Summary

We spent 6.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The breathable upper unit features a mesh material and a thin layer of synthetic overlays for support.
  • Most of the testers appreciated the mesh lining, which offers a comfortable in-shoe experience.
  • Runners who have neutral foot pronation are the ones who are going to fully appreciate how the Zaraca 4 was constructed.
  • The Gel Cushioning System, which is located in the heel area, gives shock absorption to the runner.
  • The Asics High Abrasion Resistant rubber compound covers the outsole unit, making it more protected and secured.
  • The Gel Zaraca 4 is affordable.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The 4th version of the Zaraca has a moderately heavy weight.
  • Some runners felt that the toe box of this shoe was narrow, rubbing against their toes uncomfortably.

Bottom line

The Asics Gel Zaraca 4 is a neutral shoe that anyone can enjoy for their daily activities. It provided runners with durable protection, comfortable underfoot experience, and a well-ventilated upper unit. The shoe is a good option for those who are looking for an affordable yet reliable road running partner.

Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 10.2oz | Women: 8.5oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 26mm | Women: 28mm
Forefoot height: Men: 16mm | Women: 18mm
Brand: Asics
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $80
Colorways: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Pink, Purple, Red
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Asics running shoe
It has never been more popular than this April

Expert Reviews

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.

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  • Asics rolls out minimal changes in the Zaraca 4 in order to improve the line’s already superb performance. In this version, a lighter and engineered upper keeps the weight down and enhances the breathability of the shoe.
  • Minimalists will love the upper with lesser overlays as the support and structure are still there without hindering their natural movements.
  • The comfort is upgraded as Asics uses a more padded tongue that is also more breathable than the past model. As the tongue has more padding, it lessens the risk of irritation or hot spots

Like most shoes designed for speed, the fit of the 4th installment of the Gel Zaraca is quite narrow like the prior version. The snug heel to forefoot dimension ushers a wraparound feel that entices runners to go for speed. This is the kind of fit that favors those with medium to narrow footprint. Asics offers medium width for this shoe. Sizing is a little different as it runs slightly smaller than average. Runners may have to go half a size up to get the best fit. Sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.


The small tread configuration in the outsole means that the Zaraca 4 works best on the road, gravel, and track. For long-lasting performance, similar to the well known Asics Gel Contend 4, Asics uses the tough and reliable AHAR carbon rubber in this running shoe.


True to its minimalist leanings, the midsole of the shoe is very basic. It uses a full-length EVA to provide decent cushioning and durability. Cradling the heel in this shoe is the Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System. Asics’ patented silicon based cushioning disperses shock and converts the impact of landings into dynamic returns.


A new engineered mesh combines light, breathable, and durable coverage. With fewer overlays, support and structure are adequately provided by a welded overlay that covers the entire shoe. It is the same overlay that provides unobtrusive heel support. Asics utilizes the ComforDry sockliner for enhanced step-in feel and for its anti-microbial properties. 3M reflectivity is found in several parts of the shoe for enhanced visibility in low-light areas.

Comparison

Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com