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: 8.1oz
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: 22mmWomen: 21mm
Forefoot heightMen: 12mmWomen: 11mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
Release dateApr 2017
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Updates to Asics 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.
Asics 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, like the Kayano 25, 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.
History of the Gel Contend running shoe series
The inception of the Gel Contend shoe series from Asics was inspired by the idea to create an entry-level running shoe that is perfect for beginner runners who are starting with short distances. Although essentially a simple, straightforward shoe, the Gel Contend running shoes aim to give its wearers a taste of their high-quality shoe technologies, which is starred by the Gel® Cushioning System.
Consistent across the present and past versions of the Gel Contend is the delivery of ample heel and midfoot cushioning, features that are especially important to neophyte runners. The lightweight quality of the Gel Contend running shoes promises a smooth and comfortable ride, which allows wearers to enjoy their first few running experiences.
Asics Gel Contend 4 versus the previous version
While both versions are equally excellent in their own right, the differences between the Gel Contend 4 and its predecessor make the latest release worth the upgrade. Here are some of the notable comparisons between the two running shoes:
Simplified upper. In the Gel Contend 3, a set of synthetic overlays are present in the upper, which are intended to maintain the shoe’s structural integrity. However, these overlays were removed in the Gel Contend 4. The reason for doing so was the several negative reviews received by the previous version that the overlays restricted foot movement and reduced the breathability of the shoe.
Enhanced outsole. The no-frills outsole construction of the Gel Contend 3 has massively changed in the fourth version. From plain textured rubber, the Gel Contend 4 features the Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) compound, which uses blown rubber to deliver a durable cushioning. Both versions, however, utilize the Guidance Line that aid the runner in smoother transitions.
Sole unit. The updated sole unit of the Gel Contend 4 includes a lowered stack height that, despite the lesser amount of midsole, is more springy and shock-absorbent compared to the previous version. Reviewers have commented about the current version’s springy feel and increased ground contact, which helped combat foot fatigue.
Extensive style options. One type of feedback received by the Gel Contend 3 was its bland styling and a small selection of colorways. Thus, for this latest release, Asics bounces back with a huge difference in color choices. Not only that, but some users were also pleased with the appearance of the Gel Contend 4 and has considered it to be a big improvement from the last one.
Improved fit. Users of both the Gel Contend 3 and 4 would notice the difference in the way each shoe feels on the foot. While the earlier release was criticized by some for its narrow toe box and small sizing, the Gel Contend 4 has been praised for having a roomy interior. Many have also noticed the looser fit provided by the Gel Contend 4, as opposed to the previous one, which saw chafing and skin irritations in a few wearers.
Running shoes similar to Asics Gel Contend 4
The construction, features, and technologies of the Asics Gel Contend 4 are mostly unique, but it is undeniable that there are still similarities to other shoes. If you are looking to compare the Contend 4 with other running shoes, here are some examples on where to start.
Saucony Ride 10. The Saucony Ride 10 and the Asics Gel Contend 4 both have shoe tech that is specifically made for shock absorption, with the difference being the material used to create it. The Saucony Ride 10 uses an extra layer of foam to make the SRC Landing Zone, while the Gel Contend 4 uses a gel-based source for the unique Gel Cushioning System. Both of these techs are utilized in the heel area of the midsole to facilitate a smooth transition.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9. While most running shoes that are pitted against one another are focused on the sole unit, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 and the Asics Gel Contend 4 have more noticeable differences. Although both of them have been commended for their breathable uppers, each was made from varying materials. The Fresh Foam 1080 v9 uses double Jacquard mesh and the Gel Contend 4 uses simple fabric mesh with an Ortholite sockliner beneath it.
Brooks Launch 6. Both shoes are alike in many ways: same heel-to-toe drop, same weight range, and same arch support offering. However, while the Gel Contend 4 is suitable for beginners, the Brooks Launch 6 is aimed more towards experienced runners, especially considering the technologies present that help with the frequency of their activity. The Launch 6 would also appeal to environmentally-conscious users, as the material used in this shoe are eco-friendly.
Reebok Instalite Run. The Reebok Instalite Run’s most apparent feature is its full-contact foam outsole, which sets it apart from most running shoes—including the Gel Contend 4—that use a rubber one. The foam outsole allows smooth and effortless traction for forward movements, while the Gel Contend 4’s AHAR blown rubber is effective on heavy duty runs. Both shoes are efficient in providing the necessary traction for indoor and pavement running.
Under Armour Drift 2. Both the Under Armour Drift 2 and Asics Gel Contend 4 are designed for beginner runners, as they have minimal features and ultra-simple design that appeal to those who are looking for a no-nonsense running shoe. The two shoes also feature a trusted EVA midsole with similar heel-to-toe drops, but more users have found the Gel Contend 4 to be the more comfortable shoe. The Gel Contend 4 has also proved to deliver the more precise fit compared to the Drift 2.