Asics Novablast 4 Introduction
I went to my native ASICS retailer on the Novablast 4 launch day and there have been 5 completely different folks all attempting it on. At the latest weekly Sunday morning KL metropolis run, I counted 12 folks carrying the Novablast 4.
In a really quick time, the Novablast has turn out to be some of the in style ASICS trainers and right here in Malaysia it has a cult following. Not solely does it have a extremely fashionable and futuristic design but it surely’s additionally comparatively light-weight and inexpensive (in comparison with the Nimbus/Kayano).
When the unique Novablast got here out, it was the exact opposite of the opposite ASICS trainers which had been obtainable on the time. It was mild, it was energetic and most significantly, it was enjoyable. Its most important downside was that its experience was wild and unstable- a small value to pay for such an attractive coach. It was one in every of my favorite day by day trainers as a result of it was so completely different.
Over time, the wild Novablast has been tamed and it has turn out to be increasingly more like day by day trainers from different manufacturers: firmer, stabler and fewer bouncy. I didn’t use final 12 months’s Novablast 3 a lot for operating after testing it. It felt like a really extraordinary day by day coach and it was lacking the Novablast essence.
Like most of ASICS’ bestsellers, this 12 months’s Novablast will get a considerable replace with a model new higher, midsole and outsole.
The Novablast 4 weighs 9.2 oz (260 g) which is 0.3 oz (8.5 g) heavier than the Novablast 3. There’s an extra 0.5 mm of stack peak in each the heel and forefoot, making it 41.5 mm/33.5 mm. It stays $140, the identical value as final 12 months.
Asics Novablast 4 First Impressions
My first Novablast 4 run was a really sluggish restoration run, slower than 6 minutes per km (9:40 per mile). I didn’t get pleasure from that run due to how agency the brand new midsole felt.
It felt to me prefer it was extra of a velocity coach than a flexible day by day coach. The experience felt too agency for simple and restoration runs.
The brand new higher fitted like a glove and it was extraordinarily snug. The higher match was the spotlight of that first run however general, I used to be dissatisfied with the Novablast 4 after the primary run and it didn’t have the wow issue.
Asics Novablast 4 Higher
The Novablast 4’s higher is my favorite function and the most effective Novablast higher up to now. It now makes use of a skinny, woven materials which feels extra premium and extra foot-conforming than earlier Novablasts.
There are small holes on the highest of the toe-box so breathability is barely higher and a heel pull tab has additionally been added to a brand new raised heel tab.
The tongue continues to be flat and gusseted but it surely has a skinny layer of padding within the center which feels extra snug on the highest of my toes. There’s a considerable amount of downward tongue slide as a result of there’s no loop on the tongue to carry it in place. I’m unsure how ASICS let this occur when a lot put on testing takes place when it’s developed.
In earlier years, the Novablast match was a half dimension too large however this model’s sizing is ideal and is true to dimension. For me, the match is the most effective with medium thickness socks.
Asics Novablast 4 Sole Unit
The Novablast 4 rides not solely firmer than most day by day trainers, but in addition firmer than most velocity trainers. The Magic Velocity 3, Endorphin Velocity 4 and Boston 12 are all softer than the Novablast 4. That is high quality if you happen to’re solely doing uptempo runs, however the Novablast is meant to deal with all sorts of runs, together with very sluggish paces.
The FF Blast+ Eco within the midsole of the Novablast 4 is totally completely different to the one within the Nimbus 25. The Nimbus 25 midsole has a nice squishiness once you load it. The Novablast model feels extra like ASICS’ previous Flytefoam from a pair years in the past: light-weight however agency.
I solely benefit from the Novablast 4 after I’m doing uptempo runs: hill repeats, regular runs, intervals or quick tempo runs. That is primarily as a result of its midsole doesn’t compress a lot when loaded so it offers a agency platform to push off from. I’ve to be operating sooner than 5:30 per kilometre with a view to get pleasure from it. It has clean transitions that are fast for a non-plated coach and a stiff forefoot which feels snappy.
I really feel that FF Blast+ (like within the Cumulus 25) would make the Novablast 4 a way more participating shoe and would improve its enjoyable issue. ASICS says that the Novablast 4 has an energised experience however I disagree. To me, it feels very flat. The longest run I did in it was 35 kilometres and whereas it was cushioned sufficient, it didn’t give me a heat and fuzzy feeling.
ASICS says that the Novablast 4 has a trampoline-inspired outsole to extend power return. Whereas that was the case within the first 2 variations of the shoe, I can’t really feel the trampoline impact in model 4; the midsole is simply too agency and doesn’t compress sufficient to reap the benefits of the geometry.
The decoupled groove beneath the shoe that runs from the rearfoot to the forefoot is barely deeper than the Novablast 3. Whereas it’s supposed to help in cushioning and power return, the agency midsole prevents this from occurring.
There’s a brand new outsole rubber (AHAR Lo) on the Novablast 4 which is a decrease density than on the earlier variations. The decrease density is designed to extend traction however I didn’t discover a giant distinction in comparison with earlier variations. Traction is simply common.
Outsole sturdiness can also be common. After 80 kilometres, I’ve seen some put on on the forefoot part, on the froth half which isn’t coated with rubber and on the outer lateral heel.
Asics Novablast 4 Conclusions
By going firmer than earlier variations, I believe ASICS has gone within the unsuitable route with the Novablast 4. It now not appears like a flexible day by day trainer- it now appears like a velocity coach. ASICS already has the Noosa Tri (non-plated), EvoRide (non-plated) and the Magic Velocity (plated), so one other velocity coach isn’t wanted.
The Novablast 4 has misplaced the enjoyable, bouncy essence which made it such a preferred coach to start with. I might choose all of the earlier variations over this newest model. Within the ASICS center vary, I might choose the Cumulus 25 over the Novablast 4 for day by day coaching. Its softer experience offers extra consolation and extra safety. It’s the identical value because the Novablast.
The Saucony Journey 17 is an oz heavier than the Novablast 4 however it could deal with a wider vary of paces: it’s softer and it returns extra power. The Supernova Rise can also be far more versatile. Each are the identical value because the Novablast 4.
I nonetheless assume the Novablast 4 will proceed to be a bestseller and some of the in style trainers available on the market, primarily due to its modern, fashionable design and the hype round it.