force in running shoes.
Asics Novablast 4
Release Date: December 1, 2023
Weight: Men’s 9.1 oz., Women’s 7.9 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Asics Novablast 4 improves almost everything from the Novablast 3 but Asics pulled back on the fun factor to improve the shoe’s mass appeal.
For some, the Novablast 3 had traction and durability issues as the outsole rubber didn’t grip well in wet conditions or last long enough (though those are not problems I had personally). Otherwise, the Novablast 3’s reception was overwhelmingly positive. As soon as the Asics Novablast 4 was announced, the Novablast 3 got marked down, and there was a feeding frenzy as runners rushed to scoop them up at reduced prices and boasted about the prices they paid on Reddit. Any time that happens, the shoe was a winner.
Which presents a dilemma. If you’re Asics, how do you improve upon something so well-received. The next model after something great often fizzles as well-meaning designers tinker with a winning formula.
But the Asics Novablast 4 avoids a letdown by fixing the traction and durability issues of the previous model but also making the shoe more accessible to a wider audience.
Asics took learnings from the absolutely awesome Superblast and combined them with the best aspects of the Novablast 3. After Asics mixed it together, we got the new and improved Asics Novablast 4. A Novablast that’s not quite as speedy but more stable, more accommodating, and more comfortable. The Novablast 4 can also handle long distances even better than the long-distance-friendly Novablast 3.
Many shoe reviewers view these types of updates as boring due to the lack of flash and pizazz. But in the real world of local running stores, the Asics Novablast 4 will be a shoe that feels great on foot and can handle everything a running plan throws at the wearer. At retail, that’s a more valuable shoe than last year’s Novablast 3. It’s a shoe that appeals both to running shoe geeks and runners who don’t memorize and rate the entire Asics lineup.
The Asics’ Novablast 4’s few flaws are easy to overlook and it will appeal to a wide audience by providing a shoe that does most things well at an affordable $140.
- Wider last (similar to the Cumulus 25)
- Outsole traction and durability (better Ahar Lo rubber and a more aggressive pattern)
- Comfortable Superblast-esque tongue
- Comfortable Engineered Woven upper
- Picks up speed slower than the previous Novablast 3
- Slippy tongue (threading the laces through the tongue airholes will fix it)
- FF Blast Plus Eco still not quite as energetic as regular FF Blast Plus
Is the Asics Novablast 4 wide foot friendly?
Yes, the Asics Novablast 4 has a good amount of room in the forefoot and heel and should accommodate a wide variety of foot types. If Asics follows the same playbook as last year, there won’t be a wide version of the Novablast 4. Keep that in mind if you’ve got a very wide foot.
Is the Asics Novablast 4 worth $140?
The Asics Novablast 4 is well-priced at $140. It delivers value more in line with $150 shoes. Grabbing a shoe that can do everything you need during marathon training for $140 is a win in today’s high-inflation environment.
Asics Novablast 4 Summary
The Asics Novablast 4 is a do-everything shoe that, while it’s not as speedy or bouncy as the previous iteration, adds comfort, stability, and durability in a way that will appeal to most runners in a big way.