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Asics Novablast 4 - Women's Review

With its blend of performance technology and comfort, this running shoe will be your first choice for all run types
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Asics Novablast 4 - Women's Review (This do-it-all shoe is one we can't get enough of.)
This do-it-all shoe is one we can't get enough of.
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Asics
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 24, 2024
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 19
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7.5
  • Stability - 20% 8.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.9

Our Verdict

Step into near-unparalleled comfort and performance with the latest and greatest from Asics – the Novablast 4. This shoe dethroned a long-standing favorite thanks to its comfort, responsiveness, and overall epicness. Elevating the running experience to new heights, the Novablast combines cutting-edge technology and comfort, making it a standout choice for runners of all levels. The Novablast boasts a soft upper that cradles your foot with a gentle embrace, ensuring a snug fit and secure comfort. Its responsive nature propels your legs forward, while the well-cushioned design provides a plush landing. It is no wonder that the Novablast earned high accolades as our new Editor's Choice pick, considering all it offers! Rookie runners, veterans, fitness junkies, and ultra-distance enthusiasts will all find something to love about this innovative running kick by Asics.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable
Responsive
Relatively lightweight
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks traction on slick surfaces
Thick heel might not be universally enjoyed

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Bottom Line This running shoe offers the performance technology and comfort needed to be your go-to shoe, no matter your running goalsWith strong responsive bounce and enough comfort for long runs, this shoe will suit marathon hopefuls and speed demons alikeThe big underfoot stack of this shoe provides great comfort and more responsiveness than expected, though the overall fit will not appeal to allThe structure and comfort of this shoe make it a highly recommended option for long distance runners who want a reliable road running steedWhile not a race-focused shoe, this affordable and bouncy option will keep your legs turning over quickly and easily
Rating Categories Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo... Brooks Adrenaline G... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
9.0
7.0
8.5
8.0
7.5
Responsiveness (25%)
7.5
9.5
7.0
6.5
7.5
Stability (20%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
6.9
7.4
7.2
5.8
9.3
Specs Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo... Brooks Adrenaline G... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Weight (per shoe, size 6.5) 7.36 oz 7.02 oz 7.16 oz 8.21 oz 5.55 oz
Style Neutral Neutral/race Neutral/maximum Supportive Neutral
Sizes Available 5 - 12 US 5.5 - 11 US 5 - 12 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 9 mm 8 mm 6 mm 12 mm 5 mm
Measured Heel Stack Height 40 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm 30 mm
Measured Forefoot Stack Height 31 mm 26 mm 28 mm 22 mm 25 mm
Claimed Heel-to-Toe Drop 8 mm 6 mm 5 mm 12 mm 4 mm
Claimed Heel Stack Height 40.5 mm Not stated Not stated Not stated 31 mm
Claimed Forefoot Stack Height 32.5 mm Not stated Not stated Not stated 27 mm
Measured Outsole Length 10.65 in 10.31 in 10.44 in 10.50 in 10.13 in
Measured Outsole Width 4.32 in 4.00 in 4.15 in 4.25 in 3.96 in
Upper Engineered knit mesh Mesh Engineered mesh Engineered air mesh Mesh
Midsole FF Blast Plus Eco Nitro/Nitro-Elite EVA foam DNA Loft v2 PWRRUN, PWRRUN+
Outsole AHAR outsole PumaGrip ATR Rubber Durabrasion rubber Rubber XT-900 rubber
Measured Outsole Hardness 59 HA 65 HA 36 HA at arch, 73 HA rest of shoe 47 HA 63 HA at inner toe/outer heel, 35 HA rest of shoe
Heel Tab Type Finger loop None Extended heel pull None Finger loop
Width Options Regular Regular Regular, wide Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular, wide
Heel Compression Stiffness 44 lbf 35 lbf 41 lbf 52 lbf 40 lbf
Toe Compression Stiffness 38 lbf 40 lbf 42 lbf 56 lbf 42 lbf
Toe Box Volume 6.2 in^3 6.7 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.7 in^3
Rocker Angle 22.0 deg 12.5 deg 18.5 deg 26.5 deg 26.0 deg

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Asics Novablast 4 is an innovative running shoe that marries well-rounded comfort with performance, making it our new Editor's Choice award for runners far and wide.

asics novablast 4 for women - downhill coastal cruising in the novablast 4 feels exceptional...
Downhill coastal cruising in the Novablast 4 feels exceptional thanks to this shoe's underfoot cushion, geometric outsole, and trampoline-inspired midsole.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


Running can feel punishing when you're in the throes of training, but the Novablast 4 offers a luxurious edge to your endurance efforts. The Asics-specific FF Blast Plus Eco landing comfort of this running shoe is a testament to a true commitment to comfort.


