The Novablast 4 aligns with the industry trend of midsoles growing taller and taller, with a whopping heel stack height of 41.5 millimeters for men and 40.5 for women. The FF BLAST PLUS ECO cushioning adds a slightly softer feel than the FF BLAST PLUS foam used in the previous version.
“While walking around in the Novablast 4, the thick slab of cushioning feels pretty firm. But once I started running, the foam and the shape of the shoe seemed to propel me forward,” says Caroline. “I tested these on a hilly 8-mile progression run towards the end of a long week of training. My warm-up mile was faster than usual and I got down to a 7:02 for my last mile, which is pretty good for me.”
Part of the responsiveness can be attributed to what ASICS calls a trampoline-inspired design, which is a rounded section of springy foam placed under the forefoot, helping you move forward as you’re in the toe-off phase. While one reviewer thought the extra foam felt strange underfoot during walks, the sensation disappeared while running.
“While running, the trampoline design helps push me forward without disrupting my stride,” Kate says. “I wasn’t planning on running fast, but the Novablast felt smooth, like I could pick up the pace without putting in much effort. Even my initial warmup mile, which is mostly uphill, was quicker than usual.”