The most important shoe in your wardrobe full of footwear is your daily trainer. It’s the one that you rack up the most mileage in and trust to keep you from breaking. You need something that’s comfortable, soft but not overly cushy, durable and responsive. Finding a shoe that ticks all those boxes can be challenging, but in the Novablast 4, I think you just might find it.
Built around an already established and highly regarded model, the Nova 4 is designed to provide high levels of energy return and bounce, but still have a soft feel. They have achieved this thanks to their innovative FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning. It gives you a sense of stability while also reacting to the ground with every foot strike. It makes you feel more ‘bouncy’ or explosive in a sense. So they’re great for not just the easy days and long runs, but also moderate paced efforts, like tempos. The engineered, woven upper is soft and breathable, offering more stretch, ventilation, and durability than previous models. It also features a tongue wing construction that helps improve the fit while reducing tongue movement.
The Novablast 4 weighs 9.2 oz (260 g) which is marginally heavier than the Novablast 3. There’s also an additional 0.5 mm of stack height in both the heel and forefoot, making it 41.5 mm/33.5 mm. It’s a nice drop that’s gentle on the achilles. It’s also firmer than the 3, which for me is a good thing for those that want a better sense of what’s beneath their feet. Sometimes the really soft cushioning in some shoes takes away from the foot feel and proprioception.
Having racked up over 1,000km in a pair, I can tell you that they are built to last and continue to wear well even after loads of battering on both hard roads and rocky trails. If there was one negative, it’s that the softness of the foam makes them less than ideal on really rocky stuff. You end up feeling the pointy stones through the forefoot. But keep in mind, these are not designed as a trail shoe!
In summary, the NOVABLAST™ 4 is a neutral, daily trainer that’s designed to offer energised cushioning and maximum bounce, with improved comfort and durability. It’s versatile in its use, from moderate to long distance runs, to tempo efforts.