Asics Gel Contend 4 Review Facts
Asics is a long-running trusted name in the world of road running. The name is actually a Latin acronym meaning “sound mind in a sound body.” They have been creating high-quality products and living up to their slogan since 1949. In their Gel Contend 4, comfort is king! Runners reported that this shoe is one of, if not the most comfortable shoe they have ever run in. Asics is known to features their shoes in different widths to fit every unique size, and the Gel Contend 4 is no exception to this rule.
Runners can expect to find superior cushioning through the midsole, a breathable yet snug fit in the upper, and a solid platform that absorbs the shock of each footfall on the outsole. This shoe comes in a wide variety of color combinations ranging from bright and wacky to classic and subdued. This shoe is almost half as much as the average road running shoe on the market today which is an unbeatable value considering its durability and high-quality features. This is a great shoe for the longer, slower runner and the runner who is just starting out. The Gel Contend 4 might not be the shoe in the Asics line up that brings the most bells and whistles but that doesn’t keep it from being one of the most comfortable, most reliable, most affordable shoes on the market today.
The outsole of the shoe is another design area where Asics keeps is simple but doesn't skimp on quality or durability. The outsole is made from the brand's patented Asics High Abrasion Rubber or AHAR
. This rubber material keeps the foot safe from the elements that can be found on the road. It also protects the shoe from wear and tear. Runners reported that they loved that this shoe did not seem to age and they were able to wear it for longer than other shoes in the same class that they were previously. In addition to the AHAR
, the forefoot of the shoe features a blown rubber, which is softer and better for cushioning. If runners flip the shoe upside down to see the outsole, they will notice what appears to be a long vertical line running from toes to heel. This is known as a Guidance Line. Its purpose is to support a natural movement of the shoe and improve the heel to toe transition. Runners will also notice all of the flex grooves along the bottom of the shoe. These are used to add flexibility to the outsole along with added traction to keep the runner safe on slippery surfaces like the roads or the track
The midsole of this shoe features a back to basics approach. It uses a traditional EVA midsole foam for added cushioning and comfort. The EVA midsole foam, combined with the Ortho Lite sock liner help provide the runner with the added cushioning they need to go longer and feel protected on their runs. This midsole foam is known to keep its shape and maintain a newer feel for a longer period of time than other midsole materials. The heel of the shoe also offers the runner superior shock absorption via the RearFoot Gel Cushioning. This is a silicone based material that absorbs the shock fro each footfall and returns the energy back to the runners. By absorbing the shock, this shoe helps protect runners from injury
. Runners reported that this midsole provides them a springy feel and helped keep their feet from fatiguing.
One of the key updates to the Gel Contend 4 from the third version is the removal of the structured overlays. These overlays limited the natural movement of the foot and reduced the overall breathability of the shoe. One of the features that runners really liked about this shoe is the roomy feel in the midfoot. The toe box is roomy and allows for a nature splay of the toes. The upper of the Asics Contend 4 is made from a breathable mesh. This allows for maximum airflow that keeps the foot cool and dry on long runs. The roominess of the shoe combined with the breathability make for a very comfortable ride. The inside of the shoe comes with an Ortholike Sock liner that can be removed if desired. This inner sock liner helps to eliminate odors because it is an anti-microbial and anti-odor material. Finally, since Asics doesn't leave a single detail to chance, they designed the collar around the ankle with extra padding for added cushioning and support.
The upper of this shoe offers superior breathability. One of the notable change that Asics made to the previous model, The Gel Contend 3, was to remove some of the overlays that kept air from flowing freely to the foot. In this newer model, the breathable mesh upper allows for air to flow into the foot which helps regulate the foot's temperature
. Runners reported that even on very hot days, their feet stayed cool and dry. This could also be a key reason as to why runners reported never worrying about blisters
or hot spots in these shoes either.
The weight of this shoe is 10.5 ounces. This certainly isn't the most lightweight shoe, like an minimalist trainer
but it also isn't going to be as heavy as a classic stability shoe like theHok
a. There are elements like the EVA midsole and the breathable upper that keep this weight down while still providing superior cushioning and durability to the runner.
