DiscontinuedUpdate: Asics Gel Contend 5
Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / 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
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.
WeightMen: 10.5ozWomen: 8.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
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.
Heel heightMen: 25mmWomen: 22mm
Forefoot heightMen: 15mmWomen: 12mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
Experts are runners, 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.
78 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
A Case for Contend!
The Asics Contend 3 is a neutral running shoe that might have you wondering (after a little while) why you paid three times as much for the more lavish models.
This shoe could be greatly improved by upgrading the sock liner.
A good shoe
Well done, a bit dated but well put together with tried and true materials and techniques, with no high-tech printed overlays and none of the latest state-of-the-art cushioning materials such as DNA or FlyteFoam.
This shoe performs well in all areas except one, cushioning!
Asics design. The heel counter and midfoot-uppers use some fine web material, very nice looking.
With just under 70 miles of easy running, I see no more wear on the outer soles of the Contend than with the Asics GT-2000, as a mid-foot striker.
The Asics GT series has AHAR (Asics High Abrasive Rubber) in the heel, the Contend does not, so some runners will see faster heel wear without this model.
White Arrows show that the Asics GT 2000 has an additional layer of density foam and added gel in the heel, the Contend has only simple white EVA and far less gel.
Weight is 348 grams for size 44.
Not a great deal of after dark reflectors except on the rear.
These shoes are a candidate for reflective laces or some reflective material, however, the fact is that even if you had 20 reflectors and a big flashing light on your hat, it might not help at all because many drivers are simply not looking!
Bring your reflective laces just in case, they are moving as you run and this motion helps. And remember you simply must be ready to jump out of the way!
Not for the Novice
This is not a shoe for the beginner, a novice runner should be running in a more substantial shoe, such as the Asics GT, Cumulus or something like the Brooks Ghost to avoid injuries so common in the early years of running.
Once a runner has built up some miles and has become stronger and more durable, their shoe choices increase.
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.
Run Happy. Run Safe!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
The heel counter is extremely rigid. It really feels quite solid.
You’re not getting the lightest ride, nor the newest tech, but you are getting a reliable shoe with a well-tested heritage.
Updates to Asics 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.
Asics 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. The same high-quality EVA material is also used in the Asics Contende 4.
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.