Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The Novablast is mid-range, neutral daily trainer. The Magic Speed is a fast speed trainer. Here we will be comparing the Novablast and the Magic Speed.
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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 Magic Speed is a training companion to the Metaspeed racers. It's designed for fast-paced runs and designed to be durable and affordable at the same time. It costs $160.

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

Similarity and differences: Novablast 4 vs Magic Speed 3

Shoe type
Expert score
Expert score
Expert score
9 oz
7.8 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
7 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 Magic Speed 3 is a budget friendly workout/race day shoe that is very light and very responsive. The shoes sole purpose is to go fast!
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork, long distance racing
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
very stable
some stability
true to size
true to size
Retail price

Sole unit: Novablast 4 vs Magic Speed 3

The Novablast has an FF Blast+ Eco midsole which is designed for daily training. It has a maximalist design with deep cushioning. The Novablast is more suited to slower-paced runs than the Magic Speed.

The Magic Speed has an FF Blast+ midsole which has more energy return and is designed for uptempo runs. It has a thinner midsole than the Novablast and comes in at a lighter weight too. It’s best suited to tempo runs, threshold runs, and races.

The biggest difference between these 2 trainers is that the Magic Speed has a stiff carbon plate in its midsole. This prevents its midsole from flexing to provide extra propulsion. The Novablast doesn’t have a plate in it so your feet have to work harder to increase the pace when wearing the Novablast.

Stability is better in the Novablast. Even though it has a taller midsole, its cushioning is firmer and it has a midsole which flares out at the base, increasing stability.

The Novablast has the more durable outsole than the Magic Speed. It has thicker rubber which will take longer to wear down so you’ll get more mileage out of the Novablast than the Magic Speed.

Upper unit: Novablast 4 vs Magic Speed 3

The Novablast has a woven upper which is thicker and more padded than the Magic Speed. It feels more comfortable but it’s not as breathable and less suited to warm climates. The Magic Speed upper is stripped down and more suited to races and fast runs.

The tongues of both trainers are gusseted and flat but the Magic Speed has a loop on its tongue to prevent it from sliding downwards. The Novablast tongue doesn’t have a loop so there’s some tongue slide.

Both trainers are true to size. The Novablast comes in a wide version but the Magic Speed doesn’t. Foot lockdown is superb in both trainers.

Which one to buy: Novablast 4 vs Magic Speed 3

If you want a daily workhorse which can handle slower paces better, the Novablast is the shoe for you. It has the more durable outsole and it has a more comfortable upper which is better for long runs. The Novablast is $20 cheaper but it doesn’t feel as fast as the Magic Speed.

If you want a speed trainer for races or fast workouts, the Magic Speed is the better option. It has a carbon plate which is full-length and it provides more speed assistance. It has less stability than the Novablast but it has a much lighter weight.

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.