Update: Gel Contend 4
Arch support
Daily running
M: 298g | W: 241g
Heel to toe drop
M: 10mm | W: 10mm
Heel height
M: 25mm | W: 22mm
Forefoot height
M: 15mm | W: 12mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D, Extra wide - 4E | W: Normal - B, Wide - D
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Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.


Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.


We spent 7.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • A tester wrote that they preferred the color schemes of the Gel Contend 3, which stood apart from the overly vibrant neon hues of most Asics shoes.

  • There were runners who thought that the fit was adequate, that the shoe didn’t feel too tight.

  • Runners generally appreciated the lightly padded tongue and collar.

  • One runner who weighed 265lbs felt that the Asics Gel Contend 3 was able to handle their body weight, even after continued use.

  • The mid-sole unit became a highlight for runners because many of them were able to stay comfortable and well-cushioned throughout their activities.

  • The insole garnered recognition because it delivered contoured support to the curves of the underfoot.

  • Consumers were in agreement when they stated that this shoe had an affordable price.

  • Some runners wrote that it didn’t easily get dirty.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The toe box was a bit narrow for a tester.

  • Others noticed that it was half a size smaller than what they were used to.

  • The rear section of the upper unit was a bit high for some testers and it rubbed uncomfortably against the Achilles tendon.

Bottom line

The Asics Gel Contend 3 received positive feedback from runners who enjoyed its agreeable underfoot experience, as well as its clean and comfortable upper. It felt strong and it didn’t break down easily for many of those who tried it. On the other hand, some consumers felt that it was a bit narrow and small. Such concerns can be addressed easily, though. This road shoe quickly became a trusted model for a lot of neutral runners.

World wide, Gel Contend 3 is in the top 10% most popular running shoes. The brand, Asics, is the 2nd most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 1010 shoes


4.5 / 5 based on 1468 ratings

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Expert reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

79 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 80
    LaMontage PhotographyLevel 2 expert
    by LaMontage Photography
    The heel counter is extremely rigid. It really feels quite solid.
  • 80
    Frank MayLevel 4 expert
    by Running Shoes Guru
    You’re not getting the lightest ride, nor the newest tech, but you are getting a reliable shoe with a well-tested heritage.
  • 76
    Frank DuCettLevel 3 expert
    by RunRepeat
    This shoe is best suited for a very lightweight, experienced runner on a tight budget, as an every other day trainer, leaving the Nike Pegasus or Asics GT for longer runs. With that said, there seems to be no substitute for quality, we get what we pay for and after adding in the cost of upgrades it might be better to wait for a sale on a better shoe.
  • Show moreless reviews
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These are visual presentations, not reviews

Updates to Gel Contend 3

Asics gives a few slight changes to a shoe designed for entry level runners in the Contend 3. What is most significant in the changes is the use of overlays that are not as rigid and as stiff as before. One update that really sticks to the theme of removing the very stiff overlays of the past version is the new single rand that holds effectively the heel from any movements without being very stiff. Protection at the toes is not as substantial as before courtesy of the more flexible forefoot overlay. The overall fit is more forgiving and adapts rather nicely to the foot.

The outsole gets a slight reboot as well. There is now a new decoupled heel that helps with the shock-absorbing features of the shoe. Runners will also find more grooves for better flexibility and enhanced transition.

Gel Contend 3 size and fit

A medium-sized heel and forefoot are the main characteristics of the Gel Contend 3. It has good space in the toe box and a snug midfoot. This is a fit that is very similar to the previous model. Available widths are D and B. Sizes are on point featuring 7 to 14 for the men’s and 5 to 11 for the women’s.


A textured outsole provides decent grip and durability on the road and track. Flex grooves are located near the forefoot for better flexibility and smoother transitions.


A single layer of standard EVA acts as the main midsole cushioning component. Asics’ patented gel cushioning, which is a silicon-based material, is placed in the heel for proven shock-absorbing features.


Asics uses regular mesh for adequate breathability while synthetic overlays provide added support and structure. A contoured and removable sockliner offers enhanced comfort and arch support.


Comparison to category means
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