Asics Novablast 2 VS Hoka Mach 4: What Should I Buy?

The Asics Novablast 2 and the Hoka One One Mach 4 are two of the most popular neutral cushioned running shoes on the market today. Both shoes are versatile, well-cushioned options perfect for daily training runs. But with different features and technologies, which one is the better choice for you? Read on for a detailed comparison of the Novablast 2 and the Mach 4.

Similarities And Differences Between Asics Novablast 2 And Hoka Mach 4:

SpecsAsics Novablast 2Hoka Mach 4
Launched In20212021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityGoodGood
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight9.5 oz (M), 8.5 oz (W)9 oz (M), 7.5 oz (W)
CushionFlyteFoam BlastProfly
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberDurabrasion rubber
MidsoleFlyteFoam BlastProfly
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$120$353

Features Comparison

Materials

The Novablast 2 uses FlyteFoam Blast in the midsole, which is soft and bouncy, while the Mach 4 uses Profly, Hoka’s proprietary foam that aims to balance softness with responsiveness.

Asics Novablast 2
NOVABLAST 2

Hoka Mach 4
MACH 4

The outsoles also differ, with the Novablast 2 using AHAR+ rubber for durability and the Mach 4 using Durabrasion rubber. Both shoes use an engineered mesh for the upper. The Novablast 2’s upper feels more premium than the Mach 4’s.

Durability

The Novablast 2 has decent durability thanks to its AHAR+ rubber outsole, though some wearers report the foam compressing over time. The Mach 4’s outsole shows wear quickly, which impacts overall durability. The upper on both is durable enough for daily training. Overall, the Novablast 2 wins for durability.

Fit

Both shoes fit true to size for most runners. The Novablast 2 has a roomier toe box while the Mach 4 offers a more secure midfoot lockdown.

Asics Novablast 2 top view
NOVABLAST 2 TOP VIEW

HOKA MACH 4 TOP VIEW
MACH 4 TOP VIEW

The Novablast 2 will work for more foot shapes thanks to the roomier toe box but the Mach 4 offers a precise fit for narrower feet.

Stability

As neutral cushioned shoes, neither the Novablast 2 nor Mach 4 are designed for pronation control. The Novablast 2 offers a stable heel for smoother transitions while the Mach 4 is evenly balanced underfoot. For runners needing arch support or pronation control, other options would be better.

Cushioning

The Novablast 2 offers ultra-soft cushioning from its FlyteFoam Blast midsole, resulting in a bouncy, well-cushioned ride. The Mach 4 is also cushioned through its Profly foam but doesn’t feel quite as soft or bouncy. For maximum softness underfoot, the Novablast 2 is the winner.

Value

At $140, the Novablast 2 costs slightly more than the $353 Mach 4 but offers a more premium feel in its upper and materials. For runners looking for versatile daily training shoes with lots of cushioning, the Novablast 2 is worth the extra $10 for the extra comfort and bounce it provides. The Mach 4 still offers good value but can’t match the plush feel of the Novablast 2.

Performance Comparison

Walking

The Novablast 2 provides plush cushioning during walking but the high bounce isn’t necessary for walking. The Mach 4 has a stable feel for walking yet still brings responsive cushioning. For pure walking, the Mach 4 would be the better choice unless you really want maximum cushioning.

Running

For running, the Novablast 2 shines thanks to its energetic bounce and soft landings. The Mach 4 is also a solid choice for daily runs but doesn’t quite have the pop and cushioning of the Novablast 2. Runners looking for a fun, bouncy ride will prefer the Novablast 2.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Novablast 2’s thick, shock-absorbing foam makes it a good choice for plantar fasciitis. The Mach 4 is moderately cushioned but firmer underfoot, so it may not provide enough cushioning relief for plantar fasciitis. The Novablast 2 is likely the safer choice.

Standing All Day

The Novablast 2 again wins for standing all day thanks to its softer foam staying comfortable for hours on your feet. The Mach 4, while cushioned, doesn’t have quite the same plush feel underfoot over extended periods.

final Verdict

For runners looking for an ultrasoft, bouncy ride, the Novablast 2 is the clear winner, providing lively cushioning perfect for daily runs. Its softer midsole foam also makes it a better choice for plantar fasciitis and standing all day.


The Mach 4 is still a lightweight, responsive option but can’t match the energetic experience of the Novablast 2. However, if you want a more stable walking shoe or don’t love an overly soft feel, the Mach 4 would be a better choice.

For most runners seeking lots of cushioning for their miles, the Novablast 2 is the superior choice between these two great options.

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