Asics Gel Equation 4 Review Facts
The Asics Gel Equation 4 has been specifically designed to be sleek and cater to those runners who have a neutral gait. This shoe is specifically made to be functional, fit, and comfortable. You don’t have to worry about the elements ruining your shoe, as the Asics Gel Equation 4 features a very easy-to-clean synthetic leather and mesh upper. This all comes to a head with the rearfoot GEL cushioning system that ensures your run won’t be too hard on your feet, and there’s also a Trusstic System that’s been implemented for a smoother ride. There’s also a responsible amount of reflectivity on the shoe itself, so you can run in low light conditions and not have to worry as much about safety. On top of all of this, it features a removable sockliner that can easily be replaced with a medical orthotic if necessary.
The first thing you'll notice about the outsole
on the Asics Gel Equation 4 is that it isn't constructed out of the sort of materials you'll find used for most running shoes. It uses what's known as AHAR, which is an acronym for Asics High Abrasion Rubber. It's been placed in key areas of the outsole in order to improve the durability of the shoe. As this shoe was built specifically for road running
, this high abrasion rubber will come in very handy when you're running on paved surfaces that are prone to delivering a great deal of wear and tear to ordinary running shoes.
No running shoe is perfect, and that, of course, applies to the Asics Gel Equation 4 as well. Where this shoe suffers a bit is in its midsole
. While it can be broken in after a number of runs, reviewers have specifically pointed out the fact that the midsole can be too stiff at first. While your gait most likely won't be affected as this isn't an issue with the exterior of the shoe, there's a great chance that your level of comfort can be affected. Also, it's been reported that the heel's gel pad could use a bit more cushioning. If you're a runner who needs extra support, this would be the perfect time to remove the sockliner and introduce a medical orthotic.
is where the Asics Gel Equation 4 truly excels. It's essentially a synthetic upper that's very easy to clean. As such, if you're running on the road and it happens to start raining and maybe even getting muddy on the road, you won't have to worry about doing damage to the upper. Clean it off after you're done running and you're good to go. The upper is made of open mesh, meaning that it's quite breathable and comfortable. While other running shoes might falter when it comes to the design of their upper, the upper on the Asics Gel Equation 4 has been preemptively designed to handle the elements.
The Asics Gel Equation 4 is not the lightest shoe, weighing
in at 12 oz. When you factor in all of the various challenges that can arise when running on paved surfaces, such as abrasion of the outsole's rubber and hard impact on your feet, it's nice knowing that this shoe eases some of that burden by not impeding on your natural running rhythm.
Just as you'd expect from most running shoes, the breathability
of the product starts with its upper. Now, the Asics Gel Equation 4 delivers a very welcome one-two punch in that its upper is as resistant to weather effects as it is breathable. Normally with running shoes, you either have an upper that's resistant to the elements or one that's breathable, but this latest offering from Asics manages to do both. Its synthetic overlay allows the upper to be breathable while also giving a more comfortable fit for the top of the foot, essentially keeping the fit while you're running.
When it comes to the comfort
level of the Asics Gel Equation 4, it's all dependent on the upper, the midsole, and even the outsole. Due to its durable rubber construction, the outsole is highly resistant to wear and tear and will ensure that anything you face on the road won't dramatically impact the experience on the inside of the shoe. The midsole can admittedly be a bit stiff, especially right when you take the shoes out of the box, but you should be able to break them in and have a comfortable experience. Failing that, the sockliner can be removed and replaced with a medical orthotic.
The Asics Gel Equation 4 has a very bold sense of style
. Most of its color options feature a neutral color such as black or gray offset by a bright, primary color to make the rest of the shoe pop. This shoe has a substantial outsole, and that's on full display when you take these shoes out for a run. The Asics logo itself is stretched almost completely across the side of the shoe, where the logo itself is given the bright color treatment so that you can flaunt your shoe's brand when you're out. This shoe isn't quite as minimalistic in style choices as we've been starting to see more of in recent years, but this is a good shoe for those who really want to stand out.
When it comes to the durability
of the Asics Gel Equation 4, just as the breathability depends on the upper, the durability depends on the outsole. To this end, the outsole is made of AHAR: Asics High Abrasion Rubber. This material is as light as it is strong, and will ensure that you won't quickly wear through the outsole. Some running shoes are made to be incredibly light at the expense of durability, but the Asics Gel Equation 4 manages to achieve both at the same time. While it might not be the absolute fastest road runner out there, it's definitely quite light when you consider just how strong the shoe is.
