Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The Novablast is mid-range, neutral trainer and the Kayano is premium stability trainer. Here we will be comparing the Novablast and the Kayano.
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The Novablast is a trainer designed to be versatile and have an energised ride. It's one of the most popular ASICS trainers because it's light, affordable and has a really modern design. It costs $140.

The Kayano is a top of the range stability trainer and is an ASICS classic. Runners love its high level of support, cushioning and its durability. It costs $160.

Which of these ASICS trainers is the right one for you?

Similarity and differences: Novablast 4 vs Gel Kayano 30

Shoe type
Expert score
Expert score
Expert score
9 oz
10.7 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
10 mm
The ASICS Novablast 4 is a firm-riding daily trainer which is more suited to faster-paced runs than relaxed runs. It doesn’t quite have the same fun, bouncy ride that the early Novablasts had but it still has a relatively lightweight build. Version 4 is firmer and more stable than version 3 due to its new FF Blast+ Eco midsole. It’s also a little bit heavier and not as versatile so it can’t be called an improvement. Runners who prefer a firmer, more stable ride will prefer version 4.
The ASICS Kayano 30 is a top-tier stability trainer. Drawing inspiration from other ASICS offerings the Kayano has been completely rebuilt for its 30th edition. The result is an adaptable and stable shoe that provides comfort mile after mile. This overhaul continues Kayano’s run as one of the leaders of the stability field.
Recommended for
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
very stable
very stable
true to size
true to size
Retail price

Sole unit: Novablast 4 vs Gel Kayano 30

The Novablast and the Kayano both have FF Blast+ Eco midsoles but the Novablast midsole is firmer. This makes it more suited to uptempo runs such as tempo runs, intervals and races because it’s easier to pick up the pace in the Novablast.

The Kayano is more suited to slow runs such as easy and recovery runs because of its softer midsole. It’s also better for long runs because it has more long-distance comfort.

There’s a silicone gel pad inside the heel of the Kayano. This hidden gel is designed to absorb the shock when your feet strike the ground. The Novablast doesn’t have this gel.

The main difference between the sole units of the Novablast and the Kayano is that the Kayano has a more supportive ride. This is due to its wider base as well as its built up medial side to prevent excessive inward ankle rolling. Both trainers are supportive but the Kayano has a much higher level of support.

When it comes to outsole durability, the Kayano wins. It has a harder, more abrasion resistant version of AHAR. The softer AHAR Lo of the Novablast has better traction but wears down faster.

Upper unit: Novablast 4 vs Gel Kayano 30

The Novablast has a woven upper which feels more modern than the traditional mesh on the Kayano. The Kayano has more padding in the tongue and collar which makes it feel more comfortable than the Novablast.

Both trainers have gusseted tongues but the Kayano has a loop on the tongue which prevents it from sliding downwards. The Novablast experiences some downward tongue slide.

The fit of both trainers are true to size and they come in wide versions if the standard width is too narrow. The Novablast has a cooler upper due to the holes on the top of the toe-box so it’s better for warm temperatures and racing.

Which one to buy: Novablast 4 vs Gel Kayano 30

If you are looking for a faster trainer for short distances, you should get the Novablast. It has a firmer ride which makes it easier to pick up the pace so it’s more suitable for tempo runs, intervals and races. It has a lighter build and it feels more agile than the Kayano.

If you want a supportive trainer for slow and long distances, get the Kayano. It has a wider base and it has a built up medial side to prevent overpronation. It also has a softer ride with more comfort which makes it better for easy runs, recovery runs and long runs.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.