With a total stack of 40 mm at the heel and 31 mm at the forefoot, as measured by our in-house testing team, and a 5.1mm insole, there is plenty of cushion between your feet and the unrelenting pavement. The Novablast features FF Blast Plus Eco cushion technology that seamlessly absorbs impact, delivering noticeably gentle landings. Whether you're embarking on a long-distance run or tackling high-intensity workouts, the underfoot design of the Novablast ensures that your feet are snuggled in a cocoon of comfort, allowing you to focus on reaching that runner's high. The marriage between high-tech running features and comfort on the Novablast is better than we are used to seeing. Read on to see if our new favorite daily runner might be a shoe that is a match for you.

asics novablast 4 for women - with a 40mm total stack at the heel, this uniquely-shaped stack...
With a 40mm total stack at the heel, this uniquely-shaped stack provides cushion and energy return, an unlikely balance.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Responsiveness


Asics unveiled a surprising twist with the creation of the Novablast 4. Many supremely comfortable kicks fall flat when it comes to responsiveness, but the Novablast is a rare exception.


The plush comfort of its well-cushioned design seamlessly coexists with an unexpected level of responsiveness. As you hit the pavement, the Novablast responds dynamically to each footfall, providing an energizing push-off that efficiently propels you forward. The geometric heel shape adds to the overall oomph that this shoe has to offer. While the technology of the Novablast isn't as advanced as some of the , its “trampoline-inspired” outsole design provides fun energy return. This may not be a speed demon's go-to racing steed, but it is a great training shoe for runners looking to ratchet up their leg turnover and mileage in comfort. This uncommon harmony between superior cushioning and responsiveness sets the Novablast apart, which helps secure its standing as an all-around great running shoe.

Finding such a comfortable shoe that propels you forward is not typical. We love running in the Novablast 4 because it so seamlessly marries these two elements/
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Stability


The Novablast is a neutral runner, which adds to its universal-ish appeal. The latest iteration put forth by Asics offers a comfortably stable ride without the confines of rigid side walls, perfect for runners who are seeking a middle ground between minimalism and overbuilt stability.


The design of the Novablast seems to embrace flexibility, with all of its eco-minded textiles gently securing feet. The absence of rigid side walls allows for an adaptive-style fit, with the chunkiness of the heel your main source of stability. Because of this, the Novablast is suitable for runners who might mildly overpronate but may not be a good choice for runners needing serious gait corrections. It is worth noting that on wet roads, the Novablast lacks traction. For runners seeking a neutral stability shoe that balances comfort and adaptability, the Novablast stands out as a worthy contender.

asics novablast 4 for women - while not the most stable shoe, the novablast holds its own for...
While not the most stable shoe, the Novablast holds its own for having a tall 40mm stack at the heel.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Upper Comfort


The flexible upper comfort of the updated Novablast will suit runners who want a snug fit and those who want space for their toes to splay.


This running shoe's upper takes the concept of comfort above and beyond the standard, offering an experience that is nothing short of awesome. The upper is crafted with a pliably strong engineered mesh that gently wraps around your foot, providing a snug and customized-feeling fit. The textile of the upper is breathable and soft enough to prevent hotspots from forming. Our only gripe — and it's a minor one — is that a women's 7 Novablast is a bit shorter than other women's size 7s. We occasionally felt like our toes were pressing against the toe wall of the shoe. This wasn't a deal breaker for us at all, but it is certainly worth considering, especially if you are between sizes. Ultimately, you'll revel in the breezy and soft-to-the-touch upper comfort of the Novablast 4.

asics novablast 4 for women - the shape and fit of the novablast's upper feel a bit short, but are...
The shape and fit of the Novablast's upper feel a bit short, but are otherwise wildly comfortable.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Weight


The weight metric might be the only metric in which the updated Novablast didn't majorly exceed expectations. A women's size 6.5 weighs 7.36 ounces per shoe, slightly less than average but not enough for the Novablast to toe into the featherweight category.


For how much cushion the Novablast offers, we think the weight is worth it. It may not be the lightest shoe in our lineup, but the balance between comfort and weight is prime. The entirety of the shoe feels light during runs, making it a great shoe for runners seeking comfort without fully delving into maximalist shoe territory.

Despite being made of comfortable materials, the Novablast is on the lighter end of the weight spectrum.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Should You Buy the Asics Novablast 4?


Even though our recommendations change based on your running style and goals, the Novablast is almost one that we recommend across the board. While runners seeking a carbon-plated speed shoe for Ferrari-fast racing will find the Novablast lacking, those searching for a near-perfect daily running shoe will enjoy what this one has to offer. Its comfort is as close to universal as a shoe can get.

asics novablast 4 for women - the novablast doesn't offer the best traction on slick surfaces, it...
The Novablast doesn't offer the best traction on slick surfaces, it is otherwise an exceptional shoe that many runners will adore.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

What Other Road Running Shoes Should You Consider?


If something about the Novablast doesn't suit your fancy, its cousin, the Asics Gel Kayano 30, might be more your speed. The Kayano is ever-so-slightly lighter than the Novablast and has a slightly less comfortable upper. Either choice would be great for runners who want their miles with a side of comfort. The Novablast is not as responsive as the Puma Deviate Nitro 2, one of our go-to recommendations for runners looking for some speed. The Deviate Nitro isn't as comfortable as the Novablast, so weigh this out as you shop.

Ally Arcuri