The Asics Gel Equation 4 depends primarily on its midsole and gel heel pad for protection
. While these don't necessarily get a failing grade, they do have some issues in regards to the overall impact they have on your foot. While the midsole and heel pad both protect your feet from impact during a run, they won't be as comfortable as you might be hoping, at least not until you break the shoes in after a number of runs. This stiffness won't last forever, but it can be a bit of a sticking point early on in the shoes' career. This is where an orthotic insert might help.
For a shoe with an outsole as thick and durable as what the Asics Gel Equation 4 has, you'd expect the shoe to suffer from a lack of responsiveness
. Just as a protected upper sometimes comes at the expense of breathability, you might even be justified in thinking this. However, the Asics Gel Equation 4 is quite unique in that it has a very responsive ride, thanks in large part to its shock-absorbing cushioning. It has a responsive ride both inside and out, allowing your gait to come naturally.
If you have small to non-existent arches, Asics has got you covered with its Gel Equation 4. The shoe has been specifically designed to provide plenty of arch support, rendering many of these problems moot. The support of the shoe has likewise been improved by the heel counter which will keep your foot secure as you run.
The Asics Gel Equation 4 was specifically designed to be used on paved surfaces, and as such shouldn't be used on technical trails or other similar conditions. The reason for this lies mostly in the outsole, which has been designed with proprietary technology to ensure both protection and lightness. The outsole is thick while still not overly contributing to the shoe's weight, allowing the shoe to stand up to the punishing conditions of just about any paved surface. This is very important when it comes to the overall lifetime of the shoe, as you'll most likely want to run in these for as many miles as possible.
In terms of price, the Asics Gel Equation 4 is surprisingly cheap. Especially when you consider all of the features that the shoe is packing, it's surprising to find that this kind of running shoe is being priced at around $70 as of the time of this writing. While this isn't the absolute cheapest running shoe that we've seen, it is quite common to see some shoes pricing out at $100 or more. Slight issues of initial comfort aside, you'll be able to get quite a bit of time out of this shoe thanks to its durable outsole, so the price tag is more than justified.
In terms of traction on the Asics Gel Equation 4, Asics has you in very good hands. Thanks in large part to the AHAR rubber in its outsole, this shoe hugs the road very well, even in rainy conditions. It's not always ideal to run in the rain, but it's good to know that you're covered should you have to. This would especially be handy in the case of a marathon, where the event has been scheduled for months and you plan on running regardless of what the weather might be like. No road shoe could get away with underperforming traction. Asics knows this, which is exactly why they've utilized the proprietary AHAR technology.
When it comes to flexibility for the Asics Gel Equation 4, the upper does much of the heavy lifting. While it's been designed to be very breathable while at the same time being extremely easy to clean, the upper does triple duty by allowing the top of your foot to move more naturally in its stride. This is extremely important, as a too-stiff upper will negatively impact your gait in ways that will be detrimental to your run. The outsole is also surprisingly flexible when you consider just how durable and thick it is.
When it comes to stability, the Asics Gel Equation 4 is quite good. This is due in large part to its durable and tough outsole. This effect is mirrored in the upper, as the material is flexible while also remaining stable. The last thing you'd want is to have an upper that provides too much mobility for your foot or an outsole that negatively affects your stride. The midsole also provides a stable fit for your foot, as long as you are willing to put into the time to break it in with some runs.
In terms of heel to toe drop for both the men's and women's versions of the shoe, you're looking at 10mm. This isn't the largest drop that we've seen in a running shoe, but it can definitely affect your stride. This shouldn't dramatically affect your decision, though, as there are plenty of other great features that will override this slight limitation. When you likewise take into account the fact that the outsole itself is very durable and tough while still remaining flexible, it becomes a no-brainer that the Asics Gel Equation 4 is a very good option when it comes to buying a new running shoe.
- Excellent arch support
- AHAR rubber outsole
- Breathable, easy-to-clean upper
- Plush tongue
- Offers good cushioning
The Asics Gel Equation 4 is not a perfect shoe, but then there's no such thing as one. While it suffers a bit from a stiff midsole, this can easily be remedied by breaking the shoe in. It features proprietary Asics High Abrasion Rubber technology that keeps its outsole tough and durable while still remaining flexible and responsive. The upper really innovates by remaining entirely breathable while simultaneously being easy-to-clean. When you couple this with the fact that the shoe's traction can stand up to even rainy conditions on the road, you should have no problem running in bad weather, so long as you stay on the road. Priced reasonably and at an acceptable weight, the Asics Gel Equation 4 is a great choice for a road runner.