Asics Novablast 3 Vs Novablast 4: What Should I Buy?

The Asics Novablast line has become popular for its soft, bouncy cushioning and smooth transitions. Runners love these shoes for long runs, with the Novablast 3 receiving praise for its comfortable yet responsive ride.

Now with the Novablast 4, Asics has made some updates to improve upon the previous version while keeping the plush feel. The Novablast 4 has a redesigned upper for a more secure fit, along with subtle tweaks to the midsole foam to enhance stability and energy return.

Below we compare the Novablast 3 and Novablast 4 in detail, looking at features like sizing, cushioning, traction, and more. This helps highlight the key similarities and differences so you can decide if the latest Novablast 4 is worth upgrading to from the 3.

Similarities And Differences Between Novablast 3 And 4:

FeatureNovablast 3Novablast 4
Launched In20222023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingTrue to sizeTrue to size
Weight9.9oz (M), 8.8oz (W)9.8oz (M), 8.7oz (W)
CushionFlyteFoam Blast+FlyteFoam Blast+
OutsoleAHAR+ rubberAHAR+ rubber
MidsoleFlyteFoam Blast+FlyteFoam Blast+
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$140

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The outsoles on both the Novablast 3 and 4 utilize Asics’ durable AHAR+ rubber to provide traction and withstand miles of road running. Both also feature FlyteFoam Blast+ midsoles, which offer responsive cushioning that compresses easily yet bounces back well.

Asics Novablast 3
NOVABLAST 3

NOVABLAST 4
NOVABLAST 4

For the upper, the Novablast 3 uses an engineered mesh that flexes with your foot. The Novablast 4 revamps the upper with a redesigned engineered mesh that provides a more secure fit around the midfoot while still allowing airflow to the foot.

Durability:

In terms of durability, testers found the Novablast 3 delivers around 300-500 miles before signs of wear in the outsole tread or midsole foam. The redesigned outsole rubber on the Novablast 4 should offer similar longevity.

The engineered mesh uppers are also durable on both versions, built to handle abrasion from road running without tearing. So durability is on par between the two models.

Fit:

The Novablast 3 fits true to size for most runners, with a medium width through the midfoot and toe box. The upper material allows flexibility for a comfortable fit.

Asics Novablast 3 TOP VIEW
NOVABLAST
3 TOP VIEW

NOVABLAST 4 TOP VIEW
NOVABLAST 4 TOP VIEW

The Novablast 4 has a more tailored midfoot fit to provide a secure lockdown, while the toe box retains a medium profile. This updated engineered mesh upper aims to accommodate more foot shapes comfortably and prevent excess movement during runs.

Stability:

Both the Novablast 3 and 4 are neutral running shoes, best for runners with medium to high arches who don’t need pronation control.

The Novablast 3 offers a smooth ride but some testers noted the soft foam can feel a bit unstable at faster paces. The Novablast 4 has a slightly wider base and denser foam under the arch to enhance stability for neutral runners. But neither model will control overpronation as a stability shoe would.

Cushioning:

The standout feature of the Novablast line is the plush FlyteFoam Blast+ cushioning. This midsole foam provides soft, bouncy padding without feeling mushy or sluggish.

Testers found the Novablast 3 has an especially soft ride, almost like running on clouds! The Novablast 4 tweaks the midsole foam formula to retain the signature plushness while improving responsiveness and stability. But both deliver that highly-cushioned feel the Novablast line is known for.

Value:

With a $140 retail price, both the Novablast 3 and 4 offer impressive features and comfort at a very reasonable price point for neutral running shoes with ample cushioning.

The Novablast 4 makes small improvements that may be worthwhile for some runners. But the Novablast 3 remains a stellar option at its now lower sale price if you want to save money. At $140, both shoes deliver exceptional value and comfort at an accessible price.

Performance Comparison:

Walking:

The Novablast line isn’t specifically designed for walking, but the cushioned midsoles do absorb impact well during slower paces too. The moderate flexibility allows a natural stride when walking in both versions.

The Novablast 4’s more secure upper may have a slight edge for walking comfort. But overall, both shoes work well for walking short distances thanks to the responsive cushioning. The soft foam would begin to feel less stable for all-day wear.

Running:

For running, the Novablast 3 and 4 are both optimized for high mileage training and longer distances like half marathons.

The Novablast 3 has a very soft feel some runners love for recovery runs and easy miles. Its bouncy foam provides great energy return to help you bounce back during tempos and fast training too.

The Novablast 4 offers a touch more pop and responsiveness that can suit uptempo runs well. The updated upper also brings a more secure hold for dynamic miles. So it may have a versatility edge at faster paces while retaining cushion for long runs.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The well-cushioned Novablast models can provide pain relief for runners with plantar fasciitis if worn during active recovery. The soft midsoles absorb shock and reduce pressure on the feet.

However, the flexible uppers may not offer enough arch support on their own to relieve plantar fasciitis while standing or walking. Using supportive insoles would enhance the Novablast 3 and 4’s comfort for long periods of wear.

Standing All Day:

While plushly cushioned, the Novablast 3 and 4 are not ideal for standing all day. The soft midsoles are better suited for active use rather than extended periods on your feet.

Moderate flexibility also doesn’t provide the stability most people need for all-day standing comfort and support. So the Novablast models aren’t recommended as work shoes for jobs that require prolonged standing. Supportive insoles could improve their wearability.

Final Verdict:

For neutral runners seeking responsive softness on training runs, both the Novablast 3 and Novablast 4 are excellent options. The Novablast 4 makes small performance improvements to stability and responsiveness. But the Novablast 3 still delivers outstanding comfort for those wanting to save money.


If choosing between the two, runners who prioritize very soft cushioning may prefer the Novablast 3’s extras squishy ride. Those wanting a more stable and lively feel for faster miles may find the Novablast 4 ideal.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with either of these well-cushioned trainers from Asics! Try them on to decide if the Novablast 4’s updates are worth it for you or if the proven Novablast 3 has all the features you need.

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