This shoe received high marks for its comfort. Asics are known as a comfortable shoe,
and this shoe is not an exception to that rule. The midsole is made from a traditional EVA midsole foam. This foam gives a cushioned ride that also absorbs shock. In addition to the cushioning features in the midsole, this shoe also offers a Ortho Lite sock liner that adds a touch more cushioning and supports to the runner. All of these details are topped off with a padded collar around the ankle and tongue to provide the runners with superior comfort in all areas of this shoe.
The Asics High Abrasion Rubber that is used on the outsole is specifically designed to improve the overall durability of this shoe. Runners loved that the shoe held up against high mileage. Because of this durable outsole material, this shoe does not have to be replaced as often as others in its class.
The real protection that is offered in this shoe comes from the High Abrasion Rubber outsole. Not only does this material protect the foot from the road, it also protects the rest of the hoe from wear and tear. In addition to the outsole, the Rear Foot Gel Cushioning found in the heel does an excellent job of absorbing the shock from each footfall and protecting the runner against injury.
Runners did not comment on the responsiveness of the Gel Contend 4. The midsole of this shoe is thicker and added more cushioning to the run and the outsole is also thicker to protect the shoe from wear and tear.
There are a few unique elements that make this shoe extra supportive. They might seem like small details, but one of the design elements that helps support the runner is the padded collar around the ankle
. Once the laces are tied tightly, this area gives extra support to the runner. In addition to this, the runner can expect to find the Rearfoot Gel Cushioning in the midsole of the heel of the shoe. This helps to keep the foot secure during runs and also absorbs the shock from your gait cycle.
This shoe is suggested for the road
, the track, or the treadmill. The outsole features added flex grooves for flexibility and tractions that make this a great choice for the treadmill workout.
One of runners' favorite things about this shoe is the price tag. This shoe half as expensive as the average running shoe on the market today. Not only is this shoe inexpensive, it is also highly durable and holds of to wear and tear so runners had to replace it less frequently. This adds to the overall value of the shoe.
The Asics High Abrasion Rubber features on the outsole of these shoes do more than just add durability. They also add extra traction as well. Since the shoe has a better grip than many in its same class, runners loved this shoe for speed work
on the track as well as a cross trainer in the gym
. Runners also reported that they felt very confident running on slick surfaces because of the traction.
The two areas that give this shoe its flexible feel are the upper and the midsole. Runners were surprised that a shoe that provided as much cushioning as the Gel-Contend 4 can also be as flexible as it is. This can be attributed to the Guidance Line that runs the length of the outsole and the flex grooves that line the perimeter of the outsole. Additionally, the upper of the shoe is made from a breathable mesh that moves with the foot and promotes a natural movement.
While the Gel Contend 4 is labeled as a neutral shoe
, it does offer enough features that help with mild overpronation
. This is not the most stable running shoe, but it will help to improve the gait of the mild overpronator
. The midsole provides added cushioning and arch support.
This shoe features a 10 mm drop. This is going to feel more like a traditional running shoe, so runners who are looking for a barefoot
feel should look elsewhere. Runners loved the higher heel drop
in this shoe because they felt that it provided them with more protection from injury and a softer and more cushioned landing on each footfall.
- Removeable Ortho Lite sock liner
- Rear Foot Gel Cushioning
- Asics High Abrasion Rubber outsole
- Guidance line that runs the length of the outsole
- Traditional EVA midsole foam
The Asics Gel Contend 4 is a high quality, low cost shoe that is ideal for the runner who is looking for cushioning and slight support for overpronation. This shoe keeps it simple with classic design elements such as the EVA midsole foam and the Asics High Abrasion Rubber outsole. They might not be the newest technology, but they provide the runner with unbeatable support and durability. Many runners were surprised at how comfortable and protective this shoe was for such a low price tag. In addition to the low cost, the value is exemplified by the long lasting capabilities of this shoe. Runners love this shoe for long training runs, and even after loading miles onto this shoe, it still felt and looked new. The color combinations offered in this shoe might not be the wildest selection, but they are plentiful and they do range from bright to classic.