Arch support
Daily running
M: 298g | W: 230g
Heel to toe drop
M: 10mm | W: 10mm
Heel height
M: 22mm | W: 21mm
Forefoot height
M: 12mm | W: 11mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D, Wide - 2E, Extra wide - 4E | W: Normal - B, Wide - D
Show moreless facts


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

9 reasons to buy

  • Several runners exclaimed that the Gel Contend 4, by far, is the most comfortable shoe they have ever bought.

  • It has a bang for the buck price tag.

  • More than a handful noted that it looks much better than the past model.

  • Asics offers the shoe in different widths.

  • There are already a handful of different color options.

  • A few runners have used it as a gym companion as well.

  • The removable insole accommodates various orthotics.

  • The roomy interior was greatly appreciated by more than a few.

  • The shoe is very breathable, according to some reviewers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Based on the observations of a few fans of the Contend, the 4th edition is not as supportive as before.

  • A couple of buyers felt that the fit was a tad too loose.

Bottom line

Although not as heralded as some of the latest releases from Asics, the Contend 4 is already shaping up to be one of the most reliable and sturdy low mileage trainers that should benefit entry level runners or those who are looking for an easy day on the road. The shoe has very decent arch support, a plush interior, and adequate durability for those miles on the road.

World wide, Gel Contend 4 is in the top 10% most popular running shoes. The brand, Asics, is the 3rd most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 1013 shoes


4.4 / 5 based on 73 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.

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These are visual presentations, not reviews

Updates to Gel Contend 4

Asics took the conservative route in introducing the Gel Contend 4. The most visible alteration is the removal of the plastic-like overlays. In their place are overlays with a more refined look for a more sophisticated appeal.

The upper gets an upgrade as it is a bit softer and conforms better to the foot. It works well with the number of different widths for a more comfortable fit.

The most significant change is the lowering of the stack height in the men’s and women’s models. This development brings runners a little closer to the ground for enhanced feedback without compromising much of the cushioning that fans of the Contend have longed for. It also gives the shoe a little more stability with this design.

Gel Contend 4 size and fit

The fit of the Asics Contend 4 is very reminiscent of its predecessor. It has a roomy toe box with sufficient hold in the heel and the midfoot. The substantial overlays in the heel and the midfoot do an excellent job of keeping neutral runners from moving all over the place. It runs true to size.


The outsole of the 4th instalment of the Contend is a very simple affair consisting of AHAR rubber in areas that are mostly to suffer from wear and tear while the forefoot features a softer blown rubber for more traction. As with most Asics shoes, there is a Guidance Line or a vertical cut running from the heel to the forefoot for smoother transitions. There are flex grooves located in the forefoot for flexibility. Most of the rubber in the forefoot is carved with notches to enhance grip on the road or track.


The Contend 4’s midsole is the very familiar and industry-grade EVA for cushioning and durability. For more shock-absorption, the silicone-based Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System is located in the heel.


The upper of the Asics Contend 4 features a very large midfoot cage that is created by the network of overlays that also acts as the shoe’s famous logo. A breathable mesh covers the rest of the way. The interior offers a plush, removable Ortholite sockliner that is both anti-microbial and anti-odor. A traditional lace-up closure keeps the foot in place throughout the run. Asics uses a well-padded ankle collar and tongue for comfort.


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